China-Style Bridge Collapse in Florida Raises Questions

Something was clearly wrong with the bridge. An engineer for bridge contractor FIGG noticed cracks in the structure two days before the collapse. But his message was overlooked until the day after the collapse.

FIU Bridge Collapse Reminiscent of Multiple Chinese Collapse Events
Image : Reuters via ET

This Kind of Thing is Expected in China

In China, due to shoddy materials and construction methods, the collapse of new bridges, buildings, tunnels, and other constructions are near commonplace and often go virtually unreported. So when a China-style bridge collapse occurs outside of China, one naturally looks for any possible participation by Chinese companies in the construction process, or materials used.

Important Note: At the time of the collapse, stress testing of the new bridge was reportedly underway. This would have brought out any inherent weaknesses in the bridge structure. If this is true, it is unclear why traffic was not routed away from the bridge during the testing.

From a Few Minutes of Internet Fact-Checking

The designer and installer of the bridge, FIGG Bridge Group, has no obvious China connections, on the surface.

The company that constructed the bridge, Munilla Construction Management (MCM), is another story. MCM officials have been photographed with Yan Jiehe, the billionaire head of China’s huge Pacific Construction Group, while he was scouting US companies for acquisition.

[Paul] Manafort was helping China’s largest privately owned builder, Pacific Construction Group, identify U.S. construction firms it could acquire, including MCM, which has a multimillion-dollar Pentagon contract to develop a school for the U.S. Navy at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. A photograph shows Manafort and Yan Jiehe, the billionaire who heads Pacific, with Jorge and Fernando Munilla of the Miami-based construction firm. __ Source

Since MCM actually built the bridge — which was already displaying cracks days before the collapse — questions of possible shoddy materials must be asked. And “shoddy materials” are a hallmark of Chinese construction methods — including shoddy steel and shoddy concrete.

Who Supplied the Concrete for the FIU Bridge?

Mexican company CEMEX supplied the concrete for the collapsed bridge, and CEMEX has Chinese connections that go back several years.

CEMEX’s operations in China, Tianjin and Qingdao, were awarded the “China Top 10 Influential Ready-mix Concrete Enterprise in 2010” prize during a sustainable development forum that took place in Wuhan, Hubei Province. __

Preliminary evidence is incomplete and circumstantial. It will take time to collect more information and to trace the current ownership information for both MCM and CEMEX — and the actual source for the specific concrete used in the FIU bridge construction. But all signs currently point toward shoddy construction methods and/or shoddy materials.

Update: Shoddy final assembly plus failure to re-route traffic away from ongoing construction and testing are both coming into focus as proximal causes of the death and destruction at FIU. Watch this video (ROUGH LANGUAGE ALERT!) for more clues. It appears that the crew responsible for final on-site assembly may not have followed the designers’ specifications, nor did they appear to have followed safe engineering practises for hazardous construction in the presence of civilian traffic.

It is likely that a combination of errors — including on-site human error and faulty bureaucratic decision-making — contributed to this fatal disaster. Several critics have pointed out the politically correct nature of the “affirmative action” hiring practises of some of the groups involved in the design and construction of the FIU bridge. Placing less qualified persons in positions of critical responsibility for reasons of sex, ethnicity, political connections, or other reasons other than personal competence, is a distinct flaw of big money projects around the world.

Accelerated Bridge Construction Overview

Over a 30 year period, China was the recipient of foreign investment and technology transfer on a grandiose scale. As a direct consequence, massive cash reserves were built up, which are being used in an attempt to gain control of global ports and other transportation facilities, engineering and construction concerns around the world, manufacturing and technology assets in more advanced nations, and any other projects and enterprises that might help China to gain global influence and control.

The San Francisco Bay Bridge fiasco is an object lesson for other governments to beware of Chinese offering cheap construction bids. Given the general stupidity and corruption of politicians and government bureaucrats, it is unlikely that they will be wary enough of the grifters from the middle kingdom.

And that means that taxpayers will continue to suffer for the low quality governments that they have allowed to persist for so long.

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


Informal general engineering analysis of disaster

Video showing one side of the bridge as it collapses

Posted in China | Tagged | 5 Comments

Machine Paradox: Master/Slave vs Symbiosis

Over the past 200 years, machines have released large numbers of humans from lifetimes of physical drudgery — and literally from slavery — in the advanced world. But as machines learn to replace more and more human jobs, vocations, and professions, humans may soon look back fondly on the ancient age of drudgery.

Our current societies cannot function without their machines. But machines are evolving in capability far more quickly than humans are adjusting to the new age of more capable machines.

Hubs of Technology Innovation

In order to move beyond the tragic limitations and precarious dangers of our existence in this one solar system, humans will need help. As it dawns upon us that “we cannot solve our current problems using the level of thinking which caused our problems in the first place,” we need to learn how to think on more levels. And we need to devise a wider array of approaches to problem-solving.

If not for the machines of computation, communication, energy, and production, we could not hope to move any part of human science, industry, and community out into space. The more powerful and versatile the machines, the further humans will be able to go. The smarter machines become, the better they will be at helping humans to solve problems.

But machines are a double-edged sword, and frankly mere machines are not enough to get us where we need to go. We as humans need to wake up to stark reality. Some of us are better suited for the past, and some are better suited for the future. Not everyone will survive.

We know that we can’t go back. But among the many diverse populations of humans scattered around the world, which populations are capable of going forward? Which cultures have the inventiveness and organisational abilities, and which have the resources of mind and production to climb to new plateaus and levels of ingenuity?

As it happens, nations with higher average population IQ also tend to have higher levels of prosperity and inventiveness. Inventiveness helps to generate productivity and prosperity for the future. Conversely, societies with low IQ populations tend to be more impoverished and less inventive.

It is becoming clear that in the emerging age of ever-evolving machines, those populations that can best innovate, operate, and maintain their advanced technological machine infrastructures are best placed to move through whatever bottlenecks and catastrophes that fate may place in their way.

Cultures that Achieve Symbiosis More Likely to Survive

Human populations have experienced divergent evolution on many levels and for many traits, caused by divergent environments and levels of cosmic luck. Some cultures and societies have higher average populations IQs, some have higher average levels of conscientiousness and impulse control. Some populations are simply more clever and inventive than others. If a clever and inventive people are also higher in conscientiousness and executive function, their societies are likely to be more prosperous, resilient, and more future-oriented. In general, nations of Europe, the Anglosphere, and free East Asia, fall into that category.

High IQ populations that are imprisoned within tyrannical cultures of top-down control are likely to develop a society low in trust, low in prosperity, and brittle to unexpected shocks — as in a North Korea or an East Germany. Communist China and the Russian Federation are intermediate on such scales — handicapped by top-down rigidity and abysmal corruption, but not completely paralysed.

Low IQ populations that are also corrupt — such as one sees across Africa, much of Latin America, much of tribal Asia, and within various immigrant populations inside more advanced regions — fall on the lower levels of competence, and will find it increasingly difficult to negotiate the coming catastrophes brought on by machine evolution combined with willful governmental and societal blindness.

One aspect to the dark side of an adjustment to the age of machines — the transition is not likely to be quick, easy, or universally pleasant.

Better Humans Needed

Machines will keep getting better, and more powerful. Simple rules of profit-making will see to that. Even the most clever, inventive, and resourceful of humans will find themselves hard-pressed to shield themselves and their societies from some of the damaging fallout that will necessarily come from direct contact with quickly evolving machines.

That is why humans need to devote just as much, or more, attention to developing the human substrate of their societies as they are devoting to their advanced technological machine infrastructures.

The alternative to the development of smarter, more clever, more independent humans, is a widespread descent of human societies into a subservient existence. Subservient to what, or whom? If you must ask that question, it may already be too late for you and yours.

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

Posted in Competence, innovation, IQ | Tagged | 1 Comment

Nihilists and Doomers Come Cheap and Stupid; Competent Optimists Have to Know Something

… pessimism is self-defeating. It feeds on itself, promoting paralysis and more pessimism. It’s a dead end. __ Source

The Human Future Could Be Grand if We Would Let it Be

“As time passes, in the main the human condition improves — and this can be expected to continue,” writes Gregg Easterbrook in his new book “It’s Better than It Looks: Reasons for Optimism in an Age of Fear.”

Easterbrook presents piles of statistics, describing both the United States and the entire world, to prove that. The share of the world’s population living in “extreme poverty” — defined by the World Bank as no more than $1.90 a day of income — dropped from 37 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015. Since 1993, U.S. violent crime rates have declined almost 300 percent. (“Central Park after dark now is as safe as Yellowstone Park at noon,” writes Easterbrook.) One 2013 study found that 84% of Americans earn more than their parents did. __ Robert Samuelson in Real Clear Markets

Easterbrook joins Steven Pinker and a range of other clear-headed optimists from Matt Ridley to Peter Diamandis to Bjorn Lomborg to Robert Bryce to Julian Simon to Ray Kurzweil, who have each laid out a variety of roadmaps to an abundant human future.

Tech billionaires from Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos to Paul Allen are in competition to open the doors to outer space commerce and colonisation.

Global energy supplies seem to be far vaster than was predicted by the doomers of the 1970s. The US has gone from energy dependency and pessimism under Obama, to a world energy superpower under a new administration. With a growing human mastery of advanced nuclear fission — and eventually fusion — the threat of energy scarcity is becoming more boogeyman than real.

Global food production potential is virtually unlimited, and the main industrial threat in the age of robots is perpetual overproduction of cheap and highly reliable goods.

Human science and technology, human medical science and longevity, increases in effective human mastery of the world via advanced computing and robotics — all point to a world of greater abundance and increased life spans.

That is not enough, of course, to bring about an extended abundant and expansive human future. Humans face a massive demographic challenge which threatens the ability of advanced civilisations to maintain their own critical infrastructures long enough to break through to the next level. But if we have the will, persistence, and resilience — if we plan and act wisely and proactively — we can overcome the many obstacles and at the very least create significant networked islands of competence to bridge the gap.

Nihilism is Making a Strong Comeback

Definition of nihilism
1 a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless…

b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
2 a : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility
b capitalized : the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination
__ Merriam-Webster

The last time that nihilism held so strong a grip on intellectuals was in the last half of the 1800s in Russia. Conditions were harsh at the time, and Russian social institutions of the day were completely indifferent to the plight of the impoverished majority. The difference between the nightmare serf’s society of Tsarist Russia of the 1800s, and the relatively affluent and indulgent society of the modern west, calls into question the intellectual driving force behind modern nihilist youth and the flocks of social justice wankers on campuses of universities, media, corporations, and governments. Hint: the destructive modern nihilist movements also receive financial support from billionaires, just as the various “abundant future” movements do.

The more deeply these wankers penetrate governments, media, academia, corporations, foundations, and other cultural institutions, the more difficult it becomes to create an abundant and expansive future.

To combat these stupid drones of doom and destruction, a great deal of thought and invention will be required. But the main effort needs to go into creating the wide open future itself, rather than getting hung up on the idiots of today’s postmodern nihilist left.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Remember that a Dangerous Childhood prepares for all possibilities. We are bound to see a lot of downs along with the ups. Make your provisions.


Steven Pinker’s Golden Age

A slow realisation of deeper needs and a few of the dark realities lurking on the left. The author would be wise to read and study Jordan Peterson in depth, but pursuing the deeper meanings might cause him to stray too far from the comforts of the mainstream.

Posted in expansive future, Future, Optimism, Postmodernism | Tagged | 2 Comments

World’s Most Violent Places

50 Most Violent Cities

When one shines a light under rocks and in dark corners, monstrous acts are apt to be uncovered and illuminated. The 50 violent cities above just happen to be places where records are kept, more or less. In much of the third world, officials are too busy taking bribes and mis-allocating government funds to bother with crime statistics.

Here is another global look at violent crime, focusing on homicide.

Homicide Rates per 100,000 Persons

Violent crime rates and homicide rates do not correlate exactly, but they often correspond closely.

Likewise, the violent crime rates of cities do not necessarily correspond to the violent crime rate rankings of regions or nations. Russia, for example, has a much higher murder rate than the US — more than 2 X the national rate — but unlike the US, Russia has no cities on the top 50 violent crime list.

Often violent crime takes place in and around particular neighborhoods within larger cities.

A city may contain neighborhoods with third-world levels of violent crime and homicide, but if the city is large enough to dilute the statistical effect of these neighborhoods, its overall rates of violence and murder may not place it in the top 50 or top 100 lists.

Violent Crime Has Gene-Linked Aspects

It is not politically correct to point out that rates of violent crime are perennially higher in particular ethnic and racial population groupings, but any police officer anywhere in the world who is worth anything, can point out the ethnic enclaves in their jurisdiction which generate the most crime of various types.

Consider a thought experiment: If one were to remove the statistical effect of high-crime ethnic enclaves in various cities — in the US, for example — overall crime rates for those cities would change significantly, at least statistically:

If New York City were all white, the murder rate would drop by 91 percent, the robbery rate by 81 percent, and the shootings rate by 97 percent.

In an all-white Chicago, murder would decline 90 percent, rape by 81 percent, and robbery by 90 percent. __ Color of Crime 2016 Revised

In other words, without multicultural enclaves, violent crime rates for many US cities would be the same as, or lower than, violent crime rates for the most placid cities in Europe.

Such hypothetical thought experiments are irrelevant to the real world, but they are crucial to an understanding of the origins of violent crime within various cities. And understanding the origins of violent crime may uncover solutions to preventing much of the violent crime in the first place.

More on the genetic underpinnings of violence

Europe is Importing a Future of Violent Crime

As cities of Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Belgium become more “multicultural,” crime rates within particular neighborhoods of these cities are rising. Pressure is being put on police forces to minimise crime reporting in municipal, regional, and national statistics, but the people who live there know what is happening. Recent Italian elections reflect this citizen awareness of demographic change — and one can only expect such an awareness to grow along with the suffering and tyranny caused by Europe’s expanding multiculturalism itself.

Homicide by Nation

It seems unfortunate that some of the regions of the world with the highest homicide rates also happen to be regions with the world’s highest fertility rates. This means that highly violent humans — no matter whether they got that way genetically, culturally, or by cosmic accident — are breeding faster than persons that demonstrate tendencies toward lower levels of violence.

Wikipedia: Map of total fertility rate by nation

We will leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide the possible implications of these parallel trends in violence and fertility. Particularly in the light of emigration pressures, which will only grow more severe within high fertility, high poverty, high violence, low opportunity societies.

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

It is particularly troubling that Europe is turning to unreliable, intermittent forms of electrical power at the same time that it is about to be overwhelmed with ever larger numbers of violence-prone, low IQ, untrainable and unassimilable populations of migrants. Sub Saharan Africa is accustomed to extended power blackouts, but the cities of Europe have no such tolerance. Power blackouts tend to bring out the worst in populations that occupy the lowest rungs on the population stratification hierarchies, and by abandoning more robust and resilient forms of power supply, Europe is inviting human disaster and ruin to its cities.

More intelligent persons will make provisions for increasingly likely catastrophes.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Posted in Blacks and crime, Crime, Demographics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pyramids Within Pyramids … Schemes and Scams

Sierpinski Pyramid

The Fractal Scams of Modern Chinese Society

Today’s China is one fractal pyramid from top to bottom — from the lowest scale to the highest. “Scale Invariance” is a fractal property of an object, where its morphology is virtually identical regardless of the scale on which it is examined.

“Pyramid sales are like spiritual opium,” Li said. “The organizers brainwash people to believe they will definitely get rich. Like drug addicts, you have to get them out of that environment to help them.” __ Eugene K. Chow

China’s pyramid schemes and scams possess a similar property of scale invariance. Whether seen from the top — the Chinese Communist Party — all the way down to village or neighborhood level, the entire society is small pyramids nested in larger pyramids stacked upon other pyramids…

China’s investors — large and small — are severely restricted in their choices of investments. They cannot freely invest outside of China, for example, or freely invest in non-Chinese currencies. They are hog-tied and forced to invest in whatever local scams — state sponsored or not — that may pop up in lieu of the more solid investments that are available in other countries, but outlawed to Chinese people.

Eager to get rich, but with few opportunities, migrant laborers, workers laid off from state-owned enterprises, and recent college graduates in second and third tier cities are particularly vulnerable to pyramid schemes.

But unlike in the United States, pyramid schemes in China use far more insidious tactics. Authorities aptly call these scams “business cults,” as they rely on heavy brainwashing to trap participants and entice new ones.

Potential recruits are lured to an isolated place by a friend or family member, and for the next week recruiters will psychologically break them down, emphasizing the benevolent nature of the business, promising wealth, and appealing to personal ambition and their responsibility to provide for their family. __ The Diplomat

Unlike what one might expect in an “egalitarian” state, China’s wealthy and politically connected own most of China’s capital. This paradoxical inequality has applied to every so-called “egalitarian” state, from the USSR to North Korea to Venezuela to Cuba to the China of Mao.

China’s Real Estate Bubble is a Larger Pyramid Scheme

On a larger scale of the pyramid, the perilous real estate bubble of China involves the complicity of China’s central government, banking sectors, large business developers, state owned enterprises, and especially local and regional governments.

Fenced in by harsh limitations on investment opportunity, Chinese investors are forced to gamble on the many bubble investments schemed up by the big players in the pyramid games.

China has tried just about everything to tame a property market in which home prices sometimes jump around like the value of Bitcoin…

… Many investors snap up homes — in China, they are mostly apartments — hoping to ride a price surge. In the biggest cities, property prices on average have at least doubled over the past eight years. But vast numbers of apartments in many cities lie empty, either because the buyers have no intention of moving in or renting out, or because speculators built homes that nobody wants. __

In place of productive investments, Chinese governments, speculators, and developers are happy to inflate bubbles and build pyramid infrastructure out of sand. This is just one small reason why China’s GDP figures must always be viewed with extreme scepticism.

Local investors — many of whom do not trust the country’s stock markets and are forbidden by Beijing to move most of their wealth abroad — simply throw money at housing. __ NYT

China is becoming a huge fractal pyramid of a Potemkin nature, a grand theatrical production in every aspect, complete with a massive misallocation of resources.

At the Top of the Pyramid, the Communist Party of Xi

It is at the top of the fractal pyramid of China that we see the most grandiose of schemes, scams, and Potemkin villages. Behind China’s vaunted organ transplant centres, we discover a revoltingly murderous mass-murder industry that would bring down governments in any civilised society.

Read the report

China’s university system is famous for its corruption and widespread cheating and plagiarism scandals.

The corruption does not end in China’s medical and educational departments. Corruption pervades all of China’s government and society. China’s media is much more corrupt than media in the west — although western media is far more corrupt than it should be.

China’s military and space departments have always been corrupt — but as they are being showered with more and more funding, expect the innately corrupt instincts of the system to manifest themselves, with large portions of the funding siphoned off to personal accounts and pet projects of highly placed individuals (and their cronies).

Most corrupt of all, of course, is the Communist Party at all levels. The higher the level, the more the corruption. In fact, anti-corruption efforts only serve to centralise the corruption and concentrate it even more. This is what China is, today. A fractal pyramid scheme from the nano to the macro levels.

China Needs to Face Tit for Tat Confrontation

As the world twists itself in an angry knot over US President Trump’s efforts to achieve a “tit for tat” trade policy with China, it is becoming easier to see ghosts of Chinese influence even in western media. This spread of Chinese corruption and influence peddling from the mainland outward to relatively free nations such as Australia, Canada, the EU, and elsewhere, is an ominous sign

Transparency in Corruption Rankings

Chinese Corruption: Coming Soon to a Country Near You

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

Posted in China | Tagged | 2 Comments

Once and Coming Age of Slavery

Slavery is Ancient and Ubiquitous in Human History

Slavery enters human history with civilization

Once people gather in towns and cities, a surplus of food created in the countryside (often now on large estates) makes possible a wide range of crafts in the town. On a large farm or in a workshop there is real benefit in a reliable source of cheap labour, costing no more than the minimum of food and lodging. These are the conditions for slavery. Every ancient civilization uses slaves. And it proves easy to acquire them.

War is the main source of supply, and wars are frequent and brutal in early civilizations. When a town falls to a hostile army, it is normal to take into slavery those inhabitants who will make useful workers and to kill the rest.


Throughout ancient history, slaves have been used on farms, in households, on construction projects, and in wars. From Egypt to China to Babylon to Rome, slaves have been an integral component of economies of civilisation. We often reflect on the sad fate of African slaves, while forgetting about the equally sad fate of other slaves in recent history, and of the fate of contemporary slaves around the world.

Slavery Has Always Been Common in Africa

In fact, an active slave trade continues inside a number of African nations to this day — and probably always will.

Like most other regions of the world, slavery and forced labor existed in many kingdoms and societies of Africa for thousands of years.[13]… The best evidence of slave practices in Africa come from the major kingdoms, particularly along the coast, and there is little evidence of widespread slavery practices in stateless societies.[1][5][6] Slave trading was mostly secondary to other trade relationships; …

…Chattel slavery had been legal and widespread throughout North Africa when the region was controlled by the Roman Empire (47 BC – ca. 500 AD). A slave trade bringing Saharans through the desert to North Africa, which existed in Roman times, continued and documentary evidence in the Nile Valley shows it to have been regulated there by treaty.[8] Chattel slavery persisted after the fall of the Roman empire in the largely Christian communities of the region. After the Islamic expansion into most of the region, the practices continued and eventually, the chattel form of slavery spread to major societies on the southern end of the Sahara (such as Mali, Songhai, and Ghana).[1] __

Slavery Was an Important Source of Wealth for African Chiefs

According to one of the foremost scholars of historical slavery, Hugh Thomas, African monarchs were responsible for a lion’s share of the slave trade between the interior of Africa and coastal areas.

Portuguese and English slave traders did not have access to the diseased interior of Africa, but instead relied upon wealthy African slave traders and sometimes their Arab intermediaries, for the rich supply of African labour.

Human Slaves Could Not Compete with Machine Slaves

After the industrial revolution in England and North America, human slavery became uneconomical in the west. Without profits, the entire institution of western slavery was doomed.

By the time loud self-righteous legal abolitions of slavery were proclaimed in England and later America, the underlying economic realities had already made the issue moot.

Moral Grandstanding is Beside the Point

Modern public persons make great displays of indignation at the mere thought or memory of slavery — as if only monstrous and immoral persons could have ever stooped to the practise of slave ownership. And yet, humans of all races are essentially monstrous and amoral when it suits their needs. Posturing denial of that fact is just pathetic. And the inability to see beyond one’s own cultural frame is brain death.

Machines Not Only Make Slaves Unnecessary…

The rise of machines in the industrial revolution made human slavery uneconomical across a wide range of work environments. As the industrial and technological revolutions continue to develop, machines not only replaced humans on farms, in heavy construction, in the factories, in military applications, and in the household — machines are now replacing doctors, lawyers, librarians, professors, and will soon begin replacing government bureaucrats in large numbers.

Self-pitying modern humans like to see themselves as “wage slaves,” and in other ways as indentured persons. Machines are coming, and will soon give them something more genuine to cry about.

When Machines Stop Working, Slavery Will Rise Again

Slavery is not dead, of course. It thrives in the Muslim lands of Africa, in Russia, across China, deep throughout India, and scattered across much of the world.

And while machines have replaced slaves throughout most of the developed world, machines cannot reliably build, test, and maintain themselves over long periods of time. Human beings need to possess the wide range of skills that allows them to invent, build, maintain, and skillfully operate the machines over their lifetimes.

As skilled humans drop by the wayside, machines likewise die. No matter how sophisticated the machine, without its human enablers, it will fall apart and die. In fact, the more complex the machine, the sooner it is likely to fail.

Skilled Humans are Dying Off

Someone forgot to tell young crops of humans that some of them would need to acquire important skills and disciplines in order to keep the machines of civilisation working. They grew up playing with toys and machines whose workings they did not understand, exploiting the labour of armies of skilled tradesmen whom they thought of more as punchlines for jokes than as persons worthy of their gratitude and emulation.

And someone forgot to tell middle schools and universities that civilisation depends upon competent people with genuine knowledge and skills — not upon armies of indoctrinated activists with nothing real between their ears.

Without the people with crucial skills, the machines will die, and the critical infrastructures of modern societies will fail. As that happens, all semblance of civility and civilised mores will fall by the wayside.

As Things Grow Worse, More People Will Have No Choice but to Sell Themselves and Their Children

Humans are born at different levels of aptitude to many different skills, talents, and abilities. Most modern humans are woefully dependent upon the society around them for the gratification of their drives and needs. As society fails, they will become desperate. Desperate people do things that they would never dream of doing otherwise. Particularly when surrounded by others who are equally desperate.

Less intelligent and less savvy persons will be more at the mercy of unscrupulous persons who are willing to feed, clothe, and shelter them — at the price of their freedoms.

None of This Has to Happen

As long as advanced human societies continue to produce enough intelligent and conscientious persons to maintain and advance their high tech societies, the masses of individuals inside those societies can continue to exist as superfluous surplus, oblivious to the underlying realities that make their fluffy minds and soft lives possible.

But when high tech societies become inundated by low-IQ, low conscientiousness, low executive function immigrants and offspring, they can no longer invent, build, or maintain the machines of modern infrastructure. That is when the results of their own unwise policies of government sink them.

Slavery is not dead. It is only sleeping, waiting for the neo-nihilistic ideologies of the postmodern left to make a complete hash of everything that dozens of generations of western ancestors worked so hard to assemble.

Intelligence is in short supply, but stupidity has no limit.

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

Posted in Complexity, Technology | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sex Hormones Determine Male and Female Brain Differences

From Monkeys to Humans, Hormones Shape Brains

A female vervet monkey conducting an anogenital inspection (examining the genital area of the doll in an attempt to determine whether it is male or female), and a male vervet monkey pushing a police car back and forth.
Credit: Gerianne Alexander

Scientifically Correct, but Not Politically Correct

Prenatal exposure to sex hormones shapes the neonatal brain from the very beginning. Testosterone pouring out of the tiny testicles of male fetuses begins to cause the differentiation of the male brain from the female brain starting in the first trimester of pregnancy.

New and ongoing research suggests babies’ exposure to hormones while they are in the womb causes their toy preferences to emerge soon after birth. As for why evolution made this so, questions remain, but the toys may help boys and girls develop the skills they once needed to fulfill their ancient gender roles.

… At just 3 months old, the newborn boys already fixed their eyes on the toys associated with their gender. __

Not only are boys showing preferences for different types of toys from the earliest age. They are also beginning to exhibit superior spatial skills of particular kinds. Young girls, for their part, exhibit superior recall of word lists — a verbal skill.

Although it used to be thought that sex differences in problem solving did not appear until puberty, the accumulated evidence now suggests that some cognitive and skill differences are present much earlier. For example, researchers have found that three- and four- year-old boys were better at targeting and at mentally rotating figures within a clock face than girls of the same age were. Prepubescent girls, however, excelled at recalling lists of words. __

What Happens With Administration of Cross-Sex Hormones?

When female hormones are given to men, and male hormones are given to women, some interesting paradoxical brain effects tend to emerge. Before “cross-sex hormone treatment,” brain size measures between normals and sex-matched “transsexuals” were not different. But after cross-sex hormone total brain volumes changed in an interesting way . . .

The changes in total brain and hypothalamus volumes following cross-sex hormone treatment in the transsexuals were mirrored by changes in their third and lateral ventricle volumes, i.e. treatment with estrogens and anti-androgens in MFs increased third and lateral ventricle volumes, whereas treatment with androgens decreased the third and lateral ventricle volumes in FMs. This suggests that the total brain volume changes are at least in part due to changes in medial brain structures surrounding these ventricles (including, but not limited to, the hypothalamus, which lies in close proximity to the third ventricle). Considering that the effects were not specific for gray (neurons, glia) or white (myelinated axonal fibers) matter suggests that both alterations in nerve cells as well as in axonal fibers may be implicated in the anatomical brain changes following cross-sex hormone treatment in humans. It is not surprising that the influences of sex hormones on the brain were not limited to the hypothalamus, but were also expressed as changes in total brain size. Estrogen and androgen receptor mRNA containing neurons are not limited to the hypothalamus, but are distributed throughout the adult human brain (18). __ Sex Hormones Change the Brain

In other words, giving male hormones to women changes their brains to be more like male brains. Giving female hormones to men shrinks brain volumes to be more in keeping with female brain size.

Mathematical Abilities Vary at the Extremes

Science of Sex Differences in Science and Mathematics
Psychological Science in the Public Interest

There are more males at both ends of the aptitude spectrum, due to a higher variability in cognitive skills. Men and women are roughly equivalent in the mid-ranges of maths, engineering, and math-dependent science aptitudes. But at the upper extremes where the truly advanced work is being done, most of the high-achievers in mathematics, engineering, the hard sciences, economics, and other math-requisite fields, are men.

Men and Women Make Different Career Choices

In addition to the male advantage at higher levels of aptitude in mathematics and spatial rotation, males tend to be more naturally attracted to careers in engineering, hard sciences, and other math-requisite fields.

Sex Differences in Mathematical Abilities

These are important questions to answer before evaluating studies that try to determine whether sex-differences in particular abilities exist. One of the mistakes that sex-denial researchers often make is to ignore those critical questions. This reveals them as either incompetent, dishonest, or ignorant of the normal course of hormone induced brain changes through the developmental cycle.

The Brain Responds to Sex Hormones Throughout Life

Normal levels of testosterone are appreciably higher in men than in women throughout life. Higher is not necessarily better, since men with lower levels of testosterone tend to perform better at mathematical tasks than men with quite high levels of testosterone.

The opposite is true for women, where higher levels of testosterone tend to correspond to superior mathematical skill. In fact, the sweet spot for mathematics may depend upon the “balance” of the sex hormones — androgens vs. estrogens:

Elizabeth Hampson of the University of Western Ontario showed that women’s performances at certain tasks changed throughout the menstrual cycle as levels of estrogen varied. High levels of the hormone were associated not only with relatively depressed spatial ability but also with enhanced speech and manual skill tasks. In addition, I have observed seasonal fluctuations in spatial ability in men: their performance is better in the spring, when testosterone levels are lower. __

Normal testosterone levels for men: 300 to 1000 ng/dl
Normal testosterone levels for women: 30 to 95 ng/dl

In the video above, sex researcher Dr. Debra Soh speaks out about sex brain differences, and how some corrupt academics and charlatans are trying to shut down honest research and the conversation.

Hormonal Surges Take Place at Different Stages of Life

In the prenatal environment, testosterone output by tiny male testicles has a profound effect on the rapidly developing fetal brain. In the pubertal environment, an even greater surge in testosterone output takes place in males — and a powerful estrogen surge occurs in females.

The undeniable divergence of male-female body morphology at and after puberty can be seen by anyone with eyes or hands. But to see the divergence in the brain between males and females requires a minimal level of intelligence and honesty — both of which are often in short supply in today’s academic, government, and media environments.

Posted in Childhood Development, Cognition, Human Brain, Sex Differences, Testosterone | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Forest Schools and The Dangerous Child

The following article is cross-posted in adapted form. It was originally published on The Dangerous Child blog.

Liberating children from the tyranny of classroom indoctrination and institutional groupthink should begin early. The “forest school movement” and the “forest kindergarten movement” are experiencing growth in Europe, the Anglosphere, and in free East Asia.

In a “forest kindergarten,” like the one in the short video above, children spend most of the day in the wilderness, regardless of weather. Toys are replaced by the imaginative use of sticks, rocks and leaves. There are more than 1,500 of these in Germany. __ NYT

Kindergartens, literally “child gardens,” began to sprout up in Germany and Scandinavia around the turn of the 20th century, near 1900. The two world wars of the first half of the 20th century stalled the European development of this healthy phenomenon.

The concept of “forest schools” was further developed in Wisconsin in the 1920s, in Scandinavia and Germany in the 1950s, in the UK in the 1990s, and in Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong in the early 2000s.

Wikipedia Forest Kindergarden

Young and very young children appreciate the wild elements of play that are incorporated into the forest school. Boys are more suited for the wild than for the classroom, at least in their first dozen or so years of life.

Advantages of Forest School:

Improved confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, an concentration[15]
Improved physical stamina, fine and gross motor skills [15]
Positive identity formation for individuals and communities [16]
Environmentally sustainable behaviours and ecological literacy [15]
Increased knowledge of environment, increased frequency of visiting nature within families [15]
Healthy and safe risk-taking [16]
Improved creativity and resilience;[16]
Improved academic achievement and self-regulation;[16]
Reduced stress and increased patience, self-discipline, capacity for attention, and recovery from mental fatigue [16]
Improved higher level cognitive skills [17]
__ Source

Out of doors, every day is a feast of discovery and revelation. Play is largely self-initiated and self-regulated. Most rules of play are negotiated on the fly between children and their playmates, and adult supervision is limited.

Forest Schools and the Dangerous Child

Anything that can be taught in a classroom can be better taught in a “forest”, given adequate preparation. The immediacy of the outdoors provides resilience-building learning experiences that stay with the child far longer than the didactic pedagogy of the classroom.

The Dangerous Child curricula are best taught in the out of doors, immersed in natural settings. This early training should take place in the countryside or wilderness — whether in a forest, on a mountain, in a desert, on a farm, or on the water — is a matter of choice, discretion, need, and opportunity.

As the child grows and develops a competence-based confidence and resilience in the outdoors, he will more easily develop expertise in more technological and urban settings. But no child ever outgrows the out of doors. By growing up in the wild, a more realistic concept of nature evolves within the child than what most children receive from a classroom indoctrination.

Forest School vs. Montessori and Waldorf

For parents who are unable to lead their own children through the lessons of the outdoors during the formative years, the expanded choices provided by forest schools, Montessori, and Waldorf etc., allow for a somewhat less guilty “farming out” of the young child to third parties than would otherwise be possible.

Each local kindertarten and school facility should be thoroughly vetted before trusting one’s child to their tender mercies.


Description of the movement to incorporate forest school into public school education

“The opportunity for teamwork and the necessity of solving problems independently is not replicable in the close, controlled classroom setting. . . . Interpersonal relationships in the woods are more successful than in the classroom, despite (or because of) the increased freedom and decreased supervision. . . . The opportunity for some kids to be experts in a way they aren’t in the classroom is very supportive of academic goals, because their confidence outdoors translates into effort indoors.”

A blend of forest school and Montessori

A guide to forest school activities

Posted in Childhood Development, Education | Tagged ,

Take Time to Meet Your Overlords

Masters of Media, the University, and Society at Large

Given how much control these people exert over every area of society — from government to corporations to religion to education — it is worth a few hours of your time to acquaint yourself with society’s overlords in residence. Philosophy professor Stephen Hicks has detailed the pathological ideology that rules the modern west in his book, “Explaining Postmodernism.” You can download the book free in various formats from the preceding link.

The book is available for listening on Youtube as an audiobook, both in chapter form and as the entire book in one audio-vid:

The book is a useful overview of philosophy leading up to postmodernism, as well as a valuable expose of the postmodernist agenda. After reading this, you will understand the low-rent ideology that drives the postmodern agenda better than its own practitioners.

Why Should You Care?

If you are not troubled by the ongoing descent into nihilism and philosophical intolerance that troubles today’s universities, media outlets, government bureaucracies, and corporate human resource offices, then you have no reason to be concerned. In such a case you are unlikely to have children in the first place — but certainly if you do have children you will be sure to raise them to be as unconcerned about the reigning groupthink intolerance as you are.

But growing numbers of people are beginning to question whether human ancestors went through all of that evolutionary toil just to make their brains a vestigial organ, to be checked at the door of current postmodern institutions across society.

If you are one of those newly concerned humans, perhaps it will be worth your while to know your enemy — the nihilists who stand opposed to an expansive and abundant human future.

Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto is another academic with some cautionary words to those who might fall under the spell of postmodern nihilism. Here is a talk Peterson gave at Harvard spelling out the problems inherent in this pathological ideology of our overlords:

If you are a university student — or perhaps the parent of someone who is or may soon be a university student — this is a discussion worth paying attention to. But sadly, the overlords of nihilism also have a firm grip on government and private schools at all levels, as well as being in virtual control of many corporate human resources offices — in control of hiring and firing of employees.

Even if you start your own business, you will need to be concerned about postmodern nihilism in terms of ideologically driven government oversight, ideologically overloaded prospective employees, and ideologically driven lobbies and interest groups that may be capable of shutting down your business or project, on a whim — at any time.

US Citizens Can Thank Presidents Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama

Clinton and Obama helped to expedite the placement of postmodern ideologues in high places of government, education, and media — where they could do as much damage as possible. They also put in place strong governmental incentives to force corporations to toe the line of the overlord’s ideology.

The two Bush presidents were merely weak and oblivious to the threat, and failed to do anything substantive to head it off.

President Trump has a more checkered record on this issue, but his cabinet is at least trying to reduce the vile influence of postmodern fascism on education and on some departments of the federal government. Certainly Trump has pushed back strongly against the anti-freedom and quasi-nihilist monoculture that rules most of the American media.

The Rot is Deep and Destructive

It will be up to parents and other concerned parties to train and raise new generations of children in such a way as to be inoculated against the postmodern groupthink ideology. Step one in the inoculation process is understanding the disease and learning to recognise its signs and symptoms.

Too many members of earlier youth cohorts have had their capacity to think independently destroyed by the groupthink rot of postmodern thought, without having been prepared in advance. There is no longer any excuse for such naive vulnerability in newer generations.

As mentioned above, it is time to know your enemy, and to begin devising strategies to take away the overlords’ ability to destroy young minds, to remove their power to obliterate the human future.

The Toxic Spew From the Overlords is Not the Biggest Problem They Pose

The biggest problem posed by these overlords of intolerance and nihilism is that every one of you is forced to pay to support these overlords financially, through taxation and through ordinary commerce — such as when you are forced to use Google or other similarly infested corporations to do ordinary research or business. And many of you are forced into silence — or even forced to give lip service virtue signaling to the slime — just to get and keep your jobs, friends, and close relationships with many family members.

Shine a disinfecting light on this blight.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Posted in Postmodernism | Tagged

Shit and Hypos: San Francisco’s New Look

San Francisco? Or Slums of Rio?

“We see poop, we see pee, we see needles, and we see trash,” said teacher Adelita Orellana. “Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversation that’s a little difficult to have with a 2-year old, but we just let them know that those things are full of germs, that they are dangerous, and they should never be touched.” __ Dirty City By the Bay

Children are forced to negotiate sidewalks of filth just to walk to school every day. And what if they are inadvertently exposed to the diseases that inevitably hitchhike along with this everyday detritus littering sidewalks?

“If you do get stuck with these disposed needles you can get HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and a variety of other viral diseases,” said Dr. Lee Riley, an infectious disease expert at University of California, Berkeley. He warned that once fecal matter dries, it can become airborne, releasing potentially dangerous viruses, such as the rotavirus. “If you happen to inhale that, it can also go into your intestine,” he said. The results can prove fatal, especially in children. __ Investigative Survey of Sanctuary City San Francisco

The reality on the streets of today’s San Francisco — where diseases and violent illegal aliens are tolerated and overlooked by local and state governments — does not make for a very pleasant tourist brochure.

Where Sidewalks are Paved With Shite

San Francisco was once the shining city by the bay, where mellow people walked the streets with flowers in their hair, and to where tourists flocked from all points of the compass.

In today’s sanctuary city of San Francisco, the need to avoid the infected hypodermic needles and human feces on the sidewalks takes away from any scenic beauty and bayside charm that may remain.

How dirty is San Francisco? An NBC Bay Area Investigation reveals a dangerous mix of drug needles, garbage, and feces throughout downtown San Francisco. The Investigative Unit surveyed 153 blocks of the city – the more than 20-mile stretch includes popular tourist spots like Union Square and major hotel chains. The area – bordered by Van Ness Avenue, Market Street, Post Street and Grant Avenue – is also home to City Hall, schools, playgrounds, and a police station.

… The investigation revealed trash littered across every block. The survey also found 41 blocks dotted with needles and 96 blocks sullied with piles of feces.

… “The contamination is … much greater than communities in Brazil or Kenya or India,” he said. He notes that in those countries, slum dwellings are often long-term homes for families and so there is an attempt to make the surroundings more livable. Homeless communities in San Francisco, however, are often kicked out from one part of town and forced to relocate to another. The result is extreme contamination, according to Riley. __ Sanctuary City in Decline

Next to Berkeley, San Francisco is perhaps the most extreme leftist enclave within California — itself beset by an extreme leftist state government. Within such insular political groupings, sanctuary cities are a sacrosanct tenet of dogma — at any cost and by any means necessary.

But even leftists should know enough to clean up their own rooms before they try to set out to “save the world.” For cities like San Francisco, tourism is an important source of income. The city has long been a desired location for national and international conventions, conferences, and large meetings and events of all kinds.

San Francisco is home to a large number of the wealthy. It is becoming more and more difficult for many to avoid the stench and blight as they travel from their homes to their places of business or amusement.

Silicone Valley, one of the global centres of technological innovation, sits just down Highway 101 from “The Fecal City” by the bay. Back when San Francisco was still beautiful, living near the scenic city was a point of pride — and a recruitment enticement for new employees.

A single pile of human waste, said Nuru, takes at least 30 minutes for one of his staffers to clean. “The steamer has to come. He has to park the steamer. He’s got to come out with his steamer, disinfect, steam clean, roll up and go.” __ Diseased Streets

Over the years, frequent visitors to San Francisco were forced to watch the decline of a once great city. It was a sad experience, but an instructive lesson nonetheless in the fruits of applied postmodernism.

If one avoids a serious problem — for whatever reason — it tends to get worse. The problem is not just in “sanctuary cities” such as San Francisco. It is in the ideological intolerance of universities, the one-sided propaganda nature of media, the perverse deep state intrusion into all aspects of life, and the way that all social institutions have been suborned to a nihilistic anti-human postmodern mindset.

First, clean your room. After that, study the larger problems carefully with crystal clear vision. What you need to do should become obvious if you take the time to understand the situation deeply and broadly enough. Then make yourself the kind of person who can do what needs to be done.


Leaving Shit City

For at least the last nine months, the Bay Area has led the country in the number of departing residents, as everybody who isn’t a tech worker – including essential civil servants like police and fire fighters – begins to feel like a secondary servile class. One landlord said several of his tenants asked if they could move with him when he announced he was selling the building and departing for Colorado

Posted in City vs Country, Crime, Draining the Swamp, Epidemiology | Tagged | 3 Comments

Enabling a Future: Setting Up the Knockout Punch

Two Years Ago, the Fascist Postmoderns Felt Invincible

The Nazis of the left had taken control of universities, big media, the deep state, big foundations, most NGOs and activist groups, and scores of other social institutions from bottom to top. They expected to rule the roost for an indefinite period of time.

But then suddenly, something happened on the way to the grand social utopia of the totalitarians that left them stunned: Donald Trump pushed the designated placeholder du jour aside. The bully pulpit was “stolen” from them.

A Stunning Blow, but Far from a Knockout Punch

After the election of Trump, the leftist movement to stamp out freedoms of speech, belief, and action was forced out of the White House and onto the streets, onto the internet, throughout the university, the deep state, corporate diversity offices, while permeating an increasingly rabid tabloid media.

The activists of the left — violent in word and deed — soon reached their stride, and settled in for a fight they felt certain they would win. The goal was to rid the US of Trump, and return the universe to its pristine state, returning to them what they believed was their rightful destiny to rule.

But then Another Stunning Blow Fell

Within institutions that the left believed it thoroughly controlled, voices of dissent began to speak more and more loudly — until these voices began to find each other, and a larger audience.

U. of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson gained celebrity by standing up against a fascist Canadian law meant to force individuals to use specific words in ordinary conversation. Canadian radicals quickly rallied to shut Peterson down, but instead they unintentionally made him more famous.

As Peterson’s fame grew, so did his ability to point the public to other thinkers inside and outside of academia who are trying to push back against the neo-totalitarianism of the postmodern left. Peterson pointed to the works of Stephen Hicks, Camille Paglia, Jonathan Haidt, Richard Haier, and many other profound academic thinkers who remain devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and understanding in the face of a brutal onslaught of a quasi-religious politically correct suppression of free inquiry.

Now ordinary people are paying Peterson significant amounts of money just to continue his work and to maintain his public exposure. His latest book has taken up residence at or near the top of Amazon’s bestseller stats, and his public appearances sell out in record times to rival a rock star’s.

Even the Mention of Peterson’s Name Triggers Fear in the Minds of Leftist Inquisitors

When a lowly female graduate student and teaching assistant, Lindsay Shepherd, showed a short video clip to her communications class — of a Canadian public education debate between Jordan Peterson and a postmodern professor of trans-genderism — her faculty supervisor and the department of diversity at her university went into a spasm of near-fatal triggeredness.

Amazingly, out of the attempted crushing of Lindsay Shepherd by her university came a shining new spokesperson for free speech, and the founding of a free speech club on her campus. Suddenly a new voice for free speech hit the internet and Canadian media.

Now Attempts by the Left to Crush Dissent are More Frequently Backfiring and Creating Brand-New Champions of Free Expression and Anti PC

Where once there was a handful of scattered voices willing to speak up against the post-modern inquisition in universities, media, government, and culture — now dozens and hundreds of self-discovered spokespersons are stepping out from the darkweb to oppose the neo-marxian alt.left crusade to crush free thought, speech, and action.

Suddenly Cassie Jaye‘s journey from radical feminism to men’s rights champion was given second wind and a second life. James Damore‘s trek from plain vanilla liberalism to an avenging icon of free speech has been rapid and stunningly exposed to the public to a degree that would not have been possible a couple of years ago.

Damore rides again

Only a few years ago, Damore would have become just one more piece of liberal road kill. But today it is possible to watch hours-long conversations with him that show he isn’t some knuckle-dragging misogynist, but a thoughtful and honest voice trying to explain facts in an age which elevates feelings over facts. The same goes for a growing, increasingly inter-connecting world of people who do not need the mainstream media but who are united in a recognition that ideas and free and fearless debate are indispensable. __

Stunning, Yes, But Where’s the Knockout Punch?

Triggering the left with a growing number of brave people willing to speak reasonable and rational ideas on campus and on the internet is really only a starting point. As long as postmodernists are winning the larger battles in university, government, media, and culture at large, the long-term war appears to be a long and bloody slog with a dubious outcome.

At the Al Fin Institutes for the Future, we have long felt that only radical technological disruption could possibly jar society and culture strongly and deeply enough to open a path to an abundant and expansive human future.

But now some of the resident thinkers at the Institutes are beginning to consider that important and lasting cultural transformations toward a more rational future can be attained even before the approaching disruptive innovations hit the fan.

The Collapse of Open Minded Institutions, the Church, Freedom of speech, and the Family Led to the Ongoing Decline of Western Societies

Conversations that are emerging on and off campus around Jordan Peterson’s online lectures and around his new celebrity, are a small start to the growing of larger conversations that need to be taking place. And those larger conversations require places where face to face interaction can occur.

Young men and women once met and formed close friendships at church gatherings and at institutions of higher learning — before university became another word for “concentration camps of indoctrination.” In addition, the workplace was once a location where men and women could find common interests and forge longer term goals together.

But university campuses have been re-framed as places of a pretend “rape culture,” and workplaces became hunting grounds for “me-tooism” accusations of sexual impropriety. Suddenly male students were expelled on accusation alone without due process, and male workers were sacked with reputations ruined based upon unsupported claims alone. Cross those places off your list for meeting potential mates.

As more places for forming relationships were closed or perverted to more devious ends, a gaping void emerged in the spaces where an honest meeting of the minds formerly existed. Saloons and taverns are not valid substitutes, nor are most parties — and certainly not hook-ups. But increasingly, such poor substitutes are the only “socially acceptable” games in town for meeting potential partners and mates.

Clearly the west is in need of physical locations where open-minded face to face conversations can take place between intelligent persons who wish to learn, grow, and find companionship.

A Place to Talk Honestly, Without Threat of Ruination

Before men and women can heal their self-inflicted wounds in the great sexual culture wars, they need to be able to hold honest and open conversations with each other — face to face, without threat of false accusations and the ruining of careers and reputations.

Inside and under the thumb of post-modern institutions, such discussions are impossible. Something new — beyond internet conversation — is required.

Where Can Free and Open Exchanges of Ideas Take Place?

Private homes are still largely free and unoccupied by the shock troops of political correctness. Homeschools combined with homeschool associations — where homeschooled students and their families engage in advanced courses, extracurricular activities, and field trips — provide a healthy alternative to factory-style dumbed down government schools of indoctrination.

Homes can also be meeting places for free thinking and free speaking citizens who wish to explore thought-expanding avenues of reason which are forbidden by the alt.left overlords in most public arenas.

Hikes, picnics, boating regatas, and other outdoor get-togethers can take advantage of unregulated public spaces for the sharing of new ideas, new technologies, and new approaches to working through the mazes of modern life.

Meeting rooms can also be rented in hotels, restaurants, churches, theaters, schools, etc. If discussion and skills-building groups become too large for home gatherings, a large range of venues of many different sizes are available for a fee.

Camps, resorts, and retreats are available to rent for weekends and longer workshops and trainings, in various styles and price ranges to suit a wide range of group sizes and tastes.

Finally, there is the possibility of buying or building a location specifically for the purpose of providing meeting grounds for persons whose needs for human interaction are not being met by existing institutions or enterprises.

First a Meeting of Minds, then Who Knows?

It is not likely that institutions such as churches, free and open universities, and other former meeting grounds for persons of common interests and goals, can be created out of whole cloth. After all, societies and cultures — along with their institutions — evolve over time. After these institutions have collapsed or have stopped serving their former purpose, it can be almost impossible to create viable substitutes in time to prevent the entire culture from sinking into aimless decline and nihilism.

Certainly post-modern leftism is as close to aimless decline and nihilism as one can imagine — once you eliminate its unquenchable thirst for power and control over others.

A face to face meeting of the minds comes first, then longer term collaborations and relationships. And it is from those longer term collaborations and relationships between sincere, open-minded, and intelligent people that better institutions and cultures are built.

Knocking Out Politically Correct Nihilism Is a Worthy Goal

The quest for an expansive and abundant human future is the opposite of the goals of the post-modern crusade for totalitarian control of thought, belief, speech, and action. The contrast between openness/expansiveness/abundance and the fascist left which controls most of the western institutions of today, could not be starker.

To knock out such an abhorrent monstrosity, one must start with small stunning blows and build up. There is an up and down momentum in such a fight, which must be attended to and taken advantage of. When the enemy is sufficiently stunned and weakened, a knockout blow can be more successful.

Watch closely, and look for opportunities.

Hope for the Best. Prepare for the Worst

Hope is what tells us that the fight is worth the effort. Preparation for a life or death battle is what keeps us from a fatal overconfidence.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood.

Note: Although it is not religious per se, the deep philosophy and depth psychology of psychologist Jordan Peterson’s lectures and talks is slowly and unexpectedly reviving the spirit and ideas of some conventional Christian churches as well as those of members of other religious faiths and organised secular groups and associations.

This rejuvenation of many moribund and once-dying places for free association, will be another source for the nurturing of new young minds and new partnerships.

More: A thoughtful piece on Jordan Peterson from 20 Sept. 2017, when his fame and notoriety were just beginning to grow.

More faculty members emboldened to speak out

Posted in Groupthink, Jordan Peterson, Postmodernism, University | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

You Say Wakanda; I See Zimbabwe

Wakanda: African Shangrila, Utopian Fantasy
Source: Marvel Studios

A recently released Marvel Comics fantasy film, Black Panther, is experiencing a brisk box office trade. By all accounts it is a rousing action film, with colorful costumes and striking computer special effects.

But something interesting is happening in the background of the Black Panther phenomenon which strikes me as particularly sad. People seem to be confusing the fantasy hype and hysteria contained within the plot of the film for the real world. In fact, one of the actors in the film says that the fantasy film actually proves that African people built the pyramids! Presumably the movie also proves that black Africans traveled to outer space for millions of years before the evil Arab slave traders and white colonizers came to subdue and oppress the dark continent.

Nice Fantasy, But in the Real World: Haiti and Zimbabwe

The realities of Haiti and Zimbabwe clash with the fantasy of Wakanda, but that is the difference between reality and fantasy. They clash. In fact, the reason people invent fantasy in the first place is that there is something they do not like about reality. Thus the pretense of utopias that could have never existed.

… no one will talk about the painful fact that most African and Caribbean nations have either failed or are about to collapse.

___ Chigozi Obioma

Between 2/3 and 3/4 of the world’s poorest nations are located in sub Saharan Africa or are largely populated by blacks of African descent.

Blame Everybody But Yourself for Your Problems

Along with the wildly fantastic and utopian themes of Marvel’s Wakanda, are the parallel plot-driving theories of whole-spun racial victimology and a failure to recognise a wide range of well-documented biological and social reasons for the blindingly obvious statistical social stratification by race — in virtually all societies in the world. Most of those reasons have nothing to do with racial prejudice or bigotry — except perhaps a self-victimising internal bigotry within the black community itself.

Colin Powell Highlights a Tragic Problem in the Community

Speaking to “the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Avoice Heritage Celebration recognizing African-American veterans,” General Powell lamented the inability of most of the community’s young people to qualify for the armed services today.

“They can’t get through the basic exam that we give them. Now, c’mon, it’s not that hard of a test, but even high school kids who graduated high school can’t get through this exam. Secondly, criminal records; third, drug use; and fourth, obesity. And if you are very obese the army doesn’t want that medical problem, rightly. So we still get the number we need but it is pretty shocking that only 25 percent of our young people are eligible for service,” he said.

“This reflects a lot of problems we are having in our communities with nutrition, healthcare, education and teaching something I was taught when I was a child – how to mind people, mind your mom, mind your school,” he added. “If I had ever come home and said, ‘I don’t like school. I want to drop out,’ they would have dropped me out. ‘We’ll go get us another kid, we don’t need you.’ We’ve got to restore that sense of discipline, that sense of responsibility in our young people. We have a lot of problems in our communities and young people are not doing what they need to do to be successful in life.” __ Colin Powell

High schools with large numbers of black students too often host school-wide riots, rather than focusing on building foundations of knowledge and self-discipline. Instead of teaching students to think, read, write, have a sense of history, and do basic maths, a dysfunctional and destructive curriculum of “social justice” is forced on the clueless young. Under the black flag of “social justice,” the plight of “victim groups” can only get worse.

This is not the way to build strong communities or a strong society. But it is certainly the way to tear a formerly strong society down — and foment violent divisions between government-approved groupings of citizens.

Gun Control Laws Unexpectedly(!) Victimise Minorities

In the aftermath of a tragic school shooting in a “gun-free zone” Florida high school, social justice warriors inside and outside of media, government, and academia are clamoring for much stricter gun control laws.

What groups are most likely to be imprisoned merely for possession of firearms under stricter legislation? The same groups who are overwhelmingly imprisoned for possession of drugs.

… Fiscal Year 2011, 49.6% of those sentenced to federal incarceration with a primary offense of firearms violations were black, 20.6% were Hispanic, and only 27.5% were white. __

Yet More Badly Written Laws Are No Solution

Not surprisingly, in places with even stricter gun control laws than in the US, mass public shootings still occur.

These public shootings seem to always take place in locations where normal citizens are not legally allowed to defend themselves with firearms. Remember: When seconds count, the police are only minutes away! If ordinary people are not allowed to defend themselves, body counts tend to rise inexcusably.

Many European countries have higher death rates in mass public shootings

The Only Path to Freedom is to Face Reality and Deal

Fantasy has always been one of the most popular paths to feeling good, despite living under poor conditions. As long as the fantasies are largely peaceful — or at least do not lead to violent acts — the only harm is keeping the people down by not allowing them to get strong enough to deal with reality.

But if the fantasies promote violence — which many of the fantasies of post-modern social justice warriors are apt to do — people need to take a very hard and close look at them. A good first step is to stop pretending that people who are promoting racial violence should be given a free pass, for reasons of . . . social justice!

Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

Under US President Obama, US gun sales experienced a dramatic upsurge. The reasons for this sales boost were fairly obvious, given Obama’s anti second amendment constituency. Expect more of the same as long as attacks on second amendment rights continue by people who fail to comprehend reality.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood.

Posted in Africa | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Bringing Outer Space Within Man’s Grasp

… a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for? __ Robert Browning

… Falcon Heavy flights cost $90 million per launch, which is a fraction of the $300 million to $500 million per launch charged by United Launch Alliance for the Delta IV Heavy. __ SpaceX launches “Second Space Race”

Image Source
UK Business Insider via Bigelow Aerospace (in facebook)

As Launch Costs Drop, Missions Will Skyrocket

As space launches become affordable to more enterprises and individuals, the numbers and types of space missions will multiply — exponentially.

SpaceX is cutting launch costs by up to 75%, a significant cost savings already. As the company moves from its Falcon Heavy to its larger “BFR”, we should expect launch costs to drop even further.

Costs to LEO per kg for Various Rocket Systems

Getting to low earth orbit (LEO) is expensive. Cost per kg to LEO is not all that matters — and in many cases that measure is virtually insignificant to the actual mission. But as a rough benchmark it helps generally to compare rocket systems in terms of launch expense.

Falcon 9 can lift 13,150 kg for $61 Million in 2014 or $4640 per kilo.

The Falcon Heavy is expected to have it’s first launch in 2016 with the ability to muscle 53,000 kg to LEO for $90 Million or $1700 per kg! Another Wikipedia graphic. ___

By comparison, the Atlas V costs $20,000 per kg to LEO. The Atlas V 411 costs ~ $15,000 per kg to LEO. The Delta IV costs around $18,000 per kg to LEO. (Source)

A New Player Would Like to Undercut SpaceX Launch Costs

Rocket Lab’s small Electron rocket has lower total cost-per-launch than the SpaceX rockets, although its payload sizes are much smaller.

For the first time, US space flight startup Rocket Lab has launched its Electron rocket into orbit. The rocket lifted off from the firm’s New Zealand launch facility on 21 January [2018] and put three small satellites into orbit.

A launch aboard Electron is relatively cheap at $4.9 million per flight. A Falcon 9 flight costs customers upwards of $60 million. Rocket Lab has customers waiting for their satellites to be launched, including NASA and Moon Express, a competitor for the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize to put rovers on the moon. __

Rocket Lab’s “Electron” rocket is only 1/3 the size of the Falcon 9 rocket, and can carry only 1% the payload of the Falcon. But a surprising number of potential space payloads fall into the weight range of the small Electron rocket.

While the cost per kg to LEO for the Electron rocket is around $20,000, for many micro-satellite missions (very lightweight satellites) the cost per kg to LEO is not the key consideration for the overall mission. The main thing for many payloads is to get it to LEO quickly and reliably, with launch cost considerations being somewhat flexible.

As space missions multiply, urgent time pressures for launch will become more common. If an alternative but more expensive launch company can get you to LEO before a cheaper but less accomodating company can do, if your mission is important enough and urgent enough you will go with whoever can put your package into space the soonest.

Hotels in Space Coming Soon?

Hotelier Robert Bigelow has a company that builds inflatable space habitats. In a few days, Bigelow plans to announce a new space company, which intends to take advantage of more affordable space launch systems coming through the pipeline.

Robert Bigelow, who made billions forming the hotel chain Budget Suites of America, is gearing up to launch a new spaceflight company called Bigelow Space Operations.

Bigelow, age 72, already owns Bigelow Aerospace, which he founded in 1999. That company built an inflatable room, called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), for NASA to attach to the International Space Station. BEAM launched into orbit and was fully deployed in 2016. __ Robert Bigelow Expands Space Operations

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is Acting as the Spark Plug

The possibilities are now much greater, thanks to the lowering of launch costs and the expansion of payload capacity due to Musk’s successful SpaceX rocket line.

“The fact that SpaceX, on its own resources, was able to design, develop, and test this thing I think revives a sort of spirit of exploration — that the private sector really is doing some remarkable things,” [John] Logsdon told Business Insider.

… On February 6, SpaceX launched Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket system in the world.

The 230-foot-tall, three-booster launcher sent a red Tesla Roadster owned by company founder Elon Musk toward Mars orbit with a spacesuit-clad dummy in the driver’s seat.

“… Falcon Heavy and its cost is going to reopen the door to larger satellites with more capability,” [SpaceX consultant John Young] said…


Billionaires Seeking $Trillions in Space

Besides Elon Musk, other billionaires to have entered the new space race include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Virgin Airlines’ Richard Branson, and as mentioned above, Robert Bigelow.

When a single asteroid may contain more than $10 trillion worth of materials, one can see that a booming outer space economy — including asteroid mining — can potentially elevate a $billionaire to $trillionaire status rather quickly.

But it is not merely in raw materials where the money is to be made. It is in the nuts and bolts business of facilitating the buildup of a prosperous space economy in the cis-lunar environment and beyond.

In the California gold rush of the late 1840s, it was the people who sold the miners their picks, shovels, pans, and other necessaries, who prospered best. Similarly, as the great space race of the 21st century begins to gear up, it will be the entrepreneurs who facilitate the entire intermeshing enterprise and infrastructure who will reap the most certain and enduring revenue streams.

For example:

The business of space is growing rapidly. It is currently a $330 billion industry with accelerating growth. The number of new private companies being created to use space commercially is at an all-time high, with $13.3 billion invested in over eighty space startup companies since 2000. Continuing rapid growth of in-space businesses will increase the need for an in-space supply of propellants, life support materials, metals, and other commodities. This is the goal of Deep Space Industries: in-space delivery of the right materials, to the right place, for the right price, to support the sustainable expansion of Earth’s economy into space. __

As the potential reality of this new age of more affordable private space launch begins to dawn on Planet Earth’s entrepreneurs, expect some amazing new things which will be a lot more impressive than the latest iPhone or Android app.

More on building large space structures from:

Popular Mechanics


Falcon Heavy Brings Vastly More Valuable Asteroids Within Reach

Second Space Race Fueled by Private Capital

Cis-Lunar Economy

Selected papers on cis-lunar development

New Scientist Articles on Private Space

Cost per kg to LEO discussion on Reddit

Posted in Asteroids, Space Future | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Jordan Peterson’s Lectures: Like Taking Psychedelic Drugs Without the Drugs?

From Harvard to Toronto to the World at Large

Shelley Carson, who now teaches at Harvard and writes about creativity, recalled that Peterson had “something akin to a cult following” in his Harvard days. “Taking a course from him was like taking psychedelic drugs without the drugs,” Carson says. “I remember students crying on the last day of class because they wouldn’t get to hear him anymore.” __

That was back in Peterson’s 1990s Harvard days, before he moved to the University of Toronto. He has been similarly embraced by Toronto students in his Psychology classes.

… he’s become a popular professor at the university [U. of Toronto]. Typical comments on include “life-changing” and “he blew my mind” and “he is my spirit animal.” He ran a private clinical-psychology practice, consulted for law firms, and developed his self-authoring website, which is based on ideas from psychologists like James Pennebaker and Gary Latham on the benefits of goal-setting and the therapeutic value of writing about emotion. He also offered occasional commentary on public television in Ontario… __ Chronicle

While he was teaching and working as a clinical psychologist, he was also immersing himself into the deepest foundations of published thoughts on human existence and the human enterprise in preparation for an encyclopedic work on the foundations of human thought, “Maps of Meaning.”

But this relatively quiet and modest world of the Canadian psychology professor was soon to be radically disrupted — permanently.

And Then Notoriety Set In

Back in 2016, Peterson publicly objected to a proposed Canadian law that would effectively mandate the use of artificial words to placate a vocal group of radical left activists — under penalty of a hefty fine and the potential for prison if the fine was not paid. And that is when all hell broke loose, as the Canadian left pulled out all the stops in an effort to have Peterson fired from his job and permanently disgraced.

But their Efforts Backfired

Professor Peterson stood up to all the pressure from the Canadian government, from the University of Toronto, and from rabid gangs of leftist radicals who attempted to shut him up and prevent him from speaking his views publicly.

These efforts to shut him up backfired. Suddenly Peterson was being invited onto popular YouTube shows, boosting Peterson’s popularity and the viewership of his hosts simultaneously. Over the next year Peterson continued his work as a clinical psychologist and as a mild-mannered professor of mind-bending psychological and philosophical thought. But he was also becoming well known as an independent voice speaking for the forgotten middle of western thought, and for the many targets of the radical left postmodernist agenda on campus and off.

And With the Notoriety Came New Prosperity

Last spring he started an account on Patreon, which allows users to donate money to support a person, often a musician, cartoonist, or other artist, though it’s become a fund-raising vehicle for activists, too. The first month he received $600, which was enough to help purchase better equipment to film his lectures. But the amount kept growing and, at last count, topped $60,000 per month (Peterson now keeps the amount he’s raising private). Those who give $50 or more get to ask questions in a monthly online Q&A session. Those who give $200 per month get a one-time personal Skype chat with Peterson for 45 minutes. The income from Patreon, along with the new demands on his time, caused him to put his clinical practice on hold indefinitely. __ Chronicle

Both his university lectures and his clinical work have been put on hold while Peterson does two important things: Work through his newfound prosperity/notoriety, and travel the world promoting his newest book, “12 Rules for Life.” His newest book distills much of the wisdom from the much larger book “Maps of Meaning” into a more readable and compact set of profound principles that can be applied to modern lives.

It was during his tour of the UK that his famous dust-up with UK Channel Four journalist Cathy Newman was filmed. That single Youtube video has racked up roughly 7 million views so far. The video adds to all the many other Youtube videos that have helped propel sales of “12 Rules for Life” to the top of book sales for weeks running now.

Watching the Peterson – Newman interview reveals much about Peterson which has allowed him to ride a magnificent wave which might well have drowned many other persons so rapidly propelled into the limelight. But it is by watching Peterson’s various series of university lectures freely available on Youtube, and by reading “Maps of Meaning,” that one better begins to understand how the sword has been tempered in the flames.

Peterson is a Massive Inconvenience to Leftist Elites

It is not only leftists in academia who have been embarassed by Peterson’s critiques. The vastly corrupt postmodern enterprise which extends its poisoned tentacles into every aspect of media, government, foundations, education, the judiciary, popular entertainment, and the corporate world, is vulnerable to a clear exposure to the light — something that Peterson is trying to help achieve.

Fortunately, Peterson is not alone in this dog fight. Fellow academics such as Jonathan Haidt of Heterodox Academy, Camille Paglia of the University of the Arts, Stephen Hicks — a philosophy professor at Rockford University, Gad Saad of Concordia University, and other less well known admirers in the academy, help to propagate a more broad-minded approach to education within the “hallowed halls.” Outside of academia, Peterson has a much larger and more committed following — which seems to be swelling by the day.

One Peterson Project That Desperately Needs to Be Followed Up

One of Peterson’s more promising proposals was a website meant to expose particular university courses which promoted postmodernist indoctrination and Marxist language twisting. Eventually he wanted to start his own online university meant to help build strong and competent individual thinkers — as opposed to current universities which promote groupthink indoctrination at every turn and in virtually every department.

Peterson did recently back down after proposing a website that would use an algorithm to determine which university course descriptions contained postmodern and Marxist language. His plan, which he announced on a television news show, was to create a list of those courses so that students could avoid them. He reiterated his claim that the humanities and the social sciences have become ruined by postmodernism, and he hoped that this list would help bring down those departments. He saw this as a first step toward starting his own online university founded with the mission of developing character, though the plans for such a grand enterprise remain sketchy. The reaction to his website proposal was not positive. Peterson, after talking with a number of friends who told him that it was a bad idea, decided to scrap the website, at least for now. “The question was, ‘Would it do more harm than good?’ ” he says. “I thought it might add to the polarization.” __

Consider the project on hold. Certainly if Professor Peterson does not wish to take up that particular sword at this time, I suspect that a growing cadre of fellow travelers will begin to take a closer look at the project.

Jordan Peterson’s Upcoming Australia Tour Sold Out

Peterson was a big hit in the UK, and continues to be popular with the Canadian and American publics. Next month he is taking the tour down under. And his tickets were snatched up as if he were a rock star.

The Australian tour of Canadian clinical psychologist and University of Toronto Professor Dr. Jordan B. Peterson has now sold out. In January a three city Australian tour was announced by the newly created True Arrow Events Group. Tickets for the Sydney and Melbourne shows were put on sale first and sold out within a week.

However it was the Brisbane show where tickets were snapped up in a frenzy. They went on sale at 10am on Tuesday 6th of Feburary and sold out five minutes later. Some of his most devoted fans in the Brisbane area took to social media to express their dismay that they had missed out on tickets in the blink of eye. Such a fast sell out of tickets is normally reserved for rockstars, not university professors. __

And So It Goes

Peterson must now come to terms with the fact that every interviewer that he does not personally know is probably trying to catch him in a mistake so as to take him down — much like Cathy Newman of Channel 4 attempted in the UK. But he is not a man to back down from a difficult task that needs doing. And so he steps out on a journey that grows longer and larger, despite whatever he originally intended.

Jordan Peterson’s Lecture Series on Youtube:

Maps of Meaning
Biblical Series
Personality and its Transformations
Psychology and Religion

See What’s So Dangerous About Jordan Peterson? for some interesting historical background on Peterson’s path to notoriety.

Posted in Cognition, Competence, Jordan Peterson | Tagged | 2 Comments

A World Badly In Need of a Proper Disruption

First Bitcoin, Then Stocks, Then Oil Prices Fall

Recent turbulence on global markets has cast a spell of “fear and trembling” over many financial journalists. The financial media is known for its blatant stupidity, making mistakes such as confusing stock markets for entire economies. But a smart person would see this market volatility as a normal and delayed effect of the combination of an unraveling of “easy money” investment strategies with hair-trigger consequences of widespread machine trading mechanisms on markets. Until the “easy money” policies can be phased out and disposed of, this will be the new normal of machine age markets. But it is not genuine disruption.

That is Not Disruption… But Disruption is Coming

Everybody wants to invent and ride the next Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, or Facebook up to the stratosphere. That is the path to wealth, but it is not genuine disruption.

Two distinct and interesting approaches to achieving the next level of disruption can be seen in France and in the US.

The French effort creates an “endowment” of $13 billion meant to generate an income in support of the development of disruptive innovations. This policy can be seen as a reaction to threats coming from outside innovators such as China, North America, Korea, and Japan. It is a top-down approach common to governments.

“The technicalities of this new massive innovation fund will be defined in the forthcoming weeks,” explained Romain Serman, the head of Bpifrance in the U.S. “This initiative is part of a comprehensive governmental policy aimed at fostering innovation and reforming the overall business environment for entrepreneurs in France.”

However, the $13 billion of initial capital is actually not meant to be invested – just the income it generates – and will remain untouched. __

The US effort by Peter Thiel is a much more modest bottom-up approach, which has the potential to yield far greater dividends despite the lower levels of initial investment.

What began as an attempt to draw teen prodigies to the Valley before they racked up debt at Princeton or Harvard and went into consulting to pay it off has transformed into the most prestigious network for young entrepreneurs in existence — a pedigree that virtually guarantees your ideas will be judged good, investors will take your call, and there will always be another job ahead even better than the one you have. “We look for extraordinary individuals and we want to back them for life,” says executive director Jack Abraham. __ Wired

Both top-down and bottom-up approaches to incubating the next disruptive innovation have the potential to yield important outcomes. But top-down bureaucratic approaches such as one sees from the US DARPA, the late Japanese “Fifth Generation” project, the current French effort, and efforts by the Chinese government to force innovation, are inherently limited by groupthink, corrupt power grabs, ideological distortions, and just basic bureaucratic bungling.

Tech prophet George Gilder sometimes looks into the future at more profound levels of disruption. He rightly sees the current kings of the market as incremental innovators rather than truly disruptive innovators. They have become so big that they are now trapped in the bureaucratic groupthink that kills disruptive vision.

Gilder: Those companies [Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook] are supremely great companies, but they’re going over the hill.
Q: … Business formation has really slowed down.
Gilder: And these are all bad signs… They reflect an attack on the educational system by foisting the smothering $1.5 trillion burden in loans on students to support a ridiculously overwrought leftist bureaucracy of indoctrination. They also reflect an expansion in the administrative state through massive increases in regulations, rules that really favor big companies. And not because of their alignment with technological opportunities, but because of their abilities to lobby, lawyer, litigate and find paths through the maze of rules.

… We’re not living in an age of boldness and abundance, but in an age of retrenchment and shrinking horizons and careful rearrangements of existing resources. A lot of it is epitomized by this whole idea that unless human beings stop moving, the climate’s going to collapse on us.

The climate-change paralysis has been very destructive, not only to our national economy but particularly to Silicon Valley. Every time I find a company that’s doing everything right, I discover a peculiar feature of its technology that’s designed chiefly to stop it from emitting carbon dioxide. And that feature twists the technology into a pretzel, making it less useful and less promising. Take Google. It’s making an elaborate effort to render all of its massive data centers around the world “carbon-neutral.” They’re all linked up to various druidical Sunhenges of solar panels or quixotic kites or windmills. I mean, that’s some archaic way to produce energy!

… I think it’s a Silicon Valley dementia that’s going on, which probably results from a religious collapse. I think G.K. Chesterton put it very well: When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they start believing in anything. Such as, we’re part of a computer simulation, or that there are infinite numbers of multiple parallel universes, or that a planet, which has endured orders of magnitude greater amounts of carbon dioxide through eons of geological history (producing photosynthesis in the process), will suddenly founder on an increase of .003 to .004 of a percent. You know, those bizarre, speculative fantasies that you hear very solemn, professorial figures espouse.


It can be helpful to consider a number of potential innovations as “disruptive benchmarks.” Many of these constitute basic changes to human biology, but it is not clear how profound a change in the makeup of the the human body would be necessary. For example:

  • A reduction in the number of hours of sleep necessary from 8 hours down to 2 hours a night or less.
  • An extension of healthy and mentally acute lifespan by a factor of 2 or more.
  • Allowing humans to achieve adequate daily nutrition at one short sitting.
  • Achieving the same reduction for excretion to a single short daily session.
  • An increase in average human IQ from 100 points to 150 points or higher.
  • A general elevation of mood, so that only those who insisted on experiencing depression and hopelessness (for artistic purposes for example) would do so.

And so on . . . One can easily extrapolate from such basic changes in daily human existence to envision significant changes across society as a whole.

Changing basic human existence would necessarily lead to a number of other innovations in other fields — some of them potentially disruptive and others merely incremental.

Those are not easy innovations to achieve. It is much easier to redesign computer architecture for higher speed and more parallel computing. Bringing broadband internet to everyone on the planet would be a breeze in comparison to most of the items in the list. Even building a human colony of 100,000 people on Mars would be easier, given new generations of heavy launchers.

Military innovations such as high powered lasers, railguns, stealth submarines, high speed nuclear torpedoes, and hypervelocity missiles and troop transports would all be a relative snap in comparison. But those are potentially disruptive only in the sense that a globally ruinous war or a global tyranny would be disruptive. Those are not the kind of things we are looking for.

Think Long and Large, Not Stupid

Governments are typically big and stupid. And so the policies of governments and government-funded entities are typically big and stupid. But that is the only type of thing that modern thinkers in government, the academy, and big media seem able to envision. A tragic and wasteful dead end.

Often it is the small and simple things, the basic things, that have the potential for greatest long term disruption. And that is where more people need to be looking, if we are to escape a long, sad, bloody quagmire much like a combination of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot on steroids.

It is never too late for a Dangerous Childhood.

Posted in Creativity, Disruptive Technologies, Economics, Groupthink, innovation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Good Elon vs. Bad Russia: The Gap Widens

SpaceX’s persistence and ingenuity, and its success in bringing down costs by reusing rockets, made it the likely market leader last year and possibly even profitable. The Falcon 9 was certainly the most successfully launched rocket in the world.
Bloomberg via Spaceflight

In “Good Elon, Bad Elon: A Tale of Two Elons,” we looked at Elon Musk’s highly profitable and likely successful trajectory into space (SpaceX) vs. some of his other more questionable and money-bleeding enterprises such as Tesla.

As you can see in the graph above and the video below, “Good Elon” has really been coming through recently, making Russia’s fading space program look almost like a collaboration between Homer Simpson and Beavis and Butthead.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk now has the most capable missile in the world: It can deliver up to 64 tons into orbit. Russia’s plans to build such a rocket, capable of flying to the Moon or to Mars, aren’t even complete yet, and certainly not fully funded, though Igor Komarov, head of Roskosmos, the Russian space agency, has promised a first launch in 2028…

Roskosmos has acknowledged the SpaceX threat, which it spent years pooh-poohing, and is working to reduce launch costs by 20 percent and reuse rocket components. But Musk’s company is ahead of the game for now, and it won’t be easy to catch. __

SpaceX’s trajectory is steeply upward, while Russia’s multiple crises of education, demographics, misappropriation of funding, and super-sized military adventurism are all leading to a very bad place.

SpaceX Emerges as Global Game Changer

Suddenly the idea of building large new space stations, large new satellite systems for universal broadband internet, and regular journeys to other planets such as Mars and Luna, are beginning to sound credible.

SpaceX is rapidly changing what is possible in space. Instead of taking 40 launches over a decade to build the 400-ton space station, we could have 1000 launches in a year from ten fully reusable SpaceX BFRs that would place 150,000 tons into space. The 1000 SpaceX BFR launches would cost $10 billion versus $40 billion for the space shuttle launches of the International space station. ___

Making heavy-payload launches routine and reliable — not to mention affordable — changes the entire scheme of human involvement in outer space.

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy is like a DC-10 aircraft and SpaceX will make it 80-90% reusable with 64 tons of payload. The SpaceX BFR will be 100% reusable and will be like a 747 with 150 tons of payload. __

All because “Good Elon” had a dream.

Bad Elon Tries to Spoil the Celebration

Elon borrowed heavily out of his SpaceX portfolio to leverage financing for Tesla. We told Elon three two years ago not to do that. He didn’t listen.

“Bad Elon” is much like “Bad Russia” in this regard, throwing good money after bad, squandering crucial capital on poorly conceived ventures.

The day after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk blasted his Tesla Roadster into space, his electric car company’s mounting losses brought him back to Earth again.

Tesla Inc. posted a record quarterly net loss of $675 million in the fourth quarter, up from a net loss of $121 million in the same period a year ago. The Palo Alto, California-based automaker is struggling to meet production targets for its first mass-market car, the Model 3 sedan. It’s also spending heavily on future vehicles, including a semi that’s supposed to go into production next year.

Tesla lost $1.96 billion for the full year, a record for the company and nearly three times its loss of $675 million in 2016. Tesla has never made a full-year profit since it went public in 2010. __ WUWT from Source

An abundant and expansive human future requires humans to move into space, to build out a large infrastructure for exploration, science, human colonies, and space resource utilisation. But even more importantly, humans need to have big dreams and big goals. SpaceX helps to create and build big dreams.

On the flip side, Musk’s other enterprises that squander massive funding, both public and private, to no rational purpose other than groupthink virtue signaling — reveal a deep weakness in the man’s mental foundations and perhaps even his character.

Thanks for All the Fish

It was great watching the Tesla roadster soaring high above Earth’s sparkling blue ocean on its way to Mars orbit, but Elon had best not destroy SpaceX’s potential trying to support another of his companies that is not ready for prime time.

Posted in innovation, Space Future | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Where Would We Be Without Renewable Energy?

Big wind and solar were supposed to replace coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants . . . any time now. And yet, something is happening to global investment in big wind and solar that calls the entire “renewables revolution” into question.

Over the last five years, subsidies or mandates have been cut in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Retroactive cuts to feed-in tariffs were made in Bulgaria, Greece, and Spain. Germany cut feed-in tariff subsidies by 75 percent and levied grid fees on residential solar owners. In 2015, the UK government suspended all new subsidies for onshore wind farms and reduced subsidies for residential solar installations, causing a steep fall in investment in both 2016 and 2017. __ WUWT via DC

Let’s look at the drastic reduction in the UK’s renewables investment:

Investment in wind, solar, biomass power and waste-to-energy projects will decline by 95% between 2017 and 2020 … __ Guardian

Gone are the days when the US government squandered tens and hundreds of $billions on bankrupt subsidy schemes from Obama to well – connected political cronies. The administration of US President Trump has no need to hand out huge payoffs to campaign bundlers and organisers. All the worse for big wind and big solar robber barons.

Some claim that renewable energy can power modern society. A 2017 paper by Mark Jacobsen and others at Stanford University, calls for 100 percent renewables by 2050, with wind and solar providing 95 percent of the energy. But this wishful thinking is not supported by the trends. __ Steve Goreham

In percentage terms, big wind and big solar have added a lot of “generating capacity,” at least nominally. That trend seems to be slowing, and will almost certainly reverse as the consequences of over-investment in intermittent and unreliable energy sources become more obvious.

To be sure, wind and solar have increased dramatically. Since 1990, wind-generated power has grown 26% per year and solar a phenomenal 48%. But the growth has been from almost nothing to slightly more than almost nothing. In 1990, wind produced 0.0038% of the world’s energy; it is now producing 0.29%. Solar-electric power has gone from essentially zero to 0.04%. __ Bjorn Lomborg

Wind and solar are intermittent and thus cannot be counted upon to support critical infrastructure:

April 2005 California

Modern societies can never count on their wind & solar energy supplies, so they must generally maintain an exquisitely expensive on-demand fossil fuel backup supply at all times. Not only does this create an unwise wear and tear on the backup energy infrastructure — leading to premature failure — but it also causes companies to shut down reliable fossil fuel power plants permanently, leading to an increasing potential for a catastrophic supply shortfall. Germany can see that problem coming on rapidly.

Paying the subsidies to keep this great green scheme going is not affordable in the long run. And since intermittent power sources can never supply the life-or-death crucial power supplies reliably, they will never be more than a ruinously expensive but virtuous window dressing.

Europeans discovered that subsidy support for renewables was unsustainable. Subsidy obligations soared in Germany to over $140 billion and in Spain to over $34 billion by 2013. Renewable subsidies produced the world’s highest electricity rates in Denmark and Germany. Electricity and natural gas prices in Europe rose to double those of the United States.

Worried about bloated budgets, declining industrial competitiveness, and citizen backlash, European nations have been retreating from green energy… __ Source

Investments are being cut back because subsidies are being cut back. Subsidies are being cut back because the entire enterprise is a grand scam that cannot possibly keep a high tech infrastructure going without bleeding the underlying society dry in the long run.

Electric power is the life and death foundation for a modern society’s crucial infrastructure. Playing “virtue signalling” games with the future of one’s society is a sign of either madness or ideological fanaticism.

… [A] renewable power grid needs an oversized power generation and transmission capacity of up to ten times the peak demand. It also requires a balancing capacity of fossil fuel power plants, or its equivalent in energy storage… Consequently, matching supply to demand at all times makes renewable power production a complex, slow, expensive and unsustainable undertaking. ___

Posted in Electrical Power Grid, Energy, Green Quagmire | Tagged | 1 Comment

Living in Grass Huts: Civilisation if Built by Women

The Tough Jobs That Civilisation is Built Upon

These are jobs that are done overwhelmingly by men. They are tough and dirty jobs — they are Dangerous jobs. Women as a rule do not choose to do these jobs, but without them civilisation as we know it comes screeching to a halt.

What Jobs Do Women Choose?

When women are choosing college majors in preparation for a particular job, they tend to choose non-technical jobs. From their youngest years, girls and women are attracted to people-oriented activities. Boys and men seem drawn to objects and mechanisms — the abstract and the technical.

As a direct result of conscious choices that men and women make, a “wage gap” naturally opens up between the average wages of men and women, overall. The biological and psychological phenomena underlying these divergent choices that men and women make would provide interesting reading — but it wouldn’t be politically correct. 😉

Another Look at Career Choices by Sex
Harvard Business Review

More on career choices of men and women

Women in Engineering

Women are hugely underrepresented in mathematics, in hard sciences that require advanced maths, and in technical areas utilising maths and mathematical intuition on a regular basis — like engineering and technical areas of computer science. Why?

James Damore was fired from Google for putting into a memo documented facts about sex differences that have been known by scientists for many decades. But these are things that one cannot say out loud, and especially not in a widely circulated memo in a totalitarian corporate culture such as Google’s.

When one says that a particular woman is “good at maths,” it is like saying a woman is “good at tennis.” Compared to the upper tier of women, she may be “good at maths” or “good at tennis.” But what about when compared with the upper tier of men?

#1 Woman Serena Williams Could Not Beat a #200 Male Player

A female NPR reporter once made the mistake of suggesting to former champion John McEnroe that Serena Williams may be the best tennis player ever — male or female. McEnroe’s amused response triggered a media firestorm:

In an interview with NPR, McEnroe was asked why he called Williams the best female tennis player, rather than simply the best tennis player. McEnroe seemed confused by the question, and finally replied “Well because if she was in, if she played the men’s circuit she’d be like 700 in the world.” __ Bloomberg

In fact, years ago when the Williams sisters were younger and quicker, they were each beaten soundly by an older male player ranked below 200th. The player, German Karsten Braasch, was drinking beer and smoking cigarettes during changeovers, and treated the whole challenge by the sisters as a lark — which it was.

This discrepancy of aptitude and performance is not only true at elite levels in sports, but across a wide array of human endeavour.

In mathematics, over the several decades that the Fields Medal in mathematics has been given, only one woman has received the award. And even there, the possibility of an element of “affirmative action” cannot be ruled out — given the dominant climate of the times.

While Marie Curie indisputably earned her Nobel Prize in Physics, equal opportunity in physics classrooms and labs in the subsequent 100+ years has not resulted in an equal number of male and female award winners. Quite the opposite.

Women are Relatively AWOL in Dirty Dangerous Jobs and in Top Technical Jobs

Civilisation relies upon the dirty dangerous jobs — such as oilrig workers and powerline repairmen — and on elite level technical jobs — such as pathbreaking engineers, mathematicians, and physicists. Take away the men, and what you are left with is lower and mid level functionaries, journeymen scientists, healthcare workers, bureaucrats, and window-dressers who cannot maintain a high level of technical civilisation — much less advance it. They play an important role in society all around, but they did not create our vital infrastructures and without men they could never maintain it.

Civilisation would collapse, and humans would go back to living in grass huts, like African bushmen.

But That is Not Even the Half of It

As Charles Murray pointed out in his book Human Accomplishment, the enterprise of advancing the state of human civilisation and human existence has long rested predominantly in the hands of men. This is true in the dirty dangerous jobs, the highly technical and abstract professions, and in areas such as music, art, philosophy, literature, exploration, invention, and more. Even in areas such as cooking and clothing design, males often cluster at the top levels of success.

Radical leftist feminists complain about “the glass ceiling” which they claim is keeping women out of top level corporate jobs. But if women are not willing to do the dirty jobs or to put in the tough lonely work required to excel in technical and abstract jobs, what makes these complainers think that very many women are willing to put in the long hours and hard competitive work — year after year after decade — to reach the highest levels of corporate leadership? Top striving men often sacrifice everything — including family and personal relationships — to reach the top. How many women are willing to do the same?

It Comes Down to Testosterone

In an earlier discussion here, we looked at a few of the many important differences in thinking and behaviour that the male hormone testosterone brings about. In fact, testosterone builds the male brain, a significantly different brain than one that is built without high levels of testosterone.

Normal testosterone levels for men: 300 to 1000 ng/dl
Normal testosterone levels for women: 30 to 95 ng/dl


And what are the end results? More Nobel Prizes:

More tough, dirty, dangerous jobs:

More soldiers, sailors, pilots, sea captains, railroad engineers, explorers, inventors, futurists . . .

And yes, more violent criminals. You take the bad with the good. But if you are honest, you will acknowledge the good along with the bad — which is something that radical leftist feminists cannot bring themselves to do, ever.

Being Brave, Strong, Honest, and Loyal

Westerners have allowed radical feminists and postmodernists to get their hands on their boys, and the result has not been pretty. Male virtues are denied and obscured on an everyday, wholesale basis. Male faults are magnified and harped upon constantly — with statistics often being made up to suit a patently false narrative which ends up victimising women and girls almost as much as boys and men.

The proper response is for parents to take their boys (and girls) back from the control of radical social engineers, and to make them both very Dangerous indeed.

This is the message that we have been promoting on The Dangerous Child blog, and coincidentally it is the same message that Professor Jordan Peterson has been stating publicly.

The backlash against the enemies of an abundant and expansive human future has just barely begun. The task is daunting and by no means guaranteed to succeed. But parent by parent, child by child, person by person, we can make ourselves battle worthy in preparation for what must come.

Unless you would rather live in a grass hut.

They did not build it. They could never maintain it. Why do they want so badly to tear it down?

Why Most Women Can’t Engineer

The more gender equality, the fewer women who choose STEM fields: This is exactly the opposite of what the feminist overlords in government, media, and academia constantly proclaim.

Posted in Maintenance, Sex Differences, Testosterone | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life is Making Waves

All children should be trained along the lines of Peterson’s 12 rules, but Dangerous Children in particular. This valuable book unlocks a treasure trove of deep learning and insight which required Peterson decades of study and struggle to uncover and elucidate. Writing the book only took a few years. Doing the painful and bloody work required to be able to write the book took decades.

The book is something to read, ponder, and read again. Parents who take the time and trouble to do so will be much better people for themselves, their partners, and their children. But it is children themselves — and especially Dangerous Children — who stand to reap the greatest harvest from internalising the dynamic storm of principles hidden behind the rules.

The following rules will appear meaningless to someone who has not read the book. But to anyone who takes the trouble to read and re-read Peterson’s book, the rules are saturated with the deepest of meanings.

Rule 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back

Rule 2 Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping

Rule 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you

Rule 4 Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today

Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Rule 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world

Rule 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)

Rule 8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie

Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t

Rule 10 Be precise in your speech

Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding

Rule 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street

Part clinical psychologist, part philosopher, part popularizer of obscure gems of experience and covert iron bulwarks of reality, Peterson is only 55 years old. He is just now bursting into the global intellectual limelight.

For anyone else from his relatively humble background, such a “coming out” into the treacherous world of modern fame would be potentially devastating. But if you look carefully at all the decades of blistering mind-toil Peterson has done arriving at this point in his life, it will be easier to see the solid bedrock beneath his thinking.

Peterson has largely been in the news for his blazing, outspoken opposition to much of the far-left political agenda, which he characterises as totalitarian, intolerant and a growing threat to the primacy of the individual – which is his core value and, he asserts, the foundation of western culture. __ Guardian

If you have not watched Peterson’s interview with feminist Cathy Newman on BBC UK Channel 4, it is worth a look. It has already received almost five and half million views on Youtube, and that number is rising quickly.

Ms. Newman tries repeatedly to put words into Peterson’s mouth, and is soundly rebuffed and corrected each time. Peterson comes across as cool under fire because he himself has fought internal battles over these issues of far greater ferocity than any firepower that a mere feminist could mount.

Children need to be prepared in advance for the hostility they will face from a radical leftist zeitgeist at all levels of society and education. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules is a powerful tool to aid that preparation.

Al Fin’s Prediction for This Book’s Impact

Peterson’s new book is subtitled “An Antidote to Chaos.” But the book is really an antidote to much more than mere chaos. It is even more an antidote to groupthink — the great modern plague afflicting universities and the pseudo-intellectual society at large.

If one is unable to start with the basics and work out what he should think about any particular thing on his own, he is a mental cripple. And that describes most of today’s university graduates, university administrators, journalists, government officials, and “thought leaders.” Without their daily spoonfed talking points, they are much like former President Obama without his teleprompter.

And so we at the Al Fin Institutes suspect that this new, bestselling book will have an impact that will start small and local, but build and spread strongly over a short span of time. And about time, too.

Note: This posting is adapted from an article on The Dangerous Child blog.

More: Jordan B. Peterson Youtube Channel

Maps of Meaning series in easily digested 30 minute videos made in the early days before political activists began attacking all things meaningful

Posted in Canada, Competence, Dangerous Child, Education, Executive Functions, Jordan Peterson | Tagged | 3 Comments

Did Obama Knock General Electric Off the Dow Jones?

During the Obama years, General Electric rode the federally subsidised green energy steamroller to the limit. GE assumed that Hillary Clinton would be the next US president, and that the green scam would continue endlessly into the future.

But with the election of a new president who understands raw profit and loss — without the government handouts — GE suddenly finds itself in danger of being kicked off the Dow Jones Industrial Average after 110 years of previously strong performance:

GE’s troubles are myriad, with pressure on earnings and cash, tough global power generation markets, aggressive downsizing, portfolio divestment, management shake-up and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. GE’s turbulent past 12 months has steeply eroded its market value, making it the worst performer on the Dow in that time. The company’s stock price is down 46 percent, while the index itself gained 32 percent. __ Bloomberg

GE’s green energy division is not the only symptom of bad management, but it is certainly a strong sign of stupidity at the highest levels of GE. The entire idea of large grid-scale wind and solar is ludicrous from the outset:

To paraphrase billionaire Warren Buffett: “Wind farms don’t make sense from the standpoint of energy production. The only reason to invest in them is the government subsidies and tax breaks.”

GE has gone especially off the tracks when it comes to its offshore wind turbine enterprise.

[The]“maintenance and repair costs of offshore wind turbines over the years add up to be a hundred times the cost of the new turbine itself,” says Peter Plagemann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Applied Material Science (IFAM) in Bremen…

Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft reports how offshore North and Baltic Sea wind turbines need to be in operation for 25 years before they become profitable, but that they are prone to shortened lifespans due to rust from the harsh sea environment.

As a result the wind turbine installations need extra and very costly maintenance to ensure that they survive long enough. It’s turning out to be an insurmountable challenge.

Maintenance to turbines cannot be done at a dry dock, rather, because they are permanently fixed out to sea, repair work and maintenance have to be done offshore in raw and windy conditions. Not only is this expensive, but it also puts the lives and limbs of repair personnel at risk.

…__ (German language report)

Al Fin has always been a fan of small scale wind and solar power, for off-grid applications. Until about ten years ago, Al Fin assumed that wind and solar could be scaled up economically to grid-scale to provide clean, cheap, reliable power. But if you look deeply enough into the nitty-gritty of grid-scale power, you will start to see some significant problems in scaling up wind & solar for grid scale usage. The more deeply you look, the more clearly idiotic the entire idea of grid-scale wind & solar is revealed to be.

Forbes EROEI for Major Energy Forms
Nuclear Ranks Best on Energy Return for Investment

But that did not stop Obama from wasting hundreds of $billions of US taxpayer funding to prop up a corrupt industry that should never have gotten off the ground. General Electric simply got caught in the middle of the huge scam — and is now paying the price of playing along with a politically corrupt scheme that it believed would never end.

A simple primer on the harmful effects of intermittents on power grids

Reliable, affordable, abundant electric power is a life or death matter. It should not be treated as a political spoils game for corrupt insiders. Obama took that rotten path, as did Angela Merkel and Jerry Browne. It is ordinary people who will pay the price of their criminal malfeasance. But General Electric getting thrown off the DJIA would suggest that the pain is creeping up the food chain.

More: A historical view of GE’s fall from grace since the days of Thomas edison

Posted in Energy, Green Quagmire, Wind | Tagged ,

Russian Update: Demographics Changing

Deep Notches in Population Pyramid of Russia Reliably Predict Cascading Losses in Population Due to Plummeting Numbers of Women Capable of Childbirth

Understanding Why Birthrates are Dropping

Russia is undergoing a significant decline in the number of women of child-bearing years. As a result, we are starting to see a decline in birthrates which is likely to continue for decades to come.

The country’s state statistics agency Rosstat registered 203,400 fewer births in 2017 compared to 2016, a drop of 10.7 percent, according to data published Monday. This marks the lowest birth rate since 2007 when 1.6 million births were recorded.

Despite a fall in the number of deaths by since last year, the population declined by 134,400 people in 2017. A year prior, Russia’s population grew by 5,300 people.

“The number of potential mothers is small, so the number of births is also falling,” the RBC business portal cited social analysis expert Ramilya Khasanova of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA).

Khasanova said birth rates would continue to fall in the next 15 years because the majority of women of child-bearing age were born in the 1990s, a period of extremely low birth rates. __ Moscow Times

Projected Population of Russia: 1950 – 2094

“Russia’s population will most likely decline in the coming decades, perhaps reaching an eventual size in 2100 that’s similar to its 1950 level of around 100 million,”

__ Yale

To make matters worse, more Russian women are choosing not to have children at all. Those who do decide to bear children are now waiting an average of 5 years later before having their first child.

Russian women who have children at all are giving birth to their first baby at 26.1 years, five years more than the 20.9 years at which they gave birth in 1995-1999, and they are increasing the interval between the first and second child from three years two decades ago to 5.6 years now, according to a Rosstat study reported today by Izvestiya.

… Russian women want fewer children or none at all. ___ Russian language story in

Discussed in English by WOE2

This shift toward having children later or not at all and having smaller families is common to many countries. In Russia, it is especially significant because it imposes severe constraints on the Kremlin’s demographic policies which are based almost exclusively on trying to boost fertility rather than addressing the super-high mortality rates among working-age males.

Russian Men Being Neglected

As in many other societies, men in Russia are left in the bear pit to fight it out to the death. As a result, male mortality in Russia ranks among the worst of third world nations. De facto slavery is still common in Russia for men as well as for women.

In Moscow’s push for increasing birthrates, fathers have been the neglected figures; and partially as a result, experts say, the country is suffering from “a crisis of fatherhood” in which men no longer know what their roles should be ( Meanwhile, Chinese men are coming to Russia in ever larger numbers to acquire Russian wives, driving up the new field of “marriage tourism” in Beijing ( and
__ WOE2 Baker’s Dozen

There are fewer Russian women of child-bearing age, and many of those are choosing to forego having children altogether. More, a growing number of Russian women are choosing to marry Chinese men, or to migrate to Europe or the Anglosphere to try their luck in fairer lands. To top it off, a growing number of women in Russia are giving birth to non-Russian ethnicities. Every day Russia shrinks in multiple ways.

Russia’s Perfect Demographic Storm

We have known for several years that the current decline in births would occur — it was inevitable — and that it would continue for a significant period of time.

Thanks to Putin’s economically ruinous wars and other policies, Russia will not have the time it needs to recover its equilibrium. The corrupt and ailing bear feeds on itself, while the dragon to the south considers the best time to strike.

More: Russian population doomed to perpetual decline

Posted in Demographics, Russian Decline | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Tax Reform Latest Boon to US Economic Growth

So far, 273 US companies have announced bonuses, rate hikes, and 401K match increases as a result of US President Trump’s tax reforms.

Just weeks after the federal government adopted the biggest tax overhaul in three decades, the effects are rippling through corner offices and boardrooms, with companies large and small dusting off once-shelved plans, re-evaluating existing projects and exploring new investment in factories and equipment. …

__ TaxProf

This is Just the Beginning

Tax reform when combined with deregulation, booming energy production spurring new manufacturing and industry, and a general increase in confidence at all levels — from consumers to executives to entrepreneurs — creates a better environment for new investment and economic growth.

This is what Trump was trying to explain to the Davos crowd. Here are a few of the things he told the world’s superwealthy and super-wannabes:

“When the United States grows, so does the world. American prosperity has created countless jobs around the globe and the drive for excellence, creativity and innovation in the United States has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and healthier lives.”

“After years of stagnation the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth. Consumer confidence, business confidence and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have ever been in many decades.”

“We have dramatically cut taxes to make America competitive.”

“There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States. America is open for business and we are competitive once again.”

… “In a stunning moment, one by one, European titans of industry from companies like Adidas, Siemens and Bayer went around the table to thank Trump for the passage of tax cuts and the easing of corporate tax burdens. Almost every CEO had a new U.S.-based investment or strategic business to announce.”

“The president of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said, ‘since you have been so successful in tax reform we have decided to develop the next generation gas turbines in the United States.’ “

… Given what looks like a coming flood of foreign investment in the U.S., maybe “Make America Great Again” is the best kind of globalism there is.

____ Source

All of this is precisely what the governments of China, Germany, and much of Europe were afraid of. As conditions for investing and doing business inside the US improve, more companies will move to North America and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) going to the US will accelerate even faster. The stream of elite flight going to North America will turn into a flood, as entrepreneurs and the highly skilled calculate the new formulas for wealth and success.

Slowly, step by step, the cutting away of regulatory dead weight and trimming back taxation is beginning to have an effect on a US economy that had been actively poisoned by Obama-era sabotage for almost ten years. Watch and learn.

Corrupt cronies of left fear any good news

Posted in Donald Trump, Economics | Tagged | 1 Comment

George Soros Panics: Threatens Trump to Disappear

The 46th richest man in the world — who has lost at least $1 billion betting against Donald Trump’s economy — made a recent prediction in Davos, Switzerland that Trump will “disappear” by 2020, or sooner!

Soros only profits in a world thrown into turmoil and disarray. If the Trump economy continues to bull upward, the former Nazi collaborator Soros will be all dressed up with nowhere to go. What can he do to wreak havoc and salvage his legacy?

After watching Donald Trump’s triumphal march through Davos, the incendiary remarks by Soros may be seen as only wishful thinking, except that when it comes to getting rid of Trump, Soros has been putting his money where his mouth is.

Starting in November 2016, after Trump’s election victory, George Soros called a three-day meeting at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington DC to organize a series of violent street protests. Soros immediately put up several million dollars to train anti-Trump activists for street action at the presidential inauguration in January, and at multiple marches and protests in US cities and college campuses. More

George Soros’ World of Hate

Soros recently devoted $18 billion to his umbrella organisation, Open Society Foundation, for purposes of financing insurgency and instability within democratic societies of the western world.

On the surface, the vast number of groups and people he supports seem unrelated. After all, what does climate change have to do with illegal African immigration to Israel? What does Occupy Wall Street have to do with Greek immigration policies? But the fact is that Soros-backed projects share basic common attributes.

They all work to weaken the ability of national and local authorities in Western democracies to uphold the laws and values of their nations and communities.

They all work to hinder free markets, whether those markets are financial, ideological, political or scientific. They do so in the name of democracy, human rights, economic, racial and sexual justice and other lofty terms.

In other words, their goal is to subvert Western democracies and make it impossible for governments to maintain order or for societies to retain their unique identities and values. __ Source

Soros’ sock monkey puppets can do a lot of damage with $18 billion, but realistically that money can barely plug the funding vacuum for mischief that was created when the Obama administration departed, and when Hillary Clinton failed to step into the void. In other words, the US federal government is no longer in the business of funding the death of freedom and opportunity — at least not nearly as much as during the 2008-2016 time period when Obama was adding $10 trillion to the US national debt. Tens or hundreds of billions of that phantom fiat spending went to leftist radical groups. So you see that Soros’ $18 billion will need to be spent prudently if it is to go very far.

The thrust of Soros’s efforts from Ferguson to Berlin to Jerusalem is to induce mayhem and chaos as local authorities, paralyzed by his supported groups, are unable to secure their societies or even argue coherently that they deserve security.
___ Source

Soros makes money when conditions are most labile — he thrives on instability and chaos.

To paraphrase EF Schumacher, “Any fool can make things more violent and chaotic, it requires a genius to make things simple and work smoothly.” Soros has no intention of helping to make the world work more simply and harmoniously. He honed his financial skills in childhood, helping Nazis to steal the properties of wealthy Jews in his native Hungary. He learned how to thrive in chaos and violence, and seems never to have changed his ways.

Given all of that, it seems that the world might welcome the disappearance of Mr. Soros himself, as long as he takes his violent troublemakers with him on his way out.

Update June 2018: George Soros doubles down on stupid

Posted in Donald Trump, George Soros, Groupthink, Ideology | Tagged | 2 Comments

Europe: Cold, Dark, and Growing Poorer

While the US is pumping record amounts of oil and is producing unbelievable levels of natural gas, Europe has chosen the intermittent and unreliable energy path. And the continent will pay dearly for its mistake.

Europe’s energy policies are worse than stupid.

The elixir of carbon-free growth turns out to be snake oil

2017 was the year when Germany’s much vaunted Energiewendea blueprint for America’s energy future if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 electiondemonstrably failed. Despite fearsome energy-saving policies, energy consumption rose (economic growth, immigration, and cold weather were blamed), greenhouse-gas emissions were flat, and retail electricity prices were projected to rise above 30 euro cents (36.6 U.S. cents) for the first time (the average U.S. residential rate is around 13 U.S. cents). The perverse effects of wind and solar were evidenced by increased volatility in wholesale electricity prices, with a record 146 hours with negative electricity prices — indicating that during these hours, electricity is less than worthless, as there’s insufficient demand to mop up unwanted wind and solar power. The extent to which the German public has been cowed by relentless renewables propaganda can be seen from an opinion survey that showed 75 percent agreeing that the Energiewende was a collective responsibility that everyone should help make succeed. But the same survey found that 68 percent of people were “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the way it had been implemented, only 15 percent were “somewhat satisfied,” and only 1 percent were “very satisfied.”

[Europe Wants to Export this Disaster to Africa]

…. Europeans will reward [Africans] with some solar power, which doesn’t keep the lights on after dark or keep refrigerators cool through the night. In effect, the French president’s message to Africans was: You can’t have a Marshall Plan for Africa until your women have fewer babies.

Read more at:

Unreliable, intermittent energy sources such as big wind and big solar, are highly corrupt ways of rewarding ultra-rich developers of wind farms and solar arrays who happen to be well connected politically. Taxpayers, consumers, and rate payers are the ones who lose, bigtime.

If Hillary Clinton cheated her way to the US Presidency, she would have shoved the US down the same slippery chute to ruin as Angela Merkel and the German greens have chosen. Idiotic policies are quite common at the upper levels of corruption. The US dodged a poisoned bullet in November 2016.

Meanwhile, with demographic and financial doom looming, Europe is walking straight toward energy starvation. She is losing her reliable nuclear and combustion power sources, and is embracing the deadly hazard of unreliable, intermittent energy.

Wind and solar are great for small to intermediate off-grid projects for tropical islands and many other geographically isolated areas — until safer and more reliable small nukes can be perfected and approved. But today’s huge grid-scale wind and solar is just a corrupt political game with ultimate life or death repercussions for modern high-tech societies. If grid failures become more common and widespread, people will die as a result. If electricity costs continue to skyrocket in Germany and other over-leveraged-in-green European nations, both energy-poverty and poverty in general will become far worse problems.

German industries are beginning to relocate away from the ideologically driven state, moving to locations where energy is cheaper, more reliable, and more abundant. Expect that costly exodus to spread to other nations who have gone all-in for the unreliables.

Posted in Energy, Green Quagmire | Tagged ,

Technology Enabling $20 a Barrel Oil Costs

Breakeven Oil Prices
Peter Zeihan Absent Superpower map from

“Really, it’s quite easy” to be profitable at $20, “when you sit down and add up all the ways there are to save money in our industry, and how much waste there is,” added Blake Burnette, CEO of IoT-eq (pronounced I-O-Tech), at the same conference. “Through automation, I think $20 a barrel is quite feasible.”

Burnette says the oilfield is 20 years behind industry-in-general in adopting the efficiencies of technology, and he believes he knows why. It’s the bucking bronco ride that is the oilfield economy. “One of my theories about our business is that the shortness of the business cycle makes us stay 20 years behind other industries” in technological advances. In down times companies feel they can’t afford to invest in new technology, whereas in boom times they don’t have time to adapt to changes—and the economic need is not perceived. __ Permian Basin O&G Magazine

There are indeed some companies that are bucking the business cycle and investing in advanced technologies which cut wastes and boost profitability. Technology-based streamlining not only makes production more profitable, it also stretches recoverable reserves farther out the time horizon.

With current oil prices above $60 a barrel, companies that use advanced technology to cut waste and streamline production are doing very well indeed. Those who do not learn such lessons will probably be swept up in the aftermath of subsequent price cycles.

Oil Supply Extended from Decades to Centuries

… with the right incentives, research and smart people putting their minds to it, we’ve been able to drastically increase what we can extract. Even now, I’ve seen estimates that only about 60 percent of oil in most reservoirs can be extracted with today’s technology regardless of oil prices, economics and how much is spent. I feel confident that we will see further advances which improve efficiency, effectiveness and economics of production (not to mention our ability to locate new deposits).

Another recent development is that the U.S. is now estimated to hold more oil reserves than any other nation. Estimates in 2016 by Rystad Energy indicate the U.S. tops Saudi Arabia and Russia. More than half of U.S. oil is in unconventional shales, which rely on fracking to produce. Although the cost to produce such oil can be higher than conventional wells, when the economics are right it will be tapped. __ Ray Perryman

IEA predicts explosive US oil growth this year

OPEC countries likely to be squeezed from now on
Countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, etc. depend too much on their oil & gas exports — and so are extremely vulnerable to price swings. The same is true for Russia, which is also dangerously dependent on energy exports to power its economy.

In the future, a combination of decreasing global demand for oil (peak oil demand) with more competitive petroleum production from outside of OPEC and Russia, will put a perpetual squeeze on such nations that are unable to adapt to the changes.

The Texas/New Mexico oil fields known collectively as The Permian Basin, will play a significant role in the global oil marketplace of the future. It is seen as the second largest oil field in the world with over 200 billion barrels of oily enticement driving the play.

As better technologies of discovery, production, and enhanced recovery come online, the Permian is likely to come into its own — along with a large number of other North American oil fields, many not yet discovered.

Evolving Perceptions

Ten years ago, the global perception of the oil future was shaped by maps such as the one just below:

According to this “peak oil” influenced global view, the middle east was where the action was going to be for the duration, as peak oil took over the world stage and played itself out over the dreary future landscape.

According to that viewpoint, the US in its entirety only held 21 billion barrels of oil reserves, and was incidentally also rapidly running out of natural gas.

But that was then and this is now. With Permian Basin reserves alone amounting to over 200 billion barrels of oil, we get a small glimpse at the revolution taking place before our eyes. Estimates for Bakken oil reserves have varied wildly over the years (up to 500 billion barrels), but have been consistently underestimated by the USGS.

US natural gas reserves have likewise exploded, driving the export revolution of LNG at US ports, with no end in sight.

Learn to See and Understand These Seismic Shifts

People who buy too deeply into cult-beliefs such as “Peak Oil Armageddon” or the “Climate Apocalypse Cult” get mentally stuck, and cannot quickly adjust to potent underlying shifts of reality — whether in technology, economics, or political power swings. Their entire beings resist the new realities, and so in their rigid brittleness they miss out on many opportunities to prosper that reality offers to everyone.

Wiser people do not usually limit their options by over-investing in ideologies — which always fail in the end, like all models.

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

Posted in Energy, Fiscal Breakeven Oil Price, Peak Oil | Tagged | 4 Comments