Drug Overdose Fatalities Soar: Are We Doomed?

US Drug Overdose Deaths Skyrocket During Obama and Bush Years

NIDA - National Overdose Deaths From all drugs
Drug overdoses above include deaths from alcohol overdose. Overdose deaths in the graph below are from opioids.
NIDA - National Overdose deaths from opioids

Images via Fabius Maximus

According to this source, deaths in Russia from drug overdoses and drug-related diseases exceed 100,000 per year. According to Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, the rate of drug related deaths in Russia is 28.7 per 100,000. International health statistics sources typically cite Russia’s drug overdose fatality rate at only around 6 per 100,000 excluding alcohol. Excluding alcohol from Russia’s drug overdose toll places it closer to the US, Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, and several African countries in drug overdose fatality rates.

For example, compare (WHO) estimates for Russia’s Drug Use Deaths with WHO estimates for deaths from alcohol use in Russia. Neither estimate can be taken to the bank, but when taken as rough educated guesses they may be used for preliminary comparisons.

Why are Drug Overdose Deaths Rising in Russia, the US, Europe, and Other Countries?

Such a question is overly broad, and meaningful answers can only be given for the people of particular countries, over particular spans of time. Trying to answer the question for a single large and heterogeneous nation such as the US, is no simple task.

The “Philosophical Vacuum” Argument

In the US, the UK, and much of Europe, much of the problem is blamed on a general lack of purpose and meaning in life. Whenever a civilization — such as western civilization — experiences a deep and rapid shift in philosophical and ideological underpinnings, many of the moral and ethical anchors which had previously held persons’ behaviours within certain bounds tend to drop away and cease to function. In Europe and the Anglosphere, for example, the Christian religion now plays a much smaller part in the upbringing of children than it did a half century ago, and has virtually disappeared from the routine activities of most families.

Such a shift in moral and ethical foundations and infrastructure are likely to leave large parts of the population flailing without a direction or purpose in life. Mainstream cultures in Europe and the Anglosphere have provided nothing meaningful to fill the gap. Instead they seen to rely on an ideological indoctrination into politically correct beliefs and behaviours, openly shaming and punishing those who refuse to become sufficiently indoctrinated.

Can We Trust the Statistics Underlying This Alarming “Trend?”

Not completely. These days, even government statistical departments have become politicized, with much of the manpower being devoted to purposes which are little better than political propaganda. The US CDC has not proven itself to be above such corrupting influences, nor have any other US government agencies of note.

Anyone who is dependent upon “official” sources of information or is susceptible to the sway of mainstream celebrity opinion-shapers on the news and entertainment media, will be hopelessly lost when he tries to make sense of society-wide trends.

Wise persons begin by assessing and keeping track of what is happening with themselves and their own families, communities, and regions. With a firm grasp of such trends, they will be in a better position to judge what they are being told by national or international “authorities” about local and regional trends. If national “authorities” are making claims which contradict a person’s direct experience and knowledge, he is justified in questioning the sources and suspecting the motivation of the “authorities” making such claims.

To See More Clearly, Always Begin from a Skeptical and Contrarian Position

We have been programmed by our ephemeral electronic information world to be proxy-experience-and-outrage junkies. Our 15 second attention spans are exploited by information gatekeepers to give us the illusion of knowledge and a false sense of expertise. Large numbers of us cannot be separated from mainstream purveyors of bloody tragedy, scandal, and “the correct view of the world” long enough to get our bearings. Too often we allow our heartstrings to be plucked like a harp by dishonorable opportunists of the manipulating class, just for the schadenfreude of it all, to say nothing of the false sense of group wisdom and “safety in numbers.” By latching ourselves to our “authoritative” lightspeed information flows, we allow our view of the world to be warped out of any semblance to reality.

If, on the other hand, we refuse to allow our views of the world to be shaped by the celebrity opportunists on the news and entertainment media, we can have more time to experience the world on our own terms. With a more solid grasp of our particular worlds, we are less likely to be swayed onto destructive paths of behaviour and thinking.

This is not to say that skeptical contrarians are immune from drug and alcohol dependency. But they do tend to be immune from groupthink and herd mentalities, which can often lead to addictive behaviours in persons who are essentially empty, waiting to be filled by others who are ultimately just as clueless.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. At the Institute, we have some very unconventional ways of dealing with dysfunctional habits. But that is for another day, and another blog.

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Posted in Biomedicine, Epidemiology | Tagged | 6 Comments

There Is No Future Without Power

What Does Energy Suicide Look Like?

With the best of stated intentions, Germany is cutting its own throat. The unfolding disaster called Energiewende is slowly but surely destroying the foundations of Deutschland’s industrial base, thus destroying Germany’s economy in a way that cannot be easily or cheaply reversed.

According to Germany’s Enegiewende program, the share of renewables in electricity generation should reach 45 percent by 2030 and 100% by half century. Complicating matters is Germany’s Atomstop decision to close down its nuclear power plants under pressure from the powerful Green movement. __ Germany’s Slippery Green Slope

EROI Germany
Buffered Wind and Solar Cannot Pass the Threshold for Germany
Source


Without massively expensive “buffering” or “backing up” by costly fossil fuel plants, wind and solar cannot power German residents, much less German industry. Germany’s large power utilities are already hurting, downsizing, laying off workers, and closing down power plants that Germany will need as it moves deeper into energy suicide. (see “Germany’s Slippery Green Slope” above)

And without expensive government financial supports and destructive mandates, investment in big wind and big solar is just another way to burn money, then run the ashes down the drain.

Germany wants to replace all of its reliable forms of electric power with unreliable forms of energy by the year 2050. But there are excellent reasons why unreliable sources of energy such as wind and solar cannot replace power-on-demand from coal, gas, and nuclear power plants.

More ambitious boosters of unreliable energy want to achieve 100% unreliable energy by 2030. But despite the hoopla, the numbers simply don’t add up. Wouldn’t it be wiser to watch Germany for another 15 years before committing ritual sepuku on the altar of self-righteous delusion?

The difference in costs of nuclear vs. “renewables” in the UK is instructive. Intelligent observers without an ideological axe to grind would quickly come to the conclusion that humans cannot afford to sacrifice themselves for the sake of a green ideology that offers nothing but poverty, misery, and death in return.

Money Returned on Investment
Wind and Solar Lose Money
Source

More Atmospheric CO2 Boosts Global Vegetation

Commercial greenhouses pump CO2 into their controlled growing environments to boost plant growth and crop yields. And now scientists are slowly discovering that atmospheric CO2 is boosting the growth of crops, forests, shrubs, and other vegetation.

If CO2 was so terrible for the planet, then installing a CO2 generator in a greenhouse would kill the plants. But scientists and even governments actually recommend supplementing CO2 in greenhouses in order to boost plant growth and food production.

“The benefits of carbon dioxide supplementation on plant growth and production within the greenhouse environment have been well understood for many years,” says the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

1500 ppm CO2 Generators
Image Source


“CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour. Some ways in which productivity is increased by CO2 include earlier flowering, higher fruit yields, reduced bud abortion in roses, improved stem strength and flower size. Growers should regard CO2 as a nutrient… increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels.”

In fact, as recent scientific studies have shown, the slight rise in CO2 levels of the atmosphere has actually helped re-green deserts and arid areas, accelerating the growth of trees, shrubs and grasses which produce the oxygen human needs to breathe. __ CO2 is Natural

Boosting greenhouse CO2 levels above 1,000 ppm causes crops to grow more quickly and vigorously. Not surprisingly, we are seeing the same phenomenon on a smaller scale as warmer oceans release more CO2 to the atmosphere.

Knowledge is the Antidote to Green Stupidity

Once we understand that small increases in atmospheric CO2 generate a negative feedback in the form of more biomass photosynthesis, we begin to see one of the small threads in the natural fabric of control over several different innate global cycles, including climate cycles.

If humans want to create an abundant and expansive future for themselves and their progeny, they will need abundant supplies of reliable and affordable energy. Over the long spans of time, that means that advanced forms of nuclear energy are absolutely vital to sustaining the future of the only intelligent class of creatures in the known universe. Green energy, on the other hand, is a form of national, societal, and civilisational suicide. And it is all for nothing, in the end. Germany’s CO2 production has risen, rather than fallen, and even so it makes no difference to long term climate trends either way.

Internationally, Coal is in Resurgence

Hydrocarbons such as natural gas, coal, oil etc. should be seen as stopgap forms of energy — bridges to a longer term future powered by newer advanced forms of nuclear power & heat. But stopgaps and bridges can be crucial for survival. And as we now know, small increases in atmospheric CO2 levels such as we have seen, are more beneficial than harmful.

China consumes as much coal as the rest of the world combined…

Natural gas prices are unlikely to remain this low for very long. $2.50/mmbtu is uneconomic in most of the shale plays and very uneconomic in the Gulf of Mexico, except on a cost-forward basis. When natural gas production and consumption come back into balance, it will probably be at a price of $3.50 to $5.00/mmbtu. Coal is very competitive with natural gas above $3.50/mmbtu… __ Coal Bounces Back

Committing to the Future Means Stepping Back from the Precipice

An abundant and expansive future demands massive supplies of affordable and reliable power and energy. Knowledgeable people understand that big wind and big solar can never supply the energy density that the future needs — no matter how much “storage” can be ginned up and concocted for the diffuse and ancient energy sources. No matter how successful he becomes in space, on energy, Elon Musk is just shining you on.

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

Posted in coal, Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Future, Germany, Green Quagmire, Groupthink | Tagged , | 6 Comments

What if the Average Human IQ Were 200 Points?

The Average Human IQ is Now About 90 Points Worldwide

Normal IQ Distribution Modern European Population

You may think that the average human IQ is 100 points, by definition, but that is only true for particular populations, such as that of the UK. Globally, average IQ is about 90. As a consequence, living conditions in most nations of the world are primitive when compared with life for average persons in the advanced world — where average IQs are roughly 100.

We can observe the effects of a mere 10 point difference in average IQ between advanced nations such as the United States, and more primitive countries such as Mexico, merely by travelling between the two countries. If we consider the real world impacts of even larger average IQ differences — such as comparing Canada (average IQ 100) with Nigeria (average IQ 70) — the differences in living conditions are even more stark.

Economic Success Correlates With National Average IQ
More at VDare

But What Would a Society with an Average IQ of 200 Look Like?

Before we consider that question, let’s look at a scenario that may be easier to imagine:

“Suppose that in some future society, part of the population, say 10 percent, became hugely intelligent, while the rest stayed where we are now or even dropped behind a bit. What would that do to society?” __ Source

Fewer than 0.001% of humans in advanced societies have IQ’s close to 200. But what if 10% of populations in advanced nations had IQs between 190 and 210.

We understand that not all persons with high IQ are genius innovators, but we also know that most genius innovators have high IQs. If only 1 out of 10 of our “200 point IQ” population turned out to be genius innovators in various areas — physics, maths, engineering, biology, architecture, chemistry, robotics, machine intelligence, etc. — the impact on society would be profound. How profound? Difficult to say, but try to imagine the impact on a society if it suddenly found itself with 1000 times more high powered innovators than exist at the present.

Down to Earth: It is taxing enough to imagine the transformative effect of a society with just 10% of its population having an IQ near 200. It should therefore be obvious that none of us can imagine a world with an average human IQ of 200.

First We Should Ask What Causes IQ Differences?

Researcher Robert Plomin studies the impact of genes on human intelligence. Plomin has grown frustrated with the refusal of mainstream academia, media, government, and other social institutions to look carefully and honestly at this line of research. In the BBC interview at the link above, Plomin discusses his twin research on IQ among other lines of investigation.

In the video below, Plomin goes into somewhat more detail:

Brain Differences and IQ

Gene differences — genotypes — clearly play a role in IQ differences. But what about differences between brains — the phenotype? It happens that a useful new book has been published recently, which is worth a look.

New: “The Neuroscience of Intelligence” by Richard Haier

Neuroscientist Richard Haier has recently published The Neuroscience of Intelligence, in an attempt to understand and explain how the brain creates intelligent thought and behaviour. Haier seems to be quite good at summarising and explaining the relevant ideas surrounding the study of brain and intelligence.

Three laws govern this book: 1) No story about the brain is simple; 2) No one study is definitive; 3) It takes many years to sort out conflicting and inconsistent findings and establish a compelling weight of evidence. With these in mind, Chapter 1 aims to correct popular misinformation and summarizes how intelligence is defined and measured for scientific research. Some of the validity data will surprise you. For example, childhood IQ scores predict adult mortality. Chapter 2 reviews the overwhelming evidence that there are major genetic effects on intelligence and its development. Conclusive studies from quantitative and molecular genetics leave no doubt about this. Since genes always work through biological mechanisms, there must be a neurobiological basis for intelligence, even when there are environmental influences on those mechanisms. Genes do not work in a vacuum; they are expressed and function in an environment. This interaction is a theme of “epigenetics” and we will discuss its role in intelligence research.

Chapters 3 and 4 delve into neuroimaging and how these revolutionary technologies visualize intelligence in the brain, and indicate the neurobiological mechanisms involved. New twin studies of intelligence, for example, combine neuroimaging and DNA analyses. Key results show common genes for brain structure and intelligence. Chapter 5 focuses on enhancement. It begins with critiques of three widely publicized but incorrect claims about increasing IQ and ends with electrical brain stimulation. So far, there is no proven way to enhance intelligence but I explain why there is a strong possibility that manipulation of some genes and their biological processes may achieve dramatic increases. Imagine a moonshot-like national research effort to reach this goal; guess which nation apparently is making this commitment (it is not the United States).

Chapter 6 introduces several astonishing neuroscience methods for studying synapses, neurons, circuits, and networks that move intelligence research even deeper into the brain. Soon we might measure intelligence based on brain speed, and build intelligent machines based on how the brain actually works. Large collaborative efforts around the world are hunting intelligence genes, creating virtual brains, and mapping brain fingerprints unique to individuals—fingerprints that predict intelligence. Overlapping neuro-circuits for intelligence, consciousness, and creativity are explored. Finally, I introduce the terms “neuro-poverty” and “neuro-SES” (social-economic-status) and explain why neuroscience advances in intelligence research may inform education policies.

Personally, I believe we are entering a Golden Age of intelligence research that goes far beyond nearly extinct controversies about whether intelligence can be defined or measured and whether genes are involved. My enthusiasm about this field is intended to permeate every chapter. If you are an educator, policy maker, parent, or student you need to know what 21st century neuroscience says about intelligence. If any of you are drawn to a career in psychology or neuroscience and pursue the challenges of intelligence research, then that is quite a bonus.
__ The Neuroscience of Intelligence

More from Richard Haier:

Brain Imaging and IQ Video with Richard Haier, UC Irvine A nice overview.

Haier and Jung’s Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory of Intelligence PDF

Haier and Jung et al Neuroanatomy of Creativity Abstract

Can Humans Stop The Global Decline in Average IQ?


We would like to imagine a future of brighter, more innovative and conscientious humans. Unfortunately, rather than facing a future of more intelligent humans, we may well be facing a future of less intelligent humans — an Idiocracy. Human breeding populations with low IQs are reproducing much more quickly than human breeding populations with high IQs. One of the results of this differential breeding is a gradual drop in globaly average human IQ.

It has been widely observed that the birthrate of countries tends to fall as they become more wealthy. Most countries in Western Europe now have birthrates below the replacement rate; in the absence of immigration, their populations can be expected to fall in the future.

Putting these two pieces of information together, one might expect that since low IQ countries tend to be less wealthy, they should also be expected to have higher birthrates than countries with high IQ. If population IQ and wealth remain constant, the average IQ of the world should then fall over time, since a larger portion of population growth will occur in low IQ countries. __ Source

Smart Drugs May Offer a Partial Solution

Many people report experiencing feelings of euphoria within 30 to 60 seconds of taking NZT. Others have reported significantly increased memory – both in capacity and speed of recall – within the first 24 hours of taking their first dose of NZT. You will be able to digest vast amounts of information in a very short amount of time – a foreign language, for instance; you will be able to memorize not only a considerable amount of vocabulary but usage rules, idiomatics, phrases, sentences and situational expressions. __ The Fictional Drug NZT (from the movie “Limitless”)

It is easy to imagine the development of a drug such as the clear pill “NZT,” especially for those who have seen Limitless. It is not quite so easy to imagine the world that might follow, should such a pill become widely available.

It is important for persons who are concerned about these issues to learn more about how to think well, how to use the brain they have to its best advantage — and how to preserve as much of their brain’s capacity for as long as they can.

Physicist Stephen Hsu’s website, Information Processing, is a useful source of information and commentary for research on IQ.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Every disruptive innovation has its dark side. Better get Dangerous.

Posted in Cognition, Human Brain, Idiocracy, IQ | Tagged | 7 Comments

Choose Your Future: Superhuman, or Superfluous Human?

“Relatively small changes in genes, hormones and neurons,” he points out, “were enough to transform Homo erectus — who could produce nothing more impressive than flint knives — into Homo sapiens, who produce spaceships and computers.” Why should we assume that Sapiens are the end of the evolutionary line? __ Yuval Noah Harari

Passing the Threshold
Becoming Gods?

Achieving Superhumanity

“Homo Deus,” or god-like humans, will soon be coming to cities near you, according to author and historian Yuval Noah Harari. By making a few small adjustments in gene expression, adding a few machine augments, and making some changes in dietary input and exercise training we can move ever closer to a superhuman, god-like state of existence.

Having subdued famine, pestilence and war, Harari argues, we can now train our sights on higher objectives. Eternal happiness. Everlasting life. “In seeking bliss and immortality,” he writes, “humans are in fact trying to upgrade themselves into gods.”

… A small, breakaway republic of superhumans and techno-elites will eventually split off from the rest of humanity. Those who acquire the skills and proprietary algorithms to re-engineer brains, bodies and minds — the main products of the 21st century, Harari suspects — will become gods; those who don’t will be rendered economically useless and die off. __ NYT Review of Homo Deus

As Always, Some Will be Left Behind

Hinging on Technology


It seems that not everyone can ride the train to godhood. Large numbers of humans will not even be able to reach the loading platform — the lower threshold for becoming proto-superhumans and demigods. For those unfortunate masses who cannot reach the starting line, a precarious future awaits.

In the 21st century we might witness the creation of a massive new unworking class: people devoid of any economic, political or even artistic value, who contribute nothing to the prosperity, power and glory of society. This “useless class” will not merely be unemployed — it will be unemployable.

… As algorithms push humans out of the job market, wealth and power might become concentrated in the hands of the tiny elite that owns the all-powerful algorithms, creating unprecedented social and political inequality.

… The coming technological bonanza will probably make it feasible to feed and support people even without any effort from their side. But what will keep them occupied and content? One answer might be drugs and computer games. Unnecessary people might spend increasing amounts of time within 3D virtual-reality worlds that would provide them with far more excitement and emotional engagement than the drab reality outside. __ Rise of the Useless

A future of virtual reality 3D immersive role-playing, complete with full body haptic sensations? All the drugs and virtual playtime you could want? To an average unemployed drop-out, it may sound pretty good. But if viewed from a god-like height, it probably sounds like a safe and affordable form of confinement and pacification for hopeless underachievers. But today’s hopeless underachiever is a different kettle of fish than the “superfluous people” that Harari is talking about.

Who are these “superfluous people” of the future that will ultimately be displaced by machine intelligences? Physicians, attorneys, top level executives, government decision makers, engineers, journalists, designers and innovators, manufacturers and industrialists, and workers in any other formerly human field of enterprise that had not already been replaced by earlier generations of technology. It sounds as if the boundary lines between god-like human and superfluous human may shift significantly upward over the next century.

Compare Today’s “Superhumans” to Those of Tomorrow

For an example of a modern superhuman, we might look at American football superstar Tom Brady, who after earning 5 superbowl rings is looking to play at least 7 more seasons past the age of 40. Brady follows a special diet, adheres to a strict training regimen, and undergoes frequent attitude boosts. He obviously has good genes for mind and body, and works hard to make the best of them.

Or take the US Navy Seals, bane of bin Laden and other nefarious villains who blight the planet Earth. What makes them so special? Again, they start with good genes, add lots of aggression and ambition, a solid training routine, and electromagnetic brain stimulation. Yes, you read correctly. At least some US Navy Seals are using Halo transcranial brain stimulating devices to augment their training.

The elements testing the technology include Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the unit known more popularly as SEAL Team Six. Other teams are also conducting tests, Salata said. He declined to confirm how many operators are participating in the testing, or to cite specific findings to date. But there have been positive outcomes so far, he said.

“Early results show promising signs,” he said. “Based on this, we are encouraged to continue and are moving forward with our studies.” __ Source

We know that many elite level managers and decision makers in government, research, and Fortune 500 companies utilise brain-boosting drugs and chemicals to allow them to perform at higher levels, for more hours in the day.

But the tweaks used by elite athletes, elite military units, and high level decision makers will be small change compared with the alterations that will be applied to elite humans on their way to becoming gods. The difference will not be merely quantitative. The new elites will be something entirely unprecedented. And this coming tsunami of the gods may represent the investment opportunity of a lifetime.

Investors searching for the next transformative technology destined to turn a bunch of Ivy League dropouts into billionaires, and half the market into a loose slot machine, need only look in the mirror.

“The greatest industry of the 21st century will probably be to upgrade human beings,” historian Yuval Harari, author of the fascinating new book “Homo Deus,” told MarketWatch. __ Marketwatch

Or perhaps not, if a successful investment means that half the people you care about — and possibly you yourself — will be rendered obsolete by the transformation unleashed.

It All Depends Upon How this Magic Carpet is Rolled Out

Country Income Groups
Chartsbin


People in affluent nations will be affected more profoundly by the coming transformation to superfluity — or godhood, whatever the case may be — than most of the world’s billions.

Most humans on Earth are kept occupied by the mundane problems of their own existences. Getting enough food to eat, keeping a roof over their heads, finding effective medical treatments for illnesses and traumas, getting access to a useful education for their children, then scraping together enough cash to buy a few extras — or setting aside a tiny nest egg for the future.

Cities of the third world are becoming mega-cities and mega-slums, as people move from the countryside into the cities looking for work and excitement. Slavery is likely to experience a resurgence, as opportunistic vendors satisfy the tastes of those who prefer old fashioned pleasures — and for those businesses who are more comfortable managing a human workforce than one of robots.
More on the slavery of the future

But if elites work quickly, they can turn most of these burgeoning 3rd world megaslums into safe, happy camps of contented superfluity in short order. The alternative could well be an eruption of violent religious fanaticism, or bloody leftist revolution and civil war.

The Picture in Rich Countries is Somewhat Different

In more affluent nations, today’s superfluous people are likely to be on the government dole, with access to advanced medical care, all the education they can stomach, and many “necessities” that would be considered luxuries in most of the world. But for now, they must exist without the benefit of 3D virtual reality games with full body teledildonic haptics, and they do not get unlimited supplies of free, safe euphoric drugs such as the superfluous people of tomorrow will expect to be given.

The average IQ of today’s superfluous persons measures less than 90 points, whereas in the future anyone with an IQ less than 200 might be considered superfluous. In today’s world IQ is only on of the factors that determines whether a person can join the elite. Likewise in the future, IQ will be but one factor that separates the gods from the superfluous.

To satisfy the very intelligent and clever members of the superfluous future, the drugs will have to be good and the virtual reality must be convincing. But if the superfluous life is too inviting, only a vanishing few humans will ever strive for godhood.

For the bright and clever elites of today who will be among the superfluous people of tomorrow, it is particularly important that the magic carpet of transformation be rolled out slowly. If you put a frog in a pot of cold water, for example, and heat it very slowly to a boil, the frog may not understand what is happening to it in time to hop out of the pot.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Remember: Dangerous Children (and Dangerous Communities) can engage and disengage with high tech society at will. This type of broad, multi-level competence is rare in modern times. And it will be even rarer in the age of the gods vs. the superfluous. Buckle up.

Posted in Demographics, Future, IQ, Islam's Bloody Borders, Machine Intelligence, Megacities, Slums | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Trump & Media Clown Show Obscures Frantic Movement Behind Scenes

Note: Donald Trump has been US President for fewer than 3 months. During this time the news and entertainment media have attacked Trump for what he has done, for what he has promised but failed yet to do, for things he is said to have done which are most unlikely, for supposed thoughts he may have had, for fantasies that exist only in the minds of his attackers . . . Into that climate of near-universal attack against Trump by media, academia, celebrities, Deep State government bureaucracy, and elitists of all stripes and polka-dots — Trump himself frequently portrays himself in a clownish way, particularly through his tweeting style.

Trump’s Clownish Tweets Feed Media Puppet Frenzy; Backstage Reality Ignored

Send in the Clowns
Watch the Trump & Media Puppet Show; Pay No Attention to What Happens Behind the Curtain

US President Donald Trump is driving the puppets and circus animals in the media to a mad frenzy, keeping them distracted with a flamboyant White House clown show. But strangely — and largely unreported — something quite different is taking place behind the scenes.

President Trump has been working quietly but vigorously to strengthen US commerce and industry, and to fend off a number of foreign threats that have been building over the past 30 years. Most of this work involves signing executive orders to undo as much of the damage caused by his predecessors as possible.

Most of the Trump team’s quiet, almost nonstop activity has not been noted by large media. Instead the media has been obsessed by imaginary Russian election omnipotence, Ivanka’s fashion line, a failed early cooperative attempt with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to reform the imploding Obamacare health insurance debacle, and other ultimately inconsequential distractions and fabrications.

Despite the childish media hoopla, Trump is doing his job, day in and day out, mostly through the executive branch. Eventually he will need to work more actively with the legislative branch on larger issues such as tax reform and cutting back the bureaucracy in a radical way. And it goes without saying that those legislators who value the exceptional American Constitution — both Democrat and Republican — will need to step up to the plate and stop hiding behind the Trump extravaganza.

Here is a bare surface look at some of Trump’s recent achievements:

  1. President Trump has begun to dismantle former president Obama’s destructive energy and environmental policies. Details
  2. President Trump signed four bills into law to help chip away at crippling government over-regulation
  3. Trump continues to sign executive orders targeting foreign trade abuses
  4. Trump is moving Federal courts closer to the US Constition via judicial appointments to Federal Courts
  5. Groundwork for better border security at the US : Mexico frontier has been laid
  6. Important tax reform is in the works (Details on corporate tax reform)
  7. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has begun applying pressure to US cities and jurisdictions that harbour illegal aliens. Details
  8. Reining in the Corrupt United Nations Details
  9. Modernising the US military
  10. Making it easier for law enforcement to fight crime
  11. A White House Office of American Innovation has been created
  12. Several major manufacturers have announced new US plants or expansions at present ones
  13. Moved to rescind near monopoly by Google and Facebook for internet advertising
  14. More background:

    Undoing the Obama legacy

    https://townhall.com/columnists/inezstepman/2017/03/29/administrative-state-delenda-est-n2305376

    Much work to do

    https://townhall.com/columnists/betsymccaughey/2017/03/29/trumps-tax-win-n2306106

    Manufacturers more optimistic under Trump

    Attacking Trade Abuses As noted before, Trump needs to play Mexico against China if he wants to pull off a big win on trade.

    Dismantling the Obamanation

    http://www.channel3000.com/news/politics/national-politics/trump-moves-agenda-forward-even-as-russia-controversy-swirls/426650371

    People who get their news from the mainstream or on Comedy Central network — or even via people such as Bill Maher — will never bother to look beyond the tip of the iceberg. It is the job of mainstream media to distract, deceive, and ultimately to influence and control the actions of consumers. It is not in the best interests of the mainstream — and the Deep State behind it — for individuals to think for themselves.

    The US Government is a Clumsy Lout

    It seems appropriate for someone such as Mr. Trump — in the persona of a Tweeting Clown — to act as the front man for a government that has grown monstrously large and loutish. As in the martial art of aikido, one must learn to blend with the opponent before taking them down.

    Trump is not guaranteed public acclaim. No matter what he does as president, it is likely that the US media will continue to fabricate ever new bases for personal attacks against him as long as it is able to sidestep its real job — to inform the American public of what is actually happening. But likewise, no matter what he does or does not achieve via the legislative branch, he will accomplish a large number of credible achievements during his tenure.

    Simply keeping Hillary & Bill from adding to Obama’s destructive agenda was a monumental achievement from the start. Moving the US Federal judiciary back toward the US Constitution will be another huge accomplishment. Slowing the mad rush to the Climate Apocalypse Cult and the Green Energy Scam represent huge achievements. And paring away at the bureaucratic Deep State in all of its manifestations will be of benefit to those who actually have important work to do in and around the US.

    Always Remember that What You See is Not What You Get

    Most important things that happen in the world take place out of sight, and thus out of mind. Large commercial media blocks the exposure of far more important factual (not opinion) news than it reveals.

    Keep your eyes and mind open. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Learn to be an opportunist in this day and age.

    Above all, take every opportunity to add to your Danger Factor.

Posted in Donald Trump, Draining the Swamp, Government, Politics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Swarm Weapons: Is Your Survival Bunker Well Equipped?

Coming World of Swarming Drone Warfare

Unleash the Swarm
Image Source


Is anybody ready for this?

Small drones, even in large numbers, tend to be far cheaper than conventional, larger weapon systems… Indeed, most of these systems are based on existing, easily available, and extremely cheap civilian technology. This dramatically changes the operational cost-benefit analysis that military forces need to do. Second, a swarm is essentially unstoppable. It is capable of taking multiple hits and still keep operating. Its disaggregated nature makes it very difficult to destroy at one go, especially given the fact that current defence systems are designed to tackle individual targets.

Third, a single swarm can be used for multiple purposes. While a part of the swarm can be used for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, the rest can be used as offensive weapons at the same time. Even the nature of their offensive capabilities can differ widely, ranging from kamikaze style self destructing drones to jamming electronic signals. Fourth, autonomous swarm technology is terrain agnostic, in that it can be used on air, land and in water. In fact, the most significant use of this technology may be for naval purposes. Swarms of underwater drones could be potentially used for everything from laying and destroying mines to protecting warships and submarines, and the United States Navy has already demonstrated the capabilities of surface level autonomous boats. __ Is Anybody Ready?

Navy Drones Extend Navy’s Reach for a Lower Cost

No matter where you plan to make your stand when TSHTF, you will need to plan for robotic swarm weapons. Robot weapons swarms are being designed and built to take to the land, sea, and air in large numbers. They will be cheap, and they will be deadly, and if you are not prepared to use them and defend against them, you will be toast.

Robot swarms are an extension of the “unmanned vehicle” concept. Unmanned vehicles have been given heavy use by all branches of the US military. Both the Pentagon and US Intelligence services have frequently used unmanned drones in both surveillance modes and in attack modes.

New Drones Will be Cheaper and Smarter, and Will Swarm

When launching an invasion, for example, large swarms of disposable, intelligent drones would be sent as a “first wave” of attack, to expose and destroy primary defences and to relay real-time status reports to command and control centres. “Second and third wave” attacks would include increasing numbers of manned aircraft — but each manned craft would itself be accompanied by a swarm of robotic drones to extend the pilot’s ability to see, defend, attack, and return safely.

Rather than send in a wave of manned planes for the first day of combat… send in wave after wave of cheap, disposable systems that come with no risk of losing a U.S. servicemember. __ DefenseNews

Robot drone swarms can now be launched from ships, from planes, from land bases, and from submarines. They can even be launched from over a thousand miles away, using a ground-hugging cruise missile.

“They are expendable and fly low as a surveillance asset. You can have a lot of them for a saturation approach. Saturating has an advantage over the thing it has to defend against. Its defender has to take more time and money to defend against it… __ Scout.com

Not Everyone Can Afford US Military-style Drone Swarms

The new drone swarms as envisioned by the US Pentagon, depend heavily on AI-like technology. Such technologies are difficult and expensive to master and implement, at least in the earlier stages before mass production.

Japan, Israel, the UK, and other technologically capable nations are likely to copy the Pentagon’s robotic drone swarm approach for purposes of attack, defence, and battlefield surveillance. China will try to keep up, using piracy by cyber espionage and reverse engineering. Others may have to be content with developing semi-capable defences against robotic drone swarms. Russia, for example, has a hard enough time just building its basic Proton rocket engines without catastrophic defects, and will need to improvise a defence against high technology swarms.

Defence against large numbers of drones is difficult: In hundreds of simulations, aproximately 3 out of 8 launched drones survived in an attack against a US Aegis equipped destroyer.

Cheap New Mass-Produced Swarm Systems are Coming

We can already buy cheap, off the shelf remotely-controlled drones. There are so many of them flying around developed countries that they are becoming a navigational hazard for private and commercial aircraft.

But in the next few years, we are likely to see cheap, mass-produced intelligent and semi-intelligent swarming robots that can launch from any location, carry out their mission in swarming good style, then either return to base or destroy themselves kamikaze style.

Is Your Survival Bunker Ready for Micro-Swarm Warfare?

Survival bunkers of the future will have to be resistant to drone surveillance. If they can’t see you, they can’t attack you. If your compound is readily located and reconned, your job of defending against a swarm will be much tougher.

Defence Against Swarms

Beyond traditional human sentries, fixed cameras, motion detectors, and simple mobile drone perimeter surveillance, kevlar netting combined with automated sentry guns would provide an intermediate and up-close defence against swarms. Both systems are expensive now, so a bit of improvisation to achieve the same goals may be called for. In the future, specialised producers are likely to provide less expensive systems of this type.

More on defending against swarms

Using Your Own Swarms

Offensive robot swarm drone systems for individual survivalists are apt to be pricey. Several survival compounds in a region may decide to link resources and personnel to create a “drone swarm attack squad” composed of members from each compound, who train themselves to maintain and operate low cost robotic attack swarms under specific conditions.

But even these “offensive” swarms are ultimately used for defensive purposes, when it comes to survival groups. They are likely to be called into play when a threatening force is sited by surveillance drones, or when surveillance drones and other “tripwire” sensors begin to mysteriously drop offline.

Robotic swarms may be used against other swarms, against attacking human forces on the move, or against specific equipment or emplacements that represent particular threat to the survival communities.

First Learn and Experiment with Ground-Based Swarms

Air, sea, and outer space-based swarms are much sexier, but to learn the basics of swarm technology it is more practical to begin with land-based robot swarms. Each drone has to be able to communicate and coordinate with other drones, in various configurations.

In semi-autonomous mode, humans maintain some level of control. For example, a human might send commands to the swarm to carry out a particular group operation, to move in a prearranged formation, or to abort the mission and RTB. More sophisticated methods of human to swarm control are being developed.

In autonomous mode, sometimes the entire swarm will act together; sometimes each individual drone will act individually under conditions of “radio silence.” Most of the time it is likely that the drones will interact in various combinations of the above modes, with the option of changing modes as circumstances evolve.

The software for autonomous robot swarming is still under development. But once it is perfected and hard-wired — at least for basic formations and missions — it can be mass produced fairly cheaply.

Conditions for Survival are Subject to Change

You are likely to go your entire life without coming under attack from hostile robot swarms. On the other hand, if you want to call yourself a “survivalist for the 21st century,” perhaps you should take a closer look at some of the things that you may come up against. If you have something that other people want to take for themselves, that is, or if you represent a threat to hostile others.

If you can project a non-threatening image while remaining potent, and project an image of bare subsistence while having everything you need, you will have fewer occasions to face state of the art attacks. And if you can remain invisible, somehow, while going about your life of planning and unleashing an abundant and expansive human future — the next level — then your risks of attack will be very low indeed.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. If you can find your way inside a Dangerous Community as a contributing member, consider it.

Posted in Disruptive Technologies, Machine Intelligence, Military, Robots, Self Organisation, Survival Prepping, TEOTWAWKI, Weapons | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Great University Rip-Off

College is a place where young people go to binge, fornicate, receive an academic lobotomy, and become burdened by insurmountable debt — all in the quest for increasingly worthless diplomas. __ Al Fin

Wage Advantage from College Diploma Shrinking

College Advantage Shrinking
Image Source

Wages for college graduates across many majors have fallen since the 2007-09 recession, according to an unpublished analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in Washington using Census bureau figures. Young job-seekers appear to be the biggest losers.
__ Bloomberg

Even in crucial fields such as engineering, physical sciences, health sciences, computer science, and agriculture, wages for college grads have been dropping.

Some majors are bucking the wage-stagnation trend. An experienced petroleum engineering major earned $179,000 a year on average in 2015, up $46,000 from five years prior, according to the Georgetown analysis. Beyond those with special technical skills, philosophy and public policy majors have also seen their earnings rise. __ Bloomberg

Meanwhile, student loan debt across society soars:

Skyrocketing Student Debt

The following article is cross-posted from The Dangerous Child blog.

The Real World Needs Competent People with Applicable Skills

Look at the starting wages for various degrees in the graphics above — then consider that a good welder or oil field worker can earn over $100,000 before he turns 21, if he is given a head start! Such lucrative skills can be learned by youth in high school before turning 18.

Another high school program that trains future oil field workers.
A list of 27 good paying jobs that do not require 4 year degrees

This doesn’t mean that all young people should be shunted toward blue collar and mid-level jobs and professions. That is not what Dangerous Child training is about. Instead, Dangerous Child training is aimed at training competent and confident young people who are equipped to shape their own futures from the onset of adulthood. Some Dangerous Children will go into the trades, some will choose higher education — some may even choose government work! The goal of Dangerous Child training is to give the ownership of that choice to the child himself, along with plenty of backdoors in case the first choice doesn’t work out. And all of that without a mountain of debt!

Dangerous Children master at least three ways of achieving financial independence by the time they turn 18 yo. Not all of them will earn him $100,000 a year off the bat. But by combining practical competence with business and entrepreneurial skills — that are also learned before turning 18 — Dangerous Children are capable of building businesses that can earn well over a $million a year.

Sure, businesses have to pay taxes, labour, rents, and so forth, but Dangerous Children learn how to economise on such expenses by the age of 12. Most of them get plenty of practise at running a small business by the time they reach 18 years, so they are ready to start building a future out of the gate.

A Dangerous Childhood Depends Upon a Child’s Ability to Teach Himself

Modern society too often looks at children as incompetent nuisances, who must be sheltered from the real world until they turn 18 — at which point they are thrown into a corrupt and undisciplined world completely unprepared for what they will face. The end result of such an approach is a growing herd of sheep-like young people who are still incompetent, and likely to stay that way. By default, these sheep are closely guided in their tastes, interests, and “relevant causes” by faux experts in media, academia, and government and by celebrity figures around the world.

A Dangerous Child, on the other hand, learns to teach himself from an early age. By teaching himself to develop a broad competence in practical skills as well as in scholarship, a Dangerous Child develops confidence in his own ability to solve increasingly important problems and to build things of increasing complexity that actually work.

A self-taught person who possesses both self discipline and self confidence will not be swayed by popular appeals to group status or celebrity appeal. He will be a contrarian thinker who works things out for himself, impervious to the herd mentality of a corrupt, groupthinking culture.

Article is cross-posted from Al Fin, The Dangerous Child, blog

Another way colleges devalue their degrees

Students are not necessarily stupid. But they are abysmally ignorant for the most part.

Our students’ ignorance is not a failing of the educational system – it is its crowning achievement. Efforts by several generations of philosophers and reformers and public policy experts — whom our students (and most of us) know nothing about — have combined to produce a generation of know-nothings. The pervasive ignorance of our students is not a mere accident or unfortunate but correctible outcome, if only we hire better teachers or tweak the reading lists in high school. It is the consequence of a civilizational commitment to civilizational suicide. The end of history for our students signals the End of History for the West. __ Lost Generations

Posted in Dangerous Child, Education, University | Tagged ,

Gods of the Apocalypse Fade, as True Believers Slip Away

The late 20th century was a mother lode for prophets of the apocalypse. Of all the apocalyptic faiths of the 1980s and 1990s, none was more strongly held than the one true faith in Peak Oil Armageddon. And why not? Earth is a finite planet. New oil discoveries were falling, oil price supply shocks were becoming more frequent. Oil production was believed to have peaked in North America and Russia, and growing numbers of believers were sure that Saudi Arabia would be next to fall. After that, could the great global collapse of civilisation be far behind?

Predictions of Peak Oil Evolve Over Time
Peak Oil Estimates Growing on Trees

… in 1980, the United States was thought to have roughly 30 billion barrels of oil reserves. Over the subsequent 30 years, the U.S. produced nearly 80 billion barrels.[10] __ Just Getting Started

Saudi Arabian production did not collapse, but has instead slowly grown over the past 15 years. Russian production has grown and hovers near record levels. And US production is once again moving toward record production levels. A massive quantity of oil that was once inaccessible at economic prices is now being made accessible via new technologies of discovery and production. And discovery of most of that oil has barely begun.

Oil Production: Russia, Saudi, USA
Source

In the video below, energy analyst Michael Lynch looks at the past and present of Peak Oil, and suggests some trends to look for in the near future.

Interview with Michael Lynch on new Peak Oil book

Technology improves economics. Smaller and smaller oil accumulations can be found and economically recovered even in an environment of stable inflation-adjusted prices because technology is continuously improving… And large discoveries continue to be made in plays that weren’t envisioned just a few years ago. __ More Oil Than Foreseen

The science and technology of oil discovery and production are advancing at sufficient rates to keep up with any growing demand for oil & gas by current human societies. If oil & gas prices rise significantly due to another unexpected round of higher demand — such as from India and China in the early 2000s — more money will be put into research and discovery.

The volume of organic carbon-rich sediment in the Earth’s crust is massively large. The Gulf of Mexico has accumulated more than 60,000′ of sedimentary column over the last 200 million years. The Cenozoic section, alone, is more than 40,000′ thick in places. The Quaternary can be more than 30,000′ thick in some locations. Most of the sedimentary column is composed of thick, organic-rich shale.

Oil is still being formed and migrating from source to reservoir rocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The Pleistocene reservoirs are less than 2.5 million years old and many have only been charged over the last 275,000 years. __ Where Did Oil Come From?

An Impossible Claim?

crude oil today remains a plentiful and high-performance resource with considerable prospects to grow in production and consumption for another century.

__ http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2017/03/28/the-peak-oil-estimate-you-wont-believe-a-tale-of-two-sigmoids/

Most peak oilers will probably burst their Circle of Willis should they try to read the article linked just above. The cognitive dissonance grows too large too fast when a true believer is confronted with credible evidence that their beliefs are worth less than monkeyshite in the real world.

Here at the Al Fin Institutes, one of our favourite sayings is: Everything you think you know, just ain’t so. Or to put it in a more blunt and less folksy way, “Everything you believe, is a lie.” But that, too, is not quite true. Knowledge and belief exist on a continuum that varies with level of likelihood or probability:

We start with an idea. It may be a sense impression of some sort — something that happened to catch our eye and intrigue our curiosity. Or it may be a speculation in our mind — a daydream or a theory, for example. As the idea or theory passes through the authentication process, it may be verified, refuted, or transformed to accommodate additional and discordant evidence. But if the authentication process is doing its job, whatever conclusion it is reaching about the idea is becoming progressively more certain (even if that means that the original idea itself is becoming progressively more dubious). Therefore, at some point in the authentication process, the probability of a mistaken conclusion is reduced to the point where we can say that we “know” this or that. Where that point is varies from person to person, so that what is “knowledge” to one is merely a plausible belief to another and only a theory to someone else. Each of us has some point — some probability level — beyond which we will say that we “know” something. But all things fall short of absolute certainty: life itself might be a dream and logic a delusion. Still, because we act, we must decide, and how decisively we can act depends on how well we know the consequences.

… Because the arena of decision making almost always exceeds the arena of knowledge, there must be belief — or at least hope — to fill in the gaps where there is no knowledge. This means that the ratio of knowledge to belief may also vary enormously from one aspect of life to another.
__ From Chapt 1 “The Role of Knowledge” in Thomas Sowell’s “Knowledge and Decisions

Most of us fail to think for ourselves, or are too lazy to go through the different authentication processes which are necessary to actually “know” things in the different aspects of our lives. So we trust in unauthenticated beliefs instead, relying on secondhand claims and the dogmatic beliefs of others who may shout more loudly or cleverly to us, in the public marketplace of ideas.

Given the human weakness for theories of doom, it is not surprising that among the many transitory fashions of quasi-religious belief, are the many cults of doom. From peak oil armageddon to carbon climate apocalypse to Y2K to the perennial lefty-Luddite dieoff.orgy yearnings for a great human dieoff, doomer cults come and go — and are quickly replaced by others as needed.

Gods Demand Pointless Sacrifices on Altars of Smoke and Mirrors

Obama’s attempts to placate the gods by destroying the US energy infrastructure would not have led to any significant improvement in the real world:

By one calculation implementing the Obama administration’s Paris climate pledge fully would reduce the future increase in average global temperature by 0.031 degree Celsius by 2100. Fulfilling all of the Paris pledges together would reduce future temperatures in 2100 by 0.17 degree Celsius. __ Reason

Ultimately pointless goals and sacrifices, destructive cults, self-fulfilling pathways to doom. A portion of the human population has always been attracted to nihilistic and suicidal movements and causes.

If we are honest in our study of history and pay attention, we can see that the gods of apocalypse past faded into silence only to be replaced by more fashionable gods of apocalypse present. These, in turn, will eventually be replaced by gods of apocalypse future. Since we are human and too often believe we must lay claim to certainty and “meaningful beliefs”, we are prone to grasp at mere delusions of certainty — even if the certainty is only one of doom and apocalypse.

But, if somehow by some chance you have become a Dangerous Child, you will be too busy helping bring about an expansive and abundant human future to let yourself dance and wallow in the degenerate cults of doom. Rather than gods of apocalypse, your gods will be of the next level. That is where things begin to get interesting.

Posted in Energy, Peak Oil | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Angry Socialists Attack Trump Rally: Deep State Media Smokescreen

Peaceful Trump Rally Attacked by Violent Socialists

A pro-Trump rally participant is punched in the face by an anti-Trump protester as the two sides clash at a Pro-Trump rally in Huntington Beach, California, U.S., March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Patrick T. Fallon

This past Saturday, about 2,000 Trump supporters gathered peacefully at Huntington Beach, California. They were confronted by a small violent mob of socialists who were out to provoke a confrontation.

Multiple fights broke out and at least one Trump supporter was doused with pepper spray when pro-Trump demonstrators marching along Bolsa Chica State Beach encountered a small group opposed to the Republican president who had gathered to denounce the rally.

Four counter-protesters were arrested, three for illegal use of pepper spray and one for assault and battery, Kevin Pearsall, a spokesman for the California State Parks Police said on Saturday evening.

The fights appeared to start in the early afternoon when around a dozen anti-Trump protesters dressed in all black refused to move from a bike path to allow a larger group of pro-Trump supporters taking part in the Make America Great Again rally to pass. The confrontation escalated into a fight with more skirmishes quickly breaking out.

At least one person was pepper-sprayed by an anti-Trump protester, Pearsall said. __ http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-protests-idUSKBN16X009


Violent Socialist Subdued
Image Source

Trump supporters responded to the provocation by subduing the pepper sprayers and the most violent of the socialist provocateurs. They were soon backed up by law enforcement.

The pepper-sprayed marchers were seen cringing in pain as other supporters clad in Trump t-shirts helped them. One man in an army green Trump hat angrily chased a protester with an American flag. Police dogs snapped at the protesters as officers in riot gear yelled at the masked men.

One of the sprayers was one of the men in a black mask according to the Los Angeles Times. The supporters reportedly started punching and kicking the man after the attack.

The violence erupted when the march of about 2,000 people at Bolsa Chica State Beach reached a group of about 30 protesters, some of whom began spraying them after brawls broke out, according to Capt. Kevin Pearsall of the California State Parks Police.
Three people were arrested on suspicion of illegal use of pepper spray, he said.

__ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4349390/Violence-breaks-pro-Trump-rally-California.html

Note How Deep State Media Proceeds to Distort the Story to Better Fit the Deep State Narrative

Hispanic ABC reporter Mayde Gomez distorts the story in typical Deep State whitewashing style. According to all credible accounts by witnesses and police, socialist disruptors pepper sprayed and suddenly began punching peaceful protestors. But according to ABC’s Gomez, it was the socialist attackers who were pepper sprayed and attacked.

From ABC News reporter Mayde Gomez:

About 30 to 40 protesters, some from the Socialist Party USA, headed to the event to have their voices heard.

The march started out peaceful, but violence soon erupted when the protesters and supporters met. At one point, a woman was punched in the face by a man. An anti-Trump protester was then doused with pepper spray and other acts of violence were sparked.

The protesters wore masks and some were tackled, punched and kicked. One man who was beaten ended up jumping over a fence and running toward officers in an effort to get away from the crowd.

One protester, who wore his mask on camera, said it was a dangerous situation for them to be in.

“We’re outnumbered one to 100 and these are not nice people we’re dealing with. We put our hands behind our backs. We don’t engage. We don’t use violence. I may have a bruised rib or two,” he said.

But Trump supporter Travis Guenther said someone came up to his “100-pound” wife and pepper sprayed her within close range.

“There was no fight. I’m an intellect. I can talk with anybody – no problem. But if you want to come and start a fight, I can fight. That’s what that man got,” he said. __ http://abc7.com/politics/trump-supporters-protesters-clash-at-oc-beach-march-rally/1818789/

It is uncertain how forcefully Gomez’ arm had to be twisted in order for her to include the quote by Travis Guenther at the end. It must have pained her terribly. 😉

Judging by appearances, most of the violent socialist attackers were either black or hispanic, some possibly arab. When persons from muslim countries join such violent groups, it makes sense for them to wear masks and hoods to disguise their backgrounds. Bad behaviour by particular groups tends to be noted by the silent majority of peaceful voters, who take those memories to the voting booths the next election.

For these groups, provoking violence is their main objective.

More Photos

No Words of Condemnation from Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama

Such violent confrontations as the one in Huntington Beach last Saturday have been occurring since inauguration day in January 2017. They are sponsored by Deep State impressario George Soros, and clearly approved of by Marxist Bernie Sanders and by Barack Obama — who was raised and brainwashed by family friend Frank Marshall Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA.

But you can go back as far as the Ferguson, Missouri protests of 2014 to pick up the trail of Soros-inspired violence. And sure enough, US voters remembered Ferguson when they went to the voting booth in 2016 to elect Donald Trump. Deep State sponsored violence can sometimes backfire on its 1% wealthy leftist backers, no matter how the Deep State media attempts to spin the narrative.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

A world of Dangerous Children awaits your assistance, to come into being.

Posted in Donald Trump, Politics | Tagged

What is “The Deep State?”

Does the Deep State Exist?

“Of course, the deep state exists. There’s a permanent state of massive bureaucracies that do whatever they want and set up deliberate leaks to attack the president,” said Gingrich, a Trump confidant, according to the Associated Press.

“This is what the deep state does: They create a lie, spread a lie, fail to check the lie and then deny that they were behind the lie,” he added. __ Newt Gingrich quoted by Associated Press

Following the March 2017 WikiLeaks release of thousands of CIA related files, interest in “The Deep State” has spiked sharply. What is the Deep State, and why are people becoming interested in how it works?

The Deep State is an extremely powerful network that controls nearly everything around you. You won’t read about it in the news because it controls the news. Politicians won’t talk about it publicly. That would be like a mobster discussing murder and robbery on the 6 o’clock news. You could say the Deep State is hidden, but it’s only hidden in plain sight. __Doug Casey

Doug Casey focuses on the concept of “control.” The example he gives refers to control of information, many other types of control can be exerted by persons of power — both “hidden in plain sight” as well as hidden behind multiple layers of misdirection and obfuscation.

Despite what you might be told, the origins of the term “Deep State” came to the US from overseas.

The term “deep state” originated in Turkey, referring to a network of individuals in multiple branches of government with ties to ex-generals, officials, and organized crime—existing without the knowledge of other military officials or politicians. The term has also been used in places like Egypt, pre-war Syria, and Pakistan, according to international relations experts. __ What is the Deep State?

The author of the article above focuses on a broader view of the Deep State, which reaches outside of government to include organised crime.

Blogger and author Charles Hugh Smith focuses the Deep State’s influence on information flows:

The Deep State is fundamentally the public-private centralized nodes that collect, archive and curate dominant narratives and their supporting evidence, and disseminate these narratives (and their implicit teleologies) to the public via the media and to the state agencies via formal and informal inter-departmental communication channels. __ Of Two Minds

That is fine, as far as it goes, but it should be clear to most readers that as useful as control of information flow is to the puppetmasters of the Deep State, the strings of power and control extend far beyond the mere control of public information flows to include several agencies of government law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and much more.

Media outlets such as The New York Times and the The New Yorker have recently gone on record to deny the very existence of the Deep State. But fewer and fewer members of the reading public seem inclined to believe these mainstream information sources, perhaps because they have been caught in too many lies.

According to a New York Times columnist, Max Fisher, the deep state is not real, and there would be real consequences for blaming the Trump’s administrative problems on the deep state if it does not exist. (What Happens When You Fight a ‘Deep State’ That Doesn’t Exist? – March 10, 2017). Unfortunately, there has recently been too much written about shadowy alternative government operatives of a “Deep State” within the federal bureaucracy in the United States to try now to pretend it does not exist. __ Denial of the Deep State

The Deep State is In Constant Turmoil, at War With Itself

It is clear that large media outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post willingly lend themselves to the propaganda arm of the Deep state. When they are not denying the existence of the Deep State, they may willingly play a part in attacking participants within the Deep State which may “need to be exposed and disciplined” by other parts of TDS, should they be seen to become too powerful or independent.

In a special series in The Washington Post called “Top Secret America,” Dana Priest and William K. Arkin described the scope of the privatized Deep State and the degree to which it has metastasized after the September 11 attacks. There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable: The Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, is a former executive of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the government’s largest intelligence contractors. His predecessor as director, Admiral Mike McConnell, is the current vice chairman of the same company; Booz Allen is 99 percent dependent on government business. These contractors now set the political and social tone of Washington, just as they are increasingly setting the direction of the country, but they are doing it quietly, their doings unrecorded in the Congressional Record or the Federal Register, and are rarely subject to congressional hearings. __ Anatomy of the Deep State

Such Deep States tend to burrow so deeply into the flows of information, power, and money, that the only way to rid a society of its Deep State is through popular revolution, radical coup, or unconditional surrender in war.

Why a State Within a State Almost Always Exists

Behind most governments one can usually find a group of men who pull the strings. This has been true throughout the human history of national and city-state governments. But it is also the case that thestate within a state is usually divided within itself. There are always factions vying for more power, influence, and wealth.

Rather than be surprised by the existence of a powerful and influential Deep State, the intelligent reader would be surprised if such a thing did not exist. Clearly, the mechanisms by which wealth, power, and influence arise are not uniformly dispersed through populations and geographic areas. Luck, chance, blood relations, marital ties, inheritance, and just winning “the genetic lottery” can all play a part in a person or family rising within a given society. Not all wealthy, powerful, and influential persons/families choose to join the “conspiracy du jour” of the inner circle. Some were purposely excluded — such as wealthy Jews in the German Third Reich. Such Jews were stripped of their wealth by the Nazi government, and thus inadvertently their lives’ work became seeds of the destruction of much of Europe and millions of fellow Jews. Other wealthy persons/families may have preferred to live in peace outside of the constant squabbling for power. Such persons were often overpowered and stripped of their wealth by revolutions, wars, or by others in their own society who had more influence with the inner circle (the Deep State).

The United States Had a Long Run as an Opportunity Society

In history, the United States was a radical exception to “business as usual” since its beginnings. Because of its strict adherence to rule of law, the US became the world’s “opportunity society” for almost two centuries before the massive growth of a monster bureaucracy combined with a powerful Deep State to sap the natural strengths of the American people while pursuing a world of perpetual war and disorder.

The American “long run as an opportunity society” may be over unless the Trump administration can reverse many of the power grabs committed under US administrations as far back as 60 years ago or more. Many of Trump’s cabinet picks came from outside of government. This is a good sign. Most Trump picks are also wealthy, which by itself says nothing about their integrity or commitment to reducing the chokehold of government on the citizens’ constitutional rights.

Big business is not the same thing as Deep State, nor are the very rich necessarily complicit with the corrupt inner circle of puppetmasters who control the Deep State. It is crucial to watch what people in power actually do, rather than be influenced by Deep State accounts of what powerful people are doing. Most Americans are in deep thrall to Deep State propagandists without even knowing it. Such propagandists do not need to be extensions of the American Deep State. They can easily be extensions of the Russian Deep State, the Chinese Deep State, or the International Deep State that is largely centered in Europe, personified by George Soros.

An Opportunity State is Offensive to the Deep State

People such as Soros expend vast sums of money to defeat the US opportunity society, so as to eliminate powerful obstacles to their own particular interests. In a nation such as the US, where turnover of private wealth and power is so rapid and violent that most members of the 1955 Fortune 500 list have dropped off the list and been replaced by upstarts, the rise of wealth and power is still somewhat unpredictable.

The Deep State does not like unpredictability, particularly when that unpredictability risks their own power and wealth in the future. Thus the International Deep State tends to ally with those portions of the American Deep State which want to eliminate America’s natural opportunity and unpredictability.

For Those Who Work Toward an Abundant and Expansive Human Future . . .

It should be clear that the string-pulling puppetmasters of the various Deep States of Europe, North America, Eurasia, and elsewhere, do not wish to lay the foundations of an abundant and expansive human future. Deep State ties with $billion environmental groups whose aim is to destroy reliable sources of energy and electric power — replacing them with unreliable and unaffordable energy sources — reveal their long term goals for the human future.

When the Deep State controls all access to energy, fuel, health care, employment, financial income of all types, entrepreneurial opportunities, and access to all critical infrastructure, you can kiss the opportunity society goodbye. You will only get the crumbs the Deep State allows you, and you will only hear the reasons why such covert rationing of all kinds is necessary, via Deep State propaganda outlets.

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

Posted in Government, Media, Propaganda | Tagged | 1 Comment

BASIS Charter Schools Outperform: A Standout Educational Alternative

BASIS.ed students consistently rank among the top in the world in critical thinking and problem solving in math, reading, and science. A BASIS.ed education is a blend of the rigorous standards seen around the world plus the ingenuity and creativity so often associated with American education.

__ BASIS Schools

Basis Charter Schools are Different From Mainstream High Schools

American high schools are politically protected from meaningful reform by ideologues within the US Department of Education and by other ideologues in US university schools of education, thinktanks, and nonprofit foundations. But real-world market forces have brought about certain experiments in US secondary education which demonstrate that an American high school education need not be third-rate. The BASIS charter school system is one such experiment that is proving successful.

In 2015, six Basis charter schools met the criteria that permitted their students to take the PISA test. The Basis pupils scored higher than students in Shanghai, Korea, Germany or Singapore, not to mention U.S. private and public schools. In math, the average Basis student performs better than the top 10 percent of U.S. public schoolers.

Basis students also stand out when it comes to the one U.S. test that is more closely tethered to reality, the College Board’s challenging Advanced Placement exam, designed to measure whether students have so mastered a subject that colleges will give them academic credit for it.

__ http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-28/high-school-the-great-american-bubble

Is Advanced Placement for average kids? BASIS schools say yes:

BASIS Oro Valley, an Arizona charter school, ranks first on the Challenge Index with the highest percentage of students taking the Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests. Other BASIS schools rank second and fourth.

BASIS also has three schools in the top 10 of the U.S. News list of best high schools, which is based on test scores and graduation rates.

Shocked at how abysmally bad many American high schools actually were, Czech immigrant Olga Block was moved to found BASIS Charter Schools along with her husband Michael. By designing and founding Basic charter schools, Block and her co-founders meant to give American high school students “a basis” for competency within today’s STEM-oriented employment and business worlds.

Locations for BASIS Charter Schools
Wikipedia
They took the BASIS.ed network from one charter school in 1998 to 19 charter schools in Arizona, Texas and Washington D.C., as well as three independent schools in San Jose; Brooklyn, New York; and McLean, Virginia, and an international school in Shenzhen, China. Source

Founded in Arizona almost two decades ago, this network of publicly financed charters has grown to number 21 in the U.S. Basis Schools admit students on a first-come, first-served basis or, when demand is high, by lottery, meaning that not all the kids are born top performers. __ Amity Schlaes

More on BASIS
Wikipedia article on BASIS schools

Unlike BASIS, Ordinary US High Schools Bomb on International Comparison Testing

Foreign students say US high school classes are absurdly easy

High schools have become assembly line factories of dumbing down to the lowest common denominator.  And that lowest denominator is too low to support a modern high tech society for very long.

 

Children Should Learn to Teach Themselves at an Early Age

The best learning is “self-taught” learning, and the skills of self-teaching can be taught very early. They can be mastered between the ages of 7 and 10 for most children. But not all parents can supervise a home “unschooling” for their high school aged children.

For parents of Dangerous Children who send their children to public or conventional private schools, such schooling often serves as “day care” supervision rather than as a meaningful education. The parent still has to make sure the child learns — but in a more compressed after-school and evening time framework. If the child has learned “self-teaching” from parents, he should be able to compensate for the flakiness and ideological bias of most public and private education.

But wouldn’t it be better if the schools themselves actually served to prepare students to face at least some of the challenges the youth will face in the future? Truly, as long as the child will be spending time there anyway, why not make that time profitable at least in part?

The US public educational system has been dumbed down and corrupted over several decades for many reasons, most of them of a political nature. It is good to know that at least some of the decline can be “rolled back” for at least a small percentage of students.

But on the Whole, the Best Approach for Dangerous Children is Home Self-Taught Learning

The home-educated typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above public-school students on standardized academic achievement tests. (The public school average is the 50th percentile; scores range from 1 to 99.) A 2015 study found Black homeschool students to be scoring 23 to 42 percentile points above Black public school students (Ray, 2015).

Homeschool students score above average on achievement tests regardless of their parents’ level of formal education or their family’s household income.
__ NHERI

Among homeschooling methods, The Robinson Curriculum is one of the shining stars.

The Robinson Curriculum is specially designed to prepare students for the SAT – a standardized nationwide test administered by the College Board (not to be mistaken with the SAT Achievement test which does not give you any credit). The Saxon Math and the RC Vocabulary section do an excellent job for SAT prep. For further credit they can take the Adanced Placement Exams for the college they are attending in order to test out of credit courses. This reduces the time and money required to get their degree. 3 of the Robinson children have done all this with great results. They only need a GED if they are going into something that does not require college but does need a “High School” diploma. A transcript generally does you no good. It is the SAT scores that matter. Any other paper is not important except in unusual cases.

__ http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/view/rc/s31p50.htm

Anecdotal report

Self-teaching is an integral part of the Robinson Curriculum. In fact, teaching the child to teach himself — from the earliest ages — is a key part to overall life success. This is true whether you are raising a Dangerous Child or a more conventional superior child.

Dangerous Child training is about far more than success in conventional schooling or conventional careers, of course. But when so many cultural institutions — including schools — are so terribly misguided and mismanaged, conventional success can seem a great victory to most of us.

The fact that there is so much more to be mastered and attained should be a powerful impetus for grander achievement and success. Dangerous Child training is about packing that “will to mastery” inside the child from his earliest moments of consciousness — and before. It is that “internal driving force” that will propel the Dangerous Child to embark on a lifetime of mastery and discovery.

Author Mark Twain suggested that people should not let their schooling get in the way of their education. That distinction between “schooling” and “education” is crucial for lifelong success. Schooling is only a small part of a person’s education. Still, whatever time is to be spent on schooling, should be spent profitably.

More on BASIS Charter School Founders Olga and Michael Block:

Michael received his PhD in economics from Stanford University, and had been a professor of economics and professor of law at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Olga earned her engineering degree from the Prague Economics University and worked on her PhD in economics at Cornell University. She was an associate dean at Charles University in Prague.

They both served as consultants for various think tanks.

They took the BASIS.ed network from one charter school in 1998 to 19 charter schools in Arizona, Texas and Washington D.C., as well as three independent schools in San Jose; Brooklyn, New York; and McLean, Virginia, and an international school in Shenzhen, China.

Michael said his secret for student success is quality teachers.

“The secret sauce really is putting teachers in the classrooms that know their stuff,” he told me when many of his BASIS schools topped our recent high school ranking based on SAT test scores. “That really means finding (teachers) who have degrees or master’s degrees or even PhDs in their subject area and not necessarily having been trained in pedagogy, which would allow you to be certified.”

He said it’s difficult to teach someone who is certified, but may not have a deep understanding of the subject matter, he said.

“It’s easier to teach someone who knows their subject how to teach,” he said. “That’s always been our approach.” __ http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/business/2015/10/power-couple-michael-and-olga-block-take-education.html

Expert human teachers who know how to teach are valuable assets. Mainstream schools from K thru University often discard such persons, if they lack the proper political beliefs and connections. Alternative educational enterprises such as BASIS should be on a constant lookout for such high quality but not-politically correct discards from the mainstream system.

Note: The above article was adapted from an earlier posting on The Dangerous Child blog.

When educational approaches similar to BASIS move to the online arena, homeschoolers and unschoolers will be provided a useful tool.

Posted in Dangerous Child, Education, High School | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Alternative Approach to High School: The University Model

Note: Most of this posting is based on an earlier blog posting by Bruce Hall

High Schools Too Often Are Used as Daycare Facilities for Overgrown Children

The educational system in the US is geared to produce lifelong adolescents, possessing few practical life skills, if any. The entire journey from K thru 12th grade is generally wasted for most students, leaving them almost wholly unprepared for either life in the real world, or a meaningful expedition through higher education.


At best, only 25% or fewer of high school students are qualified by aptitude and disposition for a rigorous 4 year college education. Of that 25%, fewer than half are given an adequate preparation for a meaningful college education. Most are provided with little more than the equivalent of high school aged daycare.

The image above contrasts the traditional approach to high school with broadly alternative approaches. It is a wasteful and whimsical form of “wishful thinking” for high schools to shunt most students into a college prep format, when the real world is in need of highly skilled, competent, and open-minded (not politically correct) youth who have been trained to think and act for themselves.

Meaningful Education is Too Often Deferred Until the College Years

But there is nothing magical about the learning processes required for college level coursework. If students have not learned to learn by the college years, it is too late for most who have instead learned destructive habits of thought during the earlier school years. Alternative approaches to High School and earlier schooling is therefore becoming a desperate need for modern societies, which cannot afford to waste its dwindling human resources.

University Model for High School Education

[The University Model for High Schools] is designed to appeal to the varied interests of students while having sufficient academic challenges in the areas of reading and language skills, mathematics, and science within each “college”. Certainly, this is meant as a concept for further work and refinement, but I have long felt that the traditional organization of high school was for the convenience of the educators as opposed to the education of the students.

Don’t construe the “colleges” as isolated; students would still have the opportunity to take courses within those other units that they felt [along with counselors] augmented their primary coursework.

Imagine the Lake Orion High School described in yesterday’s post with this University Model. It is an ideal candidate. The facilities are among the best. The present curriculum offers innovative alternative courses. It is just a step away from the school of the future… and showing other schools how it can be done.

The world is changing… perhaps it is time for high schools to change. ___ http://hallofrecord.blogspot.ca/2008/02/university-model-for-high-schools.html

Bruce’s rough sketch of the university model for high schools is based upon the idea that young people should not be forced to conform to the “insider educators'” viewpoint of how youth should be educated. The current system shunts a flood of unprepared and unqualified students to a university system that is becoming overwhelmed by the need for remedial education. As a result, social promotion is becoming common — even in elite colleges — and a growing number of universities are becoming very expensive “daycares for young adults.”

But isn’t this pathetic?

Here there are 18-year-old adults, with rights to vote and their older, “I feel your pain” frame-of-mind faculty, who, the university administration believes, must be pampered because – horror! – “academic performance can bring up many emotions”.

Poor, poor babies.

Other young people their age are enlisted in the army; sent overseas; working in farms, factories, construction, mines and oilfields. Non-academics toil hours in factories, in freezing streets, in hospitals, cutting trees, driving buses and trains – but academia is singled out for the emotional toll working with – presumably – young adults, already selected for their superior skills.

Working youth risk their lives and pay taxes, as do many adults not employed by academia or other subsidized entities. And what do universities worry about? That their heavily subsidized students and faculty suffer disproportionate emotional distress in need of accommodation. ___ http://www.atimes.com/universities-prevent-becoming-nurseries/

One’s immediate reaction may be: Shame on universities — faculty, staff, and administration! But today’s faculty, staff, and administration are merely the products of the day before yesterday’s K-12, and the effluent of yesterday’s colleges.

It took over 60 years of intentional dumbing down to get to this point. Forget that. It is time to focus on what can be done to stop this corrupt process in its tracks, and create newer alternatives that benefit children, youth, and young adults.

More:

Costs of remedial education in higher ed [PDF] (before the turn of the century, when things really went bonkers!)

How much “university daycare” can you buy with $1.31 trillion?

Posted in Education, High School, University | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Good Science Has Nothing to Do With University Degrees

The Slowing of Scientific Discovery

The “Science Establishment” is spitting out PhDs, journal articles, and scientific data at record levels. But something happened along the way to our sci-tech utopia. Has scientific progress actually slowed in recent decades, despite a record number of “scientists”, “science journals,” and “scientific data output?”

Almost every week we read about ‘new hopes’ for cancer sufferers, developments in the lab that might lead to new cures, talk of a new era of space tourism and super-jets that can fly round the world in a few hours. Yet a moment’s thought tells us that this vision of unparalleled innovation can’t be right, that many of these breathless reports of progress are in fact mere hype, speculation – even fantasy.

Yet there once was an age when speculation matched reality. It spluttered to a halt more than 40 years ago. Most of what has happened since has been merely incremental improvements upon what came before. That true age of innovation – I’ll call it the Golden Quarter – ran from approximately 1945 to 1971. Just about everything that defines the modern world either came about, or had its seeds sown, during this time.

__ https://aeon.co/essays/has-progress-in-science-and-technology-come-to-a-halt

Inside the fog of modern academic science, it is “all about the PhD.” This approach excludes many of the best candidates for advancing scientific knowledge, and foolishly focuses on persons well suited for the groupthink environment of a highly politicised academia.

Fortunately, it has not always been that way.

Leonardo
Source

Modern Science is Built on the Work of Men Who Had No Science Degree

Modern people have been conditioned to equate “schooling” with “education.” The two categories are not equivalent — and are often antithetical. The best education is obtained outside of the classroom, in the interactive real world — where being wrong has genuine consequences, and provides instant feedback.

The confusion between “schooling” and “useful education” is even greater when it comes to science. If a person is trained in a faulty paradigm of science, for example, his schooling actually works against his useful education. Such a person is unlikely to contribute to the advancement of the body of useful science.

A Few Famous Scientists Who Built the Foundations of Modern Science (Without a Science Degree):

Leonardo da Vinci . . . (1452 – 1519), mathematician, engineer, anatomist, geologist, botanist, inventor, artist.

 

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek . . . (1632 – 1723), first microbiologist, the “Father of Microbiology.”

 

Benjamin Franklin . . . (1706 – 1790), physicist, inventor, “America’s First Scientist.”

 

William Herschel . . . (1738 – 1822), astronomer, discoverer of the planet Uranus.

 

Caroline Herschel . . . (1750 – 1848), astronomer, younger sister of William Herschel above, named by the Royal Society one of “the ten women in British history who have had the most influence on science.”

 

Mary Somerville . . . (1780 – 1872), mathematician, astronomer, science writer, named by the Royal Society one of “the ten women in British history who have had the most influence on science,” also called the “Queen of nineteenth century science.”

 

Michael Faraday . . . (1791 – 1867), physicist, chemist, electromagnetism pioneer, coined ‘electrode’, ‘cathode’ and ‘ion.’

 

Mary Anning . . . (1799 – 1847), palaeontologist, fossilist, named by the Royal Society one of “the ten women in British history who have had the most influence on science.” The nursury rhyme and tongue twister “She Sells Sea Shells (by the Sea Shore)” was based on her.

 

Charles Goodyear . . . (1800 – 1860), chemist, discoverer of the process of vulcanizing rubber.

 

William Darwin Fox . . . (1805 – 1880), naturalist, entomologist (insect researcher).

 

Charles Darwin . . . (1809 – 1882), naturalist, evolutionary theorist, geologist.

 

William Fox . . . (1813 – 1881), palaeontologist (no relation to the William Darwin Fox above).

 

Henry David Thoreau . . . (1817 – 1862), naturalist. Also a famous author.

 

Thomas Henry Huxley (T.H. Huxley) . . . (1825 – 1895), biologist, anatomist, coined the term “agnostic.”

 

James Prescott Joule . . . (1818 – 1889), physicist, co-discoverer of the law of conservation of energy.

 

Gregor Mendel . . . (1822 – 1884), botanist, naturalist, first geneticist, the “Father of Modern Genetics.”

___ http://jamesaconrad.com/TK/famous-scientists-who-never-had-a-science-degree.html

Science Is as Science Does

The possession of a science degree does not make a person an actual scientist, and the lack of a science degree does not prevent one from doing world-class science. Consider an administrator, science populariser, or journal editor who happens to have a science degree. Is this person a scientist? Not unless he actually does science in a valid and disciplined manner.

By those criteria, most people who call themselves “scientists” today — PhD or no PhD — are not real scientists, but rather poseurs and pretenders. Some fields of “science”, such as climatology, are densely populated by such poseurs who play with computer models and participate in political polemics, rather than doing valid science.

What is Valid Science?

Science is primarily a verb, rather than a noun. It is a particular method, or way of doing things. Here are some basic principles of science:

§1 A scientific argument consists of clearly stated premises, inferences and conclusions.

§2 A scientific premise is verifiable. Premises and their sources are identified and readily available for independent verification.

§3 A scientific inference is logically valid.

§4 A scientific conclusion is deduced by application of axioms, definitions and theorems or measured properties and scientific concepts that have already been verified or validated.

§5 A scientific concept consists of statements that are logically valid conclusions deduced from premises that are themselves logically valid conclusions, axioms, definitions or theorems.

§6 A scientific concept is well-defined and has a well-defined capability of prediction within a well-defined context.

§7 A scientific concept can only be validated by comparison of predictions deduced from that concept with measurement results. Whenever predictions differ from measurement results, by more than the combined uncertainty of the measurement results and the claimed capability of the concept, there must be something wrong with the concept – or the test of it.

§8 A scientific concept can only be referred to as validated for the context covered by the validating tests.

§9 A scientific statement is based on verifiable data. Data and precise information about how that data was obtained are readily available for independent verification. Whenever data are corrected or disregarded, both uncorrected and corrected data are provided together with a scientific argument for the correction.

§10 A scientific measurement report contains traceable values, units and stated uncertainty for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.

§11 A scientific prediction report contains values, units and claimed capability for well-defined measurands in a well-defined context.

https://principlesofscience.wordpress.com

Unless a person follows guidelines or principles such as those listed above — contained in sources such as  …   Responsible Science, Volume I: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process; Panel on Scientific Responsibility and the Conduct of Research,  Singapore Statement on Research Integrity,  EPA’s Principles of Scientific Integrity, Max Planck Society – Rules of good scientific practice or  The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity, etc., he is unlikely to be “doing science,” and does not qualify as being a scientist.
More

Academics, Journalists, Politicians, Attorneys, Salesmen … All Lie for a Living

Much of the modern world is built upon pretense and deception. Such double-dealing is expected in politics, journalism, advertising, sales, law, academics, etc. But we expect better from our “scientists”, engineers, physicians, dentists, welders, electricians, mechanics, and plumbers — people who should know what they are doing and are held responsible for their work.

Academic “scientists” are largely held responsible for obtaining grants and getting published. Even if everything they say and publish is a lie or otherwise misleading, they are considered to be “successful scientists” if only they can obtain tenure and publish the requisite number of journal articles. But lately in addition, they are being required to pledge allegiance to groupthink dogmas and political correctness — things which should not be a part of a professional “scientists'” portfolio.

In a Corrupt Rent-Seeking Culture, Status is Everything; Integrity is Nothing

Mainstream culture celebrates everything that glitters — whether or not it is actually golden. From professional athletes to professional hucksters, if the mainstream bullhorns support a person or a cause, it has a good chance of succeeding — at least until the spotlight turns to something more novel and less stale.

Unfortunately, modern educational systems have become an integral part of this decadent mainstream culture. This means that graduates of mainstream educational systems are drawn to the celebrity mainstream — whether in science, journalism, or most any other line of work. Such a “status culture” leads its adherents to cut corners in the quest for celebrity status.

One sign of the corrupting effect on science of the status culture, is illustrated in the website “Retraction Watch.” Retraction Watch is a timid attempt to reveal scientific fraud. Such a halfhearted attempt can only barely scratch the surface — but a deeper penetration and exposure of scientific fraud would likely reveal much more about today’s backstage controllers of culture than would be healthy for any investigator.

Real Science is Harder Than Most “Scientists” Can Do

The discipline of good science is heavy and hard. Doing good science is not something that most citizens can do — just like doing world class neurosurgery or flying a supersonic fighter in a hostile environment are things that most citizens cannot do.

Unfortunately, universities have lowered their standards for accepting students and for granting degrees — for reasons economic and political. Many modern science graduates should never have been admitted to a rigorous programme of higher education to begin with. For students of low aptitude and poor disposition, there are areas of “science” which are highly politicised, which welcome them with open arms. Areas dealing with “climate,” “the environment,” “sustainability,” and the like are representative of these dumbed-down areas of pseudoscientific “science.”

And as one would expect, such persons are often the first ones to be called to testify for a congressional committee, or to be quoted in a mainstream media story. The status culture supports its own, regardless of scientific or logical validity.

Is it possible that much — or most — of the hundreds of $billions spent recently on science has been misallocated or even totally wasted? It is difficult to say. It is likely that no one wants to look very closely at the question, for fear of what may be revealed unwittingly. Damage control and coverups take time to put into place, and in the age of the internet, non-sanctioned news can travel at lightspeed — and be very difficult to eradicate completely from the net.

Today’s university professor, administrator, staff, student, and graduate, all feel that rules — such as scientific standards of conduct — are meant to be broken. Particularly if breaking the rules can advance a person’s status and success level. In such a status and celebrity culture, is it any wonder that Nobel prizes go to puffballs such as Obama or the IPCC? “Image is Everything,” as they say in elite circles.

And yet in the world outside of politics, journalism, university, and law, in a world where reality means something and failure can result in clearly attributable mass deaths — science is a verb, not a noun. Good science can be done by anyone — science degree or not — if they follow the rules.

If humans truly want an abundant and expansive future, they will need to turn away from the status-conscious celebrity culture of groupthink, and learn to tune in to the real universe and the discipline that such a tuning will require.

Science is a matter of evidence, not what a majority of scientists think…. The notion of a monolithic “science,” meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus.”
__ “Scientific Consensus” is an Oxymoron quoting John Kay of the Financial Times

Science is all about proving the old paradigm wrong, about destroying the consensus. Anyone who persecutes heretics in the name of consensus is no scientist.

Posted in Education, Science, University | Tagged | 11 Comments

China’s Shaky Foundations: A World at Risk

Update: Undercover investigation reveals that despite government claims, China is digging a deeper hole for itself

China Debt Exponential Growth Danger
Source


The world is watching China’s credit explosion, wondering how it will all end. It is a cold comfort that some of the same institutions that denied the subprime crisis of 2007-2008 are now denying a crisis of Chinese debt.

Speculative Frenzy Built on Exponential Debt Rise

much of the lending appears to represent a speculative frenzy, often involving residential real estate, that has become of increasing concern to some Chinese officials, bankers and economists.

… Shadow banking, or lending that takes place outside official banking channels, plays a major role in the Chinese economy, where big government-controlled banks are often slow to lend to private businesses and entrepreneurs. But experts worry that untrammeled shadow lending could lead to ticking time bombs that could threaten the financial system of the world’s second-largest economy. __ NYT

It is not only residential real estate that has been experiencing a frenzied, near mindless speculation in China. Debt accumulating beneath the behemoths of Chinese state owned enterprises represents an out of control risk to China’s economic future.

Not all speculative frenzies are created equal. If large numbers of savvy investors are free to invest in enterprises that offer high payoffs, a significant number of successes are likely — possibly lifting entire economies to a higher plateau of well-functioning and self-reinforcing capital systems. A number of countries have undergone “investment-led” financial booms over the past 100 years “including Germany in the 1930s, the Soviet Union in the early Cold War period, Brazil during the Brazilian miracle, South Korea after the Korean War, Japan before 1990, and China today—to name just the most important and obvious cases.” source

The US remains the most famous and enduring of the investment-led national economic booms:

the American financial system in the nineteenth century… was chaotic, prone to crises, mismanaged, and often fraudulent; yet the United States grew very rapidly during that time.

___ Michael Pettis

Indeed, the US in the 19th century grew from being an impoverished hodge-podge of conflicted ex-colonies to become the most wealthy nation on the planet. At the beginning of the 19th century, the US was little more than a mismatched set of raggedy former colonies, huddled along the Eastern seaboard of North America. By the end of the 19th century — despite a catastrophic mid-century civil war — the US had become a coast-to-coast commercial, financial, and industrial juggernaut.

The “wild west” nature of American finance throughout the explosive growth of the 19th century is part of the reason why the US grew so far, so quickly. But American finance incorporated an openness and a discipline — simultaneously — that the Chinese system lacks.

In the 19th century high-growth American financial system, private investment in high risk technology and infrastructure typically led government investment — often by a wide margin of time and dollar quantities. This is in contrast to the Chinese system, where government banks drive investment in infrastructure based upon political reasons.

In 19th century America, when ventures failed bad loans were written down almost immediately, and liquidated. That way the pain of failure was borne by investors quickly, and written off. This rapid casting off of the chains of past failures allowed 19th century America to move on from failed enterprises to future inventions, innovations, and enterprise. But China cannot do this, since so much of the failed and unnecessary industrial and infrastructure investment is tied up with the personal wealth of party officials at all levels of government.

… the American financial system then (and now) has been very good at providing money to risky new ventures. It provides capital on the basis not only of asset value but, more importantly, on future growth expectations, and risk-taking has been actively rewarded. In China, it isn’t clear that this is the case at all. Chinese banks favor large, well-connected, and often inefficient giants at the expense of risk-takers. ___ Source

The Consolidation of Power and Wealth by Xi Jinping

Long before the reign of Xi, Chinese wealth had become consolidated in the hands of high level government and military officials. But thanks to Xi’s “reforms,” final control of virtually all wealth and power now flows through the central party offices in Beijing.

So after five years of Xi, his main accomplishments seem to have been to consolidate his power while satisfying people’s desire for social change through crackdowns and promoting traditionalism. The problem is that these efforts come at the expense of actual reforms…

… The complete failure to reform the economy means that the government’s argument about low growth—that China’s economy has slowed only temporarily while the economy restructures—appears less and less plausible. Instead, what could be happening is that the country’s inability to reform further is sending it into the feared middle-income trap—a country that cannot take the next step to become a truly prosperous society. __ NYBooks

China economic specialist Michael Pettis has begun a series of essays looking at historical examples of “rapid-growth” economies over the past few centuries, and what ultimately became of them. His informed approach to economic history allows us to speculate in a more intelligent way regarding the fate of China’s ongoing drive for global prominence.

Looking at government-driven infrastructure spending, for example:

… there is a natural limit to infrastructure spending, and this limit is often imposed by institutional distortions in the market economy. When this natural limit is reached, more investment in infrastructure can be wealth-destroying, not wealth-enhancing, in which case it is far better to cut back on investment and to focus on reducing the institutional constraints to more productive use of capital, such as weak corporate governance and a weak legal framework. The pace of infrastructure investment cannot exceed the pace of institutional reform for very long without itself becoming a problem. __ Michael Pettis

When China Was Forced From an Export-Driven Economy to an Internal Stimulus Economy

After the 2007-2009 global deleveraging crisis, China’s economy was forced to rely far too much on financial stimulus from internal infrastructure investment. Massive misallocation and overproduction followed from the tangled political influences which guided this ongoing monstrous infrastructure stimulus. As a result, ghost cities were built alongside bridges and railways to nowhere. Huge wind and solar developments were built but never connected to the grid, left to rust. More on China bubble

Real Estate Oversupply
Source


David Stockman: China’s Monumental Ponzi Scheme

China’s economy has a certain resilience due to its massive size, and the incredible intelligence and energy of the Chinese worker and entrepreneur. Unfortunately, the rigid top-heavy Chinese system does not allow Chinese workers and entrepreneurs the investment capital and the freedom to produce and trade, which would allow the Chinese people as a whole to achieve the type of regional and global dominance of which they are capable.

Thus the very shaky foundations that underlie the system built by the Communist Party of China. No one knows when the fatal nudge will come, but the further Xi pushes his agenda of consolidation of power, the more brittle the Chinese system becomes in the face of inevitable external and internal chaos.

Summary:

China’s economic boom was loosely based upon the investment model of 20th century Japan, which itself copied the economically successful 19th century US investment-based model. As discussed in Michael Pettis’ clear essay linked below, China (and Japan) left out a number of critical features of the US investment model, which allowed 19th century America to leapfrog the economic powers of Europe to become the world’s greatest industrial, commercial, and financial power. A deeper look.

Full reading recommended to better understand what China would need to do to avoid falling into its own trap.

Posted in China, Economics, Empire | Tagged | 1 Comment

Climate Apocalypse Cult Built on Faulty Models

Why Climate Change Models So Badly Flawed

Climate is shaped by hundreds of factors, most of which scientists do not understand with any precision. In other words, most of the meaningful variables that contribute to the Earth’s chaotic climate cannot be well modeled. This helps explain why models fail.

The list of variables that shape climate includes cloud formation, topography, altitude, proximity to the equator, plate tectonics, sunspot cycles, volcanic activity, expansion or contraction of sea ice, conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation, reforestation, direction of winds, soil quality, El Niño and La Niña ocean cycles, prevalence of aerosols (airborne soot, dust, and salt) — and, of course, atmospheric greenhouse gases, both natural and manmade. A comprehensive list would run to hundreds, if not thousands, of elements, none of which scientists…understand with absolute precision. __ Source

IPPC Models vs. Observed Temperatures

Almost All Climate Models Fail Well to the High Side of Actual Temperatures

A group of scientists recently put out a new study confirming the 15-year “hiatus” in global warming. That study made headlines, but what went largely unnoticed was a major admission made by the paper’s authors: the climate models were wrong.

“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” John Fyfe, Canadian climate modeler and lead author of the new paper, told Nature. “We can’t ignore it.”

“Reality has deviated from our expectations – it is perfectly normal to try and understand this difference,” Ed Hawkins, co-author of the study and United Kingdom climate scientist, echoed in a blog post.

This is a huge admission by climate scientists and a big victory for skeptics of man-made global warming who have for years been pointing to a mismatch between climate model predictions and actual temperature observations.

__ Source

So What is Driving Climate Modelers to Pretend to Knowledge They Do Not Have?

The need to win research grants plays a part. Pretending to be able to understand and explain something will tend to win more grants than confessing one’s true ignorance and incomprehension.

…. about two-thirds of the models’ predicted future warming comes from factors that are not understood.

Now you can see why I said “You simply cannot do that”: When you get a discrepancy between a model and reality, you obviously can’t change the model’s known factors – they are what they are known to be. If you want to fiddle the model to match reality then you have to fiddle the unknowns. If your model started off a long way from reality then inevitably the end result is that a large part of your model’s findings come from unknowns, ie, from factors that are not understood. To put it simply, you are guessing, and therefore your model is unreliable. __ How Reliable Are Climate Models?

Problems in Modeling and Forecasting Climate Change
Climate Models Wrong for Six Decades

Below are a few factors involved in driving our chaotic global climate, along with level of understanding by science and degree of incorporation into models:

Factor Understood? Contribution to models’ predicted future warming
ENSO No 0%
Ocean Oscillations No 0%
Ocean Currents No 0%
Volcanoes No 0%
Wind No 0%
Water Cycle Partly (built into Water Vapour, below)
The Sun No 0%
Galactic Cosmic Rays (and aerosols) No 0%
Milankovich cycles No 0%
Carbon Dioxide Yes 37%
Water Vapour Partly 22% but suspect
Clouds No 41%, all highly suspect
Other (in case I have missed anything) 0%

Table Source

It is clear that since less important factors are over-emphasised — or misconstrued — in climate models, while more important factors are either ignored or their impacts distorted, that models have very little chance of representing real-world processes underlying actual climate change. But truthfully confessing their ignorance would not garner rich research grants to the grand collaboration, and would certainly not have won the IPCC the Nobel Prize.

This is not science, it is a cult. And since this cult threatens the world with an apocalyptic future if it is not given the power and wealth it demands, it is an apocalyptic cult. Further, since this apocalyptic cult deals with climate, it is most aptly labelled a “Climate Apocalypse Cult.”

More:

Eminent MIT Professor Richard Lindzen calls global warming hysteria a “cult”

Climate Cult leaders gain status, recognition, income, and a sense of belonging

Similarities to the Jim Jones suicide cult

What makes this cult a cult:

1) The Cult’s tenets cannot be disproved.
2) Only the State as Church can redeem us.
3) Participation is not optional. Confiscatory tithing is mandatory.
4) Climate cult texts, idols, and all forms of worship will be tolerated in all places public and private,
5) All citizens will perform “regulatory penance.”
6) Failed prophesies are not evidence of illegitimacy.
7) Revered texts may be “reinterpreted” by Cult Clerics (see also: experts) at any time to ensure that the ‘evidence’ reinforces the belief system.
8) If you refuse to accept cult doctrine you are a denier.
9) Deniers may be pilloried in public, excommunicated from any scientific or professional community, may not in any number represent a consensus, must repent to be cleansed of their sin or take a vow of silence.
10) Deniers may be charged by the State with crimes against the Faith.

There is a new sheriff in the White House, and at least one of his deputies is taking aim at this cult-like takeover of much of US science and energy policy.

If humans are to have an abundant and expansive future, they must stop wasting resources and personnel on cult-like pseudoscience.

We’re gonna need a lot more guillotines.

Extra:

Intentional global warming on Mars: Creating a backup planet in case of the next ice age. And then, there is Backup Plan B.


h/t FabiusMaximus

True Confessions of Climate Change Denier

Posted in Climate, Doom, Folly of Prediction, Groupthink | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Green Energy is an Unimitigated Disaster

Residential Energy Prices 2016
Source
In Germany, the world leader in green energy, electricity prices have now reached a level triple those paid in the United States. See chart. Imagine the anger here if middle-class Americans saw a tripling of their utility bills each month.


Germany, Australia, and Ontario — among other jurisdictions — made catastrophic errors in judgment when they committed their constituents to a dependency on unreliable, unaffordable, poor quality wind and solar energy. Now, these governments are beginning to pay the price for their ideologically-driven energy policy decisions. Some of them, such as Spain and Sweden, have been wise enough to begin stepping back from the precipice.

Sweden announced a decade ago that it was all in on green energy and launched a wind power program that the politicians have now had to embarrassingly acknowledge has become hopelessly expensive and inefficient. They are now shutting down wind turbines and the government will phase out the subsidies that have been lavished on the industry.

The EU spent an estimated $750 billion on green energy handouts over the past decade and what it has bought for that is a doubling of its power costs. This has given American steel, auto, light manufacturing, agriculture, and technology firms a big competitive edge in world markets. This is why European nations and Australia are understandably desperate for the U.S. to move to the same green energy policies that they adopted years ago. __ Affordable, Reliable Energy is a Life or Death Matter

Misery loves company. That is why Europe desperately needs for the US to jump over the precipice alongside her. Otherwise, Europe may have no high-energy industries left before long.

Germany is Losing Jobs in Multiple Sectors Due to Green Energy Overreach

Germany has been losing jobs in energy-intensive industries due to growing energy costs and increasing instability of the power grid — thanks to an over-penetration of erratic wind and solar energy schemes. What is more astounding is that even in the “green energy jobs sector,” Germany is losing jobs. All this, despite rocketing government expenditures on green subsidies.

According to McKinsey’s survey, there has been “a drop in the workforce in energy-intensive industries” for the first time in 2016. In March 2016, there were a total of 15,000 workers less than half a year earlier…

… For the time being, however, household electricity prices continue to rise, from 29.35 cents per kilowatt hour to now 30.38 cents. “The European average energy price has declined slightly over the same period,” the McKinsey study says. “Meanwhile, the price level for German household electricity is 47.3 percent above the European average.” The overall costs will thus continue to rise – by 14 billion euros by the year 2025. The costs then would be at 77 billion euro per annum. __ Welt via GWPF

Idiotic German government energy policies are destroying Germany’s power utility industry, along with all the industries that depend upon high levels of reliable, affordable electric power. These industries are slowly but surely packing their bags and moving away from Deutschland, taking their jobs with them. The Germans themselves are finding it more difficult to pay to stay warm through their long, cold, cloudy winters.

Now investors, workers, and taxpayers are counting their losses from the green energy disaster. E.on’s and RWE’s stocks have lost 80 percent of their value from the old time highs, as the two companies have had to adjust their business model to the green policies. Workers have been losing their jobs, and taxpayers are in for billions of euros to cover the write off of nuclear plants—E.on and RWE have won lawsuits against government.

As of German consumers, they pay one of the highest electricity rates in the developed world. __ Forbes

What Underlies Such Stupidity Across Europe, Australia, and Other Anglosphere Countries?

Across most of Europe and much of the Anglosphere, a cult-like ideological groupthink pervades most academic, media, and governmental discussions about energy and climate. The minds of journalists, academicians, bureaucrats, and political activists have been marinating in a vat of politically correct lefty-green distilled spirits for decades. These minds are now poorly suited for any work other than acting as part of the great green echo choir. Here is how college students are conditioned:

College professors are tasked not only with shaping the minds of their students but also setting the tone for the intellectual climate and cultivating a fully contextualized, long-term outlook when it comes to current issues. In many cases, professors have influenced or even directed student responses to controversies like the election of Donald Trump. (All of these trends, furthermore, are even more pronounced in our nation’s liberal arts colleges.)

So why should this set off alarm bells? It should do so because our nation’s professors have moved ideologically so far to the left over the past few decades that they have fundamentally broken with the broader American polity, and even incoming freshman that they hope to guide and influence. __ American Interest

Universities have become an ideological and philosophical monoculture, preventing young people from being able to develop their own minds independently from the moulding effect of highly opinionated and generally intolerant professors. Parents often go into debt into the hundreds of $thousands of dollars in order for their children to become indoctrinated into closed-mindedness. This process is often referred to as an “academic lobotomy.”

The same mind-set predominates in media centres, government bureaucracies, and in political lobbies/NGOs/activist institutes and foundations, across Europe and the Anglosphere. But despite the best efforts of this massive international echo choir, US President Donald Trump was elected in November of 2016, and the world of leftist groupthink may never be the same.

The great panic on the left and the resultant attacks on Trump are the left’s response to this fear. The left is desperate to prevent the light of consciousness from being directed at the intricate mental structure leftists have erected. Once a single pillar has been removed, the entire structure will begin to crumble, and it will become apparent that the progressive fantasy is merely a construction of ideas with no basis in reality.

Source

Thankfully, President Trump has made it known that adopting more of the policy quackery of Europe — at a time when the U.S. Has more recoverable shale oil and gas and more clean coal than any other nation on the planet — is no way to make America great again. Europe is running away from the fantasy of green energy, and this is one rare instance when America may want to follow their lead. __ Source

Just a fraction of the costs of the green energy scam

The absolute waste of it all

Beware government mandates and subsidies

The Groupthink Cult at the Foundation of the Green Energy Scam

For far too long, one body of men, establishment climate scientists, has been permitted to be judges and parties on what the “risks to the Earth system associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide” really are. __ Professor Richard Lindzen

The climate apocalypse cult comprises large numbers of self-interested persons in university, journalism, government, $billion environmental juggernauts, “science” journals, and other institutions of society. $Trillions are at stake around the world, and these corrupt and dishonest cultists will not hesitate to sacrifice the reliability of western power grids on the altar of ideological groupthink.

This quasi-criminal ideological cabal is at the heart of the green energy scam.

Science itself — as an institution, not as a method — is getting an ugly black eye from allowing itself to be corrupted in this manner. Clearly, we’re gonna need a lot more guillotines!

Technical Papers (PDF):

Comparing Costs of Intermittent and Dispatchable Electricity Generating Technologies

MIT: Managing Large Scale Integration of Intermittent Renewables

More:

A clear and detailed explanation why modern wind turbines cannot reliably serve a public power grid PDF

Reliable, affordable, high quality electric power drives modern human civilisation. Maintaining the electrical grid is a life or death matter, and cannot be trusted to ideologues.

Posted in Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Europe, Germany, Green Quagmire | Tagged | 3 Comments

Bernie Sanders Praised Fidel Castro, the Sandinistas, the Venezuelan System . . .

America Needs Revolution, says Sanders.

Bernie Sanders’ admiration for revolutionary socialism goes back several decades. In 1985 Sanders filmed an interview in which he expressed admiration for Fidel Castro, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. More recently, he has admired the system of Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela, and other Latin American socialist paradises — all of which have failed or are failing badly.

Venezuela is Dying

Venezuela is a Real Riot
Source

Venezuela is, however, a true global leader in violence. Shootings, stabbings, grenades, bombs, tear gas, kidnappings, gang violence, extortion; you name it, we’ve got it.

Senior Venezuelan officials traffic drugs and weapons throughout the Americas with bedfellows Iran and Hezbollah. While at a lower level, regime cronies and corrupt law enforcement agencies serve as local arms dealers, and soldiers supplement their wages through the sale of all sorts of weaponry and military materiel. It is therefore no surprise when criminal bands use grenades and automatic rifles to assert their authority, and exert revenge.

And why not? They can get away with it. Impunity is the name of the game in Venezuela. Over 90 percent of cases are never tried. And when impunity and injustice pervade throughout a quasi-anarchical society, the people inevitably take the law into their own hands. In recent years there has been a distinct rise in street trials, public lynching, and revenge killings involving blood and guts worthy of an episode of Game of Thrones, not a modern country. __ The Hill

This is Bernie Sanders’ workers’ paradise in the flesh. Like the failed state of Cuba, Venezuela illustrates the impoverished ideology of punishing success and rewarding corruption.

At Havana’s state-run retail hubs, reports Nick Miroff, “Customers with long shopping lists face no fewer than seven places to stand in line. One for butter. Another for cooking oil. A third for toothpaste. And so on.” The caption to a dismal accompanying photograph shows people waiting “hours for their government ration of chicken.”

This is what happens when central planners think they can allocate economic resources better than the unguided hand of individual free choice. Like any good scientific experiment, this one is easily replicated, and has been time and again. See, for example, Venezuela, which has now run out of toilet paper, tampons, and other basic necessities because some people there think they should make all the choices for other people. And yet for many, the repeated lesson still has not sunk in. In an unintentionally hilarious essay about Cuba not so long ago, one writer noted that “the people are hungry here. There are severe food shortages. I do not understand why a tropical island would lack fruits and vegetables . . . and my only assumption is that maybe they have to export it all.”

The cognitive dissonance when socialist theory interacts with the real world, is staggering. But if someone has never learned to appreciate reality even when it is punching them in the nose, he may not be aware of why he is feeling so dizzy.

One can understand this obstinate obtuseness in the very young. Socialism is often taught to high school and college students as the embodiment of good intentions, compassion, and “doing the right thing.” The sad, real world results wherever socialism is seriously implemented, are omitted from the history lessons, so as not to confuse the little biters.

But for someone to grow to the ripe old age of 75 and still be spouting the same gibberish, as if he had not been refuted by the real world every time he turned around, that requires a deep corruption and dishonesty of the soul which goes far deeper than your average judge or civil servant taking a bribe.

Bernie Sanders and the $15 Minimum Wage

Bernie Sanders publicly supports a national increase in the US minimum wage to $15 an hour.

If you are a manufacturer of robots, it makes sense to promote a $15 minimum wage. Robot sales would increase exponentially, and thousands of new uses for robots would be found inside every industry which employs minimum wage workers.

But unfortunately, large numbers of low wage workers would lose their jobs, tens of thousands of businesses would fail, and low-skilled workers of every age — but especially the young and late middle-aged — would find it impossible to get paying work outside of the black market and criminal enterprises.

Young People Who Have Never Studied Philosophy, Economics, History, and Psychology Deeply, Follow Like Sheep

News media coverage and academic teachings have failed to reveal to young people the inevitable results that come when a nation follows “the socialist way.” And so a new generation has grown up ignorant of the 100 million + deaths in the 20th century that followed naturally after the adoption of communism [PDF document] in China, Russia, Cambodia, Vietnam. Far more than died from all of the wars in Europe and Asia, from the genocide of Hitler — more were killed by communist policies, under the banner of creating a socialist utopia. And apparently, socialism is not yet satisfied with past blood-lettings. The followers of Bernie Sanders will not be content with beating and pepper-spraying old people who support a form of populism which socialists don’t like.

Privileged young people follow Sanders like sheep, not understanding the movement’s ideological underpinnings and the world toward which that ideology is leading them.

A mild fact-checking of some of Sanders’ claims

Lefty-Greens Would Like to See 90% of Humans Die Off

The green leftist movement, the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, seems innocent enough. Their strategy is to stop all human breeding so that humans can die off, and allow the Earth’s natural ecology to recover to its pre-human pristine state.

Another leftist approach to generating a mass human die-off sounds slightly more realistic, and ominous. The scientists referred to in the excerpt below want to concoct a deadly virus to do the job.

Professor Pianka said the Earth as we know it will not survive without drastic measures. Then, and without presenting any data to justify this number, he asserted that the only feasible solution to saving the Earth is to reduce the population to 10 percent of the present number.

He then showed solutions for reducing the world’s population in the form of a slide depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. War and famine would not do, he explained. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved.

Pianka then displayed a slide showing rows of human skulls, one of which had red lights flashing from its eye sockets.

AIDS is not an efficient killer, he explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. However, Professor Pianka did not mention that Ebola victims die a slow and torturous death as the virus initiates a cascade of biological calamities inside the victim that eventually liquefy the internal organs.

After praising the Ebola virus for its efficiency at killing, Pianka paused, leaned over the lectern, looked at us and carefully said, “We’ve got airborne 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that.”
__ Ron Bailey

Apologists for Pianka and for those who gave him a standing ovation, protest that Pianka was “only kidding.” But Professor Pianka is not the only green leftist to go on record longing for a great human dieoff of 90% of Earth’s population or more.

If All the World Were Socialist, The Dieoff Would Take Care of Itself

The human population is admittedly too large for its “carrying capacity,” if all the world were socialist. The same is true for a world where the average human population IQ is 75, as in black Africa. In the socialist case, human enterprise and innovation would be intentionally hamstrung and electively lobotomised. In the case of low global average IQ, humans could simply not produce enough scientists, engineers, technologists, clever managers, biomedical providers and researchers, and all the other bright people who do the work for the less gifted 90%.

The dieoff is always there in the background, just waiting for “Atlas to Shrug,” or for the smart fraction to call it a day. A Bernie Sanders-style government would go a long way toward bringing such a thing about.

More: A few reasons why leftists have increasingly taken on the stench of dog shite recently

Posted in Government, Politics | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Incredible Shrinking Left

“We have to teach [people] how to communicate, how to be sensitive and how to shut their mouths if they are white.”

Source

The Left’s increasingly violent protesters are Trump’s greatest allies. This reaction by the American public is logical and just, contributing to the long stability of our society.

Source

The Great Leftist Temper Tantrum Backfires

Beaten and Pepper Sprayed by Privileged Young Leftists
Image Source

Peaceful marchers are beaten and pepper sprayed by leftist thugs. Is George Soros happy with his handiwork?

Leftists in media, the Deep State, and on university campuses have gone into full derangement panic, as they rage from temper tantrum to temper tantrum — behaving simultaneously as thugs and spoiled children. They should not be surprised if such behaviours cause public opinion to turn against them.

[Leftists] mystified by the election of Donald Trump might look to the Middlebury assault—in which Charles Murray was shouted down and physically pursued as he left campus while the professor escorting him was attacked and put in a neck brace—for a slice of the explanation. The answer may lie less in the grotesque conduct of college students awash in—wait for it, wait for it—privilege than in what the impassioned youth never said. __ Liberty Law Site

Are they trying to start a “civil war?” Apparently, yes. But so far much restraint has been shown toward these pampered groupthinking flecks of excrement and their backers. We can hope that provocateurs of violence such as Soros, Obama, mainstream media execs, Deep State operatives, university administrators and professors, and persons in both the Bernie Sanders camp and the Hillary Clinton camp will not get their fondest wish for large-scale bloodletting.

Some of this leftist outrage is clearly staged, astroturfed and financed by political saboteurs. But much of the violent and oppressive behaviour by leftists is a result of emerging threats to their power base and an eroding of their control of public speech and finance. The ability of mainstream media, Deep State bureaucracy, and university thugs to shut down free speech is becoming attenuated in the age of Trump. More on intolerant leftist bullying on campus.

The Left Expected to Control Speech, Policymaking, and Public Funding Indefinitely

Everything had been going so well for the anti-western left during the 8 years of Obama’s imperial reign. It has been a desperate shock to their systems to have to face the unhappy victims of their incompetent management, in the form of a populist democratic backlash. Reality sucks for those who cannot handle the truth of their own inadequacies and slippery grasp of the actual mechanisms of the real world. Fantasy ideologies eventually destroy those who never bothered to grow beyond their absurdist and delusional logic structures.

It Takes At Least 2 Years for Meaningful Reform to Kick In

When Ronald Reagan was elected almost 37 years ago, his much-needed reforms to the badly corrupted system of US governance took roughly 2 years to bring about a radical resurgence in prosperity and morale which lasted almost 20 years. The expected Clinton collapse never happened, thanks to the 1994 mid-term elections and the radical reformist congress which helped to reinforce and extend Reagan’s earlier reforms. It took over 10 years for Bill Clinton’s time bomb to go off.

The Clinton-Bush-Obama dynasty of incompetence has finally brought the corrupt zombie government back into a dominant position, and it is likely that violent turbulence in the system will result from any honest efforts to reform the Deep State and its many deadly tendrils extending into media, academia, the corporate culture, and all other cultural institutions.

More:

Leftist media bubble exposed

The leftist bubble-reality encompasses most of media, social sciences and humanities in universities, Deep Government, nonprofit foundations, activist lobbies, NGOs, and the diversity racket penetrating all of the above as well as corporations. Consensus groupthink makes idiots of entire generations. Only those trained in sceptical contrarianism — such as Dangerous Children — will easily see through the ideological blinders worn by virtually everyone else.

Posted in Groupthink, Idiocracy, Politics, University | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Is China’s Goose Cooked? And Other Bedtime Stories

Economically, China needs a powerful recession to get rid of businesses being kept alive by loans. Politically, China can’t afford the cost of unemployment. The re-emergence of a dictatorship in China under President Xi Jinping should be understood in this context. China is trapped between an economic and political imperative. __ Cooking Its Own Goose

China’s Goose is Cooked
Wikipedia


China’s huge and growing “debt mountain” is unsustainable. China accounts for half of global debt since 2005, and Chinese debt has been increasing dramatically in the last few years.

Non-performing loans and bond defaults are mushrooming — especially in the “state owned enterprise” economic sector. Chinese investment is losing its punch, as it requires 3 units of currency to achieve 1 unit of growth. This means that failing enterprises must take out new loans to pay the interest on previous loans. This situation is sometimes referred to as a debt pyramid, or credit bubble.

Without the election of President Trump, China could have limped along for another 4 or 5 years without serious reforms, as its debt mountain continues to build. But with the election of US President Donald Trump, China is in great difficulty. President Trump’s threats to rejuvenate US manufacturing and to meet Chinese tariffs with new tariffs of his own — tit for tat — represent a huge threat to China’s economic (and military) plans.

The Chinese economy is experiencing a real and worrisome slowing — slow enough that even defence spending must be slowed. It is generally believed by wise China observers that China will grow old before it grows wealthy, on a per capita basis. The Chinese workforce is already beginning to shrink, as large population cohorts are ageing into the senescent years.

Notice the abrupt dropoff in population as the teen cohorts move into young adulthood.
China’s working age population is dropping off, representing significant problems for the workforce, agriculture, and the military.
IndexMundi

China’s economic miracle, like that of Japan before it, is over. Its resurrection simply isn’t working, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. Sustained double-digit economic growth is possible when you begin with a wrecked economy. In Japan’s case, the country was recovering from World War II. China was recovering from Mao Zedong’s policies. Simply by getting back to work an economy will surge. If the damage from which the economy is recovering is great enough, that surge can last a generation.

… China has a massive industrial system linked to the appetites of the United States and Europe. It is losing competitive advantage at the same time that political systems in some of these countries are generating new barriers to Chinese exports. There is talk of increasing China’s domestic demand, but China is a vast and poor country, and iPads are expensive. It will be a long time before the Chinese economy generates enough demand to consume what its industrial system can produce. __ China’s Continued Decline

China and Russia: 2 Nations With Neo-Imperial Ambitions Facing Economic/Demographic Straits

Although both China and Russia find themselves facing serious economic obstacles in their quest for neo-empire, neither nation has toned down its bellicose rhetoric or violent acting-out on the international stage. Russia is refining the accuracy and stealth of its nuclear missile forces, and China is attempting to build its own ability to project military force far beyond its borders.

Russia faces a severe reduction in its ethnic Russian population over the next few decades, especially in its working age cohorts. China’s demographic situation is not nearly so severe, although the impact of a shrinking workforce will put a painful squeeze on many of the CCP’s ambitions.

Innovation and productivity are both relatively poor in China/Russia, and entrepreneurial opportunities are restricted to the few well-connected persons at the top of these corrupt societies. In the face of shrinking foreign investment and reduced technology transfer from overseas, neither nation can expect to escape from the existential hole their respective governments have dug for their societies. Massive misallocation of resources into their corrupt military and propaganda sectors only aggravates the long term problems for these misfits.

Back in the US, Trump Attempts Radical Reform

The greatest fear of the American media, academia, and the Deep State, is that Trump might actually succeed in bringing about a much needed economic remodeling and rejuvenation in the US. Thus the deranged hysteria which dominates American media outlets, university campuses, and Deep State sleepers deep inside multiple government agencies and departments. And yet for all their efforts, these reactionaries are panicking and making mistakes that are likely to come back to haunt them.

Meanwhile, chief executive officer Donald Trump continues to follow his basic plan — to drain the swamp, kill the parasites, and create conditions for profitable commerce and job formation to return to the US.

The U.S. tax system has undermined capital formation by taxing productive savings and investment several times at high rates. The proposals to greatly reduce the corporate tax rate and to expense investment (an immediate write-off) will do much to make the United States internationally competitive again. These tax changes, along with a large reduction in individual tax rates that are above the long-run revenue and growth maximizing rates, will spur growth. The House Republicans have proposed a controversial border adjustment tax to fill a projected revenue hole from the tax rate reductions. It may be illegal under the World Trade Organization rules, and would be unnecessary if greater spending cuts were made…

As has been widely recognized, the United States has been suffering from a huge regulatory drag. Those responsible for producing all of the new regulations failed to do serious cost-benefit analyses and, hence, hundreds of thousands of regulations have been issued in which the costs far outweigh the benefits to the economy. The administration has already begun a rollback of the most destructive regulations, and a concerted effort to get rid of all of the counterproductive ones might add as much as 1 percent to economic growth.

Economic growth comes about from capital formation — the use of more and better tools, and more and higher-skilled labor. The labor force participation rate is at a three-decade low, indicating that, with the right incentives, there are many millions who might re-enter the work force. There are endless true stories about the mismatch between the skills that employers need and what people are trained to do. Too many young people are pushed into college where they take many useless courses — making them, in some cases, less employable — rather than obtaining a tech education or entering apprenticeship programs for which the Swiss and Germans excel. __ Roll Back the Constraints

Don’t Forget Immigration

What the US government could learn from Australia on immigration:

Today, after more than two decades of change, Australia maintains a list of skilled occupations for which practitioners get visa preferences. Applicants for visas must qualify by accumulating points for various characteristics, including competency in English, post-secondary education or certification in a trade, and a history of skilled employment. The emphasis pays off in workers who more quickly integrate into the country’s economy and boost its economic output. According to the Productivity Commission report, the median annual income of Australia’s skilled immigrants is above that of the population in general, while the income of those entering the country under family preferences is below the median. And family-preference immigrants have higher rates of unemployment than the overall population, while skilled migrants are more likely to be employed.

Reformers have tried to move America toward such a system, but opponents denigrate the idea as a violation of “family values.” When in 2007 Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy proposed reform legislation that would adopt a skills approach, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama objected, as did Hillary Clinton, claiming that the reforms would separate families. This idea, however, ignores the fact that most immigrants come here willingly, not by force; no other country assumes that when an immigrant arrives, he gains the right to bring over his entire family. Under most skills-based systems, workers who gain entry can bring their spouses and their minor-age children—but not adult relatives. __ https://www.city-journal.org/html/trumps-more-important-immigration-plan-15040.html

Most intelligent and observant people now understand that it was former president Obama’s intent to weaken the US both domestically and internationally. Obama’s intentional degradation of an already corrupt and broken system of immigration is as clear an evidence of his malign intent as any of the dozens of other destructive policies that the former Illinois state senator foisted onto the longsuffering American people.

Useful reading to clarify context and expand mental peripheries:

The Great Equalizer by David Smick
The Accidental Superpower by Peter Zeihan

There are reasons why the US catapulted from a deeply indebted hodge-podge of small new world colonies to the wealthiest nation on Earth in just 100 years (1790 – 1890) — despite suffering a bloody mulit-year interruption in the middle of this growth period (US Civil War 1861-1865). The degree to which the USA represented a radical departure from the traditional way of doing things was reflected in the rapid rise from one of the most impoverished nations to the most wealthy nation on the globe just 100 years after the US Constitution was ratified.

There are four basic guidelines to maintaining [this ascent]: (1) guarantee the rule of law over the rule of personality, group or ideology, (2) keep knowledge open and transferable, while at the same time protect rights to ideas, (3) ensure peace and tranquility, and (4) have a private and transparent venture capital system that will make investments — and reap the benefits from those investments — based on the value of the project not on whether the project is politically well-connected.

__ http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/321861-the-key-to-americas-prosperity

And even now, over 200 years since, the “Accidental Superpower” threatens to extend its economic leadership for another century, if necessary reforms are carried out.

Unstable Eurasia Disintegration Alert
http://zeihan.com/tas-graphics/

Posted in China, Demographics, Donald Trump, Economics, Empire, geopolitics, Peter Zeihan, Politics, Russian Decline | Tagged , ,

College: Are You Just Wasting Your Time?

Worthwhile Degrees by Field Source

Worthwhile Degrees by Field
Source

Not All Degrees are Created Equal

Some degrees allow students to pay back their college loans rather quickly. But more than half of modern four year degrees leave graduates competent to do little more than flip burgers, wait tables, or drive a shuttle van. Very few youth are prepared to choose a path through the higher ed labyrinth. As a result, hundreds of $billions are wasted in the US on non-performing degrees. The growing mountain of student debt that results from this societal ineptitude and government/university/bank collusion to defraud, is staggering.

… tuition is “on a runaway train” because the federal government is too eager to underwrite student loans and universities have no incentive to keep tuition affordable.

“What they’re trying to do is ask taxpayers to subsidize more kids to go to college, when they may not in fact need to,” he said. __ Source

As a result of college debt — particularly money owed for worthless degrees — contemporary youth are more likely to postpone their lives for lack of funds, sometimes indefinitely.

The standard repayment plan for federal student loans puts borrowers on a 10-year track to pay off their debt, but research has shown the average bachelor’s degree holder takes 21 years to pay off his or her loans. __ Source

There are Alternatives to this Treadmill to Nowhere

A tremendous disconnect between the US educational system and the real world of work and commerce

When young people are shunted through a mass production educational system that disregards the student’s needs and misjudges real-world demand, the resulting waste of human potential is incalculable. Alternatives to the university system abound, which would better suit roughly 75% of young people who are realistically unsuited for college — or have no interest in higher education.

Encouraging students to consider the trades and parents to give their children the money they would spend on a four-year college degree to put a down payment on a house might be a better use of finite economic resources. The alternative of forcing the proverbial square peg into a round hole will condemn another generation to student debt slavery forcing them to put off buying a home or getting married.

… The root of the problem is intervention by the federal government in providing student loans. Since 1965 when President Johnson signed the Higher Education Act tuition, room, and board has increased from $1,105 per year to $18,943 in 2014–2015. This is an increase of 1,714 percent in 50 years. In addition, the Higher Education Act of 1965 created loans which are made by private institutions yet guaranteed by the federal government and capped at 6.8 percent. In case of default on the loans, the federal government — that is, the taxpayers — pick up the tab in order for these lenders to recover 95 cents on every dollar lent. Loaning these funds at below market interest rates and with the federal government backing up these risky loans has led to massive malinvestment as the percentage of high-school graduates enrolled in some form of higher education has increased from 10 percent before World War II to 70 percent by the 1990s. __ Source

Kids go to college these days to learn to binge, fornicate, and receive an indoctrination in lifelong incompetence.

The above aphorism is true for many, but not for all college students. For some, getting a four year degree is worthwhile, and opens the way to a lifetime of real world learning, living, and accomplishment. But for far too many, the college experience becomes a gateway to indebtedness and the first of many failed expectations.

Most children are indoctrinated by the triumvirate of corruption: mass media, government, and the school systems. Today’s parents tend to hand over control of their children to society — from daycare to university. A weakening and eventual breakdown of society is the clear result.

Student Loan Debt Statistics

More articles on alternatives to college on The Dangerous Child blog

Remember: Dangerous Children master at least three ways of supporting themselves financially by the age of 18. At that point, if they wish to pay their way through college, they can afford it. They might also receive the equivalent of several advanced degrees in science, engineering, information technology, or other substantial fields via online training, at a very low cost. But more likely, they will invest and start a number of businesses and build an independent income base at a relatively early age. Most will likely then go on to network with others like themselves, in order to build a more abundant and expansive human future.

The choice is clear: Continue allowing government, big education, and big finance to destroy the futures of the young — or begin instilling competence and mastery into children from an early age and let the wise and skillful children and youth take control of their own futures from a position of strength.

Posted in Dangerous Child, Education, Online Education, University | Tagged | 1 Comment

Ugly US Economy Wins “Least Ugly Economy” Beauty Contest

By some measures, the US is neither the most productive economy nor the most innovative per capita. The US government is mired deeply in exponentially expanding debt, and US society is undergoing a demographic decline of a dysgenic nature. And yet a growing flood of foreign money is pouring into the US, and there is no sign of any slowing in foreign investment. In the global quest for a safe haven there is a perception that as bad as the US economy has been, every other economy in the world is worse.

Since the 2008 financial crisis foreigners have been big buyers of everything American… Foreign investors yearn for safety but also sense something else — that America may be poised for extraordinary economic achievement. __ Chapter 8 : A Nation of Dreamers
The Great Equalizer by David M. Smick

More

Roots of Innovation Source

Roots of Innovation
Source


The more socialist and corrupt countries — such as Bernie Sanders’ darling Venezuela — stifle innovation and bedevil living standards at all levels besides the corrupt elites at the very top.

Even in the Ugly Obama Economy, the US Led in Foreign Direct Investment

The US leads all other nations in foreign direct investment, followed by Hong Kong, China, UK, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Canada, and Singapore, to round out the top 10. Source: Foreign Direct Investment Wikipedia

The US takes the leading position, not because the US system is so attractive, but because other systems are uglier.

But now, with the prospects of a significant overhaul in the US tax code along with several other US government policy changes meant to bring multinational investment and capital to the US, the chances of a significant boost in the outlook of the US economy are growing better.

The story below illustrates just one large venture capitalist who is poised to invest in the US economy, now that the tables are turning in favour of enterprise and commerce, for a change.

The world’s largest technology investor is preparing to ramp up his bet on the Trump economy.

Masayoshi Son, the billionaire technology entrepreneur from Japan, promised President Trump late last year that he would create 50,000 new jobs in the United States through a $100 billion technology fund.

Now, Mr. Son and his financial advisers are weighing several major possible deals… __ Source

Mr. Son is not alone in choosing to invest in an economic resurgence in North America. The reasons for Son’s investment optimism would be clear to anyone who had read just two recent books: Peter Zeihan’s “The Accidental Superpower,” and David Smick’s “The Great Equalizer.”

Optimism does not come easily to those raised on the tainted milk of jaded journalism and ubiquitous societal cynicism. But a steady diet of popular cynicism too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and one of today’s most insidious stunter of minds.

Cutting Through the Intentional Sabotage by Angry Sore Losers

The concern triggered by Trump’s election stems in no small part from the rise of what I call “Trumpology” – the incessant scrutiny of Trump’s personality, his statements, and his tweets. Trumpology is a new growth industry and the media embraces it because it fits their definition of a newsworthy story perfectly. Trump’s communications generate all the criteria journalists look for in a good story: conflict, anxiety, comedy, theater, and outrage. This helps media companies, even those attacked by Trump, sell advertising like hotcakes. Many experts now spend their time putting Trump’s words under the microscope, seeking to identify all the disasters they might create. In addition, psychologists have been busy analyzing his personality and upbringing in order to explain why he is acting so weird. __ https://warontherocks.com/2017/03/doomsday-cancelled-trump-is-good-news-for-allies-and-world-peace/

Under Obama, US government spending raised the national debt to $20 trillion, more than double where it was when Obama’s first term began. Government spending profligacy was combined with anti-business policies which would have eventually destroyed the US economy — with only the well-connected elites at the very top of the system left relatively unscathed. To most observors, there seems no clear way out from this dead-end trap of exponential growth in government debt and spending.

The only way for the US to emerge from Obama’s avalanche of death-by-snowballing-debt is to create the conditions under which the private sector US economy can grow in a rapid but sustainable manner. If the incentives are properly set, the boom can go on — with occasional minor corrections — for decades. At the same time, US government regulations and spending must be put to the sharp scalpel and cut to the bone of bare necessity.

In addition, the US needs to surmount the political losers’ attempts to sabotage society and the economy. Here are some examples of how the current political opposition is marginalising itself:

Beware pepper spray in hands of deranged political agitators

Hyperbolic outrage backfires

With All the Violent Bernie Sanders Supporters Running About, Some Useful Tips

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444659/trump-opponents-outrage-ineffective-overdone

Stupid Outrage

http://www.infowars.com/flashback-numerous-dems-obama-also-met-with-russian-ambassador/

https://slowfacts.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/why-democrat-cities-are-so-violent/ (via gunfreezone)

Analysis of Left’s mob violence at Middlebury, their fast track to irrelevance.

The more temper tantrums and misfires the leftist opposition attempts, the more marginalised they make themselves. Bad enough that they are abysmally ignorant of philosophy, economics, history, and evolutionary psychology. By diving headfirst into the shallow pool of violent destructiveness and uninformed belligerent activism, they freeze themselves at the lowest levels of ignorance and incompetence.

If the US left wishes back into the game, they will need to relent to constructive engagement, rather than their repeated attempts to blow things up and burn things down.

More on innovation and intellectual property index rankings:

Being Least Ugly is Cold Comfort

Escaping The Obama Curse Image Source

Escaping The Obama Curse
Image Source

By the criterion of adult work rates, by contrast, employment conditions in America remain remarkably bleak. From late 2009 through early 2014, the country’s work rates more or less flatlined. So far as can be told, this is the only “recovery” in U.S. economic history in which that basic labor-market indicator almost completely failed to respond.

Call it the “non-recovery recovery.” Obama never meant for the US to escape eternal stagnation, and under a President Sanders or President H. Clinton, it never would.

If the Trump administration receives sufficient cooperation from the Congress and the courts to unleash North America’s pent-up entrepreneurial energy and sequestered capital, the US may yet grow its way into another few decades of boom years, similar to what happened after the Reagan reforms, lasting two decades or so. Of course, one would need to actually read books with a solid knowledge foundation and an open mind to know what happened to turn the US around from the universal malaise of the 1970s to the optimism of the 1980s and beyond.

Posted in Donald Trump, Economics, innovation, Politics | Tagged ,

Elusive Fusion Power: Our Greatest Challenge? It Will Not Invent Itself

We seek him here, we seek him there,
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven? — Is he in hell?
That damned, elusive Pimpernel __ The Scarlet Pimpernel

Controlled nuclear fusion is like the Scarlet Pimpernel: damned elusive, and furiously sought by the French, among others. But the massively exorbitant effort to harness fusion that is located in France, looks ever more elusive by the year.

Perhaps what is needed is a more clever approach (or approaches).


h/t The Fusion Blog

Nuclear Fusion Offers the Highest Energy Density of Current Approaches

Nuclear fusion is commonplace inside the core of stars. But down here on Earth, fusion is far more difficult to control where humans make their homes. But the quest is worth pursuing, given the quantities of energy involved.

The chart below displays a number of current and past approaches to earth-based nuclear fusion for electric power and heat. Nuclear fusion is such a tantalizing prospect because of its potential to revolutionise human existence, providing unlimited heat and power into the indefinite future. Fusion is likely to be the primary power source for future human societies on Earth and in outer space.

Approaches to Nuclear Fusion Source

Approaches to Nuclear Fusion
Source

Sure many of these ideas will fail, but if one hits net power, it will fundamentally change human civilization, forever. Fusion is coming along much faster than folks realize. It also has the potential to make a much wider and deeper impact on human civilization than most appreciate.

Source

Look at the comparative energy densities of various forms of energy which are potentially available to humans, and notice the advantage that nuclear reactions provide. If humans intend to build a decent future for their progeny, they will take these things into account when planning their energy research budgets.

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

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

A combination of nuclear fusion and advanced nuclear fission would provide humans with as much heat and power as they might conceivably need. The small amount of hydrocarbon power that might be needed for niche uses would be entirely unobjectionable to anyone with a working brain.

Clean, unlimited, affordable energy opens the door to an expansive and abundant human future. If, on the other hand, human societies follow the ruinous energy prescriptions of Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, and the other usual suspects, their descendants can look forward to living in caves, in ever dwindling and sickeningly deprived generations, over time. Echoes of Kurt Vonnegut’s Galapagos.

Fusion in a quantum femtosecond

Posted in Energy, Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Power | Tagged , | 12 Comments

A Place Where Rich People Feel Safe

Millionaire Migrants Source

Millionaire Migrants
Source

According to New World Wealth, a market research firm based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the number of millionaires moving to another country jumped 28 percent in 2016 from the previous year, reaching the highest level the firm has found in its four years of measuring. Millionaire migration has grown 60 percent since 2013, the firm’s findings show, and there are no signs that it is slowing.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, said he expected the ranks of millionaires on the move to top 100,000 within the next two to three years. __ Going to the Anglosphere

With so much of Europe and the emerging world in turmoil, those who can escape are seeking a safe haven for themselves and their wealth. The wealthy will desert a sinking ship in search of what they see as safer, higher ground. First they send their capital, then they send their families, and finally they jump ship themselves.

Money may not buy happiness, but it does buy the ultimate flexibility for making financial and lifestyle decisions.

For many of the world’s millionaires, money provides a highly effective means to escape their home country when times get tough. They can pack their bags, and move their family and capital to a location that will provide superior opportunities for prosperity.

According to a new report by New World Wealth, this couldn’t have been truer for 2016, as the amount of millionaire migrants increased by 28% from the previous year. __ Millionaire Migrants

Where Are Millionaires Going? Where Are They Running From?


Most of the BRICS, France, and Turkey are the biggest current losers when it comes to the millionaire migration. On the other side of the account, the nations of the Anglosphere are the biggest winners at this time. Overall numbers of migrating millionaires appear to be rapidly rising.

France is beseiged by immigrant violence. The flood of violent migrants overwhelming Europe is likely to drive many more wealthy Europeans out of the old, formerly safe countries to places of generally greater safety and stability. Turkey is experiencing instability as a result of tensions in government and by violent threats emanating from surrounding Islamic nations in turmoil.

There have been several terror attacks in France in recent years. And there are winds of political change blowing: Earlier this month, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen launched her presidential campaign with a hardline speech on immigration and globalization, leading some commentators to say Le Pen, if she won, could pull France out of the European Union in a “Frexit.” __ Marketwatch

Global Stability Map


Peter Zeihan’s map above reveals his expectations for future stability of world nations. Zeihan’s predictions generally match the data from the “Millionaire Migrant” infographic above.

Zeihan (like George Friedman) overrates Turkey, perhaps failing to predict Erdogan’s sudden lurch toward personality cultism and dictatorship, a la Putin.

As we at the Al Fin Institutes have been saying for many years, under current leaders the underlying foundations of the BRICS nations are brittle and unstable. Chinese debt and corruption are out of control, Russian society (and economy) festers from self-inflicted wounds, and India’s endemic corruption may be beyond remedy. Brasil has much agricultural and natural resource wealth, but its people are hopelessly mired in leftist incompetence and an unfortunate combination of debt and dysgenic decline. South Africa, with an average population IQ of 72, has gone to war with its “smart fraction,” never a wise strategy for achieving economic prosperity.

The long term health and stability of Europe depends upon whether the old countries still have enough wisdom in their governments to bring dysfunctional immigration and welfare state policies under control. Stepping back from the “green precipice” and the “climate apocalypse cult” would likewise infuse much energy and potency into the economies and peoples of old Europe.

Posted in Demographics, Europe | Tagged , ,

A Buzzing in Your Head: We Are All Cyborgs Now

Cyborg Transition: Staying Ahead of AI

A Stunning Evolved Intricacy Cortical Columns by Layer

A Stunning Evolved Intricacy
Cortical Columns by Layer

First We Learn to Understand the Brain

Three tech pioneers whose work can bring about the age of human cyborgs:

Tech Pioneer #1: Jeff Hawkins

Jeff Hawkins founded Palm Computing, and is currently involved with his cognitive science company Numenta — attempting to decipher the inner secrets of how human intelligence works. Insights from Hawkins’ research should help to design more intelligent machines — and better neuroprosthetic devices and brain machine interfaces. Here is a brief introduction to some of his early insights:

Hawkins’ List of the Functional Components of Intelligence

1) Networks of neurons that learn and recall sequences (required)

– Continuous learning, not batch (required) – Many simultaneous predictions (required)
– Robust (required)
HTM: active dendrites, synaptogenesis, no spikes

2) Regions that use sequence memory for:

– sensory inference (required)
– sensory-motor inference (required)
– motor generation (required)

3) Hierarchy of regions (required)

– number of regions (parameter)
– size of regions (parameter)
– connectivity graph (parameter)

4) Embodiment (required)

– sensors (parameter)
– built-in behaviors (parameter)
– emotions/motivations (parameter)
– episodic/spatial memory (parameter)

__ http://www.33rdsquare.com/2016/04/jeff-hawkins-talks-about-what-it-will.html

Understanding the intricate interplay of cortical and subcortical regions will give us a foundation for developing smoothly working neuroprosthetics and brain machine interfaces. Neuroprosthetics will replace lost functions in the disabled, and will enhance normal function for ordinary brains. Brain machine interfaces will allow humans to interact with machines and cyborgs both near and far.

Becoming Digital: Techno-Evolution for the Human Brain

Tech Pioneer #2: Bryan Johnson

Johnson, who made his fortune selling his payments company Braintree to PayPal for $800 million in 2013, doesn’t have past experience in neuroscience. He is, however, riding a new wave of interest from Silicon Valley. There is a growing fear, among some futurists and other Silicon Valley elite, that humans will develop a crippling dependence on machines and software that continue to rapidly accelerate beyond our capabilities and understanding. This is a fear not necessarily shared by the neuroscience community, which is less focused on enhancing human intelligence, at least right now, than they are on treating people with Alzheimer’s and helping paraplegics regain movement.

Yet the goal of Kernel, ultimately, is to allow humans to outcompete or at least co-evolve alongside machines — by becoming a little digital themselves. ___ http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/22/14631122/kernel-neuroscience-bryan-johnson-human-intelligence-ai-startup

Basic Brain Machine Interface Concepts

Brain Machine Interface Using Neuroimplant Source

Brain Machine Interface Using Neuroimplant
Source

Early neuroprosthetics will help the blind see, the cripple walk, the dumb to talk and the deaf to hear. As the devices become more sophisticated, they will help the forgetful to remember, help ordinary people to learn and create, and serve to keep humans relevant in the age of rapidly advancing machine intelligence — according to tech megamillionaire and neuroprosthetic researcher Bryan Johnson. Advanced future neuroprostheses will help balance your moods, your sleep-wake cycles, and give you supercalifragilistic orgasms. 😉

The Neural Lace Neuroprosthetic Device

Tech Pioneer #3: Elon Musk

Elon Musk made his early killing with Paypal. He has since progressed to SpaceX, and plans to develop a human colony on Mars [and perhaps also the moon]. But Musk is very concerned about the potential for artificial intelligence to make humans obsolete. To prevent this, he has discussed an idea for developing a “neural lace” neuroprosthetic for sophisticated brain-machine interfacing.

Effectively merging in a symbiotic way with digital intelligence revolves around eliminating the I/O constraint, which would be some sort of direct cortical interface […] a neural lace. __ https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/25/elon-musk-could-soon-share-more-on-his-plan-to-help-humans-keep-up-with-ai/

Neural Lace on Mouse Brain Source

Neural Lace on Mouse Brain
Source

The brain grows literally throughout the neural lace. When it’s injected, this two-dimensional mesh ends up being like a cylinder that’s still a mesh, and it gets filled with the tissue. In some process, we don’t understand all the details, there’s obviously some regrowth, and some remodeling of the tissue refills this space where the needle initially moved all the tissue out of the way. Then you’re left with something where it’s interpenetrating between this roughly cylindrical structure of the mesh. You could envision co-injecting this network, the mesh or lace, with stem cells and literally regrowing damaged tissue. Using some stimulation and stuff, you could help to rewire this in the way you want—somewhat science fiction, but also not totally crazy. It’s certainly in the realm of what’s physically possible. __ Real World Neural Lace

The neural lace in the image was placed inside the skull of a mouse by the team of Harvard researcher Charles Lieber, interviewed in the article excerpted above. According to Lieber the device performed beyond his expectations.

Of course there is a big difference between placing a neural lace directly on the brain of a mouse, and doing the same thing for a living human brain. But these things must be done delicately, with baby steps.

What Does It All Mean?

On the one hand, the urgency to stay ahead of AI that is being displayed by Musk and Johnson could be dismissed as a form of Singularitarian “magical rationalism.”

This particular Singularitarian strain of magical rationalism could be glimpsed in Elon Musk’s widely reported recent comments at a conference in Dubai. Humans, he insisted, would need to merge with machines in order to avoid becoming obsolete. “It’s mostly about the bandwidth,” he explained; computers were capable of processing information at a trillion bits per second, while we humans could input data into our devices at a mere ten bits per second, or thereabouts.

But there is a lot more going on here than an unrealistic existential human angst at being replaced by our machine creations. We truly would like to be able to repair damage to our senses, and augment our cognitive and neural/motor skills at least as well as we can repair broken bones, torn muscles, or blockages in blood vessels. It is not difficult to see how neuroprosthetics and brain machine interfaces could augment our abilities to perform basic functions despite the ravages of time, and better meet our goals in the face of a wide array of challenges — including more sophisticated machines.

We don’t just want to hold onto our jobs against a flood of intelligent machines. We want to be able to devise and perform ever more sophisticated and potent tasks for ourselves — relegating even the brightest machines to subservient tasks where their lack of boredom and insensitivity to exhaustion make them ideal menial workers in courts, operating rooms, press conferences, and administrative centres. Augmented humans will have more important things to do in the larger world.

That is the hope, anyway. In the real world, any tool that gives elites in the ruling classes more control over those lower down in the power strata will be seized upon by the same people who use the “climate apocalypse cult” and other manipulations of media, academia, and bureaucracies of all kinds to keep the people in their place.

The threat of a more competent, creative, and aware populace can keep even the most assured elitist up late at night.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

More:

Tech pioneer Paul Allen’s contribution to cognitive science

Japan’s second richest man teams with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund to develop a computer chip with “an IQ of 10,000”

New technology replacing human workersthanks to jacked-up minimum wage laws. More good intentions on the road to Venezuela.

.

Posted in Cognition, Human Brain, Machine Intelligence | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

War is Coming to Sweden Thanks to Swedish Government

… to accept there is a problem would mean accepting nearly 80 years of liberal thinking was wrong. … Multiculturalism doesn’t work …mass immigration does not lead to integration… Sweden has made a big mistake.

Read more: Source

Because Sweden Can’t Handle the Truth Must It Die?

Swedish detective defies bosses to tell the truth about migrant violence:

What I’m going to [reveal to you] taxpayers is prohibited … for us state employees [to expose].’

He wrote: ‘Here we go; this I’ve handled Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, off of, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, Rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment.

‘Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again Christopher… what is it true. Yes a Swedish name snuck on the outskirts of a drug crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.’

Springare said he was due to retire soon and therefore no longer feared the disciplinary proceedings which might be brought against a younger officer for disobeying their superiors and raising the issue. __ Swedish detective in Oreboro exposes government/media lies

“Swedish Crime Statistics Show Murder and Rape Up 70% Since Recent Migrant Flow Began” according to video below:

… people’s patience with their visitors is wearing thin following a year of violence, sickening sex assaults and the death of social worker Alexandra Mezher, 22, who was knifed to death at an asylum centre for unaccompanied children at the hands of a Somalian migrant who claimed he was 15.

At the time, her grieving mother, an immigrant herself from the Middle East said: “Immigration has destroyed Sweden.”

… the drain on the public purse remains high as fewer than 500 of the 160,000 2015 arrivals have managed to secure jobs. … the strain placed on the economy of the country, which was expected to spend about one per cent of its GDP on asylum seekers in 2016. __ Sweden Crumbles

Police are forbidden to report the magnitude of the problem — the Swedish government refuses to measure and expose the enormity of migrant crime being unleashed upon the population. Perhaps to do so would risk government officials being strung up by the lampposts.

Swedish criminologists and politicians have made sure that no new statistics have been released. Not a single recent research study in Sweden has attempted to estimate the causal effect of immigration on sexual assault or homicide rates. Parliament recently defeated a motion to produce up-to-date crime statistics based on national origin. We simply do not know what percentage of sexual assaults or homicides were committed by immigrants last year in Sweden. The Swedish criminologists and government officials who adamantly deny the effect of immigration on crime don’t know these figures, and strikingly don’t want to know.

__ Source

The author of the piece quoted above wants to have it both ways. On the one hand he admits that no valid statistics have been released. On the other hand, he claims that things are not as bad as “some people are saying.”

Sweden spends at least 1% of GDP on increasingly violent third world immigrants — roughly the same amount as it spends on its military. But Sweden cannot help but spend an increasing amount of its budget on the migrant problem — which is a ticking time bomb.

Swedes Drowning in Stockholm Syndrome

Watch the controversial “Stockholm Syndrome” video for yourself, and decide who is telling the truth, and who is covering their asses in desperate political correctness. Sweden is sowing a vicious future for itself.

Sweden’s suicidal political correctness and desperate denial of its looming demographic demise is reminiscent of similar whimsies of self-immolation being spouted by leftists across Europe and the Anglosphere. It is looking more and more like the largest problem facing the west is ideological leftism, followed closely by violent islamism, ballooning debt, and a general dysgenic demographic decline.

If Sweden is to Survive, Who Should She Emulate?

Swedes Need a Strong, Tough, Dangerous Militia Like Switzerland’s

According to Niccolo Machiavelli in the 15th Century, the Swiss were the most armed and most free people in Europe. Thanks to the Swiss policy of “armed neutrality,” Switzerland remains heavily armed and relatively free.

Since 1815 the Swiss have not fought in a foreign war, yet they have maintained the tradition of a citizen army and rifle and pistol shooting are among the nation’s most popular sports with almost every village having a shooting range, over 3,000 ranges in all.

The Swiss military forces are composed almost entirely of the militia. Only 800 out of 50,000 officers are professionals. They, and the recruits which happen to be training at any given time, are the only people in Switzerland on “active duty.”

The Swiss militia system is unique and is not comparable to the present Reserve and Guard forces in the United States. The basis for conscription is the constitution, which mandates military service for every Swiss male from age 20 to 50 (55 in the case of officers). There are no exceptions. Conscientious objectors are given a choice between Army non-combat units and jail. Those physically unfit for military duty but employable are required to pay a tax.

__ Swiss Report

Israel is another badly beseiged nation whose citizens are expected to be ready to take up arms against society’s enemies. Israelis have a far more realistic idea about who they are and who their enemies are. And so they are far better prepared than the Stockholm Syndrome sufferers-in-denial inside Sweden.

Swedes Are Heading for an Ambush and a War

The native Swedish people will not need to travel anywhere to go to their war. It will find them where they live. And it will stuff their PC denial down their throats — unless the Swedes quickly wake up and get Dangerous.

Being a Dangerous Child is about far more than being skilled with firearms and other methods of planned and improvised defence. It is knowing what is happening around you, and what is likely to happen due to the convergence of present trends in the near future. Being Dangerous means understanding both tactics and strategy, and having the competent skills and the hard determination to do what needs to be done — when it needs doing.

Sweden is Not Alone

One sees the same problems — and the same PC denial — in Holland, Norway, Belgium, Hollande’s France, Merkel’s Germany, and across much of Europe and the Anglosphere, often in leftist-ruled enclaves infested by radical feminist decay.

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

More — The crime statistics picture in Sweden is intentionally murky, but demographic trends predict things will get much worse before getting better. Swedish women have few children, whereas third world migrants have many: Swedes are declining, violent newcomers are growing exponentially to fill Swedish birthing centres, schools, and eventually will infiltrate police and military branches.

Another look at the war by Sweden’s government against the Swedish people

No one in Sweden is taking the trouble to measure the impact of migrant crime before things pass the point of no return.

To isolate the effect of immigration on crime, we need data on crimes committed by immigrants. Obtaining this type of data is easy in the United States or Denmark, but not in Sweden. The last time there was an official report breaking down crime statistics by immigrant status and origin was in 2005, for the years 1997 to 2001. These statistics confirmed that immigrants were significantly overrepresented amongst offenders, in particular in committing violent crimes. The foreign born were four times more likely to be suspects in homicide cases than those with Swedish origin, and 4.5 times more likely to be suspects in rape cases.

__ http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445237/sweden-crime-rates-statistics-immigration-trump-fox-news

Matthew Fisher: Trump was wrong on the details, but right about ‘problems’ in Sweden

Posted in Crime, Demographics, Europe, geopolitics, Government, Islam's Bloody Borders | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment
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