500 club

500 Card Game Course
A brief introduction.
500 is a card game suitable for 3, 4 or 5 players. It has been around for over a hundred years because it is easy to play and very enjoyable after one learns the basic rules.
It has elements of Bridge and Euchre in it but is unique in having a kitty that allows imagination and bluffing as well as card skill to dictate outcomes.
It is fun to play with unpredictable outcomes and surprises and an ability to choose to win or lose tricks.
The course will be over 12 weeks.
Each teaching session will be brief, 15 minutes, and to the point.
The first lesson will cover the basic rules and two practice hands.
Every session will then have an hour of actual play with supervision as required.
Small points to note.
The teacher is always right unless she/he is wrong.
There are many local rule variations and these can be adapted or adopted if desired.
I hope that there will be experienced players as well as beginners.
People who know how to play should encourage and assist those who are learning.
Remember outcomes in this game can be due to both good luck and skill.
The course will run for 12 weeks on Tuesday afternoons.
There may hopefully be some cross pollination with dedicated card players.
At the end of the course I would hope that a core of players might be happy to continue on a fortnightly basis or form a club if they so desire.
Alternatively we may just run monthly sessions for the rest of the year if requested. 500 is a game that does not need a club once you have established how to play. It is ideal for quiet times with friends on holiday, friends at home and in families, as well as a club setting.
The rules are available on the internet and in packs of 500 cards. Generally the best game of 500 is with a standard deck of cards which does not include the rules. Tactics are a different dimension. Bidding has certain formalities. Misere is a special subclass of 500 play.
So come along and learn the rules, play some games and develop a new life skill as well as interacting with other U3A members in a friendly setting that you might otherwise not have met.
H Lee. ex member Monash University 500 Club 1970.

 

 

 

ATTP wipeouts

angech says:
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December 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm

ATTP
“we tend to focus more on what we think will probably happen and not enough on what might happen. Even though what will probably happen could be pretty severe, the low-probability, high-impact outcomes carry the greatest risk. So, I do think we should be talking more about the potential worst-case scenarios.
A lot of what is suggested about tipping points is quite speculative; it’s very difficult to quantify the actual likelihood of them being triggered. Also some (like ice sheet retreat) might still be quite slow and may not even be truly irreversible.”

Perhaps if we compare what we do with diagnosing patients and what scientists do with diagnosing climate science it might offer another perspective.
The first comment is that looking for low probability high risk diagnoses is definitely not the way things are done.
Talking about them is interesting but practically they are of little value.
Concentrating on them, worst case scenarios is bad for two reasons.
Missing the obvious diagnosis and treatment is one.
Second is that it can be very upsetting to the patient and their family to be scared about things that are very unlikely to happen.
Medico legally we can see this when you sign a consent to an operation.
Worst case scenarios have to be brought to the attention of the patient.
When done in a one size fits all manner people can become so scared that they do not go through with an operation they desperately need.
angech says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
December 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Tipping points and turning points, what is so hard? Apart from watching people turn themselves into pretzels being politically correct.
A tipping point is when one condition suddenly changes into another.
Importantly it does not have to be irreversible.
IPCC describes it as an event “The tipping point event may be irreversible.”
The best example would be actually tipping a glass of water onto the floor or breaking an egg.
The trouble with using analogies is that the are not actually the object under discussion and it may behave quite differently in other ways than the example.
Droughts, Floods, Racing and the Stockmarket.
“Its simple. sometimes we know things by modelling.”
Same problem.
The tipping points are “quite speculative”.
We do know after the event but are generally clueless before, despite having a lot of information.

 

 

4/6/2019

angech says:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Willard says:
Let me put forward one single challenge:
1) Define just WTF you are talking about.
Don’t come back before you do-

No fair,
On three grounds.
You let Willis comment first without preconditions.
You then let people attack him ad hom incessantly.
Then you arbitrarily ban him for asking you, first, to 1) Define just WTF you are talking about.

While them that make the rules, enforces them, it leaves a lot of commentators on this site feeling slightly disgusted.

fear

“and a pity that we’re relying on school children, rather than stepping forward ourselves”
Always a problem with playing this card.
Usually means rational argument has failed.

“I partly agree with the general suggestions that climate scientists shouldn’t be seen as having the superior expertise”.
It is the nexus between the scientist and his expertise versus the committed activist who may well be a scientist, but in seeking activism damages his cause.
This is not a comment against taking action and being committed to it, It is a comment against taking action without questioning the facts along the way.
There is a big difference, a gap in credibility and the public see this.

There is a difference between a message,
” the real message that climate crisis cannot be taken lightly,”
and scaring people to death
” and is urgently and ultimately a most horrifying question of life and death.”

We live in a world of scams and fake news. Every headline exaggerates and scares people. The scarier it is the less likely it is to be true. Angech’s law, though I am sure it is a lot older than today.
Urgently, ultimately, a matter of life and death and my favourite, unprecedented. When Joe Public sees this attitude and these words he knows he is being taken for a ride.

As I see it, no disrespect intended, nearly everyone who comments here is an activist first, even if only by a whisker and a scientist second.
Does anyone value stepping back a little and taking a more measured approach to the issues?
Bringing out their inner scientist.
“Looking at the Sun” is the title of a book by an American Psychologist describing our hidden fears of death. Perhaps a read of it would give some insight into why motivating people through fear is a bad though powerful argument,

Climate

For any coefficient matrix A(t), the equation

y’ = A*y + f’ – A*f

has y=f as a solution. A perfect emulator. But as I showed above, the error propagation is given by the homogeneous part y’ = A*y. And that could be anything at all, depending on choice of A. Sharing a common solution does not mean that two equations share error propagation. So it’s not OK.

  1. A post elsewhere that highlights the problem Nick is trying to address
    “how is it that we can reasonably accurate calculate GMST with only about 60 gauges? I know that ATTP has had at least one blog post in that regard. Now, I think that error improves as the (inverse) square root of the number of gauges. The average is twice as accurate for N = 3,600, not proportional to the square root of N but proportional to the inverse square root of N.”

    GMST is such a fraught concept.
    Problem one is the definition of the surface on a mixed changing atmospheric world (variable water vapour) plus a mixed solid/liquid “surface of variable height and depth on top of an uneven shape with long term variability in the spin and torque and inclination of the world plus the variation in distance from the heating element plus variation in the shade from the satellite at times and albedo variation from clouds and volcanic emissions and ice and dust storms and heating from volcanic eruptions and CO2 emmision and human CO2 emissions.
    Phew.

    We could get around this partly by measuring solar output, albedo change and earth output from space by satellites and just using a planetary emmision temperature as a substitute for GMST.
    You could actually compute what the temperature should be at any location on earth purely by it’s elevation, time of year and orientatation in space to the sun without using a thermometer.

    In a model world, barring inbuilt bias, one only ever needs one model thermometer. There can be no error. Using 3600 does not improve the accuracy.
    In a model world allowing a standard deviation for error will lead to a possible Pat Frank scenario. The dice can randomly throw +4W/m-2 for ever. Having thrown one head is no guarantee that the next throw or the next billion throws will not be a head.
    Using 3600 instead of 60 does not improve the accuracy at all. It improves the expectation of where the accuracy should be is all. While they look identical accuracy and expectation of accuracy are two completely different things. Your statement on probability is correct.

    Finally this presupposes a model world and temperature and reasonable behaviour. Thermometers break,or degrade over time, people enter results wrongly,or make them up or take them at the wrong time of day or average them when missing ( historical). The accuracy changes over time. They only cover where people can get to easily, like looking for your keys under the streetlight, spacial, height, sea, polar, desert, Antarctica etc. Collating the information in a timely manner, not 3 months later when it all comes in. Are 3600 thermometers in USA better than 60 scattered around the world.

    60 is a good number adequately sited for an estimation. 3600 is a lot better. As Paul said any improvement helps modelling tremendously.
    Not having a go at you, just pointing out the fraughtness

Chapter 12 reflections

the man on the stair who was not there.

How did America come to this sad impasse?
The same pastiche of our own personal lives is to blame.
We all want to succeed in life, have friends and control our lives.
On the largest scale America, Russia and China are no different from squabbling families.
They push their own interests first and only if all is going well can they afford to be magnanimous.

On the grand scale Russia an America have been friends in the past, One brought Alaska from the other. Both fought in the first world war against a common foe 100 years ago.
Both threw off monarchist systems for individual rights but there a giant gulf developed.
Both advocated for better lives for people under their systems of democracy and communism. equal rights for people to vote and have a say but with a fundamental twist.
Democracy does not specify a heart, Communism does not specify a soul.

Communism has been a dirty word in America since the 1950’s with McCarthy.
Worse both nations have nuclear weapons. For many years the worst insult that could be used in America, and their are some choice ones, was to be called a communist.
While this attitude has changed somewhat with the 70’s. with information technology and TV  there is still a deep fundamental distrust in the American soul which can be and is manipulated when needed.
Christianity is also large in America. Recognised in the Constitution. With this comes a decent serving of morality. Which also died a part death in the 70’s. Still breaking sexual mores is often a death sentence to any political or business career. Made worse by the recent #Metoo movement.
Business is big. Ruthless. Money talks. Yet behind it all is the notion, a notion onlty, that Business should be fair. Robbing the bank is still robbing the bank. Fiddling the books, defrauding people is still a major nono.

There is a two party system in America which has a similar struggle on a more local scale for political sway. Both have been staunchly anticommunist but the Democratic Party has been the more progressive with allowing some freedom of choice and  and expression of alternative views over the last 30 years, moving to the left towards a more socialistic, dare one say communistic way of doing things, without openly saying it.

Hence the choice of tactics, to accuse an American citizen, of being a secret Communist agent is on the surface all the more surprising coming from the Democratic Party but not when you are trying to throw mud.
Accusations of sexual impropriety  are the icing on the cake.
Finally throw in the idea that the fix is in, that money is being made illegay and the Tax Office gets you.
It got Al Capone.
It got MADDOX

Most of us are prepared to believe bad things, particularly about people we do not like.

Democrats believe bad things about Republicans on the surface which look ridiculous, and vice versa.We want to believe because they appeal to our identity in that the other side has to be bad.
So a few home truths need to be set out. In reverse order.

1, Donald Trump files tax returns.
The Tax office looks at them closely. Since the election they have looked at them even more closely. Everyone in the know in America has seen every last bit of dirty laundry in those tax returns even if the general public has not. Every business dealing he has had, every disgruntled partner has had years and years to come forward. Every investigative journalist knows how much he earned, how he earned it and who he did business with.

2 Donald Trump has had affairs. He has been married 3 times. He has said, off the record, crass things. At the same time he was admired for his bling and lionised by people when doing his TV show.

electronic medication

In regard to electronic scripts and computerised drug charts.
The problem of doing harm to a patient by the administration of the wrong drug or wrong dose of a drug reigns paramount  in the Nursing and medical field. The dispenser and administrator of the drug are the ones at fault  if an error occurs and this has led to a very complicated form of administration where double and triple checking is paramount.
In these days of electronic communication nothing seems easier than typing out a list of medications and sending it of to be dispensed and administered but not so. Legal liability  still exists lack of checking still exposes treating staff to unlimited risk.
We need an authorised prescriber.
We need a legible script with correct dosing instructions.
It needs to be dispensed and delivered to the right patient.
It needs to be administered by the right person to the right patient in the right amounts and at the right time.
Now if we all lived in the one house it would be fine>.
If we could digitally assure ourselves that the script was from the right doctor and for the right patient we are halfway there. If we could send the forms seamlessly between the prescriber, the pharmacist and the treating nurse without errors it would be better. If we could deliver the medications any time it would be perfect.
In the meantime we are stuck with a hybrid system, a donkey designed by a committee.
We will have increasing  typewritten orders. We will not be able to verify them properly without time consuming and unwanted communication between Resident, Nurse, Doctor, Pharmacist, Relative and Nurse.
A simple Medication chart, signed by a valid prescriber is still needed with photocopies or faxes between all parties. It must be legible and as up to date as the last prescriber change of medication.It must be stored where it can be accessed close to the medications and the nurses must be happy that all possible steps have been properly performed to administer the medication. They ultimately, along with this institution, carry the can

Memory places

This is an easy way to demonstrate a Journey.

We make a house with 10 rooms  A -J  1-10

The list of objects to put in is water , a helium balloon, a lithium battery, strawberries, a border collie, a car, a Knight, an Ox, a flower and a neon sign.

Lets go  first room dunking an Apple in a tub of water do you get wet head pushed under?
second room Two helium balloons Brown stuck on the ceiling Look Up!
third room  Three lithium batteries in a Charger do you get a shock removing them?
fourth room Four Dishes of strawberries, Delicious taste.
fifth room Five border collie pups spread around the border of a rug Eating Eggs.
sixth room  a Ford car with 6 wheels as we are changing the rear ones to make it Sprint
seventh room A Suit of Knights armour, with a Knights shield with 7 geese on it
room eight has a heavy Ox in it eating Hay with a figure 8 ring through its nose
Room nine has a floury perfume scent from the 9 flower incense sticks burning.
Room 10 Has an X shaped Neon sign flashing saying the end The end and a broken one saying Ten. Got it?

 

 

 

Memory U3A

Today I am going to give a talk on memory and the human brain, on ways to improve memory and also on memory problems
To this end I am first going to do a small trial with all of you. The object is to demonstrate some of the techniques we will talk about later, not to get them all right.

I have a list of 11 numbers to look at for a very short period that you can scan briefly and try to recall some later.
Next though is much easier, 5 letters EJOTY,   good we will try them again in 10 minutes

Now we move onto the substance of our talk.
What is memory. A little Frank Sinatra explained it all ……..
Memory is the recollection of past events and emotions in the present. I include emotions as they are very important and often missed in texts on the subject.
Memory and time are intimately entwined. One does not exist without the other. Memory is taking a time machine into your past and bringing the event or emotion back to the present.
Rene Descartes said “I think therefore I am” but he forgot the codicil, “I have memory, therefore I think.”

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Human memory is not a stand alone, it does not just happen. It needs a brain, sensory organs, surroundings and people. When these exist a set of steps, some complementary or overlapping occur. It needs ISPR – Input, Storage, Processing and Recall, one could remember this with a ** Mnemonic “Is some Porridge ready?” *Charlie
Memory needs *Cognition, it is not good enough to talk about memory on it’s own.

Input works on special sensory cells throughout the body, These interface with neurons in the organ or nearby ganglions which interface with other neurons in the spinal cord to take the messages to the cerebral cortex and midbrain. These areas communicate in the brain with the other active sensory neurons.

*During this talk I will add in comments on memory training and enhancement.
Input is something that we have improved. Due to technology we are  able to see in higher and lower frequencies of sound and light. Due to writing and then electronic communication we are able to access more data and more relevant data. We are able to travel further both physically and mentally to explore the boundaries of our world. The more we are exposed to, the more memory we have.

Storage is still a mystery. Computers are easy, The single stream of binary data comes in and is multiplied in yes/no steps. The human brain though takes streams of data in bites which are the sensitivity and number of the receptor cells and the length of time it takes to get through to the brain and processing centres. This is not occurring simultaneously but in overlapping waves of activity. The way to imagine this biological brain functioning is that at each millisecond it is building up a neural 3D snapshot which is the initial storage. Then overlaying and comparing it to the subsequent images to build up over time a 3D internal world which it orientates itself inside.The more important areas build themselves up with time. The primary types of encoding are visual, acoustic and semantic.

** This storage stage includes LTM and STM. Phonetic and numerical STM storage is best in chunking small bits of information, like phone numbers into groups of 3 or  4,

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Processing is the art of storing links to the now accumulating 3D images in sites that are able to use the data meaningfully and enable recall when needed. This activity takes place in the midbrain and midline structures like the thalamus and hippocampus as well as  the motor areas and cerebellum for movement and posture. The cerebral cortex also plays a processing role as well as a storage role as shown in certain cortical areas like Broca’s area for speech. Processing allows the construction of consciousness as it  builds up both the 3d person and the local 3D Room plus the wider 3D world beyond. [3 layer structure].

* During this talk I will add in comments on memory training and enhancement.
The only comment here is that the 3d processing structure and the room concept lends a lot of power to the room linkage techniques discussed later.

Recall or retrieval … is the process of bringing out the stored memories. It needs a thinking process called consciousness to do this. Consciousness can only develop after memory has been set down and is a by product of the very processes that store the memory. Using the central part which has set up the processing and is responsive to it develops an identity. This identity can now remember not only danger and response but also it can recall that it is responding and study itself [realisation] thus becoming self aware. It is thus able to set in motion actions including memory retrieval and walking.

*Recall can be aided by many small external tweaks directed to the memory process. Linkage is very important as is activation of any and every sense that we can avail ourselves of including the imagination.

Cognition is the process of thinking , of being self aware, of being conscious; It is basically the 6th sense. Each earlier sense developed by accident egged on by evolution. They reacted to the environment around them. This then resulted in a sensory organ which could learn and anticipate trouble. In effect it is a sense which lets us affect the future. In effect it is a time machine into the future instead of the past.

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I have left out the brain from this talk. I can give you references which do it no justice at all. The machinery is so complex, the interactions and wiring so subtle and widespread. The histology so detailed that it is wrong to give a picture and say this bit of memory occurs here. Phrenology told what a persons mind was made of from the shape of his skull. Any interpretation of the brains innards have almost the same reliability. Thinking occurs all over the brain. Memory is stored all over the brain.

Types of memory.
There are two basic types, Short Term Memory STM [includes ultra-short term sensory memory, and slightly longer working memory and Long Term Memory LTM but there is no difference other than the length of time a memory is useful for and retained.
The brain has conscious and unconscious memory processes . Unconscious memory is the bulk of the work the brain does. Breathing, Heart rate, Respiration, Digestion, Movement  and Sleeping. The mere act of standing upright balanced, let alone walking, uses up more neurons and brain structures than any thinking about memory or what to have for lunch today. It is said that the brain only uses 10% of its capacity. This is not true, it is chugging along at a very healthy rate all day and does a bit of recuperating at night. We are so important that it switches us off for 8 hours and does not lose a beat.

Short term memory is the immediate input and response in both processes. Short working memory only lasts a few seconds and is discarded quickly as  not important on the long term. The slightly longer working memory lasts up to 40 seconds.This is where the importance of the information is not yet decided or is only needed for a short time . If not recognised as important it too is discarded. To implant a message as LTM that is not LTM  needs repetition for at least 8 seconds in STM enhances the chance of retaining it.

LTM is the storage of memory that is rated as important by the brain and not to be discarded. It has to be recognised as important due to being new, different [hence untagged, emotional [dangerous, exciting], or related to known important LTM [consolidation]. These memories often store significant events or interactions in one’s life both on a personal or a more community  nature. Winning a race or a prize at school, tipping over a boat, a car accident are just some examples. Our life history is made up of all these memories. They are what we have come from. It can be
Explicit memory (or declarative memory) refers to all memories that are consciously available.
It is composed of
Episodic memory refers to memory for specific events in time
Semantic memory refers to knowledge about factual information, such as the meaning of words.
Autobiographical memory refers to knowledge about events and personal experiences from an individual’s own life.
Emotional memory, the memory for events that evoke a particularly strong emotion, can involve both declarative and procedural memory processes.
Or
Implicit memory (procedural memory) refers to the use of objects or movements of the body, such as how exactly to use a pencil, drive a car, or ride a bicycle. Procedural memory is considered non-declarative memory or unconscious memory. Emotional memory, the memory for events that evoke a particularly strong emotion, elicit a powerful, unconscious physiological reaction.

 

Page 5 Tricks of the trade for a better memory.

Simple measures. More sleep, more rest, more alertness and more interest, the old early to bed and early to rise makes us healthy and wise. It also improves our memory. Avoiding overuse of drugs like cigarettes and alcohol, in general.
We need to be interested.
Input is easy. We can add to input by being more attentive, alert, and interested thus increasing the range of data we are exposed to.
Storage  Chunking  chunking small bits of information, like phone numbers into groups of 3 or  4  reduces the memory effort required.
The more inputs at the same time the better the better, writing speaking out loud, visualisation and elaboration activate alternative storage sites which can link with the primary memory making it more important.
The more important we can make the data appear the more it is retained. Repetition  implies importance.
The more associations we can make with the data particularly important data like locations, people and emotions the more retention

another method of improving memory encoding and consolidation is the use of a so-called memory palace (also known as the method of loci), a mnemonic techniques that relies on memorized spatial relationships to establish, order and recollect other memories. The method is to assign objects or facts to different rooms in an imaginary house or palace, so that recall of the facts can be cued by mentally “walking though” the palace until it is found

Medical notes.

Decrease in memory is a necessary part of aging. Aging leads to slowing down of the nerve fibres, delay in neurocrine ending secretions and delayed reaction time.Alertness decreases and physical activity decreases. We lose neurons at a slightly increasing rate and we lose 200,000 a day from birth. Luckily we have an enormous starting point.People do not suddenly become chess champions at 60 and most innovative work is done from the late teens to 40 years of age.
Not to complain. Older people have a life replete with far more experiences than a callow 20 year old. We can still learn and improve the memory we have at any age by application, learning and a little ju jitsu with the memory tricks.

Dementia due to aging is called senile dementia and is affected by poor health, atheroma, strokes, reduced exercise and toxins like alcohol. Lifestyle is important.

Presenile dementia is due to a variety of neurological conditions of which Alzheimers is supreme. It is of variable onset, usually slow progress and can be improved for a while with medication. Currently there is no cure.

The best remedy is to attend science talks at U3A and exercise the brain as well as the body. At least you will feel smarter and how we feel is the most important thing, not what we know