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2021-07-29 06:49 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 685 references
[Comments enabled]  

Ever hear of MouseTopia?

Someone brought it up on my forum; I knew about it, having read a couple of articles decades ago.  It was very interesting because it applied to a creature that, many believe, is rather stupid -- that is, driven by simple primal instincts.  Eat, drink, avoid being eaten by a cat and, of course, screw.

The mouse, to be specific.  

As it turns out it's a bit more complex than that.

A scientist built what should have been utopia.  A closed system with no shortages of water, food, places to nest and, of course, no predators.  The expectation was that the handful of male and female mice would, without any pressure to contain their numbers, eat, drink and screw themselves literally to death, consuming all space available since there were no other constraints.  There was no problem with clean air, water, food or the means to dispose of waste; ergo, population would expand exponentially until all space was consumed.

You know, like it was predicted in the 1970s and such with humans.

It started as predicted but rapidly did not work out that way.

Long before the mice reached physical constraints bad things started to happen.  The social order of raising little mice and imprinting on them what was necessary to turn them into prolific creatures broke down.  Eventually the mother mice stopped allowing their babies to nurse and the young mice stopped caring about anything at all, other than eating, grooming and sleeping.  Some got extremely aggressive and started attacking and raping anything that moved -- even where there was no possibility of reproduction (e.g. raping other males.)  The birth rate fell, infant mortality soared and, ultimately, reproduction stopped entirely.

There was no equilibrium reached nor was the limit resource exhaustion, which was the original expectation.  Instead the social order broke down and ultimately the entire population under test went extinct.

Several permutations followed in an attempt to try to figure out what the hell was going on, including removing some of the mice from that environment once reproduction had ceased and transplanting them into a new environment where there were only a few mice.  The transplanted mice refused to breed and all eventually died out anyway, despite now being in a spare space with, once again, no predatory pressure and lots of resources.

As far as I know nobody has ever identified exactly what changed, when, or how to interdict it.  Perhaps its as simple as "without adversity against which a species must struggle society eventually fails and even the most-base reproductive drive is lost."

You'd think that would be a human or at least primate construct, but as these experiments showed you'd be wrong.  Social constructs, even if they're not what we think of as "social" at all, are inherently and inescapably part of necessity with any sexually-reproducing animal.  If you lose that you lose the entire population of a species as without reproduction the outcome over time is certain.

One of the claims is that "inequity" causes such outcomes.  Really?  When everyone has access to enough, how is there inequity?  Isn't inequity really a codeword for I don't have to lift a finger to have everything I need -- or even want?  Doesn't this inherently come from destroying the natural selective process of being better and doing better leads to better outcomes, which by definition cannot wind up in equality of result?

And isn't getting rid of that dynamic, when you get down to it, a recipe for disaster?

Look at the last 18 months.  Despotism is nothing new and seizing opportunity when a hidden bogeyman comes to call isn't new either.  How many times have High Priests shown up with various nostrums, from waving crosses to Holy Water to blood on doors to ward away evil?  Is it not true that 100 times out of 100 such persons were, in fact, completely full of crap?

The man who discovered that washing your hands before delivering babies prevented women from dying was literally drummed out of medical practice and pursued even beyond that to the point he was driven insane.

Is what we're seeing now really any different than what we've seen before?

They cut your head off as a heretic, didn't they.

What are social media companies doing today?

Something to start your day thinking about....... and whether we're headed for the same outcome as the mice.

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2021-07-26 12:00 by Karl Denninger
in POTD , 292 references


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2021-07-26 08:04 by Karl Denninger
in Energy , 504 references
[Comments enabled]  

...... the Chinese were doing what I pointed out was likely to happen back when I wrote Leverage as it applies to energy policy.

Chinese government scientists have unveiled plans for a first-of-its-kind, experimental nuclear reactor that does not need water for cooling.

The molten-salt nuclear reactor, which runs on liquid thorium rather than uranium, is expected to be safer than traditional reactors because the molten salt cools and solidifies quickly when exposed to the air, insulating the thorium, so that any potential leak would spill much less radiation into the surrounding environment compared with leaks from traditional reactors. 

The article goes on to try to explain why we haven't commercialized the technology and lies in the process of doing so.

In point of fact there was one material engineering issue that we had not resolved, and it's not clear China has either -- they may have ignored it.  That is online reprocessing of the fuel, that is, the ability to do so while the reactor is running without exchanging the working fuel load out for a new one.  In a small modular reactor they may not care; in that sort of design you can potentially take the "capsule" of the operating portion of the reactor and transport it somewhere to do that. The general "SMR" design has been toyed with before in this regard, but whether the Chinese have attempted apply that to LFTRs is not well-described in this article.

Nor does it appear that China has turned the other advantage, that of the rather nice match between operating heat levels and CTL technology, an advantage which I described here back in 2011.  That's where, IMHO, the real future lies with this sort of move forward, although it does not surprise me terribly that the source article leaves that out.  After all the premise of every alleged "science" goofball these days is not to ground their work in physics and chemistry, but rather to base it on virtue-signaling stupidity using the word "green" as often as possible despite the fact that anything involving the use of battery storage vessels for energy in a vehicle is wildly inefficient and thus not green at all on a full life-cycle basis.

Not that the Chinese have ever given a crap about the environment in that regard (and there's no reason to believe they will in the future either); killing their own people is considered sport if it makes them a buck, so there you have it.

But as I pointed out when I wrote that article.....

Incidentally, China and India appear to have figured this out as well; I'm not the only one with a brain.

We had better lead on this or we're going to get trampled.


Thank yourselves Boobus Americanus; between allowing a flood of illegal invaders into the nation (Obama., Trump and Biden), screaming about everything except sustainable solutions that are good for hundreds of years when it comes to energy (all three as well), untested jabs rushed out (thanks dudes), lockdowns, turning people into NPCs and now the man who slaughtered tens of thousands in the time of AIDS that is still strutting around with a hypodermic and diaper in-hand demanding you use both while doing nothing to resolve the fact that behind every single unit of GDP -- that is, economic output -- is a unit of ENERGY China has continued forward and, it appears, is about to bring online what we could have focused our attention on over the last 10 years.

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2021-07-25 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 192 references
[Comments enabled]  

So you want to spend six figures to take a sub-orbital flight?

Be my guest.

You want to "thank" your employees (and everyone who you put out of business through questionable practices) for subsidizing your personal ride?  Drop dead -- and I hope it hurts.  A lot.

Beelzebezos has always been a pig in my opinion; that's not new.  So it shouldn't surprise what my take was on his little rocket ride.

But let's cut the crap about what this was: He was no more an "astronaut" than I'm a pilot when I sit in the back of a commercial airplane.

I have no role in making it happen at the time, if things go to Hell I have no ability to do anything about it (especially after 9/11 with armored cockpit doors), the entire thing is out of my control as someone else (in this case automation) runs the whole thing and in this case if the parachute was a block of ice or otherwise didn't deploy, well, sucks to be you in the 150mph or so impact with the ground.

Is this some "great step forward"?  No.

What it was is an advertising confab for a commercial venture, which all the various media dutifully carried the water on instead of billing Blue Wreck $1 million a minute to play it.

Nice, if you can talk your way into them doing it.

I find it amusing beyond words that someone thinks this is some sort of grand design or achievement.  It reminds me of the penis extenders that are on display near Destin all the time in the summer -- you know, the big cigarette boats with dual or triple big-blocks, open pipes, 30-40ish feet in length and about 200 gallon/hour burn of gasoline.  They go real fast, they have tiny little cockpits, 99% of the dudes that own 'em don't know how to really run 'em in anything other than dead-flat calm seas (and would get killed if they tried as a result), to really run them properly under real conditions you need two people who know what they're doing (one for throttles, one for the rest) and they are utterly useless except as a racing craft or to burn up a lot of dead dinosaurs very fast and make a lot of noise.

Oh wait, they do have one other purpose, which is why the fat, bald 50 year old owns it: He gets a lot of 20 year old cute pussy with it.  Better than a Porsche or Lambo, I've been told, almost as good as a Citation and a hell of a lot cheaper to both buy and operate.

Such is the premise of these "space flights."

Trust me on this: The first time I came around a corner into a cove in my much more-modest fishing boat, intending to drop the hook, wet some bait and perhaps have a beer -- and found one of those extenders "at anchor" with said fat slob up on top of the naked 20 year old girl.... well, I guess everyone has a price.

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2021-07-24 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Federal Government , 300 references
[Comments enabled]  

One thing you can be basically-certain of: When the government tells you somethin they're probably lying.

After all there's no penalty for it.  And there's no penalty when a government agency breaks the law either.  One of my prime examples of this is The Federal Reserve, which is forbidden to buy or transact in anything other than federal government-guaranteed debt with very, very limited and enumerated exceptions.

The Fed deliberately violated that law when it started buying Fannie and Freddie paper.

Problem: There is no "or else" clause.

Ditto on inflation, of course. The Federal Reserve Act forbids The Fed to "target 2% inflation"; indeed, it forbids them to target anything other than zero as it clearly states: Stable prices.  While errors may not be chargeable against them intentional actions certainly are.

But again: There is no "or else."

Who's responsible for this?  You are.


Because Congress is elected by you.

Contemplate the fundamental reality of pretty-much any organization: A small percentage of persons are in every key role that do 90% of the actual work and without them whatever the organization does either stops or is so-severely impaired that it may as well stop.

Been there done that myself.  I've had a code project on my desk that through planning and such expected to deliver to the organization in a month.  If I walked out, however, there was exactly nobody there who could complete it in three -- if not six, assuming all the other resources (e.g. coders) in the place remained on the job.  I've been on the other side of that too when someone calls me in a panic wanting me to pick up someone else's pieces.  Yeah, I can do it, but sit down before you hear the price.

It's true everywhere.  Water plant?  There's probably five dudes/dudettes there basically make sure it works out of maybe 50 employees.  If three of them walk out how long before the water quality goes out of bounds?

Exceptions?  Where repetition is all that matters, in other words the labor is literally a robot.

"Would you like fries with that?"

Ok.... so now Biden is taking heat from the people he needs to remain in power -- specifically, minorities on the lower end of the economic strata.  The robots, to a large degree.  It gets worse: He was crazy enough to tell a restaurant owner, presumably a supporter or he wouldn't have been there, to pay people more.  Uh.... yeah, that'll work.  NOT.

In the middle of this you have a huge economic bubble at present -- in stocks and housing.  Pricking just the inflation part is going to be effectively impossible yet Biden's administration has to do it, and do it now, because by the end of the year the voter problem starts to show up with the midterms looming.  He loses either House, and The House is almost-certain to go the other way at this point and his agenda is done.

There are an awful lot of spinning plates on sticks right now -- and it only takes one false step for them all to end up in pieces on the floor.

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