Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Post-Scarcity Economics


Tea, Earl Grey, Hot... is the line from Star Trek The Next Generation's Captain Picard ordering from a replicator, a device that constructs whatever your heart desires from nothing more then energy, energy to matter.  We're not there yet but we're getting closer and some European nations are struggling with or experimenting with what comes after, what happens when labor is no longer scarce and not provided by human beings.

Finland is experimenting with simply giving people $600 Euros a month, no strings attached.  Drawn randomly from the ranks of the unemployed part of the experiment is to see what these people will do, will they sit around scarfing Doritos and Mountain Dew while playing the latest version of Call of Duty (hmm, perhaps that's too American), or will they become productive contributing members of society.  In Switzerland last year they held, and rejected a referendum, to simply pay everyone in the country $2500 a month.



France expects to lose 3 million jobs in the next eight years to automation.  Since the turn of the century the US lost 5 million manufacturing jobs yet during that same time frame manufacturing grew by 17%.  The jobs didn't go to China, they went to robots.  What do we do with people whose economic productivity is replaced with automation?  Robots are estimated to currently perform about 10% of manufacturing and industrial tasks, that number is expected to rise to 25% by 2025.  From 1998 to 2012 the production of computers and electronics rose 829%, using 1998 worker productivity rates today would equate to over 20 million more jobs.

What would you do if all your needs were met?  Suppose for a second that your current lifestyle was maintained free of charge.  Your house, cars/transportation, food, communications, medical, entertainment all cost free.  Would you sit around on your ass or would you start a novel, take up painting, or do something else?

Would you hire this to clean your carpets?

  
 Actually I was eyeing one of these at Costco the other day for $400.

Associated Press

Fortune

The Economics of Star Trek
 

Monday, January 16, 2017

I guess the competition from the Trump was just too much


After 146 years the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus is shutting down, the last performance will be 21 May 2017.



The demise of the circus is a sad story, two years after prevailing against vexatious lawsuits brought by animal rights organizations over their use and alleged abuse of Asian elephants, Ringling Bros voluntarily pulled the elephants from the circus and attendance plummeted, it was the end of an era. 

I saw the circus as a kid, just curious how many others of you out there can say the same?

 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wilbur Ross - Commerce Secretary Nominee


Donald Trumps nominee for Secretary of Commerce is the epitome of corporate statism and a great admirer of Mao's Five Year Plans expressing his admiration in a CNBC interview.  When asked if that is something we should do here, "Yes," Ross responded, before lamenting our lack of an "industrial policy... We ought, as a country, to decide which industries are we going to really promote".

Ross' biggest complaint about Obama?  He is too laissez-faire. 

A former Chinese apologist, "“China has become the whipping boy in the U.S., just as Japan was some 15 years ago. This certainly is intellectually wrong.”, "Chinese currency is overvalued, not undervalued".  He was also one of the signatories of a letter in Huffington Post support the Trans Pacific Partnership: “Trade experts and economists agree that the TPP would be a catalyst for creating new jobs in the United States, attracting more foreign investment to this country, and benefitting American workers in a broad range of industries,”

He has since done an about face on China and the TPP, and became a registered Republican in November of 2016.  Perhaps he has seen the light, or perhaps he simply knows which side his bread is buttered on.

 What do you think?

Politico 

Bloomberg 

Forbes 

Reason

 

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Age

Considered by many to be the first "New Age" album, Music for Zen Meditation by Tony Scott came out in 1964, below is the first track: Is all not one?



I probably shouldn't admit this but I've probably got this CD by Andreas Vollenweider buried in a box somewhere from a time long past when I knew a girl with purple hair and purple crystals who thought she was a witch.



Now, to be honest I wouldn't have been able to tell you if people were still recording New Age music until I Googled it.  Here is a selection from the 2016 Grammy winner in the New Age category. Paul Avgerinos' Grace.



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Neither Intelligence Nor Journalism

One can now see how deep liberal acceptance of alternative lifestyles really goes and for the LGBTQIAPKMOUSE endorsement seeking crowd, it's apparently pretty shallow.  You'd think they'd be overjoyed that they've got a Golden Shower loving President in the Oval Office, I mean isn't it one of those letters already, the G... or no, maybe it's the P, I don't know... I'm so confused.

You've got to love journalistic integrity when an article opens with:

"The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors."

Followed by:

"The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations"

Let's not let truth get in the way of a good story eh? A story that apparently many mainstream news outlets chose not to run with, including the New York Times, probably because it was just too damn legally risky.  Even CNN hedged its bets when it published its story that there was this document out there with some you know, really bad unverified stuff in it, that we can't tell you about lest we get sued, but well you know, we wanted to let you know it was out there anyway.

Let's face some facts here... nothing in the dossier is actionable intelligence, none of is corroborated, and the few things so far that seem readily verifiable such as the Prague Meeting have been deemed false, not only by those journalists that bothered to look into it by also by the FBI. An anonymous source, allegedly  Christoper David Steele, Director of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. (yeah two can play a that game), provides anonymous intelligence to a paying client looking for dirt.  Well I suppose he has to provide them something otherwise he wouldn't get paid, would he? I've read the full document and with a passing familiarity for what passes for modern intelligence, can say I can understand why he's an "ex" intelligence agent as it is sloppy and full of errors.

Journalism?  Here are a few points from media helping media about the importance of fact checking. 

Are you preventing thorough fact checking? Are you investigating the situation because you have a desired outcome in mind? Are you trying to make the facts fit a headline you have already prepared in your head? If so, you may have compromised your objectivity which will make it difficult to produce a piece of journalism that is strictly factual.
The Two reliable sources rule. Most media organizations have a rule that all facts should be confirmed by two reliable sources. Often the wires will be counted as one source. The journalist then has to find another source that is willing to go on record to verify the information.
Who can a journalist trust? Well, the truth is, nobody. A journalist must never accept what they are told without scrutinizing the information. Journalists should take a skeptical view of every piece of information shared with them. They should not blindly trust contacts – even if those contacts have proved reliable in the past.
Which is probably why the NYT didn't publish it, or the other legitimate news outlets that it was shopped to.  The question is then why did those who did publish it, do so?

Me I tend to believe Trump when he says he previously cautioned other people that you're never alone in Mother Russia.  It's pretty much taken as fact and given as a warning to government personnel traveling to more countries than just Russia.  

What do you think?








 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

For those opposed to the death penalty

photo; pretzelpaws

I present you with the best argument I've heard for it in a long time:

Photo: Charleston County Sheriff's Office

Yesterday Dylan Roof was sentenced to death by a federal jury for the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Any dissenters?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Somebody just grew a set...


After issuing radio and visual warnings to remain clear the USS Mahan fired three warning shots at Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy vessels on high speed approach.  Upon firing of the warning shots the Iranian vessels arrested their high speed approach.

The Mahan was escorting a fleet replenishment oiler the USNS Walter S. Diehl and the Wasp class amphibious assault ship the USS Makin Island.

MSN

Might I say it's about frigging time. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hacked

Our nation's alphabet soup of intelligence agencies agree:
Putin developed “a clear preference” for Trump to win, the agencies said in a declassified summary of their findings. The agencies said they “assess Putin and the Russian government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” according to the report.

“All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence,” the report said. “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes.” (Bloomberg)
One or more of these leaky agencies--which Bush-Cheney demonstrated can easily be politicized--let the press know of their conclusions before they briefed the President-elect, but we'll set that aside for now.

I wish Obama and his bureaucrats had gotten as upset at China hacking the OPM, since it was far more damaging (I was a victim. I can tell you all about identity theft).  Better yet, did Obama fire any of the inept bureaucratic bumblers who failed to protect the social security numbers of millions of veterans with security clearances? 

The "hacking" which was not unprecedented--everybody does it--even the US--involved showing us just how nasty and corrupt Hillary's Democrat party apparatchiks are by publishing their private e-mails. Would any of it have mattered if Hillary and her syndicate didn't have a well-earned reputation for lying, dissembling, legalistic verbal gymnastics and an above-the-law arrogance?  But let's leave that aside for now.

Obama's intel bureaucrats also allege Russia inserted "fake news" into our national thoughtstream. They didn't say whether Russia hacked Hillary to make her cackle, have brain glitches, and put on those crazy eyes...  But let's get to the point.

What is the logical consequence of this conclusion?

America is the Social Media Stupidity capital of the world.  We are the Global Infotainment Media Complex offering the world bubble-butt fake plastic sluts and their brain-dead boy toys, songs glorifying crime and the degradation of women, a constant parade of human oddities and freak shows, and the gushing Hollywood sewer pipe, poisoning the entire world with our fetishes for over-the-top sub-moronic action, more and more grotesque forms of violence, and twisted flavors of sex unrecognizable by everyday practitioners.

Americans are noisily bombarded by a 24/7 Social Media Circus that explodes in paroxysms of outrage and ululations over the fate of Harambe the Gorilla or Cecil the Lion but is uninterested when teens torture a mentally disabled man or light a playmate on fire. Our Pop Media "culture" is a brain poison that sacrifices eternal truths for the latest celebrity brain droppings and "official news"-fomented hysteria. 

How in the hell do we prevent "the wrong people" from dumping their own poison into this toxic waste dump of useless information and alt-reality we have created?

In Summary...

US Intelligence bureaucracies allege Russia planted "fake news" and "propaganda" into our ramshackle and untrustworthy noise-blaring Infotainment Media Complex.

What do we do about it? How in the blue blazes could we set up some kind of filter without silencing the entire enterprise?