Monthly Archives: July 2017

Sturmey Archer S2 Hub

A few years ago I resurrected my brother’s old bike into a commuter. It’s still running great and I enjoy riding this unique old bike to work. It weighs 24 lbs, perhaps 1-2 lbs lighter than what it weighed new from Trek back in the 1980s when it was made, due to removing the derailleurs, rear cog, now with single front chainring, etc. I’ve put a couple thousand miles on this bike since resurrecting it. I wish the S2 hub ratios were further apart so the low was lower, but it’s proven solid and reliable.

Thinking: Static vs. Dynamic

The concept of static vs. dynamic thinking is a useful contrast. Much of the foundation of our world-view perspective depends on it. As I discuss the key differences it may bring some political, economic, and social schools of thought to mind.

Static Thinking

Static thinking is zero-sum. For every winner there must be a loser. The pie is fixed in size, there’s only so much of it. Competition is each person scrambling to gather for himself the most he can, leaving less for others.

Static thinking is Malthusian. Each extra person is that much more drain on our resources: water, space, food. It focuses on costs, not benefits.

Static thinking is risk-averse. It follows the precautionary principle, which is non-scientific because in avoiding harm, it takes status quo for granted, failing to weigh the harm of inaction.

Static thinking is dogmatic. Taking status quo for granted with fixed values shuts out alternative perspectives and scenarios. It leads to the naive arrogance (or fatal conceit) that complex systems can be centrally manipulated and optimized.

Dynamic Thinking

Dynamic thinking is positive-sum. Winners win by creating something new, growing the pie. Competition is each person finding new ways to contribute, each creating more overall.

Dynamic thinking is Boserupian. Every limitation creates the incentives to overcome it. Necessity is the mother of innovation. Ingenuity outpaces demand. Each extra person increases the potential for the next big idea.

Dynamic thinking is opportunity seeking. It is scientific optimism: taking calculated risks weighted against benefits using available knowledge.

Dynamic thinking is idealistic. Applied to methods as well as to goals, it encourages thinking outside the box about what is possible. Yet dynamic thinking tempers this idealism with respect for the limits of knowledge that comes from realizing that well-functioning complex systems, both physical and social, are decentralized.

Tip: Battery Saving for Android 6 and 7

Recently I noticed the location icon sporadically appearing on my Galaxy Note 4 phone for no apparent reason. Something was pinging location. This has a double-whammy on battery: using the GPS (or attempting to without a clear sky), and waking up the phone from sleep. The battery usage screen showed Google Play services as a primary consumer.

The fix took a while to find but it was simple: Google Location History. This is an Android service that periodically checks and logs your location. Google uses this to improve various services like search and maps.

I don’t care about this. Search results and maps work just fine, well enough for me, without having my location history. And I don’t use Google Now. And I don’t like the idea of my phone constantly tracking my location.

Here’s how to disable this, which noticeably extended my battery life:

  • Go to Settings / Location.
  • Scroll down to the Location Services section.
  • Tap Google Location History
  • Tap the slider in the upper right hand of the screen to turn it off.