Archive for April, 2010

This is a very compelling, and wordy, commentary at http://www.Zero Hedge.com on how complex systems, in their lead up to catastrophic collapse, behave much like Avalanches.   To contain the devastating release of energy contained in a snow ridge, avalanche control experts launch mortars into areas they measure to be unstable, before they become a bigger threat.  Yet despite their best efforts, not all catastrophes can be avoided as the tipping point of Avalanches is still not completely measurable and controlling them still involves a lot intuition and experience.   Likewise, this commentary speculates that the Lords of Finance are scarred senseless by populist backlash at the Banking industry and are thus themselves launching the mortar of an SEC case against Goldman Sachs to purportedly avoid the entire Ridge of public opinion to be released upon them.  The problem is that with avalanches catastrophic collapses occur despite the ski patrol’s best efforts since the science of what triggers these collapses is still not completely understood.   The trigger, or tipping point can occur in random, innocuous areas of the physical network that keep the mass intact.   The article explains better than I do.

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I don’t even know why we even pretend that privacy exists anymore. We’re all just floating data points in the mind of Zoltar now!

Click here for the article in the Telegraph.

Mind you I sure wouldn’t mind if they used this technology to control the speed of cars through highway congestion zones… I HATE it when traffic comes to a dead stop on the highway…

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Excellent anaylsis in the tech section of this week’s Economist on why iphones do not support the Flash player and how this works into Steve Job’s master plan to rule the world of mobile computing.

It includes a discussion about competing media playing technologies and how they are lining up for what promises to be an epic battle.

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One should not underestimate the narcotic effect of Survior (first episode aired in 2000) and the simultaneous dumbing down of MTV which began phasing out video programming at about the same time. By 2008 MTV was only playing 3 hours of music videos in their 8 hour rotation. Now MTV is mostly know for The Tom Green Show, Jackass, The Real World, The Osbournes, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica and in 2005 and 2006 they upped the ante with favourites such as 8th & Ocean, Laguna Beach, my Super Sweet 16 and Viva La Bam but to name a few.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’: Fittie’s Crib

The most damaging show produced by MTV in the context of the Financial Crisis has to be MTV cribs, on the air since -you guessed it – 2000 – an obscene glorification of the excesses of wealth targeted directly at teens and young adults, many of which would now be on Wall Street pursuing the Cribsyian Dream of living in mansions and having an endless stream of wealth and not enough time to spend it. The MTV generation have become the footsoldiers of Bank CEOs and upper management, so desperate for fast and easy wealth that they will gladly sell their fellow Americans down the river to obtain it.

Despite the development of ground breaking dramatic series on cable that have arguably trumped film and novels as the de facto fictional narratives that inform the masses, the damage done to the collective conscience of America by the putridity of reality television and it’s toxic parade of venal celebrity seekers, wealthy exhibitionists and overall crudeness as entertainment is coming home to roost. Twisted by pathological narcisism, a critical number of Americans have been duped into believing that their destiny was in home ownership which could then be leveraged to obtain the luxurious lifestyles of those people, from all walks of life, that they saw reflected on television – when they could shift their attention long enough from their navels to see it.

And this is not to blame the citizens of America. It is their leaders, across the entire spectrum of American life, that have failed them. Breaking up the banks and regulating them is just the beginning. Repairing America’s soul will be the real challenge.. And my apologies to those who don’t see themselves at all in this post. You are many. But don’t you feel like you are losing the battle?

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The Brain Race is on!

Maybe you’ve already forgotten but back in January Google was attacked by alleged Chinese hackers. The New York Times reports today with more details about the attack.

What caught my attention is that “one of Google’s crown jewels, a password system that controls access by millions of users worldwide to almost all of the company’s Web services, including e-mail and business applications” was called Gaia”. Any touchy-feely- tree-hugging-organic-chicken-eating-Earth lover knows that Gaia is the “Greek goddess of the Earth”. And the Gaia hypothesis, for those who have been hiding under a rock for the past 40 years, is the “hypothesis [that views] the Earth as a single organism”.

So one must presume that the geeks with the planet-sized brains at Google think that they are, in fact, going to bring a planet-sized brain into being. Of course now that it’s out in the public eye they simply call it the “Single Sign-On” Not quite as prophetic is it?

I wonder if the real reason that Google pulled out of China is more a question of closing as many ports as possible that could be used by Government-backed Chinese hackers who want to reverse engineer their own planet-sized brain …

The race might be unwinnable though. Perhaps no company will successfully come up with a design for a single, planet-sized brain as the Universe has evolved in such a way that to instantiate cognition all brains, no matter the origin, must evolve toward a bi-hemisphere architecture where each half, working from similar technology while evolving from competing origins deals with different approaches to data processing.

Of course, the kind of processing going on in a planetary two-hemisphered brain might defy the neat categorizations we’ve come up with for the human brain.

But it’s nonetheless great fun to try and map right-left brain functions to Caucasian and Asian stereotypes.

Presently listening to: “Hemispheres” by Rush

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Read The Discount Rate Mismatch

This is very enlightening post by Statsguy, a frequent guest contributor to the Baseline Scenario, that explains why we are at a critical point in economic history.  The entire system is so far in debt that there is no painless way to get out of it.  What would you be willing to sacrifice so that the historic theft of wealth on Wall Street gets justly punished?  Your retirement?  Your pensions fund?  Your home?  And don’t think that Canada would be immune.  Despite having avoided the worst of the 2007 phase of the Financial Crisis, it is far from over and if the U.S. collapses in earnest, there will be nowhere to hide.  This is one of the greatest challenges humanity will face and it is intimately connected to controlling climate change and wether or not the 21st Century descends into the blood bath that was the 20th.   If we chose to continue with more or less the same system… then we will likely pay a nasty price.

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Okay so let me get this straight..

While one hand is desperately trying to get a grip on the consequences of Too Big To Fail Financial Institutions the other hand is busy pushing ahead with the wonderful, “efficient” (man people do LOVE that word) technology of Cloud Computing which essentially derives it’s power from the economies of scale made possible by storing information in a handful of ginormous data centres instead of proprietary hardrives and servers. The Data Industrial Complex (pretty much anything to do with computing which these days touches on EVERYTHING) is trying hard to convince us that very soon we will only need a mobile phone or access to a “dumb” terminal to deal with all our computing needs.

Granted most of us already have a good chunk of our lives up there in the sky(net) but we still keep copies on our computers at home. Will laptops and desktops completely be replaced by tablets and mobile phones? I don’t see why not. If they don’t disappear completely, clunky 20th Century computing hardware might just find a niche use for itself, very much like turntables post CDs and ipods. (more…)

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Music by Speedhair
Words by Paul Wyndale

Comet tails and cosmic rays
These are things that make me worry
Earthquakes and giant waves
No longer extraordinary
Endless wars
Decades of strife
Dismemberred boys the price of Glory
Plague is coming
Millions dead
You just might live
But you’ll be sorry!

Double Deuce!
Double Deuce!

Mudslides and hurricanes
These are things that make me worry
Forest fires, famine, drought
Can we do enough?
Is this the point of no return?
The global toilet overflows
You can point the finger

Double Deuce!
Double Deuce!

Who’s your daddy now?
Moses, Jesus or Mohammed?
Keep the golden cow
Flip the bird to the Holy Spirit
Scream five times a day
Off your knees it’s time to kick it
He, It, She can’t save you now
Cast adrift on a dying planet

Double Deuce
Double Deuce

I reckon weza people are gonna die!

Earth!… What a shithole!

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In response to Goldman Sachs: Too Big To Obey The Law at the Baseline Scenario

Nothing would be a greater relief for a great many number of people but to see Wall Street hit their China Syndrome moment.. Certainly the millions of unemployed Americans would like to see these immoral financial raiders demolished. It is time that the risk of financial collapse be shown to be real…if the Governements of the World are unwilling or incapable of executing meaningful reform than Nature and her “laws” will surely take care of it.

Much chaos will ensue.. Maybe many people will die.. People scoff at statements like this but what was World War 2 other than a perfect storm of political economic madness? Where is it written that the United States will last 1000 years? Look at the mayhem being caused after 5 days of closed skies in Europe. The airlines are basically saying that it is worth risking a preventable plane crash to keep the economy humming… And they might be right.. Who are we to know which economic butterfly is flapping its wings at this very moment that may lead to unforseable circumstances down the road that would justify the ceremonial sacrifice of a few hundred people in the name of global commerce?

People in power seriously need to get their heads out of their asses.

The thinking about these matters is unbelieveably trite and unimaginative.

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Powerline A.D. You are our only hope!

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