## Wednesday, January 9, 2013

### Mail Brane: More Readers With Questions!

Q. Having read your blog from January 2nd I am curious to see the solutions to the two problems at the end. Can you provide them? - Tiffany S., Toronto

A. No problem. The problems were again:

1) Let the set S3 of cycle permutations be S3 = {I1(12), (23), (13), (123), (132)}

We establish an automorphism by mapping image to domain within the set S3 itself, such that – for example:

Φ(12) = (13)

Then show the other mappings within S3.

2) Proposition: Φ x is a homomorphism. Prove it! (Hint: Show that Φ x(y o z) = Φ x (y) o Φ x (z) )

Now, the solution to (1) is:   (23)->(23),  (123)->(132), and (132) ->(123)

for (2), Φ x(y o z) = xyx-1 = xy I zx-1= xyx-1 xzx-1, so I = xx-1

So,  Φ x preserves multiplication, viz.  xyx-1 xzx-1 = Φ x (y) o Φ x (z)

Such that if the two elements are mapped onto a common element they are equal.

Q. In the Dec. 28th blog, you referenced your recent PSA result and asked "To Celebrate or Not?" Did you ever find out whether they were ok or not? - Terrence, Bridgeport, CT

A.  Yes! I had notified Dr. Hsu, the radiation oncologist at UCSF,  and sent him the scan of the lab report. He replied in an email with: "Looks good!"  So, his response - although brief - confirmed what I suspected. (Despite the lab report itself headed up with the warning: "PSA higher than 0.2 ng/ml after radical prostatectomy is considered biomedical failure.") But as we know, one can't compare the post-treatment PSA results of surgery to radiation since the latter works over a much longer timeline to decrease the prostate cells.

Q. In your recent blog on fundamentalism (January 4) you tied the fundamentalist to being both poorly educated and infantile. But in your discussion of transactional analysis, involving 'parent', 'adult' and 'child' components you seemed to imply they were overly dominated by the 'parent'. So how does this square with being infantile-childish? - Paul K., Omaha, NE

A. Actually, in the paragraph that commences, "the key about the Parent part of the psyche" - at the very end, I note:  " In this case, the "Parent" can devolve into a pathological child, or negative mirror image of the healthy, free-spirited child in transactional analysis."   This is a subtle point and perhaps ought to have been emphasized more.   Bannister's theory of P-A-C then is not the exact duplicate of Eric Berne's. Rather she saw that the over-dominating 'Parent' was really a child, but a primitive one. The commands issued by this Parent came from the most primitive parts of the Id, and were not at all healthy like Berne's free spirit 'Child'. This 'deformed child' is also analogous to the infantile consumer so much discussed by Benjamin Barber in his book, 'CONSUMED'. It also mirrors the "adult child" in Neil Postman's book, 'The Disappearance of Childhood'. In each case, a pathology is at work to debase the adult consciousness into an infantile mutation, and the "infantile fundamentalist" is another manifestation of the syndrome.

Q. I noticed in your last blog about your repug brother changing to an independent that he dissed all the GOP fiscal cliff demands in the last month, based on cuts (or possible ones) to his veteran benefits. He didn't seem to want to look at the broader picture of everyone's reduced benefits at all, only military or vets. What is your further take on that? - Anne, Caspar WY

A. Yes, his myopia was pretty apparent, wasn't it? But it reinforces the point that when your own Ox is gored, or the gore is too close for comfort, you then generally stop bitching about the gov't helping others in need - and begin to look at yourself! His problem with the GOP wasn't that their use of the chained CPI and Social security, Medicare cuts were going to hurt most Americans - but mainly VETS! Now, looking out for vets is noble, but to look out for them only is near sighted. ALL Americans - especially seniors- would have paid dearly if those originally intended House GOP spending cuts would have been allowed. Hence, it is disingenuous to only look at them through the lens of vet benefit cuts.

A fully cognizant person, with a more general appreciation of the general welfare of ALL citizens - would equally rail against Paul Ryan voting against aid for Sandy storm victims, as for voting against benefits for vets! This is a disgrace especially when another of these anti-Sandy storm assistance Clowns (Steven Palazzo, 4th District MS) also voted against it, while he demanded flood aid for his own red state district last year! Hypocrisy anyone?

I'm just elated, never mind his (somewhat understandable) vets' benefits obsession, that it took that close- to -home scrape to finally get him to exit the repuke party which no sensible person ought to have anything to do with. They are mainly a group of Southern-leaning extremists dominated by a hard core clique (Tea party) that - as I noted- is hell bent on wrecking this country from the inside out.  Hopefully, Obama has the gumption to follow through on his promise not to negotiate over any debt limit increase.

Q. Was sorry to read of your wife's illness- flu. How is she now? Any plans to not take flu vaccine next time?- Matthias, Munster, Germany

A. Not at all! First, she's doing much better but it was a rough two weeks. There were times I felt she almost needed to go to the hospital. (And many thousands have been hospitalized with this flu!) But apart from the terrible chest congestion, coughing - the biggest downer was losing her sense of taste and smell - which she's only begun to get back.

I didn't get it - possibly because we have slept in separate rooms since her onset, also kept all our kitchen wares, towels, etc. separate. In addition, religiously washing hands on touching anything she had touched. Yes, friends, you have to practice a kind of biological 'apartheid' if you don't wish to catch it. Also, it is possible that the flu shot worked better for me because of a stronger immune system - and we know that is a function of age (she is seven years older than I am).

Shunning the flu vaccine itself would not be a wise move, because although it's not a 100% assured preventative it does evidently moderate the symptoms. Who knows, without that shot she'd likely have had to go to the hospital! Without my shot, no amount of hand washing or separate sleeping quarters might have prevented it!

Q. I have enjoyed your blogs on the fiscal cliff, debt ceiling etc. How do you think that will play out in the next couple months? Do you think Obama will hold fast on not negotiating with the GOP or give in and try to avoid the debt farce (and credit rating reduction) we had last year? Penny, Salt Lake, UT

A. Let's put it this way, I'm not sanguine Obama can maintain his strong man pose, given he's taken all the most critical weapons off the table - including invoking the 14 th amendment to increase the debt ceiling on his own, or minting a \$1 trillion platinum coin (no, it's not as foolish as it sounds!) to cover the debt ceiling increase - by transferring it to the Treasury.

In the absence of those weapons - analagous to bringing a sling shot to a  fight against James Eagan Homes and Seung Hui Cho, each armed with AR-15s, he will have no choice but to give in to their hostage taking. What else can he do? Reason? You can't reason with lunatics devoid of functional frontal lobes! So look for an even worse spending cut deal based on Repuke demands on spending cuts which will have a terrible austerity effect.

Q. I see you are a Packer fan and your wife's for the Ravens. Any predictions on the games this Weekend?- Sammy D., Waukegan, IL

A. Well, here's an outlier of a prophecy: I am actually predicting Janice's Ravens will stomp the Broncos....yeah...even with Peyton Manning at the helm. While the Pony fans had veritable orgasms after their 34-17 drubbing of the Ravens back in December, they forget or ignore many of the team's offensive and defensive players weren't in the game. Danell Ellerbie, for instance, will be on D this time, along with hard hitter Bernard Pollard and Ray Lewis. Marshall Yanda will be on the O-line, along with bruiser Brian McKinney.  So I look fior a more or less close game the first half, maybe 17-13 at halftime, then for the Ravens to put it away at the end, say 30-20.

The Pack and Niners is a more difficult pick but I think the Pack can prevail if LB Justin Smith is not playing to capacity or totally out. The word in the San Fran papers is he's "questionable" or may only be used for brief spells because of a triceps tear. If Smith is in, it alters the Niner D and the game much the same way Clay Matthews' presence does for the Pack (they are a more vanilla D without him, open to fewer novel formations, sets).  So on my assumption, I am picking the Pack 19-14.

Q. In your blog for New Year's Eve you once again sounded a warning prediction that this year will be blistering hot like last. Is that assured? Marcus P., Walla Walla WA

A. Nothing is "assured" but given that 2012 was the hottest year ever recorded (3.2 degrees hotter than the entire warmest average for the 20th century) I am putting my money on a lot more heat. I will also be doing an upcoming blog on the raging heat and fires in Australia right now and what it may portend for the U.S. and other nations in the N. hemisphere.