Daily Reading #121

Don’t worry, I am sure we can find a Madelaine Albright-equivalent to say “It was worth it” :

http://thefreethoughtproject.com/us-foreign-policy-has-brought-80-of-the-entire-population-of-children-in-yemen-to-the-brink-of-death/

This is a truly great lecture, an academic version of a talk he gives a lot :

No kidding, reality matters :

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/integrity-the-real-source-of-division-in-americas-political-left-3db3a61e25a9

Did not we always think that “collateral must actually exist”? Loosening those standards is what our Fed has done for us, they took all of the bank’s dreck as part of QE, welfare for the ultra-rich, the payoff for the ‘moral hazard’ so cleverly exploited by the banksters. Every law, rule, regulation is a tool for some scam artist to take money from the unsuspecting. Including the army of lawyers needed to keep everybody sort-of straight.

Don’t laugh at China until you look at our own Fed. Our bubble is partly dependent upon the Chinese bubbles, as Chinese money flooded out of China into the US dollar and on into our property market, stock market, buying businesses, etc. What happens to the US economy as money from China dries up at the same time as business is down across the board, tax revenues down, jobless, etc. benefits are up? And our focus on feeding the military and trying to conquer the world requires bigger military budgets, … When nobody will buy your bonds, a country prints money, because that is the least-immediate-pain road.

Nobody can predict anything specifically, but all of these problems have been confounding for a long time, one grain of sand on the dune at a time. One more law, one more regulation, one more constraint on solving the economic equations, one more fuzzing of price signals, then one day, the economy stops working and we all wait for the avalanche to stop.

We let the government get out of control, the government tried to run the system rather than allow it to run, foster that running. Too bad for us, but the serious thinkers have been saying this was inevitable as long as I have been reading them :

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-08/some-chinese-banks-suspend-interbank-business-regulator-demands-collateral-actually-

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/05/08/kushner-companies-seen-hawking-shady-u-s-visa-buying-residency-program-to-wealthy-chinese/

Trump’s takes the advice of his generals, who view ISIS and Afghanistan as military problems.  This points out that large and active militaries easily escape civilian control :

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-civilian-controlled-military-if-you-can-keep-it/

This article points out that there is a big difference between wealth that is created vs wealth that is extracted, but both are largely luck. I agree about luck, except for the components of personality and intellect and physical ability to work hard, good judgement, creativity and leadership.  Oh, yes, the silver spoon, another big factor. The standard story has dozens of people in a position to dominate early markets and luck determining the outcoming. Luck, yes, but getting in the position for lightening to strike, that takes special people. As a programmer, I admire Bill Gates. He had a lot of silver spoon, and could be said to have been lucky wrt some of his competitors with better OSs.  OTOH, he didn’t go flying when IBM called, Gary Kildall did :

https://theconversation.com/getting-rich-is-largely-about-luck-shame-the-wealthy-dont-want-to-hear-it-77111

Oh, look, a new source of Black Swans :

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170504-there-are-diseases-hidden-in-ice-and-they-are-waking-up

Bonobos may be closer to humans than chimps. Are not the oldest human remains south of the Congo River also? :

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-00548-3?error=cookies_not_supported

Microhabitats are important, another reason to appreciate diversity :

https://aeon.co/videos/how-a-tiny-group-of-insects-escaped-extinction-by-hiding-in-a-bush-for-80-years

Interesting how easy it is to control regulatory agencies on specific issues :

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/before-occupy-how-aids-activists-seized-control-of-the-fda-in-1988/249302/

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