Ghung

 
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  • in reply to: Debt Rattle Sep 16 2014: Subprime Is Back With A Vengeance #15188

    Ghung
    Participant

    Ponziness is the surest indicator of overshoot. Out of honest options…..

    in reply to: Debt Rattle Feb 25 2014: (Bomb)Shell #11513

    Ghung
    Participant

    More context on Shell and other majors; Demand vs. Supply-driven forecasting. Yikes!

    CGEP: Global Oil Market Forecasting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dLCsMRr7hAg

    in reply to: Debt Rattle Feb 13 2014: Are Your Savings Safe From Bail-Ins? #11299

    Ghung
    Participant

    Reminds me of the scene from the movie “Amistad” when the slavers dump 50 slaves over the side of the ship, then move on, insisting that the rest of the slaves are doing just fine.

    in reply to: Adapting Technology To A Brave New World #11040

    Ghung
    Participant

    Correction to my above post: The site for DC direct power supplies is MP3car.com. There are other vendors.

    in reply to: Adapting Technology To A Brave New World #11038

    Ghung
    Participant

    Re: ” …being wary about Ubuntu sending user searches to Ubuntu’s publisher, Canonical.”:

    I’m using Firefox with “Startpage” as my search engine. I also clear my cache fully (browsing history, search history, etc.) every day, or more often. Startpage lets one search without one’s ip address and other info being recorded. It acts as a filter between your computer and other search engines (that’s the claim, anyway). It seems to be working well.
    I also use “Collusion” (free) which creates a realtime map of which sites are sharing your info; sort of scary – the map grows geometrically. I do most of my browsing without being logged into any sites (cache cleared), because that’s one way your info gets propagated. My Ubuntu setup requires permission and a password before any info is sent to Canonical, including error reports. Updates also require admin (root) user permission. Of course, they could be doing it without my permission, but what can one do? At least I’m not getting a lot of unexplained hard drive and IP activity while online, like I did in Windows.

    As for hardware drivers, I’ve had few issues, but I changed out my mainboard to a tiny mITX board; very efficient (essentially a laptop board for desktops). Uses less than 15 watts. I also changed my power supply to a DC direct (“carputer” power supply – see MP3.com) which is running directly off of my solar batteries (24 vdc); no AC conversion needed. Saves energy and will run on DC from 10-36 volts. No sense converting DC to AC and back to DC.

    Still on ubuntu 12.04 LTS; working great.

    in reply to: Adapting Technology To A Brave New World #11013

    Ghung
    Participant

    I been with Ubuntu for four years. I’ll never go back to MS. I set my system up for dual-boot (easy when installing Linux/Ubuntu), and all of my old data is fully accessable to Ubuntu. I can still boot into Windows if I need to,, but I don’t. It’s that simple.


    Ghung
    Participant

    BTW – the song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away Hahaaa!” was by Napoleon XIV (Jerry Samuels-1966); available on youtube for your enjoyment.


    Ghung
    Participant

    Since many of these pensioners were exempted from social security deductions, they won’t even have SS to fall back on, or will get SS payments at greatly reduced rates. Not that social security will remain solvent for a lot longer. Insult to injury. Coming soon to a community near you.

    (see: “Why Social Security Won’t Bail Out Many Detroit Workers”, over at the Fool)

    Stick to the plan: Get out of debt and pay as many living expenses forward as possible (home, energy, local food production, hard assets, hopefully enough cash/PMs to pay property taxes. Insurance will be necessarily optional if available at all. Those of us who never expected these promises to be kept got a head start; the rest had better adopt a serious sense of urgency…. and start walking more if you haven’t already.

    in reply to: Time To Stop Monsanto And The US Supreme Court #6995

    Ghung
    Participant

    I’ll never curse glyphosate resistant “Super Pigweed” (Amaranthus palmeri) again. Perhaps I’ll send a bouquet to the Supremes. Monsanto has nothing on Mother Nature; too bad we’re caught in the middle.

    in reply to: NY Fed Mortgage Debt Data Says No US Recovery #6528

    Ghung
    Participant

    Re: Household deleveraging — Some may see the irony in this article:

    “…securitized energy-efficiency debt…”

    “There is, in short, a gap between what technologists are selling and what consumers are buying. That gap has big environmental costs, given the vast amounts of energy the United States wastes each year through leaky buildings and inefficient machines. Now, a growing cadre of savvy investors is betting there’s money to be made bridging that divide. They’re designing complex financial instruments to bankroll energy-efficiency improvements in houses and other buildings across the country. And they’re setting themselves up as the middlemen…

    https://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/the_efficient_planet/2012/11/invest_in_energy_efficiency_how_bundling_lots_of_small_improvement_projects.html

    Taking back their leverage for a noble cause. Jeez.

    in reply to: NY Fed Mortgage Debt Data Says No US Recovery #6513

    Ghung
    Participant

    “…the low-hanging fruit has been picked when it comes to household deleveraging.”

    In the past 15 years we’ve deleveraged to where we have no power company, no water company, no utilities at all in fact. By year’s end we’ll have no mortgage or other debt. Heck, the utilities don’t even have an easement onto our property. We’re also firing our big telecom, going with a local wireless WAN provider and VOIP. Just doing our part to move things along.

    When one adopts something akin to Greer’s “voluntary poverty” meme, what one “may a) need, b) demand and c) want” comes into clear focus, as do the predicaments faced by the average ‘consumer’ and our overall economic system. Deleveraging begets decoupling and disinvestment, leaving one wondering how in hell we ever got to this point.

    Perhaps we’ll use the load of bricks lifted from our backs to build a new barn or something, or just enjoy the clarity that comes with no longer being deluded. Many thanks to TAE, TOD, TAR, and others for providing context and support during these trying years.

    Get thee to the non-discretionary side…. Stop feeding the beast.

    in reply to: Everything Won't Be Alright #5401

    Ghung
    Participant

    Adam G said: “Why have we fooled ourselves into thinking for so long that it’s OK for a man with a gun to take away our house or our car if we don’t transfer numbers on a computer screen or hand pieces of paper to someone that works in a reinforced building called a ‘bank’? “

    For the time being, it doesn’t matter what I’ve fooled myself into thinking, ’cause the man with the gun, the bank, and the judge really don’t give a damn what I’ve “fooled myself into thinking”. It looks like my family will have the chance to own outright our 45 acres, an off grid home (we built ourselves) 2 barns, 2 ponds, 2 gardens, and a bunch more non-fiat wealth in the near term. Don’t have the mule yet. So you go for it. I’ll go for clear title, and not giving the man a reason to show up at our door, and I’ll sleep better knowing whomever comes through my door uninvited is free game..

    in reply to: Everything Won't Be Alright #5389

    Ghung
    Participant

    “Culturally Programmed Myths of Omnipotence”…

    Unfortunately, it seems most folks are culturally programmed for socio-apathy; they basically don’t give a shit beyond their little sphere of things and their own short time-frames.

    There really is no “we”, except in the sense that “we are screwed”.

    in reply to: India Power Outage: The Shape of Things to Come? #5194

    Ghung
    Participant

    After spending a number of years surveying and taking inventory of US electrical infrastructure, I decided that I wasn’t going to be the ass in this quote:

    “In this, as in so many other areas of public life, we are like the ass starving to death because he is equidistant from two bales of hay and can’t decide which way to go. We either have to spend tons of money propping up the old system, or expend tons of effort and thought coming up with a new one. By refusing to do either, we drift faster and faster toward the precipice over which India has just tipped. “

    My work for companies contracted to major power corporations was part of the effort to convert the old paper maps and schematics of grid systems into digital format, mainly in the early 90s, though I actually began in the 70s, walking the streets with a big clipboard, drafting equipment, and a measuring wheel. I spent a lot of time hacking my way through rights-of-way, and in manholes under city streets; an on-the-ground way of getting intimately familiar with the extent and condition of our electric grids. I was amazed at what we have built, and dismayed at the level of investment that was going to be required to maintain (and grow) capacity and reliability. I also discovered that investment was, even 20 years ago, grossly lagging requirements. A “pay me now, or pay much more later” progression was underway. The powercos in the US are, and have been, operating on borrowed time, as ASCE has warned. It’s just another can being kicked for the sake of profitability and electability, as with most of our critical infrastructure; the slow, relentless downward spiral to a point beyond recoverability.

    We’ve been living off the grid now for 16 years, doing quite nicely, and our expectations differ greatly from the entitled majority. I strongly suggest others develop and implement their resilience plans…

    in reply to: Cuckoo in the Coal Mine #4392

    Ghung
    Participant

    I learned early on to not expect most folks to have any sort of realistic epiphany regarding the decline trend. People, by and large, are deeply invested in the courses they’re on; like little trains on tracks, their inertia and goal is oriented to not being derailed.. Greasing their rails generally makes them just hit the throttle harder.

    Sometimes at gatherings, I’ll drop a few hints at the course I’m on, and occasionally peak the interest of a fence-sitter, but more often it’ll result in silence, diversion, or a putdown (sometimes even antagonism). Folks don’t enjoy being jostled from their comfort zones, especially in times of uncertainty. They’ve been told (or told themselves) some powerful stories.

    Skip, regarding the family ranch, my family went through a similar process with a very different outcome. Located in an area of abundant water, great soil and moderate climate, my folks bought the place in the early ’70s anticipating the very decline/collapse we, here, anticipate. This was before ‘Limits To Growth’, Collapse… and most of the early predictions of the demise of industrial societies. They just called it as they saw it, and I marvel each day at their wisdom and choices. Both are gone now, and I’ve found myself picking up their standard and moving carefully forward. Well before she died about ten years ago, my mother gave me the courage (and the kick in the ass) to take the steps they were unable to; going off grid, developing the water systems, reducing our reliance on unsustainable external systems, and slowly showing the rest of the family that this property’s value goes far beyond any financial worth it may once have had. After 5 years of some infighting (and a bit of hell for me as I stood my ground), we managed to keep about 160 contiguous acres amongst five of the siblings, the largest share being mine and my wife’s. I pretty much wiped out my savings at the time, buying back land from my sisters that would have been sold. Since then, my brother and three sisters have built their homes here, and three of us are now living on the property full time. I’m the youngest.

    Sixteen years ago I left a good engineering job, sold my home and moved here full time because “one of us needs to be there to take care of OUR aging parents”, not as selfless an act as it may have looked at the time, but a little spin makes these things seem a bit less less crazy.

    I’ve had better success getting converts (or at least prompting some folks to move in the right direction) by just going about my business. Going off grid so long ago when PV was quite expensive, and making it work by adapting to much lower energy requirements; utilizing what is abundantly available locally; focusing on living without a myriad of external inputs; putting my family on a win-win course,, has had a deeper effect on those around me. Talk is cheap, as they say. Walking the walk, and being happier doing so successfully, has won more converts than any preaching I may have done.

    Folks come to me now (only a few, mind you) and I realize that they are, indeed, worried about our collective future despite whatever front they may assume. I merely offer proof that there are things they can be doing about it; alternatives that make sense under most any scenario. Our small community garden (four families) is considered one of the best, most productive (and beautiful) around; just one of our successes (and folks listen better in the quiet bounty of the garden). Positive reasons for change…

    Breaking the spell of industrial life requires time and a special kind of magic, and as you mention, brute force is usually counter-productive. Too bad that (IMO) time is so short. Fight the battles you can win, but don’t let it distract you. Keep it local, and consider what your response will be when the deniers come begging, admitting that you were right all along. I’m not sure how I’ll handle that time, but know I’ll think of something 🙂

    in reply to: Rant: On Deception #4336

    Ghung
    Participant

    Gosh, Ashvin, in the US at least, it has become a chicken-or-egg argument. Do those in authority lie because most folks will reject the truth, or do folks accept the lies because they no longer know never knew what the truth is? Either way, it’s a culture that has been lying to itself so much, for so long, it doesn’t know the difference. Then, again, nothing new here; those with the best stories generally win, and have for millennia, as have philosophical debates regarding “truth” and deception. Only those who question everything become enlightened, and too often, martyrs.

    Little to be gained by empowering people with facts, especially here, at the end of empire.

    A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes… Mark Twain(?) Sometimes it’s best to stay home and go barefoot. Frustrating, I know…

    in reply to: Please Don't Listen to Ambrose #3345

    Ghung
    Participant

    EU Federation? I like it, Steve…. Greecissippi, Spainabama, Italitucky (GO Gatto – sciopero! … doesn’t have quite the same ring 😉 , Portufornia. We can even loan’em Bernanke for a while .

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)