Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Going Negative

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The following article was first published three years ago. Since then the US Federal Reserve has raised interest rates above zero, only to start lowering them again. In the meantime, the total amount of negative-yielding debt in the world has reached $13 trillion (USD). This is more than the combined 2019 federal budgets of USA, China, Germany, France, the UK, Japan, Italy, Brazil and Canada (which, incidentally, are nine of the largest, most overdeveloped and most collapse-prone economies on the planet). It may seem surprising that investors are willing to lend money at a negative interest rate, but it's an offer they can't refuse: they would rather lose their money slowly over time than all at once. Some investors (and central banks) have decided that fiat currency reserves are a bad idea and are buying gold instead, but this won't change the overall economic picture. And overall picture is that global financial collapse has been on pause since 2008, but now somebody hit "play" again. In any case, this seems like an opportune moment to dust off this article and once again look at what negative interest rates are, and what they do.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

The Color Revolution Post-Mortem

Over the recent weeks two attempts at color revolution have been proceeding in parallel; one in Moscow and another in Hong Kong. While a casual observer might feel that the connection between the two is tenuous at best, a closer look reveals that the methodology is exactly the same one that had been used successfully during the various regime change exercises in the past—more than once in the case or the Ukraine—but has been misfiring of late.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hull Assembly Made Easy

Today we ignore all the crazy happenings in the big wide world (since it's all going according to plan anyway) and concentrate on moving the Quidnon project closer to completion.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Technological Revolution Devours its Children

It’s been almost three years since I published my book Shrinking the Technosphere, and an astute critic might observe that it didn’t work as intended because the technosphere hasn’t shrunk. True, it was intended as an only slightly ironic how-to book, but then it isn’t known how many people bothered to read it and actually practice what I preach. It is possible to equivocate a bit on the point that the technosphere isn’t shrinking: for example, heavy truck orders in the US are down 81% from last year. These Class 8 trucks move the vast majority of goods in the US and this collapse signals a major slowdown across the entire economy.

So the technosphere may not be entirely thriving; but then it doesn’t seem to be particularly shrinking either. There is no shortage of techno-optimists on hand talking up newfangled technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, molecular, cellular and nuclear technology, stem cell technology, tissue and organ farming, nanobiotechnology, biomimetics, nanobionics, nanotronics, not to mention the perennial techno-utopian stand-by’s of artificial intelligence, renewable energy, electric driverless cars and the internet of things. “A new technological revolution is at hand!” they exclaim. Fine, I say, but what’s the new, overabundant resource for this new technological revolution?

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Surviving Cultural Collapse

My recent interview with Fr. Robert McTeigue of the Catholic Current can be heard here.

Yes, this is a religious radio program, and although there is only passing mention of religion during the interview, perhaps a quick note on my personal stance on religion is in order. The gift of faith is one that not all people are granted. Faith comes most easily to those who are simple, while hypereducated urbane sophistos like most of my readers tend to find it difficult to believe in immaculate conception, resurrection, tricks with loaves and fishes, ascension unto heaven, the second coming, yadda-yadda. But here's a stunning discovery I've made that you may find useful: if you find that you lack the gift of faith, you don't necessarily have to tell anyone about it. You may also lack perfect pitch but nobody is ever going to demand that you sing a capella. You can still go on and act as if you believe in an all-seeing God who is just but merciful. Living in fear of a God that you believe to exist is functionally equivalent to living in fear of a God whose existence you doubt but cannot disprove, which is the best you can do. (To use Bertrand Russel's famous example, you cannot disprove the existence God just as you cannot disprove the existence of a small porcelain teapot in high elliptical orbit around the Earth). Having looked up some statistics, I can assert that if you live your life as if God exists and abide by His commandments it is statistically likely that numerous benefits will accrue to you more or less automatically: you will suffer fewer psychological problems, your marriage will be stronger, your children better-behaved, you will find yourself keeping better company and, when the time comes, you will rest easier on your deathbed because you've done your homework, unlike W.C. Fields who, when visited by a friend shortly before his death, discovered to be studying the Bible, and asked as to why, responded: "Looking for loopholes."

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mass Media Delusions

For anyone who lives in the West (the US, the EU and its various adjuncts such as Australia, New Zealand) and wants to know what really goes on in the world, a major hindrance is the powerful filter imposed on reality by Western mass media. It uses two methods to prevent reality from leaking through to the public, one active, one passive.

The passive method uses omission and obfuscation: certain events and facts are simply not reported. Some are willfully suppressed, others carefully underemphasized, yet others are presented in a context designed to disguise their significance. For example, anybody attentive enough could have easily ascertained that Robert Mueller is senile and in no way shape or form was ever capable of running any sort of investigation or writing a report. And yet this salient fact was not reported at all; that’s willful suppression.

But now that Mueller has provided six hours of congressional testimony to prove this fact before anyone who cared to watch, outright suppression has become impossible and context substitution has come into play: those who draw attention to Mueller’s obvious senility are accused of being right-wing extremists. But how can a readily observable medical fact be dismissed as political bias? How could he have failed to recall important details from a report he supposedly wrote (or at least read)? Mind you, I am just using the Mueller disaster as a handy example. As I have explained many times, it doesn’t matter who is president and the entire ridiculous witch-hunt is an instance of fiddling while Rome burns.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

How to Fake a Mission

Some people, unable to argue against all the evidence that the Apollo missions to the Moon were all faked, fall back on the defense that faking them and keeping the fakes secret would have been too difficult. It is possible to counter them simply by throwing a logic textbook in their general direction: what’s harder to do, land on the moon six times with zero casualties, or fake the whole thing and keep it quiet? The latter is just an exercise in public relations, and PR ain’t rocket science.

Another approach is to get specific. Information on how exactly the whole thing was faked isn’t particularly hard to find if you know where to look. Steps in faking the moon landings were the following:

1. Bribe or browbeat the Soviet leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and subsequent Soviet and Russian leaders to go along with the fake and to keep it quiet.

2. Simulate launches of Saturn V rockets, none of which could have ever made it to space.

3. Simulate radio communications between flight control center and the flight crew using radio relays.

4. Falsify lunar rocks supposedly retrieved from the Moon.

5. Simulate videos and photos supposedly made while on the Moon with the help of Stanley Kubrick.

6. Destroy a great deal of evidence in order to make the fake harder to prove.

7. Stonewall all those who kept asking obvious questions for five decades running.

Here's how it was done. (Patreon) (SubscribeStar)

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Highly Unlikely Conspiracies

Lost NASA footage from the moon landing
A year and a half ago the British PM Theresa May stunned the world by introducing into international relations a new, rather casual standard of proof—“highly likely”—in regard to the very strange case of the Sergei Skripal poisoning. It is part of a technique that is applied as follows. Make an unsubstantiated accusation of some party being “highly likely” to have committed a certain crime. Demand that the accused party confess to the crime, disclose all relevant information and agree to pay reparation. If this demand is not met, impose punishment.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

War Profiteers and the Demise of the US Military-Industrial Complex

Within the vast bureaucratic sprawl of the Pentagon there is a group in charge of monitoring the general state of the military-industrial complex and its continued ability to fulfill the requirements of the national defense strategy. Office for acquisition and sustainment and office for industrial policy spends some $100,000 a year producing an Annual Report to Congress. It is available to the general public. It is even available to the general public in Russia, and Russian experts had a really good time poring over it.

In fact, it filled them with optimism. You see, Russia wants peace but the US seems to want war and keeps making threatening gestures against a longish list of countries that refuse to do its bidding or simply don’t share its “universal values.” But now it turns out that threats (and the increasingly toothless economic sanctions) are pretty much all that the US is still capable of dishing out—this in spite of absolutely astronomical levels of defense spending. Let’s see what the US military-industrial complex looks like through a Russian lens.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

The Five Stages of Collapse in Colorado

It’s been a while since I ran a guest post, due to a lack of good candidates, but this article by user h_h from ZeroHedge caught my eye. It uses my book The Five Stages of Collapse as a jumping point and nicely outlines the case studies I used to examine each stage of collapse.