Saturday, April 6, 2024

The Fantasy of a Rational World -- Part 1

 It is ironic that the biggest fantasy of all is the hope of a rational world, running on the Scientific Method.  We will never get there, but perhaps a few sparks are possible.

The main hurdle is that nobody makes any money on rationality.  

Think of the wonderful things --

We could build nuclear plants that work, and are cost-effective.

We would have good long-range weather forecasts.

Our cars would be methanol fuel cells with super-capacitors.

No more damage to structures at 40 cm/s.

Since this is officially 'Eclipse and Earthquake Week', I am obligated to go more rational on earthquakes, since I already did the eclipse.  I have left one of my readers behind.

Earthquakes -- you will notice that the Taiwan earthquake had a heck of a lot of tilted buildings.  This is not rational to have a building totally undamaged, yet tilting at 45 degrees.  This is not safer than a cracked-up building staying level.  Think of what a Grand Piano would do here!

This irrationality of tilted buildings showed up in the Chile earthquake, and it should have been a call to reconcile earthquake engineering with physics, but that is not the case.  The tilted buildings are a result of 'Shake Table Mania'.

All the 'sexiness' is in having the 'biggest' shake table.

I know, I want to play with those shake tables myself, but we now have evidence that it is all wrong.

I did this a long time ago, when I still had a brain.  The key was to figure out real and rational ground motions, rather than the assumptions from influencers.  There was a huge disconnect between the ground motion physics and the engineering.  Billions of dollars have been wasted, but it pales in comparison to the trillions wasted on clange.

Next episode, we will talk about rational earthquake engineering.

-- to be continued, my brain juice is empty.

ps here's where having almost no readers is beneficial.  The influencers must defend themselves, but it would be counter-productive to make me more popular by attacking.  I huddle safely under my rock.

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