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Death penalty. Nothing else works.
Death penalty to the end users – maybe. Poachers don’t care, they are more of “get rich or die trying” persuasion. But then again, rhino horn is used by terminally ill in Vietnam. I don’t see that death threats would scare them easily.
V. Arnold, I think in a more general sense Russia has a lot of resources, but agricultural lend is not one of them, especially compared to the US. Look at how much US territory is south of 49th parallel – almost all of it. Compare it to Russia – almost none of it. Shorter growing season and quite poor soils – nothing to luster after. Russia produces and exports predominantly soft wheat, like 99%. And Russia imports hard wheat, the one you actually use for baking. I don’t know, maybe it has changed lately, but I doubt it. It’s mostly a function of geography.
they would have built their own toilets and houses by now
You are absolutely right, Dr. D. But allowing a large number of people with vastly different worldview to self-organize on your land would be a mistake. They would wipe out your existing social contract and replace it with their own. Look at Kosovo.
The crazies are in charge.
Haven’t they always been? You have to be a certain kind of person to want power more than anything else.
Why do defrosted worms give you hope? For what specifically? Tons of animals go into frozen state and come back to life when thawed.
I think it’s pretty easy to tell which groups will survive. Just look at the world before fossil fuels. 90% peasants, 8% military, 1% tradesmen, and 1% clergy. There are whole countries right now that have approximately this demographic composition. They will not even notice that your world has come to an end. On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the US, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Of those only Japan is capable of transitioning back into feudal society. The rest will have a blood bath that no group is capable of surviving. Some individuals still might survive and form groups later, but survival chances will not be based on belonging to any group in existence right now.
Any country in between will be a mixed case of a blood bath in the cities and relatively peaceful transition in the rural parts away from the cities. So, if you know how to grow LOTS of food WITHOUT machinery, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, steroids, and so on, and know how to preserve it without industrial processing – some military group will keep you alive.
Bottom line – move to Russia, learn how to grow potatoes and raise pigs, and you’ll be ok.
In Thailand, mankind shows it very much possesses humanity.
It seems you are confusing micro and macro levels here. After every disaster, natural or man-made, these stories surface. Remember that fire in a Russian shopping mall? Some guy got his kids out and went back to safe more and never made it out. On a personal level we are capable of sacrifice.
But on a group level, especially when you are talking about nations, we can wipe out millions to gain a little extra comfort and sleep soundly at night.
Surely you know that the West created all that misery in the Middle East and Africa, with premeditation and deliberation, to improve its own living standards. Letting the oppressed in would defeat the purpose now, wouldn’t it?
With all that in mind I’m not sure I understand where you are going with this post…
V. Arnold, that fallacy is not limited to prehistoric past. Every time we think that the past was so much better than the present we are probably ignoring some unsavoury aspects of life back then.
There is an old Soviet joke about a grandfather telling his young communist grandson that life 70 years ago was better. The grandson objects that his grandfather was working 10 hours a day 6 days a week, had no vacation, no healthcare, couldn’t vote, and was otherwise oppressed and exploited. His grandfather answers – but girls put out.
Come on, V. Arnold, it’s called Golden Age fallacy.
I read about cooking in neolithic settlements. First it’s very simple – roasting of meat on open fire and eating raw fruits. Once the settlement grows beyond certain size and local mangoes are picked clean they have a choice to make – go farther to gather food that can be consumed without processing or eat something that requires cooking. At first you bake some roots in embers. Once roots are gone you go for greens that need to be boiled. Then tree bark that needs to be dried and powdered first. And so on, until you start eating poisonous crap with 20 operations that make it safe and digestible, like Australian aboriginals.
They probably remember the days of tasty mangoes within a five minute walk like a paradise and one day the most adventurous of them go 20 km down the coast and establish another settlement. Just to discover that sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.
Looking at the big picture – we’ve never lived so well. We’ve never been so well fed, protected, and cared for. The cost of this comfort will catch up with us, of course, but it’s good to remember that we got here willingly, to escape some worse fate.
I’m looking into a way to cover bowls with beeswax soaked cotton, as a way to avoid plastic wrap, etc.
Beeswax soaked cotton… Damn… What’s wrong with lids?
The schizophrenia of being comfortable and eco-friendly never ceases to amuse me 🙂
Dr. D, why do tactical nukes in space bother you so much? Pretty much every country with nuclear weapons has ballistic missiles that can be in space in under 30 minutes. Let’s say they save 30 minutes and put them in space beforehand, how does that change anything?
I’ve Got Some Things to Say (Romelu Lukaku)
Great example of celebrated individualism. Now everyone who grew up poor and hungry has only themselves to blame for not becoming rich and successful.
I’m with V. Arnold on this one. The problem is not so much that we can’t go on like this (externalized costs are catching up with us), but that we are incapable of dreaming up a better world. Look at the science fiction – it’s either more of the same (space capitalism) or some apocalypses and return of the dark ages. I’m not concerned about the human race – there are tons of communities that live without external resource inputs. They are invisible right now, being poor and exploited, but can eventually blossom into a new civilization. I guess it will have very little in common with the current one.
Dr. D, I disagree with you on pretty much every point you made.
1. When BIS talks about fragility they don’t define what they mean by that. And they admit that our current monetary system is fragile as well – see endnote 10.
2. Litecoin didn’t solve the problem of transaction throughput. It’s capable of 56 transactions per second. A big improvement over 7 tps of Bitcoin. VisaNet (Visa backbone) tested to 56,000+ tps and it actually ran at 1,600 tps in 2016. And before you bring up Raiden let’s agree to talk about “on the chain” transactions.
3. Credit card transactions are done on a trusted network. Bitcoin (and probably 1999 out of 2000 coins) run on trustless networks. That’s why credit cards require a tiny fraction of energy and computing power on the Bitcoin network – different tasks.
4. Most PC and phones are NOT wasting energy when doing nothing. Compare standby (doing nothing) time of your phone and movie playback (doing something) time. “Proof of stake” is still ways away. So, it’s not a legacy issue.
5. This BIS report was mentioned by all major news agencies, not just Reuters.
palloy, in my view, it’s a conflict within the elite. Part of it benefits from unrestricted global trade and free flow of capital. Another part benefits from protectionism. Until recently they could coexist, but once further globalization, and the associated economy of scale, is impossible the first group found itself spread too thin and open for an attack from the second group. The first group still controls most politicians and bureaucrats, but the second group managed to get Trump elected as a president.
By the way, WE don’t benefit from any of it. WE are a liability. Ideally, the elite would like to give us rifles and send into a trench warfare, letting the problem sort itself out.
There is a reason why that road is less traveled. You can produce and consume locally, not engage in global trade, avoid resource exploitation, and sing kumbaya. But then your kid needs a shot of penicillin. Or blood transfusion. I don’t want to explain to my child that they have to die because singing kumbaya is more important. Sorry. Best of luck on your Road Less Traveled.
Fibonacci is just a handy approximation for a golden ratio. And there is nothing magic about the bottom right quadrant. Here is an overlay of 4 golden ratio sections.
Fighting a defensive war is astonishingly cheaper.
That’s an interesting statement, Dr. D. Cheaper than what? Than offensive war? But that’s apples and oranges. If your objective is to pump the wealth out of other countries into yours, how do you achieve that fighting a defensive war?
And it’s a safe assumption to make, zerosum. Germans thought nobody can listen in on Enigma encrypted traffic, Debian Linux developers believed OpenSSL was bulletproof, and I was under illusion that two year olds can not unlock iPads. We all got burned 🙂
Just a switchboard is not a good analogy for standalone GPS navigators.
Fair enough, zerosum, to be tracked by your device you don’t need to be on the internet. My issue is with your second statement
You leave a slimy slug track for anyone to follow
It’s a bit too strong. For your device to share the “slimy slug track” with anybody it needs to be able to transmit that information. GPS by itself can function in receive only mode. It’s slower to get a lock, but perfectly functional.
I wonder what concession North Korea got from America
Ever noticed how it’s always about denuclearization of the “Korean peninsula”, never “North Korea”? The North will ask to move the US bases out of South Korea, the US will say no, and they will be back to calling each other names.
The last country that had nuclear weapons and gave them up was Ukraine. How did that work out for them?
And the US is the last country the North Korea is going to trust to hold their end of any bargain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreed_Framework
Much ado about nothing.
If you use GPS, then you are being tracked.
Only if you use it on an internet connected device. Standalone navigators are ok. Just nuke them before discarding 🙂
I don’t get it, plastic stuff discolors and crumbles if left outside for too long, but keeps floating near the surface for years and years? What am I missing?
There is no cleaning it up. Once you turn uranium-238 into plutonium-239 you are stuck. There is no turning it back into something benign in a reasonable amount of time. You can only contain it. And it’s expensive, so once the economy contracts people will have no other option but to let it seep out into the environment. But look on the bright side – whatever sentient life develops on this planet after us will be radiation hardened and more adapted to space travel!
anticlimactic, no isotope of Plutonium has half-life of 250,000 years. The closest to that half-life is Plutonium-242 – it’s 373,000 years and therefore is not particularly radioactive. Plutonium-239 has half-life of 24,110 years and is lethal if inhaled, but you will need a few kilograms of it to kill the entire Britain, not 6 grams.
Bitcoin has positioned itself to be digital gold
Really, Dr. D, premeditated and deliberated like that? I think Bitcoin found itself in this position. When the likes of Microsoft, Newegg, and Steam started accepting Bitcoin it was specifically meant for medium size transactions – tens to hundreds of dollars, the typical price of a game or a computer component. And it failed due to scaleability problems (proof of work, open participation, and all that). So now the story changes – Bitcoin suddenly is a candidate for the world reserve currency, for transactions between central banks (no word of lie, heard it from a Bitcoin fan).
The US and EU are not Greece’s friends, they are suzerains. Greece can reject their benefits, but it still has to jump when they the US and EU tell it to. Or else. And neither Russia nor Turkey can protect it. So, what’s the point rejecting the benefits of being a EU member? The only way out is through a rabbit hole and they are not ready, methinks 🙂
Why on earth hasn’t Greece flipped to Russia?
Russia has nothing to offer. It couldn’t save Serbia. It lost Ukraine. It abandoned Cuba.
Russia seems to be doing well in Syria, but even Assad turned to Russia only when there was absolutely nobody else to go to and he was about to follow Gaddafi.
Thank you, V. Arnold, that’s exactly what I meant. Just to add, that it’s true if we are talking about capitalism. There are other systems that are less “cold”, but I don’t know if they scale that well. And they are mostly discredited.
Did you ever read about, “death by poverty caused by a failing capitalist social/economic system”
Actually, the system works as intended. Your mom was the first and the last person who cared about you regardless of how useful you are to her. If those 50,000 didn’t develop a circle of friends to support them it’s on them, not on the system.
Nassim, in the original article you can see that Homewood is comparing mean temperatures in 1943 to average temperatures in 2014. Those are not observations, those are calculated averages, and in statistics they can be calculated any way you feel like. You know, like in “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics”
So, Homewood is comparing one way of calculating “central tendency” of 1943 data set to a different way of calculating “central tendency” of 2014 data set. The result is not wrong, it’s meaningless.
Labor applied to raw materials creates physical wealth. That wealth needs to be priced in such a way so that producers have the income to keep producing, and consumers, or laborers, have the income to keep consuming the production. It’s not very difficult.
Actually, laborers don’t have to keep consuming the production. They just need to be a little better off compared to not working. Elon Musk can grow apples on Mars and the rest of Earth’s population will be producing biofuel for his rockets. It’s happening right now. Workers who assemble iPhones will never be able to afford one.
Nassim, you know a lot more than many people on this Kurds business. What’s Russian play there?
Liberal hellhole of EU will be a perfect match for a totalitarian Islamic hellhole of Turkey, when it comes to that. I think a good rule of thumb for getting along with your neighbours is not to piss across the fence and tell them it’s raining.
confiscate the pitchforks and guillotines from the citizens
The Cobblestone Is the Weapon of the Proletariat
here, 3-D printed shoes
V. Arnold, those are 3-D printed midsoles. I suppose if you are wearing crocs it would be hard for me to explain the difference 🙂
A friend of mine was considering using a 3-D printer for drone parts. Shit that the mass-market printers are spewing out is too brittle and rough. Specialty printers are prohibitively expensive. In the end he built a CNC machine for cutting custom frames and he buys the props because injection molding is not something you can do in a basement. And I’m yet to hear about a 3-D printed electric motor.
Sustainable bubble? Hadn’t thought of that oxymoron before.
People find it difficult to accept they can’t know some things. Smart people even more so. We all know this party will end, but since we cannot reliably pinpoint the date we are tempted to think that maybe the date doesn’t exist.
anticlimactic, blockchain is the source of truth. Once a transaction is recorded there you can scream on every corner that it wasn’t you who spent your bitcoin, but someone who stole your private key – it wouldn’t matter. If it’s your word against “proof of work” you word loses every time. And don’t even bring up exchanges. The moment someone but you knows your private key, even if it’s your online wallet – you are fucked.
And on double spending… You’d think it’s simple to avoid, but read about consensus in distributed computing. In two words – not easy 🙂
V. Arnold, when my daughter doesn’t want to get dressed I grab another pair of her leggings and ask her which one she likes better. Works every time. Her excuse is she’s two 🙂