FrankRichards

 
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  • in reply to: Smart Choices for the Coming Bust – Part 2 #10313

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Ilargi, what kind of archive search is available? I think it was way back on Blogspot, but you got very vehement that it was all about finance and that Peak Oil would not matter for decades if ever. I’m happy to put some research into finding that sentiment.

    Meanwhile, without denying that finance is important, arguably even primary, I will get quite vehement that a lot of things would get better for a lot of people if the oil/other primary energy situation was such that 5 years of $100+ Brent would conjure up another 5 million barrels a day of C&C. Which, you may notice, has not happened.

    in reply to: Smart Choices for the Coming Bust – Part 2 #10309

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Obviously it depends where you are. I’ve moved from New Hampshire to Vermont, staying in the upper Connecticut Valley. I can’t speak for the flatlands, but on both sides of the river, and in Maine and upstate New York as well (Old Worlders, that’s a UK sized chunk of land) things are getting readier every year.

    More gardens every year, winter farmer’s markets selling potatoes and onions, not jams and jellies, pellets stoves burning pellets from New Hampshire not Georgia.`

    And this is up to the the State government level. Even in New Hampshire, where Kelley Ayotte was running for VP on the Koch Brothers ticket, the libertarians and the hippies had a joint ‘come to Jesus’ moment with her and she got the clue.

    I expected this 5 years, you didn’t. I now expect 5 more, which, hey Ilargi, I was wrong about, you don’t. If I’m right, my 5 million of my closest friends and I will be ok. No flying cars, but ok.

    in reply to: Smart Choices for the Coming Bust – Part 2 #10301

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Nicole,

    With all respect, from someone who has been reading you since TOD, I am becoming sincerely skeptical of an actual, identifiable, macro crunch.

    I’m watching peak oil play out month by month. We’ve been on the plateau for six years now, with no silver bullet in sight. Cornucopians, zero. But, a few silver BBs, some ductape, and some conservation, no collapse either. Catastrophists, also zero, since I don’t see how to award a tiny fraction.

    Honestly, I lost serious respect for Ilargi when he claimed that Peak Oil has not happened because we have reached a non-catastrophic equilibrium based on demand destruction rather than supply increase. England _could_ have survived peak firewood without coal. The template was in place. It sucked, but peak firewood happened and coal was plan B that happened to come through.

    Many have compared the current economic situation to the Gilded Age, and I won’t object at all. An interesting observation is there was not a catastrophe, although things came very close several times. I won’t speak for the red states, but up here in the northeast and the great lakes there is more social fabric left than many people think.

    in reply to: Capitalism, A Norwegian Rat And Some Cockroaches #8085

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Whether or not everything is measurable, videotaping a teacher so that he or she can watch the video and figure out how to teach better is a good and useful idea.

    I hope Stoneleigh watches her own videos every so often, to help improve her presentations.

    in reply to: What Ben Bernanke Is Really Saying #8007

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    I agree. I admit to being wrong. What I thought was a 2 year horizon from the fall of ’07 is now at 6 and counting.

    I am still extremely concerned, and this fall looks to be another minefield for the financial system. However, my best guess is now for a slow motion trainwreck kind of collapse, kind of like the Roman Empire except in decades rather than centuries. This calls for a significantly different set of preps for my declining years.

    TAE started out looking at a 2 to 5 year, 7 at the very most, denoument. And it hasn’t happened.

    I strongly suggest that I&S would do themselves as well as their readers a great favor by sitting down, looking at what did and didn’t happen, and coming up with a revised guess at the next decade or so.

    in reply to: Bank Run in Cyprus; Who's Next? #7173

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    TAE Summary,

    It’s great to see you back.

    Regarding your new avatar, , I always liked “Eats, shoots, and leaves.”

    in reply to: How To Spot A Zombie #6852

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Prof L&L, you do know that pots and pans brought down the PM in Iceland, right? As I recall the story, the Reykjavik chief of police told the PM that his officers were not about to arrest their grandmothers, and he wasn’t about to ask them to. And that was that.

    Then when the new PM tried to sell out to the EU, there was a very impressive torchlight parade outside the presidential palace. Being Iceland, absolutely nothing was burned.

    I believe that many, but not most, Icelandic farms have a long gun for predator control. Somehow they weren’t needed for anything else.

    in reply to: Did Hurricane Sandy Cause $36.5 Trillion In Damage? #6313

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Ilargi,

    I suggest that relatively little of the cost of reissuing the certificates is related to their value: It’s just paying for paperwork and Fedex. Also, because DTCC closed normally on Friday afternoon, with a valid inventory stored offsite, There should be little to no effort to reconstruct what needs to be done. I doubt there were many such inventories after 9/11.

    in reply to: A Big Bad Brick Wall #5315

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    I’ve been watching the Arctic ice numbers at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (www.nsidc.org). They are nowhere near as radical as this guy. On the 27th they announced a new record low ice area, but also a slowing of the melt rate, consistent with the usual minimum date of Sept 10-20, not the Sept 30 this guy talked about.

    IOW, the NSIDC, and my squint at the curves say a new record low, 20-25% below the previous record, but still more the 3 million km^2 at the 2012 minimum.

    in reply to: What Happened To The Debt? #5250

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Lord St. Albans,

    I’m not one of the holy trinity, but here’s my tuppencs.

    Asset taxation is actually tricky. Is it a coupon clipping trust, or an onging business? The whole anti-inheritance tax thingy got its initial traction because taxation aimed at rentiers really did destroy family farms/machine shops/hardware stores that had to sell out because all the nominal value was tied up in the business itself.

    in reply to: Cloudflare.com might speed site up #4945

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    That’s not to claim that they aren’t loony of course, just not loony that way.

    in reply to: Cloudflare.com might speed site up #4944

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Nassim, all the *.theautomaticearth.* “hosts” are cnames of various boring.ip.number.directrouter.co.uk. hosts.

    I doubt if I&S control their own DNS records. They’d be loony to actually be running named themselves.

    in reply to: The IMF plans to dump Greece #4788

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Everybody likes their summer vacations. Which I suspect is why crises have a habit of blowing up in August. Not just the .01%, but the 5%, really wanted not to worry about this till September.

    I’ll bet a beer they manage to push the explosion off until October. I can’t see how they gat past October, but they’ve done it so many times in the last 5 years that I’m no longer willing to call even a year for the next big crunch.

    in reply to: Europe Is Sliding Back Into Its Own Past #4626

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Viscount, It’s worth remembering that petroleum consumption has gone down only in the developed world, Demand has increased enough in the rest of the world to maintain both prices and consumption. It only makes sense that refinery capacity will follow the consumption.

    BTW, this is one of the things that makes me a tad skeptical of the TAE predicted nominal price crash. The relative worth of a gallon of gas to pump water for your family and livestock (intead of doing it by hand) is much higher than that of a gallon of gas for a second trip to the mall this week.

    in reply to: Hubris Before The Storm #4524

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    @Gravity, would you or someone please explain the EROEI of vertical farming? Only the south side of the building gets adequate sun. (North in Oz) You’ve got to pump water everywhere. The only way to retain micronutrients is to recycle human waste. If you only do NPK your plants will have as many deficiency issues as the people who eat them.

    As near as I can tell, you either pour in fossil fuel at a rate that makes GMO corn look cheap or you tie up enough space garnering the renewable energy and nutrients to just raise the food normally.

    in reply to: Hubris Before The Storm #4523

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    As for EROEI of renewables, has Stoneleigh calculated the EREOI of the the firewood she cuts on her farm every year? Sun and rain are free (ok, rain not free everywhere, but it is in Ontario)

    A liter of chainsaw mix, and a bit of diesel for the tractor will keep you warm for days, even up between Ottawa and Montreal.

    in reply to: Peak Oil: A Dialogue with George Monbiot #4522

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    @greenpa, I grant that there is a possible shortage of Americans who will operate a hoe or shovel all day in the sun for a reasonable rate.

    I’ll take that seriously when the folks who want that hoeing done are willing to outbid WalMart’s much easier jobs by at least 20%.

    I leased a farm this week. The landlord and I discussed work on his farm for rent credit. He mentioned that he has plenty of kids, but needs someone to whom he can say “It’s a good day for mowing” and come home to find the hay mowed, the mower unbroken and the tractor untipped.

    Missing was the part about outbidding the local home center for someone who can also say “You’re on the cold side of town. Go with rhodies not azaleas if you can. If you need the azalea size, these three are your best bets to survive.” That’s actually not easier than driving a tractor, but Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday is a better work schedule than “Looks like good weather, mow today, ted in two days, bale the day after that.”

    I just flat out don’t believe those farmers down in Alabama who claimed they offered $15/hr and couldn’t replace their wetbacks.

    in reply to: Europe: A Thousand Miles Behind #3960

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    >>but the articles of, let’s say, Stoneleigh or Ilargi actually mean what the writers intended them to mean, or what the written words suggest they mean.

    Just FWIW, I’ve had exactly that problem with Ilargi several times. What I read was not what he meant to write. Sometimes it has been obvious from context, but in others, eg the famous “you may not recognize your home town”, it was most certainly not.

    Also, FWIW, I have seen the issue arise between native speakers of English. One of the many reasons I no longer work for the Irish company I fondly refer to as Dysfunctional Ltd. is the number of times I told my boss, “I am bilingual. What the prospect heard is not what you think you said.”

    And possibly relevant here, 150 years after “The Late Unpleasantness”, people from Dixie and Mr. Lincoln’s Union can still hear each others statements and feel, “Honorless craven” and “Lying hypocrite”.

    in reply to: Europe: A Thousand Miles Behind #3904

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Ash, the Septuagint issue is largely about which books are included. The Protestants exclude many (10-ish) books that are accepted by Catholics and Orthodox.

    in reply to: Europe: A Thousand Miles Behind #3897

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    [blockquote]One can say with some assurance though that what DID make it onto the Bible Blog were the best articles the editors could find on the Monastery Web of the era.[/blockquote]

    Not exactly. One can say with assurance that Jerome picked up the best stuff that matched his doctrinal pravda. Jerome certainly bounced a lot of crap, but he also excluded the gnostics, and eg the Gospel of Thomas, for saying things that neither Rome nor Constantinople wanted to hear.

    Martin Luther and the KJV translators also made an honest error in using the Septuagint as their source for the Old Testament. This was a carefully chosen and edited Greek translation commissioned by a carefully theologically/politically chosen rump convocation of the Sanhedrin after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. In, as it were, outfitting Judaism to survive the diaspora, it left on the cutting room floor many ideas and traditions that would have been part of the environment of Jesus and his original disciples.

    Disclosure: Jesuit educated recovering Catholic.

    in reply to: FPC: "Aristotle" on Utopia #3670

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    The “more” link 404s

    in reply to: Desperate European Bankster Puppets Exposed #3669

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    @candace,

    FWIW we’re down to 20%. We are actually down a bit absolutely, and lots of other folks are up quite a lot. The rest of the OECD is similar.

    in reply to: America's Final Bust Out #3643

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    After the insane corporatism of the current court, I fail to see what an Obama appointee could do that is worse.

    in reply to: There Is Not Enough Money On Planet Earth #3237

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    RE,

    One point on the energy thing. Both the US and Western Europe are now using substantially less oil than they were 5 years ago. The oil that Greece can no longer afford is going to the BRICs, not the US or Germany.

    If you just look at crude imports it’s not obvious because a bunch of the imported crude is refined here and re-exported.

    in reply to: Creating Community in the Modern World #3182

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Great article. I don’t have a real comment, but I want to thank as well as gripe.

    PS. el G, we had about 8 gallinatzos here yesterday. Even the ravens were less than appreciative. I think it involved a suspicion that they were looking for ‘baby’ rather than carrion.

    in reply to: Spain Has Been Shut Out #3147

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    @jal, yes, in theory corporations are subject to the $10k limit. Both corporations and (in theory) individuals can get exemptions for ‘routine’ transactions. The example I saw many years ago was that the Red Sox are not required to file a report after every home game.

    in reply to: Spain Has Been Shut Out #3143

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Who knows. Maybe this time is for real. It’s not too surprising that it’s Spain, not Ireland. Ireland was sound until it bailed out the banks, while Spain had big hidden debt in the provinces and municipalities. I do wonder why not Portugal first, though.

    I agreed with Stoneleigh that the sucker rally wouldn’t last past 1Q 2010. Despite the TAE pravda, the extra 2.5 years has cost me dearly. I’m responsible for my own choices, and well, 18 months instead of 9, prediction is hard. However, we’re at 27 and the deal isn’t sealed.

    I can also understand the change in emphasis from TAE to live talks. Still, S&I presumably have something to say to honest live questioners about the factor of three and counting, and about what 2 extra years of flat out oil pumping does to the 10 year energy outlook. I doubt I’m the only TAE regular that would like to hear them.

    There are, or were, more readers here than citizens of the average town, and many of us have readers of our own. The current vacation is well deserved, but I suggest strongly that their overall mission would be well served by deferring a session or two with the East Overshoe district council and using the time to cogently post their current thinking here.

    in reply to: Skeptical Science Analysis #3043

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Dear Triv,

    Snicker. Moving on.

    in reply to: China, or How To Live in Interesting Times #3042

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    @karpatok, so what.

    I personally think Canada (hell, the US) is a better deal than Oz, and they are both too old to be welcome in New Zealand, but why [pick an expletive] shouldn’t they take a look?

    in reply to: "If Only" They Had Listened #3031

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Triv,

    How did you derive your 7 million number?

    I ask because the only other number I’ve ever seen was 20 million, in a paper by an extreme Russian nationalist. The thesis of the paper was: “We all know that the holodomor didn’t happen, but even if it did, look, see, things were even worse in the US.” He then proceeded to claim that a greatest upper bound, ie “cannot possibly be bigger under any circumstances” was an accurate estimate.

    Anyway, making SWAGs at the factors he deliberately neglected, 7 million sounds plausible.

    in reply to: China, or How To Live in Interesting Times #3025

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    First, 1973 was the US, and specifically the lower 48, peak. The actual shortages in the 70s were clearly political — no one claimed anything else.

    Then there was plenty of oil available on a worldwide basis throughout the 80s and 90s.

    It was only in 2005 that supply stopped tracking price, causing price to go up. (Ilargi referenced an Oil Drum article with the relevant numbers fairly recently.)

    I’d very much like to see your evidence that basically the whole world as not producing flat out in the spring and summer of ’08 when the price skied. Whether or not you believe that oil prices influenced the financial mess, it is not in the producer’s interest for price to go up that far, that fast: consumers will take steps to get out from under.

    There was of course a big dip in production during the crash, but it’s been back up since 2010. Likewise, there were many big projects in progress in ’07-08. However many were deferred and some cancelled after the crash. North American and Angolan production is up, but not enough to cut the Arabs a lot of slack, with Venezuela and Mexico headed down.

    Anyway, who is it that you claim has the ability, jointly or individually, to add even 4 Mbd of production (<5%) on a sustained basis? I'll buy that the Arabs (all of them together) could do it for 90-180 days, but after that deferred maintenance and workers exhausted from overtime would start to catch up to them.

    in reply to: The What's in your garden thread #2950

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    It sounds like you’re asking primarily about perreniels, rather than the basically annual vegetable garden.

    Anyway, I still plant for zone 4, although we’ve only had zone 5 or even zone 6 winters for all of this century. (hey, millenium even)

    My wife dropped some serious dotcom money (it was her stock option. I bought a tractor with mine) on a landscaped perrenial garden in 2000. The only really “useful” items there are a few ornamental crap trees that the chickens and turkeys eat from all winter.

    On the veggie side, rubharb, chives, mint, horseradish, asparagus, strawberries (we’ve plenty of wild brambles), a couple of semi-dwarf apples and we replant our own garlic cloves, which has been quite successful.

    One note for the north. Even though many, not all, apple varieties are zone 4 hardy, the most popular dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstocks come from East Anglia, and most definitely are not.

    This problem is even worse with roses. Unless there is a specific claim otherwise, assume it’s grafted on a zone 7 hardy root. The big growers in Oregon, and BC for those in Canada, at least claim not to understand the problem. So every spring they ship millions of plants east to die the next winter.

    On the annual veggie side, we just do the usuals, paying attention to get short season varities. Between row cover, indoor starts, and the fact that both my wife and I learned to walk and garden at about the same age, we do ok.

    Our biggest issue is cool summers, not short ones. Peppers and okra, for instance simply refuse to set fruit when highs are below 75F. Potatoes won’t either but very few people care. Tomatoes and cukes eventually will, but weeks late and poorly.

    in reply to: Skeptical Science Analysis #2949

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Triv,

    “Aha”. I sincerely did not understand your methodology. My complaint was, and is, that you were ignoring all other means of deciding on the reliability of an article except the, to me, relatively sterile one of medieval scholastic logic. In particular, my reference to the Quadrivium, was implicitly to Arithmetic as a proxy for all math. A more direct phrasing would have been “And WTF isn’t there a flippin’ word about what they say, rather than how they say it?”

    Your last message to Ash explains that this was a deliberate choice. It is not a choice that gives me confidence in what I thought was your goal of assessing the overall plausibility of the evidence for man made climate change. Based entirely on my 58 years of emperical and subjective experience, the three most plausible explanations (taken in a vacuum of only reading this thread) are:

    1. It is a sterile exercise in “Look how smart I am.”

    2. It is a homework assignment from an introductory course in Medieval Philosophy.

    3. It is a rhetorical device, (I’m sure there is a name for it.) aimed at casting unwarranted doubt on the entire website by cherry picking one article with one set of weaknesses and jumping all over them while ignoring everything else.

    By the way, I do find your extensive disquisition on Bernanke and the Dual Mandate to be a strawman. Any regular reader of TAE has read enough references to the Dual Mandate by politicians, economists and econobloggers to know that there are at least hundeds of “authorities” who claim to have seen it. Therefore, for him to give a reference in the middle of a speach or press conference (not a formal paper) would be bad oratory in that it would make him appear foolishly pedantic rather than someone attempting to convey information or impart understanding. Then again, the folks who did all that burbling about that totally meta stuff were pedants, so, hey.

    And emperical backup: a google for ‘”Dual Mandate” “Federal Reserve”‘ got me a reference to Section 2a of the Federal Reserve Act, as amended. My section of the interweb is being cranky this morning, but I know, again from emperical experience, that it would take me one google to find where the Federal Reserve Act is buried in the US Code, one to find the government website with the US code, and then a search for section 2a. Simple enough to not require breaking up the flow of a speach.

    2. It is a homework

    in reply to: Skeptical Science Analysis #2910

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Uh, Triv, my actual phrasing was “simultaneous application of”. You are completely inverting the meaning of what I said. Not only did I not say you should use only the Q, I specifically said you should use both at once rather than just the T as you seem to prefer.

    I will rephrase: You appear to be deliberately limitiing yourself to the use of a single analytical tool, when even in your context there are others available, which could ALSO be used.

    Third time around. Sometimes a quantitative analysis can resolve an issue much more directly than the qualitative one that you seem to strongly prefer. I am not a particularly visual person, but I still frequently find that Analytic Geometry (which had to wait for Rene Descartes, somewhat after your period), in the form of a graph is just as dispositive and more readily comprehended [by me, ymmv] than a chain of syllogisms.

    in reply to: Skeptical Science Analysis #2894

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Thanks Ash, you saved me a bunch of reading. Trivium’s argument smelled that way to me, but I waited to check it out until after reading the whole thread.

    An aside to Trivium. This is not the first time that IMO you’ve tried to use only the trivium to analyse subjects better illuminated by simultaneous application of the quadrivium, and maybe even some of that fancy Moorish al-Jabr.

    in reply to: Just Wait Til' Next Weekend #2873

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    It’s 1830 Sunday, CET.

    Looks like everyone is hanging on to see how next weekend’s elections go.

    in reply to: Downstream Demand Destruction for Oil #2607

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    I never claimed linear. Proportional in this context is synonymous with linear.

    Nor do I deny either the fear premium nor bankster manipulation. I do claim that on a 12 or 24 month time scale, both have been roughly stable since ’04 or ’05.

    What I do claim is that all other things being equal (see above), then as long as developing world demand rises faster than developed world demand falls, and supply increases, no matter what the demand, take 5+ years to happen and are wicked expensive in both fixed and variable cost, the price of crude is going to go nowhere but up.

    I admit that I expected no supply increases at all. But y’all expected a financial implosion at least 2 years ago.

    in reply to: Downstream Demand Destruction for Oil #2604

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Or, more simply, no matter what was and is expected, both refining capacity and consumption have been rising faster in the developing world — which actually is developing these days — than they have been falling in the west. When this ceases, prices may well fall. Until then….

    For all X, where X is a real number, (X+4.2-3.0) > X.

    in reply to: Austerity is Alive and Well in America #2515

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    Triv,

    The pink slime story is very very long.

    There were exhaustive studies done on how much ammonia was required to render the stuff safe. The studies did not measure the resulting taste or smell.

    As you may know, ammonia is one of the many smells that rotting food may develop. So when the stuff first went out, cooks refused to serve it because they sincerely thought it was bad. The vendors cut back on the ammonia (illegally) and sure enough, people started getting sick. Even the USDA had to crack down.

    The latest go-round is to blend it in to real hamburger at a level most people won’t detect.

    in reply to: I'm hoping Nicole will have time to give her take #2512

    FrankRichards
    Participant

    FWIW, Rachel Maddow, who is MSM, albeit on the edge thereof, picked it up last week too. Note that GE still has a significant stake in NBC….

    As for international assistance, the Japanese have accepted it from the US and France, and Britain and Russia have both offered it.

    I’m interpreting the semi-hushed kerfuffle as a sign that the situation in Japan is so bad that the other branches of the international nuclear racket are telling Japan to stop trying to save face and fix the problem.

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