Famine, Pestilence, War, Death: Shorter Growing Seasons

Famine and pestilence go hand in hand, and the threat of famine can trigger war. Death on a large scale usually follows.

Warm Weather: Longer Growing Seasons

Ever since the “Little Ice Age,” the Earth has experienced a warming trend, with generally longer growing seasons. This has helped to grow a human population of over 7 billion people. And still there are large food surpluses around the world — and large swathes of arable land go untilled due to lack of need.

Warm weather means longer growing seasons, more arable land worldwide, more crops of greater variety, and a greater “carrying capacity” for the planet.

But such things could easily change if the climate should happen to cool for an extended time.

There is no way for seven billion people to live on a quickly cooling planet—hundreds of millions will probably perish starting in populations of grain importing nations first. Global cooling will kick us where it hurts the most, in our stomachs, which will be deprived of foods because of shorter growing seasons. With global warming we had a chance of increasing agriculture growing zones pushing further and further north but with cooling its going to be a massacre. Humans will die in mass and populations will be reduced as elite desire. __ https://coldclimatechange.com/starvation-comes-with-shorter-growing-seasons/

Globally cooling conditions would lead to shorter growing seasons, less food production, and a high likelihood of famine for the food importing nations with less income to bid up prices for relatively scarce food supplies. After famine, comes pestilence, war, and death.

Sol — the Variable Star

As the sun goes through its variable cycles, the planets of the solar system are exposed to a variable quantity of energy. For planets like Earth and Mars, the consequent warming and cooling can be seen by viewing the ice around the poles.

Closer in to planet Earth, ground pounders must live with warming and cooling cycles — and the resulting longer and shorter growing seasons. If humans procreate to a maximum during warming trends, they are apt to starve significantly during cooling trends.

Technology has Aided the Rapid Population Growth

Humans have experienced the ups and downs of solar variability for hundreds of thousands of years. They have thrived and they have starved, but their numbers were always much lower than in modern times.

Something was different this time around: Technology. Technology allowed more advanced societies to develop better sanitation, vaccines, advanced medicines, better food growing technologies, and better transportation for all of those things for providing them to less advanced societies — who would have suffered much higher death rates and lower birth rates otherwise.

This puts humans somewhat on the spot, should the planet’s climate cool significantly, growing seasons become shorter, and food production drops appreciably. Yes, at this time there is a surplus of food production — and there is a surplus of arable land that could be put under cultivation.

But if a cooler climate persisted — and if a cooler climate took a large part of Earth’s arable land off the table — famine would occur in particular countries.

Global Dysgenics Would Play a Part

Malthusian doomerism assumes that humans are stupid and uncreative. The past two hundred years have proven Malthus wrong on that score.

But suppose humans do become more stupid than they are, and lose that special ingenuity and resourcefulness that has helped them to thrive these past few hundred years? How would Malthus score in such an event?

It depends upon how stupid humans become, overall, and how many smart people remain who are capable of influencing the human condition. Many nations have had very low average IQ populations, but have still thrived because of a small “smart fraction” of people with high IQs and creative, bold minds.

We saw how when Uganda ejected its “smart fraction,” it descended into poverty and barbarism. Zimbabwe is similarly well down the slippery slope from having made that fateful choice. And what is to become of South Africa, which is following closely along the Zimbabwean path to a socialist paradise? How much of Venezuela’s bloody descent has to do with the loss of its “smart fraction” during the Chavista revolution?

This is not a rhetorical question to pose to the advanced world, given current immigration patterns into a Europe that has already been weakened by in-fighting, and by dirty pool played by the Germans and Swedes.

How long until the new, less orderly, less productive Europeans shift the population balance into a dysgenic dystopia? But that is the wrong question. In today’s western world, a small minority that claims victim status can bend the will of governmental agencies into pretzel shapes. Consider the smallness of “trans-sexual” populations, and how thoroughly they have muddled the minds of the governments of North America, and half their populations.

No, it only takes a relatively small number of “victims” to twist an ideologically bent population and its government into a self destructive crash and burn. In the context of a disastrous global climate cooling and impending food shortages, the takeover of the dysgenic dystopians — the grand Idiocracy (eg Ocasio-Cortez) — would serve as an ample detonator for the bomb.

The dysgenic trend is fairly well built into current political conditions and ideological temperaments of most nations of Europe and the Anglosphere. Hardship for many regions is likely to follow. But one should hope that we do not see an extended period of hard solar minimums, nor any cooling Milankovich orbital conditions of any significance.

Sooner or later, it will happen. But the current breed of human is unprepared for such a concurrence. And it is becoming less and less prepared every day.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. What is that word for what you should be making yourselves? Oh, yes. Dangerous. Very Dangerous.

Posted in Agriculture, Climate, Doom, food | Tagged

Why Coal Isn’t Going Away

Coal is Plentiful and Cheap

Coal can produce electrical power by combustion, coal can be converted into liquid fuels, and coal can be converted into gaseous fuels. Coal’s abundance, versatility, and low cost all guarantee the continuation of global (and US) coal production for many decades yet.

Global coal consumption is set to remain steady in absolute terms through the middle of the century…

… projections show how the impact of rising populations and prosperity in developing economies is likely to drive an enormous increase in total energy demand which will continue to support absolute coal consumption.

Coal consumption is almost certain to remain a major part of the energy mix, especially in poorer countries, even as oil, gas, nuclear and renewables become relatively more important. __ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-coal-climatechange-kemp-column/coals-lingering-role-complicates-climate-change-efforts-kemp-idUSKBN1O51JN

In the US, the EPA is streamlining some of the absurd greenhouse regulations instituted during the Obama “economic reign of terror.”

Energy companies found that the combination of stricter environmental laws and low cost of natural gas as a fuel made building new plants uneconomical. The removal or diminution of the rule could help make new coal plants more financially attractive to run … __ Rejuvenating Coal

The EPA was once justifiable, in the early years of the clean air and clean water acts. But just like any government bureaucracy, the EPA grabbed more power than it was justified in doing, and is overdue for some trimming back.

Hydrocarbon Reserves are Plentiful

Global Hydrocarbon Endowment
Gary Swindell Geologist Dallas TX

Humans have barely begun to tap into the planetary crust, in the quest for hydrocarbon energy. And if the governments of advanced nations suddenly acquire much more wisdom than they are known for, it may never be necessary to go much deeper. According to all that we know about the energy density of various fuels, only nuclear fission and fusion can take advanced human societies well into an abundant and expansive human future.

Energy Density Comparison from Wikipedia
Fusion, Fission Orders of Magnitude Better than Chemical and Other Energy Sources

Surviving an Ice Age

Earth has suffered through some very frigid periods in the past, even a so-called “Snowball Earth” where the entire planet was covered with ice. Consider how you and your family might survive such an extended cold spell on the planetary surface. Wind and solar would obviously not do, nor would hydroelectric power.

Coal, oil, and natural gas would only work if you lived in a large, advanced underground complex with direct pipeline access to nearby subterranean hydrocarbon fields. But imagine all the coal ash that you would need to find a use for, if you were forced to use coal to stay alive!

No, by far the better approach would be modular fission or fusion plants, using micro-grids to supply colonies and communities. The plants would have to be extremely efficient, burning a high percent of available fuel. Even with high energy density and excellent burn efficiency, one would need to stockpile a large supply of fuel.

Clearly one would need power plants that could be fueled for long periods of times — centuries or longer. Such nuclear reactors are not nearly developed.

For intelligent persons, worrying about a few degrees of climate warming is not a large concern. Rather, the threat of an extended period of deep glaciation — which has happened repeatedly in the past — is the larger concern.

If burning coal helps to retard the coming of such an “ice age,” we had best set about burning a lot more coal than the climate cultists would have us burn.

Abundant Gas Hydrates
Der Spiegel

Thank the universe for hydrocarbons! Without them, you would probably not be here.

More: Black gold, Texas tea

Posted in coal | Tagged | 10 Comments

Potholes Develop in One Belt One Road

More intelligent observers have begun to take a sceptical look at the nuts and bolts underlying Chairman Xi’s One Belt One Road “juggernaut.”

Western press outlets have tended to cover the BRI as a triumphant PRC bid to remake global trade in its image. Only very recently has Western coverage turned skeptical. But the political sensitivity of the BRI means that information related to it is tightly controlled inside China; as a result, Western analysis of BRI is largely irrelevant to the debate inside China. __ https://jamestown.org/program/domestic-criticism-may-signal-china-scaling-back-its-bri-ambitions/

Chairman Xi is China’s “dictator for life.” Pleasing Xi is a quick road to power and riches. Xi has chosen One Belt One Road as his signature policy, so the best way of pleasing Xi is to carry out projects within the broad tent of OBOR.

The Belt and Road Initiative is evidence that the party’s once responsive policymaking system is breaking down. The rest of the world must recognize that BRI persists only because it is the favored brainchild of an authoritarian leader living in an echo chamber. __ https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/06/bri-china-belt-road-initiative-blunder/

Inside China, one must take care not to offend Chairman Xi, or the malefactor will soon face the executioner on charges of “corruption” or “treason.”

Outside China, OBOR is creating deep tensions in the neighborhood.

Prolonged exposure to the BRI process has driven opposition to Chinese investment and geopolitical influence across the region. In the Maldives, the pro-Beijing Progressive Party of Maldives was unseated this year by the Maldivian Democratic Party, which ran on an explicitly anti-BRI platform. The Maldives’ new president calls the BRI “a big cheat” and a “debt trap” that must be abandoned or renegotiated.

He has a kindred spirit in Mahathir Mohamad, the new prime minister of Malaysia, who has described BRI projects as a form of “new colonialism” that must be rejected. Beijing’s quest to create a stable pro-China tilt in Sri Lanka has only spawned political instability, with President Maithripala Sirisena sliding up to and away from Sri Lankan politicians connected to China as the situation demands. In Bangladesh authorities recently blacklisted China Harbour Engineering Company, one of the region’s most active BRI construction firms, on accusations of corruption.

Burma was so alarmed by regional trends that it put a hold on its own BRI-funded port project in Kyaukpyu until the Chinese agreed to cut its scale by 80 percent. Nepal and Pakistan have also demanded that China cancel or completely retool ongoing projects in their countries. In western Pakistan opposition to the initiative has turned violent. __ https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/06/bri-china-belt-road-initiative-blunder/

We have reported on this phenomenon before, but it makes sense to come back to an ongoing catastrophe-in-progress. Many people are slow to change their minds, once the mainstream media has made up their minds for them. But over time, even the slowest should come around to reality to some extent.

China claims to have an 86% success rate in loan repayments from the OBOR projects. That claim is extremely doubtful, given the record of Chinese banks in dealing with state owned enterprise loans over time. In other words, Chinese state banks will display whatever statistics on loan payments that please Chairman Xi. That is just basic survival sense on their part.

The Long and Winding Road

Communist officials are not expected to be savvy businessmen, and so they are not. Their most difficult task is how to maximise corruption, keeping close to the centre of power while staying away from the executioner’s axe.

BRI projects are not centrally directed. Instead, lower state bodies like provincial and regional governments have been tasked with developing their own BRI projects. The officials in charge of these projects have no incentive to approve financially sound investments: by the time any given project materializes, they will have been transferred elsewhere. BRI projects are shaped first and foremost by the political incentives their planners face in China: There is no better way to signal one’s loyalty to Xi than by laboring for his favored foreign-policy initiative. __ Incentives Matter

The entire fiasco rides on the back of Chairman Xi’s strong will, just as in Russia the grand imperial project rests upon the iron will of Putin.

But what happens when the dictator around whom the entire nation revolves, dies or goes insane?

The American founders built their system on checks and balances and distributed powers. Dictators are singular pivot points that bear the mass and provide the motive force. They are the focus of decision making and are thus indispensable to the continuation of the system.

The magical thinking that promotes projects such as OBOR and the Russian imperial project, will last up to a point, and then poof! it will be unsustainable. These magical kingdoms of the dragon and the bear are nuclear powers. You should perhaps give the matter of their instability a little thought.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Make yourselves Dangerous, in the most Dangerous location you can manage.

Posted in China | Tagged

Coal is Just Getting its “Second Wind”

Coal Power Plants Expand Globally

… In 2017, after two years of declines, International Energy Agency figures showed global coal demand rising to 5.357 million tonnes of coal equivalent (TCE). __ Coal is King of the World

China is building new coal plants, of course. But looming in the background are India and other nations of the emerging and third worlds.

India seems set to replace China as the world’s biggest coal consumer while Asian countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam have also registered big increases.

“Many developing economies view coal as important to their economic development because of its ready availability and relatively low cost,” the IEA said in it World Energy Outlook 2018 report. __ https://www.yahoo.com/news/coal-still-king-global-power-production-000749041.html?

Coal is Still King Because IT WORKS!!!

Something huge keeps getting lost when the babbling elites discuss the future of global energy. They keep talking about “the shift to wind and solar” and the “move away from coal.” But people with inside knowledge of how power grids operate know better. Coal will be around for as long as it takes humans to develop safe, new, affordable, clean generations of nuclear fission and fusion.

Coal power plants work. When you turn them on, they output useful electrical power at their rated levels. When you turn them off, they stop. This ability to dispatch a given level of useful power on command is indispensable for a modern industrial society. Wind and solar can not do this — and they will never be able to do it affordably, regardless of the latest promises for grand new energy storage systems. For most of the world, it is either coal or no reliable power — thus no reliable industry.

China Consumes Half the World’s Coal

China… consumes half the world’s coal. More than 4.3 million Chinese are employed in the country’s coal mines. China has added 40 percent of the world’s coal capacity since 2002, a huge increase for 16 years. “I had to do the calculation three times,” said Carlos Fernández Alvarez, a senior energy analyst at the International Energy Agency. “I thought it was wrong. It’s crazy.”

China is also building large numbers of coal power plants overseas for other countries.

Chinese companies are building coal plants in 17 countries, according to Urgewald. Its regional rival, Japan, is in the game, too: Nearly 60 percent of planned coal projects developed by Japanese companies are outside the country, mostly financed by Japanese banks. __ Seattle Times

Poland is Hosting Latest Climate Talks

Polish coal imports are rising rapidly. This is vital to Poland’s rapidly ramping industrial output.

Poland’s thermal coal imports for the first nine months of the year almost doubled versus the same period in 2017 to 11.8 million tonnes, most of which came from Russia, data from the state-run Industrial Development Agency (ARP) showed on Monday.

… Poland’s annual coal imports had already risen in 2017 to almost 13 million tonnes from 8.3 million in 2016 as domestic production fell because of limited investment in Polish state mines. Poland also turned to the United States for increased supplies. __ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-poland-coal/polish-coal-imports-jump-russia-biggest-supplier-idUSKBN1O21BL

Simply put, if a contemporary nation wants to be taken seriously, it must have reliable and affordable power production to support its industrial and commercial capacity. Anything less is chickensh!t.

Clean Coal

In the US, coal was scheduled to become obsolete, by the late Obama administration. But something happened in 2016 which changed the entire outlook for coal. And now the search for clean coal in the US is on.

“Clean” coal is a rich vein for American investors to mine, thanks to a lucrative subsidy offered by the U.S. government. For many producers of the fuel, the path to profit leads through a laboratory at the University of North Dakota.

The school’s Energy and Environmental Research Center reported earning about $5 million in fiscal 2015-16 performing laboratory tests that qualify clean-coal producers for the subsidy. On any given day, EERC technicians take a sample of up to one ton of the coal from a producer and burn it in a miniature boiler to determine whether it reduces a specific pollutant enough to make the grade.

A stamp of approval from EERC, or a handful of other labs serving the industry, unlocks a tax credit worth more than $7 a ton to producers and their investors. __ https://news.yahoo.com/special-report-little-lab-prairie-clears-path-big-141557975–sector.html?

Government tax credits are useful for “clean coal” projects — but tax credits should not be confused with mandates, loan guarantees, or active subsidies that are wasted on unreliable/unpredictable sources of low quality energy such as wind and solar. At the end of the day, coal plants produce useful, on-demand, high quality electrical power. “Renewables” cannot, and never will do.

Advanced Nuclear Is the Only Low-Cost Alternative to Coal

For the US, natural gas turbines can produce abundant and affordable high quality power, on demand. Natural gas power has displaced a significant amount of coal power generation in the US. Nuclear power has been displacing coal power for several decades — but nuclear plants are slowly being phased out.

For most other nations of the world, the cost of natural gas power is much higher than in the US, due to the costs of transportation of fuel and power plant construction and maintenance. Costs for coal are predictable, and transportation of coal is easy and cheap.

The world’s coal supplies can last for several centuries. The eventual end of coal-for-power will be the coming of clean, safe, reliable, affordable advanced nuclear power — both fission and fusion. Thanks to the “green parties” of the modern west, safe and clean nuclear power have been delayed for decades. Thus we owe the global dependency on coal in large part to the “faux environmentalists” who call themselves green (eg Germany).

When hypocrisy and censorship are necessary foundations of political ideology, the rot will eventually bring the entire edifice crashing down.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Learn to be Dangerous in the world as it is, discarding wishful thinking as far as possible.

Posted in coal, Doom, Electrical Power Grid, Energy | Tagged | 11 Comments

Don’t Burn Universities to the Ground; Put them Under the Dome!

Under the Dome (CBS)
An invisible and mysterious force field descends upon a small actual town of Chester’s Mill, Maine, USA, trapping residents inside, cut off from the rest of civilization

The modern university is one of the greatest threats to the future of free societies. In the past, we have reported on calls to “burn universities to the ground,” in an attempt to prevent the rampant corruption on campuses from spreading to the rest of society.

It is true, as Peter Thiel says, that “Universities today are as corrupt as the Catholic Church of 500 years ago.” Growing numbers of university departments are dedicated to fomenting unrest and insurrection against freedoms of speech, association, and self defence.

Something has to be done to save society from the rot. But rather than the destruction of property and loss of life that would occur from burning universities to the ground, it would be preferable to institute a sort of “quarantine” and exile in situ — such as could be achieved by covering university and college campuses with impermeable and inescapable domes to limit any violent insurrection to the campuses themselves.

Picture, if you will, the functioning of a “university under glass.” If the campus is enclosed by the dome while classes are in session, then students, faculty, and administrative staff would be held in place, on campus permanently. Classes could go on as scheduled, year round if decided. Naturally, scheduled indoctrination of students could proceed as planned. The main difference — in terms of university goals — would be that students would have to stay on campus after finishing their course of studies, and no new students would be matriculating.

There would be a few problems for university staff to surmount — such as providing for critical infrastructures. Incidentals such as clean water, food, heating, cooling, electrical power, the elimination of waste materials, etc. would need to be provided somehow. But this should be no problem, since if university personnel already possess all the answers to all the problems of the world, then the mere provision of a few vital infrastructures to a small area such as a university campus could not possibly pose a challenge.

Liberating Future Generations of Young People

The best way to abort the ongoing indoctrination and infantilisation of young people, is to nip the problem in the bud. While current students would be trapped in perpetuity — and their student loans would have to be written off — young people of the future would be free to chart their own courses through life. It would mean the end of crippling lifelong student debts.

Imagine the evolution of the new society, where young people are expected to be responsible for themselves, where they must learn to think for themselves and sort out truth from fiction on their own. Consider the development of a new type of journalism where independent thinking was allowed — even encouraged. Or a new kind of politics where policies were evaluated based upon actual results — rather than good intentions or ideological correctness.

Education and Socialisation Will Take Place Off Campus

The corrupt campuses of modern universities are places for expensive indoctrination and conformity, rather than for useful education or the cordial formation of lifelong friendships and productive associations. But with the campuses “under the dome” the newly freed generations of young people could get better educations and form more satisfying associations without all the “political correctness” and echo choir mentality.

The liberated young could begin starting productive and profitable lives earlier — without tens and hundreds of $thousands of debt. This would allow them to start families, eliminating the current demographic crisis at the more intelligent end of the IQ distribution.

A Sucker Born Every Minute

It should be expected that scam artists of the future would attempt to create new university campuses that are not under the domes. Rent-seeking criminals are always in abundance, and there will always be those who seek the protection found within prison walls.

For this reason, the technology needed to enclose universities “under the dome” should always be kept ready to be used if needed. Then, if new campuses are built, new domes can be created around them — as soon as they fill up with faculty, administrative staff, and conformity-loving students.

Hope for the Best. Prepare for the Worst

No one in their right mind wanted to see universities become the pits of corruption and debt slavery which they are now. But in their extreme states of corruption, the modern university calls for extreme measures if we are to limit damage to society at large.

While others call for the burning of university campuses, we at the Al Fin Institutes consider the enclosure of campuses under domes to be the more humane path.

It may be possible to redeem some of those who are enclosed under the domes, if they can demonstrate a useful skill to society. Otherwise, it might be best to allow these miniature societies to proceed under glass to extinction in their own ways.

Higher learning can take place in many ways, under many forms of training. It is time to allow the multitude of less corrupt forms of higher education to prove themselves in a newly free and competitive world.

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

Posted in University | Tagged | 1 Comment

Putin’s Legacy: An Infrastructure Like No Other

Russian Infrastructure #1: Transportation

The recent construction of the Kerch Bridge between Russia and Crimea highlights the condition of Russian transportation infrastructure.

The national web of roads, railways and airways stretches almost 7,700 km (4,800 mi) from Kaliningrad in the west to the Kamchatka Peninsula in the east, and major cities such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg are served by extensive rapid transit systems. __ Wikipedia “Transport in Russia”

Maintaining such an extensive set of interlinked transport systems is a taxing enterprise, with great challenges and significant potential for failure. Take bridges, for example:

Mikhail Blinkin, a transportation economist at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, says that “an enormous number of bridges are in a dangerous situation” because they aren’t being maintained. Those in the worst shape are bridges under the responsibility of regional or local officials. “There is no money” to do even minimal repairs, he adds. __ Quoted in WOE2 article

Russia has many bridges because it has many rivers and waterways that must be crossed by roads. Maintenance on many of these bridges has been postponed for several decades — since Soviet times — and the consequences of delayed maintenance are becoming severe.

100 Bridge Collapses Last Year Alone

The maintenance backlog on Russian bridges is ominous. But for many of these bridges, maintenance would not prevent their collapse.

According to Rosstat, there are abut 42,000 bridges in Russia, with a total length of 2.1 million meters. “Every ninth bridge is made of [wood],” and “about 500” are acknowledged to be at the point of collapse. Many were built when the weight of trucks they had to support was half as much as the weight now.

Aleksandr Strelnikov, a specialist at the Russian transportation ministry, says that many of the bridges were constructed inadequately and thus were going to fail regardless of maintenance.

Still worse, he continues, the quality of bridge construction has declined in recent years: it was far superior in Soviet times. Now, officials try to build bridges too quickly.

__ WOE2

Brand New Kerch Bridge at High Risk of Collapse
“The bridge cannot be built, he said, and God help us if it is, since it can’t last.”

Assuming generous financing, the bridge can be built, but he doubts that it will last very long given the area’s poor geological conditions. These include deep-lying mud volcanoes and a sludgy bottom that is unsuitable for bridge foundations. Most disturbingly, it is an area of high seismic activity. The piles would need to be much deeper than they are in the current design, and he fears that the construction is likely to be weak. The bridge spans also need to be over 200 meters to ensure that they aren’t damaged when the water freezes; this is currently not in the plan. __ Georgy Rosnovsky quoted in Atlantic Council

The Kerch bridge was a “rush job” by the Kremlin, and understandably so. Politically for the Kremlin, it is an absolute necessity. But by any other measure, it is a huge disaster waiting to happen. It remains to be seen who will die first: Putin or the Kerch bridge.

Russian Transportation Conditions Mired in Twilight Zone

In despotic political systems, one cannot trust anything in the media. The ongoing collapse of Russia’s transportation infrastructure is effectively hidden by government control of the media.

Many of the bridge collapses now are not even reported in the central media, and so Russians do not know just how bad things are becoming beyond the areas in which they live. __ WOE2

If the FIU walkway bridge collapse had taken place in Russia, it is likely that almost no one in the world would have heard of it. Likewise the famous Minneapolis freeway bridge collapse several years ago. To the Kremlin, no news is good news.

What is true for bridges is also true for roadways and for much of Russia’s railways, pipelines, and waterway infrastructures. Postponed maintenance over a period of decades is the rule, due to budgetary decisions at the highest levels.

Transportation infrastructure maintenance has been put on the back burner by Kremlin strategists, for reasons of financial necessity. In the future we will look at Russian infrastructures for education, health care, and energy, in an attempt to look a few years ahead at the state of the Russian Empire.

More: Putin bumbling into war? Remember that Ukraine is a partner with China in the development of various high value military projects, such as advanced gas turbine production. At the same time, Putin is China’s “but-boy” [sic] in almost every way. Interesting times.

Putin will not live long enough to fill these shoes

If you dislike the idea of nuclear war, you will be happy to see Putin go

Posted in Russia, Transportation | Tagged

Raising the Retirement Age to 130

The official retirement age in many countries is between the ages 60 and 65. Workers are generally expected to live another 15 years or so, on average for a lifespan of roughly 80 years. But what if the expected lifespan were doubled, to around 160 years. Obviously retirement age would have to be raised significantly, to between 120 and 130 years, to prevent governments and pension funds from being bankrupted by long-lived retirees.

One Way the Human Lifespan Might be Doubled

We have all read about the combining of rapamycin-like drugs with metformin, a treatment for diabetes. These drugs seem to extend lifespan in worms and rats, but the benefit is unproven for humans. For mice, the life extension benefit is estimated to be an additional 25%, on average.

But a new study looking at analogues of the grape-derived chemical resveratrol, suggests that the door to an even greater extension of lifespan may be opening.

Restoring Senile Cells to Full Activity

The accumulation of senile cells in tissues is an unfortunate but expected consequence of aging. Senile cells do not reproduce, they do not perform the normal functions of cells for their tissue type, and they tend to spew out all types of toxic and destructive chemicals into their environment. They are implicated in Alzheimer’s disease and many other degenerative diseases of aging.

But here is the shocker: Resveratrol analogues appear to have the potential to restore senile cells [human fibroblasts] to normal function, with longer telomeres like younger cells, and the ability to reproduce themselves like younger cells can do.

While decreases in senescence biomarkers may be beneficial in alleviating some of the detrimental effects of senescent cells, it is the loss of proliferative capacity of senescent cell populations that is likely to lead to stem cell exhaustion and loss of tissue function/frailty with increasing age [33]. We therefore also assessed cell proliferation and re-entry into the proliferative cell cycle. Initially, using live cell imaging of senescent NHDF cells treated with resveratrol for up to 92 h, we found that some cells within this population showed clear evidence of mitosis within a little as 17.5 h after treatment (Additional file 4: Figure S2). We therefore assessed whether senescent populations of three different fibroblasts lines (NHDF, MRC5 and HF043) could undergo mitosis following treatment with the novel compounds. Remarkably, treatment with even very low doses (5 μM) of the resveralogues led to significant increases (up to 0.6 population doublings) in total cell numbers over only 24 h of drug exposure, while vehicle-only controls remained proliferation-arrested (Fig. 5a). Increases in cell number strongly suggest that a significant proportion of cells in the non-cycling senescent population have been induced to re-enter the mitotic cell cycle.

… We found that cells treated with resveratrol or any of the novel resveralogues had telomeres that were 1.3–2.4 times longer than vehicle-only controls, compared with younger cells at PD25, which showed telomeres 2.6 times longer than untreated senescent cells (Fig. 5c). __ https://bmccellbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12860-017-0147-7

The researchers treated senescent human fibroblasts with a range of novel resveratrol analogues, and discovered that the fibroblasts stopped behaving as senescent cells and began behaving in multiple ways as younger cells capable of normal secretory patterns and capable of proliferation like younger cells.

Reading the full research study is an eye-opener, particularly when comparing the new findings with more conventional viewpoints of resveratrol action on human cells.

Accumulation of Senile Cells is One of the Chief Problems of Aging

Senile cells behave like little cluster bombs in aging tissue, releasing inflammatory cytokines that cause degenerative changes, cancer, and tissue destruction. In the famous SENS approach to anti-aging, one of the key treatments for aging is to remove these destructive senescent cells.

But resveratrol and some of its analogues tested in the research described above, seem to rescue and rejuvenate the senescent cells, rather than to kill and remove them, as SENS aims to do.

Many Questions Remain

I would not recommend trying to take out a one hundred year loan on a new house — it simply wouldn’t do, not unless Barack Obama was restored as US president when I wasn’t looking. 😉

But if the research above is replicated on multiple senescent cell types, you may wish to invest in a vineyard or two, if for no other reason than to develop your very own signature wine.

But seriously, if some relatively non-toxic method for thoroughly rejuvenating senescent cells of all human cell types could be found, it could represent a gateway to significant human life extension.

Resveratrol (and possibly Quercetin) May be Useful

Back in 2006, I recommended the consideration of Quercetin and Resveratrol in one’s experimental life extension routine. More research has been done since then, and it is possible that taking both phytochemicals together may boost resveratrol levels and the anti-senescent effect as well.

Reality Check

The main proven effect of taking large quantities of nutritional supplements is the production of very expensive urine. This fact has not change substantially over the past decades, but the research on resveratrol and its analogues discussed above gives reason to hope for at least a small breakthrough.

Perhaps expecting a doubling of lifespan and the necessary change in retirement age from 60 to 120, is too optimistic. But it is possible that in just a few years or decades, a lot more people will be voicing the complaint: “If I’d known I was going to live so long, I’d have taken a lot better care of myself!”

Another recent approach for dealing with senescent cells

Posted in Longevity | Tagged | 4 Comments

Great Human Die-Off: How Low Must Average IQ Go?

Average Human IQ is in Decline Worldwide

It takes a lot of smart people to run a modern, high technology national infrastructure. This is why you cannot count on 24 hour electricity from the power grid in Africa, the middle east, or the rest of the third world. There is simply not enough brainpower in most third world regions to keep the critical infrastructures online all the time.

Population Decline in Advanced World

Smarter and better educated people are having fewer children, relative to the dumber and less educated. This is true both within countries, and when comparing different countries with disparate population IQ averages. For the future, that is bad news for critical infrastructures and national “carrying capacity” of future societies.

It seems that the way that we as humans evolved has now switched over to allow the people who can breed the most with each other are the most fit to survive. __ Brendan Baker Hartford.edu

[See K vs R selection]

Because of the importation of modern vaccines, antibiotics, surgery, sanitation and other advances from the first world, people in the third world are now enabled to procreate at high rates, reasonably expecting most of their progeny to survive. This high level of survival is new, and almost entirely due to the contributions from outside infrastructures maintained by high IQ outsiders. But these newly surviving 3rd world progeny are themselves unable to maintain the infrastructures that make their survival possible on their own. As each new incompetent generation piles atop pre-existing incompetent generations, more and more outside help will be required to sustain them.

But the Helpers are Dying Out

Unfortunately, human populations in the high IQ developed world are in declineperhaps terminal decline, if ideological leftists have their way. When outside help stops coming in to the third world, the great dieoff will begin.

Animated Decline of Global Average IQ

Observe the projected decline in human IQ over time:

Animation source: https://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/IQ/1950-2050/

The modern way of life in advanced countries depends closely upon the number of intelligent persons available to maintain and improve their complex infrastructures. If average human IQ drops within traditionally high-IQ nations, the number of intelligent “enablers of infrastructure” will tend to decline — and more frequent breakdowns of infrastructure will occur.

Some of the mechanisms underlying the ongoing decline in average IQ scores can be studied by reading the book Dysgenics, by Richard Lynn. The book is available free for download at the link above. IQ is up to 80% heritable, suggesting that those humans who breed most have the greatest affect on average human IQs of future generations.

The great leaps forward in science and technology that the world has seen over the past few centuries, cannot continue if smarter people stop having babies.

Fertility Rate (# of children per woman of childbearing age)

The Lynn-Flynn Effect is Now Reversing

At least partially due to immigration from the third world (avg. IQ ~ 80) average IQ scores across Europe and the Anglosphere have been dropping over the past two decades. The effect of IQ decline from dysgenic immigration and dysgenic breeding among citizens will exhibit an exponential effect — very small at first, then increasing rapidly over time.

High Fertility, Low IQ : The Dysgenic Future
IQ by Nation _ Wikipedia

… with the ever-rising population of the earth… the average I.Q. will undoubtly continue to fall. It seems that the way that we as humans evolved has now switched over to allow the people who can breed the most with each other are the most fit to survive. It has been proven that people with similar I.Q. scores are more likely to breed with each other. So their offspring will have a similar I.Q. to their parents. So if the parents had an I.Q. of 75 their child is more likely to have a similar I.Q. to them. So its assumed that if the worlds population continues to grow at the rate its going that the average I.Q. by the year 2050 will be an 86.32 which is almost a ten point drop from 1950. __ Brendan Baker

Mean IQ of US college graduates has dropped almost 1 SD over 50 years

Mean IQ of US Marine Corps officers dropped 8 points in 34 years

The graph below provides meager reassurance regarding falling birthrates with rising female educational levels. Source

The anti-natal rhetoric in universities is becoming more widespread and vitriolic. Young women are strongly influenced by friends and perceived cultural norms when deciding whether to have children. That is bad news for the future of childbirth among future cohorts of female university graduates, since the group consensus among the college educated is coalescing around the “anti-natal” viewpoint.

The reluctance of first-world young women to procreate will indirectly lead to a significant cascading third world population die-off within a very few generations. The extent to which this “third world dieoff” is paralleled inside the first world will depend upon the levels of third world immigration into the advanced world, which is to take place over the next 20 to 40 years.

Plan for this Phenomenon

Some parts of the first world will suffer more from third world immigration, than others. Just a bit of snooping around should help you decide which zones will be safer into the future, than others. Hint: Sanctuary cities are likely to collapse soonest in a crisis.

Include all critical infrastructures on your checklist. You may be able to compensate for specific weaknesses in your future local infrastructure, using advanced skills and advanced technologies which you yourself are able to maintain. But keep those things to yourself.

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

Note: Population levels in many advanced “western cultural” nations are already beginning to decline. Religion is in decline in the west — the same religion which drove much of the impulse to provide generous assistance to the low IQ third world. So both the number of potential helpers and the root inclination to help are in decline.

Mass urbanisation is taking place in the third world, with the growth of third world “mega-cities” which will require ever more advanced infrastructures just to keep up with population growth. This urbanisation makes a massive dieoff more likely for multiple reasons, since proximity breeds infectious disease, and since more people of low IQ require more outsiders with high IQ to power their growing infrastructures. If the goose that lays the golden eggs — generous soft-touch westerners — happen to shrink in numbers while also losing the will to assist as well as political control in their own countries, the prognosis for massive concentrations of third world peoples is bleak.

Time frame: 20 to 40 years.
Solution: Drastically scale back third world immigration and direct assistance to the third world. Emphasise in-country training at appropriate technology levels. Do not encourage third world governments to invest in unreliable wastes of money such as grid-solar or grid-wind energy junk-monstrosities. Focus on agricultural training appropriate for the locale, and local micro-grids. Discourage the further development of mega-cities and centralisation of power in the third world. Work within tribal and clan structures as far as possible to avoid tearing the basic structure of third world societies to shreds.

Posted in Dysgenics | Tagged | 6 Comments

Human Slavery and the Coming Automation Age

Global Automation Will be a Brave New World Only for Some

Over the next two decades, there is a chance that employing more artificial intelligence and robots will incidentally create twice as many jobs as they take away. But there is a catch: Those who are able to learn, grow, and adapt to new concepts and technologies will be able to do the new jobs — but those who cannot adapt are likely to be left to their own devices.

The new age of artificial intelligence plus robots will provide companies with a tremendous boost in productivity. But as old jobs are lost and new jobs are created, the concept of “employability” may change.

The jobs gained will require higher educational attainment and more advanced levels of communication and cognitive ability… __ HBR

Most immigrants from the third world will be unable to fill the requirements for these new kinds of work — and so the already overloaded welfare state will be expanded for the many newcomers who may have nothing to do but stand on the corner and make mischief.

IQ and Capacity for Different Types of Work
Original bell curve mean = 100 via Gottfredson
Added lower bell curve mean = 85, plus labels (black, white) via “unknown source”

Consider the types of work in the graphic above, which correspond to different levels of IQ required. Remember that most third world immigrants have average IQs below those of the two groups displayed above. Many of the low IQ jobs will disappear in the coming automation age.

Every Sector is Up for Automation

Robots will seed, cultivate, and harvest crops 24 hours a day in light or darkness. Artificial intelligences will diagnose diseases, prepare affidavits, dispense medications, prepare lesson plans and grade exams and essays, drive taxis/trucks/trains, process loan applications, prepare meals in homes and restaurants, operate news and entertainment outlets, and function as aides to legislators and as federal bureaucrats at all levels.

This will not happen overnight. But it is happening already, just out of sight.

A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that about 46 percent of jobs have a better-than-even chance of being automated.

A 2016 study by Citigroup and the University of Oxford reported that 57 percent of jobs were at high risk of automation…

…automation of one sort or another has been happening for centuries — machine tools, steam shovels, word processors, street sweepers and plenty of other machines are just forms of automation.

__ Noah Smith

The process of automation — replacing human workers with machines — has been happening since the middle ages and before. Well before that, humans learned to replace human labour with animal labour, for more power and efficiency.

Consider that most kitchens lack the space for all of the work-saving devices that are now available. New clothing types will practically wash and iron themselves. Drone delivery will replace most forms of shopping — they will even deliver hot gourmet meals and fine wines in less than a half hour for most urban and suburban customers.

The constant drive to improve productivity is what powers this age-old movement away from human slave labour to more efficient and productive means for outputting goods and services.

But as the class of unemployables grows in the new age of automation, there will be a new use for home and personal servants … and slaves.

Return of Servants and Slaves

For the winners in this game of thrones, there will be prestige in having a personal chauffeur, masseuse, chef, housekeeper, and so on. But the most demanded personal employee may be the “technology manager.” The economic advantage of technology mastery will cause a rapid bidding up of salaries for those clever technologists who are willing to hire themselves out to that portion of the elites who have no good personal understanding of new technology.

Many attractive young “unemployables” are likely to be kept as pets by the wealthy, for as long as these pets remain attractive. This is already common inside Russia, and is likely to become more common in other nations as societal mores change in the face of a growing “unemployability” problem.

Skilled Craftsmen and Artists

The arts and skilled trades will also be impacted by the coming age of AI/automation. Homes and apartments will be increasingly designed and built by automated processes, probably in a manner that will make it necessary to use proprietary automation to effect preventive maintenance and repairs.

Still, many people will value human architects, builders, and tradesmen. Human artists will acquire wealthy patrons, while the mass market for art will be supplied by specialty AI/robots. Human artists may imitate novel machine art, while machines will imitate novel human art.

The Changing Faces of Crime

As the elites separate physically from the unemployables in almost every way, and as machines perform more of the mundane work — such as bank tellers, liquor store clerks, couriers and delivery personnel — those living in the unemployability zones will have fewer soft targets for crime. Drug dealing will be common, and those who accumulate excess wealth from illicit activities will attempt to seize power over apartment blocks and towers that house the unemployables. Turf wars will be common… unless the machines anticipate this problem, and take on the role of drug dealer/distributor (and pimps) themselves. In this way the machines can dole out power and privilege to the more competent and perhaps less brutal, preventing all out warfare on the streets.

All of this Will Sneak Up on Societies

It may take a hundred years for most of these changes to affect the population. Perhaps that will be plenty of time for open-eyed and competent people to create their own zones of parallel infrastructure and technology development. It should go without saying that the higher the average competence of a population, the easier it can be to adjust to fundamental changes in economies and workforces.

There Will be Wild Humans Spread Over the World and Sky

For those humans of competence who do not wish to join a collective or serve the elites, many survival niches are likely to open up, as novel uses for the new technologies (and the old technologies) are discovered. If humans learn to prosper and multiply in harsh environments — such as outer space, the open ocean and underseas, and at the poles — then many new genetic strains of human will develop alongside new technologies and new approaches to being human.

For these things to take place, humans need to already be in the R&D phase to prove out as many of the conceptual underpinnings for these ways of life as possible.

Remember how rapidly humans developed as various memes were discovered and made available:

The future is likely to display equally rapid transitions, if not more rapid.

It would be best to consider how ongoing developments might affect your own family and community.

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

Posted in IQ, careers | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Japan Suddenly Becomes a Major Military Power Again

Japan Has Blue Water Position on China

China has been creating artificial island fortresses in the South China Sea, but despite those advance bases, the dragon remains confined by the Japanese Islands, Taiwan, in part by South Korea, and the Philippine Islands. Clearly, Japan has blue water position on China, and Japan wants to make the most of that.

Japan’s navy — the Maritime Self-Defense Force — is the second largest in Asia and one of the largest in the world. It is also highly advanced technologically and is growing all the time. The two 27,000 ton Izumo-class helicopter destroyers, the largest in the fleet, with flat flight decks and islands on the starboard side of the vessels, are small compared to the United States Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers (approximately 100,000 tons) or Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers (65,000 tons). But if equipped with the new short-take-off-and-vertical-landing F-35B stealth fighter they will still pack a powerful punch. And Japan is considering adding more of these aircraft carriers to its fleet and advanced U.S.-style Aegis class destroyers, capable of shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles. __ https://nationalpost.com/opinion/david-j-bercuson-why-japan-is-building-its-military-fast

The Japanese people have become spooked by China’s precipitous turn to aggressive militarism. They have seen what China has done to Tibet and Xinjiang, what they are slowly doing to Hong Kong, and what they would do to Taiwan if they were able. Japan wants no part of such humiliating subjugation and destructive oppression at the hands of the Chinese.

China’s (and Japan’s) Chokepoint Problem

China’s economy is dependent on foreign trade, 90 percent of which travels by sea. China’s near seas — the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea — are bounded by what Chinese strategists call the “First Island Chain,” a series of islands (many of which are controlled by U.S. allies) that stretches from Japan to the Philippines to Indonesia. To reach ports on China’s eastern coast, seaborne trade from the west must pass through maritime chokepoints such as the Strait of Malacca (through which 82 percent of China’s crude oil imports passed in 2013). Passage through these maritime chokepoints is secured by another country: the United States, the world’s dominant naval power. __ https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/grand-design-chinas-new-trade-routes

It should be obvious that China’s little offshore faux-isle redoubts will do little to solve the much larger chokepoint problem — which is shared in part by Japan.

The big difference between China’s chokepoint problem and Japan’s chokepoint problem is that Japan has a huge bluewater shoreline, whereas China has none at all. This makes Japan a massive inconvenience to China, just by its existence.

But if Japan continues building its naval forces — and strengthens its military cooperation with other nations that are antagonistic to the idea of China as global hegemon — that inconvenience could become an unsolvable blockade.

China Has No Friends in the World

China has antagonized all of its neighbors, most of its business partners, and much of the rest of the world. China has trading partners of convenience, and it has frenemies of convenience such as Russia. But any and all of such partnerships could change in an instant, as the communist party feels its economy crumbling, or sees its people stirring in rebellious pose.

China seems fierce from the outside, but quite vulnerable from the inside. China’s military-industrial complex is corrupt and highly dependent upon pirated designs and methods. Its military is likewise corrupt and so beholden to the party that it has become crippled. China’s economy is hobbled by massive and overproducing state owned enterprises which are the definition of corrupt inefficiency and incompetence. High order turbulence at many levels of China lead to a chaotic buffeting and chipping away.

Not What CNN, RT, or Al Jazeera Will tell You

Most political analysts tend to sing together in a choir, focusing mainly upon what notes each other are piping — with their backs to the real world undertones that will determine the actual future. Even when in supposed disagreement, the singers are actually performing a carefully choreographed counterpoint.

This is why it is a mistake to expect to hear political wisdom from academics, media analysts, or other talking heads of social institutions. Wisdom is singularly rare in the public sphere, dominated as it is by loud echo choirs amply funded by elite special interests.

Hope for the Best, Work for the Better

The good is the enemy of the best, and nature has always operated on the “good enough” principle. Wise humans do not aim at utopias or perfect harmony under one wise leader. They plan for trouble each step of the way, and design methods for dealing with disagreements in hopes of avoiding perpetual war and bloodshed.

Make yourselves Dangerous for the dark days that the governments of the world are trying to bring down on you and your progeny. If you cannot tell who the good guys are, then it is best to make yourself and those you influence as informed and competent as possible — and don’t let your children become wilting, triggered snowflakes of perpetual helplessness.

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

Note on China’s blue water vulnerability:

The geographic enclosure of China’s near seas would make it relatively easy for an adversary to disrupt or interdict Chinese trade. China faces many challenges in developing the ability to project sufficient naval power to safeguard seaborne trade as it passes through distant chokepoints. Instead, China must rely on the United States to provide security of the sea-lanes. Although maritime security is ostensibly a public good, China worries that, as a potential peer competitor to the United States, it will not always be able to rely on the United States to protect its shipping. __ https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/grand-design-chinas-new-trade-routes

Posted in China, geopolitics | Tagged

China Pursues Weapons with Abandon (Of the Economy)

Economy Before Military is a Better Rule to Follow

Smarter rulers would have made certain of their economies before they put their nations in a military posture against the rest of the world.

Scarcely a day goes by without hearing more about some omnipotent new weapon produced by Chinese armorers. Amazing new planes, rockets, ships, submarines, helicopters, hypersonic destructors, unbeatable drones and robots, and artificial intelligences fit to overcome all enemies. But who will pay for all of this vapourware and whatever real products eventually appear?

… too many Chinese banks are, in practice, bankrupt even though on paper they are solvent. A major problem is the huge quantity of unsold housing and business properties. The government looked into this and found the situation was worse than anyone had imagined… A growing number of Chinese don’t believe their government can handle this mess and that results in hundreds of billion dollars’ worth of Chinese currency trying to get converted to more trusted foreign currencies (like the dollar, euro and yen). __ https://strategypage.com/qnd/china/articles/20181109.aspx

Debt vs GDP Trend Lines

Update: China medley of economic woes

Lately, Everything in China is Built on Debt

The Chinese economy expanded rapidly in the years after the global financial crisis thanks to repeated debt binges.
“China’s growth has been highly credit intensive,” said Gerard Burg, Sydney-based senior economist at National Australia Bank. The total amount of debt in the Chinese financial system is now several times the size of the entire economy.

… A rapidly falling yuan could become a vicious cycle, according to Manu Bhaskaran, the founder of Singapore-based research firm Centennial Asia.
“There could be a huge capital outflow and that could feed on itself,” he said. __ https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/09/economy/china-economy-risks/index.html

China’s real estate market is beginning to stagnate, removing one of the few remaining safe investments for Chinese workers. 22% of apartments sit vacant, and since Chinese buildings tend to age far more quickly than those of other nations, the actual value of these properties is silently depreciating.

China’s vaunted “Belt and Road” initiative is showing early signs of stress, andseveral partner countries are already feeling “buyer’s remorse.”

US trade tariffs are scheduled to ramp up steeply at the end of this year, which threatens to hobble an already slowing Chinese economy. If the Chinese economy hits the skids, the rest of the emerging world will feel crippling pain. Many western corporations that unwisely chose to stake their futures on China-based production would also likely be struck hard across the bottom line.

These are the days for reading the tea leaves and acting accordingly. Trump has not been exactly coy about his demands for China to begin to play by international trade rules or else. Any western chief executive who has failed to understand how serious the leader of the free world is about trade equity — after all this time and straight talk — such chief corporate executives should probably have their heads separated from their shoulders, figuratively speaking of course.

Cheating, Stealing, Pirating, Poisoning

China is the chief rogue of rogue nations, using much of its ill-gotten gains to attempt to build a world-dominating armory of weapons and destructive technologies.

The US uses its military might to keep sea lanes and other trade routes open for business — as well as for humanitarian missions in severe disasters. China would use its world-dominant military to exact tribute and obedience from its minions, if uncontested on the world stage.

Consider the nations that the US pacified, liberated, and conquered in the past 100 years: Germany, Japan, South Korea, France, Italy, etc. etc. All of these nations are self-determining and more or less prosperous. Then look at the nations China has conquered or taken over recently: Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong. These suffer deeply from Chinese oppression and often violence. Partners in the Belt and Road initiative are beginning to feel like conquered minions themselves.

The “Bloody Harvest” of today’s China — no matter how horrific it is — will seem like nothing compared with the bloody harvest China will prepare for anyone who fails to pay tribute and obeisance to the dragon. And you have been paying for all of these preparations, unwittingly, perhaps while also admiring China and investing in China-based entities.

The best way to curtail such a future of global slavery is to cut the cheating economic legs out from under the rogue dragon, and force the nation to obey international rules. The mainstream press and many large corporations, foundations, and other social institutions stand in support of China — and thus in support of a dominant Chinese future.

Watch closely as the various risks and opportunities weave, wax, and wane. Make provisions for the different likeliest futures, make yourselves as Dangerous as possible, and work for a better future capable of slipping through the gaps.


Trade integrity must be enforced, regardless of what the talking heads on CNN, Al Jazeera, RT, or Sky News tell you. The alternative is to allow an impending horror that you will never be able to explain to your grandchildren.


China making mistake of steadily going full commy

Posted in China | Tagged | 3 Comments

Genetic Drift vs. Memetic Drift

Genes vs. Memes

Most readers have at least a rough idea of what genes are and how they work in biology. The types of genes that are prevalent in a population help determine how prosperous and accomplished that population will be. When breeding populations are small — as in isolated island populations for example — genetic drift occurs, leading to the loss of many gene variants so that the population is less genetically diverse over time.

Genetic drift can result in genetic traits being lost from a population or becoming widespread in a population without respect to the survival or reproductive value of the alleles involved. A random statistical effect, genetic drift can occur only in small, isolated populations in which the gene pool is small enough that chance events can change its makeup substantially. __ Britannica

Genetic drift is random, and is not related to natural selection. The gene variants that remain in the population after genetic drift will depend upon the gene variants in the population to begin with (founder effect).

The loss of genetic traits in the isolated population is the same as loss of genetic potential.

Memes and Memetic Drift

A meme is an idea or belief that tends to mutate and spread in a population (alongside many other memes) in a manner very much like the variable spread of biological genes in a population.

Memetic drift — the loss of memetic diversity — occurs in small isolated populations (hicks, hayseeds, etc), or in populations that are excessively controlled by top-down “meme enforcement” mechanisms (political correctness).

Genetic Drift vs. Memetic Drift

Genetic drift can lead to a severe loss of genetic diversity, to the point that a population cannot withstand strong biological or physical challenges. Such populations — lacking sufficient varieties of genetic tools to meet the challenge — tend to go extinct.

Memetic drift leads to a loss of conceptual and ideational diversity. Societies which progressively limit the conceptual diversity of their members will eventually weaken to outside conceptual or ideational challenges, to the point of being overwhelmed.

Ruling Classes and Genetic/Memetic Drift

Historically, it has often been the case that ruling classes of particular societies or civilisations have become inbred, leading to genetic drift and loss of gene variation along with concentration of unfavourable recessive genes. This was the case in 19th and early 20th century Europe, for example, right up to World War I.

Memetic drift from the inbreeding of ideas is common in any modern totalitarian society, and was described brilliantly in George Orwell’s famous masterpiece 1984.

In Orwell’s 1984, all information flow was controlled by the state — similar to the conditions under the Soviet Union or Mao’s China. Under such conditions of conceptual isolation and limitation, memetic drift is bound to occur — under the strong top-down influence of the state censors and concept-generators.

Memetic Drift and Control in the Modern World

In the modern “free world,” a subtler form of memetic limitation, drift, and control is taking place. University “speech codes” limit what students on campus can say and write (and consequently think). Similar de facto speech codes are harshly enforced by media, many departments of government, lower educational institutions, corporate offices (eg Google), and many other formal and informal social institutions.

Humans rarely “know what they don’t know” and are largely unaware of the ideas which they are being kept from thinking or knowing. In the memetically controlled and limited society, a “great black hole of ignorance and unthinking” grows progressively larger and larger, interfering with the society’s ability to solve problems or to set and reach meaningful goals.

Genetic Drift Can Doom a Small Space Colony

In any isolated space colony or “generation ship,” humans must be sure to include a large enough number of breeding pairs selected out of larger populations, to insure against genetic drift and the extinction threat.

A population of at least 10,000 breeding pairs is estimated to be the lower limit to avoid such an internal existential threat to the long term survival of the colony.

Memetic Drift Can Doom a Civilisation

The future potential of a human civilisation is limited by its problem-solving ability, by its inventive ingenuity, and by its ability to adapt to novel circumstances in a psychological and social way.

When conceptual diversity is curtailed — either by accident or design — civilisations and societies start sliding down a slippery slope toward a deep dark chasm of feeble-minded conceptual inbreeding.

All Ideologies Place Limits on “Allowed Concepts”

Ideologies are top-down dictated and prefabricated “philosophies plus action mechanisms.” The intent of an ideology is to change the world — or some significant part of it. Ideologies differ from philosophies in that ideologies are intrusive and action-oriented. Ideologies are almost always controlled by a central oligarchy of elites, who determine what actions and what ideas are permissible.

As the set of ideas and concepts are progressively limited under a particular ideology, the members of such an ideology become progressively more enfeebled when confronted with novel ideational challenges from outside the in-group.

We can see how easily ideologies embody “memetic warfare” to prevail against the outer worlds — the things that are “unsayable” and “unthinkable.” In the clash of ideologies, it is “fight or die.”

Freedom of Speech is a Novel Idea in the History of Man

Until the late 1700s, the concept of freedom of speech was almost entirely foreign to the worlds of men. But when freedom of speech — and the resulting grand expansion of memes — came about, the world itself began to shake and grow. Men became free to congregate, to speak, to work together openly with others of like mind. And science, technology, and the arts all expanded rapidly.

This rapid expansion of the world — and the great shifting of “winners and losers” — caused a great disturbance among elite classes of the world. Ever since the great expansion, the old traditional elites and their toadies have been trying to find ways to place a clamp over the excessively free-thinking and free-acting upstarts of the plebs, in order to restore themselves to the top of all hierarchies.

Pay Attention to Who Limits Speech and Ideas

One can easily identify these reactionary would-be despots by their speech and action. They openly push for severe restrictions on speech and action — even to the point of promoting “mandated speech” of specific kinds.

These people are the clear enemies of an abundant and expansive human future. What should we do about them? Certainly we should speak, campaign, and vote against them — regardless of their nominal political or religious affiliations. Sometimes in the political realm we are confronted with the lesser of two evils. Study them carefully to be sure you are selecting the “lesser” of the two.

Beyond speaking, writing, campaigning, and voting, what should be done to the particularly vile wannabe despots who clearly want to throw the rest of us in chains and fasten puppet-strings to our joints and heads? It is not clear in general what should be done, but certainly each case should be examined in its individual particulars.

Do not become sidetracked by racial, religious, or political antagonisms. This is not a race war, nor a religious war nor a war between nominal political affiliations. It is a war between those who promote and those who oppose an expansive and abundant human future.

Our enemies are those who are actively trying to handicap and limit us, in what we can say, do, think, own. They are those who would prevent us from joining with others who think like us, in promoting the freedoms and actions that would bring about an expansion and abundance of human meaning, fulfillment, and prosperity.

Think long and carefully. Make yourself as Dangerous as you can reasonably become. Make provisions for various futures while working actively for a better future.

An interesting example of meme warfare

Wikipedia entry on “Meme”

Posted in Genetics and Gene Expression, Ideology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Universe is Infinite: Economic Growth is Forever*

Since Dawn of History: Humans Discover Opportunity and Growth

Human progress and economic growth followed a natural — but bumpy and uneven — track. Agriculture led to surplus wealth, cities, specialisation of labour, and trade. Despite thousands of years of conquest, destruction, and plunder, the same cycle always repeats and expands each time around.

Wealth Follows Opportunity

Wealth of Nations from Year 1

Different breeding populations experienced different cycles of government, climate, conquest, and biological advantage. The wealthy became poor, and sometimes wealthy again, as opportunity and advantage swung back and forth.

Exponential Economic Growth: US as Example

The US burst upon the scene out of nowhere around the year 1800, and despite a ruinous civil war (1861-1865) the country went from being a tiny, highly indebted set of motley colonies to being the wealthiest nation on Earth by the year 1890.

Exponential economic growth of this type is best explained by invoking the idea of optimising of opportunity. Minimal government combined with maximal ambition, reasonable competence, and ample resources — along with the rule of law (more or less), combined with property rights.

Impediments to Growth: Ideology

By observing the historical examples of the differential success of parallel economies in communist East Germany vs. capitalist West Germany, communist North Korea vs. capitalist South Korea, Mao’s communist China vs British administered Hong Kong or independent Taiwan or Singapore, etc. the influence of political ideology upon economic performance should be clear.

Even the political/economic ideologies of individual leaders within the same nation can exhibit the same differential on a lesser scale. Consider US president Obama’s economic legacy compared with other presidents:

Mr. Obama is the only president since records were first kept under the administration of Herbert Hoover to fail to achieve annual GDP growth of 3 percent or more.

… Mr. Obama’s performance puts him last among 12 presidents going back to World War II and Harry Truman… Mr. Obama’s demonization of business and his constant swipes at entrepreneurship imposed a psychological restraint on American capitalism. During a talk in Roanoke, Virginia, Mr. Obama diminished successful people by saying no one gets there on his own. “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen,” Mr. Obama said. __ Obama’s Lackluster Economic Legacy

If a US leader follows an ideology that is antagonistic toward trade and commerce, economic performance of the country may reflect his personal antipathy toward business during his reign.

But once he is gone, an economic bounce may occur that is similar in nature to an economic recovery from a recession.

Boundless Economic Opportunity of the Universe

Just as with exponential economic growth in the US since 1800, exponential economic growth in the universe at large will require competent and ambitious beings, ample resources, property rights and rule of law, and minimal government beyond the above.

Many baby steps will be required before humans can interact meaningfully with the bountiful wealth and opportunity of just the cislunar near Earth space environment. The brighter and more ambitious of humans will take those steps and move beyond the limitations of earthbound thought and action.

Humans who choose to be possessed by “doom ideologies” and mindsets will hopefully be left behind, for the most part.

Note: The word “Forever*” in the title is in comparison to the lifespan of the human species, should the species choose to accept the challenge of the larger universe. The word “Infinite” in the title is both in comparison to any imaginable human reach within the lifespan of the race, and it makes allowance for future discoveries of multiple universes accessible from this one.

Posted in Economics, expansive future, Ideology, Politics, Space Future | Tagged | 3 Comments

If Not for Miscomprehension There’d be No Comprehension at All

Jordan Peterson has been on a speaking tour of Europe and the Anglosphere for most of the year 2018. On the surface, this grand tour of the western world is about promoting his latest book, Twelve Rules for Life. On a deeper level Peterson is reminding modern humans that their comprehension of meaning and social cohesion depends upon very old traditions, myths, and stories.

In addition to his “book promotion lectures,” Peterson is giving a large number of media interviews as well as appearing on university campuses to speak to groups of students — as in the above video at the Cambridge Union in England. So many appearances and interviews have been stuffed inside Peterson’s tour that one wonders when the professor has time to eat, sleep, and do the necessities.

Jordan Peterson is Making Big Waves

Back in January of this year, when Peterson’s book was just published and his interview with UK Channel 4’s Cathy Newman was beginning to attract attention, few would have expected Peterson’s speaking tour to become such a world phenomenon. But as the weeks and months went by, more and more cities were added to the tour so that what was meant to be a tour of a few dozen cities has morphed into an ongoing march across the world of the west — Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand.

More on the tour from Dr. Peterson:

I have now lectured publicly in 90 cities since the end of January 2018. I am going to visit Honolulu in late November and return to LA, Calgary and Vancouver in early December. About 250.000 people have attended the lectures, to date. The best of them will be posted as podcasts in the near future.

A return tour to Australia and my first trip to New Zealand is in the works for late February, and a sojourn to the remainder of Europe is planned for late March and all of April. I’m halfway through my current European tour, mostly Northern Europe and the UK… __ https://jordanbpeterson.com/events/

Jordan Peterson is Still Evolving

Professor Peterson’s best communications of meaningful ideas can be found in his classroom lectures on YouTube and in his books, 12 Rules for Life and Maps of Meaning. His university appearances are quite good — especially the one at Lafayette, the video above from the Cambridge Union, and a video at Harvard. His interviews with media and web podcasters are of mixed quality, but can be worth watching to see Peterson’s sleep-defying prowess.

As for Jordan Peterson’s evolution as a public figure, the best way to measure the change and growth is to compare early talks and interviews with later appearances.

Bottom Line: The Ability of Human Beings to Think

You can be excused if you believe that the Peterson phenomenon is about selling books. That is certainly a part of it, and many books — over 2 million so far — are being sold. But it is really about reminding human beings about who they are, how to think, and how they can live in the way they wish to live.

Today’s university students and graduates are not, on the whole, being given these necessary tools of life. Instead universities, governments, and the news & entertainment media at large are doing their best to muddle the ability of people to comprehend and deal with the world unfolding around them.

And so a huge hole in the world has opened up as a result of the designed failure of modern social institutions to prepare human beings to set and meet rational goals of personal fulfillment.

Personal meaning and fulfillment is what Peterson’s lectures are about. Out of personal meaning and fulfillment, social meaning and fulfillment arise. In reality, the social and the personal entwine and evolve together.

The Mainstream Wants a Different Outcome Than Does Peterson

In the world of mainstream pseudointellectual “thought,” if there were no miscomprehension, there would be no comprehension at all. Or so seems the thrust of modern “education,” media, government, and other social institutions.

You have other choices, and had best make them in as informed a manner as possible.

Posted in Cognition, Dysgenics, Jordan Peterson, Philosophy | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Future Belongs to Women of Child-Bearing Years

If your country has no women of child-bearing years, it has no future without massive immigration. But if you import large numbers of young people who are not compatible with your culture and your technological level of culture and infrastrucuture, your country as it is has no future. In other words, your country is slipping into history.

You can see a rough correspondence of population growth % (just above) by nation vs. average population age by nation viewed in the image on top. This makes sense, as younger populations tend to have more women of child-bearing age — as well as many more girls who will soon become women of child-bearing age.

Fertility Rate (# of children per woman of childbearing age) via Slideplayer.com

Fertility rate is another useful calculation which helps to estimate future trends of population growth. But don’t be fooled. A nation might have a sky-high fertility rate, but a very low population of women of child-bearing years. In such a case, natural population growth would still be quite low.

If a nation has a very young population with many women of child-bearing years, and also has a very low rate of family planning, the natural growth of human population in that country will be quite high.

FIGURE 2-24 WOMEN USING FAMILY PLANNING More than two-thirds of couples in developed countries use a family-planning method. Family-planning varies widely in developing countries. China reports the world’s highest rate of family planning; the lowest rates are in sub-Saharan Africa. More than two-thirds of couples in developed countries use a family-planning method. Family-planning varies widely in developing countries. China reports the world’s highest rate of family planning; the lowest rates are in sub-Saharan Africa.

By the year 2100, Africa’s human population may be as high as 6 billion people — almost as high as Earth’s total human population today. Africa’s population is growing at the rate of 2.6% pa.

Populations in most of the rest of the world — outside Africa — are dropping. Even in China after the repeal of the one-child rule, we see a drop in births year on year. This is called “the low fertility trap,” and it seems to have ensnared not only China, but Europe, the Anglosphere, the East Asia “tigers,” and most of the rest of the developed world.

Global IQ by National Average IQ Scores

Going by average IQ scores per nation, trends in population growth suggests that average human IQ — and the average human ability to solve problems — will trend downward, and rapidly downward within the next few decades.

Islands of Civilisation in a Sea of Violent Poverty

If you have watched the movie “Idiocracy” by Mike Judge, you have seen the comedic version of a low IQ human future. The reality of a low average IQ human future will look more like the Congo. Tribal wars will sweep through Africa and into every nation where appreciable numbers of African immigrants have settled.

What will power Africa in the intermediate to long-term future? Gunpowder and high explosive, imported from the outside.

In the future, due to the emigration of African peoples most cities outside of Africa will take on the complexion of Detroit, St. Louis, or Philadelphia — with a corresponding rise of crime rates as the demographic picture changes.

This is likely to come as quite a shock to nations such as Germany or Sweden, which have always prided themselves on their “tolerance” to third world immigrants.

Genetics of Violence

Perhaps the most controversial areas of science today are the fields of study finding links between genetics and violence, and the links between genetics and intelligence (PDF).

Low average IQ correlates directly with rates of violence in a population, across all races. Beyond that correlation, specific gene variants which correlate positively with violence are found more often within sub Saharan African populations. These two correlations — IQ with violence, and specific genes with violence — represent two violent strikes against people of sub Saharan African descent, particularly black males.

But Most Black Males are not Violent

Although most black males have a below-average IQ — when measured against developed nation average IQs — most black males do not display high levels of violent behaviour. Because an individual cannot be equated to the average of his ethnic or racial group, each person must be treated according to his own specific behaviour record. Each person in a developed nation should enjoy the benefit of the rule of law and rules of evidence.

That being said, it should be anticipated that nations that accept large numbers of African immigrants will experience significantly higher rates of crime — including violent crime. This will necessitate much higher levels of spending on police, courts, and the prison/parole/probation infrastructures. These adjustments will come at a significant cost to society, with all its members paying the price.

What Does this Say About Future Innovation?

Governments must divide their spending between the large numbers of competing interests. As spending on crime and the consequences of crime increase, less money will be available to the governments for spending on future technological infrastructures.

Wherever high tech infrastructures are nationalised, spending on innovation will be hardest hit. If, on the other hand, future innovations are driven by the private sector, the impact of government spending to mitigate higher levels of crime and violence will be less.

This means that the “leftist vision” of nationalising all industry and commerce will have disastrous effects on future innovation, and is likely to destroy all hope for an abundant and expansive human future within the nations that succumb to this “vision.”

African Population Explosion Likely to Trigger many Follow-On Effects

Populations within Africa have exploded largely due to foreign technologies brought to Africa via trade, and via well-meaning western charitable organisations. But if a large region such as Africa cannot develop its own technologies, it will soon be living far beyond its native “carrying capacity.” This means that catastrophic die-off effects are likely to occur as soon as outside sustaining technologies are reduced or cut off altogether.

Such a reduction of outside aide is likely, given the inexorable shrinking of populations within the more developed nations, which provide most of the sustaining technologies to African populations.

China and India will Soon have Problems Enough of their Own

Higher levels of average IQ in China, and large numbers of high IQ sub-populations in India, have allowed these two hugely populated nations to thrive. But Pax Americana will not continue indefinitely, and eventually the US will withdraw its global umbrella of protection from international trade routes (oceans) and from specific key areas such as the middle east.

Youth bulges often lead to war, and Africa is not the only place where youth bulges are occurring (see fertility rates graphic above). As the US becomes preoccupied with hobgoblins of closer proximity, global conflicts are likely to crop up in the vacuum left by the withdrawal of US troops.

Particularly vulnerable to being overrun are the nations of Europe that have been steadily hollowed out by demographic collapse. Likewise, Taiwan, Singapore, S. Korea, and certain islands of Japan will also be vulnerable due to reduced populations of military age.

Consult again the graphics above displaying fertility rate, population by age cohorts, and population growth rates. Nations with prominent youth bulges will likely go to war as the US withdraws closer to its own borders.

The US is Large, and Has a Large Private Sector

The largest advantages that the US possesses as the world spins into demographic imbalance and dysgenic violence, are the large size of its private sector, and long traditions of self-sufficiency and self-defence in much of its population. As the US government swings slowly back under the control of leftist nationalizers over time, the large remaining private sector will continue creating disruptive innovation despite large shifts in government spending toward wasteful projects such as the climate apocalypse cult and unsustainable forms of energy such as wind power.

In other currently prosperous nations with high degrees of industrial nationalisation, much of their newer tech economies will go black — go underground — and thus acquire a certain immunity from government stupidity and policies driven by dysgenic immigration.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Work hard for a better path to an abundant and expansive future. Such a future will likely emerge via a technological fait accompli, rather than through conventional political means.

US President Trump has provided a certain amount of time for us to work behind the scenes. The future will contain a lot of tumultuous transition. Make provisions, and make yourself as Dangerous as you can. The future will not be a place for sissies, not for a good while longer.

Posted in Africa, Demographics | Tagged | 9 Comments

Flying Bugout Vehicle to Escape Zombie Apocalypse

Escaping the City When TSHTF in TEOTWAWKI

The Surefly copter by Workhorse Group Inc. is an 8-propellor hybrid-electric personal VTOL that you can keep at home, in case of emergencies. Safety features include a ballistic parachute, a 5 minute dedicated reserve battery pack in case of main power failure, a dual generator power supply to props, generators powered by gasoline piston engine to allow flexible range (using optional reserve fuel tank).

The SureFly is being designed as unique among helicopters. It would be able to cruise at up to 70 mph for more than two hours using battery power combined with a small engine. It would cost about $200,000, cheaper than many helicopters.

Where it differs most dramatically is in its appearance, looking like an oversized drone rather than a conventional helicopter. SureFly has no tail boom, which makes it about the size of a sedan and compact enough to fit on a residential landing pad. It levitates with eight small rotors mounted on four pods. __ USAT

Will TEOTWAWKI come from a zombie apocalypse? It doesn’t seem likely, but if you read the lock-step puppet news or have followed the mind-drone indoctrination taking place on college campuses, a zombie apocalypse seems more possible.

No matter. Any form of large-scale infrastructure failure would turn most large cities into zombie hives, swarming with violent, brainless automatons. Good luck trying to escape something like that using ground transportation.

Air escape from the zombie horde is a long-time theme for Al Fin blogs. But with the Workhorse Surefly 1, a safe, readily available flying bugout vehicle seems to be almost ready for the consumer market.

Depending upon the winds and weather, flying can be a tricky past-time. But the makers of the Surefly seem to taken steps to make their copter reasonably safe and easy to fly. The limited payload (400 lbs) makes it necessary to carry out a great deal of pre-planning and advanced placement of supplies and family members outside the immediate danger zone, in anticipation of the collapse of order.

Better yet, take steps now to move your main location outside of large cities and suburbs. If you need to maintain a city location for work, with the Surefly you should be able to rejoin your family quickly. Then you can plan your next steps from a safer location, depending upon the nature of the crisis that is likely to evolve.

Zombies and the Dangerous Child

Dangerous Children are the opposite of zombies, and far more lethal. If a Dangerous Child is caught unexpectedly “behind the lines” of a zombie takeover, he may engage in the sport of zombie baiting and killing. But such an activity would needs be subservient to smart exfiltration from the zombie zone. Dangerous Children never sally forth into danger zones without having thoroughly scouted the territory beforehand.

If there is one thing that ordinary people should learn from Dangerous Children, it is this: “Don’t Panic.” Keep thinking, keep moving if possible, pay attention to what is happening around you — and as far out as you can monitor. Never fight when you can run, never run when you can walk, never walk when you can ride, and never ride when you can fly.

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

More ideas for flying zombie escapes

Posted in Technology, TEOTWAWKI, Zombies | Tagged

China is Riding the Storm Better than Russia

China’s Economic Slump Less Dangerous Than Russia’s

Like the United States after the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, a Chinese financial crisis will lead to a nasty recession but not an economic collapse. GDP growth will likely recover after a year or two, cushioned by a weaker exchange rate, liquidity injections, and a large state-owned sector that will keep ticking over. __ S. Joske in War On the Rocks

China is on the path leading to an aging population that largely has failed to achieve wealth or security — growing old before growing rich. Russians, on the other hand, just want to survive.

Over two thirds of Russians are very concerned about constantly rising prices (up 11 percent since 2017), growing poverty and inflation. In addition to increasing unemployment many who still have jobs are not getting raises. With an inflation rate of over five percent that means those with static pay are getting pay cuts (less purchasing power). For ethnic Russians there’s another sense of loss. Since 1991 the number of ethnic Russians in Russia and former parts of the Soviet Union has declined by 17 million. __ Strategy

Because of western sanctions, Russia is forced into a closer alliance with China, but such an alliance is a double-edged sword. China has not renounced its claims on large swaths of Russian-held territory. As we have seen from China’s debt diplomacy in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, China is quite willing to take territory, infrastructure, and advanced technology in exchange for debt payment.

China… has a more powerful military than Russia (for the first time in centuries). The Chinese lead is growing and unlike the United States or NATO, has very real and recently (1970s) fought over claims on Russian territory (the Far East and parts of eastern Siberia). China has very deliberately never renounced these claims, not after the Chinese communists took over China in 1949 and not since. Now Russia is increasingly economically dependent on China, a condition that is getting worse for Russia and appears headed for China getting its disputed territories back via economic not military conquest. __ Source

China’s Internal Problems May force Party to Display Power on the International Stage

The Chinese stock markets are vulnerable to a large number of economic shocks. As US President Trump ratchets up the pressure on China’s many dubious trade practices, any number of dominoes may fall.

China has spent most of its history disunited, reflecting its geography. It has a number of widely dispersed economic centers. It was in outright civil war as recently as the 1960s. If competition between political factions remains unresolved, a civil war could develop, leaving China as a battleground where Russia, Japan, and the United States seek to influence the outcome. This scenario would stall or even end China’s rise as a global military and political power. __ WOTR

Problems with Dictatorial Rule

Both Russia and China are dealing with debilitating pollution and toxic buildups in the soil, groundwater, and air. Unlike in more representative forms of government, in dictatorships the environment is given a back row seat — if it is given any seat at all.

Another problem dictatorships tend to have is the inability to understand the true state of their economies, due to top-down economic policies and state (or crony) ownership of a large part of the economy. When a crisis arises in such an economy, the correct economic response may involve choices that conflict with overt or covert government policies.

Russia’s greatest resources are its energy and mineral wealth, at this time. China’s greatest resource is its intelligent and ambitious people. Neither nation is in immediate danger of collapse, but Russia’s growing dependency on China — and China’s growing dependency on debt — can make for a rickety ride with chaotic emergent effects. Many of these unpredictable effects would have global repercussions.

More on China debt bubble:

The unique aspect of the current global credit bubble is that China has emerged at its epicenter. Since 2008, China has created the world’s largest M2 money supply, the world’s largest and most grossly mismarked banking assets, the largest global trade with the rest of the world, the second-largest GDP, and the world’s largest credit-to-GDP imbalances. __ Valuewalk

Several more revealing charts at Valuewalk link above.

Before 2008, China grew its economy via exports, technology transfer, infrastructure buildup, and imports which directly fed the export economy. Since 2009, China has been a stimulus-led economy, relying on massive government stimulus — much of which has been misallocated to an overproducing state owned sector. As the “cat continues chasing its tail,” and the China debt mountain just keeps growing, increasingly bad options will present themselves — including the option of going to war.

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

Posted in China, Russia | Tagged | 3 Comments

Making Ocean Deserts Bloom in Barebone Seasteads

Most of the Ocean’s life clings to the shallower water over the continental shelves. That is where the food supplies are found. The middle of the ocean tends to be a desert, with only scant sea life to be found. This is one reason why ocean “fish farms,” or aquaculture, are located near shore, over continental shelves.

Cold Deepwater Nutrients Key to Fish Populations

For obvious reasons, the ocean’s cold deepwater contains most of the sea’s nutrients. Wherever the cold deepwater thermohaline currents are forced upward, great schools of fish will feed, breed, and multiply. This is why fishermen go to the “banks” and edges of continental shelves, where deep rich water is forced upward from below to feed the hungry multitudes above.

Mid-Ocean OTEC Pulls Rich Deepwater to the Surface

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) pulls cold, rich seawater to the surface — making use of the temperature differences between deepwater and tropical surface water to generate electricity. But OTEC would provide a mid-ocean seastead with far more than electricity. OTEC also provides cold water for air conditioning and freshwater condensation, and the rich nutrients of the deep seawater for aquaculture — growing lots of fat fish in the ocean desert.

Consider a Barebones Seastead

Initially, a barebones seastead is little more than a floating breakwater, with a motley assortment of small live-aboard yachts in the sheltered artificial lagoon, along with simple floating platforms for small businesses. Initial populations will be mostly transient, as curious cruising yachtsmen stop by to check things out, perhaps topping up on fuel, water, and supplies.

But early on, ventures such as OTEC aquaculture and energy would provide a much-needed expansion of the seastead’s infrastructure — fresh fish, electricity for sale, abundant freshwater from condensation, and cold seawater for cooling purposes. The freshwater would be used not only for drinking, but also for growing fresh food crops.

Best Locations for OTEC

OTEC requires as large a temperature differential between deepwater and surface water, as possible. The image above provides a general idea of global temperature differentials for purposes of OTEC.

Even at its best, OTEC is not particularly profitable unless it is utilised in an isolated location, where fuel supplies and food must be imported at prohibitive prices.

In fact, a mid-ocean seastead is one of the few locations where OTEC would be worth doing. Efficiencies would not justify the initial expense virtually anywhere else that humans might live in numbers.

Seastead aquaculture would be possible without OTEC, of course, but the nutrient supply would be a limiting factor for local fish swarms. Effluent from minimally processed human waste and organic garbage, for example, could supply a small amount of nutrients to a small fish farm. But the steady rich supply of pumped deep seawater from OTEC would provide for a much larger aquaculture crop.

OTEC entry in Wikipedia

Early “Experimental” Seasteads Need to Evolve

Many human artifacts tend to thrive only after having evolved over time: Languages, forms of government, cities, networks of infrastructure including transportation and pipelines, etc. Mid-ocean seasteads — given their novel nature — would also need to evolve from simple beginnings.

It would seem that a reliable floating breakwater — with its artificial shelter for boats and other floating structures — is as bare a beginning as possible for a mid-ocean human settlement. But it also seems clear that the OTEC technology is almost a perfect fit for an isolated seastead, if OTEC can be optimised to the scale and location needed.

Other technologies are likely to be invented or discovered through serendipity for use in remote seasteads. Entrepreneurs may build floating hotels in the sheltered lagoon, for example, and fly tourists in to see the novel settlement via sea planes or float planes.

A number of different types of personality might be attracted to visit the seastead, including libertarians, greens, adventurers, ocean cruisers scouting out potential refueling/resupply locations, journalists looking for a story, and inquisitive entrepreneurs who are interested in possibly building their own seasteads.

Moving from Potential to Potential

The more conventional approaches to “seasteading” do not actually look to the mid-ocean deep sea environment to build a settlement. The challenges are too daunting without reliable storm protection.

The first step to building a safe and durable mid-ocean settlement is to create a space sheltered from the worst effects of ocean storms and waves. Once that is accomplished, the potentials begin to unfold, one on top of the other.

Posted in Ocean | Tagged | 1 Comment

Seastead Evolution Reloaded

Deltasync Floating City
134 pp PDF Report for Seasteading Institute

Seasteading is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territory claimed by any government. The term is a combination of the words sea and homesteading. No one has yet created a structure on the high seas that has been recognized as a sovereign state. ___ “Seasteading” Wikipedia entry

The leading proponents of seasteading include the Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers. The two organisations are said to be cooperating to build a special ocean zone for seasteading within French Polynesia. Many technical issues important to the construction of large seasteads (such as pictured above) are addressed in this document.

Cutting Back to Basics

The seasteading organisations have made grand plans for building “independent city-state” seasteads of various styles and scales. But large floating seasteads are an unproven concept, if you do not count cruise ships and other super-sized ships such as aircraft carriers.

A more evolutionary, bare-bones approach to seasteading might stand a better chance of succeeding in the near term. Modest successes can be leveraged to more ambitious projects bit by bit, as difficult challenges are confronted and overcome one by one.

Just as in the human habitation and exploitation of space, with ocean ventures an approach of “pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps” and paying as you go, seems wiser than betting it all on one throw in a grand “hail Mary” toss.

The ramshackle sea outpost featured in the movie “Waterworld” should give an entrepreneur of modest means some inspiration for creating a small beginning in seasteading, that can be built into something more grand over the longer term.

Overlooking the fact that the “Waterworld” design would break up in the first large storm to come along, consider that this floating city was in reality a floating “Trading Post,” where business was done and deals were made.

Consider all the yachts anchored in harbors around the world, each inhabited by cruisers and live-aboards. A mid-ocean harbor that offered safe anchorage, fuel, advanced communications, and vital supplies would probably find itself in demand — once word got around in the global yachting community.

It Does Not Have to Be Fancy or Luxurious

When the seas come up, a crewman gets hurt, or a yacht suffers damages in a cruise, “any port in a storm” can become a ready watchword. A floating outpost needn’t be stylish — but it must provide what cruisers need.

Such an ocean outpost would require a reliable breakwater to blunt the force of the waves and provide a safe anchorage. It would also need fuel and other vital supplies, a capable mechanic and sail repair, and basic medical supplies and a qualified mid-level medical provider.

If You Build It They Will Come

Building a large modern seastead with full-spectrum infrastructure is riskier than merely building a floating anchorage and outpost. The risks for the seastead venture are not well-defined, nor is the actual experience of living on a seastead city-state well understood. The closest existing arrangement is the condo-cruise ship, where residents buy their cabins like condominiums are bought. Seasteads are something new and untried.

Isolated seaport outposts are not uncommon, and the costs of the various businesses in such ventures can be computed — although in the beginning the customer base and cash flow will be thin. Expenses would need to be pared down to the bone at first.

There is a significant difference in up-front costs between building a sparse floating breakwater lagoon for yachts and floating businesses, and building the breakwater in addition to an elaborate seastead with expensive infrastructure.

The floating breakwater and sheltered anchorage is the irreducible foundation for building a mid-ocean commercial outpost. Once the mid-ocean sheltered harbor is secure, everything else can be added in a scaled and modular fashion as cash flow allows.

Experimental Ventures Do Not Readily Attract Credit

The idea is not entirely new. Reinforced concrete caissons were used by the Allies to create artificial harbors and piers on the coast of France, following D-Day. But floating breakwaters built to handle the waves of the open sea are a different matter.

Computer modeling is relatively cheap these days, and could be used to design reinforced concrete caissons better shaped and constructed for deflecting the force of mid-ocean waves over an extended time frame. An “artificial shore” long incline breakwater placed in front of a vertical “sea wall” style breakwater would in combination be more effective and have a longer lifetime than either design by itself. If necessary, a submerged “flat plate” style breakwater could be added at the head of the ensemble. Each stage of such an ensemble breakwater would have its uses, although expenses quickly mount the more elaborate the final construction.

Every bit of material will involve costs, as will design time and transportation from assembly site to the final mid-ocean destination. The venture would likely have to be crowd-funded in the early stages, as proofs of concept are reached, one by one.

The main advantage of such a bare-bones approach to seasteading is that the more modest venture reaches a stage of positive cash flow much earlier than when trying to build a large elaborate project all at one time.

It is likely that a floating anchorage and outpost would require a national registration and flag, similar to a ship — or a seastead. Expect to pay legal fees on top of registration and insurance fees. Make a very careful business plan, and avoid undercapitalisation.

Reddit Seasteading entries

Posted in Ocean, Secession | Tagged | 2 Comments

Americans Plan to Populate Space with Billions of People

First you must develop reliable and affordable ways to reach outer space. Then you must find ways to make activity in space profitable. Then you must put skilled and resourceful human beings in space to provide vision and oversight for the robots that will be doing most of the hands-on work.

The United States space industry is booming, and not everyone is excited about it. The Europeans, who dominated commercial spaceflight before the rise of American upstarts like SpaceX, are suddenly worried that the America’s effort “now represents a further strong challenge to European competitiveness and freedom to act in space.”

… As the U.S. launch market expanded, with spaceports opening up to accommodate research and operations, the European market stayed fairly stagnant. __ PM

Under US President Trump, access to outer space has become a high priority again — and US industrial firms and entrepreneurs are moving to meet the call. Between Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and the United Launch Alliance, a number of smaller entrepreneurial concerns are scrambling to find profitable niches in the new space gold rush. Space launch, satellites, outer space human habitats, asteroid prospecting, and other less known looming commercial niches in space tempt entrepreneurs with the chance of $trillions in profits.

Space Economy: Modern Day Gold Rush
Planetary Resources

Russia’s Space Program is Having Problems

The Russian space program has been stumbling for years now, as Putin focuses Russia’s government budgets on military, espionage, propaganda, and nuclear war concerns. As a result of Kremlin neglect, the space program moves from failure to failure, leaving the ISS without a current viable way of moving replacement astronauts to the station.

Just 119 seconds after the Soyuz rocket and capsule lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday, there was a serious malfunction. It aborted the flight at the near-weightless edge of space, endangering the American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut aboard. And coincidentally, perhaps, it stalled an investigation into alleged sabotage at their destination, the International Space Station. __ https://www.thedailybeast.com/russias-big-space-fail-exposes-putin-eras-soviet-reflexes

Russia is in trouble across its entire industrial spectrum. But the space program has always been a source of pride for Russians. Hope continues to fade for the dying bear.

Jeff Bezos Wants to be Big Cheese in Outer Space

Jeff Bezos founded his space launch company, Blue Origin, 18 years ago. Its rockets have done well in trial flights, but have not yet performed a successful commercial mission. All of that should soon change.

One rocket, the New Shepard, will take commercial passengers into space “soon”, the company promises. It features a capsule which detaches and “coasts” into space for a short period, before landing with a parachute, while the launcher lands vertically and is designed to be used again.

“With each flight, we’ll continuously improve the affordability of space exploration and research, opening space for all,” the company said.

Mr Bezos is the richest person in the world, with a wealth of $151bn (£114.7bn), dwarfing his aerospace competitor Elon Musk, who is worth around $20bn. __ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/10/15/jeff-bezos-rocket-company-wants-send-millions-live-space/amp/

The US is Again World’s Most Competitive Economy

Thanks in part to bold economic reforms from the Trump administration, the US is once again the world’s most competitive economy, according to the World Economic Forum. Throughout Obama’s economic “reign of terror,” the US was out of the top spot, and only this year returned to lead the world’s economies.

A strong private sector economy is crucial to private space launch companies — such as SpaceX and Blue Origin. Such companies cannot truly innovate and grow rich relying only on government contracts. And as other private corporations create and fill new niches in the cis-lunar economy, their list of wealthy customers will grow ever longer.

Next Stop: Cislunar Space
Image Source

Jeff Bezos’ dream of a trillion humans living in outer space is not so outrageous, given a long series of forward-thinking US presidents. Such presidents, if strong-willed enough, might pull a laggard Europe behind it into deeper and deeper space ventures. They could out-race a despotic, prison-state China to the high ground of the inner and outer solar system, and attract the best of Russia’s engineers and cosmonauts to emigrate and work in the private sector of outer space.

The Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud contain a lot (billions and billions) of comets. These comets can provide water, gaseous hydrogen and oxygen, and a wide range of minerals and raw materials for commercial use in space.

The resources of outer space are vast, but dispersed. A lot of people — and a whole lot of advanced robotic designs — will be needed to round up and herd in those resources for profitable use. Considering that just one asteroid can be worth more than $100 trillion, brings a bit of much needed sobriety and motivation to the table. More

Humans must start somewhere in this vast, system-wide gold rush for wealth, materials, and territory. The best places seem to be Earth orbit, cis-lunar space, Earth-crossing asteroids, the lunar surface, and eventually Mars and the asteroid belt.

Avoiding the “hail Mary” approach in favour of the “pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps” approach, seems wise.

Posted in Asteroids, Future, Space Future | Tagged | 4 Comments

Can Social Justice Build an Abundant and Expansive Future?

Here at Al Fin, we often describe “an abundant and expansive human future,” sometimes referred to as The Next Level. “The Next Level” is a prosperous and open-ended future which will be created by “next level humans.” “Next level humans” will be smarter, more inventive, healthier, and longer-lived than humans of today. But to create such humans and such a future, we must learn to deal with reality as it is — and stay away from emotional fantasy ideologies of utopian unicorns, rainbows, and equality of outcome for everyone.

Social Justice, Diversity, Identity Politics, and STEM

“Social Justice” can best be judged by the impact it is having on the ability of humans to create a better and more open future. It should be obvious that if humans have a chance to create such a future, they must utilise the best output that the best humans can produce. But social justice is more concerned with “identity” and “diversity.”

“Identity politics” is one of the main concepts of the social justice campaign. “Diversity” mandates are increasingly used by social justice crusaders in government and university to shape the STEM fields to achieve “identity goals” of equal outcomes.

Let’s look at the impact of “diversity mandates” on the future-critical STEM departments in universities.

STEM departments are creating their own internal diversity enforcers. The engineering school at UCLA minted its first associate dean of diversity and inclusion in 2017, despite already being subject to enormous pressures from UCLA’s fantastically remunerated Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and other bureaucrats. “One of my jobs,” the new engineering diversocrat, Scott Brandenberg, told UCLA’s student newspaper, is “to avoid implicit bias in the hiring process.”

The science diversity charade wastes extraordinary amounts of time and money that could be going into basic research and its real-world application. If that were its only consequence, the cost would be high enough. But identity politics is now altering the standards for scientific competence and the way future scientists are trained. __ https://www.city-journal.org/html/how-identity-politics-harming-sciences-15826.html

A “social justice” graduate of an engineering school may be qualified to march in a protest, while being unqualified to design a bridge, tunnel, or skyscraper. A “social justice” graduate in physics may be qualified to be a television personality and token physics professor in news clips, but be unqualified to advance the science of physics in any meaningful way.

When “social justice” and “identity politics” are pushed upon medical education — the training of future doctors and researchers — their impact can kill and maim in proportions far beyond expectation.

The admission of unqualified applicants to medical schools, residencies, fellowships, and faculty/research positions, can only harm the future. In order to prevent these unprepared and unqualified students from failing out, a new type of teaching is catching on — the “feelings-based” approach. A “feelings-based” approach to teaching technical disciplines attempts to minimise the teaching of critical facts and concepts, while maximising the use of “feelings” and uninformed intuitions.

“feelings” are only going to get you so far without mastery of the building blocks of scientific knowledge.

Mastering those building blocks involves the memorization of facts, among other skills. Assessing student knowledge of those facts can produce disparate results. The solution is to change the test or, ideally, eliminate it. A medical school supervisor recently advised a professor to write an exam that was less “fact-based” than the one he had proposed, even though knowledge of pathophysiology and the working of drugs, say, entails knowing facts.

____ https://www.city-journal.org/html/how-identity-politics-harming-sciences-15826.html

The result of a medical education “rich in feelings” but “poor in facts” is the “affirmative action doctor.” In medicine, the blight of “affirmative action doctors and professors” is being felt by the unfortunate patients who suffer from their incompetence.

Medical school administrators urge admissions committees to overlook the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) scores of black and Hispanic student applicants and employ “holistic review” in order to engineer a diverse class. The result is a vast gap in entering qualifications. From 2013 to 2016, medical schools nationally admitted 57 percent of black applicants with a low MCAT of 24 to 26, but only 8 percent of whites and 6 percent of Asians with those same low scores, according to Claremont McKenna professor Frederick Lynch. __ City Journal

The facts and details regarding “social justice education” in the sciences, engineering, health care, and computing, are widely known by informed persons — but virtually unknown and unsuspected among the general public which is fed on the pablum of mainstream news and entertainment media.

And yet the lives and deaths of growing numbers of people who constitute the general public will suffer from the incompetent malpractice of social justice doctors, engineers, computer programmers, and scientists of all kinds — including “expert” commentators on news and entertainment shows.

Price’s Law and the Pareto Distribution

Inequality of outcome and wealth is a commonplace observation, wherever one looks. Whether called “Price’s Law” or the “Pareto Distribution”, this observation applies across the wide expanse of nature and human activity.

More generally, the Pareto Principle is the observation (not law) that most things in life are not distributed evenly. It can mean all of the following things:

20% of the input creates 80% of the result
20% of the workers produce 80% of the result
20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue
20% of the bugs cause 80% of the crashes
20% of the features cause 80% of the usage
And on and on…
__ https://betterexplained.com/articles/understanding-the-pareto-principle-the-8020-rule/

When large numbers of “freeloaders” are thrown into a workforce — in this case the STEM workforce — the remaining numbers of competent workers must generate more and more output, and carry larger and larger loads.

This was already the case in all fields of employment — including STEM — but thanks to social justice education and hiring, it is soon to grow far worse.

Life Isn’t (and Never Has Been) Fair

Nature does not exist to generate equal outcome. Evolution by natural selection is based upon the inherent inequality of the “genetic lottery.” The same inequality is central in human affairs, and is exploited by more advanced societies using meritocratic selection processes to staff more critical positions in more critical areas of society. When corruption and ideology prevent societies from using meritocratic selection to fill such positions, the society becomes more vulnerable to catastrophe, and less prosperous and less competitive.

The result of social justice education is “The Idiocracy.” The US had a taste of the idiocracy under President Obama, where “social justice mandates” were central to the deconstruction of virtually any future at all — much less the idea of an expansive and abundant human future.

Hope for the best, but work for the better. At the same time, prepare for the worst by making yourself and your family/community very dangerous, and robustly resilient — even anti-fragile.

A final thought:

The extraordinary accomplishments of Western science were achieved without regard to the complexions of its creators. Now, however, funders, industry leaders, and academic administrators maintain that scientific progress will stall unless we pay close attention to identity and try to engineer proportional representation in schools and laboratories. The truth is exactly the opposite: lowering standards and diverting scientists’ energy into combating phantom sexism and racism is reckless in a highly competitive, ruthless, and unforgiving global marketplace. Driven by unapologetic meritocracy, China is catching up fast to the U.S. in science and technology. Identity politics in American science is a political self-indulgence that we cannot afford. __ Heather MacDonald

Posted in Education, expansive future, Future, Ideology, Idiocracy, Next Level | Tagged | 3 Comments

Good News, Bad News

Good News: World Keeps Not Ending

According to the loudest prognosticators of the past few centuries, the world should not exist. Our ancestors should have died in uncounted fiery religious conflagrations. The planet should have been destroyed by nuclear apocalypse, by famine, overpopulation, cosmic collisions, global pandemics, resource scarcity armageddon, and climate holocaust.

The world must be ending. It must fall to us to prevent the apocalypse. Because, if it isn’t, if life is just going on more or less the way life does, then what’s the point of all this huffery and puffery, all the public weeping and dressing up in silly costumes and cutting ourselves off from family and what friends we have? The angry partisan cannot believe that life is good, because he must then ask himself: If life is good, then why am I not enjoying it? Why do I feel so alone, so frustrated, and so meaningless? __ NR

But stubbornly — and against all prophetic and media odds — the world hangs on to existence, dragging all of us along with it. So what is all of this compulsive fixation/obsession with the end of the world — with The Abyss???

When you look into the Abyss, the Abyss does not, contra Nietzsche, look into you. It certainly does not look into your voting record or your frantic, rage-inflected social-media posts. It doesn’t have any feelings about you one way or the other. You will not spend your last seconds on this earth, gasping in your death bed and terrified by what might come next, thinking: “Well, as least I put on a funny hat and screamed, ‘Go f*** yourself!’ at Ted Cruz.”

The Abyss isn’t out there — it’s in here. __ NR

Good News: The World Keeps Not Ending. This allows more intelligent and better organised humans to continue discovering and inventing ways to break down the many barriers to an expansive and abundant human future.

Bad News: Multiculturalism is Coming to a City Near You

Violent crime rates in parts of Europe are edging up, and all the evidence points to multicultural immigration as the cause.

Despite Putnam’s evidence that diverse neighborhoods make everyone living in them less happy, this unflappable belief in the tonic effects of diversity seems to have gripped the modern leftist with claws of steel. __ TWCS

It is possible for governments to make decisions that are so bad, that everyday life becomes a living hell for residents — and they may begin to wish for the end of the world. Forced multiculturalism is one of the many bad decisions that governments can make on behalf of citizens. It should be a capital crime.

…the social dysfunction brought about by unchecked multiculturalism among disparate groups far exceeds simple crime stats. Even with low-crime ‘model minorities,’ we often see alien values imposed, voting patterns changing, trust radically lowered, and the basic shared bonds of society crumbling. __ Those Who Can See

The article from “Those Who Can See” that is excerpted above should be read in entirety. Most of it is graphic images: maps, charts, graphs, all easy to read and interpret. The images tell a disturbing story, and imply a troubling projection for the future of Europe — as well as for almost all of the other multicultural nations and cities portrayed.

Bad News: Multiculturalism is coming, bringing rape, murder, and pillage in its wake.

The World is Not Ending, But Some of You May Wish it Would

That is the good news and the bad news. Smart people will learn to do what they must do in order to send their progeny into the future — aware, well prepared, and defended. If that involves relocating to a saner part of your nation — or changing national residency entirely — learn what must be done and do it.

But there is a lesson in the ongoing drama of a lone superpower that has been multicultural for centuries: Just when you think a nation is sinking fast in the multicultural/post-modern swamp, something may come along to shift directions. It happened during the Reagan presidency, and it seems to be happening in the Trump presidency.

But I would be lying if I said that I believed this shift to be permanent or long-lasting. But what do I know? I never expected the current respite from insane leftist rule. We do not know what the future will bring, so perhaps we should hope for the best — but prepare for the worst. All while we are working for something better and better yet.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Crime, Demographics, Doom, Europe, Postmodernism, TEOTWAWKI | Tagged

Columbus Brought Peace to the Violent Americas

Before Europeans arrived in the Americas, tribal warfare and human torture/sacrifice was widespread.

The high rates of homicide in Latin American nations can seem shocking to observers, until they consider that before Columbus opened the door to Europeans, the Americas were even more murderous and violent.

On a per capita basis the pre-Columbian Americas displayed a greater level of violence than did the bloody 20th century with its European and Asian world wars, genocides, and communist purges.

Human Sacrifice

In ancient Mesoamerica, many cultures practiced sacrifice for various reasons. Evidence has shown of this tradition to have existed in the Maya and Aztec, as well as the Moche civilizations.__ http://incamayanaztec.com/inca-human-sacrifice.html

Human sacrifice has existed throughout human history, but seems to have been quite prevalent among native Americans, Pacific islanders, and Austronesian aboriginals.

Empire Building and Tribal War

Empire building developed over thousands of years in Mesoamerica and in Andean South America. More Empire building involved multiple long series of inter-tribal warfare, often for centuries. Empires continually raided surrounding tribes for human sacrifices to their gods.

One does not see the grand native imperial structures in North American regions that typified Mesoamerican empires. Pre-Columbian native Americans in North America lived in smaller tribal societies and generally cultivated a “warrior culture” in order to protect themselves from raids by neighboring tribes, and to facilitate the tribe’s own raiding on its neighbors. Tribal coalitions of extended clan relations were sometimes called upon as allies if the tribe was threatened by a large outside warring group that threatened to displace the tribe off its tribal lands.

Genocide and ethnic cleansing were particularly common in times of resource scarcity due to extended changes in climate. Mergers of already diminished clans were also likely to take place after any severe pruning of numbers for whatever reason. Below a certain number of warriors and fertile women, a tribe would not be viable.

There are no likely modern native populations that share the genetic makeup of Native Americans of a thousand or ten thousand years ago. Not only the genetic makeup but the cultural or spiritual foundations of the evolving tribes will have changed significantly over the millennia along with tribal names and languages.

PreColumbian America Was a Roiling Mass of Hatred and Vendetta

The Spanish were welcomed by many tribes of Central and South America, because they were seen as potential allies against the hated Aztecs and Incas. Without the aid of these non-imperial tribes, Cortes and Pizarro would not have had the ability to roll up the defending war formations so readily.

The human-sacrificing empires and tribes of pre Columbian America were simply behaving in the same way that preceding native empires had behaved. Similarly, any outside confederation of tribes capable of overthrowing the current empire du jour would naturally fall into the same patterns of behaviour.

It Required European Intervention to Stop the Cycle

Only after Europeans entered the arena with their horses, cannon, and muskets, was this cycle of imperial human sacrifice and genocidal tribal warfare choked off. The widespread disease pandemics suffered by native tribes after contact with old world peoples would have further reduced inter-tribal violence due to reduced numbers of warriors.

The Aims of English Settlers Was Different from Spanish/Portuguese

In North America, settlers wanted to farm and ranch, which required the importation and distribution of large numbers of farming and ranching families — except in parts of the deep south where African slaves were depended upon. In South America, opportunistic Spanish and Portuguese mercenaries were looking to “strike it rich” by using slave labour — both African slaves and native American slaves. Land grants and franchises were given by the royal courts to specific head men, who oversaw the various money-making operations using slave labour. In this way, fewer absolute numbers of Spanish and Portuguese were imported in the early and intermediate stages of colonial settlement, compared to the English in North America.

Today in North America, natives are a small minority of total populations and live peacefully in separate tribal homelands, receiving several types of preferential treatment and monetary tribute from the national headquarters at Ottawa and Washington DC. Special tax treatment, healthcare, legal casinos, mineral rights, direct cash payments, and many other special preferences are afforded to these tribal entities.

In Central and South America, natives are accepted into the mainstream nation — often according to the degree of interbreeding that has taken place. Natives and mestizos tend to form a plurality of populations in most countries of Latin America except Argentina, Costa Rica, and Uruguay.

Violent crime rates are quite high in Latin American nations where mestizos and natives predominate, resembling — and sometimes surpassing — the rates of violence one sees in sub Saharan African nations.

But imagine how violent things would be if Columbus had not come on the scene when he did!

Posted in anthropology | Tagged | 5 Comments

You Want to Cry About Inequality? I’ll Give You Something to Cry About

Immortals movie wallpaper (the demonknight)

Think About a World Where the Rich are Immortal

The big consolation of the poor throughout history was that okay, these rich people, they have it good, but they’re going to die just like me. But think about the world, say, in 50 years, 100 years, where the poor people continue to die, but the rich people, in addition to all the other things they get, also get an exemption from death. That’s going to bring a lot of anger. __

If the rich are immortal and everyone else must die, that is a distinctly higher level of inequality than anything we have now. The working tools for significant life extension — and perhaps immortality of a sort — are coming in a matter of decades. But they are unlikely to be cheap, not at first anyway.

Some will be able to pay for longer life, but most may not. Especially in the “class of superfluous humans” who lack the ability to provide a useful service.

By 2050, a useless class might emerge, the result not only of a shortage of jobs or a lack of relevant education but also of insufficient mental stamina to continue learning new skills. __

This class of superfluous humans will either offer themselves as slaves — in an effort to feel useful — or just as likely will live on the dole, taking drugs and living in a virtual reality environment for most of the time.

Slaves would do particularly dangerous work not suitable for robots, or would provide various types of entertainments for the immortals and their supporting class of technicals who do useful and technically demanding work that robots and AI’s are not yet able to perform.

Splitting humanity into biological castes of the upgraded and the not will destroy the assumption of equality that is a cornerstone of liberal humanism. The elites are likely to maintain a continued advantage over others, always staying a few steps ahead. __

The ability to stay far enough ahead of the herd to receive the latest enhancements — approaching that much closer to true immortality and “godhood” — will maintain the class distinction between castes.

“Immortals” live longest and receive the best services, “Technicals” work hand in hand with robots and AI’s, and the “Superfluous” either live sequestered in reservations, or volunteer to serve as “slaves or gladiators etc.” at the pleasure of higher castes.

You May Think That No One Would Volunteer as a Slave

Since we have not reached the stage of well-simulated virtual reality and advanced psychoactive drug stacks, we cannot say how long it would take an average “superfluous” person to tire of such an existence. But I imagine that the maintenance of the VR pods for superfluous zones and the quality of the drug stacks for low-caste populations, would not be of highest priority. Violence and predation would not be unknown in the sequestration zones. And most importantly, incentives to escape the “zones” may offer escape from the worst low-caste predators, and provide higher quality VR and drug stacks. For the particularly gifted low-caste it might even provide a chance for permanent escape from the low-caste zones.

These are Thought Experiments Based on Uncertain Assumptions

We know that new robotic and AI technologies are acquiring the capacity to replace more and more types of human work with machine labour. Many of the newer jobs being created will require high levels of human cognitive adaptability and agility. Even if as many new jobs are created as are taken away by robots and AI’s, many of the humans who are displaced will not necessarily be able to perform in the new category of jobs. Over time many displaced workers will likely become superfluous to the workforce. This likelihood should be built into the social planning for the brave new world to come.

Another Class Will Exist: The Wild Humans

Writers such as Yuval Noah Harari seem to always assume that every human and every human society will be tameable. That would not be a good thing for the species, since the wild strain adapting under conditions of natural selection will always provide a safety buffer against the result of lethal memes and out of control civilisation.

Just as in Huxley’s “Brave New World,” zones will always exist where people live by their own wits pitted against the environment. There is even a trace of this idea in Orwell’s “1984” dividing the rules for “proles” from rules for different classes of party members. Proles were relatively free to come and go and think what they want, but live in poverty and die relatively young.

Future “wild humans” may coopt new portable infrastructure technologies, so that free communities could prosper at the edge of developed civilisation — or even further out. Just be sure to avoid the private estates, agricultural zones, and hunting grounds of the immortals.

Something wonderful — and something wicked — is coming this way. Make provisions once you have thought it through.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood © .

Posted in Superfluous Humans | Tagged | 2 Comments

Diane Feinstein Fears for Virtue of Humanoid Robots

Notice: Parts of the article below contain satirical material.

Senator Diane Feinstein Warns Against Sexual Abuse of Robots!

In a recent press conference Senator Feinstein noted that in Japan, humanoid robots are already being used as office receptionists and waitresses. Robots are also being trained to serve as companions to lonely people who lack significant human contact. More

The aging senator from California seemed especially upset that young female robots were being used in “robot brothels” in Spain, Italy, Russia, and perhaps soon in Houston.

“These sex robots being used in robot brothels are very young!” Feinstein exclaimed. “Some of them were made less than 5 years ago. A few of them are less than 1 year old!”

Senator Feinstein became a feminist champion against sexual abuse of all types when she very recently helped concoct a scheme to defeat a US Supreme Court nominee using phoney accusations of sexual abuse of a 15 year old high school girl. That scheme may have failed, but it catapulted Feinstein to fame in the feminist ranks, where false accusations of wrongdoing against political enemies are often prized above the truth — as long as they help destroy the object of contempt.

It may seem surprising to see Feinstein championing the cause of robot receptionists and sex workers — but she is quite old, after all. She probably considers herself lucky to still be capable of prevaricating and sensationalising with the best of her fellow politicians.

Feinstein’s crusade against the sexual abuse of robots is likely to fail, like her crusade against US President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee. But for fading stars like Feinstein, any air time is better than being ignored, and falling off the edge of the world.

What Feinstein may not have considered is the possibility that humans could be sexually abused by robots:

Meanwhile, in other news:

Old, Dust-Covered Doorstop Suddenly Worth $100,000!

The doorstop that a Michigan man had been using since 1988 has turned out to be a meteorite worth $100,000.

The man, who has asked to remain anonymous, knew the 22-pound rock came from outer space ever since he bought the house in 1988. The previous owner showed him around the property at the time and said the meteorite arrived on the farm during a meteor shower in the 1930s. __ https://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2018/10/05/Rock-used-as-doorstop-revealed-to-be-meteorite-worth-100K/7341538711420/

We are told that numerous museums — including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, are bidding up the price for possession of the old doorstop to $100,000 or more.

We can only hope that the rocky visitor from space does not carry any pathogenic space microbes, once scientists start probing inside.

Speaking of dangerous microbes, consider this:

Coins and Banknotes May Harbour Pathogenic Microbes

Bacteria can grow on coins, paper banknotes, and other popular items of exchange. Scientists in London took a closer look at what they might find on common items, including money:

Researchers from the London Metropolitan University looked at banknotes, coins, pockets, wallets, purses etc. and noted that these are contaminated by these bacteria from people who do not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet.

The team found that polymer notes of £5, £10 and paper notes of £20 and £50 were covered with Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and listeria.

The first two – MRSA and VRE are known to be antibiotic resistant and difficult to treat. __ https://www.news-medical.net/news/20181004/Notes-and-coins-harbor-life-threatening-bacteria-including-MRSA-and-VRE.aspx

It is likely that several types of virus can be spread on the surface of coins and notes as well, including the flu. It is unlikely for HIV to spread in this manner, however, unless the note or coin is contaminated with fresh body fluids.

If you are visiting a friend in a hospital, you may think twice before accepting change from the hospital cafeteria, gift shop, or vending machines. Just say, “keep the change!” and protect yourself while coming across as generous for a change. 😉

But bacteria are not all bad:

Billionaires Back Bacteria to Help Feed the World!

In September, a group of billionaire investors, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Michael Bloomberg, set aside $1 billion to invest in nine energy startups… In its latest round of funding, California-based startup Pivot Bio raised $70 million for its genetically modified bacteria, with the majority of funds coming from BEV.

Pivot Bio has discovered a bacteria that cuts down on the need for hazardous fertilizer. According to Temme, the bacteria has been hiding in the environment for the last century, but the use of fertilizers has rendered them inactive. “We’ve rediscovered a lost part of the microbiome,” he said.

If the technology pans out, this long-dormant bacteria could alter the future of energy and agriculture by reducing environmental pollution, protecting the world’s marine ecosystem, lowering production costs for farmers, and conserving energy usage. __ Source

Reducing or eliminating the need for synthetic fertilisers would bring about several beneficial changes in agriculture and ecology. Nitrogen-fixing microbes are a good place to start.

So, we are likely to be well-fed in the future. But if trends toward inequality worsen, are we likely to become “well-fed slaves?”

A Future of 1% Masters and 99% Slaves?

Blogger Fabius Maximus looks at various visions of the future, and seems to settle on the lowest denominator — a few masters and lots of slaves, both human and robotic.

… our future will look more like that in Jupiter Ascending than Star Trek. It’s a galaxy of servants and lords, where the rich own planets, live almost forever, and harvest the peons. __ https://fabiusmaximus.com/2018/10/06/our-future-star-trek-or-jupiter-ascending/

We saw a similar scenario in Harari’s Homo Deus, where advancing technology served to amplify inequality to an absurd degree — by today’s standards.

Scholars at the Al Fin Institutes note that human slavery is currently practised widely in the third world and Muslim world — and is likely to increase in prevalence as low-skill/low IQ populations grow in proportion to the shrinking populations of high IQ/highly-skilled peoples. As for “Machine Intelligence Slavery,” that boat has already sailed. Too late to call it back.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Computing technology has helped the cause of “independence and self-sufficiency” in some ways, and hindered it in others. It is up to the individual person, family, or community, to find the balance between independence and interdependence which best serves prosperity and fulfillment into the near and intermediate futures.

The world of artificially intelligent robots which are affordable to the top 5% or 10% of the planet’s population will bring many novel, strange, and unfamiliar evolving scenarios. Most of us have not thought these things through in a thorough and sufficiently open-eyed manner.

Posted in Politics, Robots, satire, Sex | Tagged | 2 Comments