The Bottleneck: Why Lithium Mines Cannot Keep Up

Every optimistic prediction about the growth of the EV market is a lie. It takes almost 10 years for a lithium mining project to be fully developed, and even if all current projects are completed on time there will be a serious shortfall of lithium before 2030.

“Unfortunately, battery capacity can be built much faster than lithium projects,” said Joe Lowry, president of consulting firm Global Lithium. “The lack of investment in lithium capacity over the past five years will extend the supply shortage.”

The situation is so critical that Lowry didn’t want to make demand forecasts beyond 2027 —the supply-demand imbalance could be so serious that supply might end up capping demand, so forecasting beyond that could be misleading, he said.

“Even well-capitalized major lithium companies have struggled to meet their expansion targets,” Lowry said. “New producers have seen their project timelines extended in many cases due to Covid and related supply chain issues along with their ‘learning curves’ OEMs and battery producers that assumed ‘market forces’ would ensure adequate battery raw materials are finally taking note of the supply-demand issue but much too late to solve the problem in the near to mid-term.”

The outlook described by Lowry is confirmed by Platts’ comparison between the expected supply and the expected demand until 2030 (see infographic below), which shows that supply should not reach the projected 2 million mt demand by the end of the decade.

A Shortfall of Mined Lithium

Alternative battery technologies will also take at least 10 years to develop, probably longer. That means that other kinds of batteries will not be relieving the lithium shortage any time soon.

It is time for governments to back off of their EV mandates and their internal combustion engine prohibitions. Either they let the markets and the consumers make these choices for themselves, or governments will create major instabilities and hardships with their heavy-handed — but empty-headed — overreach.

This is not a declaration of “peak lithium” by any means. The lithium is there. But it takes time and a lot of water and dirty work to make it ready to turn into batteries for EVs and electronics products.

First of all, about 80 percent of all lithium in the world is sourced and processed in China. Strained international relations or unforseen events in this region could cut off the U.S.’s lithium supply. To prevent this, the U.S. has declared lithium an essential resource and has been exploring domestic alternatives which are concentrated in California and Nevada. As setting up lithium extraction sites is a slow process, the U.S. is relying heavily on metal from Australia and South America at the moment…

Environmental issues 

Some current lithium extraction mechanisms are detrimental to the environment: the process typically requires massive resources, which contribute to water, land, and air pollution. The two main forms of lithium mining today are open pit/hard rock mines and brine extraction sites. Open-pit mines are essentially large holes in the ground – aka, the image that typically comes to mind when you think ‘mine.’ These excavation sites release dangerous chemicals including arsenic into the surrounding groundwater and are incredibly resource-intensive, releasing 15,000 kilograms (kg) of carbon dioxide emissions per one ton of lithium extracted – not quite as environmentally friendly as we’d like to see! 

On the other hand, brine extraction operates by pumping lithium-rich water out from under hypersaline lakes and filtering the metal out. This method is even more water-intensive than the hard rock mine, and drains water out of already drought-plagued regions while polluting the local aquifers. Check out our article on why lithium mining is so controversial to learn more about the problems with current extraction processes.

Lithium Production Problems

On Other Topics: Remember Peak Oil?

If you believe in “peak oil” now, you probably also believed in “peak oil” 20 years ago, in 2003. The early 2000s were a golden age for peak oil, with lots of books being written on the topic, and many speakers roaming the world giving talks and seminars as experts on why the world as we knew it was soon coming to an end.

But there have not been a lot of new converts to “peak oil” since the onset of the 2010s and the coming of American shale oil & gas. For one thing, the US reversed its decline in oil production in dramatic fashion, becoming for a time the world’s largest oil producer once again. For another thing, the predicted collapse of Saudi Arabian oil fields never happened, destroying one of the main themes of the “peak oil” orthodoxy.

Anyone who was paying attention knew what was going to happen, even 15 or 20 years ago. But human beliefs have very little to do with paying attention or thinking carefully. Back then, “peak oil” was a hot topic that fit the dominant narrative, and so it was easy for drifting minds to latch on to the idea, and to feel important for believing in it.

These days climate apocalypse is the “end of the world du jour.” True believers and alarmist promoters of climate apocalypse only wish that “peak oil” were a problem. But most cannot bring themselves to reach out to another apocalyptic belief, when the one they are riding on seems quite sufficient for now. It gives their lives a sense of meaning.

Links Between Viral Illness and Neurodegenerative Disorders

New research looking at health records from nearly half a million people has identified 22 different associations between viral infections and neurodegenerative diseases. Influenza, encephalitis and other viral infections all were linked to increased rates of brain diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and MS.

The idea that viral infections can play a role in the development of neurodegenerative disease isn’t particularly new. Back in the 1950s microbial infections were suggested to be the source of many neurodegenerative diseases, with herpes in particular hypothesized to be deeply associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.

Although the idea sat on the fringes of neuroscience for decades, it has recently been drifting into the mainstream after a handful of key studies uncovered strong, novel evidence. In particular, a study published early in 2022 presented robust causal evidence linking the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) to infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

New Atlas

The above “research” is actually a study in data mining, or statistical fishing for associations in a database ocean. Such studies can be useful for planning epidemiological and eventually clinical research which can help to establish “causal” proof. Genuine research on people is very expensive, so computer association studies can help to winnow out avenues of study which might be more fruitful.

If You Made a Perfect World, Would You Put Black People In It?

In a virginal perfect world, it pays to be very selective when populating it with people. Rough statistical stratification on the basis of crude racial categories could easily lead you astray, if you want the best and most promising young population for your new world. You would have to look at new immigrants on a case by case basis, and select carefully on a broad range of categories.

As the human populations of Earth diverged and evolved separately over tens and hundreds of thousands of years, different ensembles of gene alleles served to embody fitness and to facilitate survival. The mean IQ of a group of Igbo tribesmen from Nigeria may be roughly the same as the mean IQ of a group of German townsmen, but the specific gene ensembles used by the different groups to get the same mean IQ is apt to be different. The same is true for comparisons of high IQ groups from Northern Europe with other selected groups from East Asia or South Asia with equivalent mean IQs. The IQ may be the same, but the gene assemblies utilized to achieve those IQs will be different.

We will learn a great deal more about the different high IQ ensembles of genes used by different divergent breeding populations as we grow beyond current radical left censorship and groupthink in “science.” Much of the research in the meantime may have to be done under the radar.

Russia After Putin: What Are the Possibilities?

Now that Russia has been so greatly damaged and diminished by President Vladimir Putin’s reckless war of choice in Ukraine, what might the country’s future hold? Plausible scenarios range from a power grab by a hard-line security adviser like Nikolai Patrushev to an election victory by a dissident like Alexei Navalny. But one thing is almost certain: Putin’s regime will not survive the war he started.

One Viewpoint

Hitler’s regime did not survive the war in Europe that Hitler started. The same is true for the militaristic government of Japan that started the war in Asia and the Pacific. Napoleon did not survive his wars for long after exile on St. Helena. Wars of conquest trigger unpredictable instabilities and counter-alliances which often lead to the collapse of the invading entity.

In Putin’s mind, Ukraine was already conquered before his army had even crossed international borders. He had already worked it out in his mind, and he could see no problems whatsoever in taking and raping the country and its inhabitants. Almost a year after his fateful decision, and it is not clear whether Putin is even alive. But as long as the Kremlin has serviceable doubles to stand in for the little guy, Russia’s leaders will not have to face the decision considered in the article linked above.

China is looking on with a proprietary gleam in its eye

In Limbo, Waiting for Massive Disruption

As long as the western world is dominated by a billionaire-financed top-down suffocating stagnation of ideological left censorship and “social action” driven suicidal policies, the globe will suffer from a chaotic absence of wisdom and direction. Regional conflicts such as the Putin invasion, a possible invasion of Taiwan by China, and a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, will interfere with critical supply lines of energy, fertilizer, highest quality semiconductors, and minerals including lithium, among other things.

Education, media, entertainment, and high tech corporations have joined governments in the ideological twist to left radical groupthink as a pretense for policies of ultimate self destruction. All financed by billionaire opportunists who own the media/corps and control governments and academia and believe they will benefit from whatever is left on the other side of the crossing.

Disruption — the kind that comes from the creative destruction arising from innovation in a free society with property rights and rule of law — is the friend of an expansive and abundant future. But it is the enemy of those status quo overlords who are riding the froth of their own making. From disruption can arise something newer and more clever. And perhaps less corrupt than our current overlords.

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

More: It’s still cheaper to drive a gasoline powered car The farther you drive, the more you will thank the stars for petrol power.

Electric vehicle follies

Electric planes vs reality:

Using estimates for current battery densities and plane weight restrictions, the analysts estimated that 19-seat battery-powered aircraft would have a maximum cruise range of about 260 km (160 miles), significantly less than the company’s claim of 250 miles.

… Reserve requirements could severely limit the true range of electric planes. A plane needs extra capacity to circle the airport for 30 minutes in case it can’t land right away, and it must also be able to reach an alternative airport 100 km (60 miles) away in an emergency.

When you take all that into account, the usable range of a 19-seat plane goes from about 160 miles to about 30 miles. For a larger aircraft like the 100-seat planes that Wright is building, it’s less than six miles. 

Posted in Energy, Natural Resources, Peak Oil | Leave a comment

Does Global Control of Lithium and Cobalt Supplies Give China a Stranglehold Over Elon Musk and the Human Future?

The Great Lithium Squeezehttps://www.visualcapitalist.com/sp/mapped-ev-battery-manufacturing-capacity-by-region/

Australia is the largest mining producer of lithium, but China buys 90% of Australia’s production. China turns most of its bulk lithium imports into lithium batteries for EVs and other uses such as electronics. Lithium mining and refining is a very dirty business, which is probably why US lithium production declined from 37% down to only 1% since 1995.

For what it’s worth, production of lithium batteries creates a massive carbon footprint. So if you buy one of those flashy EVs, you are already well down the carbon hole — and that may not have been your intention. It is likely you will continue dropping down that hole as you drive and recharge your EV, since most of the world’s electricity comes from burning fossil fuels and will continue to do so into the indefinite future — regardless of “green” claims to the contrary.

Lithium Production Global

Elon Musk Building Lithium Battery Superfactories But is Running Behind

Elon Musk said that Tesla plans to produce at least 100 GWH/year 4680 batteries from the new Nevada factory and this could reach 500 GWH/year. This will be part of Tesla expanding 4680 battery production to 1000-3000 GWH/year. This will be in addition to batteries from other suppliers like CATL.

Brian Wang’s NextBigFuture

Giant Chinese EV manufacturer BYD has grown to its huge size within China by bringing all vertical component manufacturing in-house.

In-house manufacturing of key components has become one of the biggest trends in China’s EV industry over the past year, as many automakers look for ways to reduce supply chain vulnerability amid persistent chip shortages and the surging cost of battery materials. Among them, BYD is widely seen as a role model for this vertical integration strategy: the automaker builds its own supply chain and performs most of the activities required to bring its vehicles to market.

Already the world’s second-biggest battery maker and a major domestic supplier of power semiconductors for automobiles, BYD is now looking to expand production capacity significantly and accelerate the development of new products. Founder Securities expects BYD’s capacity to increase to 445 GWh-worth of batteries to close the gap with dominant player CATL by the end of 2023.

China EV War

Korean giant LG is currently either #1 or #2 in global lithium battery production. China’s CATL is also either #1 or #2 lithium battery maker globally, depending on who counts the batteries. Samsung, Panasonic, Tesla, and a few additional manufacturers from Japan, Korea, India, and the US, are the primary competitors to the Chinese giants. But since China controls most of the world’s lithium (and cobalt via Congo), Chinese manufacturers currently have the inside track to most of the world’s refined lithium production.

The cost of refined lithium has been skyrocketing over the past several years, while the cost of the lithium batteries themselves has been falling — and is expected to fall another 40% in the next few years, unless China commits suicide by invading Taiwan.

Tesla Scaling to Produce Up to 3,000 GWh of Lithium Batteries per Year

As noted in Brian Wang’s article on Tesla’s new megabattery factory in Nevada, Elon Musk hopes to produce up to 3,000 GWh capacity of lithium batteries per year, in combined Tesla output. Chinese battery maker BYD will try to do at least as well if it can, as will CATL. China intends to stay ahead of Tesla, Samsung, Panasonic, and the new Indian producers of lithium batteries.

It is a challenge for lithium battery manufacturers to procure lithium of sufficient purity and quantity to make good lithium batteries that perform well and will not catch fire and explode. As production of lithium batteries continues to rise dramatically, supplies of high quality lithium salts will become scarcer and more expensive, in a supply/demand sense.

Wars are Bad for International Mineral Markets

Russia’s senseless invasion of Ukraine in February of 2022 has led to a very expensive war in terms of economic and manpower costs for all the countries involved. The war has also impinged on multiple important global markets, including hydrocarbons, fertilizers, and minerals like cobalt, used for lithium battery manufacture. The loss of Russian cobalt further centralizes control of cobalt in China’s hands, since China controls most of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s cobalt production.

As the US signals a global reduction in international policing, we can expect more regional wars which will impinge on minerals production, and affect global markets in many other ways. But it is China’s upcoming decision whether to invade Taiwan, which will have the largest impact on the minerals utilised in lithium battery production, as well as the sheer numbers of batteries that will be manufactured and sold on global markets.

Several alternative approaches to EV battery production — including among many others sodium-ion, fluoride-ion, solid state batteries, non-cobalt batteries, and lithium phosphate batteries — will complicate the picture, and possibly create new niches for startup battery and EV makers.

Government regulations can either help dynamic markets or — more often — hamper markets considerably. In the US, the suffocating effect of tight labor and environmental laws, combined with mandates for manufacturers to utilise domestic mineral resources, will make it almost impossible for domestic manufacturers to compete with Chinese and Indian competitors — unless, of course, China goes to war.

Somewhere, a Disruptive Technology May Pop Up Anytime

Suppose tomorrow, someone in Ireland or Switzerland announced the invention and development of a new battery technology for EVs with 10 times the energy density of lithium, and 20 times the number of charge-discharge cycles, and at least 10 times the projected lifetime compared to lithium — at half the cost. If the newcomers could scale up economical production within a few years, soon all the mighty plans and investments of Tesla, CATL, BYD, and the others in the old technology, would be wasted.

That is the wonder and the tragedy of capitalism. The old must be displaced by the new, if the new is better, more affordable, safer, cleaner, and more durable.

That kind of creative destruction is inherent in capitalism, and it is what we are hoping to see with new generation nuclear fission, and with the newer small scale startup nuclear fusion.

But a flood of disruptive innovation requires an underlying society with basic freedoms, property rights, and the rule of law. Our new left radical overlords in charge of most western governments, media, academia, corporations, and other large social institutions, do not like to allow common people to have the freedoms that have brought us the sci-tech innovations of the past 200 years.

As a hobby, Elon Musk bought Twitter and made the company into a free-speech zone for the first time. That is a step in the right direction. There is still a long ways to go.

As for electric cars, there are many built-in limitations to the ability of EVs to overtake internal combustion driven vehicles. Without government mandates forcing the issue, it would take at least 20 years for EVs to become a majority mobility type. And that would require significant improvements to vehicle range, battery lifetime, charging infrastructure, and battery cost/safety.

In extreme weather, an EVs range can be cut by 50%, which is unacceptable in an already short-range vehicle. The time it takes to go any distance cross country is hell on travelers.

As for those who keep talking about battery powered aircraft for freight and passengers, you are simply ignorant of the concept of energy density and the limitations it puts on working aircraft.

The most important thing needed for a rational adoption of EVs on a larger scale, is new generation nuclear fission and nuclear fusion on a large scale to provide abundant electric power that is reliable. Those who believe that more wind & solar energy will help the situation have not done their homework, but are likely paying for their sloppy mode of information acquisition in many other aspects of their lives already.

The video below is quite optimistic about renewables, while admitting that they are pretty much crap.

Posted in China, Elon Musk, Energy, Transportation | Leave a comment

Will Canada Disintegrate? Peter Zeihan Weighs In

In the video above, Peter Zeihan is interviewed by a Vancouver-based investor who is especially curious about the future of Canada. Peter takes 15 minutes to lay the demographic groundwork for his free-ranging geopolitical discussion — which just happens to contain some pessimistic predictions for Canada.

Canada has been under disintegrative stress for decades, and when the central government is controlled by a left radical child man incompetent, the stresses only get worse.

Alberta wants to leave federation. Western Canadians have a desire to separate from the East. Quebec separatism is now revitalized. Under this  incompetent pseudo-dictator, Canadian society is more fragmented than at any other time in modern history.

Fruits of Justin Trudeau

Canada has a large number of Ukrainian emigrants and their descendants, up to 2 million. Canada has been supplying Ukraine with a wide range of aid to resist the Russian invasion. Over 30,000 foreign nationals are fighting for Ukraine, one of the biggest cohorts is from Canada.

Meanwhile, in Russia it is still not clear whether Putin is still alive — or whether his large cadre of body doubles is subbing for him while his body is decomposing. In fact, if you read the article linked here with the assumption that Putin is dead and others are now making the decisions he would have made, it makes a lot more sense.

Putin’s ill-conceived invasion is eating up young Russian men at a rate up to 1,000 per day at worst, and 500 a day at best. Russia needs to find about 5 million healthy young men to complete its invasion of Ukraine, while also defending the massive land borders of Russia from those — including China — who are beginning to see an opportunity to pounce while Russia is occupied in Ukraine.

Russia’s crisis soldier shortfall

Trying to expand Russia’s military, but failing

Ukraine to boost its arsenal of heavy weapons

The last time Russia called up 300,000 men for mobilization, a million young Russian men — its best and brightest — flocked out of the country like migrating geese. As Russia moves to raise the age limit for mobilization, expect another million to fly the coop.

Several months ago, Putin said the the death of 500,000 Russian military men was an acceptable loss, as long as it gained him the country of Ukraine and its 140 million people to add to the Russian population. The calculation has likely risen to allow for at least a million dead Russian fighting men. Perhaps more, depending upon how long Russia thinks it can keep it up.

For those countries that are aiding Ukraine, the awareness is dawning that the only alternative to supporting Ukraine is to let Russia steamroll over the country, then continue to mop up Finland, the Baltics, Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova. Belarus, of course, would cease to exist as a nation outside of Russia.

Realistically, given Russia’s poor performance in Ukraine, it is likely that the ultimate end result of western capitulation to Russia, is a global nuclear war. Because Putin — or whoever takes his place — would never be satisfied with Ukraine and Moldova. They want the whole ball of wax, and the ball of wax does not want to be absorbed into the criminal republic of Russia.

Ironic that those who want to bend over and drop their pants to Russia in the name of preventing a nuclear war, are the people who would most assuredly bring such a devastation about.

China’s Decline and Reglobalization

Things are shaking up in China now, as its population has begun the great decline, and the drop in China’s working age population really takes off. Global companies are starting to “reglobalize” out of China this time as labor costs in the middle kingdom are no longer competitive.

We now see almost daily headlines reporting on large enterprises having big shakeups in production lines. Just last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple AAPL +3.1% has directed it’s long-time contract manufacturing partner, Foxconn, to shift production out of China and to other regions of the world for certain product and component lines. This is decentralization in the world of bits, this is re-globalization.

It’s not just the world’s largest enterprises that are reeling from these waves and ripples. Direct to consumer startups like Vela Bikes – an e-bike maker – recently made news in moving production for one of it’s product lines out of China and to Detroit (the news is replete with examples like this), and home goods brand Simple Modern has proven that high grade consumer plastics can be manufactured in mass, domestically.

… The next 20 years may present the best opportunity that the United States and its allies have to re-capture production capacity. The embers of a great industrial base are still burning, the US has an opportunity to stoke the flames and revive the vim and vigor of American industriousness.

Industrialization 3.0

If China makes the fateful decision to invade Taiwan, it will sound the starting gun for an outright race of international manufacturers to get the heck out of China. Given that global markets are likely to collapse with a Taiwan invasion, it is not clear whether those companies that wait until then to exit China, will be able to get the capital to re-build elsewhere.

Posted in Canada, China, Peter Zeihan, Putin | Leave a comment

Surviving a Fake Climate Apocalypse is Going to be Harder than Surviving a Real One Would Have Been

We are supposed to be undergoing a genuine climate apocalypse, according to the corporate media mainstream information gatekeepers. According to these highly placed persons of limited intellect and even more limited knowledge, we have been on the verge of — or experiencing — a genuine climate apocalypse for over 50 years. And the hits just keep on coming….

Predictions of disaster get a lot of attention — especially from the bored and easily diverted. Unfortunately, devious huxters in government, media, and academia are gaining a lot of mileage out of hoodwinking the easily fooled. These huxters are ginning up a fake climate apocalypse that has taken on all the trappings of a mass movement religion and lynch mob. Religious zealots and lynch mobs are not in any mood to think things through.

50 Years of the Climate Apocalypse on Our Doorstep

1. 1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975
2. 1969: Everyone Will Disappear In a Cloud Of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)
3. 1970: Ice Age By 2000
4. 1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980
5. 1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030
6. 1972: New Ice Age By 2070
7. 1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast
8. 1974: Another Ice Age?
9. 1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life (data and graph)
10. 1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
11. 1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes (additional link)
12. 1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend (additional link)
13. 1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s
14. 1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs
15. 1988: Maldive Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)
16. 1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000
17. 1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)
18. 2000: Children Won’t Know what Snow Is
19. 2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy
20. 2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024
21. 2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018
22. 2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013
23. 2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World
24. 2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet From Catastrophe’
25. 2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014
26. 2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015 (additional link)
27. 2014: Only 500 Days Before ‘Climate Chaos’
28. 1968: Overpopulation Will Spread Worldwide
29. 1970: World Will Use Up All its Natural Resources
30. 1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years
31. 1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years
32. 1977: Department of Energy Says Oil will Peak in 1990s
33. 1980: Peak Oil In 2000
34. 1996: Peak Oil in 2020
35. 2002: Peak Oil in 2010
36. 2006: Super Hurricanes!
37. 2005 : Manhattan Underwater by 2015
38. 1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985
39. 1970: Nitrogen buildup Will Make All Land Unusable
40. 1970: Decaying Pollution Will Kill all the Fish
41. 1970s: Killer Bees!

Update: I’ve added 9 additional failed predictions (via Real Climate Science) below to make it an even 50 for the number of failed eco-pocalyptic doomsday predictions over the last 50 years.

42. 1975: The Cooling World and a Drastic Decline in Food Production
43. 1969: Worldwide Plague, Overwhelming Pollution, Ecological Catastrophe, Virtual Collapse of UK by End of 20th Century
44. 1972: Pending Depletion and Shortages of Gold, Tin, Oil, Natural Gas, Copper, Aluminum
45. 1970: Oceans Dead in a Decade, US Water Rationing by 1974, Food Rationing by 1980
46. 1988: World’s Leading Climate Expert Predicts Lower Manhattan Underwater by 2018
47. 2005: Fifty Million Climate Refugees by the Year 2020
48. 2000: Snowfalls Are Now a Thing of the Past
49.1989: UN Warns That Entire Nations Wiped Off the Face of the Earth by 2000 From Global Warming
50. 2011: Washington Post Predicted Cherry Blossoms Blooming in Winter

But somehow this time will be different, and the ‘experts’ and 16-year olds of today will suddenly be correct in their new predictions of eco-doom and eco-disaster? Not.

Mark Perry

California is the worst place to try to survive the fake climate apocalypse. That is because California — of all the 50 states — has gone deepest into the dark side.

The sale of new internal-combustion cars and light trucks will be banned beginning in 2035; the ban on the sale of large diesel trucks starts in 2045. (On January 1 of this year, the ban on operating diesel trucks with engines manufactured before 2010 took effect.) And, though the recent imbroglio over a nationwide ban on the sale of gas stoves has settled down, California has enacted just such a ban, which takes effect in 2030. In that same year, the state will prohibit new gas furnaces and water heaters, and a ban on both the sale and use of gas-powered small engines (for example, lawnmowers, chainsaws, and portable generators) begins next year. __ California’s Green Debacle

These opportunists in government, academia, and media — and the fanatics among the bored and impressionable elites — have just gotten started. They intend to take this fake climate apocalypse to the very limit, no matter who has to suffer and die. These elites and opportunists think of you in the same way that Putin thinks about Ukrainians — you are in their way.

The green energy religion

The recycling religion

The carbon offset religion

There is a reason why electric power production in advanced nations has been built upon coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydropower, if available. Those forms of power production are reliable — they can be turned on and off — and when used together they can match virtually any pattern of energy use at any scale. They work very well at regulating frequency and voltage, at reasonable costs for developed nations. They are robust, unlike the intermittent and unreliable low quality, low density sources of energy such as wind or solar. You can build an industrial superpower on top of coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydropower.

What makes a system strong or robust?  In additions to high-capacity transmission lines, the anchoring source is large rotating machines that operate in synchronism with the grid. They provide inertia, they can respond quickly through ramping, they can inject vars, they increase short circuit MVA (mega volt amperes).  All good things necessary for a reliable power system.  Asynchronous generation, sources which don’t spin with the system, such as wind and solar, do not as readily add strength to a system; rather they tend lean on other resources.

Synchronous generators provide essential reliability services  which are needed for the operation of the grid.  The primary services are voltage control, frequency control and balancing services. Conventional generators (coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro) readily provide these ser vices because they rotate in synchronism with the grid.  Not all resources do.  To quote from the US Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy”:

Are You Serious About Surviving?

Modern Leftism and the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

It is going to be difficult surviving the fake climate apocalypse, because you are not really supposed to survive. The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) is an integral part of the modern leftist juggernaut, and they are not kidding around.

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT[A]) is an environmental movement that calls for all people to abstain from reproduction in order to cause the gradual voluntary extinction of humankind. VHEMT supports human extinction primarily because, in the group’s view, it would prevent environmental degradation.

VHEMT Wikipedia

The modern left is in control of most universities and most media outlets, and is busy creating leftist clone-thinkers in classrooms and over the internet using every tool at its command. Governments in the western world are likewise largely controlled by leftist drones, who have been university educated by other well-positioned leftist drones. The “human extinction” element of modern leftism is kept largely in the background, for fear that the masses might wake up and rebel against their drone-like overlords in media, government, and academia. But you should understand that while the loudmouths are warning you about “climate change” and “environmental disaster,” what they are not saying out loud is that they would prefer to just get you the hell out of their way.

And so they are doing just that through their policies.

By making electric power production unreliable and exorbitantly expensive, they are increasing the costs of business for both consumers and for the enterprises that employ consumers and produce the goods and services that consumers need, at previously affordable prices.

By making internal combustion engine automobiles illegal, and allowing only the use of short range electric vehicles for individuals, they limit the mobility of individuals and groups of individuals. Rather like a full time “lockdown,” except without the pandemic.

By limiting freedom of thought and freedom of speech, they create docile sheep-like persons capable only of groupthink. See George Orwell’s masterpiece 1984 to understand the sort of existence they seek to create.

By promoting LGBQT ideology and by teaching children that growing up and procreating will destroy the planet, they are contributing to ever-lower birthrates among educated persons, leading to a loss of the human capital that will be needed to build an expansive and abundant human future.

The list could go on, but all you need to do to see the broad array of battlefronts lined up to do you in is to read between the lines of what the corporate media mainstream information gatekeepers are telling you. Visit libraries, bookstores, and internet lists of published books, and see what kind of mental fodder is being fed to the human livestock. Read lists and descriptions of classes at your local colleges and universities. If you have children of school age, demand the right to observe the teachers in the classroom, filling their little minds with the doctrines du jour.

It is a vile flood of dominance policies from government, media, academia, and other social institutions — meant to overwhelm you and your cohorts at every level of existence. They are hoping that they will be successful at rapidly trimming populations while continuously building influence over all levels of information and other forms of behavior control.

Compared to what they have been setting up over the past 50 + years, surviving a genuine climate apocalypse would be a breeze.

Resilience, robustness, toughness, and anti-fragility. It is coming to the point that surviving the fake crises foisted on us by our overlords, will be a full time job.

Posted in Climate, Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Environment | Leave a comment

Who Wants to Live Forever? Saga of NAD+

Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of interest in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) biology. This has been driven in part by the discoveries that two intermediates of NAD+ biosynthesis, nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), effectively increase NAD+ concentration in a variety of tissues, in many cases with beneficial or therapeutic effects.

NAD+ Intermediates

The scientific timeline of discovery for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is pictured below. The mystery dates back to the 1730s when the deadly disease pellagra was first described and studied. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the nature of the disease as a nutritional deficiency was discovered, and the nutritional cures were discovered — members of the niacin family.

Image Source

It was only in the late 1990s and early 2000s that a decline in NAD was found to be associated with the processes of degenerative aging. Multiple body systems appear to suffer and age when the levels of NAD decline in the tissues of various organs.

Image Source

For many of us, we are primarily concerned with the brain and the heart, since those two organs represent a significant part of the decline in function as well as mortality, as a person ages.

So, what is NAD+ and what is it needed for? The pioneering work by Otto Warburg and co-workers in the 1930s discovered a key role for NAD+, and its phosphorylated counterpart NADP+, in hydrogen transfer biochemical reactions. The following decades unveiled how NAD+ and NADP+ are vital cofactors for most cellular oxidation/reduction reactions, where they can be reduced to NADH and NADPH, respectively, or vice versa.

The NAD+/NADH couple primarily drives oxidation reactions, while the NADP+/NADPH couple drives reductive reactions (for extensive reviews on the topic, see [10, 11]). The redox potential and relative amount of the phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides is very different. For instance, NAD(H) levels in liver are twofold those of NADP(H), while in muscle they are 12-fold [11]. In addition to differences between tissues, NAD(H) and NADP(H) content is highly compartmentalized in the cell, with the mitochondria harboring the higher amounts [11]. Therefore, tissues with high mitochondrial content, such as heart or kidney, display the higher NAD(H) and NADP(H) contents. Even if cellular membranes are generally impermeable to NAM-based (di)nucleotides, the mitochondrial and cytosolic pools of NAD+ related nucleotides and their redox states are not fully independent. Instead, they are interconnected by an intricate net of molecular redox shuttles and the recently identified mitochondrial NAD+ transporter [10, 1215].

As redox cofactors, NAD(H) and NADP(H) participate in the most critical paths in cellular metabolism and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. Most notably, during glycolysis, glucose can generate two molecules of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P). This is followed by the reduction of NAD+ to NADH in the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) reaction. Thus, glycolysis will finally render two NADH and two pyruvate molecules that can either be transformed into to NAD+ and lactate by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) reaction or transferred into the mitochondria. In the second case, the reducing equivalent of NADH is transported into the mitochondria via either the malate-aspartate shuttle or the glycerol-3-phosphate shuttle, while pyruvate has a dedicated transporter [10]. Once in the mitochondria, the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex will reoxidize NADH into NAD+. The mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) is a major location for the reduction of NAD+ into NADH molecules. Mitochondrial NADH can be re-oxidized to NAD+ by Complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. The subsequent two electrons gained by Complex I will then be an initial step to generate a proton gradient that provides the chemiosmotic force to drive the oxidative phosphorylation of ADP to ATP, catalyzed by the F0F1-ATP synthase enzyme [10]. These processes highlight the intimate link between NAD+ and cellular ATP synthesis.

NAD and Its Precursors

The puzzle of NAD goes to the heart of how our bodies work. We cannot simply say “the heart does this,” “the liver does this,” “the kidneys do this,” “the brain does this,” etc. Beneath such glib layers of explanation lie the deeper biochemical and physiological functions and processes which enable these organs to fulfill their roles. Everything requires energy. If our body tissues lose their grasp on the energy they need, they begin to deteriorate — to age. That is not the only cause of aging, but it sits at the center of the cascade of causes.

An aging person (anyone over the age of 30) can mitigate part of this “tissue energy crisis” by supplying the body with precursors of NAD. Some of the precursors of NAD are pictured below:

Image Source

NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) and NR (nicotinamide riboside) are two of the most common precursors of NAD used by the public in the form of nutritional supplements. There is a bit of a controversy over which of the two supplements are more effective. There has even been a suggestion by one scientist that NR may inadvertently contribute to some forms of cancer metastasis. Time and more research will help to sort out these questions.

These NAD precursors are not a magic bullet. But careful research is helping us to discover some details about how they may be of benefit to us.

Human patients with stage D heart failure orally supplemented with NR for 5–9 days (0.5–1 g/day) displayed increased whole blood NAD+ levels, mitochondrial function in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and a large reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokine (IL-1b, IL-6 and IL-18) gene expression [221]. This suggests that NR could help reducing the pro-inflammatory systemic state in in cardiovascular complications. Along the same lines, when healthy elderly individuals where supplemented with NR (1 g/day) for 21 days no major changes were observed in body composition or cardiovascular parameters, yet a decrease in circulating levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, IL-5, IL-6) was also observed [222]. Therefore, two independent studies point towards the concept that NR supplementation could reduce systemic inflammatory signals.

NAD Precursors

It can be difficult to discover the subtleties at work when we try to untangle the complex interactions of genes and the natural components of our bodies, with the environment. Part of that is due to the clumsiness of the tools that we are using in our research. It takes time to build the tools that we need. But as we stumble awkwardly ahead using our clumsy tools, we discover clues, little by little.

Recently, NR showed some promising outcomes in treating patients suffering from ataxia–telangiectasia (AT), a rare neurodegenerative disease, causing severe disability. AT is caused by mutation of the Ataxia-Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) gene, encoding the ATM kinase, a master regulator of DNA damage resolution [247]. Initial work in mice suggested that dietary NR supplementation (12 mM in the drinking water) increased the lifespan of the short-lived Atm−/− mice, correlating with the normalization of mitochondrial architecture due to improved mitophagy and a better resolution of DNA repair [225]. In an open-label, proof-of-concept clinical study, 24 patients with AT were treated with NR (25 mg/kg/day) during four consecutive months. NR supplementation led to improvements in diverse kinetic and speech parameters [227]. Interestingly, these benefits disappeared 2 months after NR withdrawal [227], further strengthening that the benefits could be genuinely due to NR treatment.

NAD Precursors

A newer precursor to NAD has recently been discovered which may prove significantly better in many respects than either NMN or NR. It is a reduced form of NR called dihydronicotinamide riboside (NRH). More on this discovery:

Parallel work by the Sauve lab and our group identified a reduced version of NR, dihydronicotinamide riboside (NRH), as a new NAD+ precursor in mammalian cells and tissues [128, 263] (Fig. 2). Despite the structural similarity with NR, the biological properties of NRH turned out to be particularly surprising. NRH can sharply increase NAD+ levels in cultured cells, being far more potent than any other NAD+ precursor described to date [128, 263]. After entering the cells, predominantly through ENTs [128], NRH uses a unique path to drive NAD+ synthesis. Surprisingly, the ability of NRH to act as a NAD+ precursor does not rely on NRK activity. Using chemical inhibitors, Giroud-Gerbetant et al. identified adenosine kinase (AK) as the enzyme that initiated the conversion of NRH to NAD+ [128]. This finding was later confirmed by the Sauve lab using cellular fractionation methods [264]. The phosphorylation of NRH by AK renders dihydronicotinamide mononucleotide (NMNH), which is then adenylated by NMNAT enzymes to generate NADH, which is then oxidized to NAD+ [128, 264]. Thus, NRH defines a new path towards NAD+ synthesis relying on the activity of AK. The use of AK for the initial catalysis step and that it acts by increasing NADH might be critical in understanding why NRH action in cultured cells is so vastly superior to all other precursors. Interestingly, as with NMN, NMNH can be used as an effective extracellular NAD+ precursor, but also require dephosphorylation to NRH prior to cellular uptake [265].

Another interesting aspect of NRH is that, unlike NR, it is not degraded in mouse plasma [128]. Accordingly, the intraperitoneal injection of NRH led to larger increases in NAD+ than those observed with NR [128]. Unlike NR, NRH could be detected in circulation after oral administration. More precisely, it was detected in the low micromolar range when gavaged at 250 mg/kg, which is consistent with promoting significant effects on NAD+ levels in cultured cells [128]. To date, two studies in mice support the case that NRH could have therapeutic applications.

NAD Precursors

More on NRH from a bulk manufacturer

You may be able to obtain NRH by shopping around, but it may be awhile before it becomes commonly available on your supermarket shelves.

More on the common precursors NR (nicotinamide riboside) and NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide):

NAD Intermediates

As outlined above, it is clear that both NMN and NR have beneficial effects in multiple conditions in rodents. Indeed, there are a number of pathophysiological conditions that show significant decreases in tissue NAD+ levels (Table 3). Although both compounds have been tested in some models, no side-by-side comparisons have been conducted between NMN and NR. Therefore, even though both compounds are capable of enhancing NAD+ biosynthesis, there might be certain interesting differences in their effects on these pathophysiological conditions. Additionally, in the vast majority of cases in which NMN and NR are effective, it still remains unclear what downstream mechanisms mediate their beneficial effects. NAD+ is required as a cosubstrate for PARPs, sirtuins, ADP-ribosyl cyclases, and mono-ADP ribosyltransferases, but also serves as a redox cofactor for countless enzymes (Figure 1B). In several cases, deletion of sirtuins has been shown to block key benefits of NAD+ supplementation, supporting a role for these enzymes (Brown et al., 2014; Gomes et al., 2013; Guan et al., 2017; Martin et al., 2017).

NAD Intermediates

Most of the studies on these NAD precursors have been done on animal models, specifically mice of various derivations. Human studies have had mixed results. Since our ignorance is far greater than our knowledge when it comes to this complex topic — as with most complex topics — there is only a small basis for recommending the use of any of the above supplements.

Nevertheless, given the current state of knowledge and ignorance, the potential benefits of supplementation with NAD+ precursors (combined with SIRT boosters such as resveratrol) seem to outweigh the risks — at least in healthy persons past the age of 50.

The least expensive approach to supplementation with NAD+ precursors, to my knowledge, is to take nicotinamide and ribose as separate supplements, but at the same time. The two supplements are absorbed separately and recombined as NR, and then converted to NMN (see picture above). On the other hand, genetic differences between people — and between their microbiomes in the gut — probably cause differences in individual abilities to boost NAD+ levels using the above approach. Everything the gut absorbs goes to the liver, where it is subject to “first pass” metabolic modification and dismantling into component parts.

Keep in mind that some new cancer treatments in development are based upon blocking NAD+ in cancer cells. Too much NAD+ boosting in patients with certain cancers may interfere with the effect of their chemotherapy. In other words, keep up to date with your cancer screening. If you are being treated for cancer with chemotherapy, ask your doctor whether NAD+ boosters could interfere with the treatment. This caution is important for a relative few persons considering supplementation with NAD+ boosters.

As I always say, supplementation with most of the things in vitamin stores will accomplish little more than creating some very expensive urine. Certain supplements, however, may make a big difference in the quality of life for persons with particular morbidities — including the decline in function associated with aging.

Bonus video: One man’s opinion on which is the better precursor of NAD+

Posted in Longevity, Medicine | Leave a comment

Jordan Peterson in Clown Suit Speaks Profound Truth

Jordan Peterson

Often the court jester is the wisest man in the kingdom. Dressing as a clown does not negate the truth in what a man says. In a recent interview with cognitive scientist John Vervaeke, Jordan Peterson delves into deep issues of psychology, neuroscience, and cognition.

For more in-depth understanding of Vervaeke’s thoughts, here is an interesting page and podcast, and here is a list of books that he recommends to the general public. This 50-video playlist from Vervaeke provides a useful introduction to “the meaning crisis” that goes along with our current retreat from tradition, without anything truly meaningful given us in its place.

Many of us have been worried that Jordan Peterson might not be able to fully recover from his deep personal crisis of a few years back. But if his YouTube channel is any judge, he is pushing even deeper into the mysteries of life than he had done prior to the crisis. The world certainly needs his voice, and it needs the insights of all the deep thinkers that Peterson can introduce to us.

Russia Gives Tiny Soledar the Mariupol Treatment

The tiny salt and gypsum mining town of Soledar, in east Ukraine, has been reduced to rubble by Russian artillery. If conquering a pile of rubble constitutes a victory, then Russian forces have achieved a Pyrrhic and temporary victory in the occupation of the immediate territory of what was once a thriving little town called Soledar.

Soledar, known for salt mining and processing, has little intrinsic value apart from the salt and gypsum mines, but it lies at a strategic point 10 kilometres north of the city of Bakhmut, which Russian forces want to surround.

Taking Bakhmut would disrupt Ukraine’s supply lines and open a route for the Russians to press toward Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, Ukrainian strongholds in Donetsk province.

Soledar’s fall would make “holding Bakhmut much more precarious for Ukraine,” Michael Kofman, the director of Russia Studies at the CAN nonprofit research group, noted.

The war of attrition, with heavy casualties, may make a Russian victory as deadly as a defeat.

“I don’t think the outcome at Bakhmut is that significant compared to what it costs Russia to achieve it,” Kofman said in a tweet.

Tens of Thousands of Men Lost for a Temporary Toehold

College and University Do Not Prepare Students for Real World

Students go to university with the intention of learning to live skillfully in the real world, to become competent thinkers and doers, to learn to make their way and to live well. But in the real world, universities have slipped from the role of teaching students to think and do for themselves. Instead, universities have become centers of one-sided propaganda and deep groupthink indoctrination. Too many of those who graduate from such schools lack the skills and know-how to do meaningful work.

To remedy that situation, private enterprises have begun devoting themselves to helping college students, graduates, and dropouts, to acquire the needed skills for success in the real world of enterprise, trade, and work.

One employment mentor and entrepreneur concurred. Michael Gibson founded the 1517 Fund to guide and invest in college drop-outs or those who chose not to attend.

“By giving rookies a chance to learn from the pros on the job, apprenticeships give young people starting their careers a much better opportunity to learn the foundational skills they need directly, instead of relying on failing schools and colleges to teach them outdated lessons or poisonous ideology at a luxury price,” Gibson told The College Fix via email Jan. 6.

According to the Multiverse study, “72% of young adults with degrees believe college didn’t fully equip them to start their career.” Additionally, nearly half of students surveyed said that they felt expected to go to college after high school; however “three-fourths would skip college if their dream job was available without a degree.”

College Fix

Running out of technically trained occupations

Georgia Tech researchers create smaller, more scalable flow cell batteries

Flow batteries do not depend upon lithium or scarce rare earth minerals. If they can be made affordable, efficient, and scaled for different uses including EVs, they could represent a significant breakthrough in the quest for electrification of our infrastructures — including transportation. Flow cells do not suffer from many of the supply constraints which limit a rapid scale up of other types of battery technologies. Combined with advanced nuclear power generation, the way to an expansive, abundant future would be eased.

Good overview of flow batteries

Will flow batteries become the leading solution for energy storage in the future? These batteries’ numerous advantages can make the flow batteries even more popular in energy management in the coming years. Essential benefits of flow batteries include:

Long service life: this is one of the most significant advantages of flow battery systems. Flow battery allow for a large number of complete cycles of both charging and discharging. Importantly, electrons do not undergo any physical changes to be freely upgraded for catalytic and electrical properties. Besides, convective cooling of the electrodes supported by the pumped electrolyte helps in managing and distributing heat.

No standby losses: flow batteries are the ideal solution for devices with long periods of disuse. The flow-through battery will not discharge because the charge-carrying electrolyte is stored in separate reservoirs.

Low maintenance costs: the flow batteries are incredibly ergonomic. One electrolyte is used for all cells, ensuring that the battery is charged uniformly.

Environmentally friendly: flow battery waste can be reused. Additionally, electrolytes are not very toxic.

Charging method: fluctuating power demand, charging, and discharging rates do not affect the operation of redox flow batteries. Therefore, flow battery systems are the right solution for complex energy management systems.

Source

fungi and bacteria can break down plastics

In all the apocalyptic panic and fury over the various environmental apocalypses that threaten the weak-minded, it rarely enters the minds of information gatekeepers that there are solutions to almost every problem. We are told that it can take hundreds and thousands of years for plastic items such as water bottles to be broken down by nature. But is that true? Not likely, just as it is not likely that incremental changes in atmospheric CO2 levels will lead to a global apocalypse. But scientists want their grants, and journalists want their story. If it bleeds it leads, and may even lead to a prize or two.

Nature has learned how to deal with oil spills, for example, without human assistance. Since most oil spills are natural oil seeps from the ocean floor which have been occurring for hundreds of millions of years or more, that is a fortunate thing. Natural microbes in the ocean evolve and promote specific enzymes to utilize the rich food source as it becomes available. What is true for oil is also true for plastics. Sunshine is an important element in the breakdown of plastics, perhaps more than with oil. If a plastic bottle sinks to the deep ocean floor beyond the sun’s power to reach, it may indeed survive for hundreds or thousands of years. But it may take a long time for us to prove that, either way. Stick around for a thousand years, and you can perhaps say “I told you so!”

ChatGPT will fake you out!

ChatGPT is a product of OpenAI. More on OpenAI:

In December 2015, Sam Altman, Elon Musk, Greg Brockman, Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Infosys, and YC Research announced[3] the formation of OpenAI and pledged over US$1 billion to the venture. The organization stated it would “freely collaborate” with other institutions and researchers by making its patents and research open to the public.[4][5] OpenAI is headquartered at the Pioneer Building in Mission District, San Francisco.[6][2]

In April 2016, OpenAI released a public beta of “OpenAI Gym”, its platform for reinforcement learning research.[7] In December 2016, OpenAI released “Universe”, a software platform for measuring and training an AI’s general intelligence across the world’s supply of games, websites and other applications.[8][9][10][11]

In 2018, Musk resigned his board seat, citing “a potential future conflict (of interest)” with Tesla AI development for self driving cars, but remained a donor.[12]

In 2019, OpenAI transitioned from non-profit to “capped” for-profit, with profit cap set to 100X on any investment.[13] The company distributed equity to its employees and partnered with Microsoft, who announced an investment package of US$1 billion into the company. OpenAI then announced its intention to commercially license its technologies.[14]

In 2020, OpenAI announced GPT-3, a language model trained on trillions of words from the Internet. It also announced that an associated API, named simply “the API”, would form the heart of its first commercial product. GPT-3 is aimed at natural language answering of questions, but it can also translate between languages and coherently generate improvised text.[15]

In 2021, OpenAI introduced DALL-E, a deep learning model that can generate digital images from natural language descriptions.[16]

Around December 2022, OpenAI received widespread media coverage after launching a free preview of ChatGPT, its new AI chatbot based on GPT-3.5. According to OpenAI, the preview received over a million signups within the first five days.[17] According to anonymous sources cited by Reuters in December 2022, OpenAI was projecting a US$200 million revenue for 2023 and US$1 billion revenue for 2024.[18] As of January 2023, it was in talks for funding that would value the company at $29 billion.[19]

Wikipedia

ChatGPT has become controversial with schools, because students can get the app to write all kinds of assignment papers for them, then claim that they wrote the papers themselves. It is a big step up from the “cut and paste from Wikipedia” approach that the last generation of students used.

There are emerging technologies out there which are capable of pulling the rug from under your feet. Keep your eyes open and your brains clear.

Bonus video: 3 hour interview of cognitive scientist John Vervaeke by Lex Fridman

Posted in Human Brain, Jordan Peterson, Machine Intelligence, Philosophy, Russia, University | Leave a comment

Russian Navy Flagship Admiral Kuznetsov and Its Chinese Clone the Liaoning; Plus Wargaming the Taiwan Invasion

The flagship of the Russian Navy, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, should be considered a parable for the condition of the Russian Federation as a whole.

Workers are struggling with the ship at the Zvyozdochka shipyard in the Barents Sea port city of Murmansk. The Russian navy tried to send it to another dry dock, but somehow the engines are not working correctly, leaving the vessel stuck. The ship’s hull reportedly has a problem, and tugboats are struggling to move it.

…  the carrier could “tip over and sink,” according to Newsweek. Divers examining the hull found dangerous levels of corrosion and the holds are totally filled with water, the magazine said.

Admiral Kuznetsov Beyond Repair

Russia is now begging China to sell back a clone of Admiral Kuznetsov — the Lianong — to Russia in hopes of quickly creating a viable aircraft carrier again for the dwindling Russian Navy. That might work for Russia in the short term, but China is deep into plans for its own invasion of Taiwan. The PLA Navy believes it will need all the rocking boats in the water it can get, including its aircraft carrier.

Meanwhile, Russia is still slugging it out over the Bakhmut/Soledar mining region in the eastern part of Ukraine. Russian claims of major gains in the region seem to be somewhat premature.

More on Russia’s logistical concerns

Chinese Invasion of Taiwan: CSIS War Game Outcome

“In most scenarios, the United States/Taiwan/Japan defeated a conventional amphibious invasion by China and maintained an autonomous Taiwan,” the report concludes. “However, this defense came at high cost.”

A Costly Invasion, a Pyrrhic Defeat

Futurist and blogger Brian Wang considers the CSIS war games to be insufficiently realistic to predict the actual outcome of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. He offers some suggestions:

I have seen the wargaming. The wargame assumes that China can pound Taiwan for weeks and months to take out or damage the air and missile defenses in the mountains. They do not mention that global stock and financial markets crash by 50% on the first day or two of this offensive, where the US would be forced to act quickly. It also does not go into how utterly crappy China’s pilots are and have they have no hope of succeeding in taking out air defenses in the mountains.

Brian Wang Analysis of CSIS War Games: China vs. Taiwan

The effect on global markets of a full scale Chinese attack on Taiwan is a very important point, which any realistic simulations should incorporate fully. Global markets do not like instability that affects major suppliers of vitally important products to the advanced world. Taiwan’s premier semiconductor chips cannot be easily substituted for — you might say that the advanced world runs on Taiwan’s chips.

More on the CSIS war games:

The report suggests that those who argue that China now has clear military superiority in the Taiwan Strait and thus is on the verge of attacking the island should think again. This study, and an earlier study conducted by the Quincy Institute, indicate that any military attack on Taiwan would be an enormous gamble for Beijing and likely to result in a Chinese defeat. It is an option that Beijing would likely only take if provoked, for example by Washington abandoning the One China policy or deploying combat forces to Taiwan. At the same time, the costs of a war over Taiwan would be enormous for all sides and certainly no easy win for the United States.  

The report warns that once China launches an invasion — and if the United States decides the best option is to defend Taiwan — there is no “Ukraine model” for Taiwan; the United States could not simply send supplies, it would also have to send troops directly into combat, and do so immediately to limit casualties. And the results would still be catastrophic. 

The CSIS wargame estimates that the United States would lose 3,200 troops in the first three weeks of combat with China. That number is nearly half of all the American troops that died in two decades of war in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. 

Xi Backing Himself into a Bad Decision

There is a parallel to be drawn between Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine — and the subsequent loss of roughly 1 million young Russian men to sudden emigration, death in battle, crippling wounds in battle, desertions, and other losses — and Xi’s contemplation of invading Taiwan with its consequent damage to China’s economy, military, and its ability to govern its people.

Xi’s government is even more vulnerable to blowback from an ill-considered war than is Putin’s mafia regime in Russia. The PRC under the Chinese Communist Party is highly centered on one man and his cult of personality — even more than Russia is centered on Putin. If Xi loses authority, China enters another historical period of falling apart — particularly if a political crisis is accompanied by an economic crisis, which is virtually guaranteed.

Here is Peter Zeihan on some recent reshuffling of positions high in China’s government:

Russia’s military is rotten to its core — both Army and Navy. Given the corruption inside China, it is unlikely that China’s military is in much better condition than Russia’s although it is newer and larger. Given a conflict over Siberian resources between China and Russia, it is likely that China’s sheer numbers would prevail.

Those who expect Russia to resist a Chinese incursion with nuclear weapons may not understand that China’s methods of wresting control of the Far East and other parts of Siberia would likely be more gradual and more subtle than an outright invasion at a time that Russia had full control of its nuclear arsenal. They may also not understand that Putin’s failed invasion of Ukraine is going to turn the Kremlin hierarchy topsy turvy.

It is likely that China is maneuvering to take control of as many of Russia’s nuclear weapons as it can, when the time is right. Putin has put Russia’s future at risk by his unhinged invasion of Ukraine. If China can use that mistake to its long-term advantage, it would do well to learn from what we can hope will be Mr. Putin’s last big mistake.

If Xi, in his isolation and paranoia, decides to make the same type of mistake as Putin, you can expect some significant global fallout in the leadup to a much-premature collapse of China. Russia may well hope that Xi makes that mistake to keep China occupied and out of Russia’s hair, but Russia’s own botched and barbaric show in Ukraine could give Xi second thoughts — if his brain is still capable.

Personally, I expect the slow motion invasion of Russia by China to proceed apace, and to likely accelerate if China invades Taiwan.

Image Credit: New York Times

China is capable of using ill-gotten loot to bribe officials on all the continents of the world, including the current US *President. China has de facto control of most of Central Asia, and is solidifying control of much of the Russian Far East day by day. All along the border of China and Mongolia with Russia, Chinese influence is growing. It is only a matter of time. A military invasion of Russia will not be necessary, if China can hold off on the Taiwan invasion.

Posted in China, Putin, Russia, Siberia | Leave a comment

Peter Zeihan on Joe Rogan; Brian Wang Responds

The business world’s turn away from China is gathering momentum. Even Apple is now preparing to shift its manufacturing away from China, bringing with it the firm’s enormous productive and engineering power. The ‘China Dream’ is rapidly fading as the country becomes ever more unequal, lacking in opportunities for both its vast working class and even for the educated. President Xi Jinping – like Mao, his authoritarian role model – has sacrificed China’s long-term prosperity in order to consolidate total political control.

Spiked

In a recent Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Peter Zeihan repeats his prediction that China will collapse sometime in approximately ten years time. Prolific blogger and futurist Brian Wang takes issue with Zeihan’s assertions about China’s future, and devotes an extended blog posting toward refuting it.

My approach when confronted with contradictory viewpoints and opinions is to extract the factual material that can be documented, from both sides. While suspending final judgment, I continue to accumulate the supportable facts while keeping a close eye on contradictions among the supportable facts which are certain to arise.

All Predictions are Wrong if Examined Closely Enough

Peter Zeihan makes a lot of predictions in his books, podcasts, presentations, and interviews. Anyone with a historical perspective and a basic knowledge of how the world works, understands that categorical predictions about the future are almost certain to be wrong in many respects. Nevertheless, informed predictions can be highly educational even if the outcome proves the prediction wrong in some aspects. All meaningful predictions are made using imperfect knowledge.

Brian Wang has spent decades predicting a bright future for China, and has only recently begun to temper his China optimism with a moderate dash of pessimism. But he is not prepared to accept Peter Zeihan’s “China Collapsism” without a fight. It is shaping up to be an interesting debate.

In other news:

79 Year Old Man Followed Home, Stabbed in Face, Shoots Attacker

In the teeming metropolis of Elderon, Wisconsin (pop. 159), a 79-year-old man was accosted outside his home at 2:30 a.m. as he stepped out of his car. It seems his attacker followed him home intent on robbing the older man.

Unbeknownst to the attacker, the homeowner carried a pistol. Police say that Mr. Homeowner, after being stabbed in the face, shot Alexander T. Watters once in the chest.

Don’t Mess With Wisconsin

The alleged attacker had reportedly seen the elderly man drinking in a bar, and decided to follow the old geezer home for an easy home invasion robbery. But sometimes easy targets are not so easy. Now, alleged attacker Alexander Watters is dead from a gunshot wound, and the old geezer with a facial stab wound is recovering in a local Wisconsin hospital.

That is America, where carrying a firearm is still widely legal. Tens of millions of Americans have firearms experience and training, whether from the military, from law enforcement, or simply from private firearms training organizations. They may look old sometimes, but if they are adequately armed they can sometimes fend off a younger and more violent attacker who is not as well equipped. Mr. Watters may not have known he was bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Space Mining Startups: An Expansive and Abundant Future

Space mining has matured to the point where there are dozens of startup companies, even larger firms, addressing aspects of what’s called the “space resources value chain,” Abbud-Madrid said…

… Joel Sercel is founder and CEO of TransAstra, a California-based firm that’s aimed at sustainably harvesting resources from the moon and asteroids to change the course of history.

“Several breakthroughs need to take place technically to enable asteroid mining. We feel we’ve put all those to bed,” Sercel told Space.com. TransAstra has blueprinted the transportation and equipment to get the job done, “to actually process the asteroid in a meaningful way,” he said.

… “We go into space to solve the problems here on the Earth,” Sercel concluded. “Nobody wants to think about a future in which humans don’t thrive. So it’s time for us to go into space.”

An Organic Growth Process

In order to create an abundant and expansive future, it is necessary to create large numbers of innovative startups which may never succeed — or if they do succeed, it may not happen for decades. This is true for a wide range of worthy goals, most of which grow out of the infrastructure needs of present and future societies.

Most left-leaning individuals I have known, do not possess any deep understanding of critical infrastructures and how they mesh together in a smoothly working economy that is allowed to function organically. That failing is one of many important reasons why modern leftism is doomed to fail. The question is how much of the world will be destroyed and sent back into the stone age before that failure is a historical fact. Remember: Communism Killed 100 Million in the 20th Century. What could it hurt to give recycled leftist extremism (Postmodern NeoMarxist Nihilism) another chance?

American Exceptionalism Without Leadership

America enjoys an enormous expanse of arable land, the largest in the world, bigger than that of Russia and Ukraine combined, and nearly 100million acres more than China. It is not only by far the largest food exporter in the world, but it also leads all countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, in the production of fossil fuels, which are now being consumed more than ever. And not to be overlooked are America’s vast reserves of fresh water, the third largest on the planet.

These assets separate America from its largest rivals. Neither China nor Europe has adequate domestic energy supplies, making both ever reliant, like Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois, on the ‘kindness of strangers’. Shortages and high prices are already hammering Germany’s industrial economy, from its dynamic mid-sized firms to the giants of its chemicals industry, despite the German government spending a massive half-a-trillion dollars on energy subsidies. Europe is now desperately firing up coal plants and reconsidering nuclear energy, but in the near-term its energy salvation will most likely lie in the oil fields of the Permian basin and other hotbeds of US energy production.

These geographic advantages, as well as the growing global suspicion about China, are turning America once again into the world’s primary destination for foreign investment, particularly in energy-intensive sectors like manufacturing. Japan, Germany and Canada are the top investors. German car giant Volkswagen sees the US as its best bet for ‘strategic growth’, especially given the business and political pressure against investment in China.

Yet perhaps even more than nature’s gifts, America’s greatest asset may lie in its centuries-old constitutional order. This is very different to the much ballyhooed, bureaucratic ‘rules-based’ system so attractive to Eurocrats and their American admirers. In Europe, decisions are based on the political fashions of the moment. Only a bureaucracy in thrall to green ideology, for instance, could have ignored all the warning signs of the current energy crisis and placed ever more bets on unreliable wind and solar in the name of stopping climate change – even while China, by far the world’s biggest emitter of CO2, is building more coal plants to power its homes and industries. Today, coal is now being consumed more than at any time in history.

Joel Kotkin

The US is led and controlled by corrupt and duplicitous elites, both inside and outside of government. The de facto coup emerged over a 50-60 year timescale out of universities, salons, media conglomerates, and other centers where wealth controls fashionable thought. As the Twitter Files are showing us, when the government colludes with private media companies to censor and distort the information flows to society, even a constitutional republic is in danger of tipping over into a quasi-totalitarian society of the lobotomized.

Americans can be slow to comprehend what has been done to them, but many of them will eventually wake up to the sordid reality, and will react in as efficacious a manner as they can.

The solution to left-wing cultural dominance is neither to embrace any celebrity who casts a glance rightward nor to mimic the artistic production of the cultural Left. It is to go deeper—to rebuild the structures that provide the basis for healthy, integrated human development: families, schools, churches, neighborhoods.

Though few have noticed, this is already happening. A “Quiet Right” is patiently, and nearly invisibly, building a viable counterculture.

The main locus of this movement is in education, where conservative families have created robust alternatives to the secular and predominantly left-wing public education system. Many have turned to homeschooling, which has seen double-digit growth in recent years. Others have enrolled their children in a fast-growing network of “classical schools,” which have returned to the traditional liberal arts curriculum of logic, rhetoric, grammar, mathematics, Latin, and music. And the small but influential network of traditional, faith-based colleges, such as Hillsdale, Benedictine, Thomas Aquinas, and University of Dallas, have seen record-breaking enrollment.

In the cultural domain, the Quiet Right has broken significant new ground. In the arts, right-wing pseudonymous authors have created new magazines, publishing houses, and literary prizes. More mainstream companies, such as the Daily Wire, have sought to create conservative media institutions at industrial scale. Figurative painting and neo-classical architecture have gained appreciation. At the grassroots level, faith-based and family-oriented social media content have seen rapid growth, with “mom bloggers” revalorizing family and motherhood and a “back-to-the-land” movement appealing to classic Americana imagery and offering an alternative to millennial aesthetics.

The Quiet Right is also reshaping America’s social geography. The past decade has seen a movement to repopulate small towns and create culturally moderate communities that offer an alternative to misgoverned coastal enclaves.

Where Alternatives Can Still Be Created

The radical left built its current clout by infiltrating university faculties and staff, turning places which should have been centers for helping students to think for themselves, into de facto indoctrination centers. This culture of leftist propaganda, censorship, and cancel culture has moved steadily into all levels of education, media, government, corporations, and social institutions.

It remains up to the people to decide how far they will go in countering this designed and well-planned sabotage of thought, speech, education, work, and governance in the world’s only superpower.

Posted in China, Peter Zeihan, Space Future | 4 Comments

Is Re-Electing President Trump the Only Alternative to the Unutterable Madness and Decay of Wokeism?

Wokeism has taken over the US Deep State and most large social institutions in the US. The slow release of the Twitter Files by the innovative entrepreneur Elon Musk, is gradually unwrapping the ugly truth behind the government and the wealthy elites that hide behind corporate media censorship. The US public has been hoodwinked and bamboozled by and large into ignoring the ruinous extent of the problem..

When the government and the wealthy enabling weanies who hide in the shadows have control of what the public can learn about them and the things they do to maintain their stranglehold over the people, only those who very badly want to know the truth will ever get the tiniest inkling of what is going on.

President Trump learned firsthand how deeply the wokeist religion penetrates into both state and federal governments. But the former president is not getting any younger, and although he has a long record of business and entertainment achievement in his long lifetime, his sometime erratic behavior has a lot of former backers scratching their heads and wondering if there might be an alternative US politician who could head off the “woke steamroller of destruction.” It is a problem everywhere, not just in the US.

Wokeism wants to prohibit private vehicular mobility

Wokeism wants control of all corporations

Wokeism wants to eliminate consequences for even the most heinous crimes

Wokeism wants to execute anyone who stands in its way

Wokeism is drowning us all in a pessimistic malaise

Is Donald Trump the only US politician who can roll back the deadly choking miasma of wokeism? Perhaps not. It is possible that younger and less obnoxious up and coming public figures might better unite the majority of US voting citizens behind a philosophy of freedom. Time will tell.

But in the meantime, the US is struggling under a fake government made up to a large extent of criminals who have been infiltrated into the deep state swamp which Donald Trump spent so much time warning the people about.

Wokeism is trying to destroy the US, because the leftist overlords of wokeism are sick and tired of the US holding back the leftist global agenda for all these decades. If not for two US presidents — Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump — the US would already have sold its soul and its mighty military to the global green/leftist woke agenda.

The US government has a lot to answer for. But if not for the existence of the US over the past centuries, the state of the world could have been much, much worse.

Whether you know it or not, the subversion of freedom and the slow motion destruction of the US Constitution is creating an alternate shadow universe — the one where Mr. Spock is wearing a beard. Without the rule of law and basic property rights, life in the US under the wokeist priesthood will grow ever more nasty, brutish, and short. The rest of the world will quickly be submerged under the incompetence and the insanity of wokeist intersectionalist impotence and inefficacy.

The emergence of a country of emerging freedoms like the US back in the late 18th century was not a foregone conclusion. But multiple movements toward widespread emancipation and enfranchisement were happening across Europe, and sooner or later a nation with a similar penchant for constitutional governance incorporating rule of law and property rights along with individual freedoms, would have emerged somewhere.

Unfortunately, the leftist global movement is offended by individual freedom, rule of law, and property rights, and wants to choke off the global source of such thought beyond all repair. To that end, it managed to install a demented US presidential figurehead along with an army of shadow underlings who can operate virtually without oversight, to overturn the US Constitutional system of freedoms, rule of law, and property rights piece by piece.

The question is, can anyone stand in the way of this massive global movement which has infiltrated governments, corporations, and social institutions such as academia, media, and popular culture? And if so, is Donald Trump the only person capable of such a feat? Time will tell.

If the US falls completely to the wokeist religious juggernaut, it may take some time for another freedom-loving entity that champions rule of law and property rights, to emerge.

Consider this, though: One of the prime goals of the leftist global movement is the reduction of global human populations from the “billions of persons” down to the “hundreds of millions of persons” or fewer. A wokeist conquest of the US and the consequent rise of global incompetence is likely to be a huge step toward the downgrading of global populations.

Destroying the US is a challenge. But wokeist leftists are doing their darndest to achieve it.

Posted in Donald Trump, Education, Elon Musk, Government, Green Quagmire, Groupthink, Philosophy, Politics | 3 Comments

China Gears Up to Take Advantage of Russia’s Dire Predicament: The Other Side of the Country

While Putin was busy with a futile attack on its western neighbour, the Russian Far East has continued to fall under China’s heavy thumb. And there is nothing that Russia can do about it!

Neither Russia nor China are in any position to take on the western world directly. Putin thought he could quickly conquer Ukraine before the snail-paced west could react. That effort failed. Meanwhile in Beijing, Xi thought he could quickly conquer Taiwan before the west could react. But before he could try it, Putin had already alerted the western world with his own invasion. After that, Xi decided it would be better to wait a while, and to effect a conquest that would not be so difficult: The conquest of the Russian Far East, while Russia was otherwise occupied!

One Failure After Another

Russian Failure at Bakhmut

“Russians probably expend more munitions trying to capture the town than Ukrainian forces expend to defend it,” Reno said. “Russian gains, such as they are, ordinarily would not justify the resources and effort they could have applied to better effect elsewhere. This is what wars of attrition look like on the battlefield.”

Reno explained a couple of hypotheses, which aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive, on why Russia may be so focused on seizing Bakhmut despite the limited tactical benefits that may offer. One of these is that Putin’s subordinates may not be entirely transparent with him about the true situation in Ukraine, over fears for their safety.

A Devastating Defeat

Russia Losing Over 15,000 Men a Month

Is Russia on the brink of another rout?

“I won’t be surprised if 16 thousand per month becomes the average loss of the Russian army in the coming months, because the professional and quality level will not come from nowhere, and even more biomass will be needed … After all, Putin constantly talks about a protracted war. Tight, thanks to what?

For example, the number of destroyed tanks by the Russian army is decreasing from month to month. Not because the capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to eliminate them have decreased but because the invaders have fewer tanks in the combat zone. And, again, a striking disproportion with the growth of personnel losses,” said Kovalenko.

The expert also noted that a similar situation exists with artillery. The Russian army is experiencing an acute shortage in the number of barrels and problems providing it with combat kits. To date, there is a quantitatively proportional presence of artillery only in the Bakhmut area, but the Russians have an acute problem with ammunition there.

“The armored fighting vehicle is nothing new. The lack of a regular number of combat units in subdivisions also decreases the losses of this equipment. Not because there is nothing to destroy it, but because it has become many times less in service with the Russian army, which does not allow fully equipped units.

That is, for a protracted war, Putin’s main resource will be biomass? Yes exactly. Without provided equipment, artillery, ammunition, nothing. And it is impossible to drag out the war exclusively with this component in current conditions, especially with such losses.

In October, November, and incomplete December, the Russian invaders lost 45,640 killed. Wounded? According to the most conservative estimates x1-2. That is, almost 137 thousand or almost 50% of the entire mobilization. In fact, the resource of mobilization will completely exhaust itself by February.

Source

By bombing civilian infrastructure, Russia is trying to create a vast wasteland across the entire country of Ukraine, to drive a flood of displaced migrants from the country leaving an empty space between Russia’s former borders and the borders of NATO countries. But Ukraine is learning how to bomb military targets deep inside of Russia without using any long-range western sourced missiles. Ukrainians are savvy warfighters and technological innovators. Russia is giving Ukraine a reason to learn all the secrets of war.

Repeated Ukrainian strikes on legitimate military targets far in the Russian rear demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Russian air defenses against drones. Ukrainian forces attacked Engels Airbase with an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on December 29, within three days of reports that air defense shot down a Ukrainian UAV over Engels and killed three Russian servicemen.[22] The United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MoD) stated on December 29 that it is “increasingly clear” that Russia “is struggling to counter air threats deep inside [its territory].”[23] The United Kingdom MoD assessed that Russian air defenses probably are struggling to meet the high demand for air defense for field headquarters near the front line in Ukraine while also protecting strategic sites, such as Engels Airbase.[24] The repeated strikes on Engels Airbase will likely exacerbate milblogger critiques that Russia cannot defend its own territory from Ukrainian strikes.

Understanding War

Russia plays the game of “fantasy warfare”

Russia recently announced a major expansion and reorganization of its army. The new force will have 1.5 million men, including 695.000 long-term volunteers (contract soldiers) and a larger number of conscripts. More than doubling the number of conscripts will be achieved by expanding the number of men eligible for conscription and increasing the length of service from 12 months to 18 or 24 months. The army will revert back to divisions rather than brigades full of BTGs (Battalion Task Groups). The odds of any of this happening are low.

Vladimir Putin declared that this new force would be created regardless of costs(!). That means less money for economic expansion and consumer goods. It’s a return to the Soviet Union era economy. The communist Soviet economy failed so badly that it caused national bankruptcy and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Older Russians remember how bad things were during the Soviet period and so should Putin. But he was an officer in the KGB when the Soviet Union collapsed and members of the KGB were a privileged class that lived better than the average Russian. KGB officers were out of touch with the reality most Russians lived in. Most Russians enjoyed higher standards of living after 1991 and will not willingly return to the bad old days. __ Source

The Russian invasion of Ukraine taught the world that Russia was not the world’s second best military. But Russia is the second best military in Ukraine! China has yet to put its forces to the test, and if it is smart it never will.

Nevertheless, China needs the resources of the Russian Far East and other parts of Siberia. If China cannot take Taiwan, it may seriously consider taking advantage of Russia’s preoccupation with Ukraine and its current state of weakness under a devastating sanctions regime. Invading Russia through Mongolia may be the approach China chooses.

Expect China to stab Russia in the back, just as Germany stabbed Russia in the back during the Nazi years. That is the way with tyrannies and their alliances of convenience.

Posted in China, Russia, Siberia, Ukraine | 1 Comment

The End of Vladimir Vladimirovich and What Happens to Ukraine When the Public Finally Finds Out

Putin’s Death Will Be Kept a Secret

MI6 sources claim Vladimir Putin may already be dead amid speculation about the Russian leader’s health. The Daily Star reported that a body double may have been used for recent appearances, as Kremlin cronies would be keen to cover up his death in an attempt to cling on to power….

… One intelligence source said: “Putin is very ill and when he dies his death will be kept secret for weeks, if not months. “There is also the possibility that he is already dead. It’s impossible to know.

“It is believed that Putin has employed body doubles in the past when he has been unwell and the Kremlin could be doing so now. Putin is the head of a small group of senior officials who are completely loyal to him.

“The real fear (for his cronies) is that once his death is announced there could be a Kremlin coup and Russian generals will want to withdraw from Ukraine. Putin’s death will leave them powerless and vulnerable so they have a vested interest in saying that Putin is alive – when the reverse could be true.”

Eight Signs of Vladimir Vladimirovich…

Unrest is already growing inside Russia, while in Ukraine the population is united in the firm determination to drive out the invader from the pre-2014 borders of Ukraine. When Russians discover that Putin has died, the growing unrest and instability inside Russia’s borders will bring about a number of changes. Unfortunately the chances that Russia will become even more tyrannical after the death of Putin are probably at least equal to the chances that Russians may finally experience a slight breath of freedom.

Russian Forces Near Bakhmut Continue to Experience Fierce Resistance

Russian forces in Bakhmut may be nearing culmination as Russian forces in Kherson did in August 2022. Russian combat losses are likely forcing the Russian military in the Bakhmut area to use squad-sized assault groups. Ukrainian Eastern Group of Forces Spokesperson Colonel Serhiy Cherevaty reported on December 27 that Russian forces in the Bakhmut area are no longer operating as company and battalion tactical groups and are instead operating in smaller groups of ten to fifteen servicemembers (squad-size organizations).[27] Russian forces similarly degenerated from company and battalion tactical groups to individual squad-sized groups when Russian units in Kherson Oblast became markedly degraded in August 2022.[28] ISW assessed at the time that the Russian military’s use of squad-sized groups in Kherson Oblast indicated that the Russian offensive had culminated as Russian ground forces were degraded so badly that they could no longer operate elements at echelons high enough to make meaningful gains.[29] The Russian military’s rate of advance in the Bakhmut area has recently slowed amidst growing personnel and munitions constraints that will likely prevent it from maintaining a high pace of offensive operations in the area in the near term.[30] The Russian military’s reported use of squad-sized groups is likely a result of prolonged attritional warfare and indicates the degradation of larger doctrinal formations above the platoon level. Russian rate of advances in the Bakhmut area will likely decrease if Russian forces continue advancing at all unless significant new reinforcements and supplies of artillery rounds arrive soon

Institute for the Study of War

Putin started a war in February that has turned very ugly here in December. It remains to be discovered whether there is enough wisdom remaining inside Russia after Putin’s death, to reverse the corrupt and decadent Russian security forces mindset which has brought Russia to such a rapidly decaying impasse.

Russia Prepared for This War

But Russia was unprepared for a long war of attrition, with external economic sanctions that would eventually prove ruinous for the fragile Russian economy. Sanctions continue to ratchet up and the people of Russia feel the pain.

With the death of Putin, Russians will begin to wonder if all of this pain is accomplishing anything in terms of helping the future of Russians.

Russia has always been a closed society, which often makes it difficult for outsiders (and frequently for insiders) to know what is really happening in the Kremlin. Eventually, Putin will die and the huge mess he has made will have to be faced by the country he has so badly mismanaged.

Posted in Putin, Russia, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Peter Zeihan Explains Putin’s Predicament

In Peter Zeihan’s most recent in person presentation, he explains to an Ames, Iowa audience why Putin is facing a historic predicament, and what he is likely to attempt to do about it. After dealing with Russia and Germany, Zeihan discusses the economic and demographic squeeze that China has just begun to experience.

Video Source

Economic sanctions against Putin’s country are ratcheting up, month by month. Every aspect of Russia’s industrial infrastructure is beginning to feel the crunch. Russia’s railway transportation spine is moving in the direction of paralysis as maintenance runs out of spare and replacement parts — including critical ball bearing replacement for Russia’s aging railcar fleet. North Korea and Iran can only help solve a small part of Russia’s supply crisis.

Supply shortages are contributing to tension between the Russian military and Russian security forces such as the FSB and the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardia). The Ukrainian Resistance Center reported on December 22 that tension is rising between Russian security forces and the Russian military because Russian security forces have access to the supply chain before the military, meaning that the security forces select the best vehicles and other supplies while the Russian military receives what is left over.[70] Meduza noted that tensions have only worsened due to an unofficial ban on the transport of certain goods, such as vehicles, through Crimea.[71] The Ukrainian Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) shared intercepted audio of a Russian servicemember telling his friend that Russian forces continue to lack military equipment — despite what Russian media shows the Russian population — and that Russian servicemembers are consequently deserting in droves.[72] A Russian source also reported that a unit of mobilized personnel in Moscow ended up in Luhansk Oblast without supplies, food, personal belongings, or the means of communication.[73] The source stated that multiple unit members ended up in the hospital due to frostbite.[74]

Understanding War

Russian resistance to the invasion and ongoing genocide of Ukraine, is growing. Men of fighting age in Russia are becoming more rare. Russia is in the middle of the world’s largest self goal ever seen.

Why Russia and China Cannot Do High Technology

Russia and China have been falling behind in the global innovation race for many years now. We have been watching this phenomenon for some time. And it is getting worse — as Putin’s invasion of Ukraine illustrates, and as China’s growing economic and industrial problems reveal. The Covid19 fiasco is a window into why China is in decay.

Both Russia and China are experiencing demographic crises which could easily become existential in severity if these two tyrannies do not begin to lighten up on control. Their biggest and most profitable tech industries are beginning to see the light, and move out.

Russians Try to Make Sense of Why Their Government Went to War

Interviews of ordinary Russians such as those above help outsiders understand the effect of incessant propaganda and the strict limitation of free discussion which has plagued Russia and China for several generations now.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Choice of Fuels Will Determine if Fusion Works

Image Source

High energy neutrons are hard on a fusion reactor vessel. The private nuclear fusion startup Helion Energy is building an aneutronic reactor that will cost a tiny fraction of the huge costly ITER tokamak reactor in Europe. And perhaps because of Helion’s choice of reactor fuel, the company is likely to achieve commercial fusion far sooner than ITER. Perhaps as soon as 2024. The following video explains the choices involved:

Real Engineering

The Helion fusion reactor has many unique features that are being tested and perfected in successive iterations of the design:

Image Source

Helion’s reactor will produce electricity in a novel way. Rather than using heat to boil water to drive steam turbines, Helion will produce electricity directly from the magnetic field effects of the charged particle products of the reactor.

(3) Direct electricity generation. Most power generators work by producing heat. The heat turns water into high-pressure steam, which then drives a turbine. Within the turbine, electricity is generated by Faraday’s law, as a moving magnetic field induces a current in stator coils of the turbine (see our note below for a primer on power-electronics). However, a linear reactor containing can exploit Faraday’s law directly. Plasma particles are electro-magnetically charged. So as they expand, they will also induce a current. Some online sources have suggested 95% of the energy released from the plasmas could be converted to electricity, versus c40% in a typical turbine.

Unique Features of Helion’s Fusion Reactor

The following video is another recent look at Helion. It is also an easy to understand introduction to the concept of controlled nuclear fusion.

Electric Future

Helion is not a new company, but the two videos above reveal that the company is not sitting on its laurels but is continuing to move forward — in incremental iterations. The company has some high profile investors who will keep a close eye on progress.

Can Nuclear Fusion Save Germany?

Germany is on a collision course with reality, and it is not clear whether the country will survive under current management. The insanity of Germany’s national energy policy over the past 20 years is becoming ever more clear. The screaming irony of Germany’s plight is that German politicians and German journalists still seem to believe that Germany can “unicorn” its way out of its energy crisis by building ever more wind turbines and solar arrays. Such a belief is the equivalent of telling the captain of the Titanic that if he could only hit a few more icebergs, he could save the ship!

Germany was pretending that its massive investments in wind & solar energy projects were paying off, while behind the scenes the country was developing a fatal dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports. The only persons benefiting from this deception were the politically connected developers of the wasteful and destructive wind & solar developments — each new project eating up valuable resources that should have gone toward electric power generation projects that actually worked and made Germany’s grid stronger and the country less reliant on a geopolitical enemy.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine brings Germany’s (and Europe’s) folly to the public eye. Tens of millions of freezing Germans will begin to realize that their leaders have been lying to them.

A working version of commercial nuclear fusion that was safe and affordable, might make the difference between a Germany that goes down in flames, and a Germany that prospers long into the future (at least until it runs out of people).

Problems with ITER Compared with Promising Fusion Startups

The above video is a useful comparison of 5 different approaches to fusion energy including Helion.

Top 10 Fusion Startups

Nuclear fusion is still a longshot dark horse candidate for saving advanced human societies from the new dark ages that would be assured by a growing dependency on wind & solar and other intermittent unreliable energy sources.

But some of the world’s best known billionaire investors are putting their money behind the fusion startup companies. Other private wealthy investors are backing advanced fission startups.

New plants could be powered entirely with spent nuclear fuel sitting at plant sites across the country, built at a lower cost than LWRs and shut down more easily in an emergency.

Third Way

Germany is dying because it chose a foolish and corrupt pathway to national energy policy. Other countries need to take heed and plan more rationally.

Nuclear fusion and nuclear fission are the most rational long term sources for commercial power and heat. Human societies have known this for several decades, but have allowed themselves to become entangled in trendy political debates that have delayed the needed research and development of these critical technologies in a dangerous manner.

As a result, most of the world remains dependent on dirty coal generation of electric power and heat, and will continue to be reliant on that relatively dirty fuel indefinitely until human decision makers in the advanced world gain both the wisdom and courage to make the hard decisions that will facilitate the move to safe, clean, advanced nuclear and an abundant and expansive human future.

Nations with high power consumption and advanced critical infrastructures cannot survive on intermittent and unreliable, low quality energy sources such as wind & solar. Only corrupt liars and fools would maintain otherwise.

Clear Energy Alliance
Posted in Energy, Nuclear Fusion | 1 Comment

Habits and Metaphor: Constructing the Person

Rule One: Patterns of Action are Built on Habits

It starts in the womb, as young minds construct habitual patterns of behavior — and create a new self-identity, with growing memories of “me.”

Jud Brewer 2014 The Craving Mind

The process continues throughout life, as ongoing mental and emotional judgments of what is pleasant and what is unpleasant struggle to birth new self-identities, against a lengthening lifetime of pre-existing habits.

Another way of describing the process:

In philosophy, the criteria for personhood (PH) at a specific point in time (synchronic), and the necessary and sufficient conditions of personal identity (PI) over time (diachronic) are traditionally separated. Hence, the transition between both timescales of a person’s life remains largely unclear. Personal habits reflect a decision-making (DM) process that binds together synchronic and diachronic timescales. Despite the fact that the actualization of habits takes place synchronically, they presuppose, for the possibility of their generation, time in a diachronic sense. The acquisition of habits therefore rests upon PI over time; that is, the temporal extension of personal decisions is the necessary condition for the possible development of habits. Conceptually, habits can thus be seen as a bridge between synchronic and diachronic timescales of a person’s life.

Habits, Personhood, and Personal Identity

As time goes by, our mental habits grow and wrap around themselves like the layers of an onion. It is almost impossible to access the deepest levels of habit, which after all were formed automatically long before our verbal powers emerged. But many meaningful and rewarding levels of habit remain accessible to change.

Image Source

More details on seizing the reins of our own habits from James Clear in “Atomic Habits”

Look again at the topmost image in this article. Our habits “birth” our self-identity. Our friends, families, co-workers, and others often identify us by our outward habitual behaviors. The process never stops unless we want it to. But almost everyone has things about themselves they would like to change.

Rule Two: Patterns of Thought are Built on Metaphor

Unless you know better, you may believe that metaphor is a thing for writers and poets, but of little use in ordinary day to day living. Unless you know better . . .

“The essence of metaphor is understanding and experiencing one kind of thing in terms of another.” It might not be an exaggeration to say that metaphorical thinking is the basis of our ability to extend the boundaries of human knowledge.  For those of you who only remember the word from middle school English class, I imagine this dramatic inflation of the importance of metaphor comes as a surprise. Isn’t metaphor just a linguistic flourish? “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day”? “Now is the winter of our discontent”? Surely this kind of frippery is only for poets and artists? For the cafe and the studio, rather than the workshop and the laboratory? Nothing could be further from the truth.

Is it possible to speak plainly and just name things and processes without recourse to metaphor? The answer is not as straightforward as many of us would like it to be. Concrete concepts often evaporate into metaphorical abstraction upon careful examination. Conversely, even the most abstract concepts usually begin their lives as metaphors constructed from day-to-day human experience.

Metaphor as Alchemy of Thought

Mark Johnson and George Lakoff are the authors of “Metaphors We Live By,” which is a good introduction to the concepts of everyday metaphorical thinking.

The key point about metaphor is that it is not restricted to language. A little bit of thought should reveal that the concept of metaphor penetrates into much deeper levels of mental and neurological chains of meaning than does human language. This means that the human being uses metaphorical structures of thought long before it learns to speak and think in human language. But it is more difficult to understand just how all that is done.

Habit and Metaphor are Two Powerful Keys to Understanding

In order for habit formation to work, metaphor must already be installed into the neurological machinery. That is a much deeper topic, and for another time. But in the meantime, do we have a use for metaphor now?

Is metaphor a useful concept for anyone besides writers and poets? Certainly psychotherapists and hypnotists can make good use of metaphors, both in helping clients to change behaviors but also in helping them to understand what makes them tick. Cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence researchers can also find much buried treasure in the innate metaphorical structures of human consciousness and subconsciousness. Anyone who works with consciousness and with conscious beings, can make good use of metaphor.

When we think of habits, we tend to think of bad habits that we would like to change. Habits like smoking, drinking, gambling, lying, and running away from challenge. But good habits can be far more powerful than bad habits, if they are reinforced properly. Productive and rewarding habits can come to fill our lives, and displace most bad habits just in the ordinary course of living a rewarding life that is constructed with care out of good habits. In many ways, we are our habits. They construct our identities at every level.

Habits and Identity
Habit Building Cycle

1. What matters most is what you do in the SLUMP.

Habit maintenance depends almost entirely on what happens after you enter the SLUMP.

After any period of action, persistent effort, motivation, you’re bound to hit a wall. These failures are inevitable.

Therefore, our success depends, not on our ability to prevent failures from happening, but on our ability to anticipate, plan, and learn from failures. __ Source

Summary:

A quick and reductionist way to view the construction of a human mind is by the building of habits and metaphors from the simplest and most basic levels to more and more complex, intricate, and interwoven levels.

Habits use metaphor as essential components, and the automatic building of metaphor uses habitual mechanisms. Simple but profound.

Note: You will see some of the deeper approaches to habit formation and destruction in the addiction books and scientific literature. The brain reward system combined with the fear learning system play strong central roles in subconscious habit formation. In the US, about $1 trillion is spent annually on addiction, rehab, and other direct costs of bad habits. Secondary costs of bad habits of thinking, learning, and emotion, could run much higher, just in the one country alone.

Remember that productive habits will crowd out destructive habits, if they are well reinforced personally, socially, and professionally.

Posted in Metaphor, Philosophy, psychology | 1 Comment

Ukraine’s Wounded Get Best Care; Russia Kills Its Own Wounded

Russian conscripts are disillusioned and refusing to fight. They often disappear without a trace, and their families back in Russia never learn their fate.

Russian officers are killing their own wounded and have been doing so for several months now. Chechen allies of Putin are also involved in the murders of Russian wounded.

Meanwhile, Russians who flee the battlefield are killed by their own side, and those who refuse to fight are confined in basements and makeshift dungeons. Too often they are never seen or heard from again.

Russian soldiers fired at the mobilized men if they retreated from their positions.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military is toughening up and preparing for the long push to repel the invader from their homeland.

During the first few months of the war the Ukrainians had to improvise but they did so with the intention of keeping their casualties lower than what the Russians were suffering, and seeing to it that new or existing troops got the training and logistical support they needed to be most effective. Russia went in the opposite direction, providing less training and logistical support for new troops sent to Ukraine to replace their heavy losses. The Russian reinforcements suffered heavy losses from this lack of supplies, medical care and leadership. Many of these Russian troops surrendered or deserted at the first opportunity. Russian efforts to remedy this are disrupted by prompt and precise Ukrainian attacks on their supplies. Ukrainian troops survive longer in combat and suffer fewer casualties, which means the average Ukrainian combat soldier is more experienced, trained, led and supported than their Russian counterparts. Ukrainian forces are prepared for a winter campaign and Russian forces are not. __ Russia in Decay

Russia has nothing left but the attempt to destroy Ukraine’s civilian economic infrastructure, to try to drive as many Ukrainian refugees out of the country as possible. Putin might say he is forced to destroy Ukraine in order to save it for the Russian dream. But Russians are disappearing from the world too quickly for Putin to save anything for them.

Meanwhile, the decadent western world is suffering its own delusions:

The Apocalyptic Climate Change Hoax

Germany is in danger of collapse for the sole reason that the country has fallen under the delusion of apocalyptic climate change and the green energy salvation. Both of these delusions have brought Germans to the brink of suffering such as they have not seen since the aftermath of WWII.

Peak Climate Change

Greens are using ever-more extreme language to try to panic the masses into changing their behaviour. Indeed, it’s notable that we hear less about ‘climate change’ and more about ‘climate emergency’, even ‘climate apocalypse’. The Oxford English Dictionary says climate language is changing to reflect a ‘very real sense of urgency’. Extinction Rebellion even protested outside the offices of the New York Times demanding that it say ‘climate emergency’, not ‘climate change’. Linguistic experts cheer this new grammar of catastrophe on the basis that it helps to ‘convey to the public an increasingly urgent threat’.

In short, the manipulation of language helps to manipulate thought. If people can be convinced that we’re heading for a climate apocalypse – which we clearly are not – then maybe they’ll start behaving in a more eco-responsible way. Green terror inflation is about suppressing dissent. Question any aspect of eco-ideology and you’ll be accused of facilitating Armageddon.

Peak Climate Hysteria

This is the climate change boogey-man:

Apocalyptic climate change hysteria is based upon easily manipulable computer models, which are fed phony temperature records in order to maximise the climate angst.

The entire media infrastructure of the western world has been perverted in order to propagate the message of apocalyptic climate change, to create fear and panic among the populations of the advanced world. Plenty of people believe these distortions, in large part due to a general dumbing down of educational institutions over the past several decades.

Anyone who still has any illusions about the objectivity of today’s media only needs to look at the “Twitter Files” and the shocking story of how Twitter insiders worked closely with US government politicians, intelligence officers, and law enforcement officials to censor and bias news of critical political danger to those in power.

Biden officials worked feverishly behind the scenes to “flag” Twitter posts that mentioned Devine’s article, and Twitter, due to the overwhelmingly leftist makeup of its employees, dutifully did their bidding by removing “wrongthink” from the platform. Twitter even suspended the New York Post’s account for having the gall to report a story that was damaging to the Biden campaign in the first place.

Mainstream liberal journalists, ever docile and obedient toward the establishment powers-that-be, also did their part by repeating the lies of a cadre of former intelligence officials who released a joint statement dismissing the story as “Russian disinformation.” Talking heads and partisan hacks hypnotically repeated this authoritative assessment, falsely claiming the Biden laptop story had “the classic earmarks” of a Russian psyop.

It is now a proven fact, however, that Twitter/Biden/CIA/liberal media psyop forced onto the public was the real source of disinformation, and it unfurled with military precision and force.

The Media Lies on Command

The ruling elite will stop at nothing to seize and retain power over you and everyone you know.

The recent Jordan Peterson interview of Matt Ridley is an excellent window into the political corruption of modern science.

The above podcast is Peter Zeihan’s most recent interview. While the first few minutes of Zeihan’s interviews tend to be repetitive, as the interaction proceeds Zeihan comes out with new information. Sometimes he is just “winging it” to try to reconcile current events with past predictions. But much of the time, Zeihan is rationally integrating new information with past trends and coming up with some truly golden analyses.

Elsewhere on the web, there are many fascinating interviews taking place and it is impossible to follow all of them. The conversation below is one of those hidden gems:

Posted in Climate, Russia, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Peter Zeihan: 1 Hr. to Map the Collapse of Globalization

Brought to you by the Commonwealth Club of California:

Peter Zeihan’s video interviews over the past 8 months have taken on a darker tone. His talks and interviews have always begun with a discussion of America’s retreat from the Bretton Woods system of international commerce and peacekeeping — combined with the worldwide demographic crisis among the developed nations. But since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Zeihan has been forced to update his predictions of the collapse of globalization — increasingly aggravated by the slow motion collapse of China and the subsequent collapse of global supply chains.

China, Germany, and Russia are among the nations that Zeihan expects to come under greater and greater strain in the next 6 months to a year. All three of those nations have made some exceptionally poor choices recently which have nothing to do with outsiders or traditional enemies. They are doing it to themselves.

India is one of the nations that Zeihan expects to do better than average.

The above video is a Q&A interview with Zeihan by his hosts the Commonwealth Club of California. The conversation is wide-ranging and up to date.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian fighters are faced with the coming winter, and the many uncertainties that come with that season in that part of the world. Unlike most other winter wars that Russia has been involved in, this time Russia is the invader with a demographic crisis, and its dwindling troops are poorly trained and equipped. The video below by analyst Perun looks at the winter battlefield in Ukraine in an attempt to determine who holds the advantage over the next four months.

The civilian infrastructure of Ukraine is being hammered by stand-off weapons fired from Russia and Belarus. This will continue to cause much hardship among the civilian population and the civilian economy. Without its many international friends, Ukraine would have a difficult time continuing to exist as an independent country.

But Putin’s scorched Earth war against Ukrainian civilians is providing Ukraine with more motivation to fight Russia to the end. That will involve ever deeper sabotage missions inside Russia itself, probably eventually involving critical Russian oil infrastructure which could damage Russia’s own economic prospects for decades to come.

Russia started the war in 2014 and intensified the war in 2022. Each escalation of hostilities was Putin’s choice, although he seems to be confused as to who invaded whom.

On another topic, Jordan Peterson’s recent interview with Matt Ridley on Ridley’s updated book “Viral: The Origins of Covid19” is worth looking over. This blog covered the book a year ago, but since then it has been updated and revised.

Posted in Peter Zeihan, Russia, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Europe’s Wind Fantasy vs. Russian Energy Realpolitik

Dreams of powering huge electric power grids using nothing but wind and solar energy, have always been more fantasy than reality — although European politicians and pundits would never admit that. For decades, Germany’s leaders have pretended to base their nation’s economic prowess on a growing complement of wind & solar power. But in reality, they were building a precarious dependency on Russian oil & gas. With Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent western sanctions, the cards are on the table. And that means that Germany’s energy/economic crisis can no longer be concealed from Germans and the world.

Now that cold weather has settled in most of Europe at the beginning of December and weather forecasts point to a colder-than-normal start to the winter in northern Europe and the UK, Europe’s ability to keep the lights and heating on will be put to the test.

In the latter half of December, the chance of frost and fog, along with below-normal temperatures and spells of wintry precipitation, is slightly higher than usual, the UK’s Met Office said on Wednesday. 

Overall, current weather forecasts show that this winter could be colder than usual, especially in northern Europe.

Power prices could rise further next week as wind generation is expected to continue to be low in Germany and France. __ Source

Wind energy is intermittent and unreliable. You cannot simply flip a switch and turn it on. You must wait for mother nature to give the okay. And that usually happens at a time that is not advantageous for the power grid. Wind energy is also ruinously expensive, and drives up the cost of electric power wherever it is relied upon.

“Never forget, renewables like wind roughly, roughly, need 10 times the material [compared to] … what conventional technologies need…So if you have problems on the supply chain, it hits … wind extremely hard, and this is what we see.” 

Siemens and other companies that produce wind turbines are being hammered by huge losses. Siemens just posted a net loss of 647 million euros, which was up from a 560 million euro loss in the previous year. In October, GE announced that its renewable energy business will lose a staggering $2 billion this year. Those losses are being driven in large part, by the surging cost of metals like zincnickelneodymium, and copper

If your power plant requires 10 times more of those commodities than other forms of power generation, it’s readily apparent why the Siemens boss is saying his company is having “problems on the supply chain.” And those problems are a direct result of wind energy’s low power density.

Wind vs. Supply Chains

Russia’s scorched Earth war of infrastructure devastation against Ukrainian civilians is bringing the global energy debate to a reluctant head. It is winter, and it is very cold. As Russia destroys their crucial infrastructures, Ukrainians are facing harsh winter conditions without normal access to electricity, heating fuel, and water. But Ukrainians are a tough and resourceful people. Their resolve to remain independent of their persecutors appears to be strengthening in the face of their suffering.

Europeans as a whole are a different animal than Ukrainians. Western Europeans have a different history, and as a result they are typically softer and weaker than those who lived in poverty under the Soviet yoke for decades. Western Europeans are facing the mere threat of a reduction of heating fuels and electric power — not a cessation as the Ukrainians are experiencing. But western Europeans do not have the memories and nightmares of living under Moscow’s domination. And so their resolve is weaker.

The UK is another place where a foolish dependency on wind & solar energy has wormed its way into the minds of policy makers, pundits, and politicians. This will prove a deadly mistake for the UK as time moves on.

Britain’s power consumers are paying a heavy price for its maniacal obsession with intermittent wind and solar. Trashing its coal-fired power fleet and failing to keep up its nuclear plants now looks positively suicidal.

However, of late, the MSM has been dishing up an alternative reality, peddling a line that power prices would be a pittance if only we’d thrown even more subsidies, even sooner, at unreliable wind and solar; with that failure meaning that we lost an inevitable opportunity to enjoy loads more ‘free’ electricity harnessed from mother nature.

They Will Promise You Anything

They tell you that the more wind & solar you have, the cheaper your electric power will be. But the truth is that the opposite inevitably happens. As we have seen in Spain, Denmark, Germany, and other early adopters of the wind & solar delusion, electric power costs shoot up dramatically in response to an increased dependency on intermittent unreliables wind & solar.

For years they told us that the green transition would deliver cheap energy, and that if we just subsidized them enough, prices would keep falling. The promise of free energy on the horizon led whole nations (stupidly) to believe that closing coal plants was viable. But now that damage is done, suddenly the Vestas chief admits that telling people that wind can only get cheaper “was a mistake”.

“Vestas CEO says industry went too far with cheap-energy pledge”

There is carnage in Europe. Orders and profits are collapsing. The largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world has already raised prices by more than 30% this year but despite that, expects its profit margins to shrink to “minus five percent”.

Lucky their orders are down since they are losing money on every turbine.

The fall in sales landed as inflation bites, supply lines are squeezed and their costs are rising. (After all, wind turbine factories can’t run off wind turbines, they’re paying for expensive electricity too). So suddenly Vestas need to raise their prices even more, and their CEO is hoping a belated apology will somehow bring their market back.

It Keeps Getting More Expensive All the Time!

Propaganda is the greatest plague of the modern world. Left wing radical environmental (green) propaganda is one of the most vile forms of modern propaganda. Green propaganda champions wind & solar energy, supposedly in order to save the planet from apocalyptic global warming.

But wind & solar energy can never be scaled up to run modern massive electric power grids. Our politicians, pundits, academics and policy makers are working hand in hand with green propagandists in order to replace reliable forms of electric power with intermittent and unreliable forms of energy. “Green” energy makes electric power more expensive. Going green is the equivalent of bombing our own electric power infrastructure.

Who needs Russians when we are bombing our own electric power into oblivion?!?!?

Before Elon Musk rescued Twitter from itself, it was very difficult to counteract green propaganda and other forms of extreme left wing propaganda. We can hope that Elon has started a trend in the rescue of free speech outlets — and in the devising of ever new liberating forms of communicating among communities of intelligent people and Dangerous Children © .

Posted in Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Europe, Wind | 2 Comments

Why Is Russia Becoming a Nation of Women?

“I feel like we are a country of women now,” Moscow resident Stanislava, 33, told the Times. “I was searching for male friends to help me move some furniture, and I realized almost all of them had left.”

Aleksei Ermilov, the founder of Russia’s Chop-Chop barber shop empire, tells the Times you “can see the massive relocation wave more in Moscow and St. Petersburg than in other cities, partially because more people have the means to leave there.” __ The Case of Russia’s Missing Men

Continuing with the Ukraine war and mobilization efforts until the end of next spring would be “catastrophic” for Russia, Moscow demographer Igor Efremov tells Bloomberg. __ A Burgeoning Catastrophe for Russia

Russia already had a fatal shortfall of women of child-bearing age. Even worse, Russia has 10.5 million fewer men than it has women. Russia’s young men have either fled the country or they are dying in a foolhardy invasion of a neighboring nation that was previously a peaceful buffer to Russia’s west. Now Russia is immersed in war, and the war seems to be moving toward Moscow, not away from it! Thanks, Putin you jerk!

The most likely outcome is that “Putin’s war will cast a shadow on Russia for a long time to come — one growing ever darker the longer the war carries on,” Goble writes. Not only will the loss of Russian men to emigration and battlefield death “leave a huge hole in Russian society,” but “those Russian men who do indeed manage to return will experience enormous problems,” from PTSD and other health struggles to participating in a “proliferation of crime waves similar to those that followed the Afghan and Chechen wars.”

The shape of “Russia’s population pyramid” means “the birthrate is almost destined to decline,” Brent Peabody wrote at Foreign Policy in January. Putin has said he’s haunted by that fact, and “Russia’s need for more people is no doubt a motivating consideration for its current aggressive posture toward Ukraine,” even as “the idea that Ukrainians would sign up to be good Russians is largely delusional.”

Where Have All the Russian Men Gone?

Sanctions are tightening on Russian oil & gas sales, forcing Russia to begin to shut down wells that will be almost impossible to re-start within the next ten years. This will be hell on a Russian economy which is already suffering from an ever-worsening critical manpower shortage.

Russia’s Putin is getting desperate as the negative outcomes of his decision to create an unnecessary war comes back to hurt Russia. He knows he will die before the full weight of the disaster crushes the would-be empire. Already Putin cannot control his own bodily functions

Ukrainians will never quit. They have experienced freedom from their slavemasters and have no desire to return to serfdom. China cannot help. Russia is running out of men and there is nothing that anyone can do about it. Putin’s decision to take his shrinking nation to war only made the situation infinitely worse.

Muscovites ponder recent developments in Ukraine

Crimea is in flux for many reasons

Russian dead in Ukraine trends closer to the 100,000 mark

The costs associated with six months of brutal, grinding, and attrition-based combat around Bakhmut far outweigh any operational advantage that the Russians can obtain from taking Bakhmut. Russian offensives around Bakhmut, on the other hand, are consuming a significant proportion of Russia’s available combat power, potentially facilitating continued Ukrainian counteroffensives elsewhere.

A Brutal Grind on Russia’s Available Combat Power

New weapons systems that could hurt Russia even more

Posted in Demographics, Russian Decline | Tagged | Comments Off on Why Is Russia Becoming a Nation of Women?

The Synergism of Intelligent Minds: Jordan Peterson, Andrew Huberman

The video interaction between psychologist Jordan Peterson and neuroscientist Andrew Huberman is a classic example of what happens when two intelligent minds meet on the same wavelength in order to share cutting edge knowledge. Each man has his areas of greater expertise which makes cooperative sharing synergistic.

Scientific societies have provided a meeting place for bright and inquiring minds to meet and share for several centuries:

The earliest scientific societies appeared in Italy but diminished there after the condemnation of Galileo in 1633. Informal scientific societies in England came under a single charter in 1662, when Charles II of England authorized the Royal Society of London to advance the cause of science. Louis XIV of France followed with the formation of the Paris Academy of Sciences in 1666 and the Royal Observatory in 1667.

Rise of Scientific Societies

Germany and the Netherlands had similar societies where the brilliant men who took on the disciplined mantle of the scientific method came together to share, encourage, and criticize.

Today, much of modern scientific research is shared over the internet via a number of formal and informal scientific online publishers, and via a wide range of video channels and podcasts. The COVID pandemic and pandemic scare helped to hurry a lot of scientific interaction onto the internet. Most of this research is ignored by the general public, and for good reason. It is hard to understand unless a person has a background in science, technology, and data analysis.

But some well-known public figures provide online forums which feature expert guests, which serve to popularize some important areas of modern research. Both Jordan Peterson and Andrew Huberman (featured in the video above) are good examples of persons with research backgrounds who help to popularize and explain useful contemporary research.

Other forms of synergism occur on forums such as the Joe Rogan podcasts and other popular interview shows hosted by comedians and other well known personalities. But the quality of the synergism is limited on most popular forums — a well known “dumbing down” phenomenon that accompanies popular culture and most public information sources that are censored by elite overlords in government, academia, media, and the large worldwide corporate/foundation/nonprofit/NGO/intergovernmental conglomerate.

Whenever intelligent minds get together there is the potential for synergism. Unfortunately too many of such opportunities are drowned in drugs, alcohol, or other dampers which blunt the acuity of what could take place.

More: The synergism that occurs inside a single brain enables learning and maturity

Original research article PDF Download

We sometimes forget that each one of us contains multitudes. We can learn a great deal just from our many selves, if we would only allow it. The discussion between Jordan Peterson and Andrew Huberman provides some crucial information pointing to some behavioral changes many people could make to allow a freer flow of insights between the different parts of our brains.

Posted in Human Brain, Jordan Peterson, Science | Comments Off on The Synergism of Intelligent Minds: Jordan Peterson, Andrew Huberman

A Meeting of Titans

Hold Still Vlad!

Around the time of the recent G20 summit, secret meetings between the world’s titans took place with consequences that could shake the world. Here is a brief edited transcript of the interchange between the two giants of the modern age:

JB: Hold still, Vlad! These little buggers are quick!

VP: I know, Joe. These little monsters only grow in Russia. And they bite so hard!

JB: Well they remind me of some bugs I got one time from the daughter of a campaign worker — or was that a White House intern…

VP: Shut up and get them off me! They’re making me miserable. You know, you’re the only one who is able to see them!

JB: I can see a lot of things! Don’t tell me I’m senile!

VP: Don’t be silly, Joe. I feel that you may be the only person who really understands me.

JB: You got that right! Don’t pay any attention to what I say in my speeches. Somebody else writes those things. I just read off the teleprompter, when I can. I really envy you and the way you take total control in your country!

VP: Okay. As long as you don’t let it bother you if I call Obama a monkey and I call you the monkey’s little idiot on Russian TV.

JB: All in a day’s work, Vlad. There! I think I got the last crawling critter. Now go use that shampoo I told you about and kill all the eggs!

VP: Thanks, Joe. I can’t tell you how good it is to find someone who can see these little biters and do something about them. All of my doctors are imbeciles!

JB: A pleasure, Vladimir. Say, you didn’t forget the girls did you?

VP: I never forget. They’re Ukrainian this time. Just liberated and taken out of the country. They can’t speak English but I’m providing some FSB translators for you. All very discrete!

JB: That’s good! You can’t imagine all the flack I’m getting over Hunter’s laptop and his shenanigans in Ukraine and China! The less the public knows, the better!

VP: Well, Joe, you can always go full dictator like me. If a reporter or a politician says the wrong thing about me, bang! the next day they’re dead!

JB: It obviously has its advantages. But we have real elections over there, and it’s hard to fake the results in an American election unless you can engineer an all-out pandemic scare or something like it that let’s you drop all the fraud safeguards. It’s not as easy to do in America as in Russia, even using the lapdog media as a smokescreen.

VP: That’s your problem! I’ve got plenty of my own without worrying about yours. Say, when are you going to run out of HIMARS to send to Ukraine?

JB: I don’t know, they don’t tell me those things. Just what I see on the teleprompter, when I’m alert enough to read it. Speaking of which, it’s time for my nap.

VP: All right. Thanks again for your help with the… you know. Dasvidaniya.

JB: No problem comrade. And thanks for the liberated amusements. You can’t imagine how closed-minded western people are about such things!

Note to readers: The above is only an abbreviated version of the full conversation, most of which was redacted by censors. What remains is considered the least controversial of what was said by the two men.

Bonus: Peter Zeihan explains why a nuclear response by Putin is vanishingly remote in the following video:

Ukrainian Consequences: The New American War Model – YouTube

Posted in Politics, Putin, satire | Comments Off on A Meeting of Titans

Peter Zeihan: Russia Losing the Land Bridge to Crimea

Since 2014, Crimea has seemed to be in the firm possession of Russia, with no possibility that Ukraine would ever take Crimea back. Now everything has changed, with the collapse of Russian forces north, east, and south.

In the video below, Peter Zeihan explains how Russia is losing all supply routes to Crimea. What this means is that Russia is also losing all escape routes from Crimea, paving the way to a massive humanitarian tragedy for Russia. Until now, Russia had been forcing Ukrainian civilians to pay the humanitarian cost of the war, with hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians killed and enslaved by Russia so far. Now the pendulum may be starting to swing.

After months of insisting that Russia is in ultimate control of the war, Peter Zeihan is now warning Putin that he should withdraw all troops from Crimea and from south Ukraine before Russia suffers irrevocable losses. More in the video below:

Zeihan on Geopoplitics

Back in Russia, the state media propaganda outlets are losing control of the narrative, as more and more Russians discover the ways they can bypass the state media monopoly to find out what is actually happening just a few hundred miles away. Unrest is percolating through the layers of Russian society in very interesting ways, and in the middle of an ongoing demographic crisis the “nation” of Russia is beginning to evolve much more quickly.

The things that Russians will say on camera are not necessarily the same things they will say privately, to friends and family. They tend to be cautious as a rule. That is certainly wise, considering the political regimes they have had to live under for the past several hundred years.

Russian forces continue to bombard civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, earning rebukes from around the world — even from communist China.

All of Russia’s neighbors hold long-standing serious grudges against Russia, and the time will soon come for them to collect on the multitude of debts that Russia owes.

The recent deadly missile explosion inside Poland, for example, came as a result of Russian bombardment of civilian targets in western Ukraine. The Russian attack triggered a Ukrainian air defense response, with death and destruction inside Poland as an ultimate result. Russia is ultimately responsible since it was their attack that initiated the sequence of events. Simple jurisprudence.

Unless the Russian regime wakes up and stops attacking civilian targets, these collateral damages will accrue against the Russian side of the ledger and Russia will eventually have to pay with blood, tears, and the most pitiful suffering imaginable for a very long time. Russia will not be forgiven, and it is losing the ability to intimidate with every passing day.

Posted in Russia, Ukraine | 1 Comment

Nicotinamide Riboside and Cancer Risk: A Manufactured Panic

A popular nutritional supplement, Nicotinamide Riboside, which has been shown to be protective against a wide array of human ailments — including multiple types of cancer — is being accused by popular media sources of being a cause of cancer! The furor appears to be based upon a misinterpretation of research at the U. of Missouri, and the confusion of animal models with actual human research.

A University of Missouri study looking at Nicotinamide Riboside uptake measures in various tissues, is sparking a media furor among persons who use nutritional supplements — and among the government bureaucrats who would like to more tightly regulate what supplements private individuals can access without prescription. Even the Weather Channel website is getting into the act with a particularly uninformed article of its own!

The bottom line is that the actual research — at least the part that is available to the general public — does not make the same claims that the popular media articles are making for the research. That is how people are so easily led astray by “science journalism” accounts of scientific research. Here is the abstract from the U. Missouri study:

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 and is one of the most studied compounds for the restoration of cellular NAD+ levels demonstrating clinical potential in many metabolic and age-related disorders. Despite its wide commercial availability as a powerful nutraceutical, our understanding of NR uptake by different cells and tissues is greatly limited by the lack of noninvasive in vivo imaging tools limiting its clinical translation. Here, we report the development and validation of a bioluminescent NR uptake probe (BiNR) for non-invasive longitudinal imaging of NR uptake both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we optimized an assay that allows monitoring of NR flux without the need to transfect cells with the luciferase gene, enabling the use of the BiNR probe in clinical samples, as demonstrated with human T cells. Lastly, we used BiNR to investigate the role of NR uptake in cancer prevalence and metastases formation in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) animal model. Our results demonstrate that NR supplementation results in a significant increase in cancer prevalence and metastases of TNBC to the brain. These results outline the important role of powerful nutraceuticals like NR in cancer metabolism and the need to personalize their use in certain patient populations.

Science Direct (from Elsevier Biosensors and Bioelectronics)

Note from the abstract that the portion of the U.Missouri research dealing with Nicotinamide Riboside and cancer, is done exclusively in a specific animal model, not in humans. Also note that that portion of the research was only secondary to the main part of the research, which focused on NR uptake techniques in different cells and tissues. But which part of the research did the mainstream hacks focus on? A hypothetical link between NR and cancer. And what did the mainstream hacks fail to tell us? That the tiny portion of the research dealing with NR and cancer was done using a particular animal model — not human subjects.

I have long been disgusted by the low intelligence level of science journalism in mainstream publications and websites, which are often used to herd public opinion like a slaughterhouse herder funnels sheep into the slaughter. The example above is just one of the latest in a long line of transgressions against honest journalism which most undereducated consumers of mainstream “news” are treated to.

But what of the conclusion of the U Missou researchers that “supplementing the animal models with nicotinamide riboside results in an increase of breast cancer prevalence and metastasis to the brain?” Poor mice! But then, researchers do a lot of things to laboratory mice which could be considered unfortunate from the mouse’s point of view.

The Critical Role of the Mitochondrion in Health

Mitochondria are essential organelles that provide eukaryotic cells with energy in the form of ATP generated through aerobic respiration. Electrons harvested from the oxidation of carbon food sources are utililized to pump protons across the inner membrane and store the energy in a proton gradient, which is then used to produce ATP through chemiosmosis. Aside from this critical role of ATP production, mitochondria are also important in multiple biological processes including cell differentiation, cell cycle control, cell survival, neuronal protection, and aging.

Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to a remarkably wide range of human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, ischemia perfusion injury, steatohepatitis, sepsis, Huntington’s disease, and many others. As more information associating mitochondrial dysfunction with human diseases emerges, the development of new tools to interrogate this important organelle becomes increasingly important.

Elena Goun U.Missou Chemistry Dept.

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is one of the many substances which are useful in preserving and boosting the function of mitochondria in cells. Animal research has shown that supplementation with NR is associated reduced incidence of certain cancers, improved outcomes in metabolic disorders, cardiovascular conditions, neurodegenerative conditions, and other disease conditions. In a human study, NR was found to prevent common skin cancers in high risk patients.

Science is not determined by a single study. Human medical science is not defined by the outcome of animal studies. The low quality of “journalism” in the mainstream of print, broadcast, and internet journalism is clearly incapable of accurately informing the public of the true state of medical and scientific research. Quite the opposite, modern journalism has much more in common with propaganda than with factual reporting.

More: How Lies Destroy Armies

Unfortunately, in this country burdened by an unnecessary war, there seems to be nothing in the cards that can prevent an outright implosion.

Russia, as we know it, is on course to implode. Between population shrinkage, and the rapid shrinking of the ethnic Rus/Slav people, and brain drain, the current system has no chance of long-term survival. Add in everything else, and the odds go up rather dramatically on the system coming apart in the next ten to twenty years. Now, factor in military defeat in Ukraine and the impact that is going to have on populations and politics, and it means the next few years might be more interesting than any of us would like. Especially given that Russia is an unstable nuclear power to an extent that makes the old Soviet Union breaking apart seem stable by comparison.

As I pointed out yesterday, the invasion and all that is going on in Russia is based on domestic Russian politics. What I’ve outlined above are some of the factors driving those domestic politics. Dealing with the international and other issues depends on leaders outside of Russia not only understanding the domestic Russian political situation but also the cultural factors playing into it and into popular opinion within Russia.

Laughing Wolf

This massive tragedy was all based upon a series of lies upon lies which were considered necessary by Russian leadership and Russian state media in order to maintain popular support inside Russia for an unwieldy conglomeration of ethnic nations crammed into what is in the long run an unrulable empire. Compare that with the unrulable empire that wallows uncomfortably inside the label of “communist China.”

Those who gaze upon the land and suppose that all is what it seems, will never understand tomorrow why things are suddenly so different. They believed what they had been told.

Posted in Biomedicine, Media, Propaganda, Science | Comments Off on Nicotinamide Riboside and Cancer Risk: A Manufactured Panic

We Spend $Trillions/Yr on Mental Health Pseudoscience

In the Soviet Union, psychiatrists were used by the state to “put away” anyone who did not have their minds right, according to the dictates of the party. We are approaching the same mile marker in the west, where pseudoscientific and fraudulent psychology/psychiatry are destroying economies while also destroying the futures of children and the ability of complex societies to work in harmony.

Psychiatric Diagnosis is a Fraud

Pseudoscience in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

Pseudoscience in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: a Skeptical Field Guide is a new book with multiple authors, edited by Stephen Hupp. They point out that “It is difficult to prove that something works, especially in the field of psychotherapy, and particularly in attempting to help children”. There is little research on children, and research in adults may not apply to children. This very useful book addresses this neglected field. It does a wonderful job of separating psychotherapeutic treatments that have been scientifically proven to work and therapies that are based on pseudoscience.

19 chapters by skeptical experts address everything from tics to toileting, from depression to anxiety, from sleep to substance abuse. The first chapter is an introduction to critical thinking about psychotherapy, covering pseudoscience and skepticism, plausibility, and good science. Each chapter covers myths, questionable ideas, treatments that are implausible, ineffective, or harmful. Then it explains which therapies are supported by good scientific research, followed by a succinct “Conclusion”. As a bonus, each chapter features a sidebar by a prominent interdisciplinary science communicator on peripheral subjects like dolphin-assisted therapy, gay conversion therapy, fear of GMOS, alien abduction, and breatharians.

Pseudosceince in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

During the Bill Clinton presidency, the psychological panic was all about child abuse and demonic worship that was supposedly occurring inside North American day care facilities. Now the psychological profession has moved on to the “epidemic crisis” of gender dysphoria and and the “need” for transgender affirmative care. For these cutting edge psychologists, psychiatrists, educational counselors, and pediatric surgeons, this “crisis” is a fast road to wealth and fame. But for the children, it is a ruinous injustice by the establishment, which will one day call for a very harsh reckoning on the part of these trendy “professionals.”

Psychology has a particular problem with the reproducibility of study data and results. A 2018 meta-analysis study of 200 papers concluded that psychological research, on average, is littered with examples of low statistical robustness. Social psychology has been particularly implicated, but the fields of educational research, clinical psychology, and developmental psychology all have problems with reproducibility.

A study published in Nature Human Behavior failed to replicate 13 out of 21 behavioral and social science papers published in Science and Nature, two leading journals. In another study, 186 researchers from 60 laboratories failed to replicate 14 out of 28 findings despite large sample sizes. One explanation is the prevalence of questionable research practices in the field of psychology, including selective reporting, partial publication of data, post-hoc storytelling, and optional stopping.

psychology’s replication crisis

The mental health profession attracts persons with predatory instincts, including convicted criminals.

The mental health monopoly has practically zero accountability and zero liability for its failures. This has allowed psychiatrists and psychologists to commit far more than just financial fraud. The roster of crimes committed by these “professionals” ranges from fraud, drug offenses, rape and sexual abuse to child molestation, assault, manslaughter and murder.

The primary purpose of mental health treatment must be the therapeutic care and treatment of individuals who are suffering emotional disturbance. It must never be the financial or personal gain of the practitioner. Those suffering are inevitably vulnerable and impressionable. Proper treatment therefore demands the highest level of trustworthiness and integrity in the practitioner.

As experience has shown that there are many criminal mental health practitioners, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights has developed a database at www.psychcrime.org that lists many of the people in the mental health industry who have been convicted and jailed.

The Criminals Who Prey on the Helpless in the Name of Psychology

The public is told to “trust the experts,” meaning the psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers, counselors, and others trained in the mental health professions. And the public is trusting this industry with their lives, their children, their financial well-being, and the very future of their societies. But why trust them at all, with anything?

An example of human resilience: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:

In The End of Trauma, renown trauma researcher George Bonanno answers these questions and more. For starters, PTSD is not nearly as prevalent as most people assume. In fact, most people are overwhelmingly resilient to adversity.

What we often interpret as PTSD symptoms are for most people actually signs of a natural process of learning how to deal with a specific situation. We can cope far more effectively if we understand how this process works. Drawing on three decades of research and compelling stories of real-life trauma, Professor Bonanno explains what makes us resilient, why we sometimes aren’t, and how we can better handle traumatic stress.

Hopeful and humane, The End of Trauma overturns everything we thought we knew about how people respond to hardship.

The End of Trauma

Using PTSD as an example, if we followed the clinical guidelines provided to mental health professionals, we would expect everyone to be disabled by PTSD symptoms either part of the time or all of the time. The list of “tell-tale symptoms” for those who are supposed to be experiencing symptoms of PTSD is almost endless — just as the list of tell-tale symptoms for those who experienced childhood sexual abuse was also endless, and the list of physical and emotional symptoms for those suffering from gender dysphoria is endless.

In fact, “if you suffer . . . ” almost anything — fill in the gap — you can be convinced by a clever scam artist plus peer pressure that you are actually suffering from any disease of the day.

Or, looking at it from the dark side, if a person exhibits signs of dissent from any politically charged orthodoxy, that person is considered guilty of dangerous dissent which could lead to widespread insurrection if not immediately and forcefully nipped in the bud.

We are living in an age of imaginary and fantastical epidemics which are used by the powerful to control behavior, to rig elections, to destroy industries and economies, to shape the educations of future generations, and to lead the unwary by the nose into a very questionable future.

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

More: Gender reassignment leads to 20 times higher suicide rates

Jordan Peterson and Abigail Shrier: Full Interview

Controversial question: Many types of meditation and similar mental practice have been found to be helpful in adjusting to stressful and transitional periods of life. Is it possible that some kind of chemical might temporarily speed up a healthy transition to get beyond difficult life traumas and challenges?

The drug Ecstasy (MDMA) is known to boost brain levels of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. All of those neurotransmitters are thought to boost mood in persons who are depressed, and in fact the most popular families of anti-depressants are supposedly designed to bolster brain levels of one or more of those particular neurotransmitters.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is too intense for use as a long term therapy, and even in medium-term therapy there is a possibility of some neurological harm. Also, persons who experiment with ultra-high dosage levels of MDMA — even over a very short term — are putting their nervous systems at risk of harm.

But there is no reason why the pharmacological industry should leave this kind of drug development to the designer drug street chemists. It might require decades of experimentation to find the right drug design that will be safe and effective for a wide range of persons over at least a medium-term period of time. Certainly the financial reward at the end of a successful drug development would be beyond anything most drug companies have ever seen.

Personally, I believe that multiple forms of meditation, neurofeedback, and experiential therapies including laugh therapy, cry therapy, musical therapies, creativity therapies, activity therapies including thrill sports, and many other unconventional approaches to taking the person beyond their normal selves, are far preferable to a dependency on pharmaceuticals to achieve peace of mind.

But in some cases, a perfect drug might get the ball to mental health rolling. I say that as a person who does not drink alcohol, does not use psychoactive drugs, does not smoke, and who limits himself to one cup of coffee in the morning.

Posted in psychology | 1 Comment

Have You Wondered Why Your Sex Life Has Suffered Lately?

The Mirror Test

The first thing to do is to look in the mirror. Part of the problem is the damage we do to ourselves intentionally. Then there is the damage that was done to us when we were born, and by our early childhood. Finally there are the ravages of time, which steal away our early self-concept of our own attractiveness — however true or untrue.

Yet we can be perfectly presentable in terms of grooming and dress to the objects of our sexual intent and still by our verbal and non-verbal behaviors we can radiate a sense of unease and deep wariness that causes others to maintain their distance. It helps if you can make someone laugh and feel easy.

And then there are persons who never stop talking long enough for any type of connection to begin to form. This can be a sign of embarrassment or it can be a sign of its opposite — narcissistic pathology disorder. Either way, it suggests that the person is not very insightful into his own internal makeup or deeper motivations. Buyer beware!

For even the most normal male-female couples, there is always the great sexual divide which causes the ultimate destruction of most potentially satisfying sexual relationships. Women more often look to sex as a way of deepening intimacy, in the hope that the relationship will move to a deeper level of connection. Men on the other hand more typically just want to hook up and then either go to sleep or go on to other amusements. For a man, the thought of a deeper relationship rarely crosses his mind, except as to use as a temporary superficial tactic to get what he wants, then switching to something else entirely.

In the real world, men and women will often skip the drama and go straight to the booze and drugs, acknowledging the hopelessness of any long-term plan and simply abdicating all responsibility from the outset. This can come about from many years of repeated disappointments, or it can be a habit picked up in college and carried on throughout their lives.

There is a correlation between hopelessness in life outlook and how rapidly a person turns to chemical reinforcement to lubricate their relationships with others. Consider the situation in Russia:

While the situation looks grim, Moscow has been ramping up propaganda in recent years to promote a top-down structure with the state, the military, and the church at the core of Russian society, Lohsen said. Alongside a mass-media environment that’s largely controlled by the state or linked to the Kremlin, such messages could distract the populace from impending economic hardship, he added.

Some young Russians who are unhappy with Putin’s rule fled the country after the war broke out. But there are everyday practicalities to consider for Russians who wish to start afresh outside their home country — such as long-term visas, employment, and financial resources, all of which are now harder to come by because of sanctions over the war, Malik and Lohsen said.A Grim Future Leads to Vodka

This is not just a problem for Russian youth. In the western world cultural institutions such as the media, academia, government, social media, and popular entertainment are strongly supporting an ugly “orthodox world view” that persecutes dissenters and free thinkers. This top-down enforced conformity closes off innovative ideas and potential creative breakthroughs which could otherwise make the human future more abundant and expansive for everyone.

Many informed observers are speculating that Russia could easily disintegrate if Putin does not get what he wants from his brutal and genocidal invasion of Ukraine. But if more liberal western countries continue to double down on their own oppressive agendas of savage racist wokeness and radical environmental movement engineered utter sabotage of economies, the coming downfall of Russia may be seen as a picnic in comparison — since if the west falls no one will be there to pick up the pieces.

New openings in Russian universities for students and professors

Yet it is not all fun and games in Putin’s Russia

Every country has its problems, and some places are better to be if one is looking for a good sex life. For an orthodox Jew, for example, Israel would suggest itself as one of the better places to be — as opposed to Iran or Saudi Arabia, for example.

Think about. No matter how cruel you have been to yourself, how cruel your upbringing was to you, and how cruel time is treating you as the clock ticks on, the possibilities that remain for you cannot be completely negligible. Keep your chin up! Accentuate the positive and escape the innate negativity of your default mode network. If you can feed the happy pathways of your brain what they need, perhaps the good vibes beaming out from you will be received and reciprocated by someone who can give you what you need, for now.

The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Official Lyric Video) – YouTube

Flexibility can facilitate a broader experience of life. But be true to yourself.

Posted in Russian Decline, Sex, Sex Differences | 2 Comments

Inventing Superpowers: The Farcical Age

The Invention of China by Bill Hayton … Yale Press

Premier Asia journalist Bill Hayton of BBC fame, has written books on China, the South China Sea, and Vietnam, as well as scores of articles on Asian topics. His most controversial book, “The Invention of China,” is a detailed look at how the concept of “China as a nation” was first conceived by westerners then accepted by pre-communist revolutionary Chinese, before finally being co-opted into the Communist Party of China’s official narrative in the 20th century.

Particular memories of the past have been cultivated and popularized in China to justify the claims and actions of the current leadership. All countries do this but in most other countries it is possible to critique and challenge those “invented” narratives. Under Xi Jinping, however, that would be, at the very least, a career-limiting move. The Communist Party needs a narrative that justifies its hold over Tibet and Xinjiang and its claims to Taiwan. It needs everyone to forget that, right until the 1940s, the Communist Party leadership claimed that all those territories contained separate nationalities with the right to self-determination. It needs a narrative of national unity that underpins ethnic homogenization and territorial integrity. Evidence that points in other directions is systematically excluded.

Interview with Bill Hayton in The Diplomat

Hayton overturns the majority of common misconceptions regarding the history of China which has been force-fed to gullible students for several generations:

Chinese leaders like to claim that their nation boasts a 5,000-year history as a unified state, drawing an implicit (and sometimes explicit) contrast between this ancient heritage and “newer” upstart powers like the United States. In a compelling and provocative new book, the U.K.-based author Bill Hayton reveals the extent to which this claim is the product of a modern process of nation-building.

In “The Invention of China” (Yale University Press, 2020), Hayton argues that the modern notion of “China” dates to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when reformers and revolutionaries adapted foreign ideas in order to fortify China against the depredations of Western imperialism. Hayton shows how this nation-building project, projected backward onto the various empires and states that occupied the present-day territory of the People’s Republic, planted the seeds of many of the country’s most fraught problems, from Xinjiang to Taiwan to the South China Sea.

Sebastian Stranglo

In the contentious video below, China propagandist Carl Zha ties himself into knots in trying to contradict Hayton’s well documented assertions. Hayton is forced to correct Zha’s misstatements time after time, yet Zha clearly learns nothing from the discussion. That is the true mark of a propagandist.

The most amusing thing about the video is the comments, which should be read only after watching the video first. Zha comes across as a man of limited intellectual resources, who should approach the world with a great deal more humility than he seems capable of.

Better yet, read the book “The Invention of China” by Bill Hayton in its entirety to obtain a far better history of “China” than Carl Zha with his short attention span was able to obtain over his lifetime.

The Invention of Russia

The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky

Mikhail Gorbachev’s attempt to reform the Soviet Union led to its disintegration in December 1991. The largest of its shattered pieces (15 new states in all) was Russia, which contained three-fourths of the former USSR’s territory and about half of its population. A state with the geographical boundaries of the new Russia had never existed before, and one of its major challenges, besides crafting a new economic and political system, was discovering a new national identity.

The Invention of Russia deals with this search. Its author, Arkady Ostrovsky, was born and educated in the USSR and left Russia in 1992 to pursue a PhD in English Literature at the University of Cambridge. During the present century of Vladimir Putin’s dominance in Ostrovsky’s birth land, he has been a foreign correspondent there for two British publications, the Financial Times and the Economist. Ostrovsky’s readable prose reflects his journalistic background, as well as his thorough knowledge of his native country.

Source

Arkady Ostrovsky’s book “The Invention of Russia” focuses upon a narrower band of recent history, although it covers much of the time from Stalin up to Putin. Understanding the heartbreaking tragedy of modern Russia’s fateful trajectory is best done by understanding Russia’s history.

“The Invention of Russia” is an excellent look at how the political leaders of Russia collaborate with the media elites of the country to enslave the minds of the Russian people — only barely removed from the status of serfdom.

A more comprehensive recent history of Russia is “The Story of Russia” by Orlando Figes. In “The Story of Russia,” the entire history of the region and the populations which would eventually come to be known as “Russia” is clearly laid out in detail. It contradicts the official “Putin account” of Russian history on many levels.

But in order for Putin to sell the Russian public on an endless war to try to recreate a grand Russian empire, he was forced to invent a fanciful narrative out of the nether parts of his own digestive tract and using Russian state media to saturate the poor longsuffering minds of the Russian people in the hogwash.

Russia was never a great power, although in terms of land holdings it remains the largest country in terms of land mass. Thanks to modern mineral extraction methods, much of the land of Russia previously judged to be worthless, coincidentally provides access to valuable mineral and energy deposits. But turning potential into reality has never been a Russian strong point.

Conclusion: Both Russia and China are suffering economically from the misguided attempts of their leaders to turn the regional powers into global superpowers. Whether either or both nations will be able to survive the next twenty years is questionable. The leaders of those countries utilize a wide range of popular fantasies to bolster public delusions that allow them to cling to power.

For more than ten years running, we at Al Fin have been cautioning the leaders of China and Russia not to “jump the gun” in their attempts to exert global power. But did those leaders listen? No, they were not intelligent enough. And they have only gotten worse since. 😉

It is all invention, it is all a farce. But wars are started based upon much less.

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

Posted in China, Everything You Think You Know Just Ain't So, Russia | 1 Comment