Thursday, June 20, 2013

Economics, greed and people who want to blame capitalists

Reagan called it "trickle down economics".  The rest of us call it "being pissed on".

The truth is that the world always has, and always will, run on capitalism and trade.  Even communist nations need to engage in capitalist trade with their neighbors.  No, it doesn't have to be that way, but, it is and it has since the first exchange of a pretty rock for sex began.

I was reading a really ridiculous book called "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" which was supposedly written by a man who was trained by the NSA to be an "Economic Hit Man" or an EHM.  Its a pretty stupid book for the most part, filled with ridiculous economic suggestions like:

"Imagine if the Nike Swoosh, MacDonalds Arches and Coca-Cola logo became symbols of companies whose primary goals were to clothe and feed the world's poor in environmentally beneficial ways."  (used under Fair Use)

This is typical stupidity from people who don't understand how corporations work.  Here is the basic rundown on how it actually works.

Some people come up with a product idea, running shoes, hamburgers, a soft drink.  They work with investors to fund a way to produce the product.  Sometimes the investor is a government.  Sometimes the investor is a private person or group of people.

The people form a company and hire a bunch of other people to do stuff.  The people hired spend their money on stuff like houses and food and shoes.

In other words, and anyone who has taken a business or economics class and not slept through it knows this, corporations are already clothing and feeding the world's poor by giving them jobs.

Now don't think I approve of Nike or the rest of those fu*ked up shoe manufacturers who are paying sh*t wages in third world countries to people who stand ankle deep in acid making running shoes.  I think Nike and Apple and a lot of other companies who employ people under crap working conditions in third world countries should be ashamed of themselves.

That said, the people do have jobs so they eat.  For a while anyway because the third world governments attract scummy companies by not having things like disability or OSHA or social security.

If the moron who wrote "Lies about the US", I mean "Confessions of an asshole", darn, I keep typing that wrong.  "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" had a clue he would be lobbying for the entire world to have OSHA like standards, Social Security Retirement, Disability, Workman's Comp, Health Care, etc.

Instead the idiot wants corporations to become public service organizations.

One of the other stupid things this author misses, because he didn't actually write most of this book, is that the United States changed to a Keynesian economic system in the 1930s when we went off the gold standard.  Private ownership of gold was made illegal in the States.

Around '69 or '70 the United States changed the way they printed money.  After 1933 and before about '69 the United States printed as much money as they had gold, kind of.  Its a little more complicated than that, but, that is close enough.  In '70 private ownership of gold was made legal and the price of gold jumped from $35 to over $800.  The United States printed more money.  The money is theoretically based on the stability of the United States Government, in reality the money is based on the value of government property, real and other.

The government has a little over 8 tons of gold stashed that is worth around 2.3 trillion depending on the value of gold.  The United States has about 10.5 trillion dollars in circulation.  The public debt is about 17 trillion dollars so we can pay about 12 cents on the dollar if the U.S. decided to pay off its debts in gold.

Of course the U.S. has other liquid assets besides gold.

The book misrepresents the liquidity of the United States economy and it misrepresents the actions of people in general.

In fact, the author seems to represent the United States government as some all powerful corporate entity.  It isn't.  Listen to Congress people on C-span sometime and you might be amazed at how stupid they are.  Senate, House of Representatives, Governors, Presidents, etc.  The people of the United States elects the best bull sh*t artists, not the best managers.

A "semi-conspiracy" like the one described in this book requires people smarter than the dork writing this book or the people I have seen in the U.S. government.

By focusing on the United States morons like this author miss the big picture, the thieves in their own nations who steal the people blind while they promise great things.  If I had to guess, I would think that more than one third world leader has faked his own death and run off with millions after robbing their people blind with false promises.

The truth is most people just believe what they are told so some idiot blames the United States and people grab the torches and attack the "monster" while the bad guy slips out the back door with the cash.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The word "Liberal" is typically used in a gramatically incorrect way

I can't control the way language is used or the way it develops.  I can point out grammatical errors that others make and they can point out grammatical errors I make, either to ridicule each other or to help each other become better writers and speakers. 

The movies often used grammatical and pronunciation errors for comic relief, but, this isn't comic relief.  This is real and serious and frightening and hilarious all at the same time.

Typically people won't care about facts, challenge their use of words and they will just become angry and defensive ridiculing anyone who dares to challenge their use of vernacular. 

There are occasions when people, in general, begin using terms that are grammatically nonsensical and I occasionally find this hilarious.

The word liberal comes from the Greek (maybe it is the Latin, can't remember exactly but that really doesn't matter) root Liber, meaning "free".  It is actually a very nice word.  When combined with the suffix al, meaning "other than" or "related to", we create a word, Liberal, meaning "related to free".

Strictly speaking Liberal does not refer to a person, but, a state or concept.  We can have a "Liberal Idea" or an idea related to the concept of "free".  We can have a "Liberal Education" or an education related to "free thinking" or "open thinking".

Strictly speaking a person involved in exploring "free", "free thought", "open ideas" would called a Liber-ist.  Strictly speaking if we call a person a "liberalist" that person would be "a person other than free".

But, language is not ruled by grammar.  Language is ruled by popular opinion and so grammatical corruptions such as the use of the word "liberal" to describe a persons belief come into popular use.  These grammatical corruptions become popular language and people use them in the most ridiculous fashion.  Linguistic experts have even thought to define dialects of English based on grammatical corruptions into a separate language called "Ebonics".

Now think about that for a minute. A Global Political Movement claiming superior education, intelligence and understanding which defines itself using a grammatically corrupted word worthy of Ebonics.

I find that pretty hilarious.

It actually becomes even better because there are other grammatical corruptions like “neoconservative”. Neo means “new”, Con means “together”, Serve means “take care of” or “maintain”, Ative means “those who work to” so “neoconcervative” means “new together we work to care for” or “new together we maintain”. Pretty stupid sounding word.

People who cringe at the misuse of “who” and “whom” or “then” and “than” will expound thoughtlessly using terms like Liberal and Neoconservative.

I find it frighteningly ridiculously, as if Leo Gorcy of the “Bowery Boys” has been training political commentators. At least Leo Gorcy usually played a happy, harmless kind of guy.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The 80-20 rule

The Pareto Principle tells us that just about everything can be split along an 80-20 ratio.

Specifically 80% of events are caused by 20% of the causes, or as Pareto originally noted, 80% of stuff is owned by 20% of the people.

The world is going into a period of history where we are going to starve to death.  You've probably read about peak oil and the way we are using non-renewable resources at an ever increasing pace.  High oil prices are an attempt to reduce consumption to put this period of starvation off.

When will it happen?  I'll get to that, but, my predictions are only as good as the data I accumulate.

So, knowing this, what are the 20% doing?  In my opinion they are trying to build a global hierarchy where they are able to continue to live lavish lifestyles while the other 80% starve and die.

Personally, I think Obama Care is going to help this along by reducing the ability of the average person to afford health care.  Long story, but, essentially Obama Care is going to end up making health care an individual responsibility.

To accomplish this global "new world order" or hierarchy the first thing that has to happen is a reduction in the standard of living in developing countries.  Not an equalization because this would require that the majority of leaders and powerful business owners in the world help lift the populations of their nations to the standard of living enjoyed by the United States.

Instead the standard of living in the United States and other 1st world nations must be reduced and the 80% need to understand that they are not entitled to a good standard of living no matter how hard they work.  The standard of living must be determined by the 20%.

Is this some global conspiracy?  Not exactly, its just a lot of people working toward a similar goal driven by similar motivations.  Is a marathon a conspiracy?

The world can support about 4-6 billion people.

What is the time frame?  I put together a basic analysis and my curves crossed around 2070.  Don't put a lot of faith in that since I don't know everything.  I'd give it a plus or minus twenty years minimum.

I don't see a "hard" world government, more like a "soft" or "loose" co-operative group of powerful people in constant flux like all powerful groups.  A few powerful people at the very top and probably one person probably slightly more powerful than the others.

By not creating a single world government the 20% can maintain a "government" by group rather than submitting to a single leader.

Right now the 20% making up global leadership and power are already working together, have been since sometime after WW2.  This isn't new, it just has to change global politics and economics enough to secure their positions in a world that can not support its population.

Manifest Destiny

Manfest Destiny was a political plank in the platform of the Democratic party developed in the 1830s and 1840s justifying the expansion of the United States into the west and even into Canada and Mexico.

The Democrats were trying to push the boundaries of the United States into both Mexico and Canada.  In 1844 the Democrats wanted to expand into Canada and developed the campaign slogan "5440 or Fight" as part of their campaign for Manifest Destiny.  5440 referred to the 54th parallel in Canada.  The campaign slogans died out when the people of the United States refused to extend into Canada or Mexico.  In the 1850s the Republican party began and by 1860 the people of the United States elected a president far more concerned with internal politics of slavery than the external politics of expansion.  Manifest Destiny was dead.

The Monroe Doctrine was a political policy developed in 1823 by the United States to end imperialism by European nations in the Americas.

For some reason the Monroe Doctrine is often associated with Manifest Destiny.  I'm not sure why, probably by political propagandists trying to convince people that the United States is an expanding empire.

The Monroe Doctrine has been used to protect commercial investments by United States citizens.

Some people claim this is what happened with the Panama Canal.  I'm not so sure about that, the canal has resulted in the ability to reduce shipping costs of Asian goods into South American, North American and the Caribbean as well as reducing the cost of shipping goods produced in these regions to Asia.

There have been other uses of the Monroe Doctrine that are questionable, but, the Panama Canal benefits the entire world.

I read a lot of different things and I realized that most people read primarily fiction and what non-fiction they do read is very limited to specific ideologies in specific areas.  Rather than educating themselves broadly they educate themselves very narrowly.

This is not a problem with the United States, this is a problem with the world.

People become frustrated and they attack someone, anyone, to relieve their frustrations.  It almost always ends up being that no matter how many times people revolt they always end up putting people in power who oppress them and then they revolt again.

If I had a choice there would be no governments.  There would be no governments.  People would live in small agricultural villages.  Commerce would be conducted using sailing ships and caravans.  Anyone who tried to establish any form of political control would instantly die.

That ain't going to happen.  People want someone to tell them what to believe, what to do.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Greek Fire

I was just watching the movie "Time Line".  One of the things that interested me the most was Greek Fire, a weapon primarily used in naval battles.

Personally I think Greek Fire was a form of Potassium Sodium, created right on the ship using a very simple reactive still/pressure cooker.  The molten potassium sodium was ejected through a tube at the front of the ship.

Typically the reaction which creates potassium sodium, which reacts violently with water, is continuous, but, suppose there was no relief valve or outlet for the boiling potassium.  The pressure buildup would cause an ejection of the potassium sodium until it "burped".  The system would need some kind of valve at the outlet tube to allow pressure build up.

Maybe once I get my anthropology degree I will see if I can find funding to build such a system using ancient materials and technology.

I think I can cast the pressure cooker/reactive still using a lost wax investment casting process.  The pressure relief valve could be something as simple as a heavy copper ball contained at the top, maybe even with some kind of spring.  The valve could be a tapered investment cast bronze or brass system using copper seals with a screw at the bottom which tightened the valve against the copper seals.

I know a very cool professor who is an expert in the casting field who might be able to help.

I know it sounds like I just gave away everything, but, it would take an engineer like myself with the support of a chemical engineer and a casting expert to pull this off.  It has not happened in many years and I doubt if it is going to happen any time in the near future.

And this idea is now copyrighted :-)  If some jerk steals it I can establish I published it first.

Moronic script kiddies

Script kiddie morons are the biggest problem in hacking today.

I used to have a pretty open FTP server, still do although now it is so hidden no one can find it.  Nothing special, least amount of security I could get away with.  There are guys who run similar servers using Live distros so moronic script kiddies can't trash the system.  I tried that, the system rebooted itself every few hours and that worked okay.  Eventually I went with a different system that I am obviously not going to discuss here.

One guy I know actually hard wired a small, hidden, computer into a hotels network.  The system runs on a live distro, read only disk.   Very cool system, he has access to it, and the network.

Sometimes I run a bit torrent server, not often anymore.  Script kiddies kept hacking the system using the security holes in bit torrent.  That usually wouldn't bother me since I didn't keep any files, except legal bit torrent files, on that system, but, they kept trashing the system.  I didn't feel like installing a second DVD drive on the system to run a read only system.  I wiped that system and use it very rarely these days.

I don't have any data worth stealing on any computer.  The only reason to hack my system is so someone can gain experience in hacking.  The problem is losers who gain access to a system and then trash it for fun, like kids breaking into a house and smashing everything.

So what?

The problem is that people become really annoyed when someone breaks into their home and trashes stuff.  That means the law enforcement community has to do something to catch these guys.  In the process computer security becomes better and better.

Why is that a problem?

Because people have to learn.  Sure, a lot of us build our own home networks, wooden boxes with stacked motherboards and power supplies.  Then we practice various techniques in metwork management and security.  Facebook stole that idea and improved it to create the Open Compute which is very cool.

The problem is our networks are only as good as we are and when we start off we really are not that good.  Once we get the basics down we learn more by doing basic stuff on web networks, web servers and web workstations.

As security becomes better there are fewer openings for hackers to learn without getting caught.

Eventually there will be a crossing of script kiddie idiocy and law enforcement capability and when that happens more morons will be arrested and fewer people will learn to hack.  Skilled hackers will become more cautious of working with young hackers because they don't want to get busted.

That sounds good, Darwinian even.  Kind of, the problem is that even those who become the best, especially those who become the best, make more mistakes and learn more.

What will happen is that only people who are so detailed oriented they make no mistakes and take no chances survive.

This means that the creative hackers, those who learn from taking chances and break open new frontiers will be eliminated before they get a chance to become great.

Eventually hacking will stagnate.

How do I know this?  Because history repeats and morons refuse to learn from history.

How long will it take?  Not that much longer, another five or ten years probably, maybe as long as twenty but I doubt it.

The nice thing about that is when it happens guys like me will be able to install servers that use the most basic security.  FTP servers using common passwords, proxy servers, PTP protocols which allow mesh networking creating anonymous nodes.

Sure, there are tons of those systems out there today and moronic script kiddies are screwing them up all the time.