Sunday, September 29, 2019

An Introduction to New York Times Comment Land

The New York Times OnLine offers a unique comment system. An article appears and next to it a symbol indicating that comments may be submitted by registered readers. I have submitted 1000s of comments in the past 3 or 4 years. My submissions most often deal with the American concept of "race" or with renewable energy, both subjects seen from a perspective provided by living for the past 23 years in Sweden

Recently, a highly unusual event took place in connection with publication in the New York Times Magazine of an excerpt from Thomas Chatterton Williams second book, out on October 15, 2019:

Profile In Black and White – Unlearning Race

The event was the sending of a Tweet by the Editor of the Magazine, Jessica Lustig  @jessicalustig, who recommended that anyone seeing her Tweet visit the Times and read the comments, at that time 150 but in the end more than 300. Never before have I seen a Times Editor express interest in the comments.

If you go to this mini URL
you see this

My Family's Life Inside and Outside America's Racial Categories
My father was raised under Jim Crow. My children could pass for white. Where does that leave me?
To understand the title of the book, the title of the Times article, and the subtitle you must know that in America, the government classifies its citizens by assigning each to a so-called race or ethnicity. This system implemented by the US Census Bureau has been sharply criticized by the former director of the USCB, Professor Kenneth Prewitt, in a 2013 book - "What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans" The primary message of this book is that the United States must begin working to end this system. Prewitt and other academic researchers present reasons for doing that. The phrase "Unlearning Race" in Chatterton Williams new book tells us that he, seen in America as belonging to a black "race" perhaps wants to help ordinary Americans do what Prewitt wants the government to do, unlearn and end the use of race.

There appear to be only two New York Times comment writers who consistently point to the need for the Times and for all Americans to begin a discussion of ending the American system of classifying us by "race". One is Blackmamba, whose true identity I do not know, an American "seen as black". The other is me with a 1932 birth certificate stating Color - White. Blackmamba writes as one who knows much about his own multiple lines of descent and enough about genome research to know that the system is flawed. I write from the point of view of a Swedish citizen living in a country that once had an Institute for Race Biology but learned from WW II experience and from its own brilliant genome researcher, Svante Pääbo that there is no sound basis for classifying people by "race".

I read most of the comments next to Chatterton Williams essay and then considered this Tweet by Conor Friedersdorf, Staff writer at The Atlantic: 

Conor Friedersdorf
What are the smartest reactions to Thomas Chatterton Williams' book excerpt?

I choose Blackmamba's as one of the smartest and I also choose it to call attention to Blackmamba's long record of being one of the very few NY Time comment writers who will even touch the subject of ending classification by "race". 

There is only one biological DNA genetic evolutionary fit human race species that began in Africa 300, 000 years ago. What we call race aka color is an evolutionary fit pigmented response to varying levels of solar radiation at different altitudes and latitudes primarily related to producing Vitamin D and protecting genes from damaging mutations in ecologically isolated human populations over time and space. 

What we call race aka color aka ethnicity aka national origin is an evil malign socioeconomic political educational demographic historical white European American Judeo-Christian supremacist prejudiced myth meant to legally and morally justify humanity denying black Africa enslavement and equality defying separate and unequal black African Jim Crow. 

My earliest known European American ancestor was born in London in 1613 married in the Virginia colony in 1640 where he died in 1670. My earliest known free- person of color ancestors were living in South Carolina and Virginia during the American Revolution and fought on the side of the rebels. My earliest known black African enslaved ancestors were living in Georgia and South Carolina from 1830/35 where they were owned by and bred with my white American ancestors. My earliest known brown First Nations ancestors were living in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia from 1830/35 where they mated with and married by black and white ancestors. 

Why does this heritage makes me just black in America?

10 Recommended

I will send a link to this post to Thomas Chatterton Williams, Jessica Lustig, Conor Friedersdorf, and Lauretta Charlton, new Editor the Times Race/Related Newsletter. If you want to comment I recommend that you write to me directly at but will also appreciate replies here.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Single Symbols of My Time In Vermont 2 019

I have had the good fortune this year,  2019, as in many previous years, to spend time in Cedar Shelter in Mount Philo State Park. Every morning when I wake up I look up to see how the leaves of the giant maple trees that ring Cedar appear depending on light, sky, and time. Even this single leaf tells a story, what might that be, given that the maple tree is perhaps 100 feet tall and leaf bearing branches only appear starting at 50 feet above me.

I also have had the good fortune, as I do every year, to have Speeder and Earl's Coffee Shop on Pine Street as one of my Burlington homes away from home, welcoming all for as long as we want to stay, reading, writing, watching, talking. In my time there I am a steady customer who over time notes all the others who, like me, enjoy S & E's hospitality to the fullest. Here I offer a single image of what I see on the table of a woman who, like me, is pouring text into her laptop. I reveal nothing about that woman but encourage you to think about what this image suggests to you..

That's all for now, Sunday, 16 June 2019. Have to leave for Albany, last stop before I leave for Sweden. The people I have met in Burlington tell me, as always, that there must still be hope for America because they all have shown an America you hardly could imagine if all you know comes from the dark reports in the New York Times that I read every morning and comment on.

Sunday, June 9, 2019


I never got around to writing and showing why I love Göteborg and now I am on the other side of the Atlantic on the mountain (small) that I love, Mount Philo in Charlotte, Vermont, just south of Burlington, and the location of Vermont's first state park.

I will be posting photos and videos here when and if everything is working right, definitely not earlier today but there is hope. 

The Adirondack Mountains where I worked as a geologist with my Ph.D. advisor to be, Matt Walton. One of the foreground mountains on the other side of Lake Champlain is Rattlesnake Mountain, where we were mapping and even observing my first Adirondack rattlesnake. That was in the summer of 1954, a long, long time ago.

The rain that first night was formidable, and fairly typical for my June 1 arrivals. I was the only resident of the campground, safe, secure, and dry in Cedar Shelter, my home away from home since I turned 80 a few years ago.

Day 2 - I only show the same view, 24 hours later. I was alone up there except for a woman with her dog, and excellent stick chaser. We were becoming enveloped in a cloud, an omen of things to come.

I began to walk to my car and the heavens opened abruptly. I was able to drive down to my home, Cedar, but the woman and her dog were going to become saturated by the time they had walked to the bottom.

Even the third day the sun had not appeared but I was doing the things I love, available in Burlington on Discover Jazz week there.

Signing off 12:39 h EDT 9 June 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Jag älskar Göteborg

Jag befinner mig på Bus4You - Göteborg-Linköping efter att ha tillbringat fyra dagar på Styrsö och firat Valborg med att lyssna på Styrsökyrkans kör sjunger om våren. Här på Bus4You går det inte att redigera bilder eller video så det kommer att dröja innan jag kan skapa min elog till den stad som min far mår åkte ifrån - med änka mamman - till Amerika för att aldrig någonsin återvända till Sverige.

Jag kommer att lägga ut några bilder och även kanske video men inte förrän 2dra eller 3dje maj, tror jag.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The latest in renewable energy living VALLA Linköping SE

Today the New York Times has a column by Thomas Friedman with title The Green New Deal Rises Again in which Friedman reminds readers that the US had shown signs of becoming green back in 2007 but did not get very far toward that goal. The article is, of course, illustrated by the standard NYT renewable energy ikon, a wind turbine.

I filed my standard comment noting that as far back as 1955 the Times reported that Green Energy was about to sweep through New England in the form of heat-pump technology. Never happened, and the Times almost never used those two words - heat + pump - together again. In my comment I point to the technology that is at its most advanced level in Sweden and Denmark as shown in the post below this one.

The goal of an ideal Green New Deal would be to make whole neighborhoods kept warm, well lighted, and even cool using 100% renewable systems. My neighborhood here in Linköping, called Valla, provides full-scale examples of how meeting such a goal might be met.

Best is the brand new wooden apartment building, Berså, about 500 meters from my home. I visited Berså this morning and introduce this Green New Deal building to readers today. I will be contacting the Linde Company, builder, to obtain technical information.

Valla Berså apartment building, Linköping SE. The goal in creating this building was to illustrate how far it is now possible to approach the goal of 100% renewable. The roof is covered by solar panels, and an electronic display at the main entrance shows how much electricity was produced by these panels each day. The building itself hides 10 boreholes, each about 200 meters deep, that provide the basis for the ground-source geothermal heat-pump system (GHSG) that heats this building now and that will cool it whenever even in Sweden the temperature calls for space cooling. Here is one of the displays that I will from now on monitor regularly.

I believe this shows daily solar energy production but cannot provide exact information until I have made contact with a technical representative at the Linde Company. What interests me most is to learn in detail how much heat is delivered to the building each day by the GSG system and ultimately to compare the efficiency of that system with the efficiency of the solid-waste incineration system that delivers heat to all the buildings that surround Valla Berså including mine. The next picture shows how you can tell that my home is heated by "fjärrvärme"/distance heating.
Snow fell last night and covered the ground completely, even my front yard shown here. But there is a pipe buried under my front yard that connects to the pipe that feeds hot water to my neighbor, a pipe installed several years before mine. Today, with temperature outside 0 C, water flowing in the pipe enters a small white box in my basement at a temperature of 80 C. A heat exchanger system draws heat from that incoming supply and heats water in two systems, one the radiator system that heats my home, and the other the system that delivers hot water to bathrooms and kitchen. The whole system is silent and the best I have ever experienced.

Next door on the other side is the one home on the street that does not use fjärrvärme but instead has GSG. The previous owner of that home was an engineer who got permission to have a GSG system installed about 10 years ago. That system is of course invisible, there is a borehole about 120 meters deep that contains the tubing through which fluid circulates to capture heat from the bedrock and bring it into the basement to keep that home just as warm as mine. The engineer told me when he was moving that the system had functioned perfectly for those first 10 years and with maximum efficiency.

Last but not least are the solar panel installations that have been spreading on top of older apartment buildings across the street from me and are becoming ever more common on new buildings including the newest here in Valla. Here are the newest installations on an older building.

The solar panels are covered by a dusting of light snow and feed electricity to the integrated system also fed by the local network. Out in the farm country north of where I live there are vast solar panel systems on farm buildings and often close by giant wind turbines supplying electricity for the large dairy farms that dominate in the plains of Östergötland.

Back in the New England I visit every summer I still see old-fashioned oil trucks delivering to homes, propane tanks in back of homes, and natural gas pipelines tearing up the landscape and occasionally providing the fires and explosions that wracked Lawrence and Andover MA a while back.

I prefer silent renewable and you would too if you had access to it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The World's Two Best Solid Waste Incinerators

For New York Times Readers
and anyone else who has never seen or lived near a solid-waste incinerator
as advanced as these two.
The top one is Copenhagen's newest and the one below that is Linköping, Sweden's newest.
Both were designed by Danish Babcock & Wilcox.

Gärstadverket, Linköping SE
Donald Trump, my President, has a representative in Poland right now, December 2018, telling conference participants that we must keep burning coal to generate electricity and implicitly must see to it that landfills will continue to grow, landscapes will continue to be defaced, and trains will continue to cross America bearing the coal he loves so much. Not me. Older posts deal with this subject. This post is intended for the rare NY Times reader who sees my comment if and when accepted, next to the Times report from Poland today 11/12/2018

Friday, November 9, 2018

Time To Look Back in My Blog

Many years have passed since I started this blog, and today, November 9, 2018 I wanted to find a post that tells several different stories, a post that was and is very important to me. I found it but confirmed that all of the older posts are seriously damaged and are missing images or videos that have been replaced by either a large exclamation mark or yellow space.

It does not appear to fix these posts, so I am copying each post to a Word file in which I can insert the jpgs and mp4s that were removed, if I can find the originals.

I have to consider whether or not I should start a new blog at another location, WordPress for example. I have tried to get answers from blogspot about the damaged posts but cannot find any answers.

Therefore I post this as a message to myself. I even learned that I really should have gone to my own blog when some question arose at the current New York Times, a question I knew I had dealt with in comments. It turns out that long ago, maybe before there was a comment section I wrote here.

No pics just now, something would be appropriate and I have one in mind. Maybe tomorrow.

19:53 GMT Friday, November 9, 2018 and it is TGIF
Every TGIF evening I try to do something special and different and I have done that by working on the second half of a document: A Theory of Love - It's All A Matter of Time.