Big Five Personality Test

Big Five personality Traits

The big five personality traits are the best accepted and most commonly used model of personality in academic psychology. The big five come from the statistical study of responses to personality items. Using a technique called factor analysis researchers can look at the responses of people to hundreds of personality items and ask the question “what is the best was to summarize an individual?”. This has been done with many samples from all over the world and the general result is that, while there seem to be unlimited personality variables, five stand out from the pack in terms of explaining a lot of a persons answers to questions about their personality: extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience. The big-five are not associated with any particular test, a variety of measures have been developed to measure them. __ OpenPsychometrics (Click link to take test)

Another Site to take Big 5 Personality Test

More on the Big Five Traits (Source)

Openness to Experience

Openness to experience has been described as the depth and complexity of an individual’s mental life and experiences (John & Srivastava, 1999). It is also sometimes called intellect or imagination. Openness to experience concerns an individual’s willingness to try to new things, to be vulnerable, and the ability to think outside the box.


Conscientiousness is a trait that can be described as the tendency to control impulses and act in socially acceptable ways, behaviors that facilitate goal-directed behavior (John & Srivastava, 1999). Conscientious people excel in their ability to delay gratification, work within the rules, and plan and organize effectively.


This factor has two familiar ends of the spectrum: extroversion and introversion. It concerns where an individual draws their energy and how they interact with others. In general, extroverts draw energy or “recharge” from interacting with others, while introverts get tired from interacting with others and replenish their energy from solitude.


This factor concerns how well people get along with others. While extroversion concerns sources of energy and the pursuit of interactions with others, agreeableness concerns your orientation to others. It is a construct that rests on how you generally interact with others.


Neuroticism is the one Big Five factor in which a high score indicates more negative traits. Neuroticism is not a factor of meanness or incompetence, but one of confidence and being comfortable in one’s own skin. It encompasses one’s emotional stability and general temper.


Heritability of Big 5 Personality Traits

Genetically informative research, including twin studies, suggest that heritability and environmental factors both influence all five factors to the same degree.[79] Among four recent twin studies, the mean percentage for heritability was calculated for each personality and it was concluded that heritability influenced the five factors broadly. The self-report measures were as follows: openness to experience was estimated to have a 57% genetic influence, extraversion 54%, conscientiousness 49%, neuroticism 48%, and agreeableness 42%.[80] __ Wikipedia Big Five Personality Traits

While the heritability measures for the big five traits are not as high as heritability measures for IQ (80% in adulthood), the 57% heritability estimate for “openness” is reasonably close. The “openness” trait is sometimes described as “intellect.”

…. research has linked openness to experience to broad intellectual skills and knowledge and may tend to increase with age (Schretlen, van der Hulst, Pearlson, & Gordon, 2010). This indicates that openness to experience leads to gains in knowledge and skills, and naturally increases as a person ages and has more experiences to learn from.

Not only has openness been linked to knowledge and skills, it was also found to correlate with creativity, originality, and a tendency to explore their inner selves with a therapist or psychiatrist, and negatively related to conservative political attitudes (Soldz & Vaillant, 1999). Not only was openness found to correlate with many traits over time, it was also found to be extremely stable over time – one study explored trait stability over 45 years (Soldz & Vaillant, 1999), and found a relatively strong and significant correlation between the two times of measurement! ___

This is an interesting parallel between “openness” and “intelligence” since the Big Five Trait tests and IQ tests are quite different sorts of tests.

The “conscientiousness” trait seems to be a good parallel to the “executive function” concept. Executive function is better fitted to neurologic function (pre-frontal lobes of the brain) but has not been validated in testing as well as “conscientiousness.”

This research article helps to clarify relationships between some specific neurological functions of the brain and the personality traits of conscientiousness and neuroticism.

Gender Differences in Big 5

There are distinct gender differences in the big five personality traits, which help to partially explain why women do not earn as much income as men on average. They may also help explain why there are far fewer female leaders and explorers at elite levels in the most difficult fields of knowledge and skill.

This is not an indication of superiority or inferiority of either sex, rather it suggests that men and women evolved along parallel paths to possess slightly different sets of attributes — on average.

Big Five is a Good Place to Start

We cannot learn everything important about a person by just looking at five personality traits. But we can learn a great deal, much of which is of critical importance. Given the simplicity of test-taking and scoring, and given the demonstrated validity of the test — and consistency of scores over time — anyone setting out to learn more about what makes himself tick may wish to take the big 5 personality trait exam to provide a baseline.

After digesting that information (perhaps after taking 3 or 4 different tests), take a look at the self-authoring software by Jordan Peterson. These programs will help you understand how your personality strengths and weaknesses have combined to create your life, and how you can come to terms with your personality and begin to shape your future, taking into account the things you can change for the better.

I am still in the early days of exploring this area of science-based self help, but from what I have seen so far it seems worth exploring.

Don’t be discouraged by what you learn about yourself as you set out. It is the potential to change things for the better which should excite you.

Posted in Cognition | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Why Can’t Socialists Handle the Truth?

They feel that they have good intentions. This utopian dream of theirs is so vivid they can almost taste it! But why do they never sit down with the veterans of failed utopias and talk over the problems that their well-intentioned ideological dreams tend to cause, over and over again?

Talk to the people who escaped Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, and the other current and former workers’ paradises of the world?

They want to talk about Scandinavian socialism, which is not really socialism when looked at closely and carefully. And truly, why would any sane person try to compare relatively simple, mostly monoracial mini-nations such as one finds in Scandinavia with a deeply complex and multicultural superpower such as the USA?

It is a utopian dream they are looking for, not any kind of reality which ever could be realised on this planet, with the broadly deficient strains of human breeding material one finds here. Feeling righteous about themselves is what they want — and they could never do that if they were to face the reality of what their dreams always result in.

Bernie Sanders Long Praised Cuba

In Cuba, doctors make the equivalent of 25 cents an hour and teachers 21 cents an hour. Pharmacists earn eight cents an hour.

In Cuba, there is no right to free speech and virtually no ­independent media.

There are no free, fair, multiparty elections. In fact, there is just one political party (Communist), and only members of the Communist Party may run as candidates for any ­office. But we were told we couldn’t object to this system, lest we lose our free education and free health care. __ Enrique Padron

Bernie Said the American Dream Could Be Found In Venezuela

We would go five or six days at a time without electricity, and that’s why we had to leave Venezuela. We buy food with debit cards [because inflation has rendered cash almost worthless], and when there’s no electricity the cards don’t work in the machines and you can’t buy anything. There were entire days I went without food. My 7-year-old, too. But thank God, my baby didn’t go hungry because I was still nursing. __ Génesis Gutiérrez Padilla, 27 quoted in NYT

Socialism is a Pretty Wrapping Filled with Dog Shite

In theory, North Korea is a bastion of socialism, a country where the state provides everything, including housing, health care, education and jobs. In reality, the state economy barely operates anymore. People work in factories and fields, but there is little for them to do, and they are paid almost nothing. __

The USSR imploded for much the same reason. Communist China almost self-destructed, before Deng allowed a private economy to bloom inside China.

Socialist paradises always run out of other people’s money, sooner or later. That is when they discover that their utopian dream system is unable to generate the wealth they want to spend. That is when the people start to flee.

But Where Will They Go if the USA Goes Socialist?

The US has a lot of surplus wealth which can be confiscated and spent, but with over 300 million people, it would not take long for the system to grind to a halt under genuine socialism. That would be the signal for the world to go to war.

If the US fell to socialism before China collapsed of its own internal debt and corruption, China would be in the best position to seize global power. But first the world would experience war, famine, and pestilence at levels never possible in previous, less densely populated societies. Under true socialism, the US would be in no position to intervene.

Tribal and clan dominated societies would use stockpiles of weapons they could never have made for themselves — and which would quickly wear out for lack of maintenance. They would keep buying replacement weapons as long as their valuable natural resources held out, until finally entire continents would starve.

Russia would be reduced to trading the bulk of Siberia to China in exchange for advanced Chinese technology to use in the reconquista of Eastern Europe. And so Russia becomes a vassal state to China in the end.

This — and much worse — is the reality of the socialist dream which is being fed like hogswallop to university and high school students across Europe and the Anglosphere. The dysfunctional tide might be held back a while longer. But if the tsunami of socialism does sweep over the seawalls of residual sanity, there will be hell to pay.

HFTB. PFTW. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Ideology | Tagged | 2 Comments

Homicide Near and Far

A bit of research will reveal that most of the US cities with high crime rates also host significant numbers of black residents — who are usually highly sequestered within particular neighborhoods. The graphic below indicates the type of statistical discrepancy that can be found between different neighborhoods inside the same city limits.

In high crime cities, a black person must work hard if he is to move himself and his family to a safer part of town. This urge to move to a safer place helps motivate those who are willing to do what it takes to escape the malevolent world around them.

In the US, correlation between proportion of black population and murder rates can be quite high overall. The graphic below looks at correlation coefficients between proportion of different ethnic groups in the population, and violent crime rates.

Within the Americas, one finds significant discrepancies in murder rates as well. North America and parts of South America such as Argentina/Uruguay have low murder rates on average. But Central America, the Caribbean, and nations such as Venezuela and Brazil have quite high murder rates.

One of the best ways to reduce a country’s homicide rates is to neglect to include most murders in your homicide statistics. This approach has worked for many nations in Africa. It also helps keeps departmental budgets down for public statistics bureaus. That money can be better spent by government officials on vacations to Switzerland, with a little banking business on the side. 😉

There are differences in gene alleles between different breeding populations, which helps to partially account for ethnic differences in violent crime rates. Gene alleles predisposing to violence are more common in subgroups of various breeding groups.

In central America and the Caribbean we see the confluence of genetic factors with a prominence of gangs and a very violent drug trade. Put it all together and rates of homicide are the highest in the world in Latin America and the Caribbean (as far as we can tell by the statistics which are kept).

It’s a dangerous world out there — both in particular countries and in particular cities and neighborhoods within generally low-crime countries. Best to stay alert, and make yourself Dangerous.

Posted in Africa, Crime | Tagged | 9 Comments

I Am Not a Crook

I Am Not A Crook

What Did the President Know and When Did He Know It?

Worse than Watergate

“… if a single bugging of the political opposition is enough to bring down a presidency — and maybe lead to an unprecedented criminal prosecution of a former president — then what are we to make of the recently unveiled Obama administration program of massively spying on political opponents in violation of clearly established law?” __ Source

We have been aware of all of this for the last two years. But finally the US has an attorney general who seems willing to investigate crime under the Obama administration as crime, rather than as innocent childish pranks.

At this point in time, at least five different methods that the Obama administration used to spy on the Trump campaign have been made public:

1. FISA Warrant: Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was targeted with a FISA warrant by the FBI in October 2016. The warrant was subsequently renewed three times for 90-day periods. Other members of the Trump campaign might have had FISA warrants on them, as well.

2. Unmasking: Hundreds of so-called unmasking requests were made for the identities of members of the Trump campaign in intelligence reports. The House Intelligence Committee has so far identified Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, and former CIA Director John Brennan, as having filed such requests.

3. Undercover Informant: The FBI used Stefan Halper, an undercover agent, to infiltrate the Trump campaign. He contacted Trump campaign associates Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Halper has ties to the CIA, as well as MI6.

4. National Security Letters: The use of national security letters to target the Trump campaign was first revealed by officials to The New York Times in a May 16, 2018, article. National security letters allow the FBI to secretly subpoena customer records from banks, phone companies, internet service providers, and others.

5. Foreign Intelligence: British intelligence agency GCHQ provided officials within the CIA with information on the Trump campaign as early as late 2015, The Guardian reported in April 2017. Then-head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan also provided Brennan with sensitive information on the Trump campaign on a “director level” in the summer of 2016.

6. Reverse Targeting: Brennan admitted in an Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that the CIA had obtained the communications of Americans associated with the Trump campaign through what appears to have been the use of reverse targeting. “We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA’s foreign intelligence collection authorities,” Brennan said.

We know from the nearly two-year-long, exhaustive investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller that there was never any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

__ Epoch Times

Mr. Obama is smack in the middle of a large number of criminal acts committed by his close underlings and advisors. What did he know, and when did he know it? The answer to those questions should shine a light on the obscure and contradictory public image of the former messiah in chief.

More on reckless criminality of Obama’s DOJ and FBI

Posted in Crime, Obama, Politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Make a 60 Year Old Brain Work Like a 20 Year Old’s

Theta-gamma nerve coupling between brain regions is key to cognitive functioning

Zapping the brains of people over 60 with a mild electrical current improved a form of memory enough that they performed like people in their 20s, a new study found.

Someday, people might visit clinics to boost that ability, which declines both in normal aging and in dementias like Alzheimer’s disease, said researcher Robert Reinhart of Boston University.

The treatment is aimed at “working memory,” the ability to hold information in mind for a matter of seconds as you perform a task, such as doing math in your head. Sometimes called the workbench or scratchpad of the mind, it’s crucial for things like taking medications, paying bills, buying groceries or planning, Reinhart said.

__ Source

Article abstract in Nature

Electrical brain stimulation was used to strengthen the brain wave coupling between the pre-frontal cortex and the temporal lobe of the brain. EEG monitoring was also utilised to improve the brain wave synchrony between the two regions considered to be important in human working memory.

A well-studied mechanism is cross-frequency coupling. As described first in the hippocampus, the phase of theta oscillations biases the amplitude of the gamma waves [phase–amplitude (P–A) coupling or nested oscillations].

Here is more information on the particular type of brain waves [Theta-gamma] that were the focus of the researchers in the study discussed above:

Working memory deficits are common among individuals with Alzheimer’s dementia (AD) or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Yet, little is known about the mechanisms underlying these deficits. Theta-gamma coupling—the modulation of high-frequency gamma oscillations by low-frequency theta oscillations—is a neurophysiologic process underlying working memory. We assessed the relationship between theta-gamma coupling and working memory deficits in AD and MCI.

We hypothesized that: (1) individuals with AD would display the most significant working memory impairments followed by MCI and finally healthy control (HC) participants; and (2) there would be a significant association between working memory performance and theta-gamma coupling across all participants. Ninety-eight participants completed the N-back working memory task during an electroencephalography (EEG) recording: 33 with AD (mean ± SD age: 76.5 ± 6.2), 34 with MCI (mean ± SD age: 74.8 ± 5.9) and 31 HCs (mean ± SD age: 73.5 ± 5.2).

AD participants performed significantly worse than control and MCI participants on the 1- and 2-back conditions. Regarding theta-gamma coupling, AD participants demonstrated the lowest level of coupling followed by the MCI and finally control participants on the 2-back condition. Finally, a linear regression analysis demonstrated that theta-gamma coupling (β = 0.69, p < 0.001) was the most significant predictor of 2-back performance. Our results provide evidence for a relationship between altered theta-gamma coupling and working memory deficits in individuals with AD and MCI. They also provide insight into a potential mechanism underlying working memory impairments in these individuals. __

One of many places to download the “Dual N-Back” game free of charge to test yourself

For those who want more details on Theta-gamma brain coupling and how this coding system of the brain works, here are some scientific articles with more information:

The Theta-Gamma Neural Code published in 2013 in “Cell (Neuron)”

Hippocampal Theta-Gamma Coupling published in 2013 in Journal of Neurophysiology

Brain Stimulation Using Low Intensity Ultrasound published in 2016 in Basic and Clinical Neuroscience

Comparison of various brain stimulation methods from above article:

Parameter specify Deep brain stimulation (DBS) Transcranial current stimulation (tCS) Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) Low intensity focused ultrasound stimulation (LIFU)
Invasiveness Invasive Noninvasive Noninvasive Noninvasive
Spatial resolution ~1 mm Undetectable ~3–5 cm Depending on the frequency 1–5mm
Depth of stimulation Unlimited Undetectable ~1–1.5 cm unless H-coil is used 10–15 cm or more
Duration of reversible effect ~5 s 24 h ~5 s ~10–40 min
fMRI brain mapping Difficult Difficult Very difficult Easily possible

The Al Fin blogs have discussed electrical and magnetic transcranial brain stimulation methods as well as deep brain implant stimulation. The low intensity focused ultrasound method of brain stimulation is less well studied but from the comparison table above, LIFU appears to offer important advantages in spatial resolution and effective depth of reach inside the brain — for a noninvasive technique.

Neuroscientists try to make brain stimulation technologies noninvasive, inexpensive, user-friendly, direct, and safe. They believe that LIFU, regarding its features, can have a prominent role in brain stimulation and brain mapping in the future (Bystritsky et al., 2011). __


The brain stimulation method used by the Boston University researchers mentioned in the topmost article was a transcranial electrical current stimulator. Using a relatively simple device, the BU researchers were able to temporarily improve working memory performance for 60+ year-olds to the level of 20 something year-olds. The neural-coupling [Theta-gamma] effect was confirmed by EEG and the working memory improvement was confirmed using standard short term memory testing. The improvement for the seniors’ memories lasted at least 50 minutes after the end of electrical stimulation.

Posted in Human Brain | Tagged | Leave a comment

Move Ova Obama! They’s a New Messiah in Town

Obama Messiah 2007

Obama at fund-raiser at Steven and Judy Gluckstern’s home, April 9, 2007. George Soros is seated to the right of the stairs. (Published in “How Barack Obama Struck Fund-Raising Gold, New York Magazine April 16, 2007; Photo-credit: Michael Edwards (note that this is the actual photo as published by New York Magazine, and contrary to the claim of William Lowther @ Telegraph, has not been doctored by this blog; (via “Daily Speculations” | What is the “Transfiguration”?)
Via Obama Messiah

George Soros needed a messiah around 2007, and he was determined to have one. After 8 years of seeing most of his grand plans put on hold, it was time to take direct action. Mr. Soros is pictured above, sitting at the feet of his messiah of his choice.

But Mr. Obama lived out his time as emperor-messiah, and departed the scene without leaving a successor. The club of Soros and their followers have been pitiable, ensconced in gloom, crippled without a champion on the throne.

But just as all hope seemed to be lost, a bright ray of sanctimonious sanctified sunshine has pierced the clouds.

Discarding Obama-Messiah in favour of Beto-Jesus, the fickle followers of political fortune now chase after the image that is itself seeking after a man.

Is George Soros On Board?

Think of George Soros as a left-wing billionaire king-maker — or in the case of the spiritually downtrodden, the messiah-maker. Remember that it was George Soros in 2007 who walked Obama-Messiah all the way to the White House from an almost hopeless primary situation against Hillary.

Also remember that it was George Soros who immediately after the 2016 US Presidential elections called a 3 day meeting of wealthy kingmakers and political dirty tricksters together in Washington DC to plan the overthrow of President-elect Donald Trump. This was not an action plan leading up to 2020. Georgie had a more immediate exit in mind for Mr. Trump. But plan A didn’t work out, so on to plan B . . .

Beto Needs Messiah-Makers

It is rarely remembered after all these years, but Bill Clinton had a very fine stable of messiah-makers in his corral back in 1991/1992. And as we have seen, Obama had some heavy-weight messiah-makers as well. Remember “He is the one!” proclaimed by Oprah just before the South Carolina primary and the great turnaround of the 2008 primary season?

Little Beto has hopeful crowds and zanies by the thousands. But does he have the messiah-makers? Time will tell. It seemed like forever back in the 2007/2008 season before Obama-Messiah’s ground game began working for him — not until big Oprah got behind him. Obama needed two big messiah-makers to get the job done.

Little Beto also needs both big money and big street cred — something more than a hokey smile and a dubious history. Betito needs substance and tempering in the furnace. And he needs as many messiah-makers as he can get! Because Betitito is not black, not female, not a war hero, has never been a Senator or Governor — has not even been a reality TV show host — and any sober person would be hard put to come up with a rational reason to vote for the fluff-stuffed toy-sized action figure.

Leftists Need Messiahs Because Their Natural World is Utopian

Without utopian ideals there is no such thing as a leftist. Without the great paradise to come there is no leftist reason to do anything but destroy all that is.

This schizoid divide between utopian religion and nihilist revolution is the naughty little secret that adorable little leftists keep tucked away inside of them so that even they do not understand themselves.

They are drawn helplessly to messiahs, because someone needs to take all the burden of responsibility — somebody’s got to take the hell care of these little snowflakes! And somebody’s got to bring on the utopia as if by magic. Only a messiah can do that for the true believers.

But in the real world, the deplorables get to vote too. And if enough deplorables decide that your messiah is not real enough, then all the felons, all the illegals, all the risen dead cannot push your candidate over the top.

But beware. Dirty tricks and collusion between the Soros/Davos elite and clever operatives from the middle kingdom can create surprises unanticipated even by jaded observers such as yourselves.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in George Soros, Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

Dying Russia Update

Population Decline:

Russia is one of the few countries with a negative growth rate, and its 2019 population is estimated at 143.90 million, a decline from an estimated population of 146.3 million in 2015. It’s currently the 9th most populous country on earth, despite being the largest by area. __

Corruption Pandemic:

… corruption is seen as a major factor in Russian combat disasters. Even military leaders accept that, but in peacetime the opportunities are too abundant and the discipline too inadequate to prevent corruption. Government prosecutors estimate that military corruption costs the military over $500 million a year and disrupts the operation of units, major programs and everything else. Despite the frequent prosecutions it is believed corruption in the military is increasing. __

More on Russian Corruption from The Moscow Times

Russian Industrial Decline:

Vladimir Putin’s much-publicized program to promote import substitution is failing. Indeed, Russia may be in worse shape now than it was a decade ago as sanctions and declining earnings from the sale of raw materials leave the central government with less money to spend. Moreover, in contrast to China, which has a successful program in this area, Russia continues to buy completed products rather than the technologies on which they are based.

… the absence of domestic production in the industrial sector has contributed to the severe shrinking of Russia’s working class… the rising generation can see its own prospects being taken away by government policies of buying foreign goods rather than developing them at home. __

Russian Mortality Again Rising, Population Falling

After a few years of small population gains in Russia due to rising births and falling deaths, since 2015 Russia is reverting back to a pattern of higher mortality and flat — or falling — birth rates among ethnic Russians.

Russian patterns of alcohol and tobacco use — and rising rates of HIV from intravenous drugs and dirty needles — underlie these high mortality rates. Young and middle aged Russian men display surprisingly high death rates.

More than two million Russian men are considered to be HIV positive, and the epidemic doesn’t show any signs of abating. In the United States, more than 1.2 million people are living with the infection.

… Serious health problems among Russians derive from high rates of smoking and alcohol consumption. Mortality among Russian men rose by 60% since 1991, four or five times higher than the European average.

These untimely deaths result mostly from preventable causes – alcohol poisoning, smoking, cardiovascular diseases, traffic accidents and violent crimes. __

Contrast Between Russia and China

Russia has a much larger land mass area than China, but China’s population is significantly larger and still growing — in contrast to Russia’s falling population. China has the industrial and demographic might to support its expansionist goals. Russia does not. China acquired the technology — it does not matter how — to produce its industrial equipment. Russia did not.

China needs lebensraum and is quickly spreading into the Russian Far East and other parts of Siberia. It is only a matter of time before Russian collapse meets Chinese expansion — no overt invasion or war will be required for China. Putin has already gone past the point of no return in his indebtedness to China.

Posted in Russian Decline | Tagged | 4 Comments

Space Access 2019 via Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society

Why Does the US Have So Many of These Conferences?

Space Access 2019

Preliminary Conference Schedule

And What Good Do They Do?

Free Speech and Free Association form the Groundwork for a Civil Society

These freedoms are guaranteed by the 1st amendment to the US Constitution. When “free” people can get together to discuss, debate, and organise around almost any topic of choice (unlike in dictatorships) they can develop new approaches to problem-solving and form lifelong friendships and profitable associations. Cross-pollination of ideas is encouraged in this way, and innovation and enterprise-formation take place naturally.

People who were born and raised in America cannot conceive of life under an oppressive state, where a person can be imprisoned or “disappeared” without explanation or justification — just for holding a conversation that may fall outside of political or religious boundaries.

Various Groups Have Held Space Conferences in the US for Several Decades

These conferences are open to a wide range of attendees — from aerospace executives to high school students and amateur rocket hobbyists. This is where children and youth affirm future careers and where contacts can be made between fellow enthusiasts which sometimes grow to something more substantial than amateur enthusiasm.

Even during the dark days after the shutdown of the Shuttle program, before the coming of the upstart SpaceX, space conferences such as this one kept the spark of hope, interest, and experimentation alive in the broad community of interest in rockets and space development.

Brief Outline for Program of Space Access 2019:

Thursday 4/18/19 – The Entrepreneurial Revolution In Smallsat Launch

Friday 4/19/19 – Reusable Rocket Transport Networks in Earth-Moon Space

Saturday 4/20/19 – Getting There Faster: Advanced High Energy Propulsion


Many of these conferences seem to take place in the San Francisco Bay area because that is where many of the speakers and other guests of such conferences reside. High tech companies have clustered in the Bay Area for several decades, and space has always been high on the list of interests for many of the engineers who work in these high tech corps and startups. The Bay is also a central location for many of the investors who sometimes drop some money on space startups.

US Tech Billionaires Driving Space Development Etc.

Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are the best known tech billionaires who made the big plunge into the aerospace industries. But there are others in the hunt for outer space $trillions.

Various tech billionaires are also helping to finance development in advanced nuclear fission, small scale nuclear fusion, life extension, and various assorted future technologies — all with the potential to introduce disruptive change into modern lifestyles.

This phenomenon of one disruptive industry leapfrogging to finance another more-disruptive industry seems more likely to take place in a society that allows freedom of speech and freedom of association than in stagnant and constipated societies that are bound up in bureaucratic rules and oppressive and arbitrary sets of laws — such as one finds across Asia, Africa, and parts of Latin America.

In a free society what is not explicitly forbidden, is allowed.

In despotic and stagnant societies, what is not explicitly allowed, is forbidden.

It should be clear where one is more likely to find the most disruptive innovations — in the more open society. Stolen innovations — such as one is likely to find in China — are another matter. But China is a politically saturated wasteland where everything in that sad society — from top to bottom — can change at any moment, and everyone is at risk who lacks sufficient political clout.

Even in the US, freedom of speech is threatened on university campuses, in most corporations, within mainstream news outlets, in deep state bureaucracies, and everywhere else that political correctness has insinuated itself.

So if you live in a free society where you can get together with people of similar interests and hold an international conference such as the one pictured above, count yourself lucky. You are living in a place where disruptive change is still possible.

Keep in mind, however, that freedoms which you take for granted are never entirely safe from abusive power-mongers in government, media, academia, corporations, activist groups, etc. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Space Future | Tagged | 1 Comment

Spygate: The Corrupt Administration that Perverted the Entire US National Security Apparatus For a Political Hit Job

Following in the footsteps of the Richard Nixon administration, the Obama administration took control of the US spy and law enforcement agencies and used them as just another arm of the Obama political machine.

The full story of the intentionally botched FBI investigation in the Hillary Clinton email scandal is slowly being untangled from the deep state detritus that has been attempting so long to cover it up. But more intriguing than the email-gate coverup is how that scandal morphed so seamlessly into the quickly concocted Russia collusion scam.

Some readers are not mature or cognitively competent enough to work their way through the maze of dirty tricks perpetrated by officials in the US Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and other arms of US law enforcement and national security. But the evidence does not go away just because they stick their heads in the sand and mutter “I hate Trump! I hate Trump! . . . ” in a mind-numbing perseveration of early onset dementia.

The ginned-up “evidence” came mainly from a Clinton-campaign document that was craftily placed into official government documents by members of the team pictured above. But the fictions were propagated relentlessly over cable news and late night “comedy” shows for two years to the point that much of the dumbed down public came to accept the fantasies for realities.

Sadly, a large part of today’s university-educated generations are no longer capable of following a logical argument or spotting logical fallacies. They have been taught to focus on their emotions, and to abandon logical argument as the obsolete purview of dead white males. And so the path to the idiocracy is paved with black ice on a decline plane.

For those capable of following the storyline — and who are curious as to how such a thing could have happened under the “transparent” administration of Barack Hussein Obama — read this expose.

We know why such a thing might have been attempted: There are $trillions at stake in government contracts and future government policies that will lead to $trillions more in future government contracts.

The US government has always been a cash cow for unscrupulous politicians, cronies, and puppet-masters. But over the last hundred years the government has exploded in size, power, budgets, and a seemingly insurmountable debt.

No government — Democrat or Republican — will try to attack the national debt. There is too much money and power that comes from manipulating government policies and contracts. There are few politicians with the fortitude to walk away from that kind of power.

To get Hillary Clinton elected as US President in 2016, heaven and earth were twisted into ribbons. Laws were broken, crimes were covered up, abuses of government power was rampant, and twisted agencies of government hid their wrongdoings from other agencies that were supposed to be keeping track of what was happening. But the effort failed, so another vast bending of the laws of the universe took place, to try to “set things right.”

But we see that that effort has failed — and already the groundwork is being laid for more abuses of power and new crimes against logic and reason. Not so strangely, the mainstream media has been complicit in the grand bent crusade of power all along. In fact, the skankstream media cannot get off the train at this stage — it is in for the duration.

The bottom line is that the government — the US government in particular, but most other governments as well — has too much power and is far too large and opaque. It has been that way since the FDR years, but has gotten worse every decade since the 1930s. Neither party wants to give up power, so nothing substantial is done to reduce the size and power of government.

Universities are training new generations of socialist drones, full of righteous indignation and outrage, but such people tend to burn themselves out on drugs and rage eventually. Unfortunately they also get hired into government positions under presidents such as Obama — as you can see from reading the narrative. They have no scruples because they are taught that there is no single objective truth — that all competing “truths” are equally valid, but especially the “politically correct truth.”

Things are going to get very bumpy. I say this because the tyrants of the university, the newsroom, and the deep state, overplayed their hand and exposed themselves. Opposition is rising — even from inside the universities themselves and from alternative media that is robbing viewership from the mainstream. And the deep state is running as fast as it can just to keep up with Donald Trump’s active pruning of its roots and branches via revocation of regulations. The clash of cultures is just revving up.

This bumper-car rollercoaster ride is just getting started. If you wish you can hope for the best. But by all means, prepare for the worst. It would not be too soon to start making yourself very Dangerous.

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

What if Elon Musk Could Boost the Pentagon into Orbit?

The Pentagon: It Even Looks Like a Space Colony

Weighing many millions of tonnes, The Pentagon — US military headquarters — is far too massive for any of SpaceX’s current generations of rockets to boost into orbit.

  • Falcon 9 can only lift about 20 tonnes.
  • Falcon Heavy will boost around 50 tonnes of payload.
  • And BFR — Big F’N Rocket (where “F’N” stands for Falcon) — is planned to boost roughly 150 tonnes per launch.

150 tonnes is a lot of mass to loft into Earth orbit, but compared to The Pentagon’s many millions of tonnes of steel and concrete, the BFR simply cannot cut the mustard.

Large Payloads Lead to Permanent Human Presence in Space

Many people get excited about a day trip to the edge of space — as Jeff Bezos’ company will soon offer. Others are thrilled at the prospect of flying from New York to London in 20 minutes. But that is only scratching the surface of what space has to offer.

Next Stop: Cislunar Space
Image Source

If launch companies such as SpaceX or Blue Origin can affordably boost payloads of hundreds — or thousands — of tonnes on a regular schedule, productive human infrastructure can be rapidly built in Earth orbit, in cis-Lunar space, on the moon, on Mars, and beyond.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo 2 is said to be scheduled this July. Pictured: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard takes off during the Demo-1 mission, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on March 2, 2019. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images )

For years, Earth will need to supply all human space outposts with regular shipments of food, water, and materials for use in construction and industrial production. But as humans build better ways of processing and utilising space materials mined from asteroids and the moon, more human space ventures will learn to grow their own food and become more self-sufficient in water and materials. The commercial supply chains will soon go in both directions, as space-made products and materials become part of the Terran trading markets.

It should be clear to everyone who pays attention that the entire human space venture hinges upon affordable access to space for high mass payloads. The Falcon Heavy, with a payload of over 50 tonnes to Earth Orbit, will be a good start. The Heavy is scheduled for its second launch — and 1st commercial launch — sometime in April of 2019.

SpaceX rockets are designed to be reusable, which so far seems to allow for lower costs to LEO. Unlike other space launch companies, SpaceX seems to be constantly at work upgrading its rockets to be ever more reliable, less expensive, and more capable in terms of lifting heavier payloads for a wider range of space missions — including manned Mars missions. Blue Origin is being forced to work harder just to catch up — and then to keep up with SpaceX if it can.

SpaceX BFR/Starship
The Starship rocket , which is currently in development, is capable of carrying up to 100 people at a time – and will one day transport humans to the Moon and Mars.

Posted in Space Future | Tagged | 6 Comments

When Capitalism Saved Sweden

Sweden’s economic history encapsulated:

  • Sweden was once capitalist, and it grew rich.
  • Then Sweden turned socialist, and it grew poor.
  • Then Sweden turned capitalist again, and it was saved!

If you think Sweden is socialist, then you know something that just ain’t so. As has been documented repeatedly by popular treatments and more scholarly discussions, any use of the actual measures of economic freedom that constitute capitalism show Sweden is solidly in the camp of fully market-oriented economies. As Andreas Bergh points out in his 2016 book, Sweden and the Revival of the Capitalist Welfare State, it is inconceivable to think of the Sweden of the current decade as being anything other than a capitalist, and in fact libertarian, country.

… Fortunately for its citizens, but unfortunately for those who think Sweden is still socialist, the Swedish government, more or less by universal consensus, turned sharply back toward capitalism beginning in about 1995. It deregulated domestic industry, privatized its education and pension systems, and opened the economy to international trade and competition. The reason it did this is precisely because capitalism, wherever it is practiced seriously in a system with rule of law and protection for property rights, always creates prosperity. __

Sweden was once a very wealthy capitalist country — but then socialism happened, and over the decades Sweden sank into dysfunction and increasing poverty. Only with the revocation of Swedish socialism in the 1990s did Sweden once again become prosperous

What is socialism?

Socialism is “collective ownership” of the means of production. In practical terms, “collective ownership” actually means “state ownership,” or government ownership of all the corporations and companies that get things done in a society. Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea come closest to the ideal among modern nations.

Any concept of “collective ownership” other than government ownership is most often an exercise in fantasy utopianism, which is typical of the modern trend of thinking in “democratic socialism.”

By socialism, I mean a system that relies on state ownership and control of the means of production, state direction of production decisions, and direct state control of education and employment decisions of individuals. If one does not mean those things, then that would require a little more thinking about what “socialism” means. If by “socialism” you mean prosperity and rule of law, then you are confused. __

Sweden’s Capitalist Revolution Started in 1995

In capitalism, ownership is (largely) private; under socialism, the state owns and controls the major productive resources of the society.

Between 1999 and 2001, Sweden deregulated most of its economy, sold off most of its dinosaur-slow state-owned enterprises, and converted substantial parts of its welfare commitments into private systems.

  • Sweden fully privatized its pension system, moving from “defined benefit” to “defined contribution.” Yes, there is a means-tested add-on guaranteed pension top-up for the least well off, but the first-line system is personal pension accounts, invested in one of 700 private index funds, managed by private fund managers. It is the most privatized pension system, by far, in all of Europe.
  • Sweden has a 100 percent universal voucher system for education. There are questions about whether Sweden’s educational system works as well as it should, but it is one of the most private (and not socialist) education systems in the world.

Sweden is not alone in rejecting socialism and embracing capitalism. If you look at the general trend in the countries of Northern Europe, it has become much more capitalist in the past 25 years, after its own failed experiments with socialism. In particular, on the measures I have discussed, Denmark, Finland, and Norway are all three even more capitalist than Sweden. __

In the 2016 US presidential primaries, supporters of Bernie Sanders held up Denmark as an example of the kind of socialism they were proposing. But Denmark is even less socialist than the US, going by the Fraser Institute’s Index of Economic Freedom. It seems that one can expect neither honesty nor accuracy from the political zealots who are promoting modern “socialism.”

Al Fin was once a socialist, from his teenage years into his very early twenties. But that is typical for young minds at that stage of mental and educational development. But just as “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy,” so “no political ideology survives contact with the real world” — at least within intelligent, honest, and experienced minds.

In his early twenties, Al Fin finally settled on a libertarian ideology. But like all political ideologies, libertarianism could never survive intact when set against the real world turbulence of societies of real human beings. As a political philosophy, libertarianism does well, but as an ideology it stumbles, just like all other ideologies.

Sweden Facing Another Crisis

Today, Sweden faces an immigration crisis. Sweden’s government is importing large numbers of violence-prone, largely untrainable immigrants from the third world. As a result, real crime numbers (not the phony “official crime rates”) are rising in immigrant strongholds. And unless the people of Sweden rise up to change this suicidal policy, Sweden will soon once again be in a world of hurt.

Low IQ immigrants and citizens typically fall for socialist propaganda, and due to differential birthrates leading to more low IQ children, eventually nations who promote low IQ immigration swing toward socialist dysfunction and decay.

Unless Sweden changes course, that sad eventuality is inevitable.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood ©, not even for Swedes.

Posted in Economics, Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Three Wars for Tomorrow Morning’s News

Speaking at a 2019 Land Investment Expo last month, geopolitical analyst Peter Zeihan predicted a “hot war” along Russia’s western borders, another “hot war” between Saudi-led Sunnis against Iranian-led Shia, and a war for Taiwan and China Sea maritime rights — all three sometime before 2030. He also predicted significant disruption of international shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf and across the Indian Ocean into the China seas — with important economic consequences for East Asian nations such as China, Japan, and Korea.

Shia vs. Sunni: The Middle East Oil War

Middle East
Saudi Arabia vs. Iran
Sunni vs. Shia

Zeihan points out that Saudi Arabia has significant populations of Shiite Muslims close enough to important Saudi oil fields to pose a threat to Saudi oil production. At the same time, large numbers of Sunni Arabs live close to Iranian oil pipelines and shipment terminals. If a war broke out between Iran and Saudi Arabia — between Sunni and Shiite — both nations would have to mobilise troops to protect oil production and shipments from their own citizens, as well as to protect them from enemy attack.

Both countries would target the other’s oil refineries and oil shipment terminal facilities with bombs, artillery, and missiles. Most nations in the far east and Europe would suffer crippling energy shortages almost immediately.

As Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia go to war, expect most of the rest of the middle east to take sides and join in. A progression to nuclear war in the middle east would not be beyond ordinary probability.

The Russian Opportunity Presents Itself

If Putin is to reclaim the grand Russian Empire, he will have to take the next good opportunity. A war in the middle east would leave Russia as the largest remaining source of hydrocarbon fuels for Europe. This means that Russia could invade Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states, without fear of repercussions from the nations of the EU.

As Zeihan sees it, if Russia is going to make a move against the Baltic states and Ukraine, he needs to do it before Russia loses much more military manpower and technical expertise. With Russia’s shrinking demographics, that time should come before 2030.

War in the Baltic

Putin can hear the clock ticking — he is starting to get beaten by women on the judo mats! Russia is in even worse shape than Putin, so Tsar Vlad knows if he is to make a move it had best be soon. When the war breaks out, Putin will get to know Monsieur Murphy [Ed: Of Murphy’s Law fame] much more intimately.

China’s Opportunity to Seize Taiwan?

With middle eastern oil tied up in the Sunni-Shiite war, China will be desperate for fuel. It will need to grab all the oil fields in the China Seas — but to do that it must open the way for its Navy. For full access to the blue waters of the Pacific, China needs to take Taiwan under its wing. And Taiwan will not go peacefully.

Coming War in China Seas

Blogger Brian Wang objects to Zeihan’s tone in the video above — as well as to his predictions — and devotes an interesting posting to the topic.

Brian particularly objects to the fact that Zeihan is predicting widespread famine (50 minutes into the video) and starvation across the third world — and in China, as a result of the “3 wars”. Brian points out on his blog that the world can potentially feed 100 billion people without significant famine or hunger. Brian is probably right, but Murphy’s law could easily change everything and make Zeihan’s predictions come true instead.

Brian advises readers to “never go full doomer!” But here at the Al Fin Institutes we also know never to assume that everything will go well indefinitely, without significant hiccups along the way.

What Significance for Europe and the Anglosphere?

If the “3 Wars” occur as predicted, what will be the impact on Europe and the Anglosphere? Obviously parts of Europe will have front row seating for the Russian blitz to the Baltic, and Australia/New Zealand will have a reasonably good view of China’s expansionist push to the East and South for the oil fields.

If Russia triggers NATO in the Baltic region, as things stand all bets are off. And if Putin uses tactical nukes to scare NATO off, the random factor increases.

In the China Seas war for Taiwan and the oil fields beyond, much depends upon the reactions of the US, Japan, South Korea, and the Southeast Asian nations of Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. If the US has elected a president Kamala Harris — or someone of similar insubstantiality — China may have a free hand to the entire region. In fact, the election of someone like Kamala Harris as US President would be an urgent goal for nations such China or Russia, which would like a freer hand in territorial issues.

Are These “3 Wars” Likely?

We have just seen a “near war” between India and Pakistan. Such festering hot spots are prevalent in Asia, the middle east, and in the regions of the former Soviet Union. We call these “bloody borders,” where blood is often shed but seldom reported on by mainstream media.

The particular regions that Zeihan focuses upon are certainly sources of instability — war could happen. But will it? I would expect at least one of the three simmering conflicts to erupt into open fighting in the next 5 to 10 years. And it is possible that — in domino fashion — one war could trigger another, triggering the third.

The one most likely to trigger the other two is the middle eastern war — the near-total shutoff of middle eastern oil to East Asia and Europe. Such a war would push China into action, and would give Russia the clout it needed to trigger an imperial war of the “reconquista” variety.

Would China Take Advantage of Russia’s Fixation on the Baltic?

Once China goes to war, the country is likely to strike in multiple locations to take the resources and territory it feels it needs. Russia still owes China a large chunk of territory it seized illegally. China does not forget such things. And China may want more. A lot more.

China Will Reclaim Siberia NYT

Putin needs to focus on the big picture, and not go all soft and wobbly on China. Even without some of the old imperial territories, Russia is a big plot of land to defend from all of its many enemies (and frenemies).

If Putin maintains his tunnel vision on the Baltic and Black Sea regions, he is apt to lose more valuable territory in the east than he could possibly gain in the west.

Nothing is certain, but every single day many crucial issues are in the balance, much is at play. Once the balance is tipped toward war, it can be almost impossible to tip the balance back to even.

Posted in geopolitics, Military, Peter Zeihan | Tagged | 5 Comments

Netherlands Terrorist Helps Elect New Eurosceptic Government

How the actions of two terrorist fools — one in the Netherlands, one in New Zealand — led to the overturning of power in the Dutch Senate.

Game of Terror, Game of Thrones

First the Christchurch, New Zealand, terror attack on two Muslim mosques. Then a Utrecht, Netherlands, terror attack on a tram as a possible payback for the NZ killings. Finally, the people of the Netherlands elect an anti-immigration Senate majority in the Dutch senate.

This chain of events illustrates how European people typically fight back, if given a fair chance: at the polls.

A new populist, Eurosceptic party has achieved the remarkable feat of going from zero seats to becoming the largest single party in the Dutch Senate in a single election, as a young politician likened to a “Dutch Donald Trump” beat seasoned professionals in Wednesday’s poll.

Thierry Baudet’s Forum for Democracy party, which has gained attention for its Euroscepticism, campaigned against open borders politics and against what he calls “climate-change hysteria,” winning 86 seats across the Dutch regions. The victory put his party ahead of even the ruling mainstream conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), which achieved 80 seats. __ Source

The new party opposes “climate change hysteria” as well as current EU immigration policies. This election result owes much to the terrorist Turk who attacked the Utrecht tram earlier in the week.

Thierry Baudet said he was willing to support the establishment parties in government but would demand a “change of course” in certain policy areas, specifically mass migration and government spending on climate change policies. Showing the party’s newfound power, Baudet even demanded the resignation of several key cabinet ministers, including those responsible for home affairs and immigration, in return for support.

__ Breitbart London

The Dutch Senate election illustrates how public sentiment can shift at the drop of a hat. The leader of the new senate majority party, Thierry Baudet, is sometimes referred to as the “Trump of the Netherlands.” But as far as I know, Baudet has never built any hotels, casinos, or golf resorts — nor has he been the host of any reality television shows, according to fact-checkers at the Al Fin Institutes of Responsible Media.

The EU — and Angela Merkel in particular — have built a wheezing and rickety, highly vulnerable Europe. The yellow vest movement in France and electoral reversals in nations scattered across Europe, are signals that Europeans are waking up to their abuse at the hands of their national and EU leaders.

Posted in Europe | Tagged | Leave a comment

Billionaire Entrepreneur Trump and the US Economy

A Savvy Businessman in the Oval Office

What can a savvy entrepreneur like Donald Trump do for the US economy that a proto-socialist closet revolutionary like Barack Obama couldn’t (or wouldn’t)? For starters, unemployment is at a record low for blacks, hispanics, and women. More:

The 3.1 percent Q4-to-Q4 growth rate in 2018 means the United States just had its strongest calendar year of economic growth since 2005, well before the Great Recession.

Where did that growth come from? Consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. economic growth, was robust, driven by the strongest jobs market in decades, the best wage growth in a decade, low energy prices and increased take-home pay resulting from the 2017 tax cuts. With consumer spending up and the Trump administration having reined in unfriendly regulations, business investment was also strong, accelerating in the fourth quarter and laying the groundwork for future economic growth.


There does seem to be a distinct difference between the Obama economy and the Trump economy. Here’s more:

A new poll released by CNN shows that more than 70 percent of Americans believe the economy is in “good shape,” the highest number to say so in over 18 years. That’s good news for businesses and workers who are enjoying a time of record economic growth and prosperity.

… CNN and others in the Washington bubble may be baffled by the president’s impressive economic results, but they shouldn’t be. Donald Trump promised that he would deliver for the average American and that’s exactly what he’s done. And trust me, the president and his team are just getting started.


No one can predict the future. But judging by Trump’s actions of reducing taxes and regulations while boosting job creation, the entrepreneur president seems to have done more for working Americans than Mr. Hopey-Changey empty chair did in 8 years between 2008 and 2016.

It is clear that Obama placed hundreds of onerous and nonsensical regulations in the way of new and established businesses for no logical reason other than political game-playing. Trump has removed as many of these destructive regulatory policies as he could, and continues doing so. The difference is in one of perspective, level of expertise, and ultimate goals. Trump wants Americans to succeed. Obama wanted America to be humbled, forcing radical changes to the foundations of society and government.

Parenthetically, it should be obvious to the attentive that many of the policies being proposed by “new socialist democrats” such as eliminating the electoral college, neonatal infanticide, stuffing the Supreme Court with political activists and lackeys, and other policies to undermine the US Constitution, are merely extensions of the underlying Obama agenda — if Obama could have been elected for another two terms. He just did not have enough time.

Obama Was Not At the Same Level as Trump

It should be clear that Trump is a player, whereas Obama was a willing puppet for the higher level players who jerked his strings. The two men were at different levels of power, although both sat in the same office. Trump writes marching orders, Obama followed marching orders written by others.

Which is just as well, since Obama has to be one of the less intelligent, less perceptive, and least knowledgeable of all the men who served as US President. He was lost without a teleprompter, and the thought of the dimwitted Hawaiian making actual policy should cause most any thinking person to cringe.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Donald Trump, Obama | Tagged | 3 Comments

Leftist Economics: The Magical Accretion of Wealth

As George Orwell observed, “there are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” __

Socialism is once again fashionable in certain circles of American society — particularly in the university, the media, political activist circles, and the deep state. The $100 trillion leftist economic plan being proposed by outspoken socialist politicians within the Democratic Party brings up the great question of socialist economics: “Where does the wealth come from, to be spent and redistributed in this grand $100 trillion plan?”

The Socialist Theory of Wealth: “Accretion

Accretion is the gradual formation of a larger body through natural forces. Like sediment, it simply increases, piling up, layer upon layer. No one does it, it simply occurs.

For America’s new left, this is how wealth occurs in society. It is a natural force, not a manmade one — and certainly not due to capitalism, which they see as taking credit for what would have occurred anyway. To paraphrase a popular vulgarism, for the left: Wealth happens.

… By simply assuming wealth is a “given,” the left can justify their policies with impunity. If wealth will simply accrue, then the question is not whether it will exist and how to create it, but how to allocate it…. Because they believe wealth arises from simple accretion, wealth is fair game for the left. As a result, all their policies target it.

… Subsidization, taxation, and regulation can all be used to redistribute wealth in ways the left believe superior to the working of the private sector. Each becomes means toward the left’s larger goal of income redistribution. And each takes the left further from the free market’s optimal wealth allocation, effectively destroying increasing amounts of wealth as their policies increasingly fall further short of the wealth that would otherwise have existed.

____ JT Young

In my early twenties I passed through a number of political philosophies — from a soft form of socialism to an uneasy form of conservatism to a hard and tough form of libertarianism. The journey was self-propelled, as I pursued the self-study of political economics, and basic economics under a minimal governmental system.

Studying economics under a minimal government is the only true way to understand economics, since one does not have to posit any magical economic forces to create and wisely redistribute wealth. Wealth is not created in the first place unless rational actors interact to generate the wealth (crops, manufactured goods, services of value, etc.) and magnify the wealth through trade.

Wealth must first be generated and expanded before it can be redistributed to citizens and used to grow a monstrous all-consuming bureaucracy. Any system of political economics which depends upon “natural accretion” processes to provide the wealth to run a large and generous welfare state and to drive massive $100 trillion green new deals and other vast and costly monuments to grandiose socialist ideas, will learn the lessons of Zimbabwe and Venezuela — and of the deceased USSR and the many failed nations of the Warsaw Pact.

Sweden is not a socialist country. It tried to be socialist, and it nearly collapsed. Only radical reforms away from suicidal socialism allowed the Swedish nation to survive in its current form. China’s radical retreat from Maoist communism saved the nation from perpetual starvation and poverty.

The myth of Nordic socialism is partially created by a confusion between socialism, meaning government exerting control or ownership of businesses, and the welfare state in the form of government-provided social safety net programs. However, the left’s embrace of socialism is not merely a case of redefining a word. Simply look at the long-running affinity of leftists with socialist dictators in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela for proof many on the left long for real socialism. __

Socialist countries fail. Good intentions and a mystical belief in the magical accretion of wealth will not save any nation foolish enough to neglect the old fashioned, tried and tested ways of creating wealth. These require the free and diverse exercise of intelligently guided labour and trade in its millions of various forms, without government coercion or dictate.

Socialist at Twenty: OK; Socialist at Thirty: Mentally Deficient?

Several thinkers through the years have noted that young people in their teens and early twenties seem drawn to socialism. But the brighter ones eventually notice significant problems with socialism whenever it is exercised in the real world — even if their professors studiously fail to point these things out to them. By the time they reach the age of 30 the brighter ones usually pull away from the suicidal theory of socialism. Good intentions cannot compensate for consistent failure to meet grandiose goals and promises.

Socialism vs. Capitalism?

Socialism is a political ideology with economic overtones. Capitalism is a form of market economics that can be paired with any number of political ideologies — including socialism. So the conflict is never between socialism and capitalism, which can be easily reconciled — although socialism tends to drag the system down eventually beyond the ability of capitalistic mechanism to generate wealth and provide for all the required graft in socialist systems.

Recent and current graduates of most universities — particularly the liberal arts — are poorly prepared to meet the requirements of the real world outside of the binge-fornicate-indoctrinate world of university. When these persons of shrunken mindsets begin influencing national policies, a descent into socialist suicide is not uncommon. The same result can occur when large numbers of immigrants of low IQ are allowed to flood a nation and participate in the political process. Similarly, when a low IQ population that had been kept out of the political process is finally allowed to vote and fully participate, a socialist descent in policies — and a radical decline in infrastructure — is not uncommon (eg South Africa and Zimbabwe).

As the economist Thomas Sowell has observed: “Socialism sounds great. It has always sounded great. And it will probably always continue to sound great. It is only when you go beyond rhetoric, and start looking at hard facts, that socialism turns out to be a big disappointment, if not a disaster.” __

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Economics, Ideology, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Another Perspective on New Zealand Mosque Shootings

Note: In the west, everyone is protected by the rule of law. The confessed perpetrators of the Christchurch outrages should be prosecuted and punished, promptly and as thoroughly as New Zealand law allows.

A Cultural Immune System

The media is awash in self-righteous commentary calling for western “reconciliation” with Islam and for a further disarming of the nations of Europe and the Anglosphere beyond what has been done.

But we should see this tragedy for what it is: A manifestation of the cultural immune system, with human antibodies fighting against perceived foreign invaders. We are familiar with such things when western journalists, tourists, missionaries, diplomats, and others are captured-tortured-murdered inside Islamic nations.

When such outrages occur within Islam, the perpetrators are often celebrated as cultural heroes. And in a sense, they can be seen as cultural antibodies doing their part to rid the “body” of the outside invader.

In the west, perpetrators who murder unarmed noncombatants are punished. In the US, they can be executed. But the workings of the criminal justice systems of the west often take on a secondary role to the workings of the media/political/academic complex of propaganda and attitude engineering.

The media/political/academic complexes have become deadly parasites on the host societies, but masquerade as part of the societies themselves — making themselves impervious to the immune systems of the culture and society. No matter how many mosques are built in Christchurch, they could never do the amount of harm that New Zealand’s own media/politics/academy are doing to the country and its future.

The perpetrators of the Christchurch outrage supposedly believed that they were acting to benefit the culture and society of New Zealand and the west. But their murderous actions are not likely to benefit New Zealand or those engaged in legitimate politics who are trying to limit the number of new immigrants that are unable to assimilate or contribute meaningfully to a productive society. These murders will have the opposite effect to what was supposedly intended.

Acts of outrage are used as excuses for further grabbing of power by governments, as excuses for further distortions of required curricula by universities, and excuses for further warping of media points of view — with the goal of kicking western societies further down the chasm of conformist groupthink and individual powerlessness.

This is what they want to do.

What they should do is to convict and punish the perpetrators as quickly and thoroughly as possible under Kiwi law, and then to publicly contrast how such “cultural immune system antibody” perpetrators are treated in the west, vs. how they have traditionally been treated in the Islamic world (Osama bin Ladn).

The legislatures and courts of every country have to decide where to draw the line between governmental power and personal power. Those who would like to see the balance more in favour of personal power should be willing to take more personal responsibility to see that their side of the issue has nothing to be ashamed of. What happened in Christchurch was shameful and obscene.


It is important to remember that most fatal mosque attacks are perpetrated by Muslims on other Muslims. It is also important to understand that fatal Muslim attacks on Christian churches in Egypt, Iraq, and elsewhere are fairly common. Muslim attacks on Jewish synagogues have been perpetrated with fatal result in countries around the world in modern times.

The Christchurch attack was an unusual, “man bites dog” incident. Still, it may be the harbinger of things to come as Huntington’s “Clash of Cultures” plays itself out in a world where virtually all cultures have grown corrupt and deformed.

Posted in Crime and Punishment, Politics | Tagged | 8 Comments

Nations Ranked per capita GDP 2019

GDP per capita G20 nation rankings 2019

GDP is not the best measure of a nation’s wealth, since the nation that deliberately demolishes a building for no good reason then rebuilds it, will be assigned more points toward its GDP than a nation that simply builds a new building to meet economic demand.

GDP gives full credit to things we would rather not do such as spending money on wars and on disaster recovery. Let a major hurricane hit the USA, and GDP will go up as materials are bought and workforces are put into action to make repairs and restore utilities. Declarations of war also generate lots of economic activity.

GDP includes wasteful and foolish spending the same as wise and frugal spending.

GDP is supposed to exclude spending on illegal activities such as drugs, prostitution, and burglar tools, and some gambling is not counted, but spending on correcting the problems caused by those vices (legal and medical fees, courtroom costs, prison costs, etc.) is counted. __ Good GDP Bad GDP

We should also look at G20 per capita GDP by “PPP,” just to cover that base — although PPP GDP can be tweaked an infinite number of ways to get the numbers you want.

Looking toward the bottom of the rankings, we can see that Russia is doing marginally better than China on a per capita basis — by both simple GDP per capita and by the more byzantine (and thus less meaningful) PPP GDP per capita measurement.

And yet we know that Russia is determined to continue playing the “great power” game as if it were the USSR in the 1960s. Unfortunately for Russia, it is a nation in decline on virtually all possible measures.

Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, its saber-rattling against NATO members, and its continued attempts to destabilize perceived adversaries throughout Europe and North America have had an effect opposite from the one it presumably hoped. Russia now faces a revitalized and more cohesive NATO, which has deployed forces to within 100 miles of St. Petersburg, and has taken a much greater interest in the security of Russia’s neighbors, Georgia and Ukraine…

All of these events have degraded Russia’s security and all of them were avoidable. Each was the result of Russia reacting to potential or theoretical threats as if they were actual threats, and in the process causing actual threats to materialize. The true tragedy of Russia’s great power politics is that this outcome was not determined by the structure of the international system but by the choices Russia itself has made. These choices turned theoretical threats into actual threats, making Russia less secure in the process.


China is a different story, and it is gaining technological expertise in many competitive areas. China’s economy on a gross level is much larger than Russia’s, and although it is currently stumbling, it is still better capable of supporting ambitious military goals than is Russia’s.

… China’s economic growth continues to slow and steadily worsens, and as its financial disruptions become more severe, Chinese leaders, concerned about staying in power, will likely turn abroad to quell their restive populations. Stoking nationalist sentiment at home through belligerence abroad—certainly in the South China Sea, perhaps elsewhere as well—is a powerful way to gin up otherwise waning domestic support. This path is obviously dangerous, paving the way for reckless and impulsive actions. Weiss’s article suggests that perhaps, in such a scenario, the Chinese people would not just take the bait, but also radically support it, because they already endorse a more militaristic foreign policy. That does not bode well for future peace and stability in East Asia. ___

It would not be unlikely to wake to find either Russia or China engaged in a “hot war” on their own doorsteps due to their leaders’ need to ramp up national patriotism in order to cover up domestic problems.

Countries that Should Not be Ignored

China and Russia are the most expansionist of modern nations — expansionist in ways that are likely to lead to regional or world wars sooner or later. But there are a few other nations of potential power which could spoil the power plays of the bully-bear and the bully-dragon.

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are all well placed to put difficulties in the way of Chinese expansion in Asia. India is beginning to see that it cannot afford its traditional corruption-as-usual approach to politics and national defence. Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia are sleepers that could wake up and give significant difficulties to the surly dragon that claims too much.

Russia’s Self-Induced Problems in the West

The arms manufacturing nation Ukraine has been thoroughly alienated by Putin, and Poland has been put on alert to strengthen its defences. All the Scandinavian nations are gearing up to rebuff any amphibious assault by Russian invaders. As a result of Russian posturing, NATO has moved into the Baltic region — training local resistance fighters and keeping a much closer eye on the belligerent bear.

The Real Conflict is Between Russia and China

China Will Reclaim Siberia NYT

This is the real conflict looming on the horizon. Sure, China would like to solidify East and Southeast Asia before seizing the Russian Far East and other resource-rich parts of Russia. But Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the US battle groups are not going to sit still for that. China can certainly not afford the level of escalation that a move in that direction would bring.

This leaves the Russian Far East. The US and Japan would not go to war to defend Russia — Putin has seen to that.

First, China will — using diplomacy, manufactured goods, and cash — regain the parts of Manchuria that were illegally seized by Russia at the end of WWII. Then using economic imperialism China will obtain de facto control of large parts of the Russian Far East.

Then as the demographic crisis leaves Russia without the manpower to defend its vast and porous borders, Russia will have to trade away larger and larger chunks of Siberian real estate.

… the “extinction” of Russia’s population is accelerating, as the adverse demographic trends that have long affected the country continue to rage unabated. __

No overt invasion of a military nature should be necessary. Not at all.

Siberia – the Asian part of Russia, east of the Ural Mountains – is immense. It takes up three-quarters of Russia’s land mass, the equivalent of the entire U.S. and India put together. It’s hard to imagine such a vast area changing hands. But like love, a border is real only if both sides believe in it. And on both sides of the Sino-Russian border, that belief is wavering. __

I never understood why Putin wanted to stir up all that trouble in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, etc. etc. when Russia’s real problem lay on an altogether different point of the compass. China can watch Russia squandering its resources in the west — and even loan Russia cash in exchange for access to Russia’s most advanced military secrets. Putin must seem like such a chump in the eyes of Xi.

Russia and China are Adjacent in per capita GDP Rankings

But only because China’s population is so large and Russia’s population so small. The trajectories of the two nations are quite different — in part because Russia’s leader could not wait to trigger wars with his neighbors, whereas China’s leader is patient enough to try all other avenues of aggressive takeover short of full military invasion.

For Russia, all paths to survival require giving up the “Russian Imperial Idea.” Asia cannot support two great empires in the 21st century, and China’s claim appears far better supported than Russia’s — regardless of per capita GDP rank.

Posted in China, Economics, geopolitics, Russia | Tagged | 3 Comments

Why Are Average Black IQs Lower than for Most Other Groups?

It is imbecilic to assume that two breeding populations exposed to radically different selection pressures over thousands of years, would present with identical aptitude distributions for every physical and cognitive trait.

The Shocking IQ Gap Between Blacks and Others

Human breeding populations on the African continent were exposed to vastly different selection pressures than were breeding populations in northern China. Likewise breeding populations in northern Europe were exposed to hugely different selection pressures than those in Africa, China, or India. Different alleles were discovered to predominate as a result of the differences in breeding populations.

Even within Africa, genetically based differences in aptitude appear: West Africa produces better sprinters, while East Africa produces better distance runners. An entire constellation of genes work together to produce these remarkable regional differences.

Jews are underrepresented among top sprinters and marathoners, but are overrepresented among Nobel Prize winners:

Nobel Prizes[note 1] have been awarded to over 900 individuals,[1] of whom at least 20% were Jews, although the Jewish population comprises less than 0.2% of the world’s population.[2] __ Wikipedia

Just as with physical characteristics such as height or running speeds, human IQ is underpinned by a multitude of genes working in concert to provide higher level cognitive skills.

It is not precisely known why gene constellations for African blacks provide — on average — lower cognitive skills than do the gene constellations for other breeding populations. It is presumed that differences in selection pressures over many thousands of years — not only on different continents, but for different life niches on the same continent — lead to different allele distribution. Differences in allele genotypes lead naturally to differences in performance/appearance/behavioural phenotypes.

Racists Ignore the Data

Scientists study the data on a wide range of natural phenomena, including differences between breeding groups for various behavioural, physical, and cognitive characteristics. When researchers present their data on such topics honestly they are merely behaving as scientists. Those who ridicule them and shout them down without studying the data are the racists and anti-humanists, attempting to define and portray breeding populations without having put in the hard work to describe them intelligently and scientifically.

Similarly, it is cruelly racist to admit black applicants based upon easier admissions criteria than is used to admit applicants from other breeding populations.

When an elite institution relaxes its usual standards to admit more blacks and Hispanics, it all but guarantees that those academically weaker students will have trouble keeping up with their better-prepared white and Asian classmates. Minorities who might have flourished in a science or engineering program at a middle-tier state college are apt to find themselves overwhelmed by the pace at which genetics or computer architecture is taught in the Ivy League. Many decide to switch to an easier major. Others drop out altogether.
__ Jeff Jacoby excerpted

It is racist to reflexively deny differences of aptitude distributions between breeding populations which can be rigorously demonstrated using scientific and statistical methods. And yet it is the scientists who take the trouble to do the rigorous studies who are demonised and often driven out of academia and media in the name of a misnamed “anti-racism.”

Clearly this pious “dumbing down” of academia, media, and politics by posturing and virtue signalling imbeciles will eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. Multiple backlashes based upon valid scientific methods will take place. And the public reaction against those who have fooled them for so long using nothing but emotional rhetoric and naked deceit is apt to be vicious.

Protect yourselves and your families from this “social backlash” phenomenon by understanding the issues early and thoroughly. Here are a few author suggestions for further reading:

Robert Plomin

Richard Haier

Arthur Jensen

Linda Gottfredson

Greg Cochran and the 10,000 Year Explosion

Facing reality head-on is the best way to prepare for an uncertain future. Reality does not care about your feelings or about your sense of fairness.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

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California: Experiment in Extreme One-Party Rule

Venezuela is the poster-boy of socialist policies acted out to their conclusion. So are North Korea and Zimbabwe. And now the US state of California has decided to join the parade of socialist descent, just to show that it can.

[Democrats] now control almost 87% of the state’s congressional delegation—46 of the 53 representatives. Orange County, one of the original strongholds of the conservative movement, is now a liberal bastion. Democrats hold both U.S. Senate seats and all eight elected statewide offices.

__ Charles Kesler

California has become a massive public policy lab, where often-extremist policies are put into place without debate or consideration, and are allowed to play out to the devastation of California residents, businesses, and taxpayers.

It has been widely reported that in the California Legislature Democrats won supermajorities of two-thirds. This understates their control, which is more like three-fourths of each chamber: 28 of 40 Senate seats (with two vacancies), and 61 of 80 in the Assembly.

At the local level, the GOP’s last redoubt, Democrats advanced, too. Earlier this decade, Republicans filled almost half of California’s 2,500 mayoral and City Council seats, which are officially nonpartisan and hence offer camouflage to candidates from an unpopular party. This election flushed them out of that cover. Republicans now hold only 38% of those positions. __ Charles Kesler

With this kind of power, California’s Democrat-Party government can wreak destruction on a scale not known in the US since Civil War days. In the name of social justice and equality of outcome, the Golden State government can act out a utopian play that begins with great promise — but don’t stay till the end if you know what’s good for you.

The promises of California’s government programs are too good to be true, but also, apparently, too attractive to resist. Karl Marx called his kind of socialism “scientific,” as opposed to his predecessors’ “utopian” fantasies. California appears to be pioneering a third kind, which might be called “infantile.” Our Democrats strongly suspect their programs won’t work and know they can’t be paid for—but want them anyway. To analyze that perversity, Freud might be more helpful than Marx. At any rate, California’s experience offers cautionary lessons on the way to 2020. __

We all know that Marx’ “scientific socialism” was just as “utopian” as the policies of earlier theorists that he had mocked. Just as utopian and just as unworkable in practise. But do not tell California’s socialists that their experiments are obviously doomed from the beginning. They are in no mood for sober talk, just when they are shifting into socialist overdrive.

Here’s the deal: In a year and a half, California’s government will look no more competent or masterful than they look now. Instead, the glaring failures of their policies will be even more starkly clear as failures. In fact California will find it difficult to forego a federal bailout over the next two years.

But if throwing California residents, businesses, and taxpayers even deeper down a bottomless fiscal hole is the price for getting a California socialist elected into the Washington DC White House, the wealthy Democrats who control California will let the “little people” pay that price.

People are Moving Out

More businesses every year cannot afford the high price of taxation, regulation, electric power, and virtually every other measure of cost and quality of life in California. And when businesses move out, they take jobs away to elsewhere. For the businesses that California’s government drives completely out of business, that elsewhere is nowhere.

As for ordinary people:

… the high cost of living, traffic and increasing government regulation has created a life they can no longer afford. __

Choosing to move or stay can be difficult. But in the end, the mad hatters of Sacramento seem determined to make the choice to leave ever easier.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Will Skynet Terminators Speak Mandarin Chinese?

Can Communist China Build the End of the World?

If Communist China wants to build the machines that bring about the end of the world, it must have abundant excess capital and it must generate (or steal) tremendous computer savvy. We saw yesterday that China is becoming one of the world leaders in artificial intelligence, but can the dragon afford to build and place the vast constellation of machines needed to bring about the Terminator Apocalypse?

China’s super-rich are beginning to doubt the dragon’s economic future:

China’s superrich are losing their faith in the country’s financial future as fears around the impacts of slowing global trade and slowing economic liberalization cause worry.

A new survey found that just over a third of China’s superrich described themselves as “very confident” about the future of the Chinese economy. That’s less than half the number who said the same two years ago.

Some rich citizens are even scared that China could end up following the same path as the once prosperous Venezuela, according to The New York Times. __ BI

If China’s super-rich are beginning to compare China’s future with Venezuela’s present, confidence levels are definitely down.

China’s Economic Expansion in Better Clarity

Since the global economic deleveraging of 2007-2009 China has been able to maintain GDP growth numbers above 5% by spending exorbitantly on domestic infrastructure — whether the infrastructure was needed or used. But the China bubble approach to prosperity eventually runs out of building space, and to keep the thing going China had to look outward. This led to the “One Belt One Road Project,” sometimes known as the One Yellow Brick Road Project © .

China intended to export its overcapacity in the railway, highway and airport sectors while creating a debt trap to hold other countries hostage, all while supporting corrupt, puppet regimes, of which Venezuela is blood-drenched proof. __ China’s Economic Progress

“Overcapacity” is China’s middle name, at least the middle name for the State Owned Enterprises, or SOEs. For China’s economy to continue to grow above 5% per year, this overcapacity had to be unfettered and unleashed, and allowed to build unlimited infrastructure throughout the world. But OBOR isn’t working out exactly as planned:

In August last year, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced the termination of his nation’s big East Coast Rail Link contract with China after he was given the cold shoulder during a visit to Beijing.

… Now that the Belt and Road Initiative is broken, China is turning to Hong Kong. Once trapped, the “one country, two systems” framework will be put to sleep and Hong Kongers’ assets will dry up.

Worse still, Hong Kong will lose its century-old reputation for financial freedom as it is sacrificed in the competition between the great powers. __ China’s Economy

The author of the piece excerpted above brings up an interesting point. Hong Kong is a massive ball of capital, just sitting and waiting for the hungry dragon to gobble it up. And so it will, and it will pay the price. And Taiwan is simply a larger ball of capital, also “waiting” to be gobbled up by the hungry dragon.

China needs all the capital it can get if it is to build the Mandarin Skynet and initiate the Terminator Apocalypse. And it needs plenty of room to utilise its overproduction. With Mandarin Skynet, the sky is no limit.

Does the 21st Century Belong to China and Mandarin Skynet?

The Communist Party is promising that citizens are all part of a grand collective project, through which they will achieve a vicarious greatness.

… Here is, in essence, what the Chinese Communist Party tells the masses: You may be under constant state surveillance, unable to speak freely, and prevented from forming political associations. But remember that to be Chinese is to be part of the greatest phenomenon in human history, and China’s growing economic and military greatness is your greatness.

The national narcissism that such xenophobic and nationalistic appeals are intended to stoke, however, are a poor substitute for the universally recognized human rights that the Chinese people are being systematically deprived of.

… [Those] who predict the death of democracy because of their inclination to be impressed with China are simply wrong. Democracy is not in decline. Autocracy is. __ 21st Century China

Does the above sales pitch for Chinese collective greatness remind you of an earlier 20th century appeal that had Aryan characteristics? It should. It might also remind you of an appeal to grand imperialism coming out of Moscow even as we read and write this article. Appeals to collective and imperial greatness work for a time, until cracks appear along “sub-collective” lines. Think about it: There is no limit to the ways in which groups of people can be subdivided into sub-groups, sub-sub-groups, etc. And so the grand collectives and great empires collapse and divide.

Can China Build the Mandarin Skynet?

China can only succeed in the grand Mandarin Skynet project if the US goes back to being a navel-gazing international doormat, as with Obama or with a President Hillary. As long as someone like Trump is US President, China will not find it easy going bringing on the Terminator Apocalypse.

But China can always wait, and if little Miss Psycho Puerto Rico with the bulging eyes is any indication of what future US governments will look like, China may just be in luck — if it waits.

Which may mean that you need to start training your dogs to be Terminator detectors, and your children as Terminator resistance fighters. Because if the Terminator Apocalypse does occur in your lifetime, even odds it will speak with a Mandarin accent.

Posted in China | Tagged | 4 Comments

Chairman Xi Wants to Make China the Artificial Intelligence King of the World

China is being saturated with facial-recognition surveillance cameras, so that each citizen can be carefully measured and fitted against a national “social credit system” yardstick. Disloyal citizens will be denied benefits and opportunities given only to their more loyal comrade citizens.

China is becoming more totalitarian almost by the day. To give just one example, everyone’s social media is monitored all the time, and used as the basis for a “social credit score” that goes down if you criticize the regime, and goes up if you flatter it.

This score is then used by Beijing to determine whether you will be allowed to travel outside the country, obtain a low-interest rate loan, or even buy an in-country plane ticket. If your social credit score falls low enough, you will be sent to a re-education camp even if you have not committed a crime. __ 21st Century Belongs China

Behind the controls of these 1984-ish developments will be China’s powerful all-knowing artificial intelligence systems. Ambitious Chinese AI projects are attracting $billions in financing from both inside and outside of China. According to some prognosticators, China has the inside track to global AI leadership:

China will inevitably dominate in artificial intelligence… China is laying the foundation for AI leadership: two-thirds of the world’s investment in AI is in China, and China already boasts a commanding presence in areas such as drone and facial recognition technologies.

… __

The combination of totalitarian police and military domination over its citizens + powerful AI systems to constantly monitor activities and locations of citizens, suggests an Orwellian future for the citizens living under Chairman Xi’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

Mr. Xi will also utilise powerful AI to help government to control information access of China’s citizens.

One thing is certain; the CCP dominated government is using its powers to censor and control the news to try and keep Chinese from seeing what is really happening in China and the rest of the world. This effort works… __ StrategyPage

Ever since the coming to power of Chairman Xi, the Chinese have been tightening controls over activities of both citizens and foreigners alike.

A number of foreigners who had formerly boosted cross-border trade inside China are being shouldered out of China by heavy-handed government intervention. Many other expats are leaving China due to the dark clouds of deepening oppression on the horizon.

If you are planning an extended trip to China, perhaps for business or other work, be sure to do your research on conditions there before committing yourself. The government of China is not beholden to any international treaties or norms, and will do whatever it wants with any foreigners it chooses to make an example of.

As for Chinese artificial intelligence, the reality is of course different from the mainstream news releases. Think back to Japan’s “Fifth Generation Computing Project” of the 1980s, if you want a good historical perspective to the current hype over Chinese AI.

But be assured that China will use whatever power of oppression and imperialism that it can get its hands on — usually stolen, pirated, or otherwise nefariously obtained. Make your plans accordingly.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

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Putin’s Worries Deepen

Russia’s military is not what it should be if Putin wants to project an image of global power. Mr. Putin is worried that Russia is weak, and getting weaker.

The picture that emerges is that Russia’s armed forces are not as capable or modern as its annual Red Square military parades suggest and that its ability to project conventional force is more limited too.

“You need to always distinguish between reality and the shop window,” said Andrei Frolov, editor-in-chief of Russian magazine Arms Exports.

“Red Square is a shop window. It’s like in restaurants in Japan where there are models of the food. What we see on Red Square are models of food, not the food itself.”

Western diplomats and military experts say Putin has long projected an image of military might to strengthen his and Moscow’s image at home and abroad, but that Russia is overhauling its military far more slowly than China. __

In the west, we are familiar with the term “vapour ware,” signifying a wonderful new technological product which only exists in someone’s mind and “on the cloud.” It isn’t real, it’s just a fancy description or an impressive image.

When Russia lost access to Ukrainian turbine engines for ships, planes, helicopters, and tanks — and other advanced Ukrainian technology — the Russian military was thrown into a “world of hurt.” And that makes Mr. Putin very worried, since Russia is still finding it hard, after 5 years, to pull out of the funk.

In case after case, Russia can’t produce the military goods it would like to because many of the components it needs it can no longer obtain because of Western sanctions over Ukraine. __ WOE2

Why Can’t Russia Build Quality Gas Turbines of Large Size?

The Russian economy is struggling to provide all the machines and materials the Kremlin demands, while also providing enough consumer goods and services to keep the people on the street happy. This essential strain — on top of Russia’s demographic worries — make it tough for Russia to innovate technologically on an industrial scale.

Aleksey Mordashov, who owns the St. Petersburg-based Silovye Machiny says, “Russia needs to develop its own gas turbine technology.” At the same time, he is demanding government funding for this development…

… Russian turbine power plant technology exists – although it is not the newest, largest or most efficient: “The question is whether Russia can build on that technology or if new, large-scale gas turbines will have to be developed from scratch.”

… The global market for large-scale turbines is currently in the hands of four major producers: The American company General Electric (GE), Germany’s Siemens, the Japanese company, Mitsubishi Hitachi and Italy’s Ansaldo Energia, which took over part of the French company Alstom’s turbine production.

“Every[new] attempt to enter the market over the last twenty years has failed. __

The article excerpted above discusses the problems Russia is having with large power-plant scale gas turbines. But Russia is having desperate difficulties producing smaller gas turbines for its advanced military machines as well.

Russia’s Economy is Also Hobbled

Great empires must develop strong economic and demographic forces to sustain the imperial drive. Without sustained drive from a growing and vital population plus a vigorous economy, the empire will struggle to sustain military credibility.

Even during the relative boom years of 2000-2007, the size of the country’s economy never matched its geopolitical ambitions; since 2014, the combination of low oil prices and the Western economic sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine have further hobbled Russia’s ability to project power via economic means. __

The Divorce of Russia and Ukraine Was Badly Thought Out

Since the lack of Ukrainian technology is a large part of Putin’s military worries, it is worthwhile to look at the bloody divorce between Russia and Ukraine more closely:

Putin’s bloody invasions of Crimea and east Ukraine created a deep psychological schism in the minds of Ukrainians, who no longer consider themselves to be part of the Russian empire. The Russian people, on the other side of that divide, are struggling with the new reality.

Today’s Ukraine, he writes, “is a poor but viable state, which over the past five years has shown its ability to live without Russia.” Personal ties have weakened, economic dependency has as well, and now Russia is viewed there as another country, hostile rather than part of some larger entity as Russians still continue to view Ukraine.

Ukraine’s economy has “grown for the fourth year in a row, quite slowly but all the same faster” than Russia’s. Its people are no longer going to Russia to find work but rather to Europe. “And the Ukrainian army is not super-strong but is sufficiently capable, and there is not the slightest sign that it will throw down its arms and go home.”

In short, Shelin says, “Ukrainians have left and are living their own life.” They don’t accept the idea anymore that they are anybody’s including Russia’s “younger brother” or “junior partner.”

Unfortunately, Russians from top to bottom have not adjusted to this new reality. The Kremlin and the popular masses view Ukrainians as ungrateful traitors; and as it well known, traitors are hated more than enemies of other kinds. At the very least, it is harder to forgive them and move on. __ WOE2

And So Putin Must Turn to Frenemy China

After Putin stabbed Ukraine in the back in 2014, China quickly moved in to extract as much military technology from Ukrainian industrial plants as possible. To some degree, China was quite successful, since Ukraine was desperate for foreign exchange. And now Russia must turn to China, on bended knee, requesting help with the rebuilding of Russia’s decrepit Soviet-era military.

What a difference 30 years makes!

According to Felgengauer, “in the 1990s, a comparatively poor and backward China had to buy in Russia what it couldn’t get in the West,” although Moscow was not willing to sell everything Beijing wanted. Nonetheless, “much than came from Russia into China.” But today, Russia because of the sanctions imposed on it can’t provide as many high-tech items.

… Russia is now buying military equipment from China that it cannot now produce on the basis of its own resources. “China still needs Russia,” Felgengauer concludes, but talk about equality in their relations is “ever less” true, as the balance shifts away from Moscow. __ WOE2

China’s industrial productivity has been massively boosted by “dual-use” technology transfers from western and East Asian manufacturers. Now it is Russia that must go to China with hat in hand. And Putin worries that one day his bargaining position will be untenable.

More Potemkin Nation

Posted in Putin, Russia | Tagged | 4 Comments

Crime and Punishment in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Today’s Prisons are Barbaric

As horrific as prison conditions in medium and maximum security US prisons are, it is not difficult to find prisons elsewhere with much harsher conditions. The 5 most barbaric prisons in the world can be found in North Korea, Rwanda, Georgia (Black Sea), Venezuela, and Russia — according to this article.

We can use homicide rates as useful proxies for violent crime rates. The map below shows where most of the worst violent crimes take place in the world. People who behave like barbarians outside of prison are not generally likely to clean up their acts when thrown into overcrowded prison facilities with hundreds of like minded men.

And most of these high-violence countries cannot afford to fund prisons that are at least semi-effective at controlling the violent behaviours of inmates. It is no wonder that impoverished high-crime nations have the most barbaric prisons on the planet.

Even China — which claims to have the second-highest national GDP in the world — harvests organs from living political prisoners without anesthesia, leaving them to die without further attention. Now that is rather barbaric!

North Korea likewise imprisons large numbers of prisoners of conscience, many of whom never again see the outside of prison walls. Venezuela and Cuba, of course, have worked hard to join this elite rank of barbarians — seemingly without any real effort on their part.

What Can We Do to Replace These Barbaric Places?

For political hellholes such as China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, and to some degree Russia, there is nothing that we in the west can do to humanise their world-class barbarism. But prisons in Europe and the Anglosphere have nothing to brag about if the truth were told. As violence-prone, low-IQ immigrants flood into Europe and the Anglosphere, the need for more prison space grows more acute — which just makes the entire problem worse. There is no way to build enough conventional prisons to meet demand, there are not enough people in society who could serve as effective custodial guards and staffers for this rising tide of incarcerated.

Of course lax immigration, weak border enforcement, and “sanctuary” policies are increasingly to blame for the rise of crime in Europe and the Anglosphere — whether governments and police forces care to admit it or not. Nevertheless, the problem of violent crime is being imported at an accelerating rate, and something has to be done if normal people want to be able to live normal and productive lives — building an abundant and expansive future for our progeny and their descendants.

A Few Ideas

1. Deport foreign nationals who are habitual criminals
This policy should be automatic in any civilised nation, but we see criminal justice and legal systems from Sweden to the US to the UK to Germany refusing to take this common-sense first step. Citizens of those countries are paying the price.

2. Perpetrators of particularly heinous crimes should receive expedited trials and prompt execution.
This should apply to criminals regardless of race, religion, sex, IQ, or psychiatric diagnosis.

3. The concept of “penal colonies” needs to be re-worked and put into practise for those who cannot ever be released, but are not eligible for deportation or execution.
Some readers may recall that Australia was once home to a large penal colony. As an alternative to hanging, transportation to Australia for less dangerous prisoners seems to have worked out rather well in the long run. But where on Earth could modern “lifers” be placed where they would be no threat to peaceable persons?

That is a good question, which we will be exploring in more detail over the coming months and years.

4. For those who will eventually be released to live among the general population, better forms of behavioural modification are needed in order to minimise the likelihood of repeat offenses and incarcerations.
Behavioural modification is where artificial intelligence and advanced cognitive science come in. Different criminals have varying motivations for committing their crimes. Some are too impulsive and are easily led into offending by their associates. Some are prone to fits of violent rage if pressed or crowded. Some seem to have nothing better to do than to steal a car, and many just need to steal to feed a drug habit.

The key word for many criminals is “habit.” And so it is the job of cognitive scientists and advanced artificial intelligences to come up with almost fool-proof behavioural modifications capable of substituting “less bad habits” for the “criminal habits” that keep these offenders so often in front of a judge.

Of course it should go without saying that in lieu of effective behavioural mods, it may become necessary to utilise “exile” for many of the relatively non-violent offenders — the number of criminals is becoming so large and prisons becoming so overcrowded, thanks to immigration policies.

I Am Most Interested in Behavioural Modification and in Advanced Methods of Exile

If behavioural modifications are good enough, the criminal behaviour itself is quenched, albeit replaced by other behaviours which may not be particularly attractive or savoury. No matter. As long as they are not hurting innocents or disrupting normal life for non-criminals. We need to become far more sophisticated with our behavioural modifications and engineered incentive structures.

Exile, or penal colonies, is a matter of great interest to me as a means of alleviating overcrowding in conventional prisons for those serving life sentences. Finding a suitable location is a significant obstacle, but failing the discovery of an undiscovered continent much like Australia, we must work with what we have and what we can engineer.

Antarctica is indeed a continent that is mostly unused for human habitation. But treaties governing the use of Antarctica by the nations of Earth may hamper its use as a site for penal colonies.

The oceans are another matter, and it is said that the US already uses ships as prisons for high value terrorists. It should not be difficult to envision custom-made seasteads which could serve as either effective penal colonies, or less imaginatively as floating prisons in international waters. But floating prisons require the same kind of oversight and civilian infrastructure that land-based prisons do. So keep seasteads as a last resort except as unguarded penal colonies monitored from a distance.

It is possible that some arrangement could be made to use the Greenland ice cap for several dispersed dome-covered penal colonies. Conditions outside of the camp would be fatal much of the year, making escape less likely.

Seabed penal habitats would likewise be difficult to escape, depending upon nearness to inhabited land masses. Simple acclimation to breathing air of higher barometric pressure makes escape less likely for all but the most diving-savvy exiles.

Eventually, space-based penal colonies will be orbited around the sun — in orbits much like the one that Elon Musk’s “Starman” was placed in. By the time they return to this neighborhood, the colony should be ready for a re-fit and a new “crew.” Space science and medicine could learn a lot from such sol-orbiting penal colonies.

It is None too Soon to Plan Better Prison Solutions

Today’s prisons are overcrowded and barbaric. The problem with most research into the future of prisons is that such research takes too little notice of the effect of habitual crime on normal society, while conveniently disregarding the innate barbarism of overcrowded prisoners placed together in an irrational manner — a process almost custom-made for violent gang structures and the corruption of custodial guards and other prison staff.

Capital punishment is vastly under-utilised for the worst of the repeat killers and child killers and mutilators. As long as such barbarians are alive there is always the chance that they may be released or escape to rejoin the general population. The blame for any further death and mayhem from such persons rests entirely on the shoulders of the systems and individuals that take such gambles with the behaviour of the homicidal unpardonables.

The first two recommendations in the above list — deportation of foreign nationals, and prompt executions of the worst of the worst — are keystones to allowing any genuine and lasting mitigation of the disastrous overcrowding of prisons and worsening endangerment of public areas.

This issue is too crucial to leave in the hands of politicians, activists, academics, and journalists. The proliferation of sanctuary cities where public defecation and littering with used hypodermic needles are common, should be testimony to the need for strong and decisive public involvement in future planning of solutions to the barbaric prison overload.

Important afterword:

The ability of brain imaging and brain monitoring technologies to reveal underlying states of mind, emotional content, and underlying “mind pictures,” casts a different light on the investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial enterprises.

Crime hoaxes — such as we have seen from Jussie Smollett, Tawana Brawley (with the help of Rev. Al Sharpton), and many others — will not occupy so much of the public and news media’s time when high tech lie detectors can reveal the hoax almost immediately.

Likewise, criminals who can easily defeat modern polygraphs will find it much more difficult to defeat ever newer generations of “mind readers” that can expose the very emergence of trains of thoughts along with their underlying emotional and visual foundations.

Today’s technology is light years ahead of the primitive polygraph, but still lags behind what is needed to provide a foolproof report of brain intent.


The second article seems to open the doors to an entirely new approach to seeing what the brain is actually “up to.” With time, even better tools are likely to emerge and be perfected to the necessary task at hand.

Posted in China, Crime | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Should Andy McCabe be Executed for Treason?

If So, Perhaps He Should Not Be Alone

Disgraced former FBI Director Andy McCabe confessed on the air that he conspired with other government officials to remove a constitutionally elected President of the United States from office. This conspiracy has been labeled treasonous by a number of people, including the US President himself.

Now that a genuine US Attorney General has finally been confirmed, we should be able to form a better picture of this conspiracy as it unfolded — beginning under US President Obama, intensifying with the election of Donald Trump, and rising to a boil after the inauguration of President Trump. Here is what apparently happened:

…senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and other national intelligence organizations had repeatedly lied under oath, misinformed federal officials, and meddled in partisan political matters illegally and unconstitutionally and had effectively tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election, and then undo its result by falsely propagating the first narrative.


More background

The behaviour of these officials rises to abuse of power, and no doubt involved the breaking dozens of laws, regulations, and departmental procedures and guidelines. But does their behaviour in aggregate rise to the level of capital treason?

The new US Attorney General will need to decide whether to appoint another special counsel, and will need to initiate a number of official justice department investigations of the individuals pictured above — and their associates, go-betweens, and media contacts.

From that starting point, it is a long ways to laying charges of capital treason and seeing the charges through to a conviction and final punishment. The odds are long for such a thing ever to happen.

If the American people were ever able to see past the media smokescreen to see the facts of the case clearly, public opinion would quickly swing toward a severe punishment of the conspirators.

The image below provides a slightly more comprehensive map of some of the conspirators involved in the combination of an attempt to illegally influence a US election, followed by an attempted unconstitutional removal of a duly elected President of the United States.

Attorney General William Barr will decide how far to prosecute the cabal of conspirators who attempted to rise above the limits which US laws and the US Constitution had placed upon them.
Incriminating evidence

To answer the question in the title, “Should Andy McCabe be executed for treason?” Probably not. But he should be sentenced to serve serial terms as a common labourer in North Korea, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Iran, Cuba, and other rathole nations where the rule of law is as lightly disregarded as it was by McCabe’s own FBI and by Obama’s Department of Justice, CIA, and NSA.

This kind of abuse of governmental office should be harshly punished.

More, including collusion of the media with the coup-conspirators

More on The Tangled Web

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics | Tagged | 8 Comments

The World’s Stupid Misapprehension of China

To understand the prospects for today’s China, one must see the obstacles and setbacks to China’s goals domestically (see video) and overseas via the OBOR plan. Do not listen to official CCP spokespersons or the well-paid overseas China sockpuppet “journalists” and academics who try to smooth over China’s difficulties. Look at the larger ongoing frames in the moving picture.

China is a tragedy in motion, with its commercialised death camps for political prisoners and religious prisoners of conscience — who are used as organ donors for China’s lucrative organ transplant industry.

China is toxic and corrupt from top to bottom. Cheating is ubiquitous, for China’s young are being taught by their “lost generation” grandparents that personal effort does not pay, so there is no shame in cheating or in any other form of dishonesty or corruption.

China’s Lost Generations

Lost generations are breaks in the line of tradition being passed from father to son, mother to daughter, productive society to each successive generation. During lost generations, a “Lord of the Flies” milieu arises and dominates in large patches and swathes of area, and precious wisdom and traditions are lost or simply cast aside.

The age of the most recent “lost generation” in China is putatively from 1966 thru 1976, but the dire effects of “loss of human capital” have cascaded down through to the younger generations of today. A deeper reading of the ’66 thru ’76 “lost generation period” reveals the deep upswelling of political fanaticism and rural anti-westernism that fueled that debacle. It was only with the death of Chairman Mao in 1976 and a subsequent reevaluation of China’s future by Deng, that China was able to take steps to break the destructive cycle — but what if it is already too late?

Even earlier “lost generations” from the great famine of 1959-1961 (loss of roughly 60 million) and from the earlier Chinese civil war and the even earlier occupation by Japan, revealed an almost unbroken 30 years of Chinese tribulation from 1931 thru 1961.

The 1959-1961 “great famine” was merely the early high point of Mao’s attempt to purge any taint of westernism from China, while at the same time boosting industrial production in China’s factories beyond that of the UK. Mao’s flail for whipping China into shape resulted in roughly 60 million corpses over the short time period before wiser voices could very carefully moderate Mao’s political enthusiasm.

All of these things should be taken into account when assessing the state of China today. The earlier age of British and European domination of parts of China such as Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, etc. may be remembered by today’s elite Chinese party officials as a “great humiliation,” but the actual lingering effects of European colonisation of small parts of China are very positive when compared to the lingering effects of Japanese occupation — and especially when compared to the damage done by Chairman Mao and his gang of communist dementors.

We are told that today’s communist party of China is a milder and less bloodthirsty master of the Middle Kingdom than earlier versions. But the CCP’s Bloody Harvest of prisoners of conscience and its violent persecution of religious practitioners and political dissenters suggests that Chairman Xi and Chairman Mao are made from the same cloth.

And something tells me that we have not seen the last version of China’s “lost generations” as long as the CCP holds an iron grip around the throat of the Chinese people.

How does a “lost generation” affect subsequent generations of Chinese? It creates a dark and stagnant wake that spreads behind it to poison an excessive portion of future generations. And when lost generations are piled atop lost generations, over and over again, the hidden brutality and its savage and intemperate effects will emerge from time to time to puzzle outside observers who never learned to pay attention.

China is a vast field of mines, buried at land and floating submerged at sea. So beware.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood © .

A bonus nutshell look at OBOR’s essence:

… OBOR has created negative effects in foreign countries, and led to neglect of China’s domestic consequences including corruption, financial deficiency, the rise of xenophobia, among others…

“After terms are reached with a host country, funds are transferred directly into the Beijing-based bank accounts of China’s state-owned enterprises, which build the project often with Chinese materials. This is a model Beijing has employed extensively in Africa,” claims the author in the piece.

Quoting an article published by Foreign Policy, it brings forward the fact that although most of the cash will never leave China, the sheer quantity of equipment and materials, such as steel, co ..

… “If Beijing continues the expansionist strategy, it would have to spend more on the military build-up to protect its overseas interests However, in the current economic situation, further increasing military spending means cuts to education, social welfare or other public spending,” __

OBOR is a debt trap for any foreign nation it touches, and a perpetual fount of corruption for China. It is just another means of artificially propping up China’s GDP of grand capital misallocation, while creating a false overseas impression of economic prosperity and industrial competence which are both unfounded.

OBOR is Chairman Xi’s flagship project. Ugliness inevitably ensues.

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