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Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Musings]
2017-09-18 08:09 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 106 references
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No, not my art, and yes, I'm biased.  I think it's all extraordinary work....

Sarah's art.  She's selling some (nowhere near all) of her recent work, and you're invited to check it out and let her know what you'd like!

Please do drop over to her blog's post and check it out!

Thanks in advance!

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2017-08-23 06:30 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 456 references
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My daughter and I drove up to Andersen, SC for the eclipse, leaving Sunday early in the morning and hanging out there Sunday afternoon and evening.

Let me first put an accolade out to the Hilton Garden Inn -- great people, and very accommodating.  We wound up having to run-n-gun at the last minute as one nasty cloud threatened to obliterate our shots of the totality, but that gamble paid big; we were able to get into the clear with time remaining, and were set up and "on-point" about 3-4 minutes before totality was achieved.

The totality itself was surreal.  Photographs, no matter how good, do not do it justice.  I get it why people chase these things all over the world now.

The return trip home was something else.  There was literally no movement over 25mph from Andersen SC southbound until we hit the 85/985 junction north of Atlanta and plenty of time spent at walking speed or less.  You probably could have bicycled faster.  Worse, attempting to re-route around it manually was pointless; all the state highways and similar were also jammed solid and worthless to try to use as alternative routes.  During this time there was no congestion of any sort evident in any of the northbound lanes.

The mapping apps all said there were wrecks everywhere although we never saw one; by the time we got to wherever it had been flagged the wreck was long-gone but the impact remained for the entire rest of the day and evening.  Cellular data was worthless or extremely spotty until, once again, we hit Atlanta metro. Voice calls and text messages were fine, but not data; the networks were simply slammed well beyond capacity.

This is very important information folks because while I've certainly seen chain-reaction events like this in some places to see them over a wide scale and large area was sobering.

If some jackass had hit us at that moment in time if you didn't have a go bag good for 3 days or so in the back of your car and be able to bail and get away from the highway you would be DEAD.  Not maybe dead, CERTAINLY DEAD.

Let me further remind you that it was nearly 100F out on that highway too with zero cloud cover for most of the journey.  My Mazda has an excellent AC system and while it was keeping up it wasn't digging it. What's in your go-bag? There better be drinkable water in there and a means to purify more of it, because at that temperature you're going to go through a hell of a lot of it in a really big hurry.  Oh, let me remind you that water weighs 8lbs/gallon and I'm willing to bet that had we needed to bail a gallon per person would have likely been consumed in a few hours.  In terms of water demand it probably would get close to (if not exceed) what I experienced while hiking out in the Grand Canyon on Kaibab South - brutal, in other words.

Next, consider what happens if someone else didn't have water and you do?  Got anything effective to defend that water supply with and are you willing to use it?

Finally, how are you physically?  Could you get out of that car, get away from the highway by a good quarter-mile or more and actually make time on foot, even if slowly, in that situation, toward somewhere safe?  Oh, and where is "somewhere safe" in relationship to where you are?

Better have "yes" answers to the above because if not you would be a corpse.

Right near the GA/SC border we pulled into the Love's travel stop.  It was mobbed.  Cars parked on the grass, 30+ minute lines for fuel (I had filled the night before, anticipating possible shortages, and didn't need any) and a roughly 30 minute line to use the woman's room.  The men's bathroom was far more-friendly in that men can******faster than women and were, but someone didn't make it -- there was a badly-soiled set of underwear in there.  It would suck to be the dude with the bathroom cleaning responsibility yesterday and whoever previously owned that set of whitey-tighties obviously had a really bad day and rest-of-trip...

I'm sure that Love's made a fortune and "loved" the business; they were in the right place at the right time and I'd happily take the bet that yesterday was their highest grossing day ever in their history and will hold that record until the place finally is razed, whenever that is.  This was a friendly crowd that was just looking for gas and something to eat and drink while 150ish miles of interstate was a parking lot.  If it had been under less-friendly circumstances pulling in there would have been akin to walking into a massive bar-fight full of 2+ ton weapons and an unlimited supply of gasoline for people with truly nasty intentions, never mind the dozens of OTR trucks.

Again, this was a friendly incident folks and yet it appears that many people on one stretch of road which didn't even include the totality once you got to the GA border failed to manage to drive a car without wrecking.  Now contemplate what a handful of intentional wrecks would have done by "someone" with malevolent intent and you start to sober up -- fast.

You got a freebie lesson in this regard if you ran into even a fringe of it, in terms of exactly how under-capacity our so-called "infrastructure" is in response to even relatively minor loads and under friendly terms.  In short our so-called "civilization" is nothing more than a thin veneer over a really ugly reality, protected by nothing more than the fact that over the last 150 years it has never been challenged on the ground by heavy load during an ugly natural or man-made incident over any sort of materially-wide area.

Think Katrina times 100 and you might be getting close.

If it ever is challenged that infrastructure will collapse instantly and trap you.

Our ~150 year run in this regard may hold, but if it doesn't you cannot say you weren't warned.  You got an object lesson in it on Monday, in spades and over a very wide swath of the nation. As such if you get caught with your pants down if and when the flag goes up you've intentionally ignored the warning you were gifted under friendly circumstances post-eclipse.

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2017-08-22 12:34 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 400 references
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Just wonderin'.... first crack, no editing (other than the crop) or stacking yet...

An extract from one particular frame twiddling a bit to remove the background behind the CMEs (or possibly prominences; hard to tell from stills) from a different shot; yes, they DO change that rapidly!

Another featuring same...

And one of the partial phase (yes, filtered -- no, not re-colorized; I have the no-tint-added filter) with visible sunspots.

 

No, Zuckerburglar may not make any money off my photography.  Nor may other social media outlets and similar and yes, I will send in the registrations on these and others.

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2017-08-08 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 435 references
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There's been some attention paid to all the "screen time" that our kids get these days -- and that this "screen time" makes us less, rather than more, happy.

Ever think about it folks?

You should.

And then you should remove Facepig, Messenger and all the other social apps from your phone.

Why?

Think about it folks.  Look at Facepig and beyond all the ads, sponsored clickbait garbage (which I've written on repeatedly) and such what's on there?

Someone doing something fantastic, right?  Someone you know on a cruise.  Another person winning a race. A third person having a beer. A fourth on top of a mountain somewhere.  A fifth, sixth and seventh posting 500 pictures of their cute baby or child (who by the way most-certainly could not have consented to their visage being permanently stolen by Zucker****er).

Think about the image this presents to you as what life is supposed to be.

It's all smiles.

Now I want you to contemplate something: Have you ever seen someone take a **** on Star Trek - or any other TV show?  You've got eight Star Wars movies, and yet I don't recall one person having to stop and take a crap.  The only time you do see that is when it's a joke as part of the plotline -- like in Jurassic Park with the lawyer.

Now let's expand that a bit.

You've never seen anyone actually do laundry.  Nor have you seen someone do the dishes, or even unload the dishwasher.  You've never seen them sit in traffic for an hour commuting to or from work.

Why not? Because if you actually put someone's daily life on television you'd never watch it; 95% of it is the normal daily grind -- we get up, we make a coffee, we ****, shower and shave, we get in the car to go to work and listen to music while stuck in traffic, we buy groceries, etc.

What do you see on Facepig, Snapass and similar?  The 1%, all the time, which inexorably leads you believe that your life should be that 1%, all the time.

But it can't be.

Nobody lives like that.

Even a billionaire who has no care in the world for making another nickel, ever, and has a building full of paid servants still has to ****, shower and shave.  The kid in High School has to sit in class and then do his or her homework.  Even the retiree doesn't get to live like that; he's gotta go to the doctor and get poked here and there, cook dinner, etc.

So what are you doing when you are continually looking at Facepig or Snapping away?  You're engaged in someone else's -- and your own -- fantasy.  A fantasy that is guaranteed to make you miserable because nobody can live a life that consists of even five percent of the projected thing you are viewing.

The fact is that nobody takes a crap on Star Trek because nobody would watch the show -- or the movie -- if they did.  Yet if we ever do master faster-than-light space travel the people on board that ship are still going to spend 90% of their time doing things that amount to "****, shower and shave."

They do it now on the ISS, they did it on Apollo, in Gemini and Mercury and they will in the future just like you do now.

Zucker****er likes to talk about bringing people together and other similar tripe. It's crap.  In fact it's worse than crap, it's a knowing lie.  Zuckerpig knows that even if there was no clickbait, fake deals and other garbage on the site that you'd still be made miserable simply by being there because the "face" you see is one you cannot possibly live.  It therefore cannot bring you joy -- it can only bring you tears to some degree.

Don't tell me about how it helps you "keep up" with your 457 "friends".  You don't have 457 friends.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that you can count the number of people who you can legitimately call "friend" on your fingers.

If you assert that's not true then I will make a declaratory statement in reply: None of those people are actually your friends -- they're all acquaintances, every single one of them.

I recently heard that a record number of kids committed suicide last year in our local High School.  I'm willing to wager 100% of them spent a huge amount of time with their faces buried in a hand-held fantasy machine that made them miserable while stealing a record of everything they did to try to make a profit off that same misery.

Those kids are dead; their misery has ended but the profit still went in Zuckerpig's pocket.

Folks, there's no value here for you in any of these "systems."  It's all net negative and it gets even worse when the data is mined off and sold as I've pointed out repeatedly.  We put these little spying machines in our pockets but how many people will stick them on silent or ignore them when they ring say much less toss 'em in "Airplane" mode?

It wasn't that long ago that if someone wanted to talk with you they called your house and if you were home you could talk to them.  But only one person at a time could do so in said house because there was only one phone line.  If there were five people in your family and one of them was on the phone, the other four could not make or receive a call.  If you were out getting groceries or even just mowing the lawn there were no voicemails either; the phone just rang and nobody answered it.  There were no text messages, Facepig posts or anything else of the sort.  If you were separated by more than a few tens of miles of distance the long-distance charges made sitting on the phone for an hour at a time punitively expensive and nobody could afford it.  Your only reasonable answer to a desire to say more than a few sentences for a birthday or other major life event was to sit down and write an actual letter and stick a stamp on it, then wait days for delivery and a reply.  You only did it on any sort of regular basis if the person you were corresponding with was an actual true friend or more; acquaintances, even those you call "family", you spoke with for 5 minutes on the phone on a birthday or anniversary, and perhaps you saw them over the holidays for dinner when one or the other of you traveled.  Most people had two or three such correspondents and no more simply because you had to invest a material amount of time to write said letters and there were only a few people who were worth it.

The number of people worth it in your life has not changed folks; instead interaction has been cheapened to the point of worthlessness.

How many posts do you think I've made on my Facepig timeline this year?

Three.

One talking about Facepig's spammy ads and two more being single-sentence replies to someone else's post.

Let me count that again for you folks: THREE.

Yeah, I've made a handful of other comments, but in terms of timeline posts -- it's three and only one of substance.  The other two were the prototypical 2 minute pre-cellular phone call.

I'm not trying to expand my reach on the Internet for monetary gain.  If I was then yes, it would make some sense for me to post things on Internet sites; that's called advertising.  But I'm not.

I have zero interest in posting my "personal triumphs" and gloating about them on social media.  My ego is simply not that large.  If you're interested in knowing what I'm doing and whether I happen to take satisfaction in some accomplishment then you probably know how to get ahold of me personally and we can share that.  It might actually mean something to both of us in that case.

More to the point if you wish to call me friend then you won't expect me to find your events, triumphs or whatever on Facepig.  You'll think enough of me to call, recognizing that if I don't answer immediately it's not because I don't like you but because I might be having dinner, mowing the lawn or in the middle of one of the three Ss of life -- and if you choose to leave a message I'll call you back when I can devote some time to us.  Ditto with a text; I might reply right away, but if not it's as likely to be because I'm under my car changing the oil or cleaning the gutters on the house as anything else.  You know, part of that daily ****, shower and shave routine.

Do I look here and there at Facepig? Yes.  But what I see is what I talk about above.  Is it worth my "engagement" in the general sense?  No; I recognize that not one bit of that will ever translate into changing the necessity of my life which, just like yours no matter how rich or poor you are revolves around ****, shower and shave.

But what said "engagement" will do, if I embrace it, is make me less-happy and more-miserable.

It must, because by its nature it portrays a fantasy that nobody can actually live.  Zucker****er knew this originally and in fact had "girl rating" pages on his Haaaarrrrrvvvaaarrrddd site which were exactly as "nice" as you might expect they'd be.  You don't really think he forgot that, do you, nor their popularity with his "friends" -- right?  (BTW what's his wife think about that?  I bet a few billion dollars makes her not care and that tells me everything I need to know about her.)

No, what Zucker****er did was turn your increased misery and reduced happiness into billions of dollars for him.  The founders of Snap and all the other so-called "social media" have done likewise.  They don't even give a **** if the misery their "engagement" contributes to causes nine teens to kill themselves in one semester at a given local school.  What's even worse is that they've done all of that in concert with people like John Legere, the brash CEO of T-Mobile who, along with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T, charge you in both money and slower performance, never mine crappier battery life, to deliver ads for the sole purpose of capitalizing on your decreased happiness.  Any of those carriers could put a stop to a large part of it in an afternoon by putting in place a switch you can turn on in your account that blocks all common advertising domains.

This would not be a "net neutrality" violation since you would choose to turn it on, not them.

But none have, and none will.

They won't because misery is profitable.

People who are truly happy don't need to spend on "aspirational" things.  They certainly don't need $1,000 iFrauds to make them feel good.  Miserable people are another matter; that smiling face with a nice big fat $1,000 iFraudy phone is a "message" they can try to get you to bite on, with the hope that it might make you smile -- at least until you see someone on a cruise, at which point you're back to being unhappy because you need to ****, shower and shave while Jane is on Facepig with a $5,000 vacation smile and a fat Mai Tai in her hand.

None of these apps are on my phone folks.  If I want to look at Facepig I'll do it on a browser, which I can close when done so it can't root around in my device and steal information on whatever else I'm doing.  I don't do "messenger", Snap or any of those others for the same reason.

You shouldn't either, and if you stop doing all of them I predict you will smile more.

Oh, and you'll also pay less -- in both misery and money.

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