Odds and Ends

The world is a complex place, and most of the topics that we should be discussing are either “blacked out” by censors in media, academia, government, and culture at large — or they are off the radar screen of these entities entirely. Climate change, for example, is rarely discussed in a critical manner in the mainstream:

Climate Apocalypse Not What it is Cracked Up to Be

Today’s working and middle classes are skeptical about policies that undermine their livelihoods in the promise of distant policy goals. Even now, after a decade-long barrage of fear-mongering, a majority of Americans, Australians, and even Europeans doubt that climate change will affect their lives substantially. A recent UN survey of 10 million people found that climate change ranked 16th in concerns; __ https://www.city-journal.org/radical-green-movement

Ordinary people are learning that the so-called “97% consensus” on climate change is an empty talking point for true believers.

More Leftist Nonsense

A 2018 study conducted by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office found that “overcrowded forests” have contributed to the increased death of vegetation from stress and disease, resulting in a glut of combustible fuels on the forest floors. The report blames current forest management practices for imposing “limitations on timber harvesting” and “environmental permitting requirements” that “constrain the amount of trees and other growth removed from the forest.”

… In some of the nation’s most reliably Democratic states [California, New York, Massachussetts], basic modern necessities, such as access to power and heat, are becoming harder to come by. These are not the inevitable results of natural phenomena but failures of governance. For this, residents of these states have no one to blame but themselves. They voted themselves into this predicament. Fortunately, they can also vote themselves out of it. __ https://www.commentarymagazine.com/american-society/the-blue-state-model-is-failing-california-new-york-massachuestts/

In modern universities, the destruction of objective thought and true genius are proceeding apace. This dummification of universities is occurring at the same time that control is passing over to women:

In order to calmly debate all ideas, you need to put emotion aside. But females are simply less able to do that than males because they are higher in Neuroticism—feeling negative feelings strongly. Thus, they more easily become overwhelmed by negative feelings, precluding them from logical thought. (Data on personality traits is drawn from Personality, By Daniel Nettle, 2007).

… Ed Dutton, in a video entitled “Do Female Reduce Male Per Capita Genius?” takes this critique of feminism even further. He argues that geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness. This means they are clever enough to solve a difficult problem, but being low in rule-following, can also “think outside the box,”. And, being low in Agreeableness, they don’t care about offending people, which original ideas always do. __ http://www.unz.com/article/are-women-destroying-academia-probably/

According to our best measures of genius and innovation over both recent times and over the long years of human civilisation, women do not achieve their fair share of the breakthroughs — and may never understand what is required for the human race to move forward into an abundant and expansive future.
Another view of “women and the university”
More on the decline of the university

Meanwhile, the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s keeps paying dividends. Sometimes referred to as “polyamory,” the modern version of the sexual revolution seems to be expanding, with some potentially serious repercussions.

  1. About 4 percent to 5 percent of all adults are currently in open or poly relationships;
  2. About 20 percent have tried some kind of open or poly relationship at some point;
  3. Among adults aged 18-44, 17 percent have had sex with someone else with the consent of their partner, up from 9 percent among adults aged 45-54;
  4. About 28 percent of adults say it is not natural for human beings to be faithful to only one person;
  5. About 29 percent of adults under 30 consider open relationships to be morally acceptable—compared to only 6 percent of adults over 65.

__ https://quillette.com/2019/10/29/polyamory-is-growing-and-we-need-to-get-serious-about-it/

There are consequences:

We are seeing lower birthrates, significantly delayed time of first marriage and first child, and even rising rates of sexually transmitted disease. All of these trends — and more — can be at least partially attributed to a growing fuzzy mindedness among young and middle-aged adults surrounding their sexual and romantic ideas and commitments.

Space Visionaries

Rand Simberg is an aerospace engineer who has been at the forefront of space advocacy and analysis for several decades now. His article in The New Atlantis, “The Return of the Space Visionaries,” shows why he has been able to retain a wide readership for all this time.

aspiring space tycoons Elon Musk, founder of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), and Jeff Bezos, founder of Blue Origin… Musk, though focused like a laser on Mars, talks about “Making Humans a Multi-Planetary Species,” as the title of a technical article he published last year put it. Bezos, for his part, doesn’t confine his ambition even to settling other planets. His stated long-term goal is to get millions of people off of Earth, where they can pursue their own dreams, whatever those may be, whether on other planets or in permanent settlements in space itself. This May, he received the Gerard K. O’Neill Memorial Award for Space Settlement Advocacy from the National Space Society. In an interview given just after accepting the award, he expounded on his O’Neillian vision of a trillion people living in the solar system. In keeping with the theme, he also announced, with some of the show’s cast in attendance, that he was saving from cancellation the science-fiction series The Expanse by having Amazon Prime take over its production from the SyFy Channel. The series, popular with the science-fiction community, depicts human settlement of the solar system and offers a realistic treatment of how the laws of physics would constrain such an endeavor.

The development of the outer space environment by humans offers immense promise along with significant threat. Managing this migration of humans and their tools to space will become a more intense enterprise in the coming years, now that Musk and Bezos are pushing the tools of space access forward.

Smart drones to rove the solar system preparing the way for humans

On Earth, Drones Monitor the Environment

We know that irresponsible state governments like California have made their wildfire situations immeasurably worse by bad management of resources. Governments in other parts of the world have allowed resources such as fish and wildlife to be dangerously overhunted or overharvested. The use of unmanned drones can help interested parties to keep track of wildfires and resource mismanagement by governments.

Technological advancements and commercial investments into the drone market has been phenomenal over the past 10 years, with estimates that the annual global market could reach over US$40 billion by 2024. The growth of the commercial drone industry means that investment is helping them to become smaller, faster, smarter, safer and easier to fly. __ https://theconversation.com/drones-help-track-wildfires-count-wildlife-and-map-plants-125115

Time to Dump the Euro?

A Common Currency for an Unruly Union

The time has come to seek a way out of the euro trap. There is a harmful dogma that the euro was the “normal” next step towards unifying western Europe. But the common European currency was not normal at all, because almost none of the preconditions were met.

…Alexandre Lamfalussy, the Hungarian-born economist, was right to tell us that a common currency was needed to strengthen the bond between European powers and defend the EU against the Soviets. There was only one snag: the final decision to create the euro was made in Maastricht in 1992, as the Soviet Union collapsed. The raison d’être of the currency ended precisely as it was being born.

The time has come to wake up from this harmful and fruitless dream. A good starting point would be to recognise that the single currency is a trap for practically all its members — for different reasons — not a gold mine. EU states, both in and outside the eurozone, should admit that the euro has been a strategic error. The aim of building a global western currency that vies with the dollar was a challenge to the US. The European vision of a United States of Europe has resulted in both open and hidden US warfare against the EU and the eurozone in the past two decades.

We need to work out how to free ourselves from this trap. Europeans must give up their risky fantasies of creating a power that rivals the US. Members of the eurozone should be allowed to leave the currency zone in the coming decades, and those remaining should build a more sustainable global currency. Let’s celebrate the 30th anniversary in 2022 of the Maastricht treaty that spawned the euro by rewriting the pact.

The writer is governor of the Hungarian National Bank

__ Financial Times

Dumbing Down Artificial Intelligence

Writers for the masses tend to refer to all kinds of advanced computing platforms as “artificial intelligence.” This only reinforces what we already knew about most writers for the media — that they have no practical knowledge of the world in which they live.

How will artificial intelligence change the way wars are fought? The answer, of course, depends. And it mainly depends on what type of wars are being fought. AI could very well change the fundamental nature of conventional conflicts between states. Technologies enabled by AI could become so powerful and ruthless that war as we now it becomes too deadly and costly to contemplate. __ https://warontherocks.com/2019/10/ai-and-irregular-warfare-an-evolution-not-a-revolution/

The writer goes on to describe a number of advanced computing platforms that fall far short of any meaningful type of artificial intelligence, but he calls them “AI” nonetheless. This type of misclassification simply gives the field an even worse reputation than it already has.

More Energy Comes from Digging than from Wind or Solar

Shale gas in the US generates far more electricity than wind or solar are capable of producing.

Electricity must be generated on a moment-to-moment basis to meet instantaneous needs as they pop up — in an unpredictable manner. Since wind and sun only appear intermittently and unreliably, they will never be capable of meeting the life or death needs of modern societies. Batteries? Don’t make me laugh.

… the $5 billion Tesla “Gigafactory” in Nevada is currently the world’s biggest battery manufacturing facility and its total annual production would store just three minutes’ worth of annual U.S. electricity demand. Therefore, to manufacture enough batteries to store two days’ worth of U.S. electricity demand would require almost 1,000 years of “Gigafactory” production. __ https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/the-physical-impossibility-of-renewable-energy-meeting-the-paris-accord-goals/

Most people are either too emotionally tied to the idea of “green energy” or are too intellectually lazy to look into the problem themselves. But sooner or later the problem will come looking for them. And most will not be ready.

More on green energy shortcomings

Important developments occur in thousands of relevant stories every day. The mainstream news does not even try to cover these things, being constrained by time and corporate interests. Thanks to the internet, discerning and engaged persons can scan dozens of news aggregator sites covering several areas of focus. Time is limited, of course, and the attention tends to wander to other things. But it is important not to allow ourselves to be blindered by the forces that would rather we not think for ourselves.

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

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