Tuesday, February 12, 2019

It's Abe's Birthday Already? This Post Took Me Places I Didn't Expect

I've been derelict here.  We've been spending a lot of time away from the computer - either transporting the grandkids to pre-school and elsewhere, or playing with them.  Or helping with food and pajamas and story times.   Also we had lunch yesterday with a former student from Beijing who is visiting the US.  It's been nearly 15 years since we've seen each other, though we've kept online contact.  But there were lots of questions we had for each other.

So here are a few pictures of the last few days until I have more time to think more clearly.  Some of these building pictures lead to architectural and technology issues I wasn't expecting.  And Lincoln's birthday tempted me into the question of whether the civil war was necessary and had it been avoided would we be more united today.  I'm still working on exit row issues including a promising incident on our flight to San Francisco.  Stay tuned for that.

The building with the turrets on top is an Episcopal Church whose red doors are usually closed.

But Sunday I was strollering by with my nieta (the Spanish word for granddaughter sounds so much nicer and is much shorter to write) and the doors were open.  We got invited in to listen to the organ.

We looked at our shadows at the playground and while we were walking.  

We also experimented with foot prints since the grass was wet.  

My nieto (o makes it grandson) and I spent about 90 minutes at the Japanese Garden.  He was interested in all the bridges and shrines and paths and, of course, the dragon made of a winding hedge and a rock head and rock tail.  

We also checked out St. Mary's Cathedral.  the basic structure is set on four points like the one in the lower center of the picture.  Arch Daily gives lots of details and more pictures:
"Pylons support the 19-story cupola at each corner of the floor plan, each constructed to withstand ten million pounds of pressure. With a circumference of 24 feet at their narrowest points, the pylons are embedded 90 feet down into the bedrock. A surprising 1680 pre-cast triangular coffers comprose the inner area of the cupola, featuring 128 different triangular sizes. These transfer all the weight of the structure down to the ground, while allowing large windows to frame views of the city of Saint Francis of Assisi. To call on memories of historic mission architecture, red brick is used on the floor in sweeping patterns."

And San Francisco is not without broken glass.  Here's part of the bus stop on the way to pre-school yesterday.  I've seen a couple of vehicles with broken windows and the shattered pieces lying on ground below. like in this picture.

By the afternoon, most of the glass was swept up and there was tape across the ad.  

And this car was making its point pretty loudly.

We ate at a Ramen place in Japantown with my Chinese friend.

And finally, here's the tallest building in San Francisco with its top in the clouds.  It's called the Salesforce Tower, though it used to be called the Transbay Tower.  And since I dislike branding everything so that people are forced to say some corporation's name when they mention it (it's much worse for public or semi-public places like stadiums), I'll stick with Transbay. From Wikipedia:
The site of the tower was in a dilapidated area, formerly used as a ground-level entrance to the San Francisco Transbay Terminal, which was demolished in 2011. The TJPA sold the parcel to Boston Properties and Hines for US$192 million,[14] and ceremonial groundbreaking for the new tower occurred on March 27, 2013, with below-grade construction work starting in late 2013.[15][16] The project is a joint venture between general contractors Clark Construction and Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction.[16][17]
The footprint of Salesforce Tower rests on land fill near San Francisco's original waterfront, an area prone to soil liquefaction during earthquakes. To account for this seismic risk, the tower uses a design that is modeled to withstand the strongest earthquakes expected in the region.[18] Its foundation includes 42 piles driven down nearly 300 feet (91 m) to bedrock and a 14-foot (4.3 m) thick foundation mat.[19]
My son explained to me exactly what Salesforce (the company) does.  They make and run the software for tracking communications between companies and customers.  So when you call up a company and they can look to see all the times you've called and what you said and what they said, they could be using Salesforce technology.  Here's how their website describes it: 
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes, and improve profitability.

Select Hub offers some alternatives to Salesforce CRM technology after this introduction:
"Saying Salesforce is a big name in the CRM software space is like saying Christianity is a popular religion — it’s pretty obvious to most people who know anything about CRM. But it doesn’t have to be the only option. For those who may be looking for something else, we gathered data on the best Salesforce alternatives to help you find the right match for your organization."
So, I bet you weren't expecting some of this.  Neither was I.  Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln.  What would the US be like today if didn't have the Civil War?  Would slavery have died out naturally because it became economically unsound?  Would African-Americans gained legal status without creating the race divisions that our president has reignited today?

Could Slavery Have Died A Peaceful Death?

Would Slavery Have Survived Without the Civil War?   This is a journal article you need a library connection to reach.  For those without that access, here's an excerpt from the intro to the article:
"My argument here is two-fold: (1) slavery, though generally profitable, had a harmful, long-term developmental impact on the southern economy; and (2) that the institution would gradually have evolved into something else in the late nineteenth century even without the Civil War. Before moving on, however, a necessary disclaimer: I well recognize the moral enormity that was slavery, and my comments here pertain only to the economic aspects of the peculiar institution, and, even delimited to the economic realm, should be seen as an attempt to analyze “what was” rather than “what ought to have been.”1"
Here are some interesting, related articles that don't address the question head on:

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Could Compromise Have Prevented the Civil War?

Civil War's dirty secret about slavery

The Economics of the Civil War - This one gives a lot more detail, but doesn't really answer the question

Would there be less animosity between Americans today had we not fought the civil war?  I'm guessing not.  Scapegoating the other is practiced by the power hungry throughout time and in all parts of the world.  The legacy of slavery would still have left the US divided, in my humble and unsupported opinion here.  Perhaps the support is for another post.

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