"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Saturday, December 26, 2020

The Megalithic Guadalperal Standing Stones of Peraleda de la Mata, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain as The Stars of the Starry Night Sky ca. 4200 B.C. Based on the Solstitial Colure

The reservoir-flooded megalithic standing stones of Guadalperal reappeared in the drought of 2019 in the Tagus River Valdecañas Reservoir in Peraleda de la Mata, Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain.

We present here our decipherment of these megaliths, whose "stone circle" -- actually, more in the shape of a boat than a circle, as at Tanum, Sweden -- is clearly astronomical in nature.

We show through the images below that these stones represent the starry night of stars ca. 4200 B.C., based on our dating of the solstitial colure that we have located in the stones.

The underlying main photograph here of the Guadalperal megaliths -- essential for the decipherment -- is copyright of Rubén Ortega Martín, Raíces de Peralêda de la Mata https://raicesdeperaleda.com/. We use the photograph here as "fair use" for research purposes. 

The underlying aerial photo, equally essential for decipherment
-- which we clipped to better fit the decipherment image --
is attributed to 1080 Wildlife Productions at
https://allthatsinteresting.com/dolmen-de-guadalperalnterpretation.
We use the photograph here as "fair use" for research purposes.

This is our decipherment image of the megalithic standing stones of Guadalperal
(click on the image for the larger original image which can then be properly read):

The decipherment is fairly self-explanatory, with the solstitial colure in ca. 4200 B.C. running from Leo to the North Celestial Pole, marked by the central megalith in the center of the boat-shaped "stone circle" at Guadalperal.

The remaining standing stones mark groups of stars, known modernly as constellations viz. asterisms of definite shape, a shape determined by bright stars, all known well in modernity, and here represented by a clip of a star map via Starry NightPro astronomy software

-- but perhaps seen somewhat differently in ancient days, though the bright stars are the same, so that the analysis still holds, even if the star groups were somewhat different then --

going clockwise from the left after Leo and Coma Berenices -- Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Boötes, Hercules, Ophiuchus, Lyra, Aquila, Cepheus, Pegasus, Andromeda, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, the North Celestial Pole, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Auriga, Gemini, Orion, Cancer and Hydra. We may have missed a few groups of stars, but on the whole, the analysis stands.

 

Landmarks by the Stars in Ancient Days: Amazonian Pre-Columbian Earthworks & Geoglyphs Represent Stars in the Sky in a Cosmic Geo-Hermetic Stellar Map "As Above, So Below"

Why would the ancients have used stars of the starry night to "map" their Earth?

Just imagine trying to make your way in a tropical climate in ancient days. How did you get around and know where you were?

We think stars and landmarks based on stars are the answer.

West & SW Amazonian Pre-Columbian village mounds viz. earthworks, geoglyphs and "enclosures" identified by archaeologists are shown here in our independent decipherment -- not related in any way to the publications of the archaeologists -- as having been located by the ancients to represent the Milky Way and corresponding stars in the stellar constellations Aquila, Sagittarius, [Scorpio perhaps via a natural mountain formation], Lupus, Centaurus, Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela, Pyxis, & Puppis. Note that the ancients may have grouped and designated the respective stars somewhat differently, but the principal star locations in the sky remain the same nevertheless, concentrating on the sky's brightest stars by magnitude, which form the "shape" of artificial star groupings.

The star correspondences shown below were discovered in December 2020 by Andis Kaulins after reading an article in Smithsonian magazine about Amazonian Pre-Columbian mound villages and other earthwork and similar constructions. See the article by Livia Gershon in Smithsonian magazine at These Amazonian Villages Were Laid Out Like Clock Faces https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/archaeologists-find-clock-face-layout-amazon-villages-180976553/.

As retained down to this day, we find that the ancients placed their religious "gods" in the heavens, i.e. stellar locations which provided a natural, fixed easily accessible map, which was mirrored geographically on Earth "as above, so below".

Please note that our decipherment star maps -- shown below -- were created using our clips of star maps produced via Starry Night Pro astronomy software, to which we have added explanatory texts, labels, and figures, as necessary.

See http://www.starrynight.com/

In the image below, the upper section shows a geographic map clip by us from

-- a geographic map at Iriarte, J., Robinson, M., de Souza, J., Damasceno, A., da Silva, F., Nakahara, F., Ranzi, A. and Aragao, L., 2020. Geometry by Design: Contribution of Lidar to the Understanding of Settlement Patterns of the Mound Villages in SW Amazonia. Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, 3(1), pp.151–169. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jcaa.45 --

which shows the locations of the Amazonian archaeological sites in question, together with our added star labels and the appropriate Milky Way section of stars. These identifications were made independently by Andis Kaulins, Traben-Trarbach, Germany, who is not affiliated in any way with any of the authors of the article cited above. We use the geographic map as fair use for research purposes.

In the article cited above, Iriarte et al. mention a possible "cosmic" meaning to the locations, as follows:

"Arranged in symbolically significant ways with no clear hierarchy, the villages' circular layouts may reflect their Indigenous inhabitants' conceptions of the cosmos (Iriarte et al., Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology, under CC BY 4.0)".

To that we can independently add: YES ... the COSMOS ... We find that the cosmos referred to is comprised of specific "landmark" stars and  sections of the Milky Way of stars visible from the identified Amazonian locations.

One possibility to perhaps partially confirm the likelihood of the correctness of our stellar correspondences occurred to us after examining some additional neighboring earthworks viz. similar locations identified in de Souza, J.G., Schaan, D.P., Robinson, M. et al. Pre-Columbian earth-builders settled along the entire southern rim of the Amazon. Nat Commun 9, 1125 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03510-7.

If our stellar analysis is sound, then neighboring Amazonian earthwork locations should also represent other stars in the sky located beyond those shown in the image above, and, indeed, we find it is possible to view those earthworks located to the West of those above as representing the stars of Aquila and Sagittarius, which identification fits into the system of star correspondences shown above.

Recall our original question: 

Why would the ancients have used stars of the starry night to "map" their Earth? 

Just imagine trying to make your way in a tropical climate in ancient days. How did you get around and know where you were?

We think stars and landmarks based on stars are the answer.

 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

The Origins of Writing: Where Would Our Modern World Be Without Alphabet Inventors? The Example of David W. Packard, Co-Founder of Hewlett-Packard [or did Google say "Alphabet"?]

Humans have been "inventing" things long before intellectual property law, and we are all the benefactors of what humankind has invented over the millennia.

Our interest in innovation extends far into our ancient human past, especially as concerns e.g. the origin of writing, without which our modern world would be impossible.

Just how was writing "invented"?
We have some ideas about that. See:

Below is an excerpt from Ancient Signs: The Alphabet & the Origins of Writing:

"The importance of the study of the origins of writing -- a fascinating field in its own right -- is often underestimated.
 
The ancient signs of written scripts manifest a communication technology not unlike that used by modern "high tech". It is not surprising, for example, that someone like David W. Packard, co-founder of computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co., wrote his college dissertation on Minoan Linear A, an undeciphered written script of Crete. [Footnote: David W. Packard, Minoan Linear A, University of California Press in Berkeley, California, 1974.]

Computer hardware and digital devices operate by means of software that is coded by signs which convert human language information into machine language. Ancient signs similarly converted spoken language into written language with the result that human communication expanded exponentially. Literacy brought humanity into a richer world.

Indeed, modern communication -- even at the simplest level -- depends a great deal on written language literacy by everyone.

Just think of social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter or [did someone at Google just say Alphabet]? All depend on the written word.

The written word not only communicates, but also permits recordation of human expression and knowledge for posterity, whether this be on paper, on microfilm, or as CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs or future technologies for the storage of digital materials. Written information is thereby communicated not only by letters and the written word in alphabetic writing, but also by logograms, such as Chinese characters, or by various combinations of numbers and symbols, such as mathematical expressions.

Written signs and symbols permit the creation of special types of "languages" whose function far exceeds the limits set by audible human speech. Modern software programming languages are a good example of this phenomenon.

The discovery of script had far-reaching consequences for everyday human life on our planet, initiating massive cultural changes which no one could have foreseen in early eras. With the onset of writing, mankind obtained a “history”, that started about 3200 B.C. Today, without writing, the mass of humanity would still languish in ignorance, as it still does in some regions of the Earth marked by widespread illiteracy. For those who do learn to read and write, the written word can open up magic worlds of individual potential and a seemingly endless reservoir of human talents and abilities from which most of us on this planet Earth profit every day.

Whatever the origins of writing may be, we are all indebted to the men and women who invented, introduced and dispersed this new technology to the world. These were great inventors indeed, and we should all know more about them."

Read and enjoy the whole book! Click that link.

We are miles ahead of the competition in analysis.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Technology Driving Innovation: A New Age of Flying Robots: UAV Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Drone Law & Industry Info

We live in a complex era marked by the emergence of flying robots called drones, which in the USA and Europe, for example, have already led to pioneer regulatory legislation. See e.g. GleissLutz, Public Law: The German Government's Action Plan on Drone Regulation.

Drones are a rapidly developing industry and also a relatively new legal field.

"UA" means "Unmanned Vehicle", a UAV is an "Unmanned Aerial Vehicle" while a UAS is an "Unmanned Aerial System", such terms having a U.S. military reconnaissance origin, and still being used in the drafting of legislation applicable to "drones".

Especially as regards commercial products, UAV's are commonly called DRONES, a term applied increasingly to recreational-like "multicopters".

Additional terminology for drones can also be found, e.g. RPAS "Remotely Piloted Aircraft System", or MAV "Micro Air Vehicle". See Altigator

Essentially, drones are "flying robots". See Nesta.

Drones are being increasingly regulated by governments because of the growing recreational and commercial use of drones and drone technology, which use raises security issues. Moreover, the drone industry is moving toward becoming a powerful economic force and thus subject to more government regulation.

See a Master List of Drone Laws at UAVCoach.com by country or US state.

See Drone Industry Insights at Droneii.com.

The Wikipedia entry for Unmanned aerial vehicle currently states inter alia that:

"An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (or uncrewed aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone) is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by onboard computers referred to as an autopilot.

Compared to crewed aircraft, UAVs were originally used for missions too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for humans. While drones originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly finding many more applications including aerial photography, product deliveries, agriculture, policing and surveillance, infrastructure inspections, science, smuggling, and drone racing.
"
The drone industry is still young and growing, but it will likely become one of the world's major economic forces in the not so far future. See GoldmanSachs.com at "Technology Driving Innovation" in Drones: Reporting for Work.
 
It is an industry that began just a few years ago with the first generations of drones serving as recreational playthings and as aerial surveying tools.
 
Such uses will of course continue, while drone technology will gradually also greatly impact agriculture, health and medicine, and the global transportation of goods and services via "cargo drones" viz. "delivery drones". 
 
"Taxi drones" for human travel are also in the works.

We imagine that "personal flying vehicles" are also in the offing.

See The Conversation.


Monday, December 07, 2020

Paul, Weiss Wins Law360 "Practice Group of the Year" Awards in Capital Markets, Fund Formation, Private Equity and Securities

My former law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, ("Paul, Weiss" viz. "Paul|Weiss" viz. "Paul, Weiss, et al.") headquartered in New York City, with law offices inter alia in Beijing, Hong Kong, London, Tokyo, & Toronto, just won four Law360 Practice Group of the Year awards for the firm’s achievements in Capital Markets, Fund Formation, Private Equity and Securities.

How does the firm -- even after nearly 150 years of existence -- continue to maintain its top standards of performance in so many varied areas of law practice, not just those mentioned above?

It is enlightening here to read the Paul, Weiss "Statement of Firm Principles", authored in 1963 by the 1995 deceased firm patriarch Judge Simon H. Rifkind, who in his day was regarded by many to be the finest trial lawyer in the country, including such celebrity clients as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. As written by Eric Pace in the New York Times obituary for Simon H. Rifkind, November 15, 1995:

"[Former Justice] William O. Douglas wrote after his retirement from the United States Supreme Court that Mr. Rifkind became "the most outstanding advocate of all" the lawyers who appeared before the Court between 1939 and 1975." [emphasis added]

Before I left the firm in the mid-1970's to do essential Baltic pre-USSR-dissolution research in Europe, Judge Rifkind called me in to his office for a man-to-man talk.

Rifkind was born in 1901 in Merkinė, Lithuania (then Meretz, Russian Empire) and his family emigrated to America and New York City in 1910. Similarly, my family emigrated to the USA from Latvia and Germany when I was a young lad, in 1950. Rifkind and I thus shared some elements of a common background and destiny.

Rifkind was sympathetic to my motivation to do legal work on the Baltics, but he tried to get me to stay with the law firm. Rifkind was a powerful advocate, and his arguments were excellent, so my decision fell hard. I recall particularly Rifkind's manifest ability to focus his sharp concentration on the subject at hand.

One could sense how Paul, Weiss had risen to the status of a legal powerhouse under his forceful leadership, and why it attracted so many gifted minds. As an example, as we have written elsewhere, before the passage of the iconic "RBG" i.e. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, all three of the lady Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court had been Paul, Weiss, et al. summer associates, as this writer was as well, in 1970. The law firm would seem to have an attraction for the best of the best, and part of that "draw" is surely Rifkind's professional "principled" legacy.

The law firm's pursuit and achievement of legal excellence has of course involved many talented men and women at all levels of the law firm's attorney partnership and working staff, both before, during, and after Rifkind. That is a given.

See the impressive HISTORY of the FIRM for an instructive read.