I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie
(The butter wouldn’t melt so I put it in the pie)…
This is the English Butter Pie from the Beatles’ song Admiral Halsey. Farm families used to make it often. This recipe does not call for nuts, but 1/2 cup chopped hazel nuts would be very good in this savory dish. English walnuts are another alternative.
•4 pounds potatoes
•4 large sweet onions (Spanish or Vidalia), sliced medium
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1/4 Cup butter (melted), plus additional butter or oil to sauté Onions
•1 Tbsp salt
•1/2 tsp. pepper
•1 Cup milk
•1/3 Cup flour
•1 Cup heavy cream
•Pie crust of your choice
•Peel the potatoes or leave skins on if you wish (sometimes I peel them but leave a bit of skin on here and there for texture).
•Slice potatoes very thin.
•Parboil potato slices in salted water 2 to 3 minutes & drain.
•Sauté onions and garlic together in butter or oil just until soft.
•Layer potatoes and onion mixture in a 3-quart baking dish, sprinkling with salt and pepper over each layer and top.
•Gradually stir milk, half the cream and the melted butter into flour to form a paste.
•Pour milk mixture over potatoes.
•Prepare pie crust and roll it to fit the top of baking dish. Put it on top and crimp edges.
•Cut X air vent in the center of top crust.
•Brush top with additional cream.
•Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and crust is golden brown.
•Remove from oven. Warm the rest of the cream, pour through the X, set aside 15 minutes and serve.
A Russian crawling traction robotic system due to be trialed by the end of 2015 will be capable of being used in human-unfriendly environments, such as a battlefield, a nuclear fallout area, extreme polar night Arctic conditions or mine sweeping.
The robotic platform, called URP-01G, will weigh up to 7 tons, depending on the equipment requirements and type of armor, with dimensions of about 3.5 meters long and less than 2 meters wide. The robot will carry up to 2 tons of hardware and have a maximum speed of 40 km/h. It will remain operable after a fall of up to 2 meters.
The system is being developed by Russia’s Systemprom Concern, an integral part of the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation. The producer promises that will be used in situations where human life is endangered, such as army scout-attack missions, police counter-terrorist operations, firefighting, post-accident clean-up after incidents at nuclear power plants, chemical and biological hazard reconnaissance, guard patrol functions and rescue operations.
Russia unveils armored multipurpose battlefield robot
Russian scientists are developing an AI-capable armored robotic platform, which is utilizable in battlefield, nuclear fallout, and extreme arctic environments.
URP-01G, a crawling traction robotic system, was designed by Russia’s Systemprom Concern and is scheduled for factory tests by the end of the year, RT reported on Sunday.
The system is “a universal robotic complex capable of carrying various types of working payload. Onboard the complex, there will be a large variety of accessory sub-systems to maintain [electric] supply and control of the payload systems,” said Systemprom’s Science and Technology department chief Aleksey Simulin.
Based on various armor configurations and environmental requirements the platform’s weight can reach seven tons with dimensions of around 3.5 meters in length and around 2 meters in width.
With enough power and integrated command and control systems the platform can do “virtually anything,” Simulin said, adding that the robot is even capable of using payload modules from various producers.
It can be as a radio-electronic warfare unit or even a communication repeater, he added.
The system has a 10-kilometer initial range from its controlling unit but plans are present to render it autonomous with artificial intelligence, according to Systemprom Concern which is an integral part of the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation.
“The machine is designed in such a way that it could be loaded into a military truck or could be airdropped,” added Simulin.
Systemprom is developing two versions of the platform for the Russian military, a battlefield version equipped with a heavy machine gun and grenade launchers, and a scout model equipped with a small reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle.
The D Brief (DefenseOne’s daily update) reports that Obama has nominated a new Pentagon intel chief. “For months, Marcel Lettre has been waiting to succeed Michael Vickers and James Clapper as the defense undersecretary for intelligence. He’s been the “acting,” after all. President Obama sent his formal nomination on Wednesday. A defense official points out to Defense One that Lettre has served four defense secretaries, “playing key behind the scenes roles in strategic challenges and getting the Pentagon to focus more on the warfighter.” Lettre was Leon Panetta’s deputy chief of staff, and led the transition teams from Robert Gates to Panetta, and Panetta to Chuck Hagel. Before that, he was principal DASD for legislative affairs, a job he got after working as senior advisor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and on the House intelligence committee.”
Lettre’s 17-minute keynote presentation at the GEOINT 2015 can be watched here:
“Because, supposedly, one digital processing unit will eventually be able to manipulate zillions of pieces of information at a faster rate than all the human brains on the planet taken together…the result will be…what? And if that digital unit is sitting in The Cloud and every human’s brain is hooked up to it, the result will be…what? A person will be able to master French in five minutes? How does that work? Information can be injected like a drug and produce instant learning? Automatically? Perhaps this is a fantasy hatched at Disney World. Two machines can rapidly exchange data and programmed methods of analysis, but it so happens that humans are not machines, even if they believe they are.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
How do you think a super-brain would be constructed? I’m talking about the technocrats’ dream to build a computer that would rival and surpass the human brain, in terms of “reliable data.” And don’t forget, the plan is to somehow connect brains directly to the super-computer, so data can be downloaded into humans.
And this computer would, technocrats believe, come alive.
Because a) it can store far more information than the human brain; b) it can choose how to utilize that information to solve problems; c) it can solve those problems at lightning speed; and d) it can work on millions of problems at the same time.
Basically, technocrats believe a super-computer will be alive because it can process enormous amounts of data—as if there is a threshold beyond which the sheer volume of processing triggers an event…birth. What was merely a machine is now something More.
I’ve boiled down the above statement, in order to remove mystical fluff.
The statement looks strange, quite strange.
By way of analogy, if you could outfit a Porsche so it can run at 400mph, without need of a driver; and also view detailed traffic patterns within a radius of a hundred miles, adjusting its trajectory to minute changes; also report weather, stock market moves, headlines, and the moment-to-moment output of home surveillance sensors; also cook soup; acquire hostile targets and fire beam weapons to eliminate them; shop remotely at any of 50,000 stores; interview and pitch prospective customers to win contracts; deliver a haircut, shave, and minor surgery; write your autobiography in 5000 volumes; track ice flows at the North Pole; day-trade stocks and commodities; report the second-to-second movements and conversations of up to 100,000 people; record every event taking place on a million other planets…and do all this simultaneously… at some point the Porsche will cross over and become alive.
There is no level of complexity beyond which life suddenly occurs. Complexity, in and of itself, does not initiate life.
There is no number of “correct answers” which triggers life.
At bottom, technocracy assumes quite juvenile concepts: accumulation of data automatically imparts learning; the power of information-processing bypasses the problem of false, authority-based data; enough learning eliminates the need for imagination.
Technocrats assume that mysteries about how humans learn can be solved by claiming: “well, the brain is doing something we’ll eventually understand. It’s all happening in the brain because…what else is there?”
There is the individual.
If you are your brain, an ant is a spaceship pilot.
Technocrats are making the brain into a sacred totem, a magic gizmo.
If you’re aware you have a brain, who is being aware? You’re just an artifact fed illusions about self by your brain? You aren’t there at all?
I’m an illusion writing illusions to the illusion called you?
There is no function or system that equals consciousness.
Individual consciousness comes before any function or system.
The individual is not defined as the passive recipient of signals from the brain. The individual is intensely creative, although for various reasons he can bury that capacity to the point where he will deny he has it.
When the individual expresses his imagination and creative power intensely enough, he surpasses the habitual and passive acceptance of things as they are. And in doing so, his consciousness assumes a different level, and he sees life from a far different perspective. All this does not emanate from the brain.
Theoretically, if one had a super-computer of sufficient power, he could program it to spit out all the paintings in all the museums in the world, and all the music ever composed, and all the poems and novels and plays ever written, plus billions of new paintings and songs and poems. But…
Does that mean that human imagination is just an illusion?
If a carpenter makes a cabinet, and a computer running a machine produces the same cabinet, does that mean the carpenter is useless, and has gained nothing from his endeavor? Of course not.
Imagination is the source of reality, including the creation of computers.
Imagination is also the means by which an individual can attain a state in which he truly understands that the universe of “rigid natural laws” is actually an infinitely malleable stage play.
Technocrats want to be machines. They aren’t, but they keep trying.
If necessary, let them have their own island, where they can fiddle and diddle to their hearts’ content, without imposing their machinery on the rest of us. Call it an experiment. We run it. We watch what happens to them as they expend titanic effort to be brains and computers. We’ll call the experiment: “A Self-Selecting Cohort of Humans Who Think They’re Machines Attempt to Attain a Lowest-Common-Denominator Default Setting As If It Were Enlightenment.”
In my search for a different approach to the power of individual consciousness, I came upon the history of early Tibet, before the society hardened into a theocracy.
Several sources were particularly helpful. The work of author John Blofeld (The Tantric Mysticism of Tibet), the writings of the intrepid explorer, Alexandra David-Neel, and a quite unconventional healer, Richard Jenkins, with whom I worked in the early 1960s in New York.
Jenkins once wrote to me:
“There are people who want to tell us what consciousness should perceive. They’re blind to the electric, alive, and free nature of awareness. They’re wrapped up in content and addicted to it. Their biggest mistake is omitting the creative nature of human beings…”
That creative nature was the intense focus of the early Tibetans.
These practitioners, teachers, and students, some 1500 years ago, realized that most people viewed consciousness as an accumulator of knowledge. A searching tool, or a receiving apparatus.
Instead, the Tibetans embarked on a far more adventurous course.
Their many images (e.g., mandalas) weren’t meant as depictions of what finally exists in higher realms. Those realms were just as provisional and changeable as the physical world. You might call the multiple locales and dimensions representations of “what humans in certain Asian cultures would expect to encounter in their journeys of spirit.”
In other words, the Tibetans consciously treated their pantheons of gods and semi-gods as convincing illusions.
Several of their key exercises and techniques were all about having students mentally create these illusions in voluminous and meticulous detail. That was difficult enough, to be sure. Far more difficult was the next aspect of their practice: get rid of these creations.
Put them there; destroy them.
The Tibetans were committed to living life on the level of imagination, with all that implied.
And what does it imply?
A new psychology. A psychology of unlimited possibility:
A person’s past, his history, his problems, his relationships are all framed against the wider context of what he can imagine and then invent, create, in the world.
Living through and by imagination long enough, the individual discovers that his prior relationships are transformed. They no longer set themselves up as questions or problems.
He is operating from a platform that affords an utterly different, original, and unexpected outcome.
A psychology of possibility not only looks forward to the future, it has a reason to do so. Bringing electricity back into life depends, initially, on viewing possibilities in the space of one’s own imagination.
It may strike you at this point that our current civilization is bent on lowering possibilities; and that is true. That is the psychology of the psyop.
There is a good reason for this programming, as well as the staging of events that seem to give the programming validity. Those who aim to control the destiny of humankind want to shrink the “size of humans.” That is their intent.
A psychology of possibility would reverse that trend and expose it.
To the casual observer, the weight of this civilization and all its accoutrement seems enormous. But the creative potential of the individual outstrips that structure by light years.
How does the individual realize that fact? What is the spark that ignites his understanding? It all begins in imagination, which is the home of possibility.
Against this background, the computer is a drop in the ocean.
IBM is adding medical images to the health data its Watson artificial-intelligence technology can mine to help doctors make diagnoses.
The company announced Thursday morning that it was buying Merge Healthcare, a medical-imaging software company, for $1 billion. When IBM established its Watson health business in April, it began with a couple of smaller medical-data acquisitions, as well as partnerships with Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic.
Last week, IBM announced a partnership with CVS Health, the large pharmacy chain, to develop data-driven services to help people with chronic ailments like diabetes and heart disease better manage their health.
But the purchase of Merge Healthcare is both a sizable investment and an additional resource for IBM’s new Watson health unit. “We’re bringing Watson and analytics to the largest data set in health care – images,” said John Kelly, IBM’s senior vice president for research, who oversees the Watson business.
Images like CT scans, X-rays and mammograms, IBM researchers estimate, represent about 90 percent of all medical data today. The images and a patient’s electronic health records are typically separate. So, for example, a radiologist might examine thousands of patient images a day, but is looking only for abnormalities on the images themselves rather than also taking into account a person’s medical history, treatments and drug regimens.
“Watson will be able to understand both,” Kelly said.
The Watson artificial-intelligence technology has mainly been applied to analyzing text in documents and on the Web. It employed this natural-language processing capability initially in its highly publicized demonstration project – beating human champions in the question-and-answer game “Jeopardy!” in 2011.
But for the last two years, Kelly said, IBM researchers at its labs in Yorktown Heights, New York, and in San Jose, California, have been training Watson’s artificial-intelligence engine in image recognition. “We’ve been giving Watson eyes, so to speak,” he said.
Merge Healthcare, based in Chicago, specializes in software for storing, viewing and sharing medical images. Its technology is used by a wide array of health care providers and imaging-equipment makers, and its rights to use the archived images varies according to customer requirements, and state and federal health privacy rules.
Merge Healthcare is the third medical data company IBM has acquired since setting up the Watson health business. In April, it agreed to buy two startups: Explorys, a spinoff from the Cleveland Clinic, whose data on 50 million patients is used to spot patterns in diseases, treatments and outcomes; and Phytel, a maker of software to manage patient care and reduce readmission rates to hospitals. The financial details of those smaller deals, both with private companies, were not disclosed.
The Watson technology, sold as a cloud service, has been used in applications for IBM customers to help them spot patterns from the data gathered in their businesses. But health care is the first field where IBM is building an offering for an entire industry.
In the past, automated decision-support systems in medicine have often been greeted with initial optimism, only to prove disappointingly limited in practice.
But IBM is investing not only money but also some of its corporate reputation in the belief that it can be a technological leader in improving health care, with better outcomes for patients and more efficient spending for providers, insurers and patients.
In an interview on “Charlie Rose” on PBS in April, Virginia M. Rometty, IBM’s chief executive, spoke of the company’s role over the years in supplying technology for big projects, from computerizing census statistics to putting astronauts on the moon.
“Our moonshot,” Rometty said, “will be the impact we will have on health care.”
What advantage can the 10 times bigger defense budget buy for the US army over Russia?
“We have great signals intelligence, and we can listen all day long, but we can’t shut them down one-tenth to the degree they can us“
We saw this article and thought our readers would find it interesting. While reinforcing the western narrative of intimate Russian involvement, it also talks about a technology gap that the US seems to be suffering in the area of jamming. This may or may not be true: during the Cold War the US often would inflate Russian military prowess in order to justify its own increased expenditures. These resulted in windfall profits for the military industrial complex. At the same time, the claim in itself seems possibly true. The US has not had to focus on developing these technologies, as it had specifically targeted countries that were technologically deficient. Now that the US is against a more formidable opponent, whether directly or through proxies, it seems to make sense that its own short-comings would be pronounced more now than at any point in the recent past.
Electronic Warfare: What US Army Can Learn From Ukraine
WASHINGTON — The US military has for weeks been training Ukrainian forces in US tactics, but the commander of US Army Europe says Ukrainian forces, who are fighting Russian-backed separatists, have much to teach their US trainers.
Ukrainian forces have grappled with formidable Russian electronic warfare capabilities that analysts say would prove withering even to the US ground forces.The US Army has also jammed insurgent communications from the air and ground on a limited basis, and it is developing a powerful arsenal of jamming systems, but these are not expected until 2023.
“Our soldiers are doing the training with the Ukrainians and we’ve learned a lot from the Ukrainians,” said Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges. “A third of the [Ukrainian] soldiers have served in the … combat zone, and no Americans have been under Russian artillery or rocket fire, or significant Russian electronic warfare, jamming or collecting — and these Ukrainians have. It’s interesting to hear what they have learned.”
Hodges acknowledged that US troops are learning from Ukrainians about Russia’s jamming capability, its ranges, types and the ways it has been employed. He has previously described the quality and sophistication of Russian electronic warfare as “eye-watering.”
Russia maintains an ability to destroy command-and-control networks by jamming radio communications, radars and GPS signals, according to Laurie Buckhout, former chief of the US Army’s electronic warfare division, now CEO of the Corvus Group. In contrast with the US, Russia has large units dedicated to electronic warfare, known as EW, which it dedicates to ground electronic attack, jamming communications, radar and command-and-control nets.
Though Ukrainian troops lack the materiel to protect themselves from this form of attack, the Ukrainian military’s institutional knowledge as a former Soviet republic will help it understand how Russia fights, and its troops will have trained to operate while being jammed, Buckhout said. That’s something US ground forces can learn.
“Our biggest problem is we have not fought in a comms-degraded environment for decades, so we don’t know how to do it,” Buckhout said. “We lack not only tactics, techniques and procedures but the training to fight in a comms-degraded environment.”
It’s not hard to see why EW is an attractive option for Russia while the eyes of the world are on it. Not only is it highly effective, but as a non-kinetic form of attack, it is harder to trace and less likely to be viewed as overt aggression, and as such, less likely to incite the ire of the international community, Buckhout said.
In a fight, Russia’s forces can hinder a target’s ability to respond to, say, an artillery attack, allowing them to fire on an enemy with impunity. Ukrainian forces would be unable to coordinate a defense against incoming rockets and missiles, or release counter battery fire.
“If your radars don’t see incoming fire, you can’t coordinate counterfire,” Buckhout said.
The US, Buckhout said, lacks a significant electronic attack capability.
“We have great signals intelligence, and we can listen all day long, but we can’t shut them down one-tenth to the degree they can us,” she said. “We are very unprotected from their attacks on our network.”
Col. Jeffrey Church, the Army’s electronic warfare division chief, acknowledged that since the Cold War, adversaries have continued to modernize their EW capabilities, while the Army began reinvesting its capabilities for Iraq and Afghanistan. Church called the fielding of Army electronic warfare equipment the “No. 1 priority” of his job.
“The Army must have electronic warfare capabilities that could be used to dominate key terrain on the electromagnetic spectrum against any adversary,” Church said.
A developing Army program, Multifunctional Electronic Warfare (MFEW), is intended to provide an offensive electronic attack capability, able to jam cell phone, satellite and GPS signals, said Lt. Col. Gregory Griffin, chief of the Electronic Warfare Division’s programs and requirements branch. However, the focus had been until recent years on “defensive electronic attack,” namely counter-radio-controlled-IED devices that create bubbles of protective jamming around vehicles and people, and signals collection for intelligence purposes.
The Army has demonstrated some ability to counter enemy communications, not under formal acquisitions programs but as quick-reaction capabilities. In Afghanistan, the Army used a handful of C-12 aircraft equipped with Communications, Electronic Attack, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CEASAR) jamming pods to jam insurgent push-to-talk radios, and two fixed-site systems — Ground Auto Targeting Observation/Reactive (GATOR) jammer and Duke V2 EA — to jam radios and repeater towers.
On an ad hoc basis, troops in Afghanistan used GATOR — conceived to protect forward operating bases — to suppress repeater towers while on patrol or training Afghan forces, providing themselves the freedom to maneuver while denying communications to potential enemies, Griffin said.
“It was unlimited capability, limited by the number of systems,” Griffin said. “Honestly, we just did not have enough to support the demand that was in the Army.”
The Army’s electronic warfare cadre, which totals 813 officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers, has wielded more theory than hardware, except when deployed. In garrison, it was common for these troops to be assigned other jobs, leading to the joke that EW stands for “extra worker” — though this is changing as the Army ramps up its electronic warfare materiel strategy, Griffin said.
MFEW, due to reach initial operating capability in 2023 and full operating capability in 2027, is intended to offer a suite of powerful, sophisticated sensors and jammers for in the air, on ground vehicles and in fixed locations. The Army is due to consider a capability design document for the “air large” capability, akin to Caesar, potentially for a C-12 or a MQ-8 Fire Scout drone. Last year it tested the Networked Electronic Warfare Remotely Operated (NERO), a jamming pod attached to the Gray Eagle drone.
The Defense Department in March set up a panel to address its electronic warfare shortfalls, which, Griffin said, has generated discussion about accelerating the timeline for MFEW.
‘Future of War Is in the Ukraine’
Forces with US Army Europe have for the last 10 weeks been training three battalions of Ukraine Ministry of the Interior troops, known as Ukraine’s national guard. The second cycle of that training was paused so that troops could participate in a combined multinational exercise, underway through early August, and it will resume and conclude with the third battalion in August.
The Ukrainian military — which is in the midst of a reform and modernization effort even as it wars with Russia — has shown interest in creating a noncommissioned officer corps modeled after that of the US, Hodges said. Ukrainian military officials charged with reform efforts visited Washington in recent weeks and, in a press conference, acknowledged the challenges of corruption and shoddy soldier equipment, which they sought to correct.
But Konstiantyn Liesnik, an adviser to the Defense Ministry’s reform office and head of its working group for logistics and procurement, noted the US military’s experience in recent years has concerned insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, not a powerful, organized and well-equipped adversary like Russia.
“The future of war is in the Ukraine, and I think in this case our experience is very important to US personnel how war should be in this century and next century,” Liesnik said.
Beyond electronic warfare, Russian anti-aircraft rockets have prevented Ukrainian forces from using their airplanes, and it has had to consider personal armor that can protect against artillery.
Ukrainian forces interacting with US soldiers have spoken frankly about their difficulties, something Hodges said he saw firsthand when the chief of the Ukrainian Army, at an event attended by senior leaders from other countries, discussed with a group of officers his force’s battlefield experiences and shortcomings.
“I have been very impressed with the earnestness of the Ukrainian military to fix their shortcomings and improve their capabilities,” Hodges said. “It was one of the most professional things I have ever seen of any army, and they were very candid: We were not prepared to do this, and here’s how we adapted.”
Ukrainian troops have not only had to adapt to Russian electronic warfare, but its artillery and unmanned aerial systems. The Ukrainian Army official, Hodges said, also detailed how unprepared Ukrainian troops have been for the number of casualties and their treatment.
The US provided Ukraine with lightweight counter-mortar radars in November 2014, which Hodges said its troops have “used in ways we have not used it ourselves, and made it more effective than we thought was possible.” These troops, he said, would be savvy enough to operate a more advanced radar with a wider range — which the Pentagon is reportedly in talks to send.
An official at the US State Department said the administration believes there is no military resolution to this crisis, but Ukraine has the right to defend itself. To that end, it announced a $75 million Defense Department aid package in March that includes 30 armored Humvees, 200 other Humvees, radios and unarmed surveillance drones, night-vision devices and medical supplies.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, based in Vicenza, Italy, had been training Ukrainian troops in western Ukraine, in battlefield medicine, casualty evacuation, and tactical tasks such as anti-roadside bomb techniques and basic battlefield movement.
Saber Guardian, a command post exercise which rotates between Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, this year was linked to Rapid Trident, an annual field training exercise held in Ukraine, according to the US Army. The combined exercise, which includes roughly 1,800 soldiers from 18 different nations, is meant to focus on defensive operations to ensure a safe and secure environment within the operating environment.
This year’s scenario consists of a host nation that comes under attack. The nation is able to defend itself at great cost. A multinational force is sent to assist the host nation and the challenge is to bring together and train a multinational brigade, which would then be sent to assist the host nation in its defense.