GladeRunner - Hacking on the Linux laptop, with Skye Sweetnam and Tim Armstrong, taking us "Into Action", via the Debian Musicbox Server, rendered on the heavily hacked Gen-1 iPad, one of the better hardware designs so far this century.

The C-Machine forecast, made with data up to Nov. 25th, 2021. Note how the green line has already peaked and turned over.

And this is what "Black Friday", Nov. 26, 2021, looked like, for the security we like to experiment with. You can see that great down-falling Open/Hi/Lo/Close bar, on the far right of the screen. Note that the C-Machine had no knowledge of Omicron or Delta Covid. The prices were getting pretty toppy. But the trend is still up. And with low-yields inflation, it will be, for some time, we suspect.

Plus, Covid is just not that big a deal. We do not expect that Omicron or Gamma or Delta or Omega Covid is really going to make much difference. We get flu vaccine shots every year, and we expect we will all be getting annual Covid vaccine shots each year from now on also.

If you don't want to get vaccinated, then that is fine. You can go die. No problem. It's gonna happen to you anyway, so no-one should really worry too much about it, right? :)

Notes of Note - 2021

"Junkwaffel" machine - a box built completely from scrap parts of 32-bit machines, running MS-DOS, and using Cyrnwr Packet Drivers, for LAN & internet access. Respect the Robot ... :)

[ Dec. 1, 2021 ] - My Sh/t Works - I am really senstive to Nassim Taleb's observation, that successfully traders are only those guys that fit the current regime and cycle and such - but I have lived thru 5 major sh/tstorms - Russian default, 1998, Dot-Com Bubble crash, 9/11 crash (when I was on the goddamn phone to a broker, trying to sell 3000 QQQ's, and he said: "Huh?  They have just closed the market!..  It says an airplane hit the building.."  and I recall thinking "drunk guy in a Cessna?"), (this is my own personal war-story from hell - I was trapped - an hedged by selling a bunch of XIU's on the the TSE - truly, my life is stupid, and I am the chief architect of my own personal stupid-construction ), the 2008 "Financial Crisis" ( a global meltdown because of bogus models, corrupt real-estate valuators, and general nasty dumb-assery that dominates the professional financial world - "Here, we have some shit-paper we want to sell you!" and the clients buy it...) and then recent Covid-19 March 2020 implosion, which almost blew us all out of the water (I bought at the bottom.  I was stupid - but I got lucky.)  But I sold too soon (like a week later, because I am really, really stupid... :)  ). 

But thru it all, I have focused and studied and built technical shit that just seem to work.   It is curious.   I get the crap kicked out of me, but I am still here, and, truth be told, we are doing alright.  It is curious as hell.   Two days ago, I figured I was gonna die from Covid, but I seem to be doing better today, and the nasty phlegm is now clear-coloured, which is a very good sign.   I mean, I look in the mirror, and it is just fu&king awful to see - but I am actually feeling pretty good.   Three cheers for my immune system, I guess.  (And quality Nihonian food...)

And for all the practical and theory knowledge I have hacked from reality, and from books and from just looking carefully.    The financials are flying today (as my little mean-reverter calculator suggested they probably would, the stupid Covid-19 Omicron variant is actually probably a good and fine thing (it is showing exactly the kind of replicative failure, that causes viruses to become less lethal over time, and the fact that it is highly contagious, is good, because it becomes a natural vaccination vector device.)

Most humans just cannot actually think very clearly (I know how much trouble I have doing it!)

But it is possible to do just average investing stuff, and actually survive and prosper.   And with C-Machine and JunkWaffel, (which runs the HURSTGRF workspace I have been hacking on for 30 years), I can get a rough picture of what is likely to happen.  I am still not betting properly.  I really need to work on that, since I am taking 2,500 out, when I should be taking 25,000 out, given what I am seeing, and how it could be played, if I was a bit less of a pussy.

It's just I *know* how crazy things can get, and how markets tend to move in a self-reenforcing, self-accelerating manner.    (I am re-reading "Fooled by Randomness" again - such a fine and useful little book.  And if you can actually *get* what old Taleb is saying, his advice can truly help your trading efforts.  It might even make you rich.  (Hint: Low probability events, which exhibit low costs to enter, and very high payoffs, are worth looking at very carefully.  Also the flip-side:  Low probability events, which exhibit very high costs (negative payoffs)) are also worth looking at (and for) since these are *wildly* more common than the idiot-gausian bell-curve bullsh/t that everyone uses to assess VAR and other voodoo that does not quite work the way you think it does.))  And if you are over-margined (like fuckwits at Lehman Brothers were), then one of these very low-probability events (that are certain to happen, much more often than expected - it is in the data - will completely *destroy* you and your enterprise.)    I have hundreds of distributions of 1st difference RORs, and they *all* have these bloody little 5 or 6 or 10 sigma outliers.   All of them.  Virtually every bloody one of them - and they are across wildly different markets - share prices, interest-rate movements, gold prices, oil-prices, etc.     Mandelbrot was first to see this.  This is a really key thing.    Gauss was a genius, but Gaussian distributions are *not* how prices changes happen.  The 5, six and even 10 sigma events happen about every 25 to 50 years.   They just do.  Go look.

I would love to sell today, but my models and C-Machine and especially JunkWaffel - all say "no, no...   we grind further, most likely,  Some bumps and blips and burpfarts along the way, but trend not violated, earnings of the underlying stuff is ramping upwards, and dividends are being increased at a rate greater than the rate of inflation.    Hands must be sat on.   Go cut down a tree, or invert some matricies or something.  Leave the goddamn portfolio alone to continue to just bloody well grow."  

A man just has to accept and deal with his weaknesses.   :)

[ Nov. 31, 2021 ] - Imaginary Date, Like a Complex Number - Still got a long way to go.  Really, it is Nov. 30, in the afternoon...  

The market has comically imploded again - down 670 on the Dow, and over 400 on the TSE/SPX index.  Stupid market, stupid prices, as per usual.   Anyone who honestly believes that modern markets are "efficient" or even somewhat effective, at discounting risk, is just not sane.   The evidence continues to show:  1) Omicron Covid produces a *less* serious illness than the Delta variant, and 2) Omicron Covid is *more* contagious.   Well, duh.  This is evolution in action, the process-path to the beginning of herd immunity.  We are not there yet, but we are actually moving in the right direction.    But the *market* sees none of this.   It is hilarious.   I am trying not to die, despite feeling awful and ill.   I really want to live thru this, since it seems there will be some solid opportunities.   :)  ( I need to not die, of course....)

Here is some interesting info (which is damned difficult to find, given the awful "mainstream media" echo-chamber noise that the "search engines" now offer.  I've just discovered "thegatewaypundit.com", a fellow named Jim Hoft, who tries to do accurate (and useful) reporting.  He has offered some hard number about the current UK Covid-19 experience - specifically from time period October 25th, to November 21st, of 2021.  In the UK, there were 833,332 Covid-19 cases reported, 9,094 Covid-19 hospitalizations, and 3,700 Covid-19 related deaths.   The *unvaccinated* accounted for 39% of *ALL* cases. 34% of all hospitalizations, and 19% of all deaths.  (WHAT THE F&^K?? you might say...).    The vaccinated folks, accounted for 61% of all Covid-19 cases, 66% of all hospitalizations, and 81% of all deaths.

This information source is the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), which publishes a weekly "Vaccine Surveillance" report containing detailed statistics on Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, by vaccination status, for previous four weeks, across the UK.

Hoft's website link is:  https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/11/report-fully-vaccinated-account-81-covid-deaths-uk/

I think this is interesting data.   I have been "fully vaccinated" (two Moderna shots, April and July of this year), plus a recent flu-shot.   And look - I am *really* ill, but it might not even be Covid.  It might just be a bad flu, which is very common in Canada at this time of year - hence the annual flu shots, offered at most pharmacies.  But the most recent UK evidence suggests that the current vaccines, don't work very well, and are specifically not very effective at preventing death-by-Covid.   I would have expected the numbers to tell quite a different story.

And the problem now - especially among the leftist-leaning poltroons that absolute dominate and operate the mainstream media - is that evidence that contradicts their world-view, is simply ignored or bypassed or is quietly supressed.    

I've always recommended getting the vaccines.  But these recent UK numbers are shocking.  And they seem to match our local Ontario results, in that of the daily Covid-19 cases being reported, (ie. people are sick enough to seek medical treatment), 315/788, or roughly 40% are folks who have been "fully vaccinated". 

Taking 61% and 40%, and averaging them, 50% - you get a very rough estimate of the effectiveness of the vaccine.  (This is not valid, yes I know.  The population of "fully vaccinated" that you are drawing from is massively larger than the population of "not vaccinated", so you would expect "breakthru infections" - where the fully-vaccinated person gets sick enough from Covid-19 to seek medical help - can be quite a big number, so we need to take reported breakthru infections, as a percentage of vaccinated population, not just as a portion of total Covid reported cases for the time period.  But there is also a reporting issue, in that people who are vaccinated fully, are most likely going to be reluctant to seek medical assistance or advice, since they will believe their bad flu-like symptoms to be from - a bad flu.  This is my situation, for example.  I suspect that for every *reported* Covid case among the fully-vaccinated cohort, there are probably numerous non-reported breakthru infections where the patient has mild symptoms or is asymptomatic.  

It just seems to me, that if 40 to 60 percent of all the sick-with-Covid-19 people you treat have been "fully vaccinated", then it seems clear - the Covid-19 vaccines are just not working that well.   (UK has 80% of it's over-12 year old folks vaccinated with at least two shots, and Ontario has 86% of it's population of over-12s double-shot vaccinated.)  Both regions should just not be showing this many "breakthru" SARS-Cov-2 infections, which are serious enough for the sick folks to seek medical help.

It's very clear why the CDC in the USA, and various medical authority types in Canada, have been recommending getting a Covid-19 vaccine "booster shot".  This is because the damn vaccines are just not working very well, at preventing acquisition of, and infection by, the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

Now, the detailed science on this, says otherwise, and I am inclined to respect it, even if I don't believe it.  The data is old (last year, 2020, pre-Delta variant), and is statistical based, not patient-presenting-based.   Using a specific methodology, that one must understand carefully, ("test negative study design" - read the article, if curious), the vaccine efficacy is rated at >90% for the Moderna and Pfizer-Biontech vaccines, in Ontario.  

The real-world clinical data is saying, quietly:  "Bullsh/t.  The vaccine effectiveness is closer to 50%, rather than 90%".   And if this is true, then then the folks who choose NOT to get vaccinated, are not completely stupid.

This has been a big surprise for me.    I live in Mennonite country, and *most* of the Mennonites are *not* getting vaccinated.  I thought they were unwise.   Now, I have to re-consider.  My one neighbour tested positve for Covid-19.  I was chatting with him, on the highway, last spring, by his tractor.  I asked about his experience, and he said he was tired for a couple of weeks, but that was all.   He is older, in his late 50's or mid-60's.  But for him - an unvaccinated guy - he found Covid-19 to be no more serious than a bad cold or flu.  

So lets try to do the vaccine-effectiveness for UK:  This is from the UK numbers reported by gatewaypundit.com:  46 million people over 12, have had both doses of Covid-19 vaccine,and this indicated at 80% of the population.  So, total population of over-12s is 46m/.8 = 57.5 million total, 2-dose vaccinated + unvaccinated.

For 4 weeks, from Oct. 25th, to Nov. 21, 2021, in UK, 833,332 Covid-19 cases reported. 39% were unvaccinated, 61% were 2-dose vaccinated.  That means: 324,999 cases from unvaccinated, 508,333 cases from 2-dose vaccinated.  So with these numbers, we can estimate the probability of getting Covid-19 (actually getting Covid-19 bad enough to become a reported case, by seeking and getting medical help):

 Unvaccinated:  324999 / 11.5 million = 0.0282607  or 2.8260 %

 Vaccinated:   508333 / 46 million = 0.0110507 or 1.1050%

Getting the 2-dose vaccine drops your probability of getting serious Covid-19, from 2.826% to 1.105%, more than half.   Specifically:  1.1050 / 2.826 = .3910.  

1 - .3910 = .60898, or roughly 61%.   (Check it: .60898 x 2.826 = 1.72098 )

So, take 2.826 - 1.72098 = 1.10502%   

So, based on the current data (Oct. 25 to Nov. 21) the 2-dose mRNA vaccine in the UK, for over 12-year old people, drops the probability of getting Covid-19, roughly 61%, from 2.826% to 1.105%.    We thus view the mRNA vaccine rollout in UK, as showing evidence of roughly 60 percent vaccine effectiveness, based on most recent data available.

This is well below the reported "90% effectiveness" for mRNA vaccines, that was touted by everyone last year.

I still recommend to people to get vaccinated.  The risks are very low, and even 50% to 60% protection is better than no protection at all.   Here is a detailed statistical survey from last year, which suggests vaccine efficacy of 90%.   The link is below.  The study is well done, and may well have been accurate for datasets up to mid-2020:

https://www.bmj.com/content/374/bmj.n1943

But we all need to remain very skeptical here.    Don't "drink the Kool-Aid" just because some authority-figure suggests you should.  It may just turn out, that having a significant pool of people who are *non-vaccinated* in your country, might offer some significant future benefit, especially if all the *fully vaccinated* people get sick and die from some other lethal, opportunistic infection from a new organism that finds a wildly attractive ecological niche among the "fully vaccinated" population.  I don't think that is likely, but I have learned to respect the range of extreme, possible, edge-condition scenarios, since I see them play out, so very often, in the financial markets.  

[ Nov. 30, 2021 ] - Covid, Shmovid - I feel very goddamn crappy and sick, and I don't like being sick. For dinner last nite,  I ate half an avocado smashed up with yogourt and salsa, and spread it on corn chips (the kind used for salsa dipping).  That and some Japanese egg+fake crabmeat sticks and some tofu inari pockets filled with ginger rice, was all I could eat.   We had planned to cook a nice steak - but I really know I am messed up, when I lose my appetite for red, bloody, meat.  And wine.  I am on a no-alcohol, no-meat thing, not out of any clever diet plan, but just because I feel so weak and awful.  This might just be a flu, or even a flu from the vaccine I had a few days before I got sick.  But I think (with almost 90% probability), that I caught something ugly at the Mall/Bookstore/Apple Store. 

So tired, all I want to do is sit quietly, and breathe.  This might not be Covid Omicron/Delta, but it is nasty - body aches, fever seems to be down, but now runny nose, sneezing and dizzy.  Feel like I'm sailing on a rough patch of the River Styx. 

Market trading this AM has been ugly, despite the good news on our major holding (big earnings jump, and the dividend bumped up over 10%).  I'd do a happy dance, but it might kill me, and the share price is cratering.  Such a funny old world.    But on balance, we are crazy lucky, and doing just fine, actually, since the flu/covid/virus thing I have, is morphing into the "bad cold" phase, and that means I will be able to keep breathing, and watch the market sh/t all over us.  Real human comedy stuff, actually.  Like Leon, in Blade Runner: "I'll tell you about my mother!" ...

It's very difficult to get outside the filter-bubbles for mainstream media now, on all the search engines.   I was doing some data-research, and discovered some interesting data:  No one anywhere, has died from Omicron-Covid-19.  There have not even been hospitalizations.  Very preliminary information from South Africa, suggests that this variant produces a milder infection, than the Delta version.   What is interesting about Omicron, is the number of changes that are evident.   There are 30 specific changes, three small deletions, and one small insertion in the spike protein, and of these, 15 are in the receptor-binding domain.  It is unclear if this mutation makes the virus more or less likely to bind to human lung cells.  The Omicron variant belongs to the Pango lineage B.1.1.529, with many S-gene mutations compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that was identified in late 2019.   The degree of change of effectiveness of existing vaccines and antibody treatments is unknown at the moment.  But because the spike protein has undergone such a significant mutation, there is obvious concern that this mutation variant might have increased binding affinity.  But this does not mean this variant is more lethal.  It is possible that this might be an example of "replicative fading", a phenomenon that typically leads to *less* perfectly adapted evolutionary entity.  

The Omicron variant might be a less-lethal, milder form of Covid-19.  Remember - a virus or a parasite that kills it's host, is not evolutionarily successful.  If evolution is working, we would expect to see Covid evolve to become more like a bad cold, and less like a killer Spanish Flu.

And no one has died from Omicron.  It was first observed on November 11, in South Africa.   Not one, single person has died from it.  This was 18 days ago.  And yet nation-states are closing borders, and politicians are yappity-yap-yapping like excited puppies.  As of yesterday, around the middle of the day, there were 184 Omicron variant cases, and 1305 probable cases.   In Ontario, there were reported 788 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, and 2 Omircron variant cases in the Ottawa region - from two people who had returned from Nigeria.  Of the 788 new cases, it seems that over 300 were Covid-19 cases from people who had been vaccinated.  This fact was not explicitly reported anywhere, only the number of non-vaccinated Covid cases.   There was one single Covid-19 related death, in Ontario, on Sunday.

The information I found, indicated that in Ontario, over 86 % of the population of adults have had two vaccination shots, and 89.7 % of Ontario folks 12 and older, have had at least 1 shot.   Also, as of 8:00 pm Monday, Nov. 29, two additional Omicron cases have been discovered in Ontario - also from travellers, apparently.

Of the 788 new Covid-19 cases in Ontario, reported on Sunday, Nov. 28, 439 were unvaccinated and 34 cases were people with unknown vaccination status.  788 - (439 + 34) = 315.   That means on Sunday, 315 people who had been vaccinated, were reported getting Covid-19.    That is an interesting number, and it suggests that: 1): Covid-19 is evolving to work-around the vaccine, and 2) The Covid vaccines are not perfectly effective, and even if you are vaccinated, you may still catch Covid.  And 3):  Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults is probably indicated, and the US CDC has suggested this.

Ontario has had 617,803 total confirm Covid-19 cases, and as of Monday evening, Nov 29, it has reported 9,997 deaths.     Not a pretty picture, really, but not near as bad as was expected.  We get a death-rate of 9997/617803 = 1.6182 %.

And if Omicron is *less* lethal, but more contagious, it might drive that death-rate down further and faster.

[ Nov 29, 2021 ] - Lapdogs, Fly Maggots and the Fake Metaverse - Fruit fly maggots have little brains, with only roughly 15,000 neurons.  That is not many neurons, yet the little white slug-things exhibit a whole range of behaviours.  And dogs which are not even lapdogs, will typically jump up and sit in my lap.  It is pretty comical - they seem to be able to infer that I am a dog-person, and even huge Labradoodles will leap into my lap, given the chance.  Of course, I am delighted to have them sit there.   A good friend has two large animals that they raised from small pups, (Lilly and Lucy), and Lilly will jump up into my lap and sit happily.

What is interesting, is that Lucy is qutie shy, and remains back.  They will both come and greet me when I visit - but the differences in their personalities is striking.   My own little Hana does not typically like lap-sitting - and yet in the cold mornings, she will snuggle and sleep in my lap, if the farmhouse is cold (which it is today).    We had 3 inches of snow last nite, and about 1/2 hour of very bright sunshine this AM, before the new batch of snow-clouds have now moved in.  It is 8:30 am, and I see the Dow futures are up over 200 points, and the US pre-market is looking frisky.

The market shows behaviour patterns that do not even reach the level of fly maggots, and is no where near the clever wisdom of dog-knowledge.   This is truly fascinating.    The one thing that you learn about marketplace pricing, is that it is basically *WRONG*.   Whatever price you see, you can be absolutely certain that that prevailing price is complete bullsh/t.

This is *exactly* the opposite of what classical economic theory suggests, and also means that most of modern finance is also nonsense.  There is no such thing as "price discovery".  That is complete fiction.   There is "price obfuscation" and "price confusion" and "price reducto ad absurdum" and "price comedy".

Whatever the prevailing price is right now - you can be 100% certain that it is wrong.   It will be different in the very near future.  It might be *very* different.  

We traders and investors are fly maggots looking for lapdogs, who will sit in our laps, and not try to kill us by ripping out our throats.     This is the very best we can hope for - a reasonable investment, with enough value-stability and sanity in the wandering-drunk price-path, so that it will not kill us before our time to die is mandated by our biology.

There remains a wild war going on inside me.   For a while, I will feel almost fine - almost OK, and then tired, shivering, coughing so bad that I feel I will start expelling pieces of lung tissue, and then, back to ok.   Body temperature moving up and down in curious waves - maybe just a nasty flu, or something else.    I find drinking very hot coffee seems to help.  And Hana sitting on my lap, like a big furry heating pad, also helps.   It's something like minus 7 celsius this AM.  And it is not even December.   "Global Warming" is a fraud - of this, I am certain.  Our recent planetary warming trend, will be replaced by a general cooling trend - which is clearly now beginning. 

This is how our system here works.  If it didn't have this degree of ergodicity, the Earth's planetery ecology would not have survived for the billions of years it has.  "Climate Change" hysteria is a fraud, but it is a useful fraud, if it can move the needle on our current technology profiles.  Electric cars will work on Mars.  Gasoline-burning vehicles are silly, and will only work here.  We also must improve and enhance nuclear energy technology.  The "Climate Change" nonsense will let us re-frame nuclear as "Green Energy", and make nuke plants socially acceptable again.   This must happen.  We also need to make nuclear-fusion plants work, and also develop direct mass-to-energy devices, so we do not have to freeze to death in the dark.

The science says all this hard-core good stuff is possible.  We have to re-ignite the spirit of the 1960's, where it was actually possible to implement and execute successfully on, big, complex technological-change projects.   The world seems to have lost this ability.   It must be re-captured, and we must expand outward.  Otherwise, humanity will die, like bacteria in a test-tube that has eaten all its nutrients, and is now simply swimming in its own shit.

Resources on Earth are fixed and finite - and yet our population is growing exponentially.  It is not hard at all, to predict a perfect Mathusian collapse.   "Soylent Green is made out of people!!"  Ya, so what.   Better that, than eating boiled fly maggots and dead dogs.

Let's use all these neurons we have, to get the technology working in our favour again, instead of being used to trick, mislead, and dis-inform us all with "fake news" and a fictional, phony "metaverse". 

[ Nov. 27, 2021 ] - Covidicus Interruptus - Damn and hell, but I have been rather ill - typical difficulty breathing, weird up-and-down temperature changes, crazy sore/aches in strange places (back, sides, fingers, etc), and then it all stabilizes and I am feeling not too bad, with just a slight cough.  Did I get hit with Delta or Omicron?  No idea.   I had gone to the Apple Store (a very crowded, entry-controlled store in the Mall), and also a bookstore, also crowded.  Wore mask, felt fine.  But I had also had a flu shot a couple of days before, so it might be entirely due to that - or not related to any of these factors.  Might have been because I was cutting wood outside in a shirt (wearing coat makes one too warm)...  Might just be plain old-fashioned rinovirus (running nose, cough, sneezing, etc.)   No sense taking my viral creche anywhere, so I just took a tylenol, and concentrated on breathing in and out.  Feeling better today.

Also, absolutely had to be here to hack the market, for Black Friday.   See, the C-Machine had forecast - with pretty high likelyhood, a turnover,  Market in Canada was open on Thursday, Nov. 25th  (the USA Thanksgiving), and that shortened day of "Black Friday" is always good for thin-trade volatility.  Because of the AI forecast, and other factors, I had unloaded a very big chunk of the main portfolio, on Tuesday.  Nov. 23rd.  (Pretty much all of it...)   Truth be told - the AI was showing a clear tip-over was expected - was the main reason I pulled the trigger.   Big numbers, main position.

Next day (Nov. 24th), I watched in disgust as the market ran up. And then again on Thursday, the 25th (Canada was open all day, USA markets were closed for the holiday).  I felt a right doofus, and I also was coughing and having trouble breathing, but that felt secondary, compared to the fact I was missing out on some serious gain, because of what my damnfool AI program said.

But in the evening, when I checked the overnite numbers in Asia, and saw the "Omicron Implosion" (Nikkei was down something like 700 points, and the Dow futures were down over 800 points), I immediately developed new respect for the little AI.   It new *nothing* about the Covid hoo-haw.  But the trend curve had topped out, and turned over hard.  The information was already in the prices.   Just like the old boys used to say.

I made the dumb-assed mistake of buying everything back, right at market open.  I estimated a bid, based on price deltas in US trading pre-market, and put in my order 1 minute before market open.  I got filled 7 seconds after market open, so some folks made some serious money on my order, but such is life.  (7 seconds is like getting a fill an hour later, in the modern markets... but I am not complaining.  My mistake for not just sitting on my hands until closing time...)

Key point here:  We took out a decent bit of cash, and re-acquired back to our previous key position.  ( My mid-range view is that one *must* be long-long in this kind of rising-inflation market.  )

But my trading is an *awful* trading strategy.  Just awful - totally path-dependent, and dopey and silly, and probably I am getting fooled by randomness, and just getting lucky, blah blah blah blah.

Except this gosh-darn trade just keeps working and working and working - it keeps going like the Energizer Bunny with Tesla batteries on it's back.  It is just silly, and all the "efficient markets" bullsh/t that they taught us in economics school is just plain balls-to-the-wall wrong.  I keep doing this nonsense, because it just keeps working.  It's uncanny.

See, the Covid/Omicron thing is not what triggered the Black Friday meltdown this year.  It was already in the prices - you could bloody well *see* it, if you just took the time to look.

One of our new devices is the "Junkwaffel" machine.  "Junkwaffel" was built entirely from scrap bits and pieces - it is an "MS-DOS" machine, with a lot of memory, runs code built with DJGPP, and it is actually on the internet, using a hacked Crynwr TCP "Packet Driver".    "Daneel" is not built yet (climbing serious learning curve, I am), but C-Machine and Junkwaffel are running not too badly - quite well, actually.   Which is good, because we need the CDN dollarettes to cover costs.  I just renewed the car & truck licenses online today, and dropped almost $1000 - just for little license-plate stickers that will hopefully be mailed out to us at some point. 

We are not planning to die just yet, so figured we better keep all the vehicles roadworthy...!  :)

[ Nov. 25, 2021 ] - Happy Thanksgiving, USA Eat a big turkey for us!   All the best, to my American cousins and friends.   I visited a Mall in town, both the Apple Store and a big book-store, called Chapters.  And I caught something nasty.  We've been double-vaxed for Covid, and just got our flu-shots a week ago, but I am just wrecked with some damn virus - all the symptoms, fever, difficulty breathing, seriously dizzy (a kind of 6-beer wobbly feeling, which I recall from my seriously mis-spent youth...)   But the vax-action seems good - I can literally feel a serious war going on in my lungs and other bio-systems.   One gets these waves of change - you feel ok and fine, and then, for a while, you feel like crap, and get wheezy - and then an hour later, you feel not bad, again.   This is actually your own immune system assaulting the infection.  

[ Nov. 24, 2021 ] - We Fixed the Apple MacBook Air, New OWC 250gb SSD Drive Works Good - It is not possible to install the original Apple Mac OS/X operating system onto a repaired Macbook Air, from the Apple "Internet Recovery" system, despite Apple's instructions saying this should work.  In discussions with Apple technicians at the Apple Store, they confirmed that the facility to make this work, is disabled.  So we wasted *days* trying to do this.

If you put a new SSD drive into your Macbook, to replace a defective SSD "disk" (it is actually a circuit board, with SSD chips on it, which mimics a "disk drive") then you MUST create - using a different Apple Macbook, a "Bootable Mac OS/X Install Drive" - typically on a little USB stick.  The USB stick has to be at least 16GB (8 gb is too small!), and you must follow the instructions on this Apple Instruction Page, very carefully.  You will have to use "Internet Recovery" on the dead machine to connect to the internet, AND you must set the system date to the current date (some early advice had indicated that system date had to be set back to the date of the original machine setup.  This is not the case now.  You might also have to use the Safari version on the "Internet Recovery" stub, to make a connect to Apple Support, and press enter when asked for the password for the "login" keychain.

We successfully did the whole procedure - but initial attempts failed with Apple OS/X install process saying "The copy of the install OS X <your OS version, ie, Yosemite, Sierra, etc.)> application can't be verified."   We think the message resulted from the system date being set to Nov. of 2012 (the date of the Macbook purchase), but we are not sure.   What did happen, is that once we updated the system date on the target Macbook Air (with the new OWC SSD drive card installed and formatted), we were finally able to get the Install of Yosemite to run - which took over a hour to complete.  (We chose old Yosemite Mac OS/X, because it was the earliest .DMG file version of Mac OS/X offered by the Apple download. )   The install finally ran (which means the OS/X was successfully verified, as the first step.   Note we had already formatted the OWC SSD drive, to use Mac journaling file system.

Here is critical link to the Apple Support Note, which describes the procedure that must be followed, to put a new copy of Mac OS/X onto a new, blank, virgin SSD drive:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201372

This approach requires use of "terminal", and you must keytype the path-referenced "createinstallmedia" commands exactly and correctly.  This method is the *only* way that an old version of OS/X can be installed on a new MacBook SSD drive.

Also, you have to build - on a different Macbook (we used a MacBook Pro, with at least 100gb of real disk space on it) -  a complete Application to build the  "Bootable Install Volume for Mac OS/X".  You first download the .DMG file, then click on it to turn it into a .PKG file, then run the .PKG file, to create the "Build Installable MacOS Bootable Volume" Application, in your Applications directory, on this other Macbook.  You plug in the USB stick, and run the newly built Application, to create the OS/X Installable Bootable Volume on the USB stick.  Note: it is a good idea to rename your USB DISK to something like "MyVolume" or some such name without the stupid embedded space, which will cause grief when you try to run the "createinstallmedia" command.

The .dmg files to build the Application to make the bootable install OSX images, can be found here: 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211683

We used Yosemite, because it is confirmed to work, based on the technical specs for Yosemite. These are documented here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/SP711?locale=en_US

We were finally able to complete this process, and we have repaired the MacBook Air, which now has a new, OWC 250mb SSD drive, and uses the FIrefox 78.x ESR web-browser, which we have confirmed works with all the sites we need to access.

Note that this information is somewhat contrary to the "advice" you will be offered from the "Genius Bar" at an Apple Store.   Stuff we were told there, was simply wrong, so we had no choice but to do this task ourselves.   Also note:  we notice that the referenced Apple servers that do the .DMG file downloads, appear to be local, in Canada.  If you are in USA or elsewhere, this may or may not work.  If someone tries this, and it works ok in USA, let me know, and I will update this post.

[ Nov. 23, 2021 ] - We Bought a New SSD Drive for an Apple Macbook Air.  Apple has Rigged Their Recovery Software, to Prevent the Original Apple OS/X Operating System from Being Loaded onto the new SSD Drive.   - I know some people accuse Apple of being an abusive and nasty monopoly, but I never realized just how harsh this company is, until we tried to do this simple exercise.    I've managed to monitor, in real-time, the install-logs, and it is possible to see everything working, but the Apple Server (which holds the OS/X operating system code), simply (and deliberately) fails the validation checks, and this prevents the software from being loaded.

The machine was sold *without* a CD-ROM disk of the O/S, (the critical operating system that makes the machine operate)  but we were assured at the Apple Store, that one could always download a fresh copy of the Mac OS/X operating system code from Apple, in the event our MacBook needed a new SSD drive. 

(SSD drives - "Solid State Disk" drives - are little chips on a circuit board, that mimic the operation of a disk-drive.  They all eventually will fail, within a few years, as the little chips can only be "flashed" so many times, until they expire.) 

The SSD drive in our MacBook Air failed (it used Toshiba chips), and we replaced it with a new SSD board from OWC, which has been set up and formatted correctly.  We were assured at time of purchase that fresh copies of the OS/X could always be loaded from the internet.   

But Apple appears to have made this impossible.  All the internet access and download technology works, but Apple as simply tweaked the process to prevent it from *validating* the downloaded code.  You can confirm this by watching the install log as the OS/X install is attempted by the Apple Internet Recovery program.  (It really *should* work.)

So, it looks like a legislative, not a technical, solution will be required.  If we cannot install the original OS/X operating system on the new SSD drive for the MacBook, we promise we will sue Apple, and ask for the lawsuit to be granted class-action status, as *many* other folks report this exact same problem.

It is not a technology problem - it appears to be a policy decision by Apple, to destroy and degrade the operational viability of older products.

This is classical abusive trade practice, and the solution is to invoke the "right-to-repair" laws, and also involve the anti-monopoly regulators in each nation where Apple operates.

We will ask that Apple provide physical copies of the original OS/X version, on CD-ROM or other media,  for each machine, to all registered owners of Apple Macbooks.   This requirement needs to go into law, so the abusive behaviour of the Apple monopoly can be checked and at least limited.  

Note: Apple is not all bad.  Here is an example of Apple doing the *right* thing.  They are suing those bastard-criminals at NSO group, that developed the FORCEDENTRY and PEGASUS malware, to target and exfiltrate and monitor iPhone users.  Apple recommends iOS 15.  The very good people at "CitizenLab"  (based in Toronto, Canada), were key to discovering the astonishingly abusive spyware that was being used by corrupt, State-level actors, to target journalists, government-workers, academics, and other so-called "threats to national security".

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/apple-sues-nso-group-curb-180000182.html

Let us be *very* clear, here.  the "threats to national security* come directly, from malware and spycode, exactly as produced and marketed by the Israeli gangsters running NSO Group.   They are just old-fashioned, hard-core pure-evil bastards, and we wish Apple all success in their attempt to shut the Israeli-Government-backed NSO criminal group, completely down.  The two founders of that group should be arrested, charged and convicted of computer-hacking crime... The law in Canada is *VERY* clear on the criminal nature of what NSO was enabling.  

[ Nov. 22, 2021 ] - Shake (and Bake) Your MoneyMaker - The idea of growing a big bucket of brain cells, and then using this assemblage to create a wetware neural-net processor is not new.  What is new, is that this has now been done - and even to the point of growing small "mini-brains" with working optic-cups, where each "optic cup" had lenses, retina cells, and was light-sensitive.  (Might one call this a "synth-eye"?)  

A group of researchers have used a multistep organogenesis methodology to create neural tissue (from human iPSCs - induced pluripotent stem cells), complete with optic vesicles.  The cellular sphere is called an "organoid" and it is basically a small neural assemblage, complete with two optic entities.  The summary stories speak of "optic cups", and we figured a bit of retina tissue -but no, the results were vastly more impressive.  The "optic cups" had lenses, cornea tissue, retinal progenitor cells, pigment epithelia (dark "skin"), axon projections, myelinated cortical neurons (myelinated neurons are like an insulated wire, like an optic nerve), evident microgila (tiny nerve fibres) - and, most important - the resulting neural network is electrically active, and shows clear evdience of being light senstive.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1934590921002952

This is a big deal.  We had read popular press stories about this, but the journal article was just published last month, in "Cell: Stem Cell".   The journal article is sadly, behind a paywall, so we cannot access it (we have no direct University links).    But the summary abstract did indicate the neural-net organoids were kept alive and growing for at least 60 days, that they were electrically active, and that the synthetic "eyes" were light-sensitive, and appeared to be communicating optic information to a primitive, self-organized, sensory structure.

Well, that should all be enough, right there.  It's an engineering problem now.   Grow the organoid neural-net in a nutrient-rich surrogate to sufficient scale (several hundreds of millions, or maybe a few billion neurons), keep it alive, connect it to the data-sources, give it some incentive to provide actionably useful results, and then let it watch everything, and offer some indication of "go long", "go short", or "unclear, do nothing"

This used to be the wildest science-fiction, but this is no longer the case.  The pluripotent  adult stem cells (made by genetically tweaking existing human adult cells), avoids the need to use dead-baby stem-cells, so this whole experiment becomes possible now - both operationally and ethically.  (Using human-embryo sourced stem cells does seem to cross an ethical red-line.)

One obvious concern is that if one were to grow a good-sized neural-net - a mini-brain - it might become somewhat self-aware, and that raises other ethical questions - like what you do with it, if it can't or won't be effectively trained?   After a long series of 'bad trades", you pick up the beaker, and walk towards the autoclave to terminate it, and it starts to show "distress", and communicates "please do not kill me!", via the synaptic link.   You would really have an ethical problem.   Unless you were in China, of course.   :(

[ Nov. 21, 2021 ] - When the Price Change Puffs Air, Do the Traders Scrunch, or Turn Their Heads?

The brain of the larvae of fruit flies, has roughly 15,000 neurons.  And yet the larvae are reported to show about 30 different behaviours.  Attempts to map the biological "connectome" (the map of neural-net connections), and link it to the creature's behaviour, are proving to be difficult.

https://www.nature.com/articles/548150a

Perhaps a biological approach might yield more effective results, than an electronic, simulation approach in a computer can do.   The obvious experiment would involve growing a great, large mass of linked-neurons, in a nutrient-rich environment, subjecting this synthetic "brain' to market-data inputs, designing (or accessing) some sort of incentivization circuit, and detecting or extracting an output somehow, which would correspond to an action-variable - eg. "Good Market Conditions, make BUY" or "Bad Market Conditions, make SELL" or "Unclear, Take No Action".

It's funny.  We used to think of ourselves as "lab rats'.    But recent neural science looks to decode trading behaviour more directly, as the work on the 15,000 neuron fly-larvae brain progresses.   We are not metaphorical lab rats anymore.  Now, we are fly maggots.

Science marches forward.    :)

[ Nov. 19, 2021 ] - The Diamond Age of Bullshit - It's like plaid.  What comes after "the Golden Age of Bullshit"?  What comes after "Post-Modern?"  What is heavier than solid neutronium?   Maybe the galactic core, populated by Neutron Stars, all orbiting a giant Black Hole of Mass-Sucking Horror, ripping everything over it's event horizon, and flinging out teravalues to the exponent giganumber of terawatts of system-melting radiation wave-particles, across all frequency spectrums?   Sorta like Chinese political process does to the truth, or the US Leftist Groups do to sanity.    We seem to be living on a giant steaming nightmare of foolishness now.

The only saving grace, is that things seem to be driving along with a curiously predictable process nature. We develop these awful, worst-case scenarios of stupid-crazy goofballery, and then we watch them play out, just as expected.   Our only error is that we don't bet enough of the portfolios on the idiotic outcomes.

We suspect real, solid, hard-core revolutions will come soon, to many places, given the tragic-stupid awful boneheadedness that seems to be in charge of everything, everywhere now.   It's like the whole planet political process-efforts, are very similar to drunken teenagers, driving their stolen cars as fast as they can make them go, on icy roads, at night, with the lights out, while drinking whiskey laced with crack.    One observes this repeating set of phenomenon, and concludes simply: "This will not end well."    :/

[ Nov. 17-18, 2021 ] - Up All Night to Get Lucky - The new system called the turn.  Or maybe we just got lucky.  Played it badly, re-purchased way too soon,   The whole "Daneel" thing is a mess of circuit-boards spread all over the living-room floor, but it is showing promise.   The system shows astonishing ability.   The weakest factor, is the human.   Curious how many people (who are profitable) report a similar experience.   Knowing must be balanced correctly with action, and this is surprisingly difficult to do.  Je suis tres fatige, mais j'avais une petite "eurka".

[ Nov. 15, 2021 ] - Here Comes the (Artificial) Sun - and the Winter.  The Northern High's are upon us, along with the snow.  Time to get the chainsaw out.    Otherwise, we will freeze in the darkness, since that satellite bitstream, will not keep us warm...

[ Nov. 12, 2021 ] - Sunny November Days, Time Winds Down, Clocks Fall Back, Prices Go Up - Weather is nice.  Up north for a few days, closing nothern office, cleanup work, deck repairs, shutdown for winter.  Lots of work.   Astonishing how heavy the traffic - in mid-week - is now.  Monster agricultural equipment everywhere.  Last bits of corn & grain harvest being brought in.   Makes back-roads high-speed driving difficult.   Exhausted & tired, but got it done.

Finished re-reading "When Money Dies", a detailed account of the German hyper-inflation of the 1919 to 1924 period.   It was written by Adam Fergeson, back in 1975.  It is well-written and researched, and is most interesting.

Inflation is a scam, a financial trick, used to essentially tax the public.  And fixing it, often involves terrible destruction of financial assets, as governments do "reset" events, to repudiate their debt obligations.   When inflation starts accelerating, most of the public is too stupid to take action, and bogus laws and restrictions were typically put in place by corrupt, dishonest government entities, which had the clear effect of impoverishing middle-class folk by destroying the value of their financial assets.  It was not just Germany - both Austria and Hungary were smashed by hyperinflation.   And the inflation no way helped Germany pay it's "Reparations" payments, since they were basically quoted in gold - as were most internation payments at the time.

The inflation allowed the economy to run flat-out, almost no unemployment, for a couple of years, but then it accelerated, France invaded the Ruhr coal and iron-ore mining & steel-making region, and Germans were reduced to being essentially low-paid, almost slave-labour, to meet the French demands for payment-in-kind "reparations".    The astonishing stupidity and avarice of the French ensured that Germany would certainly re-arm, and return to war, once it was able to.   If it had not been Hitler, it would have been someone else.  Keynes tried to warn that bankrupting Germany would be the result of the "reparations", and the German inflation was an unwise financial trick, required to keep the post-war economy operating.

The entire time-period of post World War One Europe should be studied in detail, as just about everyone made the worst possible decisions at every key juncture.  The only folks who spoke with any sanity or common-sense, were the Americans - but French and British political and government people basically insisted on the economic destruction of Germany.   And the German central bankers had this insane model, which suggested that a certain pound-sterling amount of cash had to be kept circulating in Germany - so as the Reichmark versus the British Pound exchange rate fell, and then fell again, this dolt Haverstein would order *more* German Marks to be put into circulation - which of course caused the exchange rate to fall even more.

This was a level of stupidity that can only be seen in Government, because there is no financial check on how far this kind of madness-crazy stupidity can actually run.    A private business will run out of money, or out of borrowing capacity, or be cut-off by it's bankers and/or investors.   But a Government can just keep going.  It *always* takes regime change ( or a beneficial death!) for the madness of wrong-action to be halted and corrected.   Haverstein finally did one good thing, and died, just as Schact was put in charge, to begin to repair the madness, by simply issuing the "RentenMark" ( a complete piece of fiction), but a currency that was *not* subject to the insane moneyprinting of the Haverstein model.  It actually worked, and a degree of stability became possible (as did high-unemployment, and more serious poverty for most people).

For a student of real Economics (not the nonsense they teach in University classes), this time period and this inflation is one of the most interesting in all of human history, on par with John Law's experiment with paper-money in France, in the early 1700's.  Nation-states become laboratories, and real Economics can be studied, to see what works, and what does not.

[ Nov. 9, 2021 ] - Righteous Living - Amazing amount of work just keeping the technology ticking good.  Had to upgrade a couple of Linux boxes with security fixes (something like 508 separate prgms!), and upticked a version number on the Linux kernel on the 32-bit fire-breather laptops.  Hilarious of course.  First most critical laptop upgrade - bitched everything.  X11/Gnome would not start, and when I finally got it to run, my critical database+analysis application would not update from the data.  Arrgh!

The X11/Gnome fix involved running X11 System Configuration (discovered by reading the damn code in the /etc directory for X11 startup.  But so worth it, it turns out.  I got massive (almost unbelievable!) improvement in screen-resolution.  Had no idea the ACER laptops were capable of such beautiful, sharp super-hi-res display.  Really awesome improvement.

And then, the critical application+database - would not update the data from the Lynx-downloaded files.  Just a silly, nutter issue.  Turns out, the big filename <=> dataseries-name table, when being read, was now being read differently (after the security upgrades), probably due to more correctly and more accurately processing buffer-contents.  With the upgrade, the table-file was NOW picking up the filename, WITH a trailing carriage-return character, and then using that to try to open the related file.  It meant no matches at all between the lookup-table, and the actual filenames on the disk.  Hilarious.  But an easy fix (just scan-out any spurious junk non-ascii characters - except for future compatibility, I only scanned out CR, since maybe someday, I have to use UNICODE filenames or some annoying silly thing like that.).   (True Confessions:  I still seriously miss TOPS-20.   Like old girlfriends who were *really* good, or dear, dead departed dogs from years gone by, you remember what excellent actually was, and felt like).  :)

Anyway, with wonderful WINE (the WINdows Emulator, that is not an emulator), I have the laptop upgraded, with super-hi-resolution display, and the mission critical data-getter and analysis engine running correctly on all the Linux boxes - CentOS-6.6, CentOS-7.x, and the older (super reliable) 2.6.x kernel boxes.   Linux with the MIT X11 stuff (and the Gnome-slushpile on top), actually works crazy-well, as it allows a universe of other stuff, to run also - Lynx, GNUplot, various APL's and various neural-net voodoo that is sort-of-semi-secret (but not really, if you read my notes).

Also, no where near finnished the C-code stuff  (new, native full-on GUI front-end for bunch-o-stuff), and also working on *transistors*.   I know vaccum-tubes like the back-o-my hand, but hacking deep into semi-conductor tech has been on my list of stuff-to-learn, so I built some crappy breadboard stuff - an emitter-follower common collector amplifier, as a tiny example. 

My first build is skank-awful, clips badly  because the voltage-divider circuit that keeps the V-out range for the transistor at the right point, is tricky.  (I used junk-box resistors - and they need to be super-accurate, for the transistor mid-point voltage to be established correctly.)    Transistor circuits are more sensitive to component values, than tube circuits.  But you have the advantage of being able to fiddle-about with them, while they are working, and not have 800volts flow up one arm, and down the other, and stop your heart.  (Vaccum-tubes use *high* voltage - most of my hack-stereo amps have 350 to 400 volts flowing thru the tubes.  But they sound very nice.  You can hear the guitarists when they touch the frets, before they whack the strings, stuff like that...)

But I don't like connecting the iPad (or any computer tech) to the vaccum-tube equipment, without I have an optical isolator (and I don't have one), since one tiny error, and you can send enough voltage thru your low-voltage hardware to destroy it - and maybe yourself, also...

Problem with transistors, is the god-awful clipping.  Vaccum-tubes are very tolerant of being wildly overdriven.  Tranistors are very much not - and they make the most awful, awful waveforms, if things are just a tiny bit away from perfect.  Real engineer's toys.  But also absolutely critical now to just about every single piece of technology we have anywhere and everywhere now.

Funny thing.  All the really, really useful stuff, that I learned in school - was in auxilary or extra classes that I took for amusement and curiosity.   I took a course in ham-radio (a teacher in our high-school was an electronics guy, with a radio license), I took a course in accounting-principles (I was doing Economics, and nowhere did anyone say anything at all, about how business accounting worked - the most important aspect of commercial opertions, IMHO) and I took a course in interactive computer programming, using the  APL Language (first year at Univ. of Toronto, which was still using card-and-paper to teach PL/1 and Fortran to us.  If you wanted real-time interactive experience, you had to use APL on IBM 2741 terminals, with the proper "ball" installed. (Installation of the correct ball, turned out to very actionable and useful knowledge - applicable across many subject domains...)    All these courses were non-credit, were taught by interesting teachers with  real passion for their subject material, and each one was crazy useful, and very, very helpful to me. 

The Accounting course was *really* helpful... I went on later to take the Ontario CSC (Canadian Securities Course) and the Conduct and Practices Course, but you could not get a "Stockbrokers License" without you were first *working* as a goddamn employee of a Brokerage firm.    That just super-sucks, and is crazy abusive and unfair.  But the crappy-corrupt industry here (and in most modern Klepto-States) likes it this way.   

If I become the Minister of Finance before I die, I promise to change this shit.  Anyone who is willing to take the course, and can pass the tests, should get the license.  The licensing rights, privilages and obligations and duty-to-be-honest should be held by the *person*, not by some semi-corrupt company run by fatboys.  I remain a tad radical about this.  We have to run fair systems, that balance and define responsibility correctly. 

And we are just not there yet.  Too much ugly fraud can be done by a company, without any people paying the price for being basically criminals.  (Eg. Nortel).    It is so very easy to fix this problem   We just make all the license requirements and obligations devolve directly down to each individual person - like it does for Chartered Accountants  (another bloody great scam of Biblical proportions...)  :)

But the accounting course - surprisingly - was both interesting, and crazy useful, as it became clear how business (and private-person) accounting worked, and why it was so damn useful.  It goes back to the 1400's, and the whole double-entry assets versus liabilities thing, is very, very clever and useful.  Key accounting fact you need to know:  Assets - Liabilities = Shareholders Equity.  Absolutely everything flows from that simple equation.  The Balance Sheet is a *snapshot* in time, showing business status as of a particular day.  The Income Statement is a description of the flows of money that took place over a particular time-period, a year, a quarter, a month, etc.   The *retained-earnings* is the value that connects the income-statement to balance sheet - or at least it should. 

There is all sorts of financing and cash-flow stuff that can happen, and lots and lots of room for fraud and fiction (the "capitalization of expenses" is a good one, for example.  You spend a lot of money on some damn thing, and you argue that you are building a big good thing, so your expeditures are building up an asset - like the "work-in-progress" valuations..  Except it can all be bogus.  If you are building a nice house, or a new, fine factory to make a good, in-demand product, this might be fine.  But if you are building some really shitty software, which will be buggy and awful and bad and crash airplanes (for example), then maybe you had better just expense (ie *not* capitalize) your development costs. 

The way costs are treated is a huge, huge issue, and determines whether the business is good or bad.   You might want to invest in a good business.   You also want to *AVOID* investing in a bad business.

And your understanding of how accounting principles work, will let you determine which is which.

No one ever taught this in school - except one guy, as a free night class, at University of Waterloo.   The class was full, I recall.  It was short, sharp, clear and has kind of made me sort of rich. And it was not even a credit class.   :)

Funny how that works.

[ Nov. 7-8th, 2021 ] - It's Raining Weathermen - For amusing distraction, I am re-reading "Fooled by Randomness".  Interesting how much useful info one extracts on subsequent reads of well-written books.  Talab may be a rude prick, but he is a good writer, and his book has stood the test of time (unlike oh so many worthless tomes of baldersash and buffoonery).   The world is full of fools, and is run by idiot-savants who have learned the Art of Misdirection.   Twitter is perhaps the worst thing ever invented, and Facebook perhaps a close second.  The internet was going to be a wonderful giant library full of "all knowledge", and motivate democratic enlightenment around the world.

Instead, the most evil among us  - like those NSO monsters in Israel, for example (and even their Alphabet-Squadron namesakes - the NSA in the USA) - have turned it into the two-way televisor technology of Orwell's "1984".   That is just hilarious, really.    It shows that the Great Sweep of History is just a stable-broom, constrantly used to whisk out the dung from the barn-floor.  Nothing ever really changes.    What is sold now, is the illusion of positive change (with the dark reality kept quietly in the background.).

The best technological invention of the last 60 years is probably Eugene Stoner's AR-15 rifle.  It is just about perfect (much like a fuel-injected, low-emission automobile engine also is).  It stands at the end of a very long evolutionary development process - as does the integrated circuit and the CRISPR DNA splicing technology.   It takes a long time to get something right.

And what is curious, is just how disruptive good design actually is.   There are always evil forces that seek to degrade, limit, restrict and remove the machinery of positive change.

It is *those* folks we must "Stand on guard" against - not the funny-looking foreign-person who has different colour skin or different shaped eyes.    Our most dangerous enemies are the smiling politico-types, who have learned to manipulate the neural machinery of deception and aggressive obfuscation.  They can get the ignorant and the folks of limited cognative ability to march and march, and echo the Daily Lies, so much like the "Two-Minute Hate" that Orwell documented so carefully in his clever, awful little book. 

I thought 1984 was pretty close to being the deep-past.    But it seems still to hint at the future.   

See, the key takeaway from 1984, is that Winston Smith and Julia needed to have AR-15's, and that the "Two-Minute Hate" could be re-programmed to target not Goldstein, but Big Brother himself.

The "Tin-Foil Hat" crazy-people are not our enemies.   It is those guys in their suits, who have created processes and technical methodolgies, which ensure that no change to their abusive frauds and criminal enterprises are possible - example: Ortega in Niccarauga, and Lukashenko in Belarus.   I fear this is the pattern for the Future.   The criminals gain power, and then they rig the game, so they cannot be removed (like that toxic madman Mao, who burnt-down China).

This process is happening here, also - in both North America and Europe.  It is a problem.

[ Nov. 4, 2021 ] - Left-Fa$cist A-h@les in Power Positions - It is fascinating reading the dis-information and spin-manipulation that is taking place around the January 6th protest in Washington.     The new Leftist American Fascists (many of whom seem to be card-carrying "Democrat" party members) are now characterizing the January 6th protests as an "insurrection".   What an impressive lie!   Calling it an attempt at a violent "insurrection" is an absolute fraud.    Virtually no-one but the Washington Police and the Government security people were armed, and they wisely decided not to open fire on the un-armed crowd of citizen-protesters.  This was a good decision.

But an astonishing squadron of abusive, dishonest, Democrat "Judges" are handing out prison sentances to real-estate agents, office-worker, farmers, and other ordinary folks who arrived - unarmed - and tried to express their views on the what the protesters saw as the outright fraud and abusive dishonesty that characterized the recent US Presidential "election".  Regardless of how that strange election's results have been "sanitized", I watched it, and it sure looked like to me (and others) that Trump had won.    But all that is history now.   Those big bags of Biden-ballots were able to swing the results, and righteous people can only wait for another election to be held, and to try to ensure that it is honest and fair.

But the Democrat reprisals against the protesters is interesting.   And it is deeply disturbing.  Democrat-voting neo-Fascist agents were moving about the nation, provoking riots, motivating people to smash urban neighbourhoods, burn down cities, riot and do great violence - and the Woke-Left Fascists - supported by Democrats and their media-agents - even suggested that Americans should "defund the Police".     There has been no judicial reprisals against these folks.   This looked like madness - but it was not. 

Because it got Joe Biden elected - and his abusive, dishonest cronies got their powerful "catbird" seats, with power, privilage, and wealth.    And they got their licence to attack anyone and everyone who has tried to thwart their efforts.  Their plan now, is to raid the Treasury, and fund their cronies - to the tune of trillions of newly-printed US dollars.  Not good.  And maybe difficult.  But reprisals are easier, especially against the little guys and gals, who have no power.

And so now, a systematic attempt is underway to attack the weak and the underfunded, who have little choice but to plead guilty and go to jail, because they went to Washington to protest the outright fraud that they saw take place on election night, on their televisions.  They could not stop the Democrat machine from taking over, and collection of Leftist political opportunists from taking power in Washington.  But at least they tried.    We should give them credit for trying.

But the abusive "Democrat Judges" are giving them jail sentances.

The Democrat reprisals are ugly.   The world - right now - and even more so in the near future - needs and will need - an angry, strong, focused and willing-to-fight and die-for-their-beliefs America.    We need a Good and a Right-thinking, strong, fair and focused America.    Instead we got "Runaway Joe", and a morally-degraded and emotionally damaged US military that now appears (inaccurately) to be weak and broken.   This is a real problem.    The "War on Terror" was a minor skirmish, compared to what is looming in the future. 

I read these absurd lies in the American Leftist media, and it just blows my mind.   The liar-Leftist skanks who are suggesting the January 6th protest was "an insurrection" are such dishonest lying human garbage that it makes me just sick to my stomach.   

A real insurrection will involve a *lot* of guns and fighting, it will last for weeks or months, the body count will by measured in the *thousands* (or more), and it will involve the mass-murder of the protesters, and a subsequent secondary assault against the Government Fascist forces, which can also be expected to have a high level of violence, and the body count will be a large number.

It may or may not succeed, depending on which faction the Army and other forces, back.   This is how real "insurrections" work - they are bloody affairs, and they make real change happen.  Often, they are the only way change *can* happen.   This is unfortunate, but often true.

The January 6th protest event was a crowd of angry citizens trying to communicate with their so-called "Government", which they honestly believed was not legitimate, and which they viewed as being engaged in an illegal action which was trying to usurp power and authority unlawfully.

America is a democracy, and it appeared - to the protesters - that democracy had be stolen from them.   They thought they were justified in taking action to try to wrest their democracy back from the professional political opportunists, who they viewed as political thieves acting illegally.  

It was a protest.    And it truly needs to be seen as such.

But calling a legitimate protest against a corrupted and fraud-filled election process "an insurrection", is just another "fake-news" political gambit to allow the kind of ugly, politically motivated abuse-of-justice that we are seeing play out now.   This is just so wrong.

There is this rotting stench of failure and abuse - just disgusting human sludge - that comes from the offices of the US Government now.   Yes, you CAN fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people, some of the time - and that is now enough, given that you also have a Leftist media lie-machine working for you, and you understand human neural-technology, and how to control human behaviour at the mass-market social level.

It is simply enough.   The Lie Machines can engineer the results you want to see, if enough money and dis-information is spread around, using the appropriate manipulative media technology.

But the various Judges and Woke-Left-Fascist Democrat toads that are attacking the individual January 6th protesters, and jailing them, might remember that the Wheel of Change does not freeze in place.     This witch-hunt taking place now, might just run in reverse, if there happens to be change of Government in the future.  

Once there is a change in Government, it will be necessary to carry out a very serious house-cleaning, and this time, the gloves will probably be off.  You need to deal with the bad folks, the thieves, the opportunists, the Fellow-Travellers, the woke-action-squadrons and all their nasty, dangerous abusive ilk.  And you need to take down the corrupt judges.  You defund them.  You strip them of their wealth and power, and you make an example of them that all can see clearly.

And if "change in Government" becomes impossible in USA (like it seems to be in most nations everywhere now, given the bogus procedures now in place almost everywhere), then the next "insurrection" may not be a faked-up media lie, but in fact, might actually be the real thing.

We really hope that can be avoided.  But if not, it will be even more interesting.

Let's Go, Brandon.

[ Nov. 2, 2021 ] - Let's Go, Dow Jones! - Dow 36,000 was reached yesterday.  An interesting event for me, since I vividly remember standing in a bookstore, in the Atrium (just north of the Eaton's Centre, in Toronto), and reading part of the book, titled "Dow 36,000", which came out back in 1999, and predicted this number - which was expected to be reached in the next few years - 2002 to 2005 timeframe I seem to recall.  This was a time of stability, and expections were high for peace and prosperity for the new 21st century.  Instead, the opposite happened - a veritable series of worst-case-scenario shitstorms, that are pretty common in the historical record - the dot-com bubble exploded, the scary-successful 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, and then the 2007-2008 US mortgage-fraud/financial-crisis meltdown, triggered by the bogus risk-models promoted by brain-fogged academics, embraced by low-honesty ratings agencies, and then weaponized by Wall Street clever boys.

And once we thought we had navigated thru all that steaming shit-storm of exploding investment land-mines, the Chinese unleash a lethal viral pandemic - and subsequent economic output collapse - upon the whole bloody world.

What is amazing, is just how important wise investing was, is, and still is expected to remain. 

The use of economic models - implicit or explicit - and some sort of evidence-based valuation assessment is critical.  It's the difference between investment success and failure, and as one's investments become one's primary source of income - this difference is the difference between life and death itself.

I knew - back in 1999, standing in Lichtman's wonderful little bookstore (that sold me my Wall Street Journal every morning), that "Dow 36,000" was both inevitable, and also an insanely "heroic" forecast, not likely to be seen for quite a while.  My detailed reviews and analysis of the post World War One, to the mid-1930's period - in USA especially - convinced me of this.  Markets run up, and then break down - pretty much mostly based on liquidity and the amount of money that is flowing and floating. 

So many unique and random events can affect the amount of money flowing around.    Everything from demographics to financial market technology to cultural bias to science discovery and engineering technical improvements - it all plays a role.  But it is money that drives the process - and the amount of money circulating is both improved by rising asset valuations and, the rising circulation of money enhances and drives upward realized asset prices.  And of course, credit available and the cost of credit is hugely important.

More money, means rising prices.   And rising prices means more money (maybe) for most folks, as they can hypothecate (borrow against) their rising asset values - to get more money.   So the process feeds itself, until it gets silly - like started happening in the middle of 1929, in USA and in USA-connected markets around the world.

You can read political garbage from fraudsters & lefty economists (like J. K. Galbraith), but the 1929 crash happened because of two things:  Interest rates were raised from 4% to 6%, by the USA federal authorities, and stocks were being - mostly - bought on credit, with as little as 10% down-payment for the purchases.  If you only put 10% down (buy on skinny margin), a 10% price drop will wipe you out.  A more than 10% drop, will burn away your wealth.

That means, once the interest-costs were jacked up 50% (!  A really goddamn massive price-increase in the cost-of-credit), all sorts of viable economic plans were simply vapourized.  And those margined purchases began quickly to blow up.

Most folks don't understand this.  They see a shift from 4% to 6% as no big deal.  This is curious.  The affect of interest rates on markets is still not well understood by academics.  Rises in credit cost have *extremely* significant behavioural effects, as they cause all sorts of economic plans to suddenly become non-economic.  Both businesses and consumers rush to pull the plug on projects which are now not likely to make money, once credit costs have jumped by 50%  - and the projects may not just be non-profitable, they may quickly become money-burning disasters, if allowed to continue.   So you have to act quickly.

But the flip-side is very, very different.  Dialing interest-rates down, from 6% to 4%, does not induce much behavioural response.  Neither businesses nor consumers rush out to buy a new factory, a new production-line, a new house or a new car, just because credit costs have come down.   So we can see that administered interest-rate changes have extremely non-linear reactive response effects in an economy.

And in the highly-margined, over-leveraged boom-time economy of the late 1920's, where real and significant massive technological change was driving real, actionable, employment-generating true growth in real output and also evident social prosperity - the jacking up of credit costs in such an abrupt and violent manner (who among us, does *NOT* react, if we are told prices are now UP 50% in LESS THAN ONE YEAR !?), ensured an economic collapse.

The 1930's Depression was fabricated by the actions of the American Federal Reserve, and other witless Government authorities.   It absolutely did *NOT* have to happen.

But it did.

And it is good to see the wisdom now being displayed by the USA Federal Reserve folks in our present world.   They actually have done a pretty damn good job, truth be told.   The inflation we are seeing now is moderate, and it is likely to become much worse, rather quickly.   But it is the cost we have to pay.  They just need to prevent it getting too hot, too quickly.  Once inflation gets entrenched in economic thinking, it takes *very* high interest rates to break the inflation-psychology problem - in the 1977 to 1981 period, it took 20%+ interest rates to get folks to save instead of spend, their surplus cash.  The Volker-prescription killed businesses left and right, and hammered the North American economy hard.  But it worked.  Extreme inflation was extinguished, and the 1980's boomed and the world was made a better place.

Everyone seems to have learned most of the lessons now - even the arrogant Chinese, who are much closer to squandering all their gains, than the poor unwise Communists realize.  We are actually cheering still for China, and it is hoped that Xi steps down and does not seek a third term.  We doubt this will happen, and we expect Xi will try to pull a "Putin", and change the procedures and process to entrench himself, and his cronies.  Our forecast for China is complex.   We doubt they understand just how dangerously close to complete disaster they are.  

A rigid, abusive, one-Party State is not able to self-correct or wisely respond to random events, and it risks destroying it's economic gains.   All change-events happen much quicker now.  China should move in exactly the opposite direction that it is going, and seek to copy the Taiwanese political model, while it is still possible for it to do so, without recourse to extreme violent change having to take place.    We doubt this will happen, and the resulting "Stalinization" of China, will degrade and then may terminate trading opportunities, and ensure that an eventual conflict scenario will become unavoidable.

But this time - Sparta is bloody well *not* going to win.    Sparta is going to be left flat, black and glowing.  What is disturbing for us all in the West, is that we suspect we will have to also endure and engineer some extreme change also, as we shift from a commercial, peace-time trade-based economic model - to something that may look a lot like England in 1941.   This will surprise a lot of foolish people.

The truly idiot politicians we now have in charge, will have to be removed, and replaced by wise individuals who both recognize and understand that all we have - everything and everywhere - is at risk, and under immediate and direct threat.   Only a very few people - at this point - understand and recognize the degree to which our 2000+ year-old Western Civilization cultural and economic models are under such sustained and carefully co-ordinated serious assault.

It's quite curious.  But when one looks closely, it turns out to be not that curious at all.  So, our investment forecasts are complex.   We have no choice, given the inflation we are seeing now, and expect to see in the future, we have to remain fully invested - and may even take on some leverage.    But everything we have, and everything we see, suggests we are tracking rapidly to an environment where some extreme, very-high-rate-of-change events will have to take place.   We just have too many dishonest opportunists and political scammers in positions of real power.

I am personally certain, just as I was when I read "Dow 36,000" in the Lichtman's Bookstore back in 1999, that we will *not* see the Joe Biden money-burn+climate-scam thing yield a peaceful world of "common prosperity".   This is a complete fantasy.   

What we are certain to see is a continued, rising groundswell of abusive political fraud, driven by media-engineered deception and Leftist opportunists, which is certain to be met by an equally rising force of angry, economically-degraded middle-class folks who have been taken down by the Covid lockdowns, and other unwise, authoritarian social re-engineering efforts.  There is no choice, except to maintain a loose-money policy, and promote an above-the-line inflation growth-rate.   If you try to dial-back things now, the result will be ugly for everyone.

And one thing we should *not* do, is waste-away another multiple trillion dollars on stupid make-work "infrastructure" and "climate-hoohaw" projects.  America especially, should spend the next couple of borrowed trillion on small, fast, nuclear-armed warships, hypersonic nuclear-missles, low-cost bombers and cheap, anti-ship and anti-aircraft guided missles, that can be launched from the back of a disguised Toyota pickup truck.    America should also plan *exactly* what they will do, when in the first 15 minutes of a "regional conflict", *all* of it's theatre-based aircraft carriers are sunk like bricks dropped into the sea.  

Probably, the aircraft carriers are now obsolete.   What you likely want, are a large fleet of fast, silent, submarines, armed with very-high-yield (but non-nuclear)  air-bursting hypersonic missles, which can deliver a lethal cloud of "active" shrapnel, and can destroy an entire army.  The subs might even be made of kevlar, and unmanned, and have the sonar and radar images of whales.  The idea is to get up close and personal to coastal cities, and have the technology to remove the "leadership" of an aggressor enemy nation.

But given the nonsense that we see reported in the public press, we see nothing like this being considered.   And given that the USA has opened it's Southern Border to all manner of undocumented  "refugees", it will take regime-change before the USA can get itself back on track, so it can at least defend itself, and it's economic and political-cultural interests around the world.   This critical shift in thinking (and policy) will not happen, under the existing regime.  This is the major risk we all face, at the current moment.  The Western-world economic and democratic political model, which dates back to Roman times, is under assault, both from outside forces, and internally, by a number of active entities.  It is making us weak, exposed and vulnerable to criminal exploitation by those who understand what is taking place.  This risk is very real, yet few even recognize it.   This is curious.

Let's go, Brandon.

[ Nov. 1, 2021 ] - Let's Go, Brandon! -  The "Let's Go Brandon" meme, was invented by a lying skank NBC journalist who tried to "spin-censor" what an entire crowd was yelling at an interview with NASCAR racer Brandon Brown, who had won a victory back on Oct. 2nd.  It is just the very best meme ever.   The entire crowd was yelling "Fuck Joe Biden!", and this could be clearly heard in the background of the interview.  The skank TV reporter tried to suggest that folks were yelling: "Let's Go, Brandon".   Oh yeah...  

This is as funny as Rus Russel's CNN piece, where the "horrible hurricane" live feed from the beach, ends up showing a guy in a Bear Suit, waving and clowning for the camera. 

The "Mainstream" media is just a comical engine of deception and manufactured "news", we all know this now.  But "Let's Go, Brandon" is the best.   It is just the very best.

Higher taxes, more fake "Climate Change" pseudo-science nonsense, and the destruction of the credibility of the US military, as the Afghan conflict ended in complete surrender to the Taliban terrorists.  This is what Joe Biden has delivered so far.    Afghanistan has turned into a nightmare horrorshow  - with Taliban agents going around to wedding ceremonies, and murdering people who are playing or singing or listening to music.   This is happening, while Anthony Blinken decries the "lack of diversity" in the Taliban "government".  Seriously.

And the "Climate Change" taxation-squads want us to believe that by paying higher fees and taxes on everything, we can somehow dial-down the energy output of our Sun.   Oh yeah...

"Let's Go, Brandon!"

[ Oct. 29, 2021 ] - Happy Birthday Linux - Linux is 30 years old now.  Linus is smiling.  We've been reading the details of the latest kernel (the guts of the Linux O/S).  They've added a bunch of stuff, and taken away all the legacy code for IDE drives, which will not likely affect too many, since old machines tend to run old kernel's (like us, on our IDE boxes).  SATA is fine, but I have a DEC-5000 box, with an IDE drive, that first runs Fedora, and then runs Mark Crispin's Panda TOPS-20 emulation environment, so it mimics a DECsystem 20/20.   I like the old APLSF interpreter.  It has this cool "TTY" translate set, which works crazy-well.   Funny how the good stuff, is often abandoned for really shit-quality stuff, which costs more, and does not work as well. 

Old, original design ideas are often just so much better.  (I was looking at Morgan's yesterday.  They are crazy beautiful old-style 1930's-looking motor cars.  Early models actually had frames made of Ash wood, a very strong, yet flexible wood.  The Morgan's  elegantly encapsulate the motoring experience.  You expect to meet Ariadnie Oliver on the road.  Just make sure you don't get hit by a half-eaten apple...)

I have this trivial skeleton of a "C" code based Linux-native X11/Gnome windows application working.  I can append text into the "listview" box.  Still cannot get the sliding taskbar thing at the side, to fast-scroll up and down, but I know it's doable.  Probably first task is to write some simple routines to load and save text files into the window, and thus have a simple GUI editor.  Basically two more buttons (Load and Save), code to pick up the filename from the TextEntry box, and some code to position the cursor in the listview box, and process it with read/write from/to a file.

How hard can it be, eh?   :)

Have you read Procopius "The Secret History"?  I recommend it.  There is a free copy from Project Gutenberg, which can be read in HTML or as a downloadable .PDF file.

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/12916

Rome and Italy had basically fallen to the Goths, but the conquerers quite liked the Roman civilized life, with legal protections and recognized private property and wealth.  Justinian was the "Emperor" of the Eastern Roman Empire, based in Constantinople.  He married an "actress" who was documented by Procopius as essentially a highly-skilled, sadistic, prostitute.  

The traditional accounts of Justinian and Theodora are very lauditory, and paint these two as noble, justice-seeking leaders, and their "great" General Belisarius is much praised.

Procopius was actually the "Court Historian", and also acted as an Emissary and government official for Emperor Justinian.   He had first-hand knowledge of  what he wrote about.  His book, "The Secret Histories",  was an attempt to document the corruption, the horrific abuses and the obvious and evident destruction of the remaining Roman World, that he saw taking place all around him.   It is probably - along with the works by Heradotus, and the Homeric epics - one of the most important historical documents ever created.   He could not publish or even circulate it during his lifetime.  He wrote for the far-future - and that is why, we should read it.

It is *not* taught in schools, outside of a few arcane classes in some academic History departments, which few ordinary students will ever encounter.  I discovered the book at the Indigo Bookstore in Toronto, maybe 25 or 30 years ago.  It is a fascinating account, of a world falling apart, rotting with extreme corruption and characterized by increasingly astonishing cruelty.  Remember - Roman Law and Roman authority - and Roman patrician dignity, were what Rome was all about.  Roman wisdom and it's practical economic models, allowed large, prosperous cities and libraries to be built.   Roman justice was a real (and expected) thing, and Roman knowledge was taught in schools.  Wise laws allowed for private property, and this property could be passed on via inheritance to the sons and daughters of the wealthy Romans.  This Roman rule-of-law, trusted civil authority, commonly understood and accepted economic systems and procedures, legally recognized private land-holdings - along with the Roman Army to enforce it all - were what made the Roman Empire great, and allowed it to be accepted and respected by "conquered" peoples.  Rome expanded successfully, because it's economic and political model worked quite well.   Until it didn't, of course.

Procopius documents how Justinian, and his ambitious and cruel "actress-prostitute" wife, acted to assault and destroy much of what Roman Justice represented - except that they did this out of public view - while at the same time, they maintained a public image of themselves as being change-agents trying to encourage, enhance and maintain justice and rule-of-law.   Justinian was responsible for the codification of Roman laws into the "Corpus Juris Civillis" (Body of Civil Law), which is sometimes called the "Code of Justinian", and as such, he has been raised on a high pedistal by some historians.   

Procopius suggests that this was all a "public relations exercise" (my words, not his) , and he describes the abuses carried out against Roman citizens in the Eastern Imperial capital, as well as the venality, personal & professional failures and disasters of the "great" Belisarius, a military leader who appears to have simply gotten lucky in his first campaign.  His initial success was never to be repeated, and his wife was apparently a harlot, and was protected by Theodora.  Belisarius - according to Procopius - was a cuck, a fraud and a failure.    

When Procopius's account was first discovered in the Vatican Library in 1623, it was suspected of being a fake or a fraud.   But scholars have admitted - mostly - that it is almost certainly genuine.  Procopius wrote the lauditory historical *PUBLIC* documents: "The Wars of Justinian" and "Buildings of Justinian", and historians focused on these, until "Anekdota" (or "Secret Histories") was found - and numerous manuscripts at that.  It checks out (as much as it can be) with other bits of the historical record.   The first version, was published in 1623 by a researcher in ancient Greek, named Niccolo Alemanni.  He published it - not in Italy - but  in Lyon France.  By showing so clearly, the fraudulent "false-faces" of Kings, Emperors and supposedly "great" military leaders, it probably contributed to the Enlightenment of the Western World, and the profound changes which occurred everywhere in the 1600's - from Europe to North America, to Japan.

I am profoundly interested in the mechanisms and psychological/neural means by which we try to "live in truth".   "Living in Truth" (the worlds and prescription of the famous playwrite and statesman Vaclav Havel) is very difficult, even at the best of times.  When confronted by the "worst of times" (the expression coined by famous English writer Charles Dickens), it becomes extraordinarily difficult, and problematic - and bloody dangerous, if history be a guide.

The power of the "Lie", both big and small, is very, very great.

I think Procopius wrote his "Anekdota" as a theraputic exercise, and as an atonement, for what he probably viewed, in his heart, as his deep sin of being the "Court Liemaker" for Justinian.

Many years back, we were young hotshots at lunch, and one of our group ( a very clever fellow, who went on to a very successful career in our Federal Government - becoming a seriously powerful fellow...) remarked that it was time to end our pleasant lunch, since he "had to go back and write some more lies for his employer" - those were his exact words, and we all laughed, since we knew it to be essentially correct.

I can't prove it - but I am 100% certain, that the Chinese knew (and know) exactly how the corona-virus escaped from the research lab in Wuhan, and visited a lethal plague and an economic collapse on our World.   It would be so much better if they were completely honest - but my own (and other's, also, of course) experience is, that truth simply does not come out, when any power or government or great wealth is involved.   It remains buried, and is not accessable until perhaps hundreds - or thousands? - of years pass.

This is a problem.

But I seriously think "The Secret History" is weirdly and wildly important now, since it shows just how different the public and the private face of things can be.   

We have our modern analogs, in the detailed accounts of the actions of Hitler, Stalin and Kennedy and Kruschev.   Hitler had only one descended testicle, and liked to be kicked and abused by prostitutes.   He was perverse, and cruel, and caused great harm, yet he projected a fine public face, spoke about duty and justice, and initially, his National Socialists restored Germany and it's economy.  He was able to mobilize a defeated people, and raise them to - temporary - military greatness.  His abusive military efforts to improve Germany, ended up causing it's destruction.

Jack Kennedy - the son of the well-known stock-fraudster Joe Kennedy, would use people whenever and where-ever he could, in the most cruel manner, and would tell the most outrageous lies right into the camera, since he knew well, the astonishing power of electronic media.   He had an intense sexual liason with Marilyn Monroe, then dumped her on his abusive and dishonest brother - who then enjoyed her for a while, and then also sent her packing.    She committed suicide by means of a drug overdose.    Kennedy talked of peace - and yet took the world to the very brink of nuclear war with Russia, and began and then escalated the Vietnam War, which caused the deaths of millions - and over 50,000 American soldiers - and ended in the complete defeat of South Vietnam's forces, and the collapse of the nation.    The details of why Jack Kennedy was killed - an event which occurred almost before my lifetime  - have still not been released.   

Stalin employed the most cruel and sadistic human monsters as "Intelligence Agents" - spies -  and made it clear that anyone who crossed them (and even very many who did not but might have!) were to be made to disappear, and then be killed.  He was a murderous gangster - but showed courage, and did not abandon Moscow when the German forces were in the suburbs.

Kruschev looked the part of the thug and the gangster - yet he reformed the Stalinist machine of routine arrest and murder, and set Russia on a modern path.  He also wisely removed the Russian nuclear missles from Cuba, which prevented a nuclear war, and probably saved the world.   He played the role of the gangster, yet actually acted as a wise statesman when it became necessary.

The lesson of Procopius, is that nothing is really ever as it seems, and that the image of the wise leader who seeks justice, and military actions which appear to be successful - are very likely to be what we call now:  "fake news".    In truth,  "Leaders" typically use their power to enrich themselves and destroy their opponents, while wars cause damage, mass-death, and destruction for everyone.  Extreme, decisive victory is rare, and when it does occur, it is often squandered.

The machinery of lies, fraud and State-sanctioned cruelty and property-theft continue to this day - "in every land & every nation, from Lake Geneva to the Finland Station" (to use the words of a popular song..)   

And now, much like the "Greens and the Blues" of ancient Roman Byzantium, we are seeing intense factional "culture-wars" taking place - not just in the USA, but everywhere, as Government people seek taxes - for themselves and their cronies - and private citizens seek to protect themselves from the abusive depredations of their "public authorities" - who are often little more than opportunistic gangsters who have managed to sieze power by means of rigged elections, political deceptions and extraordinarily successful media manipulations.

For serious scholars, here is an interesting link to a scholarly study, which suggests the Anekdota (the "Secret History") was written around 550.    This is the conclusion of Tamas Meszaros, who wrote a little 20 page .PDF on the topic:

https://core.ac.uk/download/143647981.pdf

And for *investors*, it is interesting to read about the explicit "debasement of the coinage" and the resulting inflation, as is reported by both Procopius in his work, and a historian called Malalas, who wrote in 553, it is believed.

Procopius reports:  "The money-changers were formerly prepared to exchange, on behalf of their clients, two hundred and ten obals (which they called "folles") for one gold coin.  But they devised a a way to make a profit for themselves, by decreeing that only one hundred and eighty obals was now the proper exchange rate for a gold coin.  In this way, they shaved one seventh off the value of each gold coin of all men."    This is interesting, and very curious.  We would expect gold to maintain itself, and *increase* in value.  This makes it appear gold is falling in value.

But I suspect the exact opposite was happening - and that gold was retaining its value, while the "obal" was falling in value.  Justinian dealt with this "injustice" of the moneychangers by decreeing that the old exchange rate had to be enforced.  But he was wise enough to make it appear that his fixed-exchange-rate decree had the popular effect of appearing to be an action that *benefited* the public.  But of course, if prices were rising, and scarcity increasing, and citizens were trying to leave the city and the Eastern Empire, the value of gold would have been rising.  A fair-market exchange rate might have been 250 to 300 or more obals for one gold coin, assuming the coin really was gold.   Clever and devious Justinian was simply smart enough to make his decree of a fixed exchange rate, appear to be a popular action mandated by him at the request of the people. 

Now that sounds remarkably modern, does it not?  There is an interesting video about Procopius, by a fellow on Bitchute.  It's a tad dramatic, but quite interesting.   But best is to read the actual work by Procopius himself, in translation.  It was the first of it's kind - and a warning to the far future, which I suspect Procopius, as a historian, understood was likely to be his true audience.

 [ Oct. 27-28, 2021 ] - Pinot Noir & A Little Night Music - Usual prelude to a minor disaster.   A nice dinner, a bit of wine, and to bed.   Wake up in nighttime to see how the world looks, and all the lights go out.  

We have a big tree down on power line, at 4:00 am - the lights went out (slowly), as the arcing high-voltage wire burns part of the tree. 

So, from my warm bed, I am thus outside, on top of a ladder, with a running chain-saw,  just about to cut the nasty leaning nightmare, when the Hydro guys show up, and suggest they ground the high voltage ilne, before I start my crazy-dangerous project.  So, I wait. 

But they brought floodlights, (on their truck)  and it makes the job much easier.  The tree is leaning on the power line on my property, so I own the problem.    I bisect the big tree, at the right point, and as it comes down, everything lands where it should, and no-one gets killed - or even injured (except the aluminum ladder - and only slightly).  The lads from the  Hydro-electric utility are most impressed.  (They made me sign a waiver, actually...)   They check my power line (it held), and remove the ground shunt, and reset the big high-voltage breaker at the highway pole.

And "Fiat Lux!"   The ranch-house lights go back on, and we check the "smart meter", and it is giving correct readout, and all is well.  I say goodnight to the emergency crew, and go in and bring the network back on-line.  All seems good and fine.  At least it wasn't raining.  

All's well, that ends well!  :)

[ Oct. 26, 2021 ] - Fresh C Air, with Glade - Spent several serious days learning "Glade" and how to call the "libglade" stuff, to make some X11-Windows/GNOME windows come alive on our Linux boxes.   This tech is very cool.   You build your forms using an open-source software tool called "Glade" that has been around for 20 years - and runs on the old Linux 2.6.26, and 2.6.32 kernels (the old reliable boxes), and also on the CentOS-7 boxes (various modern 64-bit systemd kernels). 

You create a project in Glade, and the system outputs a big "xml" file, that describes your X11/GNOME window-form, complete with entry-boxes, buttons, list-view boxes, etc... all the stuff from the original Tcl/Tk  (which runs fine on all platforms also).  

But once you have your GLADE form built, you can use a "C" program to load the thing, and create all the event-handlers to make the buttons and boxes come alive, and interact with the world.  I was skeptical I could get it all working - but I did.  :))   (It is insanely complex and detailed - like you are building using assembler macros, and so on.   Basically, you are calling back and forth between and among those 100,000 library routines in the GNOME GTK and Glade libraries.)

You compile the C-loader program, which has a bunch of event-handlers (code that does stuff) and link to maybe 100,000 different library routines in all the GTK and GNOME stuff (the X11-Windows front-end for Linux, which gives a Windows/MacBook style graphical desktop), and also the "libglade" libraries.  

When all the include files (the *.h "header files") and the dynamic linked library files (what Microsoft calls .DLLs, and what Linux calls /usr/lib/lib<yatttayatta>.so.<version> files (also in lib64, for the 64-bit boxes), are actually found (hint: you can use some voodoo from the pkg-config utility, to build the nutty-long gcc (the "c" compiler on Linux) command line, it actually  works good.  I will publish this skeleton-bone example, of what I have working.

Or, if you are special, you can use the autoconf, autom4te, libtools, M4 and configure buildstuff for "Makefile" creation -  that is mostly beyond human understanding.  (Someday, I will learn how that insane build system voodoo works - or I will use Cmake, or Googles Gradle - or more likely I will design and build my own build-system, that I can actually understand....)   The GLADE build/configure toolset, actually seems to create a skeleton build environment.  I will try to learn it.

The entire upshot of several days of insane work, has allowed me to create a single binary program (called "project1", the default GLADE name for your first "project"), and when it runs, it flings up a window, with a "listview" box, a single "entry box" for text, and two buttons.  One button exits the program, and the other, causes a string of text (the current system-time, from the C-library "time.h" routines)  to be displayed in the big "listview" box.  This provides a very bare-bones, pure Linux binary version application skeleton, which runs as an executable file in a GNOME session - on all the Linux boxes I have (32-bit and 64-bit systemd boxes).    And it supposedly - if gcc is available ( or a gcc-compatible compiler like Clang or something), and the libglade (or modern GTKbuilder) libraries are loaded - can also be made to work on Windows-10 and MacOS - supposedly.  

But the fact that I have it working on Linux Gnome/X11/Gtk-2 is very, very amazing and fine.  I have Gtk-2 version 2.24 on the CentOS-7 boxes, and Gtk-2 version 2.18 on the older, 32-bit Linux boxes.   You just compile the source for each target machine, and the form gets flung up almost the same.   (I recall I had to build a more modern Gtk (routines for graphic display stuff for GNome) on the older Linux 32-bit boxes. 

Needless to say, the profs. in the Computer Science faculties and departments around the world, have been teaching this stuff, for years.   It seems to be the guts of lots of modern applications (like Firefox browsers, and other web-blathery stuff).  

I just want to extend and replicate stuff I have already running in Windows (and run on Linux, using WINE, the Windows Emulator (which is not actually an emulator, more of an API-translator..)   The attraction of using "C" is that you can *always* make it work, if you beaver away enough at it.  It's just like writing Assembler code - which I am actually pretty comfortable with.

The whole project is like being a kid, and tearing down the engine in your car, replacing the headers, boring out the cylinders, changing the piston-rods, and putting fuel-injection on the whole system.  You can add 100 or 200 HP, and have fun at stoplights, leaving Porsche 911's in your wake-trail.  Now - the cars can be ordered (like in the old days) with big engines with serious horsepower.  But  not for much longer.  You will need a "Plaid" Tesla, or a Piper Navaho, with a PT6 turboprop powerplant, perhaps?  :)

Saved by technology - again.

[ Oct. 22, 2021 ] - Home Hobbies for Fun, Profit, Education and World Domination. - We can burn our own code into our own chips, and put those chips into our own computers, and run them - all without any reliance on Apple OSX or Microsoft Windows.  We upgraded the Debian box (a little box called "Berkeley"), which also runs an experimental Apache2 server with an old Php5 version, as a little web-server experiment.   But the real cool thing, is that we upgraded the gcc by compiling the newer gcc we needed, using the old gcc version.  It all works, and little "Berkeley" can run udev correctly, and the Minipro software can see the TL-866II-Plus hardware, and so we can burn the chips (ie. flash our code into them), using a reliable Debian LINUX, which we have been learning.  Now that Redhat is owned by IBM, (and has become just crazy-complex with "systemd"), it is curiously difficult to do much of anything with modern CentOS boxes.

Debian Linux (with it's elegant "apt get" methodology to install/configure software), is the canonical base-line for both Apple's OSX and for the very popular Ubuntu Linux.   I decided I had better learn it.  ( I spend something like 25 hours, just getting a god-damn simple communications utility installed on one of my CentOS-7 boxes.   It was insane - until after an entire night of google and duckduckgo searching, I found the secret piece of trickery that was needed - literally two single lines of "systemctl" commands - I was absolutely show-stopped.  I had the code, I had installed it, I had confirmed it was installed correctly, I had the instructions, I knew exactly what needed to be done - and yet, *nothing* would work!! - the access link stayed dark, the machine would not respond.  It was hilariously awful and comically frustrating.  It is just bad, bad, not-good modern design.

But it is "tricky world" now.  The entire internet code-base is being actively "obfuscated" and available methodolgies are being deliberately disrupted and degraded - so that only the major players can do anything,   This is a very obvious, very well understood, and very well documented strategy in the Economics literature.  It has been used by major "monopolistic" players for a long time.  It's an economic strategy that is hundreds of years old, and is the reason why large, well-run national economic entities with significant commerical interest, have "anti-trust" legislation.  (Eg. USA's  "Sherman Anti-Trust Act')

As a small-player, we are curiously locked-out of any ability to engage in almost all profitable business on the internet now, it seems.  We simply cannot transact now - as sellers - in the "big world" anymore.  It is very interesting.   We can act as "buyers", but not suppliers.  The only place we have any advantage, is as direct investors, in the equity markets. 

We are locked out of the bond markets, we cannot trade commodities (no entities exist anymore to facilitate this), we cannot trade the VIX, etc.   And the Microsoft and Apple techical environments are riddled with dangerous user-tracking code, as are all the web-browsers and virtually *any* software-as-a-service that you use on the internet, anywhere, for any purpose. 

Our investments are doing very well - but only because it is one area, where we have engineered a very small advantage.

But I worry - given how hard we have worked on this - 30 years and counting - what are the modern kids going to do?   I fear they are just going to be f**ked over quite badly.   The schools are keeping them really stupid, teaching racism nonsense and truly foolish politics, and the business-technology world is being actively rigged against them - a little bit more now, each and every day.

Apple is the most dangerous.   They truly represent a threat to the future - because they took a fine and useful open environment, (from the Next Inc, project, basically Debian/Berkeley Unix/Linux)  and have closed it, and take 30% from anyone who wants to try to transact in their ecosystem.   They blocked *all* our applications from their nasty iStore, and Google did the same thing, removing *all* six of our .APK apps from their "Playstore".

Probably, both companies should be broken into several pieces.  Both Apple and Google should be required to divest themselves of their "Company Store" entities, and the curiously closed internet economy should be opened up to other players.

We are fine, since we have built the tools to "do our own thing".  We were lucky, since we got there early, when it was all beginning.  But it has become very different now.

I think this is one thing Xi of China gets seriously right.   The modern technology-driven prosperity needs to be made available to more folks who are willing to work hard, and take risks.

No matter how good you are, and how hard you work - if you cannot get product out there, and make it available to clients & customers, then you are just economically killed dead.  In the Covid world of masks and lockdowns, you can't even take a meeting, or do a live presentation.

But we are fortunate.  The technology we have built, is working.

It's working quite well, actually.  We probably would not have stayed long into October here without it.

 [ Oct. 21, 2021 ] - The Witches of MacBeth Whisper, While We Wear Mirrorshades..  - "Bubble bubble, toil and trouble, cauldron boil and cauldron bubble..."  Even the AI says we are a tad ahead of ourselves here.  Mtk may continue on it's run, but the Evergrand thing and the high-crazy prices for assets I am seeing, and the 18% rates in Turkey - it's pretty much a perfect indicator-set to flag a bit of runaway bubble.  I heard the Witches whisper to me - I am a terrible poker player, because I am a symphony of "tells" - I get twitches and shivers when it starts to get silly - like being "Lost in Jarez" - I turn around, and there is no-one there ...   Weird sensation.  I figure it is the gray-cell neural-net dumping a new gradient into the mix, and the output of something somewhere triggers.   

The Lehman wipeout cost roughly 35 billion US, and Evergrand is set to default on 19 billion on Monday.  We learn - as students of marginal-analysis, from our economics classes - that it is the movement at the margin that sets the tone and drives the big process.   We are still looking pretty frisky everywhere today - and bitcoin is hitting serious high-values - which is impressive, for digital nothingness.  (Be a Sartreian Trader - don't just trade the wind - trade absolutely nothing at all.  Why not? :) )

Suddenly, it looked like the perfect picture of a runaway bubble.  Some say the Evergrand default is priced-in - but they forget that it will likely be a serial set of defaults on maybe *all* highly-leveraged Chinese "property" companies.   Xi does not realize that you cannot attack the top tier of your best prosperity-generators, and expect that it will be a costless exercise.   He has blown up, and the arrogant fellow does not realize it yet.    It's like that scene in the "Hunt for Red October", where the captain of the pursuing sub, removes the torpedo interlocks.   Xi has done the same thing to his own economy.    It suddenly occurred to us, that the  Chinese property+technology meltdown, could hit the world, rather like the 2008 "Bogus Housing Valuation Crisis" in USA hit the world.    Even if the Gov't of China takes over "Evergrand", and makes the 19 billion USD payment, it might not be enough.   I expected Evergrand would have been able to unload it's property management company, but given that they could not - even at a fire-sale price - it means the whole sector is tracking on very thin ice.  (update:  Wrong, China does not matter, it turns out.  There are reasons, to numerous to go into here...)

Full Disclosure:  We closed out the largest chunk of our holdings yesterday - our biggest position.  The risk-reward balance basically required we do so.   We got a good price, and the risk-indicators have all gone red, and the Evergrand sale-failure rang a bell.  

Full Disclosure - part le deux:  Just felt too wrong, not being  invested at beginning of a big inflation.  Even if China blows up, our banks will be OK.  It's comical.   The price of what we sold did a hard downtick, and I bought it all back.  In for a penny, in for a pound.   The whole *stimulation* thing, is just working too well.  We could have several more years of this.  So - literally one day later, we are back to being hard all-in.    I could not do this kind of thing, without the AI.  We are not naturally gamblers.  I am trying to channel John Maynard Keynes - and I seem instead to be tuning into some old riverboat gambler fellow... ("All a gambler needs, is a suitcase and a trunk, and the only time, he's satisfied, is when he's a cyberpunk...")

Excuse me, while I don my mirrorshades...

[ Oct. 18, 2021 ] - Diversification is Useless & the Fundamentals are Unsound. - Everyone knows this.  Or they should.   I feel a responsibility to elaborate on my assertions made in the previous entry, for Oct. 17th.   The economic "fundamentals" are close to the worst they have probably ever been in modern times, and diversification is not helpful, if your objective is to make money in the markets.     You can make a *lot* of money during times of very unsound economic practices, that are characterized by really bad fundamental economic characteristics, and if you want to make better-than-average returns on your small capital, you must concentrate your limited capital, and put it all (and maybe even more!) into your very best idea, and then monitor and track carefully how that investment is behaving thru time.  And the specific characteristics of the investment itself, will determine holding periods, acceptible levels of volatilty, and the specific risk-management strategy to be employed.

And if you buy and/or write a lot of options to try to eliminate portfolio "tail-risk", your actions will enrich your counter-parties, and impoverish - or at least degrade - your own efforts.   Nothing is free - and the guys on the other side of your "risk-reduction strategies" are simply insurance salesmen, and the price of their high-rate-of-decay, rotting insurance, will be high.  Using options to attempt to reduce or elminate market risk, will typically fail to benefit, as the contracts - characterized by their little greek letters - have features which tend to make them bad insurance vehicles, and also particularly awful investments.

So, beware the "broker".  To invest wisely, you need to do (or acquire) useful, accurate, actionable research - and that research has to be the result of real effort, and it has to have identified something specific, or a series of unique factors, which the market has not yet noticed, but can be expected to move the price of the market-linked asset, once the unclear or unknown market-moving information is pulled (or pushed!) into the wider market-place.

Of course monetary conditions and underlying economic fundamentals matter - but markets can move down when fundamentals are good, and be bid up, during periods of very bad fundamental economic conditions. - rather a lot like what is happening right now.   And diversification - especially now - is pretty close to useless, as the price-changes of most financial assets typically move together now.   One sees the "risk-on/risk-off" phenomenon, as the cross-correlation-matrix values move towards unity.   All trades seem to become the same trade.   It makes for nerve-wracking (but profitable!) outcomes.    :)

[ Oct. 17, 2021 ] - De-leverging for Fun, Profit and World War Three? - Well, maybe.  I watched a couple of Ray Dalio's videos (the iPad can run Youtube videos, if you replace the triple "w" with a single letter "m", so we can watch Ray Dalio's CNBC "SquawkBox", outdoor interview, at:  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KLdYfEIX8e0 

This is an interesting 18-minute interview, and Ray is bright guy, but his entire take-away advice is: 1) you should be diversified, and 2) fundamentals are sound.    I actually howled with laughter, since this is what every stock-broker has been taught to say since the dawn of time.  And it is complete and absolute standard bullshit.  It is just plain *wrong*.  This is because "diversification" is really a strategy only for the already-very-rich, and it is typically during times of unsound, obviously deteriorating fundamentals, that folks get concerned about their market-linked high-volatility investments.  So brokers and portfolio-runners will generally offer this data-stream of comfortable falsehoods, to placate their frightened clients.  But Mr. Dalio is not unwise. 

Mr. Dalio runs Bridgewater Associates, I am guessing, and I guess he is basically a broker/portfolio-runner.  First time I have ever seen his stuff.  He is a history buff and looks to be a damn good analyst.  Bravo to him.   In this interview, he indicates he knows his stuff, and has a model picture-of-the-world that works.   Seriously, I am impressed.

So, I looked for more of his stuff, and I found this great 30 minute video of his "Economic Template", and it is a good little seminar.  It should be an extended "Ted Talk".  It's very good, and I recommend it.  The wheels start to fall off around 26-minutes into the video - where he talks about the possibility of a "beautiful deleveraging"  We would suggest, gently and sadly, that such an event is "economic-science-fiction".   But watch the video, his understanding of the short and long term credit-cycles is very good, and the video offers a very good explanation of what really happens as an economy drives thru time.  It is a very good template - really very well done.  It's called "How the Economic Machine Works":

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PHe0bXAIuk0

We take issue with the possible "Beautiful De-leveraging" concept.  Given the inflation we are now seeing, and the fact that the "rich"  (where are those guys?) will not sit by and allow their assets to be confiscated and "re-distributed" by government authorities (increased taxation risks creating extreme behaviour changes on the part of investors and business owners), nor will the monitization of the government debt be sustainable for much longer because it is actively destroying the rate-of-return on capital.   We believe there is absolutely zero chance of balancing the "forces of deleveraging" - and that the policy responses will be (because they already are) simply an ongoing, monetary and fiscal-debt expansion, which will create a really big asset-and-debt bubble.  The efforts will be directed at preventing this bubble from bursting, and will be successful - if more monetary expansion (money-printing to buy financial assets) is made to continue.    Since it has worked reasonably well - without much inflation so far - the expectation is that it will continue to keep working.   So they will keep doing it.

We have a little model which suggests this process can go along for quite awhile further.  It will also imply increasing prices for equity positions.  The stock market will likely continue to run much further, along with the expanding money+credit driven economy.  Any attempt to dial back this process, will produce a brutal downturn, and the policy people probably know this.

The easiest solution is to let the economy inflate, and begin a process of shifting up short term administered interest rates, to reflect this inflation.   We need a good, solid 7 to 10% annual inflation rate, to begin the least-painful mechanism of de-leveraging needed to maintain firm economic "growth", and also reduce the real value of the high debt-burden and tax-burden that every economic agent at every level is beginning to feel.

The inflation will be ugly and painful - but it will keep the stock market frisky and bubbly, it will maintain employment levels (and reduce unemployment), and assist in reducing the real costs of the public-sector (and private sector) debts that have been built up.

The danger of course, is that the 7 to 10% inflation, can quickly become 15 to 25% inflation rates, and then the serious "stagflation" problems begin, prices stop working as information signals related to supply scarcity or demand changes, and real disruptions hit the labour market as wage-pressures smash the productivity gains that an economy needs to keep moving higher.  This makes the economy run hot, fast, harsh - and badly - as all productivity gains are eclipsed by inflationary gains.  This is the point where the markets see what is happening.   Market gains may flatline or go negative, like they did in the early 1970's.  Capital fails to return any real gain at all, and so it leaves the infationary economy, for a better-managed economy, where gains result from real economic output improvements, rather than just inflationary accounting entries.

Inflation is very dangerous, if it gets into the double digits.  The whole economic engine breaks.   So few people really understand this, unless they have lived thru it, or studied it in detail.

All prices become "fake" - like the "fake news" and "fake election results" and the "fake business" (the scams) that are enabled by easy internet access that "con artists" can have to honest (but gullible) "marks".

Inflation creates "fake economic gains", which do real damage to economic productivity.  The ordinary person has to pay bills with money-values, not real-values, so he or she does not care whether the gain is inflationary or real - he just wants to pay the bills.

Interest rates have to be *above* the rate of inflation, for there to be any gain at all, on financial assets - that means bonds need to yield 7 or 8 percent, if the inflation rate is only 5 or 6 percent.  People (and bankers) figure this out quickly, and act accordingly.  Taxes have to go *way* up to collect enough to even cover debt-costs by Governments.    A big inflation will let Governments pay down their future obligations with devalued currency - but the tax-burdens that have to be applied to an inflationary economy, begin to appear absurd, and seriously discourage real business investment.

The whole economic environment becomes "fake news".  Strikes and wage-disputes become common, and although there is lots of money around, prices are shifted higher than wage gains, to reflect the future expected (increasing) inflationary costs.

Everyone is unhappy, as prices now reflect both economic scarcity AND expected, uncontrollable future inflationary costs.   Savings - which is the money that feeds the investment process - basically stop working, as they lose their value too quickly, and so must be spent and turned into hard assets, before the inflation destroys their value.    In this way, an economy that is flowing with cash-money, finds that it suffers an investment starvation.

The central bankers are saying "inflation is transitory".  Well, so is life.    Inflation literally *kills* folks on fixed-incomes.  Anyone on a fixed income finds they grow poorer each day, and eventually become unable to cover their food+rent+tax+health/medical costs.  They become "Wards of the State", in their "Golden Years", despite their properly-funded pension-plans, that they thought they had wisely arranged for, so they would have income in their old age.

The whole problem here, is that money-printing plus out-of-control government spending to create massive government debt-burdens, is absolutely certain to produce eventual: 1) serious inflation and/or  2) serious deflation.

We are almost certain to get both.  We will probably see serious inflation for the next few years, followed by either a really ugly hyper-inflation (unlikely), or a hard-core austerity program, where a complete new crop of political people come along, and simply align sustainable taxation levels, with sustainable government spending levels.

There is absolutely zero chance of "A Beautiful De-leverging", as Dalio suggests is possible in his video.    That's a Traum-story.

So, maybe we get the big Depression (about 7 or 8 years from now), followed by World War Three - probably fought with bio-agents and cyber/electronic-methods of disruption, rather than warships and nuclear bombs.   This might be what Mother Nature wants to see happen, as it could reduce global population by a large percentage, which will have to happen also, at some point in the medium-term future.

Interesting times ahead.   :)

[ Oct. 16, 2021 ] - Burning Chrome & Leaping Lightly - Got the Minipro chip-burning software working with the new Debian box, which has udev and libusb-1.0, so the little TL866ii-plus universal programmer can be seen by the Linux O/S, and confirmed it all works.  Updated the combined Z80-Monitor+ROM-Basic chip assembler program, compiled and linked a binary-image file, and burned it into the little Z80-Northstar's SST rom-chip.  Plugged new SST ROM-chip into the Northstar SBC (single-board-computer), and confirmed Z80 Monitor & BASIC interpreter runs fine. 

I like this "we make it all" approach, primitive as it is, since I can know exactly where every single byte is, and exactly what it is doing.  Programming - and investing - is like operating a U-Boat or an aircraft.  Either you have all possible parameters under control, or you are really just f*cking around, and you will be blindsided by some exogenous risk-factor.  The last flight-recorder voice-entry typically heard during post-crash analysis, is the pilot saying: "Oh shit..."

The key to good design effort, and to good investment acton, is to try to prevent that sad outcome.   :)

[ Oct. 15, 2021 ] - Just the Beer-Light (and Some Code) to Guide Us - "Ziggy sang us songs, of darkness and disgrace... but when the kids had killed the Man, I had to break up the Band."   Mr. Stardust is gone, and we are left only with anti-matter Black Stars.   But if you are to live like Lazarus, you had better invest like the Highlander.

I built gcc 4.8.5 (using gcc 4.x) on a Debian machine, and then used the gcc 4.8.5 to build a Z-80 macro-assembler, called "zasm", version 4.2.1.  Looks like it all worked.  Used the new Debian-platform to run zasm to assemble a bunch of code, to be burnt into an SST ROM, which runs in the Z-80 "NorthStar" SBC we both build and run.  Looks like it worked, but I don't have the Z-80 emulator running yet.    I have to burn the binary .rom file into the SST chip, and drop the chip on to the board, to know for sure if the whole process worked correctly, which is why auto companies have race-tracks, and aircraft makers have test-pilots.   You really don't know, until your "first flight" if everything really is ok/good. (I am hoping I can get "minipro" (the chip-burning software) to run right on the Debian box. Currently, it only runs on the MacBook and the CentOS 6.6 box (which is a giant tower, the size of an old VAX 750 almost), but *not* on the Linux laptops, since their version of udev is too early (I need full udev 1.0 library, not the one that is running on the 2.6.26 kernel boxes, which is ver. 0.1 ). 

I really want a small Linux box that runs the NorthStar development environment fully.  Minipro has to talk easily to the USB port, and you need udev 1.0 which means you need Linux kernel 2.6.32 minimum, to get the proper function.  I do not like "systemd", as it is basically a "full-employment act" for IBM+Redhat engineers now - an insane, hyper-complex ball of whirling mud, which offers no gain, but lots of pain for folks who just want to run on a uni-processor.

Funny world now.  You can see why Apple is pwning it all.  Most other major tech enterprise players are turning into abusive "surf nazis"   (" Der Clients must PAY!  Und, they must PAY every  DAY!").  

Market seems to be rumbling along fine, which is matching our "anti-crash" speculation.  We are getting the most absurd repeatable patterns I have ever seen and yet not-traded.   The major risk now, is being out of the market, as a ballistic move to the upside seems to be in the cards.  All ist klar, Herr Commissar?   :)

[ Oct. 14, 2021 ] - The Anti-Crash - Markets tend to crash in October, due to what we call, the"Thanksgiving Harvest" effect.  But this year, with inflation running hard, and the borrowing-boom continuing, we will likely see the "Anti-Crash".   We have remained all-in long.   That trade is still working.   :)

[ Oct. 13, 2021 ] - Cheech Wizard Market Notes- I ran across a lizard wearing a big WIzard's hat.   And I asked him (since he *said* he was a Wizard), what the Market would do.  He said it would "fluctuate" (at least, I think that is what he said...might have been "fock, I hate...".  Hard to know exactly, since he was talking thru a hat..).   As the enlightened Mr. Bode demostrated, the future is a difficult business.  It's best if one can be there, in it.

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPM,  says "Bitcoin is worthless", and so was the German money from the 1922-23 time period. But I paid $20 for a mint-condition 50,000 Dmark bank-note, with multi-colour lithography and a fine watermark.  That Note is quite *worthless*, but I just wanted it, since the bank-notes are physical documentation of the insane German inflation from the 1920-23 period.  They are valuable as historical artifacts.  They started out as really valuable money, and ended up fully worthless - except they are not, right?  They offer solid, hard, tangible evidence of the mindless stupidity that can come from very big organizations and government agencies.

Every day, one needs to spend some time remembering this critical, key fact.  It defines our social and political world more than anything else does.

Money is the curious and questionable thing.  The paper notes are basically worthless paper - but the legal, social and economic infrastructure that stands behind the printed cash currency - the "bank notes" - is what you are supposedly holding, when you hold the paper cash.  Lots and lots and lots of paper cash, becomes completely worthless.  Governments rise and fall like toilet-seats on a train.

Bitcoin might be worthless. But in a world where Governments are *actively* cheating and misleading their citizens, the NGO-nature of Bitcoin, makes it unique and interesting.  We do not own *any* crypto-currency.  (I am very sympathetic to Mr. Dimon's viewpoint.  I think he is mostly right.)   But  I have seen *way* too much weirdness now, to believe in really anything at all, unless I have tested it myself, and done the background research.   Science is all we have, really.  And even it is getting goofy and political, as people everywhere get more goofy and "office-politics" political every day.   (The internet is turning the whole world into "Dunder Mifflin".)

Mr. Dimon also warns that "inflation might go higher than people think".   No shit!

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jp-morgan-chases-dimon-inflation-might-go-higher-than-people-think-144719511.html

I am worried about inflation, since I have seen it up close, and personal.  It wipes out economic growth, and destroys the system operation of the price-level as an information-transfer mechanism to alter human behaviour.  Drop this disruption into our hyper-connected world today, and we get some very serious problems, since no-one keeps buffer-stocks anymore.  

And the complete idiocy that is going on in USA - the "Washington Follies" - is already a perfect pre-condition for some really crazy bad-stupid economic policy.   Folks; if they read detailed history documents of hyper-inflation scenarios (there are quite a few to be found!) will learn that inflation comes from very bad "government" policy - basically idiot governments (ie. Kings and their minions)  borrowing insane amounts of money to do stuff (fight wars, usually), which they cannot pay back.

The entire "John Law MIssissippi Scheme" in France, under very young King Louis is an example of the first big use of paper bank notes.  It ended very badly (for late-stage investors), but worked very, very well, for the completely corrupt French Government, since it allowed the massive debt to be mostly extinguished.   Early investors did ok also, if they got out of the game early, and dropped their gains into real-estate holdings and other physical assets.   That great inflation was where the world "millionaire" was first invented.  

We agree with Mr. Dimon.  We believe inflation will run fast and run hard. Why?  Ask the Wizard:  He would say: "Because it aleady *IS*, you ignorant burpfart!"  (The Wizard is a rude boy..) 

I bought a little red plastic container full of petrol yesterday - for one of the tractors.  The price was $1.44 per **litre**.   Gasoline is up about 25% so far, this year.  And there is no "supply constraint".   The price is just up.

We cannot operate a farm without petrol.   We don't have the equipment, or the lab or the various raw inputs to create synthetic fuel.  But maybe we need to work on that.   Suddenly, Prince Charles and his Aston-Martin that runs on alcohol derived from white-wine production, and cheese making, does not look so silly.   Bio-diesel is also interesting.

Most economists and government people are so stupidly unaware of how the "self-financing" sector operates, exists and generates the wealth of a nation, that it is comic-book hilarious.    Government people get these "salaries", which flow automatically into their bank accounts, whether the silly bastards show up for work or not.  It is just comical - absolutely mind-blowing, really.   In the self-financing world, we have to actually DO something - invest-and-take-real-risks, or produce a product or a service, and convince people to acquire it - and part with their cash.   It's a tough, high-risk life.  And if we are successful, we face a *rising* rate of punishment, for our actions.  This is called: "Progressive Income Taxation", which is pure, economic insanity.  You punish the successful risk-takers, for doing work to make the nation rich.  This is the kind of "socialist" economic madness that destroys the future.  We are *not* complaining - this is just economic reality.

The operation of the self-financed-sector economic phenomenon is so completely outside the "ken" of a Government employee, that it is an interesting problem in social-science and psycho-semantics.  

Dimon is most certainly correct - the inflation is now here, and it is gonna move hard and fast and become dangerous, much more quickly than Government workers are able to understand. 

The reason for the rapid and surprising inflationary run, can be seen if one examines the global debt levels - both the growth rate AND the absolute level of the insane, completely-out-of-control numbers.    The coming inflation, will destroy money-value, but will also make it possible for governments to create the illusion that they are able to "pay down" the debt, as it matures.

So, once the "Economist" inside each of us,  understands what the hell is almost certain to happen  (there is really no fix possible here, that would not be even *worse*), then non-governmental status of "bogus" Bitcoin, suddenly looks a lot better.  Bitcoin is just a collective bank-account, not run by a bank or government.   So far, it seems to be working.  And that is interesting.

Bitcoin smells a little bit like gold, another useless, worthless "asset" that has had it's uses in history.  Gold is low-machine-value, soft dead metal that sits there, and does *nothing*.  No food is made, no cities built, no babies created or knowledge generated.  The yellow-metal does nothing, and yet that is it's great value - it does *not* change, in a world where everything else goes to hell, decays, dies, burns, gets destroyed, turns into radio-active dust, gets buried by ash, and so on.

Bitcoin is worthless, gold is a stupid dead asset, and humans die and decay and even their bones will rot into dust.  And there is no "god" thing, except inside human imaginations.   This is the harsh truth.

But the "investment" problem still remains, as long as we are alive.    And we have noticed that asset valuation and pricing is more like a Cheech Wizard cartoon, than it is a rational process.   And making money - in this modern world especially - is often completely divorced from anything real.   The fact that NFT's can actually be sold, is an interesting example of this assertion.

World is insane now, but we still gots to pay da bills...   And dat means da investments gotta yield and generate da numbers.   Inflation's gonna make dat look real big and wild - for a while...  at least dat's what da Wizard said...    :)

[ Oct. 12, 2021 ] - Big Radio - About 4 degrees off from Galactic central point, within the galactic plane, there is this occasional radio burst at 888 mhz, with circular polarization, which has been detected by a very large radio-telescope in Australia.   The source switches on, runs for a while, and then turns off quickly - within a day.  There is nothing to be seen anywhere else on the spectrum - from infra-red, thru optical, up to x-rays.  No existing astrophysical theory describes a natural source of this nature.  The researcher who discovered it has Chinese name: Ziteng Wang - but he goes also by the name: "Andy".   This unique radio-source, is nicknamed: "Andy's Object".  They confirmed it's sproadic "on-for-a-while, then-off" nature using the MeerKat radio Telescope in South Africa.  (There are about twenty or so "Authors" to the paper!)

Everyone involved finally got a detailed journal article published, in Astrophysical Journal, which is dated today.   Full article is behind a paywall, so we cannot read it yet.  [ Update!  - Ycombinator had a "I am not asking..." note, with a link!   We like ArXiv.]

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2109.00652.pdf

Will review it tonite.   We are curious if there is any possibility of any sort of modulation to the transmission, in any sort of manner.  At galactic centre, stars and systems are closer together.   Star systems that are only several light years apart, and with intelligent life, might have developed very high-energy communication technology, which perhaps we are detecting.  This is a *very* unlikely scenario, but a massive "radio-source-only" object which appears, then switches off for a while, then turns back on - and yet emits nothing else in any other part of the electromagnetic spectrum, sure looks curious, and does *not* correspond to any kind of star.  

And also not  even to a tidal-disruption event (a black hole "eating" a star - lots of radiation spew given off as the star is torn apart, and sucked into the Black-hole event-horizon..), since detectable energy on other energy spectrum frequencies would be apparent.

Here is link to article abstract:  https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac2360

And is the full article, as a PDF, from ArXiv:  https://arxiv.org/pdf/2109.00652.pdf

Note the Figure-1, with the six computer-generated images from Australian array and from MeerKAT, which shows the on-off images  (The little dark black dot is the radio source.).  Both the very-large Austrailan radio-telescope, and the South African "MeerKAT" radio-telescope confirm the existence and location of this bright radio source.  The circular polarization suggests the possibility of a magnetar or some kind of star or pulsar, yet there is *only* radio transmission (and big radio transmission!), no visible-light action evident at all.  And also no X-ray or hgher-energy wave-particle action can be detected.   This is very unusual and interesting.

I can't help but remember the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)  research, which never really found very much.   If someone is trying to communicate across stellar distances, the lightspeed transmission of UHF-level radio signals, would seem the obvious choice.  And the most basic form of communication is simply switching a beam on and off - like one will signal a position by turning on and off a flashlight at night, or like Native Americans used "smoke signals". 

We should call this the "Ziteng-Wang Transmitter".  It most probably has a natural explanation.  But it just reminds me of a kid on one side of a big lake, playing with a flashlight, and trying to get the attention of some kids on the other side of the lake, by toggling the beam off and on.  :)

[ Oct. 7/8/9 - 2021 ] - Technology of Dreams - I woke up thinking about my comment "32-bit addressability ought to be enough for anyone!" and of course, I forgot about the use-case of the quadrillion-byte perceptron - a thing I have been trying to model on a very small scale.   There is a real problem trying to model a good trader.  A profitable trader draws on terabytes times terabytes of data - in some kind of massive vector-matrix (ie. tensor) data-array of semi-organized information - and it might be useful to model this entire glopplex in real-time, using electronic storage.  The 64-bit machine architecture gives a possible 18 quintillion memory locations, and crazy-massive large dataset representations might actually be needed.   At night, I have these vivid, complex and extreme-detail dreams - entirely synthetic reality, which our research suggests is the result of routine system-state resetting action, that a super-monster neural-network has to do, in order to retain it's ability to encode new information.

You either dream very big, or you literally "lose your mind".   A human neural-net requires nightly re-balancing of neuron state levels, else it soon fails - and begins to dump halucinations right into the visual cortex, and the human subject is unable to determine differences between actual true sensory data, and self-generated neural-cyclic state-change data.   I've always had serious insomnia, and if I simply dialed back sleep-hours, and went a few days with no sleep at all, I get into real difficulty.   I recall trying to drive up north after a couple of days work, which had included "all-nighters" also, and the late evening+nighttime drive was populated by all sorts of creatures appearing to rush into my field of view.  I literally saw animals that were not there, little yellow men in funny outfits running along beside the car, and rushing out it front of it, and so on.  I started to have real, hard-core halucinations.   Do not drive a car at night, if sleep deprived for several days.  You will see stuff.  I also realized I had driven for several minutes - many miles! - completely asleep.  

I also realized that to actually model a "dream" - the human brain is able to synthetically create an entire reality - complete with full-colour images and all related sensory data.  Ever since my Covid-19 vaccinations in the summer, I have been experiencing curiously vivid dreams.  Perhaps I am just remembering them more easily?  

But I realize, that to attempt to include this self-generated data, along with external datasets, one would write a very complex data-input and encoding program, which would then require recursion - you would need to record all sensory input PLUS forward and backward propagate the massive data-arrays - and do so in a recursive manner - just to model the human dream-state.   You get the Towers of Hanoi problem where each "Tower" is a *changing* multi-terabyte dataset.   And you need to include that damn dream-state - because sometimes a person goes to sleep, thinking about a problem, and seems to to wake up with a solution - or an idea-test that leads to a solution.   (Specific documented examples of this phenomenon are all thru science - the Canadian doctor who discovered insulin (Dr. Banting) had this experience, and documented it - he literally woke up from a dream, and wrote down an experimental idea, that led to the successful discovery of the bio-compound that could treat diabetes successfully).

There are also these examples where traders who have large positions on, will have solution-generating dreams.  Again, any attempt model this activity requires encoding not just the original sensory input states - but also the dream-state action, doubtless produced by the neuron state-level resetting action that dream-activity seems to be related to.   But to recursively process the entire sensory data inputs for the day, and to then somehow back-propagate that state to the existing neural-net state, would be a memory-intensive process of significant scale.  Having 18 quintillion bytes might be necessary, if your various sensory-state datasets are made up of quadrillion-byte arrays!

So, maybe 64-bit architecture might be both necessary and crazy-useful.

It might actually turn out that 32-bit memory architectures - with only 4-billion active memory locations - might someday soon look as seriously restricted, as the early 16-bit (64K memory locations) architectures looked to "mainframe" programmers, who expected to have many millions of bytes of memory, to mess about with their big vectors and matrixes.

Just because you have recorded all the market data - this may be wildly inadequate.  You may need to "dream" about all it's possible evolutionary paths  (ie. all prices going in all directions).  That makes a crazy-large data-array.  But then, you are not done.  You also need to "dream propagate" many copies of this massive state-data-set many times through a recursive process, so that insane amounts of data are generated.

And to do all this in memory, will require that 64-bit addressability.  So, maybe 64-bit architecture is not really a scam - it might be a necessary pre-condition to actually moving the AI-needle.   And I have to stand-down from my previous assertion that 32-bit really ought to be enough active memory.     :)

[ Oct. 6, 2021 ] - Built "Audacity" on Redhat/Linux Machine. - We do a lot of history research, since reading history is like getting the copy of the exam to study, before you go in and write it.  It confers advantage! :)   So, I was pleased to discover a little treasure-trove of NASA recordings of the Apollo missions - except many are *backwards* - basically an audio tape machine was run bi-directionally, but some sort of automatic digitization process was done, to create the .WAV and .MP3 files - except half the tape-tracks are backwards.  ("I buried Paul...arrrrgh."   Not.).

I wanted to hear the last two hour tape, of the last Apollo mission, Apollo-17,since it was just a textbook perfect mission.  And it was the last interplanetary manned space-flight mission.  The last tape of the last two hours was one of the reversed (backwards) recordings.  I spent roughly 40 hours pulling together and configuring a ton of software source - including wxWidgets - a C++ cross-platform development tool, that allow big C++ applications to be deployed to multiple platforms - uses all the internals of Tcl/Tk, but all wrapped inside C-libraries.  I had to upgrade gcc from 4.3 to 4.8.5 on my fastest ACER Linux laptop, and download and install and configure a bunch of different sub-dependencies (libsndfile ver. 1.0.28  and other stuff, like "libsamplerate", also known as the "Secret Rabbit Code"  (I am dead serious here.)  Even read a Korean review about which code set to use - "libsamplerate" is considered gold-standard.  Google "Secret Rabbit Code" for details).  

I built gcc (which has gcc, g++, gFortran, the math libraries, and other stuff..) from source, using gcc 4.3 to build gcc 4.8.5.  It eventually worked.   I tried two different versions of wxWidgets (2.8.11 and 2.8.12) - built both successfully, both worked, then I got a test program, hacked it to display a .bmp file, throw text on the screen, and pop-up a window that said "Hello, World!".  That was crazy amount of work. Got it working.   The wxWidgets test program is critical, as it tell you that the wxWidgets code and libraries are installed correctly and can be successfully used.  I had to put a "soft link" in the /usr/local/include directory, so the include header files (the .h source) could be found.  (Fedora and other Linux distros put user built system programs in /usr/local/lib, and reserve /usr/lib directory for operating system libraries and includes. THis is critical, since the libs are dynamic (.so files, where bits and pieces of code needed by new programs are loaded in, as the new programs are *run*, not when they are *built*.)

To make wxWidgets build, and so that other programs can find it's libraries, you need to set the environmental variables PKG_CONFIG_PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH as follows:

             export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig

             export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib

Once you build wxWidgets, you see it is the thing that lets g++ programs paint all the screens on a Linux  X-Windows display, using Gtk2+  (not Gtk3).    You have (and need!)  wx-config, which you run (inside the compile line, for a C++ program built using wxWidgets), so you get the list of libs and CXXFLAGS you need for the compile to work.  Seriously.   My test program for wxWidgets (stolen off the web from Ted Burke, and hacked to display my own bit-map images) is compiled like this:  

            g++ mcltest.cpp -o mcltest `wx-config --cxxflags` `wx-config --libs`

but it worked - in both wxWidgets 2.8.11 and 2.8.12 versions.  That by itself was crazy cool.   If you can get wxWidgets to work, you can write one C++ (or g++ if using the GNU compiler suite), and you can deploy your built windowy code-ball-of-mud  (your  application), to any box, running WIndows, MacOS or Linux (assuming Gtk2 is available).  

Redhat/Fedora (CentOS) LInux, uses GNOME and GTK2 (or GTK3, the new stupid one, with features that breaks stuff), so the hardest was this Linux code-ball that I began with.  But it is all open-source, and I won't use non-open-source code, because that always gets WRECKED BY DESIGN all the time, so you end up having to purchase it over and over, and then it still gets  borked with each new version, so you need to buy new hardware also.  Nasty.  And not necessary, since the 32-bit hardware is crazy powerful and works fine.

Then, I download three different source-suites of Audacity: ver. 2.0.0, ver. 2.0.6 and ver. 2.3.0.  Code suites past 2.3.0 require gcc 4.9.0 (a big build), and below 2.0.0 is not well documented and not supported in any way.   I worked on 2.0.0 and 2.0.6.  Version 2.0.6 would (eventually) compile successfully (after a long compile), but would always (always!) fail on the Link-edit step (the big step, where the modules are linked together into a single program, and all external and internal routines are made so they can "see" each other).  This is a critical step, of course.

To build Audacity 2.0.0 on a 32-bit Linux box (uname -a reports my Linux kernel version as : 2.6.25-14 ), you use the standard:  ./configure, make, make install sequence.   I used the following options for Audacity 2.0.0 :

      ./configure --disable-dynamic-loading --disable-unicode --with-libsamplerate --with-libsndfile -with-lib-preference="local system"  --without-ffmpeg

Note; I actually built ffmpeg from source, and tested it - but it does not work with "PulseAudio", the "sound-server" on my version of Redhat/Fedora Linux.  Many Linux versions let the user code directly access the sound-board or the /dev/dsp device that controls "digital sound processing", but this is huge security issue, since many simple tricks can be used to hijack your machine.  Pulseaudio is annoying, but it allows the /dev/dsp device to be protected programmatically, and still work.

Once I got a clean build of Audacity 2.0.0, I had to shutdown and re-start the Pulseaudio sound server (and restart using the ./runpulseaudio startup script).    But then, Audacity could "see" the sound device.  I was then able to load the 200 megabyte backwards Apollo17 .mp3 sound-file I had downloaded, reverse it (which took several minutes on a fast machine!)  and save the FIXED file as a repaired .MP3, using theAudacity "Export" option.   I then uploaded the file, to the Internet Archive website.

This was the hardest "build-from-source" open-source software build I have ever done, and yet reached a successful, working product conclusion.   I even built a more-recent version of ffmpeg from source, during this effort.   

Note:  The technology industry has rather become a bit of a scam now, with the major entities running things, so that you get toasted regularly, and have to reach for your VISA card, to make anything useful happen now. (Duh... Nothing is free, of course.  But closed-source code is a huge and ugly risk, for so many reasons.)

The good software is developed in the Open-Source model, just like the good science is done. 

Code and theories must have detailed, public scrutiny.  This must happen, and is good, because without it, you get just BAD SOFTWARE and BAD SCIENCE  which will be designed to meet political (dishonest) objectives, expire, break, have drivers fail, and will contain time-bombs, ad-ware, secret spy code, etc.   If code is not open-source, and has not been vetted by cranky kids and old bastards like me, then it WILL CERTAINLY CONTAIN TOXIC SHIT.   This  is the way of the world.  Accept it.

So, we need open-source.  It's like God - we had to invent it, and the result is good.

Anyway, once I got wxWidgets working (a huge project in itself), I could get Audacity 2.0.0 and 2.0.6 to compile - but not to LINK.   I had to really dig.    I would get all this "unresolved external references" error spew, every single attempt - even after ALL the problems that prevented compilation, were fixed.

This resulted - I think - from the "UNICODE" nonsense.  Unicode is a stupid idea, which requires the use of two bytes so glyphs and annoying, localize pictogram language characters can be used like we use English letters.  We all like pictures - but creating a byte-representation for every stupid language-picture ever invented is just stupid.  Languages like Egyptian hireoglyphics, Mayan glyphs, Chinese characters - have all these are silly, crazy-inefficient language constructs.  But using Unicode (two bytes to store language symbols) has really damaged a lot of good design efforts.  Folks really should learn English to use computers.   Unicode is just silly. But such is life.   

[Oct. 7-8, 2021 Update: I was actually able to get Audacity 2.0.6 to compile on my custom Fedora Linux version, and run successfully, IFF, (if and only if) the "--enable-unicode" option was enabled for both Audacity and wxWidgets compilation.  The LINK errors were all "unresolved references" to "wxString" stuff, which looks like the voodoo required to use Unicode version of wxWidget  (note: We must use wxGTK-2.8.12 flavour of wxWidgets if linking to Audacity.  The wxX11 version of wxWidgets will not work at all with Audacity.)   All wxGTK variables of "constant char[n]*" types (pointers to strings of chars) have to be replaced with object-oriented class-label weirdness, which I think defines multi-byte unicodey stuff, so you get this error-spew, where every unresolved external is a "wxString::" thing, if you try to build Audacity 2.0.6 without using unicode and also turning it on for wxWidgets.  (Note:  I am *not* a C++ programmer.)   The Audacity failure-to-link resulted from a mis-match of builds - wxWidgets and Audacity have to both be compiled with ./configure options "--disable-unicode" or with "--enable-unicode".  Either one will work for the canonical (baseline) Audacity 2.0.0 (the full-source version), but for Audacity 2.0.6 you have to use unicode, it looks like.  But, if you "--enable-unicode" for wxWidgets, then a lot of C++ code (like my little wxWidget test program!) will just error-spew, without any indication what is happening, or how to fix it.   Pretty comical...   Hope my note here helps some kid trying to learn this stuff. ]

[ C code is basically cheap-shit trans-architecture assembler in disguise, and C++ is a dogs-breakfast of absurd complexity, but useful if you are building GUI apps, where everything is hot-active, nothing is modal, and everything is interrupt triggered.  Great fun, but certain to lock-up and fail, at some point...  It's also a "Full Employment Act" for clever programmers, so, enjoy, and rock-on!   Just don't crash that 200mph sports-car, when you finally buy it!   :)  ]

The compiles could handle 64-bit (since LONGLONG is a number type, and extra-precision math has been around for a long time.  Even the Assembler on the first IBM P/C (a 16-bit machine), could define an 80-bit data item, for extended precision math requirements. 

But any attempt to use *Unicode* in the LINK step, seemed to cause Audacity to fail on my LINUX development laptop.  (The laptop is a powerful, 32-bit dual-core Intel CPU with MMX.  The slow and rather stupid thing, is me, the operator!).  I really wanted Audacity to work on the Linux Laptop.   After much trial-and-error and configuration, I got Audacity 2.0.0 to not only compile - but finally to LINK successfully.    (Hint: I configured ver. 2.0.0  Audacity and wxWidgets with unicode disabled.)   I was astonished and delighted.  (Note: Start with Audacity full-source 2.0.0, since it has the sound-codec libraries you will need.  (Ahem.. cough, cough.. mp3 ...cough.. snort ... licence issues ... brrrapp..))

I had carefully checked all the 32-bit and 64-bit nonsense.  The ACER laptop I used is a powerful 32-bit machine, able to render 4K videos. CPUs of 32-bit are MASSIVE FAST ENOUGH and CAN HAVE ENOUGH MEMORY to do almost anything.  The whole 64-bit thing is really a bit of a scam also.  32-bits gives you 4 billion bytes of accessable dynamic storage locations in memory (RAM). If you can't do it in 4 billions bytes, then you really should re-think your design.  I am very serious.   [The exception here, is AI stuff.  If you are modelling the neurons in a human brain, it might be useful to have trillions or quadrillions of bytes of electronic memory.  A giant neural-net, with "many-hot" vector-encoding of large-data-quanta sets, is the use-case for 64-bit addressability, where you might actually make use of those 2^64 memory locations.  ]

(For Non-computery Folks)  The math:  32 bits of 1 and zero digits => 2 ^ 32 = 4,294,967,296 possible memory addresses.   Eight and sixteen bits for the computer address location you want is not enough.  2^16 = 65,536, which is the old, original 8088 or Z80 memory limit standard of 64K memory locations.  We build Z-80 single-board-computers (SBC's) which only have 64K of memory, where EVERYTHING has to fit.  We can do real work on these SBCs, and even put a BASIC interpreter in the memory, and a super-tiny Monitor program!  They are wonderful devices.

The Apollo space-ships flew to the Moon and back, using hardy little 4, 8 and 16-bit computers. Those small computers did not get hurt by high levels of radiation.  They were stable, and are as reliable as a well-made sword.  They can run for a long time, before their silicon decays - maybe decades or centuries or longer.

Once I had Audacity working (with some of the codecs for .MP3 and .WAV and such), I was able to download and repair the two-hour audio track for the last tape from the last manned space-flight mission to another world.  That mission ended on December 19, 1972.  I was quite young, and it was a wonderful time.   And then, a fews years later, an awful time, with the oil-shock, mass unemployment, the DJIA at 700 (falling to 600's), and runaway inflation of 10, 12 to 20% per year and 11, 12 percent and higher, interest rates (which wiped out a lot of over-leveraged small businesses - and some large ones, too.    The USA gave up on space-exploration, and everything fell apart pretty quickly. 

But I was young, and it was a wild and fun ride in the mid and late 1970's.   Ron and Margaret came along, Russia gave up being evil and stupid and being run by Communist gangsters, and the world blossomed like a big Heroin-Poppy.   By 1989, the Berlin Wall was smashed to bits by good Germans, Intel was making fully 32-bit CPU's, and everything became possible.   History helped us see the future.  It is good to know.

So, here is the Apollo-17 final audio recording, of the re-entry, splashdown and recovery.  And the astronauts final comments.   It is worth listening to.  I used Audacity to reverse (and thus repair!) the two-hour audio recording, and then uploaded the FIXED .MP3 file, up to an Internet Archive site for storage and public viewing.  URL is below:

https://archive.org/details/apollo-17-last-tape-830-aaa-fixed 

Search for Apollo-17 and read just how well that whole mission went.  It gives a textbook lesson on how to do a very, very big project, and bring it to successful conclusion.

[ Oct. 4, 2021 ] - Roundabout Dogs of Sweden - and Europe. - In Sweden, back in 2006, a charming artistic tradition of putting sculptures of dogs in traffic roundabouts developed.   No one knows who started the tradition.  You can Duckduckgo or Google search for "roundabout dogs", select "images" and see lots of examples.   

Dogs are loved by the Swedes and all civilized people of the world, for their loyalty, intelligence and friendship.    We read that Lars Vilks was killed in a car crash yesterday. He became famous for a comical drawing of a "Roundabout Dog", back in 2007.

Europeans, and those in Western cultural all around the world, have a long tradition of displaying themselves and others as Dogs.   Dogs are fine, good and special creatures in Western culture, and have been the respected and valued companions of Kings, Noblemen and the Common People, for thousands of years, in the civilized nations of Europe.   Each major civil culture of Europe, tended to have a "National Dog" as a representation of its national character. 

The amusing "Hark, Hark - the Dogs Do Bark" map of 1914 Europe shows and example of this comical (yet very real) tradition.   From the plays of the Romans and the Greeks, we know just what serious business "Comedy" was.   I've read Aristophanes - he wrote "The Birds" and "The Frogs" - but I do not know of the "The Dogs"...  Perhaps it was lost to history.   

Actually, I "googled" for it, and found a partial manuscript, transcribed into a .PDF.  Great men think alike?  OR perhaps: Fools Seldom Differ?...   https://www.mcgoodwin.net/pages/thedogs.pdf    I happen to believe that the saddest, most touching scene in all of Human Literature - is the scene where Odysseus is recognized by his old dog, Argos, who has waited 20 years for his return to Ithica.  Argos nuzzles his old master, the King, wags his tail, and dies. 

A poor boy loves his dog - and so does a noble and righteous King.  Dogs are sentient, thinking creatures, capable of learning language, and of exercising wise judgement.  They can also be wild and bad, just as humans can.    Any culture that disrespects dogs, and believes dogs are "unclean", is itself unclean, unworthy, grotesque in it's extreme, horrific ugliness, and cannot be considered "civilized".  All honest humans know the absolute, certain truth of this.  

Athens was eventually starved and crushed by the militaristic Spartans.  The Athenians focused on science and philosophy and mathematics and commerce and learning all they could about everything, while the Spartans focused *only* on War, and war-fighting,    It is no surprise that Athens was defeated by Sparta.  It was a significant, tragic event of Western culture - reversed hundreds of years later by the Romans - who wisely focused great efforts on their army, it's structure, funding and organization, along with military success and conquest - so they could be free to be Romans.   The Roman approach to other nations was the correct one - they could either be at peace with Rome, be invaded by Rome, and run by Roman Governors, or be crushed and destroyed (as Carthage was, eventually).  This Roman Republican model is the only one that works right.  England copied the Imperial version of it, and the Americans, the original Republican version. 

It was Shakespeare who wrote: "Cry Havoc!  And let slip the Dogs of War!"  It's from the play "Julius Caesar".  It might be the best writing ever done, in the English language.  Here it is:

‘Cry Havoc’ speech, spoken by Marc Antony, over Caesar's murdered corpse:  Act 3 Scene 1

O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever livèd in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy—
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue—
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men.
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy.
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quartered with the hands of war,
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds,
And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

----

"Ate" (pronouced "Ah-tey") is the pre-Christian image of the God of Hell.  Shakespeare put a hell of a good speech into Marc Anthony's mouth.  The images are strong and cruel - blood and destruction shall be so much in use, dreadful objects so familiar (heads on pikes, weapons of war, blood running everywhere...)  mothers will smile to see their children "quartered" (cut into 4 pieces!) in battle, since that will mean an end to their pain and suffering - like the final scene in John Huston's "High Sierra", where "Roy" is killed by the sniper, and his lover realizes he has finally "crashed out" and is now free.

Lars Vilks "crashed out".   Now, he lives only in our hearts and minds - in our memories.  He is just another dead artist, known for charming images and clever installations made of driftwood.  He has "crashed out" - like we all will, eventually.  Like Europe is already now doing, and like America is seriously at risk of doing.   Our Western Cultural ideals are under direct threat.  And some of the most tangible and most serious threats to everything that we are, these are coming from right inside our own homelands.  

Shall we tolerate this?  At some point, we will remember what we are, what we stand for, what we believe is right and correct, and what we are willing to die for.

That visual image - "carrion men, groaning for burial" - that's quite well done.  Carrion is dead, rotting flesh.  It's what vultures eat - and we are to imagine the fields of carrion-men, groaning for burial.  I've seen the images of this, in the Japanese clean-up after the atomic-bombing of Hiroshima.  They had these very large wagons - literally stacked high with rotting corpses - they piled them into fields - hundreds, perhaps thousands of rotting, half-burned radioactive corpses, and you could easily imagine them, "groaning for burial", in Shakespeare's genius words.

If we are to defend our culture, and the traditions of freedom of the Western world, Shakespeare tells us we *must* embrace this kind of reality, at times when terrible crimes are visited upon our good and noble people.   Not in hot anger - but in quiet, careful-speaking, focused determination.   

In Marc Anthony's words, we must vanquish our enemies, so they become: "carrion men, groaning for burial".

[ Oct. 3, 2021 ] - Respect the Wild Rat - the Wild Rat of Randomness.  Don't be fooled by it, but do not fear it either.   The Wild Rat of Randomness, can lead you to the Treasury - sometimes.   Other times, he just tries to bite you.  Respect the Wild Rat, and you can live long, and prosper.   :)

[ Oct. 2, 2021 ] - Doing it RIGHT. - To do big, expensive, complex projects, and take them from the idea-stage, thru the conceptual and then detailed design phase, the production phase, and into implementation, and then on to successful completion, is very difficult.   Most big technical projects flirt with disaster and often end in tragic failure.  

But some do not.  The 20th century showed two projects that worked - both run mostly by Americans: World War Two, and the Apollo Moon-Landing missions.  Successful projects should be examined carefully - especially the Apollo Moon missions.    Back in 2019, a good documentary film was made about the Apollo 11 mission, and the first Moon Landing, in July of 1969.   The whole Apollo program, and the Gemini program before it, were astonishingly successful examples of what is possible - from both an organizational and a technological perspective.  Here is the URL for the film - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

https://archive.org/details/aploii-2019

Realize - this was Apollo *ELEVEN*.  There were TEN previous missions!   NASA had learned to TEST AND CHECK - over and over, again and again.   This was a very large part of why they were able to be so successful. 

People forget Apollo 10, the mission where the American astronauts flew their ship right up to the Moon, launched a LEM (Lunar excursion Module), and flew it near the surface, but did not land it, and then returned from very low lunar orbit, docked with the Command module ship, and returned to Earth.  That was a VERY IMPORTANT MISSION - now almost lost to history.  But  I recall that mission, as I followed it very carefully, and was so surprised they did not actually do the Moon landing.   Apollo 10 was fully set up to do this - but NASA wisely wanted to fully (and I mean *FULLY*!) test all their newly-designed and built technology.  

Most complex, expensive, technology projects fail.   Few people really understand just how common this is.   This is because of a phenomenon called "survivorship bias" - we only see, when we look back in history, the successful projects.   We don't go check the graveyard.

But the graveyard, is where most big plans and big projects go.  And they end up there, without first passing thru the end-stage of *successful completion*.  

NASA had learned - from repeated, early and awful failures - how to do big, dangerous, complex work, without having the rockets blow up.

We also should remember Dr. Wernher Von Braun.   He was  a product of German National Socialist Worker's Party (NSDAP) efforts to build military rockets to be used as weapons.  The German V2 rocket was also the successful result of repeated design and testing efforts - and it worked well - despite it's limited military usefulness to the German war effort in World War Two.    It was Dr. Von Braun, who was most directly responsible for the successful design and development of the Saturn Five interplanetary rocket.     The wikipedia article has lots of material about his work for the German Nazi's, and also detailes his arrest and imprisonment - but also his release, and Hitler's order that he be "protected from prosecution, as long as he remains indispensible to the project work".  Von Braun was born in Poland, which few people realize. 

Two scientific giants stand out in the 20th century - Albert Einstein and Wernher Von Braun.  They both were products of Germany, but found their greatest success in America. The Europeans might want to learn from this, as should the rest of the world.   It is not that America offers sanctuary.  It does not.  America offers freedom and opportunity.  America offers possibility.  This is why the current political climate in America, of "the Woke Stupid" is so dangerous and lethal to the world, as it puts at risk the very future of mankind.

People - especially smart, talented, ambitious people - need somewhere they can go, to do the things they know need to be done.  They need a place where they can speak freely, do profitable business openly and easily, and operate without being held down and back by neo-fascist political fraudsters, the absurd lies of religion and political doctrine, and the abusive stupidity and deep-dishonesty of "political correctness".  

America is that place.  

The most successful political projects are Republics.   And the American Republic is the most successful of all of these.  It is more important to the future of the World, than all of Africa and most of Asia.   The abusive, original aboriginal inhabitants - the "Indians" of North America - are interesting for social scientists and anthropologists to examine and study, but they are simply not important, in the way that the American Repubic is important. The "Black Lives Matter" people - both the racists and the race-apologists - are not important.  These groups are just more of the same, political-cultural cruelty and social-pollution that has characterized most of all human history and human social grouping.   Very few individual people matter at all.   But a very few, matter a lot.

And the American Republic - with it's hard-fought tradition of free-speech, and freedom from religious bigotry and political-abuse and cultural pollution - this entity really *does* matter, as it has been able to create *major* success, despite it's flaws and problems.

It needs to be nurtured and protected from it's enemies - both from without - and most especially, from within.  I personally believe the January 6th protests in Washington were valuable and helpful.  Political people need to understand, that they should not try to rig and fake-up the results of democratic elections - and there were just too many clear signals that the effort to remove Donald Trump - regardless of what you think of him - was an engineered effort, in which significant (and deeply unwise) changes were made to the American election processes.

The astonishing dishonesty and failures of the "Democrats" (who are most certainly *not* supporters of honest democratic process), shows the necessity and validity of direct citizen efforts to correct political abuse by corrupt government "officials".    Sometimes, the people "MUST" take action, to protect a viable "Republic", else one ends up with an "Imperial" class of professional, *hereditary* political fraudsters and gangsters, in control of the State.  History shows us again and again how bad this is.

Nobody wants hereditary, political *aristocrats* ruling them.  And America REALLY does not want this.   When this prospect becomes entrenched, then it cannot be fixed by *politics*, because the political model itself has been corrupted and rigged, so that no change can be possible within the rigged system.  "Protestants" have to happen, and then the really bad historical stuff begins another cycle of violence & horror. 

The American project broke this old, bad, European model.   That is the primary reason why America can do BIG projects - and get them done successfully.   America lets *mavericks* become leaders, and allows them to be put in charge of BIG projects.   Really (and as China shows right now, sadly), truly, no other nation allows this, in the honest way that America allows this.

This is true.   Americans are free.   We need to all make sure they *remain* free, if we want the world to have a future that is not mass-slavery and political fraudsterism.  Sometimes, America looks *insane* - but here is a really interesting take on this - the article is quite an eye-opener:  (I am gobsmacked, since I find myself agreeing with a Jewish Rabbi!)

 https://m.jpost.com/opinion/the-us-is-insane-and-i-wouldnt-have-it-any-other-way-opinion-650036

We need to maintain America, and American freedom.   And we need to study success carefully, if we wish to repeat it.  And we should also examine the (truly *LARGE*!) project graveyards, so we can understand of how very difficult it is to do big, important, technologically sophisticated projects successfully.  

Sure, we need the freedom-to-fail.  But we also need the freedom-to-succeed.

[ Oct. 1, 2021 ] - Are You an Accelerationist? - We think of ourselves more as simple Analysts - with a some sub-projects that lead us to view ourselves as Conservators and Archivists.    The requirements of business means that we have wear many hats - and invert more than just a few matrices.  Different methods are yielding different results.  Our ability to predict near-future events is working less well, so this leads us to believe a major set of parameters are changing - and not just interest rate expectations.  There is more happening.  People are getting unusually stupid, almost everywhere, it seems.  Real knowledge is being lost, and this seems to be happening at an alarming rate, which itself is also increasing.

There seems to be an accelerating increase in something we call the "Rise of the Woke Stupid" - a collection of badly-educated, semi-literate Youtube-children, whose knowledge of the world has been gained from bogus pseudo-schoolwork, video-gaming culture, and internet self-chat echo-rooms.  They are now the voters who determine what will happen in elections - and they truly have no clue about anything except yesterdays party.    They can't even reach the levels of '90's mirrorshade-wearing cyberpunks, and consider that "All Tomorrow's Parties" might matter also.   They see no future, except the bogus frauds that the sonic & video manipulators have recorded & painted for them.

It's fucking hilarious. 

It's like watching entire squadrons of slow-motion airplane crashes as they all hammer into the deck.  And yes, I even have a collection of videos like this, lifted from Youtube in the early days, before they censored all violent or "disturbing" content..  We are sad about this, but at some point, one just grows numb from watching idiots self-destruct into expanding debris fields.   We realize now that this phenomenon rather well explains what we are seeing in both North American and European politics.  The idiots in charge are the result of idiot voters who actively want to self-destruct their own cultural heritage. 

It's both tragic and hilarious - like watching ugly drunk women at a frat party try to hit on the good-looking guys who want nothing to do with them - until they too are also drunk and decide ugly is better than nothing.  One feels bad for the whole awful social model and the pain and sadness everyone is required to feel - but then, with a bit of alcohol for yourself as well, you can learn to just relax and enjoy the human comedy show.

Trouble is now - the shit-shows are in Ottawa and Washington, and the costs of the buffoonary, have an ugly tendency to show up as hard-core increases in one's property and income taxes.  Then, the comedy is not so funny, as you see it begin the process of making you bleed from many little financial cuts.   And that's just not much fun at all. 

The whole Covid-19 thing has been interesting - but it did not reach the results (as suggested by the Bland-Corporation study on expected "megadeaths")  we had initially envisioned.   Oh well.  Maybe next year?

What is such a curious collateral-damage effect, is the censorship clampdown on the internet.  The "chilling" of public debate is nasty.   So much is just gone now, or dark, or censored actively by AI daemons.

We find the search-engines do not work any more.  They give maybe 10 or 20 pages, of mostly bogus dreck, and then just stop.  I used to regularly jump 30 or 40 pages into a Google-search, to find the interesting stuff that was not Search-Engine Optimized.  But you simply cannot do anything like that anymore, unless you run your own web-crawler (and who the hell wants to do that?  It's like forensic archeology - you just have to shovel thru too much scat).   

So my various internet analytic tools no longer work.   The datafeeds are clogged with crap and dirt - like a fine fuel-injected engine, except someone has put diarrhoea in the gas tank.

Did you know that in roughly 25% of mild Covid-19 cases - the only medical symptom is mild diarrhoea?

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200401/mild-covid-19-often-appears-with-only-gastro-symptoms-study#1 

This above study is from April 2020, and was done in China, so it has no information on the delta-variant of Covid-19, and it may not apply here.  But maybe it does.  Probably, lots of folks have had Covid-19, and not even realized they had it.  Except they can now spread it. 

Diarrhea (or diarrhoea) can kill very easily, as the fluid levels in the body, and the intestinal biotic flora are affected, and this can damage a healthy person very quickly, in some cases.   But so can a broken heart, if the lyrics of "Barbara Allen" can be believed...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8Pg34c_v_I

(Dolly does a different, more traditional tune for this version.  We like it. )

We are really worried about the volatility-of-volatility we are seeing in the markets now.  We remain all-in, long-but-not-margined.  If I was a younger fellow, I would margin myself up to my nostrils and grit my teeth.  Seriously, this is a time-of-madness, and it is also the kind of environments where fortunes can be made ... and also lost.    But to be surf-boarded now in an economic AMF event, would ruin my health, and I might not recover.   We have to run oldfart portfolios, since they keep us in the clover, and let us play Red Rover - instead of *Dead* Rover.

Here is what I call the "Coronavirus Song", recorded in 2011, by Warren Zevon (who died of cancer after recording this.  We like this song, too. )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELe4vC3oM5E

(It's in the April 27, 2020 log-note... )

Critical Race-Car Theory Notes:  Just remember:  Do not Drink and Drive - even if you now have an automatic, and don't need to shift gears, or maybe you've got paddle-shifters.  You still need to turn and control the damn wheel, and that takes two hands - especially if you are going really fast, and using the other traffic as pylons.  :)

[ Sept. 30, 2021 ] - Cumulo-Granite - When flying on instruments, you don't want to try to fly thru this kind of cloud.   But our political leaders seem determined to track this path.  We have to remind ourselves, we have been hammered to bits more than once, and our world and our culture still survived.  Quebec city was founded in 1608, around the same time as Boston.  For almost 50 years, these two towns shared the North American landmass with a Mayan city in Lake Petan Itza, which was not destroyed by the Spanish Catholic maruaders until 1650. 

Would have been interesting flying over North America & Central America in the early 1600's.  It would have looked like part of Ringworld.   But not many GPS navigation aids.  You would have to do your "dead reckoning" carefully, or else become dead.

Are we tracking back to that kind of much simpler, less complicated world, with vastly fewer people in it?   Perhaps.

Fly carefully.

[ Sept. 29, 2021 ] - We Need to Change the Program - Biden could be impeached, if this is true:  Joe Biden was reportedly told - point blank - by his military advisors and top Generals, that a force of at least 2500 US troops should remain in Afghanistan.   Biden has *lied* directly to the American people, and said explicitly otherwise.   Biden appears to be truly bogus.   The man looks to be quite unfit.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/28/top-generals-afghanistan-withdrawal-congress-hearing-514491

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/afghanistan-female-judges-hunted-by-male-prisoners-taliban-freed-2021-9

The insane withdrawal of the American forces from Afghanistan, will go down in history as one of the world's great crimes - not as bad as Hitler and Stalin's work - but certainly at the same level of State-sanctioned evil action.  The USA spent 20 years creating an almost-modern State in Afghanistan, and then simply buggered off and let the terrorists re-capture the place.  The local Afghan *army* was a proxy force, run by the Americans, so when the Americans made a deal with the Taliban, the local military people knew they had been betrayed, and that the Taliban had won.   What army would fight under such circumstances?   Biden looks like either a fool or a criminal, and the people who voted for "Democrat" politicians in the USA look to be guilty of a criminal conspiracy on a rather significant scale.

The American "Democrats" did not actually build gas-ovens and arrange for the mass-murder of Afghan police officers and judges - but they may as well have.   Turning Afghanistan over to the Taliban looks like a criminal act.  English common law is very clear on this.  If a person knowingly assists a group of people to commit multiple murders, then the person is - clearly - an accessory to the crime.    Biden is not only a liar.   By turning an entire nation over to a gang of murdering terrorists - after his military advisors advised him not to - he is now appears to be a war criminal.

Seems like that might be an impeachable offence.

But that Harris women is so questionable, that Biden will almost certainly keep his job.   We have a similar political disaster here in Canada, with Trudeau being re-elected, and a collection of people of questionable ability to choose for a Cabinet.   We are in for some very troublesome times, I fear.  Our "Deputy Prime Minister" is a woman we have no use for, so Trudeau looks to be safe in his job as well.    But we see real conflict coming in the future.  

The Germans are correct.  Stupidity is actually a powerful force, and it is ascendent now.

If the politics is ugly and awful, the economics is actually much worse:

The Founders of the United States wisely designed a mechanism to put an *upper-limit* on debt created by Government borrowing actions.  This was a clever and sensible action, as it was crafted because politicians are often idiots when it comes to money.   History shows this again and again.

Now, the USA is at risk of hitting it's $28.4 ***TRILLION*** Government debt limit, around Oct. 18th, less than a month away.   This is happening, of course, because no one seems to be able to stop the various automatic machines that "fund" the US Government actions.

The USA Government can simply vote to increase the debt-limit-level, but it has to actually do this, and there are various (many) good reason not to do this.  Basically, there is no mechanism - other than this hard number - that can stop the automatic, continous, increase in US Government spending, regardless of whatever the tax-revenues are.

It's bizzare and comically awful.   The current crop of fraudsters in the USA "Democrat" Administration simply cannot do anything except invent spending programs for non-productive, non-self-financing "social programs" and "climate change" projects.   They are gangsters who have their hands on the economic power controls, and all they can do is dial everything up to 11.   There is not even a pretence of economic discipline. 

It's a Washington "Spinal Tap" for America.   It's madness.  Prudence has left the building, along with her sister, Sanity.

Someday, this *will* destroy the American currency.   But not yet, since the USA dollar is the world's reserve currency.   The risk - of course - is that the economic collapse of America will not be local to America.  Precisely because the USA dollar is the world's reserve currency, the economic collapse of America will in fact be an economic collapse of the world economy.

This is why we write.

We see this process tracking - at increasing velocity - to an economic end-game of very extreme levels.  Probably a massive (and already evident) economic run-up, of a really extreme nature, followed by an equally extreme collapse event, that simply wipes out a large segment of global wealth.

I hope I am wrong.   We really (really!) hope we are wrong about this.

If America does get into a shooting war with China, there is no room there for rational debt financing (like there was in 1941).   The USA - and it's economy - is already margined up to it's eyeballs. 

If America is damaged (and the Democrats are already doing their best to try to do this), then the damage will not be restricted to America.  All that American *wealth* held around the world, will be damaged.   We could see a catastrophic economic collapse event, that would make the 1930's look very minor, by comparison.

When anyone examines the global debt levels, it is painfully obvious that the debt will never be repaid with real money.  There will have to be a *massive* series of infation events, to successfully effect the illusion of debt payoff.  The debt will be paid down with fake (almost worthless) dollars.

The folks in the real economy, and the small holders and average common people - like ourselves - are required to "live within our means".  We have to pay our bills, and earn some income to eat, and cover our selves with clothing and a roof.

But the political people can rape the Treasury, and extract all wealth from the public "fisc" (the public "purse"), and then puff up first millions, then billions, and now, many *TRILLIONS* of fake dollars to enrich themselves - as the small-holders and average common people are crushed with unpayable taxes.

I don't think it is really possible for the political fraudsters and the gangsters that operate as "Government" people, to grasp just how angry and frustrated many people are now, by the idiotic, corrupt and abusive stupid foolishness that we observe our political people engage in.

There is no discipline - no sanity, no common-sense or rational action at the level of the political gangster now.  There is just a vomit-stream of lies, deception, media disinformation and higher taxes that come from Governments now - and this is now combined with economic insanity that makes it painfully clear that a *massive* and extreme set of inflation events will have to be engineered, just in order to make it appear that accounts can be balanced.

And we truly are concerned that this extreme inflation that is being programmed into the system, will push a lot of indebted folks over the edge, into default and poverty - in a rapid and extreme manner that will surprise the heck out of many analysts.

This will happen because it always happens this way - it is the way of our history, and our economic history is cyclic, for so many obvious reasons.

Once the property-holders and self-financing business people start to feel as angry and as frustrated as the common poor folk feel, then the political gangsters will truly be at risk.

Our real concern - as simple analysts - is that the idiotic and out-of-control economic policy choices we see being made today, are absolutely pre-programming this angry, violent revolutionary breakdown scenario into the social/historical process.

The United States actually survived the 1930's quite well.  Everything stayed operational, and the Government ran lean, and even had a balanced budget in 1936-37.   Keynesian economists (mostly Keynes himself!) were critical of this - but it all worked.   America was stable, able to pay it's bills with real money, and because it was not in debt, was able to successfully finance the costs of World War Two.    Now, we have a crazy, angry, over-leveraged America, run by light-weights and liars, that will simply be unable to finance World War Three, if it has to. 

One can argue that World War Three is actually happening already.  But it is an Economic War now, and America is losing - and losing badly.

Consider:  You are $28.4 **THOUSAND BILLIONS** in debt, and your big plan to deal with this is:  Borrow another $4.5 THOUSAND BILLION and spend it on "social programs for poor people".     

Of course the Republicans have to vote against this madness.    But it won't stop the eventual march of economic reality.   The USA really looks to be programming itself for a major crash in prosperity, and that downshift risks a major downgrade to the entire global economy.  

When you hit the limit of borrowing on your VISA card, what action do you take?

Do you seriously spend all your effort, just trying to get another VISA card?

Or do you sit down, and craft a plan to try to bring your out-of-control spending under some sort of sustainable operational control?

We believe we are moving rapidly toward a major sea-change - an inflection point in history - where the current crop of political buffoons and fraudsters, will have to be removed by any means necessary, and replaced by prudent economic supervisors who will bring our systems back into some sort of rational balance and economically sustainable operation.

What is going on now, is just insane.   History makes it clear, it cannot last.

[ Sept. 28, 2021 ] - If You Read News, You Lose - The disinformation and nonsense that is promoted by most mainstream news media organs is not the result of any great conspiracy - it just comes from the awful nature of the digitial distribution process now.   In order to attract "clicks", the news must become more extreme and astonishingly awful, so that the most base-level human emotion switches are tripped, and you click on some awful story, just out of curiosity and low-level novelty-seeking behaviour.

https://www.businessinsider.co.za/afghanistan-female-judges-hunted-by-male-prisoners-taliban-freed-2021-9

You can read the horrible news - and yes, it is truly awful.  I hope the walking pieces of filth that call themselves "Democrat Lawmakers" in the USA are satisfied with their results.   What kind of a human would vote for a USA "Democrat"?  Someone obviously who hates democracy and justice, clearly.   Curious world.   But the news will not help you make any money.  And this is the key fact.  News is designed to shock and enrage and excite.   It has no human value, unless it is used to influence election results.

Newspapers learned this long years ago - it's why lurid headlines were invented - to sell newspapers.  And it's why the honest financially-oriented press had better journalism - for a while - since people in the serious business of making money, wanted to actually know what the truth was - and that meant real facts and numeric information,  not some reporter's rancid fartwind opinion about an event.

The whole internet has become a "yellow-journalism" exercise in lurid, awful clickbait, and shill-action to sell crap on Amazon and eBay.     The useful information is now behind the academic journal extreme-cost paywalls, as are virtually all attempts at factual journalism.

What's left is the worthless shit, the profoundly useless human "opinion", and the harmful dreck that makes use of modern neural-science results to mislead and misdirect.

We strongly recommend that you just turn in all off, and engage in other human activities, such as learning new skills.   Get some quality range time.  Do some air-work.  Learn how to repair the brakes on your own car, by replacing the brake-shoes (which are designed to wear out, in order to stop the car, so they need regular replacement.)   Learn a new language.   Build something you want from parts.  Buy a lathe and learn how to machine metal parts.   Use Linux machines instead of Windows or Apple computers - and learn all you need to make everything work smoothly.  (This is a big project - but it has high payoff.)   Run your web-browser with an ad-blocker.  Distrust all politicians and advertisements.  Learn any science you can, and then try to trust the science.   This will help you make money, and maybe also save your life.   Learn about probablity and the math behind gambling.   Be very careful speculating - but when you find a good trade, learn how to bet, and then bet big, if the numbers suggest it is indicated.

Really, learn about betting.   Only one method really works.  All the others will cause you to lose all your money, if you play the game too long.   This is *really* an important skill to learn, since all life is risk, and all life has elements of gambling that cannot be avoided.  Every human action is a gamble.

Most of all - study carefully what works, and what does not work.  Move towards what works well, and incorporate those things and that sort of approach and technology into your actions and choices, and remove that which does not work, from your choices and actions.   This is important.  Do it right, and you will have a nice, fun, fulfilling life.  Do it wrong, and your life will be misery, tragedy and pain.

Reading "news" offers no benefit, and actually is more likely to do harm.  You cannot make money from it, and in fact, the misdirection it implies, is very likely to cost you money.  If it causes bad decisions from incorrect analysis, due to distorted facts, it can really cause significant harm and financial loss.

If you consume and respond to "news", you will almost certainly "lose".   You will be motivated to sell when you should buy, and buy when you should sell.

You want to learn this, especially when you are young, and have a chance to get compound growth working for you, instead of having it work against you.

[ Sept. 27, 2021 ] - Still Long, Maybe Not Wrong? - Throughout all this foolishness, we have remained long, all-in, fully-invested. Seems to be working.  Oil has recovered, and the +75 and higher oil prices in USD, means Alberta is very Ok, as it's oil reserves and the heavy-oil extraction business is now profitable everywhere.   Should be positive for the CDN dollar.   

We see the national German Socialists, the SDP, (not to be confused with the NSDAP, the National Socialist German Worker's Party - which Stephan Dion's father did his PhD thesis on...) sort of won the election, maybe.  They got around 25 percent of the vote.  (Wtf? you say...)   The German voting is insane, and rigged so that no party has any chance of even forming a Canadian-style minority Government., let alone a majority.  This is perhaps a function of German history, since they know politics is a truly filthy and nasty-awful, high-risk thing that can bite a free person like a malaria-mosquito, and do such great harm.   

But the silly Euro-nonsense fake elections, with no party ever really elected, shows clearly why we have to retain the "first-past-the-post" rational, sane election model we have here, in North America.    I am *so* glad we don't live in Europe.  It's just broken there.   The Germans will not likely get a working coalition "government" operational until maybe Christmas.   It's a political model of political wanking, and it is stupid.  But maybe it keeps their government people from doing harm to the common people, so the Germans like it that way.   Their history suggests there might be some real wisdom in this approach.   Government is often the primary source of corruption, cost, and crime.

The absolute horror-show that Joe Biden inflicted on Afghanistan continues.   Real success had been achieved there, and the American betrayal of those who tried to make things better, continues, as Taliban gangsters carry out violent reprisals across the country.   We expect this astonishing American failure and defeat will continue to resonate for many years going forward.  

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-conflict-retribution-insi/the-taliban-vowed-no-revenge-one-afghan-family-tells-a-different-story-idUSKBN2GO0UG

It is hard to image how any sane and rational person could vote for a "Democrat" operative in the USA.   You would have to hate your own country, the cause of freedom, or be some kind of radical socialist government-paid type - perhaps an angry high-school teacher -  to vote for a "Democrat Party" operative in a USA election.   It is amazing that anyone could actually do this.  We cannot fathom why such foolishness is evident.  (Until we read the comments on social media, and realize just how low the average IQ-levels seem to have fallen...) 

We are hanging in ok.  Very strange times - booming in some sectors, dying in others.  My race car is working well, but my on-board biophysiology is running sub-optimal.  (If I get Covid, I am dead fast, probably..)  

The AI indicated a slight positive bias, and this, combined with the attractive dividend rates, induces us to remain long.  Minor positions are being added to in a small way.   

I was looking at "Dirt", at Tim Cook's new house in Madison Club Properties in La Quinta, Californistan.   It's very nice.  I like the roof-line.  And I like the infinity pool and backdrop view.  Have to say, I think he made a wise choice.  Nice locale, good security, nice no-colour scheme decor.   Nice use of glass, and well-integrated into the cantilever design.   It's inland and far south (had to google the location - pas mal...)  

I keep wondering - can you get a proper, true idea of what the distribution of a variate looks like, by examing it's past behaviour, or do you have to have some structural, internal physio-technical details about how the variate's driving model maps it's actions into reality?   Like, if there is some goofy little parameter that drives the variate to one domain-space always, then if you look at just past behaviour, you will be completely fooled and misled, unless you can find that hidden parameter, and figure out it's influence. 

One day, the little hidden parameter is not present, and the variate now operates and exhibits *completely* different behaviour, and this means maybe *all* the past observations are completely worthless at predicting the behavioural probabilities, of the variate's motion.  It's a completely new thing you are seeing, now that the tiny little hidden parameter is set to a different value.

See, it's possible all predictive statistics is - to a certain degree - always wrong and worthless, unless you can determine the driving parameters of the underlying processes are in motion  such that you have seen a reasonable dispertion of possible values, as one drives thru time.  

There really may be these binary or trinary drivers, that only toggle once every 100 years or so, and that when they toggle, they completely change everything - the system is driven completely differently, so differently that 100 years of careful observation, is basically worthless, if your objective is to get a sense of what the system might do tomorrow, or at any t+d, where "d" is the number of time periods ahead you are looking.

I have a sneaky suspicion we are seeing something like this now.  (It's hard to type, with my wrist-brace on...  I keep hitting the space-bar in mid-word...)

And I am certain now, that almost all of the political people everywhere, do not have really any idea what they should do, going forward, and even not much idea what they are actually doing right now.   

But I think some of these hidden parameters we see only once every 100 years or so, are either changing, have changed, or are about to change in the very near future.  It's not "Global Warming" we need to fear, it is "Global Acceleration of Unknowns" that is looming up out of the fog of Info-war we are now so deeply embedded within. 

I screened "Day of the Triffids" two nights ago.    It reminded me of Myanmar and Afghanistan.  We don't need to invent monster walking-plants...  The Taliban and the other militarist lunatics and their gangster-armies of very bad men - like in Belarus, for example - are the evil, walking, world-killing monsters we see.   We have them everywhere now, don't we.   And sea-water will not disolve them.  

[ Sept. 25, 2021 ] - Meng Freed from House Arrest, Released, Returns to China - US "Justice" Department Eats It - If our group ever gains power in this country, I will work hard to prevent any more abusive, illegal "US Justice Department" airport-arrests taking place for any reason, ever, in our Nation.   If you don't break Canadian law, then you don't get detained by our police.  End of Discussion.  We will *no longer* assist corrupt, dishonest American political organs in their abusive political vendettas.   The "US Justice Department" is a perfect contradiction in terms. 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-huawei/china-welcomes-huawei-executive-home-but-silent-on-freed-canadians-idUSKBN2GL08F

The *Airport Arrest* of Meng Wanzhou was an obscentity and in our opinion, completely illegal.   Trudeau simply made a major error.  We have no direct knowledge of what happened to induce the resolution of this idiotic situation, but if Meng wants to live in Vancouver, she is free to do so. 

Canada is her home, if she wants it to be.   The US Justice Department has appeared to be *profoundly* corrupt and dishonest.  The arrest of Meng was an abuse of justice, and should not have taken place, regardless of what your opinion is on the Communist Government of China.   I suspect Trudeau, upon his re-election, probably called Joe Bye-Done in his white house, and indicated he was going to execute an "order-in-council" to order all charges against her stayed, and for her to be immediately released, and the USA Justice Department could suck rocks in hell.   Or, the polipuppets at the "Justice Department" could drop the bogus charges.  Choose the path you want to take, old boy.  If Trudeau did that, then good for him.  It's what I would have done, in a NewYork heartbeat. 

The USA is corrupt and broken now, and we must not allow ourselves to be dragged further in the tragic brown, stinking vortex of American failure and abusive dishonesty.    Washington seems like it's being run as some Third-world "Sh/t-hole" - to use the previous President's terminology.

Regardless of what one thinks about the Chinese or the Huawei Corporation, the arrest and detention of Meng Wanzhou was politically motivated abusive American bullsh/t.   And the USA people who actually believe in rule-of-law, and the ancient legal concepts that define the Western Cultural matrix, should be deeply ashamed of working for the corrupted, organ-of-abuse that the US Justice Department has sadly become. 

I don't like Xi or the Communists - but the Chinese showed more balls and brains that the cowardly, monkeyboys at the US Justice Department.    We are living in a crazy, upside-down Bizarro World now.   The Iranians must be laughing their backsides off.

If it was Trudeau who read the Riot Act to that old fellow in the little white house, then good for Trudeau.   I don't like Trudeau either - but the idiotic and profoundly illegal arrest and detention of Meng Wanzhou was wrong on so many levels, that is degrades us all here in North America. 

We talk of rule-of-law, and good-governance, and then we allowed some ugly, stupid, illegal shit like that *airport arrest* to happen.   It was just so completely wrong.

At the VERY least, we must amend any treaty-obligations we have with United States of America, so that stupid, illegal shit like this, can never happen here again. 

If you have not broken Canadian law, then there must be no way that American political jackboot thuggery can be directed against you here in this nation - especially by armed police operatives.  Stupid, corrupt, political abusive shit like this must NEVER happen here again.  Our laws and the constitutions of all our democratic polical parties must be altered to reflect this.   This is the kind of butt-evil, third-world crap that nasty corrupt nations, run by Hitler-clones (like Belarus, for example) engage in.    We must ensure it never happens here again.

[ Sept. 24, 2021 ] - Map Your Property. Your Property Protects You- In order to avoid small and large scale wars, rational civilized humans have created private property and nation-states.   Nation States are a necessary evil, and clear private property maps and indications, are the things that keep people from fighting over land boundary disputes. 

Private land ownership is wonderful, as it allows one to hypothecate the property (raise money by posting one's real estate holdings as collateral).  The history of human civilization, can be traced by the history of how mapping and survey-action of existing property holdings has been carried out.  Without clear private property, there can be no operational civilization - only constant tribal conflict and fighting.   Property maps - land registry legal documents - both begin and define civilization.

Interesting examples of this exist.   One of the earliest in Europe, is from pre-history in Italy - the Bedolina Petroglyphs.  It is obvious to even the most casual observer, that these markings represent fields, roads, houses, and this rock carving was almost certainly made to record land holdings.  This petroglyph (rock carving of images), was the first Land Registry Office.  Here is a line-drawing of it:

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mihael-Budja/publication/291568125/figure/fig3/AS:650451125018627@1532091041660/Bedolina-petroglyph-topographic-map-after-Turconi-1998Fig-1.png

Ancient Babylonian records of land-ownership also exist, and were recorded on baked clay disks.  A wonderful example exists in the Archeological Museum in Istanbul, Turkey.  It was found by the famous researcher, Vincent Scheil.  Here is link to image:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_cadastre_text_written_in_Akkadian._Terracotta_tablet._18th_century_BCE._From_Sippar,_Iraq._Ancient_Orient_Museum,_Istanbul.jpg

Technical information about this find, is here, in a UCLA catalogue:

https://cdli.ucla.edu/search/search_results.php?SearchMode=Text&ObjectID=P128359

Other early Land Registry information:

An academic thesis was written, on what we know about the history of ancient Roman Land Surveyor actions - both from a practical perspective (how it was done), and a why it was important and necessary to the smooth operation of the Roman State:

https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1317548/

The above thesis can be downloaded completely, as a .PDF file.  Boundary disputes were as common in the ancient Roman state as they are now.  When I purchased my farm, my detailed review of the history of the land, showed that the property markers had been moved!  Survey work was done to correct this (common) abuse - by persons unknown.   When I had the property at my Northern Lake shoreline surveyed (at significant expense), it was determined that my neighbour had encroached, and built a small structure on my side of the property line.  Again, this is a very common occurance.   The encroachment was minor - but it was noted and discovered by a proper survey - which of course all land-owners need to do.

And of course, the wonderful thing about proper private-property land tenure, is that one basically has "money in the bank" if one owns one's property, free-and-clear, without a mortgage registered against the title.   If you need money, you can mortgage it to raise funds.

And the value of the property can improve, even if one does nothing.  The property value is expressed in currency units which will automatically adjust for monetary inflation.   Your land may not change, but it's dollar-value will increase if the economic value of your national "money" is deprecated and degraded by all the standard financial and governmental trickery that Kings and Governments have used throughout history.    And they *always* do this.

Currency debasement is virtually guaranteed to take place - and over a human lifetime, it can amount to almost complete confiscation of all private wealth, if private individuals do not take action to protect themselves.  Buying real property is a way to protect one's wealth from the ugly assault of inflation.

Land and houses can still fall in value.  Houses and buildings need maintenance, and land value can change.  But land remains a good hedge against ongoing inflationary pressures.

And we suspect those pressures will increase, as rates rise, since rising rates will imply rising costs to all those who are in debt, which is of course, a large portion of all national and global economic agents and entities.

[ Sept. 23, 2021 ] - The Crisis of the American "Democrats"  - The more it goes on, the more completely crazy it gets.   FD: We remain, all-in, fully invested, long up to our eyebrows, but with essentially no leverage in use.   The AI forecast has turned slightly negative (with the DJIA off over 1000 points, it basically had to), but it was only a slight downward pointing indication, so we held.  Today, the markets are up like a successful SpaceX launch - quite an intense upmove, given that the Fed in USAland has indicated the taper is to begin.   (And rather like the EverGrande scare, this has had no real effect.)

What concerns us, is the Madness of King Joe.   Unlike other supposed "mad" Kings, the USA's King Joe, looks like he might be actually and truly suffering from senile dementia.   And the truly hilarious part of this dystopian horrorshow, is that his Democrat Political Party rather wants it to be this way, since they are made up of lunatic Leftists, who are actively (and I am serious here) - actively - trying to destroy the existing economic and political models and systems of the USA.

Sure - we all want change - but the Democrats want to hold power, and they know they will not be elected if things are going well and fine, and the poor are getting jobs, and starting to discover how much actual tax they have to pay everywhere.  Once that happens, they start to think and vote like property-owners, and the Democrats lose and the Republicans win.

It does not take a giant brain to figure out that the Democrats want to keep America on its knees, defeated, and in crisis.   The "crisis-of-the-day" - and the Government Action Plans that can be created because of  the today's "Crisis" - are what keep corrupt and deeply dishonest Leftists (like that pussy-grabbing Gov-guy, Mario C. of NY State...) in power.

The Democrats truly *need* to damage and degrade America, in order to maintain their hold on power.   They represent the very worst kind of political figures - and what is interesting, from a historical perspective - is that this is nothing new.  These kinds of people have *always* existed, and they always will.  The deeply dishonest political opportunist, is the most common creature in the halls of power, and sitting in the seats in the legislature.

Good people rarely go into politics.  This is just the sad truth of things.   You only get the good guys in power, during wartime, or times of extreme national emergency.   But the USA Democrats (and the Liberals in Canada, their ugly little dwarf clones), know that there is so much to gain from a good, solid "crisis", that they are certain to fabricate them, if they can do so.

So the times, they are very strange and nasty.   And we predict, they will get worse.

But what we also predict, is that the markets will probably lurch upward, for quite a piece further.  There are solid reasons for this.  

Here is one:

Return on Capital:   This insane zero-interest rate thing, is not the best way to offer an economic stimulus.  It only works for capital-flush, big-holders.   All small-holders and traditional businesses are not capital-flush.  They are typically capital-starved.  Zero rates of interest do not offer any benefit, since they are not able to obtain any financing, at any rate.

But once interest rates move up, then the system can work again - we can crawl out of the Keynsian 'liquidity trap", and the investment process can start to operate correctly again.  If capital can generate an honest return, then opportunities open for all economic agents.

The market has moved up - on the Fed taper plans - because positive real rates, means a return to positive real rates of return on capital.   This will benefit every capital-holder - even the very small holders of capital, who have had to stretch into high-risk investments, in order to try to preserve capital, and also eat.

Few economists understand this, since most are over-paid salarymen at banks, or wildly overpaid academic hacks at University Depts, or (worst of all), super-crazy-overpaid chatterbots working for Government Agencies  (their output is talk only).   They are all so fucking disconnected from actually doing real business, that it is just comical.   They have - honestly - no interest in, and no knowledge of - the actual mechanics of doing business, in a self-financing environment.

I do not mean to be critical - good for them, they are happy.  But they have no fucking clue about business and commerce.  It is really interesting, just how "business clueless" they are.    The "Economics Profession" is basically a comedy-show of academics and Government workers, who argue about stuff that is just about all wrong.  Their models are like what the German Central Bank, used in 1920 - wildly and comically wrong, to the point of madness.

But so are the political systems.    And there is nothing we can do to fix it.  All we can do, is to note it, understand it enough to make some successful Keynes-style good investments, buy some nice property and some fast cars, and then grow old and die.    Nothing else is really possible.   Any change will make the systems much worse.  History teaches this.

The political pendulum swings between Too-Much-Abusive-Government, and Idiots-in-Charge-Government.   In both case, bad economics gets practiced, and people find their money stolen by taxes, and their freedom and opportunity stolen by men (and women now!) in jackboots.

There is nothing that the little guy can do.  Except try to predict the future, and make bets upon it.  It's a silly game, but it does have benefits, even if they are small (and stolen, if one is not careful).

We suspect that rising interest rates, will correlate with rising real rates of return on capital.  And this will both enhance profitability in the business sector, and drive upward moving equity prices, if the equities actually do represent real ownership "chits" on the business entities.   For that reality to exist, the stocks have to be fair certificates of ownership, and crooked bastards have a hundred and one ways to make the stock certificates turn into other things - like worthless paper.  And now, not even that, right?  

Honourable companies, which are making real products, or offering real and valuable services, will probably do quite well, in the next little while, since rising rates of return on capital are a very good thing.  

We expect the banks - if they are honest and well managed - should continue to do well.  The danger they face, is from corrupt and dishonest politicians, who will try to steal their profits with tax-scams and new crooked tax tricks of various types.  That is the major risks banks face now - the deeply dishonest Leftist political people who would tax-assault them, to fund bogus schemes that will enrich their fellow Leftists.  (Cough, cough, climate cough cough change...)

Our political environments are a vipers nest of corrupt fraudsters, bent on enriching themselves, at the same time as they create the "rolling crisis economy" that causes enough poor people to be generated, so that the dishonest Leftists can hold power, and keep the gravy-train running at full speed.

It's an ugly world - but it is at least rather painfully easy to understand.   :/

[ Sept. 22, 2021 ] - Biden Is Insane? - In a nation where "lockdowns" were used to attempt to control the Covid-19 lethal pandemic, this Biden character has thrown open the Southern US border, now to Haitian "migrants".

Literally thousands of Covid-19 infected "migrants" are being allowed to enter the USA, and only a few plane-loads of these people have been returned to Haiti - mostly as a fake, political gesture to make it appear some action is being taken.   Almost all are being released into USA.

Biden and the curious "Democrat" members of his political cabal, look to be simply insane - actively attempting to assault and degrade the operational integrity of America.   It is a curious and surprising situation.

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/border-haitian-migrants-camp/2021/09/22/id/1037447/

https://nypost.com/2021/09/21/bidens-asylum-policies-for-migrants-at-the-border-are-insane/

The US mainstream media are mostly not even covering the astonishing human assault at the US southern border.  The above photographs are mostly from a South African news site.

The strange political stonewalling in the "White House" continues, with Boris Johnson visiting America, and discovering that the "trained monkey-people" from the US Press do not even ask questions, as Biden does not take questions - perhaps since his "handlers" have told him not to. This is not the case in the UK, of course.

The whole Biden fiasco is looking like a perfect nightmare of lunatic foolishness.  You have these agressive pandemic "lockdowns" like Whitmer applied in MIchigan - and then you throw open the southern border of your nation to tens of thousands of Covid-19 infected Haitians, and let them stay in the USA - where-ever they want to (almost all Haitian "migrants" have been released. Only a couple of plane-loads were actually flown back to Haiti - for publicity purposes).

Biden's administration appears dysfunctional.   And 26 American State Governors have asked for a meeting with this strange fellow, to try to bring some sanity (and an actually *border*!) back to America's largest potential viral pandemic influx.     So far, these Republican Governors have been dismissed by the Bidenistas.   It's a bizzare set of events - and it puts both USA and Canada at unnecessary risk.

https://www.nationandstate.com/2021/09/20/26-governors-seek-meeting-with-biden-over-border-surge/

There have been between 1 million and 2 million "migrants" enter the USA, at the southern border, since Joe Biden became "President" of the USA.  No accurate count even exists, as these people are all illegal, and have virtually all been *released* into the USA, and are able to travel anywhere they wish.

This is just crazy-insane.   We've had massive Covid-19 lockdowns here and in Northern USA - but an almost open and dysfunctional "fake-shit" border in the USA's southern reach.

This is madness.

We wonder how much longer Americans will tolerate having this strange, dysfunctional government operating in Washington?

One of the wise ideas that the USA founders had, was an actual limit on debt-funded government spending, at their Federal level.   The Democrats are now trying to explicitly destroy this, with very dangerous and unwise legistation.    This assault on American integrity is much less newsworthy than the horror-show at the southern border.   But it is possibly even more dangerous.

American political people cannot be fully trusted with unlimited access to "taxpayer" funds - and the wise folks who designed the American political system, knew this.  The Romans also knew it, and every nation experiences the problems of corrupt and dishonest political persons, filling their pockets with funds looted from the public Treasury.

The limits on debt financing are a good and sensible idea - the limits offer some protection of the people's wealth.  But the Democrats want to implement their *spending plans* - even if it puts the financial and economic integrity of America at real risk.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-house-vote-tuesday-fund-govt-through-dec-3-raise-debt-limit-2021-09-21/

The entire "Democrat" administration is looking like an insane collection of irresponsible child-adults, who seem to be determined to damage America, and degrade American integrity.

We wonder how much longer Americans will put up with the destructive nonsense being carried out by the "Democrat" politicians in Washington.  It just looks insane.

The USA "Democrats" are showing the World, what happens when you scale "fake-shit".

They are using the "climate change" scheme, to attempt to force through much higher taxes, and actively implement destructive social and economic policies that will actively damage America, and limit future economic opportunity.

It really looks quite insane.   And maybe it actually is.

[ Sept. 21, 2021 ] - Fake Shit - This is an interesting phrase to "Google" or "DuckDuckGo" Search.   In the world of the markets, one learns very quickly, that a *lot* of what one sees and hears (especially from "experts") can best be characterized as: "fake shit".

I have a particular, and long, on-going interest, in charts that show "fake shit".   Here is a very good example, which I found. 

https://narrowboater.blogspot.com/2019/11/fake-shit.html

We remain *extremely* skeptical of the great "Climate Change" - or "Global Warming" political assertion.   This is because we see no evidence for it, in our part of the world.  Maybe it is really happening, but we absolutely do not now, and never have seen, anything that cannot be *better and best* explained by standard, average, normal statistical variation in weather patterns - which we have *actively* observed for over 50 years. 

Our weather here swings thru extremes - but these are no different than they were, 50 years ago.  Back in the 1970's, a string of cold winters got people talking about "the new Ice Age which may be coming".   Now, the political bleat is about "global warming" and the "risk of rising sea levels" - which are simply not happening.  You have to fake the data, to get rising sea-level observations.  The Greenland ice cap is *not* melting - sure it might - but so far, it is not.    Go look at those faked "NASA" temperature charts again.    The people who want you to accept the lie of "Climate Change" have to fake the data to make it appear to be happening.   This is the real inconvenient truth.

The whole "Climate Change" thing looks like it might be just a political fraud, designed primarily for force-through tax increases in over-leveraged Western nations, with economic operational models that are running with dangerously high debt levels.   Everyone is margined to everyone else.  This makes for a fragile dynamic system, which is prone to pro-cyclic oscillation (ie. increasing levels of boom / bust undamped swing.)  We are seeing this already in commodity prices. 

Personally, we don't take a position on this.  If the "Climate Change" scheme will make it easier to build new nuclear fission reactors, then that is great.  Bring on the big Climate-Change Bandwagon, and we can all climb up on it and shout "raw-raw-whoo-whee!"   But the $1.40/litre per price of gasoline (4.3 litres per gallon, so roughly $6 per gallon fuel cost!), is nasty bullshit, since petrol is already taxed at more than 70% for road-repair costs.    The "Climate-Change" political nonsense just lets the fraudsters apply more bogus taxation, to what is already an abusive and brutal taxation model, which kicks the stuffing out of small-holders out in the countryside.

The average person should grasp just how much "fake shit" dominates the worlds of politics, religion, and now even science itself.  What makes free-market economics interesting, and attractive, is that we at least have economic agents who make it their business to expose and shine the light of truth, onto the nests of fraud and deception can pollute market operation.

Under Communists or Nazi's or ISIS or the Taliban terrorists - there are no "whistleblowers" - just dead guys, lying face down in their own blood-stains.

Everyone needs to learn just how widespread "fake shit" is.   It is particularly problematic when it enters into science.  Science absolutely mandates and requires skeptical folks who shout "Bullshit!" when they detect a fraud.    When the voices of the skeptical scientists are silenced - by the dishonest "Cancel Culture" that is spreading like a lethal virus through the Western cultural matrix - everyone is put at risk.   And we will all eat the costs of this sad scheme.

[ Sept. 20, 2021 ] - Ugly Day, Ugly Times - Does just not seem to be any way around this.   One more hard data-element, which shows the utter worthlessness of "news" and "news feeds".    Those of us quiet types, who seek to have rational, viable investment strategies - are again just proven "wrong for being long"...  My cynical "inner trader" (kind of the equivalent of the xkcd character in the black hat), saw this coming, with the Afghan failure plus the Covid Delta variant, and the sad fact that the Americans are deciding on booster shots (which the science strongly supports), using political, FDA committee decision-making.  (Mgmt Theory:  Why use a committee for decisions?   To make "share the blame" happen, so when you make really bad decisions, they do not stick to individual people.)

Some folks are reporting the meltdown today is being triggered by the "Evergrande" collapse.  We felt that sh/t-show had to be priced in already, since China "real-estate" is already so bogus.  In China, all land is "owned" by the Communists, who are like the fraudsters of North Korea - a gangster group that holds power thru terror, social abuse, and the threat (and reality!) of prison for anyone who opposes the Communists gangsters.   "Real Estate" as an investment class does not actually exist in China, the only thing that exists are these absurd 70-year lease arrangements.  The whole model is a joke, and I am astonished that any sane person takes it seriously for even two seconds.  Look at the details of "mainland" China "real-estate", and it is simply bogus.   It's all fake, sadly.    The "Evergrande" collapse is just reflecting that reality, we suspect.

And of course now that Xi's gang are attacking their own technology companies, it looks like it might be game-over, for the whole  "China miracle" growth-plan.  That Xi character seriously looks like he wants to turn China into North Korea.  I wonder how much longer he gets to play-up his "cult of personality", before some Chinese operative puts a bullet in the back of his head?    Without a functioning democracy, and no elections to allow for course-correction, this is pretty much the only way that a very bad leader in China can be removed.  

But anyone who would invest in mainland "Chinese Real Estate", given the Communist land-ownership of the place, has to be clinically insane.  So we just cannot see how the Evergrande collapse is anything other than market sanity returning.  

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-58579833

The problems here, are of our own making.  Our political people seem determined to kill the wise and working part of Western Culture, with their astonishing frauds and failures.   This is curious and tragic.   We here, constantly have needed to be re-calibrating for the rolling "WCSs" - the "worst-case scenarios" -  on a regular basis. 

The Biden White House is an astonishing, impressive sh/t-show of disaster and failure.   A clever fellow has characterized it as: "The Great Unraveling".   The market says he is right.  No way around this fact.

https://spectatorworld.com/topic/great-unraveling-biden-administration

[ Sept. 17, 2021 ] - Technicals - I always wanted a "technical"  (a Libyan pickup truck, with the "Rat Patrol" modification...).  My "inner trader" wants to trade using technical analysis (to make money), and I have to surpress both desires, to make money consitantly.   So, I hack with  the NorthStar Z-80 board instead.  :)

Also, have to fix a dock.  (A real one - underwater - and I am not looking forward to the experience...) 

[ Sept. 16, 2021 ] - Our AI is Working.  The Human is Not Running Well... - We have to determine a better method to connect the AI to the decision mechanism for execution of indications determined.  The Human is not running very well.  Seems to be regularly going on and off-line, in unpredictable manner.   Reading XKCD comix seems to be prescription to deal with seriously degraded performance characteristics fo the Human.

Note to XKCD:  Helicopter is not same as "Flying Car".  Car-driving is trivial easy, can be learned as soon as legs grow long enough so that feet can touch car-pedals.   Helicopters (and non-hovering aircraft) actually require some formal training to avoid crashing and unwise premature death.  The basic idea of "flying car" is to offer user-interface that allows similar ease-of-operation as is the case now with current automobiles.  (One is adding just one more dimension - how hard can it be?   Get in a helicopter, and try to drive it without instructions.  Almost certain that test-subject will break the helicopter.   We have direct experience with this exact experiment, except we understand the researchers rapidly exhusted their supply of available helicopters.  )

The future has turned out to be just as difficult and error-prone (perhaps more so), than the past.  (big sigh...).  

AI Note;  Human claims to be experiencing degraded performance, due to little-understood error condition, termed: ennui.    Based on previous datasets, our recommendation is some range-time, with the *MX-Experimental*, operational parameters toggled: "mode = auto".    This has been shown to  address past performance issues of this sort.  (Reference Dataset:  "All_work_no_play_makes_Jack_dull_boy.dat")

[ Sept. 15, 2021 ] - Plagues, Terrorists, Central Bankers & Kagemusha - The Taliban has taken $12.5 million in cash and gold from the homes of senior Afghan government officials, and they have also executed the brother a former senior Afghan government official - probably because he was the only guy they could get hold of.  The Taliban are terrorist gangsters.   Afghanistan is lost.  All we can do, is hold the funerals now.

Truly, anyone or any organization who assists or aids the Taliban, or offers them economic assistance,  is - without question - guilty of aiding and assisting terrorists, and hence is a proven criminal under Western-world anti-terrorism and anti-money-laundering laws.  The Taliban are systematically going around and killing singers and people who play music.  The Taliban are simply evil, and their grotesque brand of religious-fascism needs to be purged from this world.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58583217

If we were god-believers, we would characterize the Taliban as the proven "Spawn of Satan".  But we are not, so we simply assert that the Taliban make the historical Nazis look like fine honorable gentlemen (which they certainly were not).  But we must make it clear, this planet cannot and must not tolerate human vermin like the Taliban, living on it.  The world will have to gear up, and deal with this Taliban threat, the same way it dealt with German Fascism and Japanese abusive militarism in the 1940's.   Carpet bombing all Taliban districts with all manner of weapons and devices of all technical characteristics, is probably indicated.  The Taliban need to be made to become extinct.  No negotiation with creatures of this sort is possible or should occur. 

Any individuals or organizations that offer aid or assistance to Taliban Afghanistan entities, are at extreme risk of arrest as criminal agents actively assisting terrorists.   And if the authorities do not act to make the arrests, private citizens may well find it necessary and appropriate to do so.  The anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering laws are *very* clear on this.   The Taliban are terrorists, and must not be offered any financial or military assistance of any kind. 

Just because America failed, it does not mean that the rest of the world has to also fail.  The Taliban need to be erased, with or without American involvement.  We wonder how long it will take for all rational humans to reach this conclusion.   Anyone or any entity that assists them is terrorist and criminal, and must not be tolerated.

Lack of honesty and political fraud seem to be the norm now, almost everywhere.  The impressive Lie Machines of Washington are running hard and fast now to use the Covid plague to enhance abusive restrictions on US citizens.  We urge everyone to get vaccinated, since the science supports this obvious and effective personal defensive measure - but it is interesting to see the politics play as it is.  "Never waste the opportunity for enrichment and entrenchment, that a crisis provides!" is an old, local Liberal political mantra - and it is playing out at warp speed now, in North America. 

In the East, the landscape is turning into a Kurosawa drama (a jidaigeki...)  - except it is now being played out with ballistic and cruise missles, and nuclear brinksmanship.  It is hilarious, but risks becoming crazy dangerous, very quickly.   The new Kim Jong-Un is a fake.  You don't even need an AI to tell you this.

It seems General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the USA, will have to fall on his sword, like a good Roman, to protect his corrupt and incompetent Commander-in-Chief Joe Biden.  Maybe old man "Bye-Done" really did win those votes in that very curious Presidential election - it matters little now.   We are in the poo, either way.

It looks like - with the targeted assistance of the fraud-flingers at the Washington "Democrat" press-club, poor old honourable General Milley will have to take the fall for the defeat and debacle in Afghanistan, even though the mess was architected by his political bosses.  

It's probabaly the greatest and most tragic American defeat and failure in the USA's history.   The fiasco in Afghanistan makes the Vietnam War look almost like a success.  Vietnam was lost to Communist forces, but most of the rest of American-supported far-East Asia remained free and Democratic.    The stark difference between North and South Korea - with it's "Berlin Wall" between the failed-State of the North, mired in starvation & economic stagnation, and the wealthy, free, successful South Korean nation - provides the World with the clear picture it needs to see the failure of the Communist-neoFascist model.

North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, Version 1.0, has almost certainly died.  They have replaced him with a "kagemusha", a fake "body double", who smiles, and looks maybe 10 years younger.  We have no positive proof of this, except that the face of the new guy, does not match the face of the old guy.  The new Kim Jong-Un, Version 2.0, looks so much different, that one does not need an AI image-analyzer, to spot the differences.  

So, the political nonsense of this current epoch is becoming just plain hilarious.  Suga, the lame-duck Japan leader, says the North Korean latest ballistic and cruise missle tests are "outrageous..."  blah blah blah.  Lots of talk, no action.  Typical Japanese.   I really miss the old warrior spirt of their ancient culture.  The World needs  - would really benefit from - a strong, nuclear-armed Japan.    A weak Japan, full of those a$$hole Leftists like what dominated the English political landscape back in the 1930's, will encourage the Chinese to behave badly, and may result in another occupied and/or destroyed Japan.  Not a good outcome for Western World folks, and really bad for the Nihonjin (Japanese people).

We've seen all these movies in the historical record before.  We know what will happen.  All the imbalanced situations find a way to move back into some sort of balance.  It is just nature's way. 

But the North Korea "Kagemusha" thing - that is just wild and weird.   Not all Asians are smiling-fool stupid, the way they are made to appear in political propaganda material.   A healthy nation distrusts and keeps a close check on it's leaders, since they are, of course, the greatest source of danger, madness and instability.  

But crazy Asian "Kagemusha" stuff - you only do that so you can maintain a harsh war-footing, and to keep the people bamboozled and misled.    The "Cult-of-the-King" needs to be replaced with the scientific value of honest democratic methods.  We have - just barely - managed to do this in the west.   And they have - sort of - learned this in Japan.  They have truly learned it in Taiwan, and if China survives without civil-war, it will be an honest, Taiwanese-style democracy that eventually runs and manages China.    We just hope it does not take World War Three to make this needed transition take place.

The World is at an interesting and significant inflection point.    Global economic growth - because of the Covid-19 "ranking-full-stop", looks to be over 5% next year.  This is a very big number, and may save us all.

https://www.thenationalnews.com/business/2021/09/15/global-economy-to-expand-53-in-2021-at-fastest-pace-in-50-years-unctad-says/

This is a good thing, and it would be fine and good if the insane, disaster nations of the World, like North Korea and Afghanistan, which do not have honest, sane, functioning governments, could simply be isolated and prevented from doing any more damage to planetary political and economic stability.

Perhaps a sustained carpet-bombing from orbit, using low-radiation-yield fusion devices?  

Hey, just kidding!   (but, if one thinks about it for a minute... hmmmm... )   :D

[ Sept. 14, 2021 ] - What Works & What Fails.- The world, life, politics, business and warfare - all tend to bifurcate into these two great sets.  But what we find, of course, is that the later one, the "class of ideas and devices and methods that fail, and do not work as desired or intended" are a much bigger class of things, than the former.  This seems to be the most significant trend we now see.  Call it - "hypercrapification" perhaps? 

We seem to be be meeting with curious difficulties at every level in every area lately.  It is pretty comical.   Just about everything seems to be much more complex, expensive and difficult, than it was only a few years back.   Perhaps it is simple population pressure.   The roads and cities and urban services are more crowded, and the formalism and associated bureaucracy seems to have been dialed up everywhere, to ten or 20 times what it was only 10 years ago.

Costs seem to be rising at geometric rates, at the same time as opportunities seem to be imploding.  Models and methods that worked, are no longer working, and opportunities for small, independent economic agents seem to be suddenly disappearing.

Costs related to Covid-19 are part of this, but there are other factors also at work.  Thru our electronic linkages with the world - iPhones, internet-access, etc, we seem to be getting routinely hit with frauds and scams.   Text messages on the iPhones and Android devices are particularly bad, as is email.  It used to be a useful way to communicate.  Now, it is just another "risk-hole" where problems and threats can enter. 

Of course, life has always been like this.   It's always difficult to do anything good and fine, and even harder to get paid for it!   But these days, it seems to have become functionally impossible, which is very curious.   There seems to be recently, a curious lack of economic opportunites.  This is surprising, and it does not seem to be related to Covid.    I have a sense that it might be a more classical "diminishing marginal returns" scenario, interacting with the low-return on capital that is evident in the financial markets.   

Interest rates seem to be falling again, as commodity prices rise (Atlanta Airport bonds are being offered at only 50 or less basis points above maturity-equivalent Treasury paper, and oil prices are back above $70 per barrel.)   There seem to be shortages of the stuff one needs - but lots of crap on offer that no one wants or cannot afford to buy.   And very soon, the much higher housing prices are going to be reflected in economy-wide tax increases, as property-tax rates will be ramped upwards to reflect the new, much higher valuations that prevail in sub-urban areas.

The markets are also richly valued.   In the technology space, only a few major players seem to have captured most of the benefits of the mass-adoption of brain-numbing always-on video players, iPhones and Android devices.

We get a sense we might be seeing a "sea change"...

[ Sept. 13, 2021 ] - Naomi Wu, Sexy Cybergirl & STEM Promoter / Maker / Ethical Hacker - Ok, I am not sure if Naomi Wu is an "Ethical Hacker" - I just came up with that as I was keying this.  I think it might be the highest-status characteristic I can apply to someone - kinda like what a "PhD" is in the world of formal academia (which I and my friends & associates are *not* part of) - so it seemed appropriate.  

Naomi Wu has *very* large breasts.  I was a bit surprised, when I watched her first video, which was actually about the Makerbox Laser cutter.  (I want one.)  Based on my own experiments with home-made lasers, and my recent visit to a production shop, which has a *very* large Turkish-made, industrial laser which is used to cut large sheets of metal (amazing, impressive device), I just want a laser cutter.  But I want to use it to cut metal (aluminum), for various fabrication purposes.  The smaller laser-cutters will cut plastic and wood, and can be used for marking surfaces on cardboard sheets.   Perhaps a plasma cutter is what I need...

Anyway, here is the link to Naomi Wu's archive (probably mostly from Youtube postings.) 

https://archive.org/details/naomiwuarchive

Why am I so impressed with Naomi Wu?  Here is why:   She *gets* being female and being a science/technology analyst & business person.   That is quite a combinationm, and this is interesting..    Boys and girls are really different - much more different than most humans realize.   But both can be very good and engineering, if they choose to be.

Naomi Wu is a science & engineering promoter and Youtube-broadcaster.   She also speaks excellent, carefully thought out, very articulate English.   Despite being a Chinese resident, and probably born in China, (she has a slight accent), her command of English is absolutely first-rate.

Best Video:  "See my Boob!"   (which is pretty funny, because it is a discussion of her implants.)  And - the very best thing from the video - is this quote:

"Risk is math."  -  Naomi Wu

Now, that is impressive.  That is exactly correct.   All life, all human action, involves risk.  To attempt to craft a life that is free from risk, is absurd, and logically and practically impossible.  It is also a very bad idea, for some very obvious (and not obvious) reasons.  The best way to deal with risk, is to quantify it, and manage it.  Problem solved.  But remember, the risk is real.  

We left the City, not because of what we feared, but because of what I felt we could embrace.  What I do with the property development work, and farm management is risky - tree-cutting with a chainsaw, land clearance and forest and field management with big Kubota tractor with front-end loader bucket, building projects, repairs and upgrades, etc.)  All these tasks are much more physically risky than life in a City.  The difference of course, is that I have *much* more control over the parameters of the various risks.  In the City, in a condominium, almost all decisions are removed from the individual.  That I do not like.  It makes for a dull, boring, no-progress kind of life. 

An interesting life, involves risk, and it involves design and developement and experimentation and science and math and engineering.   It just does.   And that world is not just an exclusive male world.  It is open to females also - even ones with impossibly large breasts, who look like anime fantasy chicks!   I think this is Naomi Wu's pure genius.

And for the very well done "See my boob!" video (not porn, actually a fine, well articulated discussion of risks and characteristics and motivations for her choice of breast implants), here is a direct link:

https://archive.org/details/youtube-zVAjbJGd4GE

Several folks questioned my moving to a farm from the urban downtown, which I truly loved.  But it just was a decision that had to be made, as part of my basic "pursuit of happiness" which honestly, truly is the primary driving force in all human (and probably even animal) action.  Sure, there are times we must "do our duty", but there are also choices that we make for ourselves, and these are really important. 

Naomi Wu says the same thing about her breasts, which are comically large.  She has installed the very largest breast implants that are possible - right at the edge of the chart.   I just love that she has done this, because she did it for herself, no doubt against the various wishes of friends and family, one suspects.   Well, good for her.   She is smart, and does good technology reviews of modern products, ideas and methods.   She also licences all her work under "creative commons" open-source licences, which is also good.  You can copy and share her work.  

She gets it - as a maker, as a broadcaster, and as a female.  We wish her all success possible.

The USA is the strongest, best nation on the planet (after Canada, of course) because their founders were wise enough to recognize that the "pursuit of happiness" is absolutely critical for human survival, and thus needed to be hardwired into their organization model.  That human right to it is written right into their Constitution, and this has ensured that significant American prosperity becomes possible, since happy people are often *very* productive, long after their basic needs have been fully satisfied.  Rich people who build, like to keep building.  They don't do it just for the money.  Economists and psychologists know this, because the rich often keep working hard, long after they have more than enough money.  

North Americans - and most smart people - like to build and design and develop things and ideas.   So do Japanese and Chinese and Koreans.    I think they do it, not just for the money, but also because it makes them happy.  They (and we) continue to build, and remain productive, mostly for the pure joy it brings.   This is a fine human trait, and it should be nurtured and encouraged.

[ Sept. 12, 2021 ] - The Curious Loss of History - So, we now live in the *Future*.  I was enjoying reading the drivel some *academic* (which means *leftist*) "historian" (which means "feminist anti-western-culture propagandist") had written on the site "unherd.com", mostly because the author, Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb, had included a print of Albrecht Durer's etching from 1498, of the "Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse".  I thought - at least, good for her - a feminist-leftist academic historian, who is able to write about something other than feminist the-vagina-through-the-ages thought.

First,  I could not even comment, without PAYING MONEY to the Leftists who operate the website.  That is sad.

And Second, I was disappointed, since Dr. Lipscomb did not manage to write a pussy-thought-free note.   Halfway thru the article, it turned into notes about how the Pope was portrayed as the anti-christ, and the image was a grotesque giant female with oversized labia... (oh my).  I wanted to ask if maybe the artist in question was just a Protesting Person (later called a "Protestant"), whose family may have been burnt to death by Catholic Churchmen, and he just wanted to say the Pope, the boss of the Catholic gangsters that ran much of Europe, was just a "right cunt", to use the old Anglo-Saxon experssion that was (and still is) applied to powerful people who are hated by the masses for their cruel, bad behaviour.  

After joining the "unherd.com", it turns out you have to pay the poor folks *money*, if you want to comment on their site.  Too bad, as I was actually quite impressed by Dr. Lipscomb (god, how I love her name... sounds like a porn-star name, and the tiny .gif image makes her look really quite hot, truth be told...) 

I was hoping to offer some insight on the other great Durer image, that of the Knight, riding past Death and Satan.  That good Knight ignores them both, just as his faithful dog ignores the lizard below him.   It is the image of Ideal of Western Culture - we are here to build the City - and even though we know Death and/or Evil will eventually destroy us ALL, we just have to focus-forward, and do the best we can.

Durer's image shows us just a perfect visual of this absolute truth.   I think it is the image of our time, given the GOF-research generated lab-leak disaster of Covid-19, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and the complete military collapse of the USA in Afghanifornia, now the new Land of Terror.  (Still cannot understand why the USA fucked up so badly.  They *had* the place, and could hold it at low cost.  Afghanistan is full of copper and gold - and maybe even (like Mongolia) has an underground mountain of uranium.  I know a guy who was trying to get a copper mine up and running.  That project is toast now - rather like the USA military now appears to be.  I hope I am wrong about this, of course.)

But we are all still doing pretty good, compared to every single other time-period in history. 

If these poor "historians" could learn a little math, and do more surveys of World literature, and had more scientific focus, they might be able to say somethings true and useful.   From the story of Prince Genji (a Japan novel from roughly 1000 AD), to the detailed writings of the Biologists and Economists, to the operational nature of scientific progress - there is so much hard and overlapping, interesting evidence that shows we have basically achieved liftoff of the human species, and we now just need to keep the rocket from going off-course or exploding.

Dr. Lipscomb would be a fat slag with 7 children, a dead husband, and a burned-out house, begging for food in Kabul, if she had the misfortune to be born in Afghanistan.   She was lucky to be born in a free country, with proper land-tenure, a banking-system, and social-rules that allowed her to get an education and prosper.   *ALL* that English Western-Culture stuff came from somewhere, and lives here now, because of the astonishing SUCCESS of Western Culture. 

But sadly, she just talks the usually lefty-feminist nonsense, and manages to completely miss the point (and the nature) of the last 1000 years of hard, difficult (yet WILDLY successful!) progress.

So many good people died, fixing the stupid, tragic, superstitious god-nonsense that has poisoned the process of human thought, since the beginning of human time.  We have only *just* managed to barely get science working, and construct social structures that don't kill people by the time they reach 40 years old.   We still have not put all the god-junk into the Great Garbage Pit of History where it truly belongs.  But we are getting there.  Religion is a toxic cesspool of lies, nonsense and foolish drivel.   But we are *free* of it in most Western nations now.  I can say publically that "god is a bullshit concept, invented by criminal fraudsters trying to "rule" you and steal your money", and I don't get killed for saying it.  At least, not today,eh?  :)

God-garbage is just ugly, nasty politics by a different name.  No proper scientist can harbour any reglious belief, without being mentally corrupted and degraded.  This is just plain and simple truth - yet the churches and mosques and temples and synagogues still exist, sadly.

But if we cross culture and disciplines, we see the power of the movements away from ignorance and superstition, towards enlightenment and free-thinking.   America showed the way, with strict political rules to seperate "church" and "state".   Japan also make this transition.  Hence it is no accident that those two nations are the most economically successful in the entire history of Earth.    Yet "historians" now focus on vaginas and gay-folks - which is really just plain hilarious.   I think that tells us more about "historians" than it does anything about history itself... :)

The Albrecht Durer "Knight, Death and the Devil" is in the Economics 2021 section, here:

http://www.gemesyscanada.com/448329755

Ben Franklin and his Leyden-jar and kite flown during a lightening storm  (Franklin grasped the idea of positive and negative electricity),  Volta, and his battery invented by studying electric fish, Dr. John Lettsom and his inter-disciplinary "Medical Society of London",  the great wisdom of the Japanese Tokagawa Shogun, and his careful removal of the vile infestation of Jesuit-Catholic god-garbage,  the genius of the ancient Chinese, in their invention of gunpowder and rockets, the invention of the printing press by Gutenburg, Sterling and Watt and all of English and Scottish engine-making, Roger Bacon, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, Turing, Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Marconi, Tesla - and thousands of others who have driven the world FAR forward, so that even a modern "poor" man is wildly more wealthy than the richest ancient.

Even if you hate the world - any objective assessment of the data shows that - no question - these are the best times that have ever existed on this planet Earth.  The greatest number have the greatest wealth and freedom-of-action that has ever been possible in all of human history.  THERE ARE REASONS FOR THIS!   The poor, silly academic "historians" should try to focus on exactly why this is the case.  That is their job.

They should try to do it.

Since we cannot trust - or obtain anything useful from the academic historians - we are on our own - but we still are in the Library, like Liebnitz was.  We are back to looking at various "first principle / first version" phenomenon.  We are studying 19th century accounts of the interior people of Ecuador - the Shuar and others, who had very limited social organization, and almost no contact with the outside world, up until the 20th century.  They had a fierce, independent warrior-spirit culture.  They were related to the groups the Spanish called the "Jivaro".   These folks were the ones that created shrunken heads (called "Tsantsas"), which were made by pealing the skin and muscle-layers off of a severed human skull, boiling it in a mixture of herbs, and then shrinking the skin with hot stones and sand.  The final result would still look like a small human head (but without a skull), and would even have hair and eyebrows.

These were talismans, and also attested to the skill and success of the warrior - in the same manner that North American indian tribes would retain "scalps", and fighters on both sides in Vietnam would retain necklaces of dried human ears.  War trophys and lucky talismans have a long and curious tradition in all warrior cultures.  (The Knight in Durer's etching, has a fox-tail for "good luck" on the end of his spear, a common practice among European Knights of that time period.)

There are significant similarities in all human cultures, and in many "first versions" of ideas and methods.  By understanding how and why these ideas and methods are designed and develop, it is possible to estimate and understand how they are likely to evolve through time.

This phenomenon is not limited to markets.   It is highly evident in markets - but it also appears in *many* others areas, and is evident across most human-related disciplines.

Knowing about how these social-cultural evolutions play out over time, can offer serious and substantial advantage to the practitioner - again, across many disciplines, from biology & medicine to economics & finance.   And of course, the progression of a plague - in a civilized society that is urbanized - is remarkably common across cultures and historical epochs.  Lucretius in his "De Rerum Natura" concludes his account, with a detailed description of a Roman plague, which describes events similar to what Albert Camus included in his novel, "La Pest", a 1940's fictional account based on a real plague outbreak in a French colonial Algerian city.  

[ Sept. 11, 2021 ] - Canonical Videos for the Resilient  - Well, here we are 20 years in the future.   Twenty years ago, from my condo in Toronto, I watched the World Trade Centre Twin Towers in NYC collapse on a live TV feed.   It was true "shock and awe".   I had been on the phone to a broker, trying to close (sell) a long postion in QQQ's (the ETF that represented the NASDAQ index).   The broker told me the market had just closed.  I recall saying "WTF???"  And he said, an airplane had hit one of the WTC towers.  I recall thinking ("Some idiot in a Cessna...").  I was desperate to unload this massive QQQ position I had bought the previous day  (all my liquid funds, and then some.)

Right when I hung up the phone, it rang, and a good friend from Vancouver, B.C., called me and simply said "turn on the television...".   The one building was already burning, and as I watched, a second Boeing aircraft slammed into the other WTC tower.   "Holy fucking jesus..." was I think all I said.  And then I thought - "I am as dead as those poor bastards.   That QQQ long postion will go to zero maybe, and I am beyond just bankrupt..."

A good friend was actually staying right at the WTC - the hotel across the street - he had a morning meeting with Merril Lynch, but he was a lazy bastard like me, and hated early meetings - so he scheduled for 10:00 am instead of 8:00am like all the keeners.  This saved his life.    A guard came to tell him "the hotel is being evacuated",and he said ok.  The guy came back, and shouted at him a minute later, saying "The fucking hotel is being evacuated right fucking NOW!!  YOU MUST LEAVE *NOW*!", so my buddy grabbed his laptop, his suit jacket, and with only pants on and no shirt, he ran into the street, to see part (a very large part -a 6 foot aluminum tube) crash down on the sidewalk beside him - part of the aircraft landing gear.

SO, he legged it up Broadway, way up the road, to a car-rental office still had cars available, and got the very last vehicle they had - a Cadillac Escalade, which he paid for with a big deposit using a credit card, and then drove it to Canada, to his place in Muskoka.

We assumed USA was under attack.   Kinda expected it.  Funny part of the story, was his wife had told him "Don't stay downtown by that WTC building complex - its a bomb target!"  - based on the previous attempt to blow the place up, using a panel truck full of dynamite in the parking garage.  Most folks don't even remember that.  He said it would be fine.  (Always listen to your wife's advice.  Seriously.)

It was the day the world changed, now 20 years ago.   Crazy times - and even more silly now.

I actually saved my own hide, by running to the brokers office from my apartment, and they let me go right on their little trading floor, when they said the Toronto market was still open.  I was a junior nobody, but since I had showed up in person ("I have a full-on long position in USA market.  I need to hedge it or I am dead.  I need to do some trades RIGHT NOW, please..."  It was a smallish shop, of good people.  (Of course, I had tried to call in, but all the phone lines were just busy.  But by showing up in person, all soaked with sweat in my business suit, they figured I must be serious, I guess.  They let me right into their trading room, to place orders.  I really respected them for allowing this.  They were Marathon-Brokerage, which was eventually bought by TD.   Their office was in Queen's Quay, right at Harbourfront.  They were good brokers - real first class folks who put the customer first.)

I stood behind a guy who had a trading screen in front of him, and I asked - "Is there an index ETF for Toronto that mirrors the TSE 300 or some portion of it?"  There was - it was called the XIU IShares S&P/TSE 60 Index fund.   I explained I had something like 3000 QQQ's in New York, which was closed, and looked like it might be closed for a while.. And I sold 1000 XIUs, just after learning what they were called, and that they even existed.  The price was not too far off the TSE market - and the TSE had not moved very much.  I was schocked.   I sold another 1000 and then - I can't remember exactly, maybe a couple of 1K units more.   My hands were shaking - but at least I was not inside one of those burning towers, being killed for real.   

I managed to hedge most of the loss I ended up taking, when the markets in New York opened again, days later.   It was a crazy time.  Business action just stopped - and real quick, too.  All the transport trucks disappeared from the highways.  Toronto market stayed open, and opened *way* down the next day.   I covered my short XIU's too soon, but made enough on that side, to hedge the massive loss in the QQQs I took, when the New York markets re-opened.

But everything changed that day.  I resolved that I would move out of Toronto, before it killed me.  I loved my life in the City, but the days of the *big city* were over, I decided.  I could see the future real clearly, it was strange.  (Remember, that book "The Coming Plagues..." had been written in the 1990's).   By the autumn of 2002, I had a firm deal to purchase a magnificant farm property, for only about 200K more than what I got from selling my condo.

It was probably the best decison I ever made in my entire life.  But it also made me feel like I was gonna throw up, since when I closed firm on the farm in 2002, I did not have sufficient funds to execute the purchase.  I was able to get a long closing date (beginning of March, 2003), and that saved my bacon, again.   By hook and by crook can by crazy good luck, I managed to pull together the funds (the "Bank of Dad" turned out to be a critical source of funds, naturally.   Dad got a 2 bedroom apartment that was attached to the main farmhouse, so he did ok, and was able to physically enjoy the equity position in his investment!  Plus, we got to do stuff together, in the last years of his life, and I think he really got a kick outta that.   He died from cancer less than two years later.

Sometimes, I feel a bit strange and sad, that the very best life-decision I ever made, was the result of such a shit-terrible tragedy.   If we had still been living in Toronto - with the Covid-19 lockdown nonsense - it would have bankrupted us, or killed us all - or maybe both.    But on the farm, and with the investment structures we had set up to basically "assume the World will suffer serial catastrophes", and our remoteness, we have skated thru the latest viral shitstorm, rather ok.

My partner was in the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, and had her house shake-and-break all around her.  When she left her cracked and broken apartment building, the neighbourhood was burning, and her apt. had no running water or electricity.   She spent the next several months staying with her aunt.  They eventually repaired her apartment building   She was lucky.  Many others were not, and they died in the high-way collapse, and the broken, burning buildings.  The death-toll was  6308, with 43,117 injured.  It was a very bad earthquake, partly because it happened at 5:46 AM, so almost everyone was still at home.  Exactly 1 year earlier (January 17 was the day), the Northfield quake had happened in San Francisco Bay area, in 1994.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/c1198/chapters/037-046_Earthquakes.pdf

(Check out the quoted probability on page 9 of the above .PDF file.  We actually also expect a massive earthquake in San Francisco within the next several years - before 2030, just based on simple cycle theory, directly a function of plate-tectonic accumulated stress.)

And we had a cottage, in Goderich, less than half-a-mile from where the 11-second hyper-tornado went thru the town, and wiped out the downtown.  It literally blew over 4-story brick buildings that had stood for over 100 years.  The place looked like Beirut on a bad day.  But it missed our little place near the beach.

So, invest carefully, and focus on being prepared.  That whole "Prepper" thing is actually quite rational.   Mother Nature - or very Bad People - will do their best to kill you dead.

Every fine day, is a gift like a bag-o-diamonds and gold.   Take joyful pleasure in each one.  :)

Let's go back in time, to the first, canonical music video service - MTV, back in 1981 - the very first four hours, which we found on the "Internet Archive".   The future may be toast - but we still have some fine archives from the past...  :)

https://archive.org/details/1981.08.01_MTV_First_Four_Hours_Remastered_12am_Saturday_August_1st_1981

We have earwigs in our sunroom.  We step on them, and they just run away.   They have learned to be resilient!   Resilient - means "capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture."   This is the kind of investment structure you want to create.  It not only lets you sleep at night, it lets you live during the day, also! 

[ Sept. 10, 2021 ] - Life Among the Eloi - I dusted off, and fired up the Z-80 SBC's last nite, and ran a little simulation exercise, on a computer I built myself, with a JLC-PCB board, a soldering iron, and a bag-o-parts (from "Mouser", a big online electronics store).   I still have to use an old laptop, running Kermit, to load programs onto the thing, and to save the programs, but I plan to design and create a method whereby I can load and save programs to audio-tape, on an old reel-to-reel TEAC tape recording machine. Then, I will truly have a fully functional, stand-alone computer, that can do real work, independent of any external technology.

It's a bit of a curious exercise, but the need to actually do it, haunts the background of my conciousness.   Perhaps it comes from reading Neal Stephenson's "Anatham".   (I recently bought a new "Fetch", I run experiments with plants, and we live in secluded enclaves, doing self-education, quite expecting the external world to experience a growing list of catastrophic collapse events.  Since these now seem to be playing out, we really only have to decide just how "millenial" we will go...)  That book had too many creepy parallels to my own analytic conclusions from a lifetime of economic/political research.   That whole "Limits To Growth" bullsh/t nonsense is back in fashion again, just like it was when I was an under-graduate.   It is just creepy and disturbing, watching how profoundly unwise the operation of State-level social-economic systems can be - and currently is.

Maybe we can alter the course of the ships-of-state away from the shoals of political fraud and whirlpools of socialist madness, we see looming before us in "every land and every nation, from Lake Geneva to the Finland Station"...   But more likely, not.   One fellow alone has little real power to change anything.

We remain all-in, fully invested, since that is the only sane trade possible.  Money itself may turn out to be of less value, than equity ownership in honest, profitable business entities, run at arms-length from the kleptocrats of the "Governments".   Governments are like underwear.  No matter how careful you are, you really *must* change them regularly.  They get smelly and yellow because of the place they are located, and the jobs they do.    No one cares about "money laundering".  What we *really* need is to regularly wash the nasty, filthy bits out of close places of Government.

Politicians are like the head-lice that children get.   You really need to scrub well - as the little creatures grip onto their positions with astonishing tenacity.

Use that "fine-toothed-comb" of the People's desire for Freedom and Opportunity,  and remove the political parasites, when ever you can.  The little bloodsucking creatures are everywhere, and more seem to be produced each day now.   :D

Meanwhile - in the SARS-CoV-2 Covid-19 morgue...

Deaths from Covid-19 are closing in on 5 million plus, which is actually a tiny fraction of what we expected.  Our models suggested 50 to 100 million dead, truth be told.  But what we fear, of course, is that maybe we are only in the third inning (to use a really awful baseball analogy).

At CostCo today, our checkout clerk, whom we know well because of the silly amount of shopping we do at the place, mentioned that 2 of her family member, back in her home country had "passed".   At first, I did not understand the idomatic language expression.  "Passed" sounds like they graduated successfully from a school, to my ears.  But she actually meant that they had fucking DIED from Covid-19!  

So I had to inquire further...  It seems they were both - the spouses of a brother and a sister - double vaccinated.  They had both received TWO doses of the SinoVac vaccine - the Chinese one that does not work very well.  So, it seems the data we have on vaccine efficacy is confirmed (partly, in a very small sample), which is of course, sad and awful.

And the Covid-19 / SARS-Cov-2 news just gets worse and more ugly:  Some righteous fellows filed a detailed FOI (Freedom of Information) request, to get the *details* on the money that Peter Daszek's sleazy little "EcoHealth Alliance"  charity was getting - in this case: $3.1 million (USA dollars) to investigate the "risk of bat coronavirus emergence ".  This information - 900 pages - covers NIH grants from 2014 to 2019. which means it was GOF (gain-of-function) research funding, for the WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology), given to Peter Daszek's  "EcoHealth Alliance" enterprise.   He got $3.1 million, but only "awarded" $599,000 to the WIV.  (Makes one wonder what happened to the rest of the cash?  How much ended up in Peter's Little Pocket?)  

https://unherd.com/2021/09/is-this-proof-of-a-lab-leak-cover-up/

We personally believe that this Peter Daszek person should go to jail, for aiding the mass-murder of 5 million people.  But hey, we could be wrong.  Maybe he is fine person, only interested in the health of the furry little bats - and humanized mice. (Go look up, just exactly what that is - a 'humanized" mouse.  It makes very interesting reading...)   

We are not "conspiracy theorists".  There is no "conspiracy" here.   It's just a typical funding scam run by some second-level lightweights, who sought to fill their little pockets with taxpayers cash.

In Canada, this sort of action happens all the time.  It is the stock-in-trade of the Canadian Liberal party.  Just check out the MARS project that the previous Ontario Liberal Government "funded" in downtown Toronto.   Or check out the "charity" that the Trudeau Liberals funded - to the tune of almost $1 billion (!!), which was connected with Trudeau's wife.  The "We Charity" was given $900 million (Canadian dollars), so that it could hand out money to folks with Liberal ideals - across the country - to exploit the Covid-19 crisis, and pump up the LIberal voter base.  It was a shameless political kickback scheme on a scale that was breathtaking:

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/trudeau-says-charity-with-ties-to-him-and-his-wife-only-one-that-could-run-covid-19-student-volunteer-grant-program

Every bent politician took advantage of the Covid-19 crisis.  But the algorithms were the same, as always.  The taxpayer slush typically goes back to Liberal supporters.  It is how the system works here.  It is corrupt as hell, but it is also standard average politics.  It's ALL about the money, of course. 

But Anthony Fauci - that curious fellow in the USA - has said publically (even though it is proven otherwise) that "GOF (gain-of-function) research was not funded by USA at the WIV".  Rand Paul (and this 900 page set of documents) clearly proved otherwise - but no one really cares, sadly.    The media seems more interested in the right of American females to murder their unborn babies, so what the hell.  A nation operating that way - they will reap what they sow, we suspect.

Of course it was a lab-leak.  But now, what does that matter?

Most Chinese folks are really hard-working, and honourable people - all trying to do the right thing, in a difficult and high-competition-level harsh economic and political environment.   If they can make some money - and get out - then they do.   (I *really* know of what I write, here. )

We are certain the Covid-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus was the result of lab-work, and an accidental release.   But it makes little difference now.   We cannot put this lethal virus back into the bottle, and so we had really better learn to deal with it - and construct working vaccines and anti-viral agents than can stop it.

Personally, it just means I want my third "booster" shot, regardless of what the monkey-boys at the World Health Organization say.   The WHO is run by some fellow from Ethiopia.  You know, that shit-hole country that is killing it's own citizens in TIgray province?   Those guys, right?   Well, fuck them.  They have about as much credibility as the women-beating, mother-killing Taliban terrorist ragbags.

It's time we here in what remains of the operational, civilized free-world, told these fuckwits from these shit-hole nations how things are gonna be run.  And if the political fraudsters and "UN Civil Servants"  (oh, fuck, please go away, all of you lying skanks) if they don't like what we do, then the can simply fuck off in protest. 

Perhaps we could begin by blocking (and returning!)  those boats full of "refugees" that keep crossing illegally into our lands, so they can eat our food, steal our assets, and assault and murder our females.     Let's be clear here - we are NOT anti-immigration.  We *need* immigrants.  Our birth rate here is way below replacement.

But we do NOT need more parasites and criminals and fraudsters and crooked skank terrorist garbage - like that raghead the incompetent New Zealand "Government" was "unable to deport".  

What the fuck is wrong with New Zealand?  Their fucking cops don't know how to operate handcuffs or something?   Seven people stabbed by a terrorist raghead at a supermarket - and the cops *knew* this guy was a major, serious threat?   That idiot female Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, should be charged with gross dereliction of duty, convicted, and then be put in prison with Brenton Tarrant.   They could pass the hours talking about the "The Great Replacement." (which I have read, and it is really just a bit silly - but the birth rate of white-folks really is falling.  And it is falling sharply, too.  But maybe this does not matter much, either.)

Honestly, no one really cares about race or religion.  They care about whether they have enough money to cover the goddamn rent or mortgage at the end of the month, whether they can pay their taxes, and if they can maybe feed and support their partners or dependents, after their job has disappeared, because of some fuckwit stupid idiotic government economic scheme.  

They care if they have freedom, and opportunity.  Race and religion are fake markers, that desperate people who are psychologically at-sea, cling to like life-rafts in a typhoon.  God is bullshit, and so is the colour of your skin, or the shape of your ugly, large nose.   What matters is your bank account, your food and ammo supply, your house and land, and if you are getting some pussy now and then (if you are a normal, hetro guy) - all of which of course, determines if you get to have a family or not.  Politicians who figure this out, tend to do well at the polls.

Politicians that talk about "climate change" are talking bullshit, and they should realize this.  But the stupid ones do not.  So the world is a worsening, tragic mess, which needs constant repair.

But for now,  we still have to clear up and clean out the corruption in our own houses - and we may not even be able to do that, for some time yet.  The fraudsters and gangsters that dominate our own political matricies - at every level - are doing all they can to make this difficult and/or impossible.

Currently, the bad guys are still in charge, and the rude-boys and liar-girls can still push their frauds forward with ease, given the media-support they receive.   But the Great Scam may not last forever.   Politics which requires a series of large lies to enable it - along with the political figures themselves - often end up in the Great Garbage Pit of History.

I hope I get to both see it, and also help it happen.   We badly need change at the Federal level.

[ Sept. 9, 2021 ] -  A Time of Truth?  -  We have a CHANCE here in Canada.  The Conservatives are slightly ahead of the Liberals in the polls.  Since all the media supports the Liberals,  I am surprised.. 

I have seen so many political failures.   I am used to swimming in political shit - since this is the life of any right-thinking person in Canada - a nation where the Federal politics is dominated by dishonest, pocket-filing Leftist fraudsters who raise taxes every year, and run economic assault against the average guy in the self-financing sector.  This is the Liberal-Leftist operational methodology.   It never changes.

The "Liberal" leader, Justin Trudeau and his wife actually were DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for BRINGING the COVID-19 VIRUS to CANADA.   Why would anyone support this party of unwise clowns?

The Liberals are toxic, dishonest cheaters, who are similar to the scam-artists in the so-called "Democrat" party in the USA.  What is the source of this madness?   Why do so many people hate their own history and homeland, that they seek to destroy it, using the failed economic models of the 19th century?

Anyone who votes for the Liberals has no business being involved with anything where any sort of responsibility is required.  They must be deluded or dishonest.  Perhaps they know they are on the take?  The Liberal political machine runs on deception and high-taxes.  It governs by means of media-perception, it explicitly seeks to degrade traditional Canadian civil society social structure, and it is openly hostile to effective national fiscal operation and basic economic reality.

This is the sad state of things these leftist "Liberals" have engineered.   Why would anyone vote for them at all?  I simply cannot grasp where this strange Leftist delusion comes from, and how it can infect and degrade so much human thinking.  Almost nothing good, or of value, ever comes from Government.    Government exists to "rule" people, and extract their economic surplus.  A small, careful, focused Government is best, as a necessary evil to ensure national defense and basic rule-of-law.   But the Leftists attempt to make it the solution to every human problem, with the result that it becomes the enabling device to amplify theft, economic restrictions, and abusive assaults on human freedom. 

Leftist Governments expropriate prosperity, and serve only themselves.  They are bad organizational models, as they degrade basic freedom and human economic opportunity.  And this is obvious to anyone who looks at both present-day and historical events. 

It is good to see the Conservative ahead in the polls.  But what could possibly explain why anyone would vote Liberal?  It is like shooting yourself in the foot.  And then shooting the other foot, for good measure.  And then your head.  It simply makes no sense at all.

https://www.ipsos.com/en-ca/news-polls/trudeau-best-choice-for-prime-minister-say-canadians-but-lead-over-shrinking-fast

And note the dishonesty of the news story:  The polls clearly show the Conservatives in the lead, yet the story is written to suggest "Trudeau's lead is shrinking...".   What a curious and comical piece of journalism.

I am no fan of party politics - but how could a thinking human vote for a Liberal ever?  It just makes no sense.   Perhaps it is gays and women, voting for the "Pretty Boy"?   The whole election campaign in Canada seems strange and tragic.   If folks were wise, the Liberals would not get even one single vote anywhere. 

[ Sept. 7-8, 2021 ] - Plan for Disaster & Live in Truth - Although the world has fallen into a curious pit of deception and fraudulent foolishness - the Stormfronts of Truth - the actual operation of nature - remains very constant and fine.  

We had a terrible series of storms yesterday afternoon and evening, and into the night.  They knocked all the power off, and we had to run on the generator.    This worked weil, as we have completely prepared for this sort of silly nonsense from Mother Nature - who regularly tries to kill us  ( and remember - She *will* eventually succeed!)

But not today.   This morning, after an evening of cutting over to generator operation via the various transfer-switches, very late at night, the grid-electrics came back on.  Our connection to the big Lake Huron nuclear-fission reactor was restored - and we had all the AC amps we could use.

And today - when our weather forecasts called for more grim weather - we woke up to this just wonderful day of warm sunshine, gentle breezes, and just perfect climactic conditions.   We seriously doubt that the climate is changing, as it has always been just crazy-extreme here where we live - variations from +35 C in summer to -35 C in winter.

The weather and the stock-and-bond and currency markets move in these silly cycles of wild randomness.  (There is none - absolutely none - of that stupid "balls-in-an-urn" bullshit that they teach in Probability School!   Jesus - what is wrong with people in academia?  Do they all have their heads up their backsides?   Like the political people do?   Perhaps.... )

Wild randomness is a harsh-mistress.   Kinda like the Moon, yes?   :)

But if you learn to dance with her, you can enjoy every sandwich!   Just like Mr. Zevon suggested.

Meanwhile, the Lie Machines continue to run at full-tilt.  Take a look at this stinking bucket of comical deception:

https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-fed-stiglitz/nobelist-senior-democratic-economist-stiglitz-says-feds-powell-should-go-idUSKBN2G40WD

Now, lets be clear:  I believe that Joseph Stiglitz is a fraud.   He is not an "Economist" - he is a "Democrat economist" - a political figure whose entire picture of the world suggests that "there are mispricings".  Well, what is that?  There is nothing more deeply dishonest in science -than the exercise of saying your "data is wrong" and "it should be this, because that is what my personal viewpoint is".  Stiglitz is as phoney as a three-dollar bill. 

And there NO SUCH THING as a "Nobel Prize in Economics".  There is a bogus offering by the Central Bankers of Sweden, where they offer - at the same time as the actual, real Nobel prizes, funded by the legacy of Alfred Bernhard Nobel - a prize to governmentalist "economists" who retail the same, Leftist / Socialist world-view that they themselves subscribe to.

Stiglitz did "win" that curious "prize" - but all his work involves bogus arguments for more government, more regulation, more social/central "control" to fix the "problems of economic activity" because of his particular, warped political beliefs.

It is not surprising that this astonishing heavyweight fraudster - a complete faker shit-artist of the absolutely most egregious kind - it is not surprising that this person wants that failed US president Biden to terminate Jerome Powell who is currently the head of the Federal Reserve - the top man at the US Central Bank.  Powell is a good man, doing a difficult job, and doing it rather well.  Powell has encouraged evidence-based decision-making and offered clear, honest communication of intent.  The results speak for themselves.   Again, we have another situation where Stiglitz is 100% wrong.

For Stiglitz, every economic issue or problem requires more government regulation, more rules, more taxes, more restrictions, more "oversight", and more jobs for fat scam artists like himself who subscribe to his deeply dishonest, bogus world view of Socialism for All & All for Socialism.   The man is an ugly and abusive joke.  He is the Harvey Weinstein of the Economics profession - except he wants to fuck the entire free-world's prosperity - instead of just female Hollywood starlets.

Seriously, Stiglitz's work in "Information Asymmetry" is part-obvious, and part-pure bullshit.   He got a "prize' for it for political reasons - like most "prizes" are given out.

Look - I've read the noxious nonsense that this Stiglitz person - this arrogant fraudster - has been puffing out for a long time.  The stuff that Joseph Stiglitz says is just plain wrong.   I know this for certain, because I lived through those times - and invested and survived!    Stiglitz is just plain wrong.

Let me say this again.  That fellow Joseph Stiglitz retails information that is just plain FALSE.    The sh/t he has been saying for so many years is just WRONG.   If he really is so stupid as to believe the shit he says, then he is clinically insane.  But I don't believe that.  I think he is just a very smart guy, running a very big fraud.  And doing very well out of it.

Here is *exactly* what I wrote - back in November of 2017.  Stiglitz was mouthing-off, saying that Bitcoin should be "outlawed".   I wrote this, mostly to keep my head from exploding with righteous anger and frustration:

My Comments on Joseph Stiglitz, back in November of 2017 

Joe Stiglitz wants to "outlaw" Bitcoin.  I normally couldn't care less - I don't own any Bitcoin, and I don't need to use it.  But lots of folks *do* need to use it.  And that this arrogant asshole has suggested it be "outlawed" really makes me angry.  Stigliz is *not* a scientist.  And that is a very big problem.  He is not doing any sort of true science - because science requires objectivity and observation. But this person does neither.  And he is a liar and a fraud because of that.  

He degrades the profession of Economics, by using it as a political tool to lever up government activity and taxation levels.  This is wrong.  He lies.  If he looked - if this arrogant blowhard just took one single objective look - he would see that Bitcoin - despite its virtual nature: 1) is just like standard fiat money, as it is completely arbitrary, and the units themselves have zero intrinsic value;  2) is valuable, in that it lets small holders do international trade at *vastly* lower transaction costs.  (I know, because I have seen it done.)  And this blowfart says that does not offer a social value???  Lower prices to transact, offered to small business and low-income private persons - this does not offer social value??   He has his head far up his asshole, if he can't see that.   

Bitcoin, and the other crypto-currencies are probably a classic asset bubble.  But they are being bid up, because they actually work.  And with the PUBLIC, DISTRIBUTED LEDGER, they are damn sure not something that is the result of "Information Asymmetry", the work he got his "Nobel" for!   Perhaps this is the source of his hostility.  The cryptocurrencies demonstrate the lie that underpins his assertions of "information asymmetry".  Go read his stuff.  It is, I fear, just crap - lots of very, very clever math, being used to hide what is basically some obvious assertions stretched into incorrect conclusions.   Don't take my word for it.  This guy is a fraud - like so many of the modern Leftist-economists.  They are *not* doing science!  They are doing *politics*, and what makes me blow my top, is they are successfully passing it off as science, because most people (hell, almost ALL people) do not actually read the hooey they are writing, much less understand the obscure jargon they use to cloak their politics.  

This guy says the 2008 financial crisis was caused by the rating agencies.  And I know - for absolutely certain - because I lived through it and studied it carefully, day by day, that this is *absolutely wrong*.   I started a file on the US housing bubble in 2006!   The 2008 meltdown was due entirely to government collusion with dishonest real-estate agents and hyped-up speculators, who inflated an asset-bubble in US housing prices - the true cause was the "McMansion", purchased by people who had no incomes - the Wall Street folks were just enablers.  The rating agencies were using the same horseshit good-math-used-badly trick that this guy uses!  The cause of the 2008 crisis lies squarely at the feet of BAD GOVERNMENT POLICY, and if this person had any intellectual honesty, he would fucking admit this.   I say we should outlaw this asshole.  Lets keep BItcoin (for better or worse), but lets at least hoot this arrogant lying prick off the public stage!

----- end of November 2017 comments on the "economist" Joseph Stiglitz -----

I am truly convinced that the USA Democrats are actively seeking to damage and degrade the economic operation of the USA.   There can be no other rational explanation for the madness and outright nonsense that they are actively promoting.  

It is strangely curious to see this comical nightmare play out in real time.

But at least, what the heck, the weather here is nice!    :)

[ Sept. 5, 2021 ] - Epic Failure - Some folks have suggested my critical comments are a bit extreme.   They are not.   If we ignore the Leftist mainstream (New York Times, Washington Post), it would appear that the comments from intelligent Americans are at least as critical - perhaps much more so.  

This writer characterizes that strange clueless buffoon, who is acting as the "Secretary of State",  Anthony ("Winken") Blinken, as a:  "moronic incompetent", who was "dangerous" for America, according to John McCain.    This certainly has been proven by events, without any question or debate possible.  This Blinken person is an astonishing character - truly incompetent to a degree that is surprising for anyone who hears the disinformational drivel that falls from the mouth on his face.  The USA could have selected any citizen at random, and statistically, would almost certainly have made a better choice for the role than this fool.

https://amgreatness.com/2021/09/04/adults-progress-and-disaster/

Elections in USA (and here also) are won based on perceptions created by media organs.  Tens of thousands may die because of stupid, bad decisions by corrupt, incompetent politicians - but it is the *perception* on voting day that counts.  Althought the American Democrats, and the Canadian Liberals are actively trying to alter even that old, traditional reality - introducing multiple voting opportunities for the undocumented in the USA, and attempt to abolish "first-past-the-post" elections (in Canada's case).

People should recognize what is happening, and the mechanisms by which it is being made to happen.

A major, significant course-correction in the direction of social-political thinking is needed, in the Western cultural matrix.   The drumbeat-of-deception and the relentless, Leftist propaganda machinery, needs to be disabled.  We are all *very* far away now, from Vaclav Havel's suggestion that we "live in truth".    We do not have much chance to live in truth now, as we are at serious risk of drowning in stormy seas of fraud and deception.

Here are predictions:  The attempt to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom will fail, as the Republicans have lost faith in the integrity of the mail-in ballot process, and relentless press coverage has been signalling Newsom will survive by a landslide. The recall election has already been decided - by the press and CNN and the California Leftist Establishment.  It's over.  The good guys lost again, it seems.

The New York Times has run attractive pictures of Newsom, with huge "Vote No to Recall!" signs in the background,  The articles dismiss the election schemes being carried out as bogus, and so most who would vote "Yes" already feel they have been defeated.  The "vote" just becomes another Democrat exercise in perception management.

The nature and effectiveness of the modern 'media information organs" - virtually all of which have an extreme Leftist bias - is powerful and significant.  We see this process used in market process regularly now.   It is a dangerous and yet, very effective strategy.    The modern propaganda machines work *very* well.

But the net effect is to put people like Biden and Blinken and Pelosi and Schumer in charge of the USA.   This process manages to create disasters even worse that were engineered by Donald Trump and his people.  

And that is a hell of an accomplishment.

Western Culture needs a serious reset.   We are at very high risk from this media-driven preception-management propaganda process, as it seems to be putting the very worst possible people into positions of extreme executive power.  This is a bad outcome.

This extreme lack-of-wisdom at the top, enabled by the suspension of disbelief and the burying of the basic truth-of-things, is going to have serious and sustained consequences.

We are all flying on one of those Boeing 737-Max-8 aircraft, and the altimeter is unwinding.  The pilots are unsure of what to do, and it shows.   I just cannot shake this strange metaphoric feeling.

[ Sept. 3, 2021 ] - Go West - Horace and Horst are in agreement.  Even Erika has forgiven Horst for lying.  Play this old video for the catchy tunes, and pretty girls...

https://www.bitchute.com/video/fzQiOYQ804pq/

We need to repair the World.  There are really good ideas that work - and really bad ideas that do not work, and cause disasters and mass-horror.  

The solutions to problems DO NOT come from Governments.  The solutions evolve directly from the cultural-economic models we use - private property, finance, the harsh skepticism of good science, fair commerce and the absolute human requirement of freedom.

Western cultural success is under very direct threat now.   We have *very* bad, and dishonest Governments, which seek to enhance and entrench their power, through the use of intense, focused deceptions and very clever frauds.    This is serious.  We are all at risk.

The greatest threats we all face in the future, are now coming from within our own homelands.   This phenomenon is not unique, and has happened before in history.

We have to defend our traditions, against the clear, and very direct assaults that are being made against them.  These are not academic, philosophical and ideological vague things and ideas.   The nonsense and frauds that are being retailed today, by dishonest Leftist politicians, will damage and weaken our Nations and our Western Cultural Commonwealth.

We had better wake up to the nature of the assault - and stop it - before it weakens and degrades our ability to defend ourselves against it - and destroys our Western world view.

Vote wisely, please.    Our collective future depends on it.   In Canada, we have to all cast our votes for the Conservatives.   We must remove the current scam-artists that currently hold power in Ottawa - and have put our homeland at risk, and done such terrible damage to our chances of future prosperity.   This is a first, local step that can be taken.

In the USA - you must be very careful, and act to limit the damage that the Federal "Democrats" are trying to do.   They are doing all they can to weaken and degrade and damage America. 

Their actions are logically consistant, and very dangerous.   As the USA withdraws from the World stage, these "Democrats"  seek to degrade democracy by preventing accurate and fair voting rules and procedures.   They seek to limit and degrade American military power, and are engaging in financial schemes that are certain to damage American financial stability, the American currency (the MONEY!),  and thus the effectiveness of American global market power.   And their current spending plans will effectively bankrupt the Federal Treasury.  

Spending another - borrowed - 3.5 *TRILLION* dollars on free-money-for-poor-people schemes and fake "infrastructure" projects - on top of the 7 to 10 TRILLION dollars already spent on pandemic stimulus schemes - this is madness.  OR it seems like madness - unless one assumes that the "Democrats" in the USA actually are acting with specific malice towards the American people.   Perhaps they know what they are doing?

If one makes that assumption - the "Democrats" actually WANT to weaken and damage American people - then their actions make perfect sense.  A weak and damaged America is more likely to vote Democrat?   Is that the plan?   It looks like this might be the strategy.  And it might work.

Even the curious American Federal Government effort to counter the Texas limitations on abortion - that now makes sense too.   (A woman in Texas who got pregnant from unwise sexual action, still has A MONTH AND A HALF to decide to abort her pregnancy!    All that new law says, is that after 6 weeks, when the ultrasound scan can show an actual live human feotus growing - she can no longer decide to just kill it - in Texas.  She has to go to a Democrat "Kill Your Baby!" State.   It is a small, and not very significant law, that will have no impact on good people who live in truth and wisdom.)

But this is now the big "Democrat" rallying cry in USA.  How can a human being vote for a bunch of corrupt fraudsters whose big political viewpoint is:  "Women have the RIGHT to kill their babies!"      This can only be explained, if one assumes the "Democrats" want to damage America, and drive down it's live-birth rate.   

We need to see what is happening.   A gang of very bad people, have taken power in Washington, and seem to be doing all they can to hurt, weaken and damage everything that America is, was, and wants to be.

To correct serious problems like this - your first step, is to SEE that they exist - since the primary use of propaganda now - is to MANAGE PERCEPTION.   Your media sends you fog and smoke and clever, crafted, Leftist lies - and they do a very good job at this task.

And this makes modern propaganda much more dangerous, than those old 1930's Hitler pictures.   This new propaganda is very, very dangerous, since it might just result in your death - the death of your friends, and maybe even the death of your unborn child.

This very real assault on Western Culture has to be stopped. 

[ Sept. 2, 2021 ] - Hotel Afghanifornia - You can "check-out" any time you like - but you can never leave.   Joe Biden left American citizens stranded in Afghanistan.  

What an incredible failure the man is.   And he had people like Pierre Trudeau's child to help him, in his abandonment, and tragic "cut-and-runaway" exercise.    It is an exercise that has condemned over 25 million people to slavery, and the brutal dictates of armed, murderous religious-fascists.   It is horrible and awful in a truly world-changing manner.

And after throwing an entire nation into a bandit-run, terrorist hell, he returns his focus to his "homeland", and is now saying - explicitly - that he wants to make sure women have the "rights" to kill their unborn babies in their wombs.   That is his big project now.  Seriously.   Could any fiction-writer make up a plot-line so weirdly ugly and awful?  

All that Texas law is saying, is that if a baby is growing inside you, you cannot kill it, once everyone looking at it, is sure it is a live, human baby.    Does a pregnant female really have the "right" to kill her baby?   Really?  Is everyone certain that that is a "human right'?   We are not convinced.  But Joe Biden is.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-abortion-biden/biden-enlists-white-house-counsel-to-fight-texas-abortion-law-idUSKBN2FY1K6

More and more - that January 6th protest event in Washington is starting to look very different.  It is beginning to look like it was an honest, desperate and rational attempt to stop the train-wreck of cruelty, fraud, madness and extreme, abusive lack-of-wisdom that we see playing out each day now, in America.   America looks to have become something very different, now.  I cannot believe the good people in America want the kind of nation the Democrats are trying to build.  It all seems to be going wrong, and at an increasing rate.

We *must* engineer new and different processes whereby the Western World can select it's leaders.  Biden and Trudeau are pure politicians, concerned with "perceptions" and staying in power at all costs.

They are propaganda-artists.  That telephone call from Biden to the now-deposed Afghan leader proves it.  

The political fraudster's stock-in-trade is the "false picture of the world" they retail to their misguided community of people who support them.  But these false-pictures are now killing people.

False narratives have a very long tradition in the History of the World.   This sort of thing is very useful in the stock market.  And it is critical in politics.   Politics is almost entirely about the fabrication of false-pictures, demonization exercises, false or "fake" news, spin-doctoring, and blame-shifting.   In the old days, "hero-worship" and the "Cult of the Great Man" model was popular - but now, we see something much more subtle - and effective.   We see an entire Leftist Press and Media machine - all digital - constantly pumping out a stream of disinformation that deflects and mis-directs the voting public to falsehoods that are held up as "Issues" that the shining-star political figures will address for us - successfully, of course, because the "Issues" are mostly just shimmering images projected on smoke - mirage-images to begin with.   They are easy to defeat, with a magic wave of the Wand of Deception.

If you study propaganda - what works, and what does not - you can see, and even analyze the common thread that makes these "grand illusions" possible.  Ever since the beginning of film and modern media, the "news" has been manipulated, to drive public opinion in the desired direction.  It began with photographs and news-reels, (the US Civil war, being the first war where actual battlefield death-scenes and mass-graves were photographed.)   Within just 70 years, moving pictures brought sophisticated, powerful images to the screen, complete with sound-tracks. Media-manipulation propaganda was born - and it worked - along with terror, brutality, and mass murder - the game-stopping success of Hitler and Stalin showed the process and procedure with clarity and horror.

Instead of enlightenment, and increased knowledge - the media-images gave the corrupt and ambitous political monsters, the ability to execute massive fraud on a scale rarely scene in any previous historical epoch.

And so here we are.  The modern internet technology - now under increasingly abusive restrictions and censorship - at first promised a chance to counter the media propaganda machines.  But that chance has been lost now, probably forever.

We will swim now, in a digital sea-of-deception, until our limbs grow tired, and we "check-out", one by one.   The iPhones are hacked by Apple, the internet routers are all hacked by Governments, and every public or private conversation is captured and held until the keys to decrypt it can be obtained - which they always will be, eventually.    The ability of small-holders and individuals to fight the "Great Digital Data Rape" is so small as to be insignificant.

The very bad guys have won again, and we are all poorer for it, and damaged by it.   If you want to see what the future will look like, just look at what Afghanistan looks like now - or Belarus, or Myanmar.

See, it starts with lies, high-taxes, lots of government intrusion and control and false-flag tricks and "nudges" - and it ends with death-camps, people dragged from their homes and killed by gangsters-in-police-uniforms, and prisons full of people who die under mysterious cicumstances.

We need to reset Western Culture - and the entire Western-World political model, with new people and new methods & recognize the astonishing threats we are all under - both from nature itself, and our dishonest, fraud-promoting political "leaders".

[ Sept. 1, 2021 ] - Updated AI Model - And it still says we are up and away.  Curious.  What will the market do?  Up - Flat - Down - Up - sideways - and ends up, but our real-time test, a few ticks lower.   Clean the ordinance, and get ready for tomorrow...

Meanwhile, in the Ministry of Truth, the Lie Machines are working at full-speed.  As a student of the psychological mechanism and methodologies of propaganda, I have been watching the USA MSM with real fascination.  To see so many falsehood-generators compete for the American's "hearts and minds" is truly scary.   Their media machinery is running hard and fast now.  Here is a good summary of the extent and scale of the fraud that is on offer, by a fine fellow who recognizes it:

https://pjmedia.com/columns/stephen-kruiser/2021/09/01/msm-re-writing-of-bidens-afghanistan-tragedy-already-in-high-gear-n1474445

The US Leftist media is pumping out this astonishing storm of dirty datasets, supporting Joe Biden's unwise, wrong and grotesque actions to abandon the Afghans, after spending 20 years getting the place to where it was almost a stable, modern nation.    Biden is not quite as bad a Herr Hitler.  He certainly is not as smart.  But he has a lot of media support in the production of his dishonest propaganda.  It is an impressive display of digital vomit.  Quite amazing, actually.

[ Aug. 31, 2021 ] - Days and Nights in Kabul - Straw men, hollow men, and that whimper that accompanies betrayal and collapse...  The poets spoke of all this.   Evil rising, as the good men with justice in their hearts, go down to defeat & death.   The political success of the Big Lie, and the results - people die - all this unnecessary tragedy washes over the world, a river of deception, overflowing it's banks and flooding it's corruption and filth across the landscape of men.  See the women and children choke, drowning on mud-coloured lies,

The Terrorists in Afghanistan have murdered a popular Afghan singer - dragged him from his home and killed him in the street, shouting:  "Music is forbidden under Islam."  These Taliban terrorists also now have control of the American bio-metric devices for identification of all Afghan civilians.

https://nypost.com/2021/08/27/taliban-kill-squad-hunting-afghans-with-americas-biometric-data/

This is a American betrayal of an entire nation.  These awful "cut-and-run" tactics, and the surrender to the Taliban Terrorists, is a crime on the scale of the European Holocaust in World War Two.  

The mass-murder of European Jews began as a program to re-settle them into "concentration camps", for their own protection.  This was the lie used at the time.  United States and Canada did the same thing, to it's citizens of Japanese racial background.  Camps were built, people had their property seized, and were re-located to camps.   European efforts - initiated by the National Socialists of Germany - took their program a step further - and simply murdered many of those sent to camps, using poison gas - telling the people they were to get showers to clean themselves, after travelling in sealed box-cars to their destination.  Instead of water, Zyklon-B gas - an insecticide - was sprayed into the "shower room"  to kill them.

It takes a Government to commit the really big crimes - mass property theft and mass murder.  This happens with sad regularity.

And this is now what the Afghan people face -  systematic murder at the hands of fanatical, religious-fascist Taliban, who are greedy, loathsome bandits.

The Americans who engineered this - allowed it to happen - are guilty of a crime.  The USA spent 20 years of global, co-ordinated effort, assisted by many other nations - the UK, Canada, and others - and had removed these Taliban terrorists from the Afghan lands. 

To now surrender Afghanistan - and billions of dollars of advanced technology equipment - back to the Taliban terrorists, means the current American Government politicians are guilty of a crime on the scale of the Holocaust.  

An entire nation has been dropped into a technologically-enabled, fascist slave-state run by religious fanatics who murder at will.  This will prove for most people in the Afghan region, to be a perfect Hell-on-Earth.

And it also means - once the food runs out, and the food-riots begin - that the Taliban terrorists will likely return to the only thing they know - warfare and terror -  but directed at their neighbours and any groups that oppose them.   

This unwise American betrayal and surrender, will have lasting consequences.  

The American "Preppers" - those who speculate on conspiracy-theories, and prepare themselves and their families for civil breakdown, and open warfare in the streets of the cities - this kind of worst-case scenario has now become reality in Afghanistan.   In all of the Afghan regions, the SHTF - "Sh/t Hits The Fan" nightmare of total collapse into the worst-case, Hell-State nightmare - this has become the new operational reality.

Taliban terrorsts only know how to kill.   Soon, the people of Afghanistan will again learn this.  We will see history repeat, now as extreme tragedy and mass-death.   And when the Taliban terrorists seek to export this death - the only export product those kinds of people are able to produce - what will be done then?

I have this strange, curious sense, that I have just seen an event similar to the death of the Arch-Duke Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie, murdered in Sarajevo, in 1914.  That event triggered World War One - the "Great War", also called the "War to End all Wars".  It wasn't.

This bizarre, awful action by the American Democrats feels like it might also initiate a major re-alignment of global power - and an eventual World War Three.   Not right away - more madness will have to happen, first.  But it may.  We have to consider this risk factor, since it's probability is not zero.

Life always goes on, somehow.  And of course, so does Death.   But that 16th century Knight, with that wisdom & firm resolve, in Albrecht Dürer's most famous picture -  he has left the building.   And so now, Death and the Devil take the stage alone, and are ascendant.

This sad Daunt of America, as it's Knights lay down swords, and leave the scene, and put their horses out to pasture - this is an ending.   But for Evil - the Devil -  it is a new beginning, bright with the promise of stolen treasure and streets running red with blood.

[ Aug. 30, 2021 ] - Momma's Got a Squeeze Box - as George Harrison told us all..   and so does the market.  Watching SPRT.   Support.com is actually a good idea - if you need to buy software support - well, maybe just do that - but keep your hardware under your own management and control.  Do backups.  And *regularly* check that your damn backups can be restored. 

This verification of restoration operations - this is boring, but very critical work - typically missed, or done badly by indifferent kids with little diagnostic ability.   When it goes wrong, they just open their mouths...

You have to nail-down process, the way the Roman Army did.  Discipline, repetition, verification - and thus the narrow path to damn good results can be safely traversed.   Marcus Aurelius actually wrote about these same problems, in his military campaigns.  He kept a notebook, bedside.  Curious how little changes in the world.  Gangster-bandits have *always* been a problem, and always will.   Stupid, crooked people in power - always a problem - never goes away.  And bad process, executed poorly, by weak-minded simpletons - another problem that *never* leaves us, and always requires constant attention.

Squeezing the gonads of the short-sellers - this is a time-honoured way to make money in the markets.   When it gets done, it is actually a sign of a healthy market, working the way it is supposed to work.   Short-selling is always a dangerous activity.   But it is the dangerous, bold stuff, that can make money - sometimes big money.  But if big money can be made - then big money can also be LOST.  

You have to be either very skilled, and/or very lucky to play this game and track the path to profit.

And squeezing the "shorts" is also a path to profit.  Also dangerous.   But if you can do it - good for you.  I like to see the little guy win, truth be told.   Software-as-service is silly - but getting a good support arrangement for critical business needs - that is wise, and sensible.   Will be interesting to see how SPRT tracks from here...

[ Aug. 29, 2021 ] - Cloudburst - We've warned clients for years that the "Cloud" model, and "software-as-a-service" is a profoundly bad idea.  It is little more than the return to the old "Data Centre" concept of the mainframe-world of the 1960's to the early 1980's.  Some external people control your most critical information, in a place somewhere else.  Like all really bad, seductive ideas, it looks somewhat good, and it sort-of works, until it doesn't, and blows up in your face.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-security/researchers-cybersecurity-agency-urge-action-by-microsoft-cloud-database-users-idUSKBN2FT0K8

If your data is valuable and is mission-critical important business information, then you want to keep it close, and watch it carefully - and most of all - control all aspects of access and security, yourself.  Putting your data on Amazon or Microsoft or Google cloud-servers, is just silly.

You are giving them the keys to your kingdom, and the means to destroy your business.  Don't be so profoundly unwise.  Keep your data on your own computers, if it is important, and critical.

Meanwhile, at least one man got his mission accomplished - sort of.  He had to leave his people behind (Taliban terrorists prevented them travelling to the airport) - but he got the dogs he was responsible for, to safety.  Paul Farthing got his rescue dogs on a privately chartered aircraft - and got them to safety.  In our opinion, he is a serious hero.   Some British government twits have criticised him, and told lies suggesting this diverted action from rescuing people - but that is complete lie. 

Farthing served for 15 years with UK military in Afghan lands, and he setup a rescue for animals.  He refused to leave without his dogs.  He arranged *PRIVATE* transport for his dogs, and some people - who appear to be nasty-skanks -  tried to prevent this and were critical of his actions..   We believe this guy Paul Farthing is a true, honest HERO.  

I've been reading a thesis, by a Michigan woman, who studied the Norse Heroic legends, and her conclusion is that the truest definition of a hero, is a good person, who is stubborn in his fighting, unwilling to surrender or back down from a critical fight, where the hero knows that something must be made to happen.  By all technical and moral definitions: Paul Farthing is a hero.   And the lick-spittle toady-boys in the UK, who criticise Farthing, look like - well, they look like the bad folks they are.

But Paul Farthing is an actual, honest hero.   There is no heroism in just executing a surrender-mission.  What Farthing did - was impressive.   Good for him.   I have a dog.   I love my dog.

If they need it, we will adopt one or more of the dogs.   Rabies is all over Ontario, so that stupid quarentine restriction that the UK has, does not apply in Canada.  We could take one, any time, any way.

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/Britain-Afghanistan-Animal-Charity/2021/08/29/id/1034183/

I honestly have to say, I am so freaking angry about this debacle and surrender in Afghanistan, that I could just spit hot nails.   To just bugger-off, and turn that whole nation back over to a bunch of evil terrorist scum - who actively assisted the folks who attacked New York City - the centre of World Trade - and the Pentagon - US Military Headquarters - in Washington, D.C., this is just the worst, most awful act of insane, over-the-top betrayal I have ever since in my lifetime. 

It is madness.   It is an act political insanity, economic destruction, and moral depravity.

The entire Western Cultural matrix - needs a complete reset.   We need to expunge the current fraudsters that dominate the politics of European and North American culture.   History shows very clearly - what works, and what does not.   We had solved the problem in Afghanistan - and then just threw away 20 years worth of hard effort!   Joe Biden and his gang should stand trial for direct betrayal of America and it's values.

Radical Islamic terrorism - as a political model - is now 100% back in business.  And it's Biden's fault, and the fault of the "cut-and-run" special Americans who supported this fool, and his gang. Biden's dementia, and the Democrat's arrogance, have been directly responsible for a catastrophic failure & terrorist mass-murder (over 100 Afghans were killed at the Kabul airport)  that did not have to happen.

[ Aug. 27, 2021 ] - The first preliminary copy of "Langdon Strategy: How to Invest in Stocks and Real Estate and Make Money" is now available -  The first person to order a copy of the "Langdon Strategy Book" gets a real  bonus!  They get to assist me in figuring out how to set up ONLINE PAYMENT on this website.   Seriously - right now, if you order the book, all that happens is that I get an email, telling me I have got an order!

Well, that is pretty useless, of course.  What has to happen, is a link to payment service (which is a secure link, of course) has to pop-up, so that the person ordering  the Book, can enter his or her VISA or MasterCard number, and pay for the Book, and my bank account gets credited.

So, I am actively trying to learn how to address this rather obvious requirement.  Years back, I actually set everything up with PayPal, and they even did transactions to and from my bank account for small amounts, to confirm the system worked and was set up correctly.  But I never actually used the system for several years, and PayPal just deleted everything.  Use it or lose it, I guess is the rule.  At one point, I tried to re-activate the payments acceptance thing I had set up, but the PayPal folks basically told me to go away.  So much for them.

It appears only Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple actually make real money using the current online technical methodologies.  Everyone else looks to have been squeezed out, or run systems that rely on advertizing to generate revenue.   The porn sites are still in existence, and (I am told), they seem to be able to process credit card payments.   (I honestly don't know.  I have always fallen into the category of the guys who prefer to do it, rather than watch & read about it.  But clearly, it seems the porn-sellers know how to turn a buck.  Good for them, I guess...)

This is all quite an interesting outcome - and rather parallels what has happened in the automobile and aviation industries.   At first, there were *lots* of small players.  But over time, as the market and industry evolved, end-conditions are reached where a few big players get *all* the business, and the smaller operators are either absorbed, or made to disappear.   It's a tad disturbing.   

In order to offer the Book, I need to have some mechanism to get paid for the Book. This used to be easy, but now it is difficult, it seems.    Stay tuned.   I know it is possible, and I will determine what needs to be done, and then do it, so as to achieve this result!    :)

"When You Have Some Extra Money,  Everything Tastes Like Honey!" )

So, to get this simple thing done - I will have to do a deal with a Bank most likely, and then code the link stuff myself.  How hard can that be?  Once you are on the Bank's payment window, the bank-site will be handling the site security.

And, it means we will not even have your Visa number and secondary code numbers or your bank's payment details in our records.  All we will have is a tiny amount of money!  (We sincerely hope!)

Once the payment hits our bank account - we ship the Book.   And the first person to order the first copy of the Book gets to ask me detailed questions about our portfolios, and what they look like, and how they have performed thru time.   And that is useful information.   :)

Be our first "Client 0", and get an inside look at exactly what we are doing!  (It might help you get just a little bit rich...!)

[ Aug. 26, 2021 ] - PM:  THE BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE - and it is IN THE ONLINE STORE, which is now active in a PROTOTYPE mode on this website.  Whoo Hoo! (About bloody time, eh?)  - Just click the "Online Store" menu option, on top line of website.  Thanks to all who order!!

[ Aug. 26, 2021 ] - Failed President, Political Judges, American Citizens to be Left in Afghanistan? - I never expected to see anything this completely crazy.  Joe Biden is running these "press conferences" (that are not conferences at all) where he walks into a room, reads some stuff about how he will satisfy the demands of bandit terrorists, and then leaves the room, showing everyone the view of his back.  It is simply bizarre and scary.   The USA is run by crazy nutjobs like 80-year-old Nancy Pelosi, (who seriously should be in a nursing home now), and Chuck Schumer, who is - well, we all know what he is, don't we?  He is a Leftist.

I never expected the USA to fracture into this strange "broken state" political model, quite so quickly, so completely.  It is weird and scary.    I actually love and respect the historical triumphs of the USA - despite how over-the-top the actions were sometimes     I can understand the harsh, cruel, logic of war.  War is tough, deadly  business, and you begin a war only when all other options for conflict resolution have failed.

But I cannot understand the bone-stupid mind-bending ignorance of Joe Biden, and the  Democrats of the  Washington Swamp, getting on their knees to the Taliban , and willing to  leave American citizens stranded, to be raped and killed by the enemy Taliban.   I have serious difficulty understanding the logic of this tragic, weird cowardice behaviour.   Joe  Biden will not even answer questions at his own fake "press conference" event, and it all just seems to me, very wrong.

This is just madness.   America "cuts and runs", and plans to leave its own people to get abused and risk being killed by a bunch of raghead terrorist bandit murderers?    What exactly is wrong with the Democrats of USA?   Have they been actually replaced by aliens or something?  This is like watching  a bad science-fiction, late-night drive-in B-picture - called "Aliens Take Over the World - Watch them destroy Western Culture in only SEVEN MONTHS!"  

It's just crazy.   If I was an American, I would be organizing a big protest - just so the rest of the world could learn that we have not all been neutered by the BIdenistas!   Protests are a waste of time - but at least you can communicate some truth.   Sometimes, that matters.

Don't take my word for it - read what Americans themselves are saying:

https://jimtreacher.substack.com/p/biden-sank-afghanistan-and-now-hes

And here is more disturbing News.   American "Judges" are attacking lawyers now - just like they do in Belarus...

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/judge-disciplines-trump-lawyers/2021/08/25/id/1033796/

And it gets more insane...   I am not the only one who thinks that Joe Biden is a bogus fraud, and a buffoon, operated by remote control.   He won't even take questions - at his own "press conference".   Why do Ameicans stand for this?   This is not how it works.  You are all being defrauded  by what looks like a strange scheme.   This is just wrong.

I am not making up conspiracy pictures.  I don't even believe in any "conspiracy theory" nonsense. But I recognize stupidity and deception and dangerous "he-is-gonna-fly-the-plane-into-the-ground" lack of wisdom and ability when I see it - since I saw it in pretty much every environment I ever worked in - for too many years.   No-one ever calls in a consultant, when everything is running along smoothly.  So, all I ever saw, were problems and project disasters, and folks doing stuff that could (and did) blow up the business or agency.   It's just the nature of things.

Now, I am old, and I don't give a shit if I offend anyone.   We have to get past all this deception that seems to drive everything, everywhere now. 

We need - we must demand and insist upon - honest, open, true dialogue and "living-in-truth" public discussion about the nightmare problems we face in the near future - and fucking "Climate Change" is not one of them.  Radical, shit-for-brains religious hellmongering hatred and evil shit like the Taliban and ISIS are the future we face - crazy, cruel, ugly, evil-stupid political scams and political gangsterism, that will make Hitler and the old Nazis look like Florence Nightingale,by comparison.

Go watch some radical Islamic boys cut the heads off of some North European White girls they have just raped - and then take the graphic details of the horrible awful murders - which they filmed with their iPhones -  and then uploaded the whole thing to the social media sites.

Go watch that material, and tell me that it is Ok, to leave the women of Afghanistan to that - to be abused and degraded by the radical Islamic Taliban.   Nancy Pelsoi should be ashamed.  She betrays and disrepects women.  She is a cruel old, nasty witch of the worst kind.  The Democrats simply pass insane-stupid edicts, preventing property owners from removing tenants who refuse to pay their rent - at the same time as they begin the process to abandon the commitments America has made around the world.   These Swamp Democrats are doing all they can to enable and communicate irresponsible, incorrect human behaviour to the citizens of America, and the partners the USA has in other nations.    It's just sad and awful.

Islam is just another bad thing.   And "Radical Islam" is a wicked, enabling moral justification for the very worst, awful and most disgusting horrible behaviour that low-quality human creatures have ever engaged in.   "Radical Islam" is pure filth, a fraud wrapped in excrement, dumped into a ditch filled with urine, and then fished out and fed to people.  It is a horrific lie, used to kill innocent people, and bend the minds of the ignorant.  And it enables pure evil to walk freely thru the world again.  It is history running retrograde.

Sadly, this is the entire history of almost  ALL RELIGIONS. They start out talking about god and god-good-things, and they very soon, end up just being this ugly enabling social and psychological toolset, that allows and encourages the murdering of people in horrible, awful ways.

It would be best, to remove *ALL RELIGION* everywhere.  That will never happen, because people can be such pathetic superstitous fools, who desperately need to believe weird nonsense, to let them survive misfortune, and make them feel better.  HIstory shows this with absolute clarity.  And it does this in every culture, repeating this sad outcome in every society, everywhere in all of history.    Even the Buddhist philosophy of peace and enlightenment, gets used to enable the mental and emotional detachment a warrior-swordsman needs to have, to ensure victory in the bloody business of sword-fighting.

Despite this historical reality, we all need to try to move in that direction of "religion removal".  That is why the wise designers of honourable, good nations, create and insist upon, secular civil institutions and procedures to govern the operation of a State.  

Church and State have to be seperate, else the blood will run in the streets as people fight to the death about nonsense that is not even true or testable or real.   The State *MUST BE SECULAR*, or people will die like flies.   Europe, England, and then America learned this, and the Americans did the very best job of designing and building a State which was open and operational for all people, regardless of what foolish religious nonsense they believed.   This might be the greatest system design-success in all of human history. 

History shows secular States work well, and allow very diverse folks to live and work together in peace.   This is also why "religious" States are typically dominated by thieves and sadistic bandit criminals.   The "religion" nonsense enables always the very worst in human behaviour.

The great tragedy of Afghanistan, is that the place was well on it's way to something that was working.   And then America just pulled out everything, completely!   It was an ugly "rug-pull", which blew everything up, and it allowed the bad guys back in to take control.    We are certain, that there will be terrible, long-term, costs from this foolish, absurd action - and that as Sept. 11, 2001 demonstrated so clearly, these awful costs will not be paid just by the poor folks in the Middle East.   America has damaged itself - just as much as it has enabled great damage to occur in the collapsed State of Afghanistan.   The whole strategy is just wrong - a complete and foolish madness.

In the meantime, each of us can at least, think & study and learn.  And become skilled in what can help us drive the political changes that must take place.   All people in all nations now, are connected.  The "Malthusian" crisis that is coming, will not be the result of "Global Warming" or "Climate Change" nonsense.  If the sun is warming the planet more, there is nothing we can do about that.   But we can and we must uplift the corrupt, god-fraud damaged, failed-states of the world, lest we set up the pre-conditions for a world-wrecking series of accelerating conflicts.

In Afghanistan, there will be - soon - mass starvation.  It will *not* be the result of "Climate Change".   The place is basically a desert ecosystem, and it takes significant effort and a working social and political economy for anyone to live there, and operate farms there.  The needed irrigation projects require significant economic effort, social agreement and confidence in the future.   Farmers have to have honest, fair, available markets, they need to own their land, and be able to earn a surplus from working it.  With a bandit-run, god-fraud-religious kleptocracy in charge, most folks will focus their efforts on simply trying to get the hell out of the place.

It's not hard to predict the future for the poor, betrayed folks who will remain in Afghanistan.  It will involve sickness and poverty and death - either from lack of nutrition or from the violence that despair encourages.

This is a bad outcome - and it did not have to happen.    At the very least - an international UN Peacekeeping operation could have been established at Bagram Air Base, or something like that.  

The key fact here, is that the tragedy that will unfold now, in Afghanistan, will not be confined to that country alone.   The mass starvation and violent conflicts will spread.  We learned this from recent history, only 20 years ago - and I suppose we will now have to learn it again.  Does America benefit from this?  Does Israel benefit, as it's neighbours fall into horrible, constant conflict?   Perhaps.   And it is perhaps this, that explains the horrific failure of American policy we are seeing now?    This crazy nightmare scenario has maybe not happened by accident.

If one looks carefully, and sees both the Republicans and the Democrats crafting this surrender to the Taliban, and this engineered abandonment, the old legal question:  "Cui bono?"  ("Who Benefits from this?") comes quietly up.   Which political or group entity or nation benefits from this ugly outcome?   Were there dark forces, working to engineer this American defeat?  Or is this just a cluster-crash of ordinary failure?  

We think it can't just be failure - America is not generally this stupid, and detailed intelligence reports indicated the Afghan Army was reluctant to shoot and kill it's own people.   Biden and his boys were briefed on what would happen, once Bagram was abandoned in the night.  The Afghan Army might not fight. 

An Afghan soldier shooting at a Taliban fighter - might actually be killing a member of his own family.   Think about that for a minute.  Would American soldiers shoot and kill American rebels (Yes, they sure did in the Civil War  - but divisions were clear, and families geographically distant.)

Did the Israeli's really engineer this outcome, through their manipulation of Trump and his people, and then the Jewish-American Leftist wing of the Democrat Party?   We do not believe this.  It is too much of a stretch.   

But does anyone benefit from this?   Does Israel feel more secure, as it watches the Taliban retake Afghanistan?  Do the Russians?  The Chinese?  India? Pakistan?  Iraq?   Saudi's?   Maybe the Saudi's saw a higher oil price, if Afghanistan blew up and collapsed.   Did they manipulate Trump, and then offer something to the Democrats?    All this just seems too far-fetched also.  We don't believe it.

One fellow said simply (quoting an old saying): "Never attribute to malice, that which can be adequately explained by stupidity."    Perhaps that really is the truth.   But that's also hard to accept.

[ Aug. 25, 2020 - Aptanoon ] - (That's Korean-English) - Long hike to the highway mailbox, and then worked like a Roman slave, clearing weeds - and got the latest Quarterly from Power Corporation.   We hold their preferreds, and they have been a damn fine long-term investment.  Thru thick and thin, wars, terrorist-attacks, 5 (actually, I think it is now 6) market melt-downs, lethal death-to-millions viral pandemics, and the Decline of the American Empire - Quebec-based Power Corporation has paid it's dividends.   Bravo, guys.  You are demonstrating to the world how business is to be done.   Long-term, consistant, stable, profits, with a reasonable amount vectored back to your patient, contented shareholders.

Do not ever disrespect long-term, stable payments, by honest folks who run good businesses.   This is what has let us skate on thru the various shitstorms of ignorance, foolishness, and crazy, unstable global markets.   Buy property, have enough investments to pay your bills, and make goddamn sure you have some quality holdings that are yielding at least 5%, and are not doing it by burning down your capital (like most "schemes" generally do).

Do your own research, do your own thinking, make your own plans - and when it is time to act, don't pussy-foot around - make meaningful, significant bets that have high-probability of working over reasonable, medium-term horizons.  Expect volatility.  Trade, if you need to augment yield.  Done right, it can work well.  But be careful not to be out, when you should be in.

I should teach a course on this stuff - since I had to learn ALL of it myself (school was almost useless - from Grade 1 to the Master's program, truth be told.)   You *must* learn a bit of the math - that is the only thing that is really *true* in the universe - because the math will show you how the hell you can get rich.  Really.  Seriously.   I have these crazy notebooks, where I sat down and worked thru shit I didn't understand - and I just kept putzing and messing around with it until the penny would finally drop, and I could do the stuff forward - and then do it backward, and get to where I started.   I remember working out all the financial math, and figuring out why that silly "e" thing was what it was, and how compound-growth calculations, and internal-rate-of-return and bond-yield calculations could be done.    This math goes back to ancient Greece and the Greeks learned it from the Babylonians.   I seriously worked out - back in the 80's - price projections for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the best index to look at, because it is small, and tractable, and mirrors a wise man's investment portolio - mostly because crap-companies are dumped, and good ones (that are making money) are added in.   That is the key.

My mid-1980's price projections are pretty much spot on, curiously - despite all the bullshit I read saying such analysis was bogus, not valid, etc.    My greatest and most serious mistake was NOT investing heavily in technology companies - since they always seemed overpriced to me.   I was way wrong on that, and I should have known better, since the disruptive stuff really can make money - like the aircraft and movie businesses were primed to, back in the 1920's.  The 1930's beat the shit out of investors, but it all came back, if you survived the World War 2.  By the 1950's and the 1960's, those early 1920's companies - if they survived - made all the old guys (and gals!) very wealthy. 

The investment process works - even if the shit-for-brains political people do not.   This is a curious key fact, that must be kept in mind.   Land - owned in a nation which has honorable and fair laws on land-tenure - is a good long term bet.   One branch of the famous Jewish Rothchild family of bankers - had all their money and holdings in France siezed by the Nazis.  After the war, this one fellow, Phillipe, got his land-holdings returned to him (since it was his property).  It was used to grow his grapes - his winery.  And here in 2021, I can go into the LCBO (the Ontario Liquor Control Board - yes, it really is called that - it's one of the biggest buying groups for booze in the world, since we all drink so damn much here) and buy Barron Phillipe Rothchild's "Mouton Cadet" red-wine, and it is good.   And the Barron recovered his fortune - by making and then selling good wine around the world.   

So, buy land in a nation which protects - clearly - the rights of property owners.    This is the single key fact which made the Roman Empire so successful.   Roman law defined and protected land-owners, and their rights to buy, sell, or hypothecate (mortgage) their property, and/or pledge it for collateral.  And the job of the Roman Army, was to enforce Roman law, and ensure bandit-armies were hunted down and destroyed.   Rome did fine, as long as that model could be maintained.  And when it could not, then it all fell apart - quickly - just like the Soviet "Union" did - which did 'not" offer any legal protection at all to land-owners.

It's amazing that the madness of "Communism" survived as long as it did.   If you live in a nation where government people can arbitrarily sieze citizen's property, and give it to themselves or their buddies, then you need to buy guns, create a rebel army, destroy the corrupt government, and repair the problem.  Otherwise, just buy property, and invest enough to pay your taxes on it.  

There is no question, that the world is tracking into a time of real *crazy* now.   But the investment process might continue to work just fine, as long as the corrupt governments do not try to fuck things up, for the benefit of the government elite. 

Be very, very worried, if "elites" have evolved in your country.   The Chinese people need to be very careful about what is happening inside their existing "government".   They - the really clever ones - really should be quietly organizing to ensure that the system they use to select their "Leaders" is something sane and sensible and honest.  What is trending in China now, is really dangerous.  More democratic methods would save them from a possible terrible future outcome.

I am coming near to the end of this "blog/diary" thing, as time is running out, I fear.

I have tried to put down useful info, that folks in the future can reference, if they want to understand some of the madness of the last 20 years.  The 21st century is shaping up to be pretty much the same sort of violent shitstorm of horror and foolishness, that the 20th century was - except with less real advancement.

But the 20th century, also brought space-travel, the "green-revolution" (which many do not even notice any more - wild, crazy improvements in crop yield and plant disease-resistance, which has allowed almost all the world to eat well, without hunger), and massive scientific advancement in every field.

The same degree of improvement is simply not evident now.   Now, we just make tiny changes, and minor improvements, typically involving more computer technology, and less operational reliability.    This is a *very* disturbing trend - for several reasons.

Get your vaccines.   The science supports the mRNA vaccine, and probably you will want to get a booster shot - maybe even annually.   

Invest well, and try not to die before you need to.  :)

[ Aug. 25, 2021 ] - Money for Nothing - or nothing for money?  We watch the USA in its strange and curious dance of political-economic self-deception, and can only think: "Oh my..."

The strange Democrats are dancing in the aisles, happy that they have just managed to vote to vote on spending of  another 3.4 trillion US dollars, that they don't actually have.   They view this as an accomplishment.   The only fellow talking any sense in the Washington weirdland now, is Kevin McCarthy, some Repubican fellow who says the Democrats should be ashamed.  (They should be more than that...)  (Hint: We are also dysfunctional here in Canada.  Our strange PM, has said on public televsion - during his own initiated election campaign - that he does not care about monetary policy.  i wish he would move to Zimbabwe.)

It is getting really crazy now - the money being "borrowed" (which actually maybe is just being printed using basic government financial trickery - sell bonds, and then have the Central Bank buy the bonds using funds the central bank just "creates" as book-entries on it's balance sheet) is crazy large.   The total government debt in the USA is roughly 30 *trillion dollars* .  That is a very big number. And the Democrats are planning to pump up the pork, and spend another - roughly  3.4 trillion dollars on welfare schemes and free money for poor folks, and some new bridges and roads.  MMT says "Nothing Matters!"   Maybe Malthus will render an opinion at some point.   :D

It's like there is no one in charge, who knows anything, anywhere.   It's really pretty weird.

And our good stocks that went down yesterday - on very good earnings news - are now all catching strong bid today - and are comfortably up.   Very strange times.  But, it all seems to be ticking along, not too badly.  :)

[ Aug. 24-25, 2021 ] - Terra Incognita - I watch GameStop zoom up dover $45 to close more than $210 per share.  That is a 27.85% upmove on stock in a money-loser company.  And AMC was bid up $7.47 to $45.25/shr - again, a money-losing operation (but now with no debt, so maybe this can be justified?)   Meanwhile, I have a little BNS, which reported $2.5 billion *profit* for 3 months, ended June 30th, declared a dividend of almost a dollar a share ($0.90, actually), and reported $2.01 in earnings per share - with something like a 90% improvement  compared to last years (awful, pandemic) quarter.  The stock tanked from a slight uptick over yesterday (high was 80.64), to close at 79.60, a fall of $0.63 on the day.  All ratios are improving, the business is booming, I bank there, and I just borrowed a whack of cash at over 4.00%, and so have many, many others, mortgages and business loans are up, and PCL ratio has improved to 24 basis points on the quarter.  (PCL ratio is provision for credit losses, as a percentage of total net loans and acceptances - the PCL ratio is a measure of risky business - you want it low and falling.  The BNS PCL ratio decreased 112 basis points, to 24 basis points, which seems to me, to be pretty fucking not bad at all.  

But I have to express some concern, watching this stupid US shit fly to the fucking moon, while our various conservative, old-bugger's portfolios actually *fall* in value, when good goddamn results are printed by the companies we are holding.  It's just a bit twisted, but I suspect it is just good old market dynamics - buy the rumor, and sell on the news.   I should know better, and be trading this shit more actively, but right now, I was not.  My mistake, I guess.  We are doing ok, but everyone else is printing cash, it seems.   A bit weird.

Read this shit, if curious (the Reddit feed re. GME).  It's pretty hilarious...   Kids writing shit like "Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime.  That's why I buy GME on Company Time."   Can't argue with that, can you?  ( -- Technical Note:  I have twice inserted a URL link to  the Aug.24, 2021 Reddit page for GME discussions.  It is educational to just page thru and view the posted comments.  Caesar understood these folks quite well.  But I think the operators of my website service, are maybe filtering this URL perhaps?  It just seems to disappear..  This is my third attempt to insert the URL link.  -- )

https://www.reddit.com/r/GME/comments/pahgo/rgme_megathread_for_tuesday_august_24_2021/

The Reddit/Robinhood brigade really kicked our asses today - no question.  "Fucking-crazy" beats "Old-men-trying-to-do-the-right-thing" all the time now.   Ya gotta give "crazy" it's due, since it is ticking along pretty good.  It's like watching those fucking rag-head gangsters in Toyota pickup trucks, kick all the American and Western embassy-idiots out of Afgoofistan, while dictating the terms of the evacuation airlift, and the mechanics of the 'Murican's complete surrender.

Fuck, you don't need analysts to invest, and you don't need nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers to win major wars.  You need Reddit for investment advice, and Toyota pickup trucks and some shipping containers full of AK-47s and ammo, and a willingness to just shoot-to-kill anyone who opposes you - and not care - and time and a place to just hang-tough for 20 years.   Does anyone actually know that the Afghanistan Government Army took over 60,000 casualties during the last 20 years?    The Afghans  basically had their own Vietnam War, right outside their house,  in their own streets - for 20 fucking years.  And then suddenly, the American military fucks off, and takes all the maintenance and aircraft and modern air-support with them, and sneaks out like cowardly thieves in the dark-of-night, and the shit-for-brains thumpers in the US disrespect the Afghans for not shooting at the armed, evil Taliban, whom the **AMERICANS** have just surrendered to?    That is pretty insane.

If you're too much bummed out about defeat of Western Culture and the good old USA, you can look at really pretty Russian girls, with their clothes coming off.  It's  theraputic - and there is high quality photography, with tasteful, tasty images.  [Images approved by "Hetro-Canada", and the Federal National Department of Rigid Affairs]

https://supermodelssite.wordpress.com/2017/05/02/julia-yaroshenko-by-alisa-verner/

This Afghan failure and American surrender is just crazy weird.   It is so insane, that is is going to change the course of world history - even if folks don't see it yet.  It was just a crazy weird ending to a not completely unsuccessful nation-builting exercise.   Trump and Biden got weird, and did a nutty thing, like crazy old coots sometimes do.    And I predict that it is gonna get - well, even more weird, in the coming near future.  Really, really weird.  The weird are gonna do more than just turn pro, this time.

Oh, Hunter S. Thompson, we miss you bad.  I remember reading your shit in RollingStone, and then Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" -  it was being taught in English class in Grade 9, I think at my "high" school (which, as it happens, was pretty fucking high, as I recall...)   So, I am OK with weird.  Weird has been a constant element of the zeitgeist for all my life.   

But I think maybe that - oh, Major Major Weird might be coming.    We are all gonna be in some kind of global Catch-22 maybe - or maybe Catch-22 meets William Gibson -  and their love-child is running the big Wintermute computer in orbit, immersed in a vat of chicken-entrails, trying to live forever as large mass of human neural tissue?   (This actually is right and truly possible - right now -  and has been done last month on a small scale.)  Wintermute wants to do a Forbin-project on the world, and reduce humans to - well, what we are seeing now - silly creatures who no longer think clearly.

They're trying to tell us that Climate Change is a problem.  But the truth, is - it's the radical shit-crazy change in the political climate that is going to get us all nuked.   We can handle a hot planet - but we might not survive a World-War III against a badly weakened, demoralized America.    Seriously.   That open Southern Border  (the "Southern Reach"?), and that crazy ugly defeat in Kabul - I feel like its 406, at year's end, and the Rhine is frozen, and the army seems to be not actually manning the posts.  You're at your Latifundia in Gaul, you've managed to pay your taxes in grain (no one has any cash, since it is all buried), and you drop by the local garrison, to talk to your old friend, Biggus Diccus, and you find the garrison buildings empty.  

And you think:   "O merda..."

[ Aug. 24, 2021 ] - Civilization Really Is Under Attack - For some time, I have felt this - and dismissed it as a silly idea.  But with what I see now,  I now think it is true.  Our Western cultural values - they are under real and serious assault.   What we believe, what our parents fought and some died for, is under threat.  

This is a *REALLY* good essay about how civilization is being actively damaged.  It's written by a fellow named Mark Steyn, who is at a University in Michigan, called Hillsdale.  Please read it, as it is solid, pure wisdom.  Rare stuff...

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/increasingly-unrecognizable-civilization/

My folks had a good friend, whose husband was killed in WW2 and when my parents died, she remained a friend to us.  She was a was kind and good person, who actually saved me from assault and destruction by the "Educational Bureaucracy."  I was going to be deemed a "stupid kid" and streamed into the grade-school (and high-school) programs for stupid kids.   (I got bad marks in grade school and high-school.  I didn't start getting "A"'s, until Grade 13 Physics, and then University, where things started making sense.)

Gretchen was a teacher-supervisor, and did an IQ test on me when I was in Grade 3 or 4 or around then.  (I didn't even know what it was at the time), and her report indicated I had this genius IQ, which I thought was a comedy result, since I felt confused and mystified by the madness - pretty much all the time.   I thought I was just  bit thick, but I tried to play the game. 

I would ask the teachers "Does Neatness count?" and they would look at me like I was a loon.  They would ask me to explain, and I would describe how I was marked down for doing messy writing in a test - by some silly Grade 3 "Teacher" who was a bit of a buffoon - and I would explain that if "Neatness counted", then I would have to accept lower marks, because I could not write fast - and would not produce proper exam results, in the limited time I was given to answer the questions.  But if "Neatness" did not count, then I could write fast, and provide a proper answer to the various questions, and earn higher marks.  (They still taught cursive writing and "penmanship" - which actually were really good things to teach kids, as it turns out.)

Teachers in Grade 3 and 4 and 5 at public school, did not expect to have to deal with these sort of questions from their child students.  Most were simply not intelligent people, and were only in the "teaching" profession, because they were slackers, and it had high-wages, with lots of free-time, and all your summer available for vacation.   They were lightweights, mostly.    But not all. 

Some were quite good and helpful.  ( I had a really great teacher in Grade 6, who was interested in nuclear technology, and offered optional instructions on the physics of nuclear weapons - during lunch hours.  He was a curious fellow, but very helpful.   Once my parents asked what I was learning in school, and I produced this big notebook full of all these detailed drawings I had made, indicating levels of radiation,and degree of blast-damage expected at various distances from "ground-zero", and they were speechless, as I recall.   I had to explain it was really the only school-stuff I was interested in.   Blast damage of course would be expected to be very different, depending on bomb-yield - in megatons - and so I had to have these "expected level of damage" drawings - for the various urban enviroments - based on expected explosive yield of the device.   So I had an interesting notebook, for a kid in Grade 6.

I remember another silly teacher, trying to teach us arithmetic in Grade 1 or Grade 2,, and she was talking about apples falling off of a table.  She made some comment, critical of some kid who got a wrong answer, and said more apples could not fall off the table than were on it.  I put up my hand,and said: "Well maybe if there are 3 apples, and 4 fall off, then the table has negative one apples, because the top of the table is owed one apple."  

But I thought I was seriously stupid, because so little at school made any sense at all.  In retrospect, it was actually quite hilarious.    I honestly - no kidding - realized that the school-stuff was really interferring which my learning.  We were supposed to be reading some shit-stupid nonsense, and I was holding the book (a DIck and Jane book,or some silly workbook where you were supposed to do some exercise) and I was reading my own book, behind it.  The teacher came by and made a mean, stern face and said "What have you got there?".  I said, "A book."  "Let me see it!"  (She would take comic books away from kids, if they read them in school).  I was reading an English prose translation of Homer's "The Iliad and the Odyssey", a fat hard-cover thing I had got from my Mom, because  I kept bugging her about Greek and Roman mythology.

See, I read the Myths that formed the basis for Western Culture, and all that stuff made "perfect" sense to me, unlike the stupid crap I was getting in the annoying school I had to go to - where mostly they seemed to want you not to talk in class - and I was a bit of a blabber-mouth, so I was always in trouble.    The teacher took my copy of Homer, but gave it back later at day's end, which was good, since I would have had to go thru her desk and get it that way, otherwise.  It was a damn good story.   I think I was at part, where Ulysses nails the cyclops, Polyphemus,  in the eye, with a spear., and has his men escape by hanging on to the underside of the sheep, that are sent out to pasture each day.  

I had already read about the Trojan War, and I was too young to understand exactly why Achilles was so pissed-off at Agamemnon, about having to give up the slave-girl Briseis.    I was more interested in the problem of Achilles' Heel, and wondered why the heck he didn't wear an armor-plated sandel or boot or something.  But the Horse of Troy was interesting.  (When the Trojans wheeled the "gift horse" into the city, why did no one think to take a look at what was inside it?)  The Iliad raised so many questions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briseis

Of course, Briseis was a stunningly beautiful princess - maybe almost the equal of Helen.  And apparently she was fond of Achilles, in that way young girls are fond of big, strong violent guys who dominate all around them.  Real chemistry between them, probably.  So Agamemnon's actions were both abusive and wrong on several levels, and also, very unwise from a strategic objective.   Homer spun a very good yarn.  He told of real truth.  And the sea, it really is "wine dark" at night.

I found school annoying and it distracted from the things I wanted to do, learn, and study about.

But eventually, all the low-quality stupid teachers  grew old and died, and I moved on.  What saved me - and other idiot-savants (?) or seriously confused kids like me - were the old traditional values that Western Civilization placed on maverick outcast folks, like me and my insane (high-IQ?) nutty friends.   Western cultural values have a *very* long tradition of tolerating crazy kids in school, and there was room for silly fuckwits like me, and my cohorts.  We were well tolerated, and were passed along even though we were documented "C" students.  This curious toleration of mavericks and extreme folks is a big part of the Western cultural tradition, surprisingly. 

This was good.  Western culture was - and is - a very good thing.   Both German and English school systems actually had ways of tolerating crazy kids who actually really *wanted* to learn stuff, and had trouble with people saying no to them.  There is always a good teacher, who secretly slips you the key to the locked library, it seems.

But I fear we are killing Western Culture.   I suspect I would not stand a ghost of a chance in the modern schools.  I would have been zoned-out, expunged, and destroyed, in today's woke-stupid world.  I would say politically incorrect things, and simply get crushed by the requirements of conformity.

So, I worry about this.  And we all have reason to worry.  "Wokeness" and other weird-shit Nazi-Left-Fascist nonsense will force an insane and dangerous conformity upon us all - and it starts with the disinformation being fed to the kids.  The world is violent and dangerous, and kids need to learn this key fact early, so they can arm themselves with real knowledge, not the santized nonsense foolish drivel that is promoted in modern schools.

I am not alone worrying about the madness that is attacking us.  The insane and horrific shit-show of foolishness and hyper-bad policy unfolding in Afghanistan - right exactly now - is a perfect example of how this trend to shit-stupid, insane, anti-civilization thinking, has leaked into the minds of senior administrators and lawmakers who now run the USA - and elsewhere.

Really, please read this article - about the little things that drive how the big stuff gets done.  This Steyn fellow has hit on something very real, and very important:

https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/increasingly-unrecognizable-civilization/ 

The world is becoming truly silly, and we are seeing what happens when the unwise elites unwind the lowlevel operational characteristics of our Western culture.   Our civilization starts to break.

We need to re-think everything.  We need to remember what we are, and what we built.  We need a new political picture.  And the people who have painted the one we are being told we must use now, they absolutely must be removed from their positions.

Is this below, a political video??  The music is catchy (we should understand why, and study how catchy music is used by propaganda developers), and also learn to see the sub-text.   But this video below, celebrates Western European culture, civilization, and the people.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/fzQiOYQ804pq/

Western Civilization is perhaps worth fighting for.  It really seems to be currently under very direct attack, by forces from within and without.   There are various solutions to this problem, but first, we have actually admit that the threat is there.

And it is not all bleak.   In some areas, people are *re-discovering" their roots, and the how and why of their existence.   This is a good thing,  Again, music offers some assistance in the study of what we have lost, and what - if we work a bit - might be regained.   Check out the LeBlanc family, and the amazing old French-Acadian songs they discovered and have re-created.   It's quite magical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27pja5O3-0Y

Charming music, with almost a  late-medieval feel to it.  It is a no-audience,  2020 pandemic barn-concert, made 11 months ago.  Quite well done.

And yes, we remain long, all in.

[ Aug. 23, 2021 ] - We Are in Agreement with Tony Blair.  An Imbecilic Slogan has Dictated US - and Western World -  Foreign Policy.  This is Madness.  Joe Biden Must Go.  Trudeau Must Go.  - There is going to have to be a completely new politics created.   We need to get rid of Trudeau in Canada, and Joe Biden in the USA.  We have to clean the lie-filled, dirty "house-of-government" in both countries, and repair the astonishing damage that these lightweight, rule-by-slogan populist fraudsters have caused.  

Tony Blair, the ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has written a very good document, which should make it clear why this repair exercise is so absolutely necessary.   Don't waste time reading the mainstream media "story about the story" - just read Blair's original document, here:

https://institute.global/tony-blair/tony-blair-why-we-must-not-abandon-people-afghanistan-their-sakes-and-ours

Our take on this, is that we have to get rid of these smiling, lightweight goofs that now dominate our political scene.  Blair was a Lefty, but when the chips (and the Twin Towers!) were down, he made the right decision, and Britain did the right thing.   The necessary cleaning of the Middle East to remove terrorist enablement zones was undertaken, and over time - (and with Obama's "surge") the problems in Afghanistan were addressed.  The Taliban were removed.  When in power, they were actively trying to acquire nuclear weapons from Russian operatives, as well as being engaged in active terror-campaigns inside Afghanistan, to remove any non-Islamic groups or even historical evidence.  The murderous, fanatical Taliban even blew-up ancient Buddhist statures, inside their own nation!  This curious destruction of such a valuable element of Earth's cultural heritage proved that they were not - and could not ever be - considered any sort of "government" of Afghanistan, or anywhere else.

To allow this ugly, sadistic terrorist collective to re-take an entire, modernizing nation, just because of a stupid, mindless slogan about "forever wars", is the height of political madness.

https://nypost.com/2021/08/23/taliban-issue-death-sentence-for-afghan-translators-brother/

Biden should be removed.  He is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief of the United States military.  He is making USA into a failure-nation - a nation of the defeated.   This needs to be prevented from happening.   America must not lose confidence in itself, and the World must not lose confidence in America, and it's ability to bring down the bad guys.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/2021/08/23/stop_pretending_biden_is_fit_to_lead_550012.html

We might be able to fix Canada's broken government here (an election has been called, and we might be able to put Erin O'Toole, the Tory leader,  in to replace that Trudeau character)  - but it is much more critical that the repairs be carried out in Washington.   The Democrats need to be removed, and their bogus, slogan-driven, populist political madness, needs to be ended.   Their actions are doing damage to the Western world. 

If we had had a proper Government here, the USA might have been able to ask Canadians to go in as part of a UN Peacekeeping Force, to maintain some sort of viable civil structure in Afghanistan, rather than turning the whole place back over to terrorist Islamic fanatics.  But that Trudeau person, took Canada completely out of the fight, which was, of course, a very bad decision.

As Blair pointed out - no military person had been killed in a combat operation for 18 months.  Afghanistan was actually ticking along not too badly.   It was not great - but it was reasonably stable and actively improving.  But once USA abandoned Bagram, and surrendered to the Taliban, and began the process of actively running away to meet an arbitrary end-of-month deadline,  all the work of 20 years was thrown away.   This is madnress.  And the body count at the airport evacuation nightmare continues to grow:

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-08-23/the-latest-attackers-kill-afghan-soldier-at-kabul-airport

I never expected to be in complete agreement with Tony Blair.  Curious times.

Perhaps a "National Emergency" could be declared, and the Democrats who want to save their party (and the world)  - along with some Republicans who realize that some action must be taken - could craft special legislation to replace Biden.   They might even ask Barack Obama to return temporarily, and take over as President again.  The man actually has experience, he is intelligent, he is still young and healthy in body and mind, and his return would show the world that America has the impressive ability to self-correct.    The Republicans would probably prefer him to inexperienced Kamala Harris.   It might take a special constitutional amendment, and quite possibly Obama would say "No way!" to the offer.   But America should really craft some sort of process, which would allow for the selection of a specific person to replace an obviously failing President - other than just have the VP take over.  

Something has to be done.

[ Aug. 22, 2021 ] - Get Your Vaccine.  Don't Be Stupid.  - Stupid just dies, when it does not need to.   Lower respiratory infections are wicked dangerous - and Covid-19 is an almost perfect lethal virus.  The virus has two really magically awful methods that it uses to bind to the ACE cells in human lungs - and then invade those cells, and make copies of itself.  This virus action kills the damn lung cells, and you end up lying on the floor, unable to breathe.   This is a very bad outcome.  Your lungs fill with fluid, in a last, desperate attempt to save themselves from the viral attack, and you die.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/phil-valentine-radio-host-who-regretted-vaccine-skepticism-dies-covid-n1277395

We don't want to gloat over some radio-broadcaster who died.  But going on the radio, and talking nonsense to discourage folks getting the Covid-19 vaccine is almost a criminal act.  It is wrong.  People die from stupid.   Please do not be stupid.

Stupid kills.   And Covid-19 kills.  

But this death-by-stupid outcome can be avoided, if you get multiple mRNA vaccine shots.  Our group got both Moderna and Pfizer/Biotech shots.   These probably saved us.  Once vaccinated, you may still catch Covid.  It's a wicked, perfect virus. But if you get the vaccine, the Covid illness is mild - like a flu or a nasty cold.  Or you may have really mild symptoms, but still test postive for Covid-19 - like the Governor of Texas did, for example.

I honestly believe Covid-19 was the result of some serious, focused, bio-engineering of the bat-virus, and that the modified bat-virus jumped to an intermediate host, probably mice, and that this is how the damn virus mutated, and got out of the Wuhan lab.   The Chinese just missed how crazy difficult it is to keep mice out of secure facilities.  We get mice in our cars, our trucks and yes, our lab.   Their tiny poop prove they were there.  We set traps, and catch them - and only recently discovered the very tiny space (around an electrical input conduit), where they were getting in.  They also crawled up a drain-pipe for a sump-pump in the basement.  We set traps and caught them there, also. 

Mice are probably the most dangerous mammal in existence, due to their ability to spread lethal viruses that kill h\umans.  Read the details of the "Hantavirus".  Breathing dust from mouse-shit can kill you, and this was all known and understood, long before SARS and Covid-19 happened.

We think Covid-19 virus (SARS-2-Cov) jumped from Wuhan bats to mice in the "secure" lab (bats and mice have really similar bio-physiology), and the same mice transfered the virus to the live-animal market, next door to the lab.  That put the virus in the wild, and since the virus is an aerosol vector ( you catch it by breathing), the animals and people at the live-animal market got infected with the mouse-version of the bat-virus.

We suspect some "eager-beaver" worked hard to take this bat-virus, and run "gain-of-function" work on it, to make it double-dangerous to humans.  All the virology labs were doing this sort of work, so China's actions here were nothing special.  We need to stop worrying about blame, and just focus on process - and what should be done.  We cannot lock-down the world.  Lockdowns are unwise, and economically too costly to sustain.  This virus travels on the wind.  And it zooms through cotton masks, like water flows thru a chain-link fence.  Understand this.

This virus also has an impressive ability to mutate.  It seems to get *stronger* over time (more lethal to humans) rather than weaker.  This is curious, and suggests annual vaccination *boosters* will be needed - just like we are already doing to deal with the traditional influenza risks. 

Get your vaccine.  Demand that it be made available.   We've taken it, and the side effects are minor - a sore arm, and sometimes, people can get itchy spots.  The itchy hives that one of our people reported, might not even be due to the vaccine - it could be unrelated allergy reaction to something else.  We are in a rural environment, and we have spiders, crop-dusting aircraft spraying for Gypsy Moths that are killing our trees, and mosquitos (which are known to carry several virus agents now - including encephalitis and West Nile virus)..

https://www.sutter-yubamvcd.org/mosquito-borne-encephalitisencephalomyelitis

So, in an uncontrolled world, the events and results people report after vaccination, may not even be related to the vaccine. 

Human life is short.  Living-in-the-world  is an exercise in risk-management.  You will die eventually - but you do not need to be stupid, and make it happen sooner than necessary!

Arm yourself with knowledge, and then take action to protect yourself and those around you that you care about.  Demand access to the mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer - both work), and make sure you get two shots, no more than 8 weeks apart.   You will also need annual booster shots, probably which will be re-formulated slightly, to address the mutation of the Covid-19 virus.

The one good thing, from this crazy-dangerous "gain-of-function" research work that was being done in the virology labs from the 1990's until around 2015, is that we now have a good working knowledge of how the virus bio-chemistry and physics seems to operate.  This is how Moderna and Pfizer/Biotech were able to create the vaccine so quickly.

If you want to talk about something on conservative radio stations - talk about how it might be time to just get the FDA out of the drug-approval process.   Just to keep the world alive and operating, we probably need to allow *MUCH* more rapid timelines for drug development.

Informed people, should simply be able to sign waivers to obtain experimental drugs, and just bypass all the government bureaucratic obstructionism of the Drug Approval Agencies. 

Almost all powerful, effective drugs, will have risks of lethal side-effects.  All medical service delivery persons understand this.  Doctors have understood this for centuries.   Lately, the FDA seems to be most concerned with blocking access to, and preventing the usage of, necessary and needed new medicines.   No medicine is ever "100%" safe - and yet this seems to be the absurd level of safety that the Agency people seek to require.   This just means it can take 20 years to get a new drug approved, and into wide-spread usage, and that drug companies are encouraged to work on minor modifications  of existing, approved drugs, rather than develop the new medicines that clearly work - but are being blocked from being made available to sick people, by Government Agency efforts.

I personally believe powerful Agency entities like the FDA should just be ended.  They do more damage by obstructionism and access-blocking, than they provide benefit to people.   The doctors and scientists and drug companies are quite capable of running double-blind experiments and assessing drug efficacy and safety, without an abusive "Big Brother" government Agency overseeing them.  Doctors and drug companies that screw-up, and kill people with bad actions or bad products, will be quickly discovered.   The current drug "approval" process simply slows drug development, and prevents sick people from getting access to new medicines and technologies that can vastly improve or even save their lives.

We honestly believe - that the very best regulation - is no regulation at all.   "Regulation" simply creates an army of overpaid, abusive government Agency people, who make entire lifetime careers out of crafting bad policy, doing poor work, preventing innovation, offering bad solutions, and working diligently to prevent any change or improvement or enhancements from being made.    Agency operatives work primarily to protect the interests and power-bases of the Agency-entities which employ them.    The FDA is the Agency which prevents new drugs from coming to market, just like the "Treasury" is the Agency which destroys the value of money, and creates massive levels of Government debt.   

If conservative radio talkers want to talk about something - let them get their vaccines - (developed by for-profit drug companies) - and talk about the bloody "Agency" problem.  

Governments create these "Agency" things which are usually the worst possible solutions to the problems that confront us all.   It is actually so awful, it is comical.  

The creation of every "Agency" to take on a specific task - ends up creating an entity that ensures the problem will *never* be solved, lest the Agency itself would disappear.   The "Agency" actually magnifies and expands the conditions which cause the problem, and as the problems grow bigger (because of the actions of Agency operatives), the Agency obtains more resources (money) so it can expand and grow more powerful.

The Covid-19 vaccines were created quickly, and work well.  But the Agency operatives around the world, did all they could to assault the economics of the process (the drugs had to be offered for free to everyone.  Why?   Why was that a requirement???), and they had to be "proven safe", which is impossible, and everyone knows that.  Nothing is "safe".  All actions carry risk.

The Regulatory Agency efforts slowed (and continue to slow), access to various medicines which have been clearly proven to help patients suffering from Covid-19.

The  FDA should simply be removed from the process.  They offer nothing other than obstruction and nay-saying.   Let the scientists and doctors and patients make the decisions on what drugs can be used for various illness conditions, and get these government Agency clowns completely out of the process.   Agency restrictions offer no real value, and create significant unneeded cost.

Let the conservative radio talkers, talk about this Agency problem - after they get their Covid-19 vaccine shots, so they don't suffer needless early death.

[ Aug. 21, 2021 ] -  Biden, Joe, Has To Go- And the Democrats in Washington are unfit to be the Government of the United States.   These strange creatures are assuming that no one will give a shit about another massive American defeat and spectacular failure of US Government polcy - by 2022, when another "election" will be held.

Biden specifically stated that al Qaeda is "gone" from Afghanistan, and then the Pentagon admits - a very short time later - that al Qaeda has a "presence" in Afghanistan.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pentagon-admits-al-qaeda-has-a-presence-in-afghanistan-minutes-after-biden-says-they-are-gone.amp

Well, it might be true that Americans will not care about Afghanistan by 2022 "elections".   But maybe not.   Americans don't like to eat shit, anymore than they like to have it thrown at them by CNN and Reuters reporters.  And no one on the planet likes to have oily-mouth lying politicians lie to them right at their face.

If there is another major terror attack, Biden will have to resign, and hopefully take that Harris woman with him.   I read these bizarre, insane news stories - no one actually talks about what is right and proper and sensible - all is just political handicapping - will this terrible, stupid strategy work, or will it fail.   The people who wrote this bad Reuters article, are asserting that the news from Afghanistan is being "weaponized".  What an astonishing load of rotting nonsense!  The image to the right illustrates a weapon.  Information about the fiasco and tragedy in Afghanistan is just that - information.  Just because the information is not santized by some Leftist reporters, does not make it "weaponized".  

Maybe ask what Angela Merkel, a woman who has a PhD-in-Physics, and is leader of Germany (soon to retire), and who actually runs a real country.   She is disgusted and saddened, I suspect, from what I have read.   The entire American involvement in the Middle East looks like it has been a spectacular, and over-the-top failure, from where we sit.  Merkel has publically indicated Germany will now be taking a more independent approach in its defense efforts, given this spectacular, unfolding American failure.  Sounds like a wise decision, to us.

Maybe Americans can be media-drugged, and given free-money to buy booze, and told a bunch of clever lies by dishonst, Leftist media organs, so that enough of the stupid ones can be made to *forget* about Joe Biden's "Great Failure".   But maybe not.  Maybe Americans are not all stupid, and maybe they will have the long-memories that betrayed people sometimes have.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/bidens-afghanistan-policy-counts-issue-fading-importance-war-weary-americans-2021-08-20/

The fraudsters who pump out the drivel that passes for "news" now, might be right.  Everyone might forget about Afghanistan, and the brutal Taliban rule, and the horrific scenes of people dropping from American Air Force evacuation aircraft - running away from their sad defeat.

But maybe not.   I personally do not think so.  The intense revulsion and disgust one feels, is  quite beyond even the tragic sadness of the Saigon evacuation (which I remember, despite being quite young).

This is not about Trump (he is gone).   This is not about politics, and election-planning.  This is about a massive and extreme failure to simply do the right thing.

America used to be about doing the right thing.  When the Iraqi's, under Saddam Hussain, invaded Kuwait, the Americans, under the first George Bush (the good one), did the right thing, and shot the shit out of the abusive, murdering thugs, as the Iraqi army cowards tried to run back to Iraq.  It was the right thing to do.  Kuwait was freed, and Iraq was hit hard, as it should have been. 

But this tragic surrender to the Taliban, and then this great haste to run away and let people die at the hands of terrorist vermin - this is just not the right goddamn thing to do.  Will America just *forget* this?  They will need a lot of booze and drugs and intense media lie-machining to make this "forget" thing happen, I suspect.

I read this Reuters story, and thought: "The reporters at Reuters have no fucking clue, do they?"   This  planet is the size of a tiny marble - a microscopic tiny little ball of wet crap hanging in space.   We simply cannot have murdering thug asshole bastards like the terrorist Taliban running an entire modern nation, complete with modern American technology left behind for them.   This horrible nightmare will begin for the poor betrayed folks left behind - and none of this bullshit had to happen.  It is just so fucking wrong, that it is beyond belief.

Sure - maybe those "voters" (who swung the 2020 election for the Democrats), will "forget" about all this - and the media support machinery will do it's best to drug them with fucking stupid pro-sports bullshit and "news" stories about Hollywood starlets showing off their vaginas and breasts, and stupid garbage like that - and maybe the media-duped voters will vote for the "Democrats" again.   And maybe small yellow pigs will grow little pink wings, and fly out of Joe Biden's arse.   Maybe.

America did the WRONG THING, in surrendering to the Taliban.   This was just a bad, bad idea.   So we need to change the program.   We need new leaders who can actually do the right goddamn things, again.  Trump did the deal, and Biden ran the program - both are yesterday's men, and need to go golfing, and stay there.  They did the wrong thing.  Afghanistan could have been turned over to a UN peacekeeping force, and a working civilian administration could have been maintained.  But to surrender to the Taliban, was a terrible and tragic and grotesque error.  And surrender they did.  Once the Americans failed to turn over Bagram Air Base to the Afghan military, it was clear what the plan was.  The Afghan military folks knew the Taliban would come, take control, and be the government again, so they wisely chose not to engage.   The American betrayal meant that they had no choice but to leave the country however they could.

Turning over Afghanistan to the Taliban, was the wrong thing to do.  It means more war, and more terror plots and more regional and international conflict.  It's was the wrong decision.  We will get ISIS all over again.   This is just insane.  We have to change the program.

It is possible that an entire new process and political mechanism will have to be constructed, since the current one simply does not work correctly.

Here is a prediction:  Biden will have to resign.  The Democrats will try to put that Harris women in as the President, but this will not likely be accepted by many.  The elections in 2022 will result in a swing back to the Republicans - and the role of the "President" will be weakened. Afghanistan will turn into a giant version of one of those German slave-labour, concentration-camps (much as Eritria has), and people will flee - with evidence and stories of the horrors being done.   Every horror story will be owned by the corrupt American Democrats - who will be painted as the "Cut-and-run" Party.    The Republicans will have to come up with a plan, which will probably involve Europeans and Russians - moving into the place, to establish a UN-backed civilian Administration - after a *very intense* no-rules war, which will see most Afghan cities destroyed, and hundreds of thousands killed.  The (secret) objective will be to keep the cities in ruins, and the country impoverished, so that terrorists are kept weak and poorly armed.  It will be an engineered tragedy - much as we are seeing now.

But none of this will have had to have happened.  

We seem to care about the Uighurs in China - but not about the Afghans.   This is just so absurd - but what really has happened here, is a massive American defeat.

I just cannot see this being something that Americans will get behind, and be accepting of, for the simple reason, that it is just so wrong.  It's all just wrong.

[ Aug. 20, 2021 ] - The Machine in the Ghost - We observe with increasing sense of curiosity, the "Long March of Foolishness" which seems to be underway everywhere now.  People everywhere, are becoming both stupid and crazy, it appears.  Lots of folks have lots of theories why this is happening, and the poets and artists have warned us about this for years.  But occasionally, little bursts of sanity are evident.  These are usually related to money - because people actually THINK about money issues (sometimes, mostly...)

Interesting Readings (while we think about Apple being broken up...)

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/chart-evolution-standard-oil/

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/02/what-att-breakup-teaches-us-about-big-tech-breakup

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch...

JP Morgan and Wells Fargo have registered a Bitcoin fund - and the value of Bitcoin as I key this, has popped nicely to $46,971, up over $2700 per coin, on this news.  Bitcoin might prove to be better "money", than money is.  This is simply because of what it is, and how it works.

Mr. Neel Kashkari's comments look simply dishonest, don't they?  What is even more comical, is that he really may actually be correct - but if Bitcoin is bogus scam-stuff, then so are US Dollars.  Maybe all "dollars" are bogus, right?   Take a bank note, hold it in your hand, and look at it.   It's just a piece of paper or plastic.  It's a legal document, except it doesn't even have any formal assurance that it can be contractually exchanged for anything whatsoever at all!  And this is the key truth.

Originally, paper bank-notes were accepted by people, because the notes were legally binding contracts, which offered documentary evidence that the notes could be exchanged for precious metal, at a "Central Bank" of some sort.  But the bankers and the Kings and the governments soon discovered that this requirement was unworkable, dangerous and unnecessary.   This observation paralleled what happened with the original "Stock Certificates" - which originally had a "Par Value" - they were "floated" to the public by businesses, at a certain documented value, typically $25.00 per share.   The business people expected this - and the accountants could set up reasonable books which described what was happening, using double-entry bookkeeping methods.  It all worked good.

But the system was found to work - without these legal assurances of convertability.  Money changed from being "payable in gold or silver" to just being "payable on demand" something that was "worth" the unit being offered.   The same thing happened with stock certificates.  Most stock certficates indicate "no par value" - the certificate has zero intrinsic value, no guarantee of convertability into cash of any amount at all.  But a sale of stock still gets put on the books as a contribution to capital.  A company has a "book value", and that book value, divided by the number of shares that are "outstanding", indicates the "book value" of each share.  This is not a perfect number, but it offers useful information.

Even the "Shares outstanding" is a slippery, vague term which can be many different numbers, depending on how many stock "options" exist, and whether and if and how, the company has "re-purchased" it's own shares (Did the repurchased shares get "cancelled", or did the shares get put in "Treasury"? - it makes a big difference, of course, since "Treasury" shares can be re-sold later (at a higher price, hopefully), but "cancelled" shares cannot be.  This can obscure the picture of what the business-entity is actually "worth". )    And in bubbly times like these - of course the "worth" of a business entity, is almost always driven by the expectations of what the future path of activity, the business-entity is expected to track.  So it all gets even more silly.

Once these legal guarantee's disappear - and the money cannot be legally converted into precious metal at some fixed rate, and the shares cannot be "redeemed" for their par-value at some originally documented price (like modern investors expect that their "bonds" can be), then the paper money and paper shares only retain any value at all, because of the beliefs that exist inside a human mind

This is a really key fact to hold on to.  You can spend a human lifetime, researching this curious and astonishing phenonmenon.  If you can occasionally get some insight into how these mind-held strange beliefs are collectively shifting thru time - you can (sort of) predict how the path of human events will unfold thru time.   If you take the right actions, at the right times, doing this can make you wealthy.  It can actually make you very wealthy.  But you will still age, and die, which is annoying. 

When you are a young economist, you want to throw out all the assumptions and pre-conditions of classical (or neo-classical) economics.  But with a human lifetime of experience, you begin to see why the restrictive and somewhat silly analytic pre-conditions of neo-classical economics, have real value.

Human beings have minds that are full of squirrels.   Women think with their vaginas, and men think with their penises.   This is simply the truth.   Crazy, insane bad decisions get made - both in individual lives (Jeff Bezos offers an  example of this), and collectively (fading old men like Joe Biden show how a whole nation of people can go so very wrong).   

Humans just don't make very good decisions - even if the data and the evidence and the full details are laid down right in front of their little faces, and folks who know, beg the decision-maker to please think for a minute, before making a decision.   Every analyst has this experiece - sometimes so frequently, that the profession of "Analyst" has to be completely given up.   "Better to rule in Hell, than to Serve in Heaven".   Every trader learns this.  It's why, he, or she, trades.  Trading is a truly awful business - people only do it, for the money it can make.

After you have read "In Praise of Folly", I would recommend the Mayan "Popul Vul" - which much like Milton's "Paradise Lost" (which could really be called: "Paradise Sucks!") - tells the story of how to defeat the evil gods that are the source of our grief and pain.   In the Popul Vul, the "Hero Twins", a couple of tricky little brats, use trickery and deception, to master all around themselves, and eventually, descend into Xilbalba (Hell, the Underworld), and defeat the Gods of Death and Decay themselves.  It's one of those canonical texts - how to use clever obfuscation, to triumph over the constant tsunami of evil and awfulness that washes over the lives of us poor, weak humans.   It's the story of the Odessey, also.   Brute force will not do it.   You have to THINK and then ACT with CLEVER DECEPTION in order to defeat your powerful, and brutal enemies.

Even Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese General, talks about this.  It is key.  You can use the great collective "lack of mind", if you are willing to work your own mental process with a bit more focused effort.   Get your "Orenda" on, keep the machine well maintained, and then do what must be done.  

[ August 18, 2021 ] - That Guy from the "Fed", who Looks Like the Dilbert CEO - Check this comment from "Neel Kashkari", of the US Federal Reserve (the USA central bank, which has created *trillions* of new US dollars to flood the USA economy with..)

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/crypto-is-95-fraud-hype-noise-and-confusion-says-feds-neel-kashkari-11629236416?siteid=yhoof2

Our response:

Bitcoin and Etherium and even Dogecoin - all offer a mechanism to escape from the curious scam that any central-banker is able to undertake. Cryptocurrency is not a perfect solution to the central-bank problem - but it has been shown to work. With a stroke of a pen, a government can invalidate the currency one holds. Kashkari and his organization can literally create money from nothing, and flood that new cash into the economy - and they are doing this now. Historically, people used gold and silver to protect their wealth from government monetary trickery. Crypto-money solves the transaction and portability problem that heavy metal represents.

I have an entire scrap-book of historical, **worthless** banknotes, issued by governments from around the world. There is no other "asset" in history, that is easier to destroy completely or more likely to drop to zero value, than "fiat currency" issued by national governments and central bankers. Right now, the US Federal Reserve is printing (using computers), roughly $120 billion *new dollars* EACH MONTH, and spending them to buy bonds. This is maybe a scam bigger than anything that is happening in crypto-currency markets - and Neel Kashkari knows this.

My old Irish Grandmother would describe Kashkari's comments as a case "of the pot calling the kettle, black." The US Federal reserve gets away with what it's doing, because the US dollar is the world's reserve currency.  This may soon change.

Printing "Reserve Currency" is like issuing cheques that folks don't cash.  It is a very great game while it remains possible.  But history shows, it almost always ends - and it ends usually very badly for folks holding the suddenly-worthless bank notes.

The American surrender in Afghanistan to the Taliban, shows the world - very clearly - the limits of American military power.   Americans can burn down your cities and kill your people by the thousands - but if your people have young men - created by healthy young women - and can maintain a stock of dedicated warriors - then America can be successfully and completely defeated - as both Vietnam in 1975, and Afghanistan in 2021 have proven.

With the American military neutralized, it is not much of a stretch of the imagination, to envision the day when American Dollar dominance is ended.   Perhaps a second "civil war" will engulf the USA.  I have a "Confederate States of America" banknote, which is an interesting historical artifact, with no monetary value.  The American bank-note printing machine can crash and fail, and leave the world holding worthless currency.  We know this can happen because it already did happen once before.

All empires end at some point.   The Roman Empire ended when the civilian populations could no longer afford to fund the Roman Military.  Britons, Gauls, and Germanic tribes discovered they could defeat the Roman military - and free themselves from Roman tyranny.   The Soviet Union's massive Communist Empire collapsed for similar reasons - an economic inability to fund the technological arms-race that America was able to run so successfully.

Every process has limits - but political people will keep pushing, long after it has become clear that the process has reached a limiting-case scenario, and things are starting to fall apart at an increasing rate.

We honestly believe that we are seeing something like this unfold in America, right now, as the astonishing failures of the Biden Administration are becoming apparent.  With the American military disorganized and degraded - their Air Force running way from a terrified and collapsed nation - with desperate people literally clinging to the sides of aircraft - and then falling to their deaths as the aircraft climbs out - this tragic fiasco shows the world clearly the horrific failure of American adventurism - and the failure of the American military.

And if the American military cannot even secure the airside-zone at an airport, how can it do anything else, other than bomb people from above?  

With American military power collapsing, one has to consider the possibility of American dollar-dominance also moving retrograde.

And true to historical pattern - as their military power wanes, the nation is also engaged in a massive (really massive!) money-supply expansion exercise.  And this is simply fucking dangerous, and folks like Neel Kashkari bloody well have to know this - if they have any knowledge of history at all.

So, we conclude his comments about crypto-currency are actually quite hilarious.

The paper money crap that his gang is pumping out - the rate of money-puffery by the Federal Reserve - is vastly more dangerous and disturbing - and scam-like - that anything going on in the crypto-currency markets.  Yes, most crypto-currency is bullshit.   But we are concerned that we are moving into a world where the US dollar may also be viewed much the same way - since history has shown that the production of bullshit paper currency is an action carried out by ALMOST EVERY OTHER NATION IN HISTORY - especially as it's economic options and opportunities begin to collapse.

Kashkari and his team might want to get their own house in order, before they throw too many rocks through too many windows of the structures other folks are trying to build.  

We are in a world now, where many things are failing, and the technological solutions that have been created - are proving to be extreme technological failures.   The technology is causing massive and accelerating levels of social, political and economic damage - and is now being used to deny opportunity to many, rather than create it.   The information sets everywhere, are all tainted by fraud, deception and abusive attempts to manipulate behaviour.

Kashkari should recognize that the out-of-touch, and out-of-control Federal Reserve is risking engineering something that is remarkably similar to the "shitshows" seen in the crypto-currency asset-creation efforts.  

Crypto-currency - and "fiat" (a latin word that means "Let there be...") currency issued by central-banks - are basically the same silly thing - completely synthetic, made-up items, which are passed-off as having value - but only have value if people "believe" the units have value.

Both Kashkari's gang at the Fed - and the rug-pulling crypto-miners - rely on the "confidence" of those people who hold that "money".

Which is the better and safer asset?   Which one - Bitcoin or US dollars - will keep it's value thru time and wars and social and economic dislocations?

Kashkari bloody well knows  - and so does the marketplace:  So far, Bitcoin is winning, and is winning BIG.

We find this amusing and curious.  But we hold neither.   :)

And let's be clear:  Not acquiring a small Bitcoin position - was a mistake.  Crypto is *not* subject to the whims of corrupt governments, and arrogant central-bankers.  We saw this, and it made the asset look interesting.   It is still interesting, is it not?

Kashkari's comments are not just hilarious - they are kind of ...  wrong.  :D

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[ August 17, 2021 ] - USA is Now Bombing Afghanistan - with Afghans - I never expected to see America doing more "bombing" in Afghanistan - but this time, using live Afghans.    Imagine wanting to leave a country so badly, that you would try to cling to the outside of a military transport jet, as it rolls at speed down the runway.   Watching them fall to their deaths and bounce on the runway, is pretty terrible. 

It really is time to alter the program.   The relentless march of Leftist "Governmentalism" needs to be stopped.  It's clear that the greatest dangers and most serious threats average people now face, seem to always come from their own "governments".   To be "governed" is often to be simply enslaved and subjegated - to have your freedom limited, your opportunities restricted, and your lives rendered meaningless.  

We watch - regularly - with disgust and a sense of horror, as the "governments" of the world routinely assault and degrade the lives of their own people, and of the lives of others.

People attempt to rise up and stop the abuse by the "government" agents - but they have no power.  We watched the "Yellow Vest" protests in France, the January 6th protest event in Washington at the rigged American "election", and the mass protests in Belarus against a brutal murdering thug-gangster who siezed power in that sad nightmare-nation - and the common thread is that these protests are worthless and ineffective - they never change anything.

Protesting in the streets is a wasteful, pointless activity.   It never changes anything - and it is easy for the "government" to send in tanks and police and crush the protests.

A criminal bandit might organize a gang and do crime - but his objective is obtaining wealth.   It takes a "government" to commit the really big crimes - the mass murder of millions, the destruction of entire cities, the active machinery of genocide.   All these really awful crimes are created by people sitting around tables in conference rooms - discussing "policy options" - and what typically results is that the lives of millions are negative-impacted.   Governments damage and  restrict human freedom, so they can obtain specific objectives that benefit the *insiders* of the government process machinery.  This is how it works - even in America.

Democracy - in an age where "voting machines" are used - is at risk of becoming a bad joke.  You can simply "dial-up" the election result you want to have, if you can control the machines.  Democracy that uses "voting machines" cannot be trusted.  And we say this with some certainty, as machine-programmers.

The Taliban in Afghanistan have shown the world something interesting.   With organization - and weapons - and a willingness to play the long game, and to fight and die for what all agree must be done - this can completely defeat an organized, well-funded, invasive "government" machine.  And this is especially the case, if the government-machine is dominated by abusive, ignorant "policy wonks" who have been mind-poisoned with the absurd lies the Leftists and other modern "governmentalists" have been taught in modern academic environments.

The astonishing cluster-fuck of idiocy that surrounds the Biden-Harris Democrats in Washington is a particularly interesting example - and it shows how the "governmentalists" can be brought down by their own ignorance and arrogance.   They clearly were operating without any sort of clue about any sort of actually reality.    And this made it easy for the Taliban to quickly re-take what they viewed as their own country.

The Americans - with all their money and machinery and power and killing ability - failed.  Their governmentalist approach failed, and their military projection of power failed.   The Taliban, with crappy, low-quality weapons - but with what appears to be a long-dated, and well-focused human "will" - succeeded.  With their focused *will*, they re-captured their country from American "governmentalists".  The nation may "descend into anarchy" - to use an oft-repeated and idiotic phrase of governmentalist fraudsters and newspaper hacks - but it won't have any American military killboys doing "government work" on them.   The Taliban will kill their Afghans just fine, without any outside assistance.

What we all need to see here is the common thread - it is the very idea of *government* itself, that is the enemy.  When the "government" agents come to kick in the door of your house - and arrest Dad or Brother - and drag them away, or kill them on the spot  - it matters not what uniform the door-kickers wear.

Your job as a human being - is to ensure you have the ability to reduce the "door-kicking squad" to a group which can no longer be a threat - and then carefully inspect each element of the original threat to determine where it came from, and then address the backward-linkages that produced that "door-kicker".    This sounds very harsh - yet it is the basic model of political freedom, and the Afghans really understand this very well.   They do not like to be "ruled" - and we should respect them for this trait, and understand why military methods will have limited effectiveness - not just in Kandahar, but everywhere on Earth.

We - here in the West - need to change the program.   Freedom and economics and social-structure come up from the People of a place - these critical human attributes do not come down from some ruling "government" above them.  

This fact must be understood and accepted by thinking people everywhere.

[ August 16, 2021 ] - America Surrenders to the Taliban - Joe Biden and his corrupt gang of fools may well go down in history, as the worst American "president" and the worst American "government" ever.  They are managing to make Donald Trump - who was not a very wise man - actually look like a fine example of a leader.    That is quite an astonishing accomplishment.

***  [ Update ]  After some searching We found a copy of the Kabul AIrport Video - it is being actively removed from Youtube - but it shows what really happened at Kabul airport this morning - as a US military aircraft took off with people holding onto the side of it.  Several fell off to their deaths.  Joe Biden, the so-called "US President", owns this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACcu6I8bNSw

*****************

 The Afghan military is being criticized for "not fighting".   Are the people running Biden so amazingly confused and unwise that they cannot even think clearly?    Once the American military forces *SURRENDERED* to the Taliban terrorists, it became clear that the armed Taliban would be running Afghanistan - they will be - for better or for worse - the GOVERNMENT (such as it is) of that country.  The military and police officials all understood this.  They *KNEW* this - and so why would they shoot at the armed Taliban and "fight" them?   I truly hate the "Liberal Government" that rules in Canada, but I do not go out and shoot at them, when they win the election - and I don't expect them to shoot at me, if our guys win! 

Bad stuff happens.  Regime-change happens.   When that happens - when your guys lose and are defeated -  you have to focus on survival, so that you can be there if and when another election or opportunity for regime-repair is possible.   What were the Americans thinking?  They seem to have no imaginations at all.  If America were invaded, and conquered by a superior military force - and the invaders decided to leave - would it seem rational for American political factions to shoot at each other?  Or would everyone just dance in the streets, because the bad guys have finally left town?  The Taliban used to say:  "The rich Americans have very nice watches - but we have the time."   And now, time's up.

Once America simply "cut and ran", the folks who backed the Americans, knew they were defeated.  They would just be putting their families and villages at risk, if they fired on the armed Taliban terrorists - who everyone knew, were ruthless, organized, and lethal - and now in charge of the place.  The Taliban won, and the Americans were defeated in the most complete way possible.

How can the Americans be so unwise?   I just cannot figure out how such lightweight fools could take power in the USA.  Not even an attempt at a UN "Peacekeeping Force" to prevent the terrorists from retaking the country?   Nothing?    For a small compliment of 2000 to 3000 troops, the USA could have maintained a garrison, and ensured a degree of stability - and prevented more terrorist bases from being established.  But this option was not considered, as Biden is perhaps mentally defective, and/or the Democrats are corrupt and completely self-interested in their own tenuous hold on power - and little else.

Once American forces officially negotiated with, and then surrendered to, the Taliban terrorists, then everyone with any sort of brain - and who was able to use it - knew exactly what would happen.  Why would Afghan military people fire weapons against a group that has proven itself to be stronger and more capable than the USA military?   That would be certain suicide - and also certain death and destruction for one's family as well.   Can the Biden people not think clearly?  

The US media is of course, surpressing the images of the last military aircraft out - with people holding onto the wheels, trying to get out of defeated Kabul, where terror will now rule.  That one poor bastard held on for a while, and then fell to his death, it looks like.  It is a great shame for what is left of America.

The internet and US-media political censorship will keep these images out of the American media for a while, but perhaps time - and a private VPN and/or TOR and maybe BitChute or some uncensored video upload servrice - will let the American public see the astonishing shame of the end of their 20 year "Afghan Adventure of Failure".

[ August 15, 2021 ] - The Ides of August - Bad times in Afghanistan - and  America - and Canada.  Some good and honourable people fought the good fight - but when corrupt, dishonest politicians are in charge, the men and women of honour have no chance.    And of course, I am speaking about the current crop of folks we have here - Biden and gang in the USA, and Trudeau and his gang here in Canada.  Trudeau has just called a "snap election", and is gambling that Covid-19 weakened, summer-relaxed Canadians will vote him a fat majority, so he can continue his quiet little war on those who have historically self-financed and supported the Canadian economy.  It's getting ugly.

We never expected to see things go downhill quite like this.   The value stocks are advancing in the equity markets, because they are all there is.   Bonds will become (again) "certificates of capital confiscation", and tax-generation and tax-extraction will become the name of the government game, as the corrupt political figures of the Left press their bogus agendas forward on an illness-weakened public.  ("We are from the Government. We're here to HELP YOU!"  -  and a wise person thinks "oh, fuck, no...", and runs fast in the opposite direction!)

Trudeau will likely win his majority, since Canadians are exhausted.   Trudeau and his family actually brought Covid-19 to this country, and he has been wise and effective at taking maximum advantage of this painful crisis - that he actually helped create.   The Liberals are the most dishonest and abusive political operatives this country has ever produced.   But the minority who see what is happening, can do little to stop their well-lubricated Lie-Machine, as it rolls thru the land, supported by the government-funded media organs.

I fear we are entering an age where the bad guys mostly win, because the good guys have grown tired and ill from the constant struggle.   I hope the Conservatives can gain seats, but when their representatives called me, asking for money - the woman on the phone could not even tell me who my candidate was going to be in the election.  But the slimy smiling Liberal incumbant has sent out all this leftist propaganda explaining how the gun-banning Liberal liars have "made Canada safer" by making some of my legally-acquired property, now prohibited!  I want to holler like Cartman...

"Fuck the Liberals.  If you vote Liberal, you are tragic fool and a fraudster who has no knowlege whatsoever of history, humanity, science, philosophy or the importance of free speech and basic truth.  Goddamn it!"

But sadly, this describes far too many people now.   The schools have programmed them to be foolish and uncritical in their thinking, and knee-jerk populist in their political choices.

Our models indicate that that person Trudeau will probably win the f*cking election - just like they predicted Afghanistan would collapse like a house-of-cards, once the Americans left.

We can use our AI stuff to make some tiny money in the markets - but in all honesty, I would rather just see the good guys win, instead.   Honestly, I think Trudeau's timing is just about perfect.  It makes me feel ill, as I think to myself:  "Goddamn f*cking hell..."

[ August 11, 2021 ] - When the World is Running Down - You *grab* the beauty that is still around..   In our case, it was a lovely 2002 Pontiac Firebird, with a magnificant  5.7 litre, fuel-injected V8.   Perhaps I should reference that old SuperTramp album:  "Crisis?  What crisis?"   And I didn't even need to Bring a Trailer.  ;)    

[ August 10, 2021 ] - Running Hot with Falling Prices- Things are now running hot, no question.  We are seeing a *lot* of building projects, and all is looking quite frisky.  Yet, commodity prices are trending down.  This is curious.

We think it presents an opportunity.

[ August 8th, 2021 ] - There Will Come Soft Rains - and Fast Cars? - The current Future was envisioned by the recent past.   Examine the past, to see the path of the future.  :)

Here is an interesting note re. Critical Race Car Theory...  Check that 1952 Ferrari - came in 5th at LeMans.  Dubba Dubba Da...   Go and re-screen "A Man and a Woman", or watch it if you have never seen it.  But the real magic item, is the one-of-one Shelby, with that V10.  Ab-fab awesome stuff.  These items are operational works of the highest art humans are capable of.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mecums-multimillion-dollar-auciton-lineup-rolls-into-monterey-104822033.html

I almost bought a Porsche 944, but I just read too much about the maintenance issues people tend to have with them, plus, given this dawning "Electric Age", I wanted to get my hands on a V8 machine while that was still possible.   I got lucky.    But the Porsche 944 is a fine race car.  Just make sure you know what you are getting into.  There will be repairs required, and you will benefit if you are able and willing to operate the wrench.  Or, you must learn - like Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now" - to make a friend of horror(ible expensive repairs.)

https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-culture/a37200623/my-porsche-944-has-been-the-endless-headache-i-was-warned-about/ 

My very first real car - after my own early experience with German engineering (a Volkswagen which needed a new starter motor, just after I bought it, so it sat in my parents garage for several weeks, while I found a replacement and installed it myself), was a Pontiac LeMans.  The LeMans was so much better a car than anything ever made in Germany, that it was comical.   By European standards, German cars are good.  But European technology is just not up to the quality of American technology.  That is just a simple fact.   You can drive the crap out of American cars, and they keep running.  Americans expect them to keep running ok.   Do that to a Euro-car, and it will break, and sit in your driveway - or the mechanics shop.

The silver LeMans (a 1972, V8 model), was my Mom's car.  I bought it when my father was offered a stink-price on it as trade-in.   It was a truly wonderful, no-problem, well-engineered joy. 

I put gas and oil in it, and bolted the rear cantilever arms on the suspension together, with a factory-ordered anti-sway bar, a 1 & 1/2 inch diameter piece of bent steel rod.   I had to drill holes thru the rear-suspension arms to attach it - but the result was magnificant.   I could drift the LeMans around corners at velocity, like, well, "LeMans".   The driving difference with the rear anti-sway bar installed was astonishing.   It might have been the greatest epiphany in my life at that point.

That silver Pontiac LeMans handled so much better after my installation of that big, thick rear anti-sway bar, that I recall thinking "Why in heaven's name, do the designers at GM, not install this thing on every one of these cars they make?"   Probably cost was the issue.

Fixing the sloppy handling of the LeMans, with one part, to such an astonishing degree, taught me the extreme value of research and personal effort.   Some magazine article and reading about suspension geometry and un-sprung weight and so on, and what mods were required to make stock cars drive correctly on the race track, encouraged me to make the modification.  It was out of character for me, I had no background in automobile mechanics, and the GM dealer's Parts Counter guy was not impressed that I insisted on ordering the part to "fix" the sloppy, body-sway of the LeMans.  (I heard him mutter: "Goddamn kids won't leave stock cars, stock...").   But I got the big, goofy-looking bent metal bar for something like 20 or 30 dollars, and installed it myself.   The result was the car could now corner like it was on rails.   

Years later, (in the late 1980's) I had a 1977 Corvette.   What an awful piece of nonsense was it's "independent" suspension.   I made a rapid lane-change at 70 mph on the 401 to Montreal one time, to avoid a piece of plywood that blew out of a pickup truck in front of me, and the stupid Corvette started fishtailing at velocity.   The suspension geometry of the Corvette was designed by unwise folks on drugs or something.  It was such a buttkick-stupid awful example of design-failure, that I am surprised GM was not sued over it.   It almost killed me and my girlfriend at the time.  That damn Corvette went into what is technically called:  "critically-damped harmonic oscillation" - fishtailing violently, as I fought for control, my mind racing to be careful not to over-control, and flip and roll the filthy stupid thing, since I had read this was a known problem with the Corvettes.    It was an awful experience - and it would not have happened, if the Corvette designers had built the damn suspension correctly.   I had been careful not to touch the brakes, and after several awful, violent fishtails, I got that beast slowed down, and pulled off onto the shoulder, heart pounding, and saw the girl beside me white as a ghost with eyes big as saucers.

I really liked my old Pontiac, and I really like my new one.   That GM Pontiac division built the best cars GM ever made.  And in a tradition that is common in many organizational hierarchy business-models, it was that fine division that the idiot-dumbwits who ran General Motors decided to kill.  Oh my.

Years later, I discovered the organizational mantra:  "No good deed goes unpunished".  And it is true.   The guys who are best - who are *way* better than all the other goofs in a big organzation, earn the hatred and jealousy of all the mediorce, light-weight losers who tend to populate most "salaryman" entities, both public and private sector.    So, when the "long knives" come out, it is the good and honourable folks, who are making the best product - which makes all the other guys building crap-product look so very bad - that get the axe.

Organizations often *hate* high-quality, since "organization men" are typically finance-people, who are not interested in engineering excellence, or designing creative leaps that leave everyone else behind in the mud.   Maverick teams that make the leaps forward are hated by those who want an easy life, making and selling crap to stupid people who don't know any better.

What I learned playing around with cars as a kid, turned out to be *very* useful, as it allowed me to see the extreme failures and flawed operations of the organs that run businesses and government agencies.    The entire organizational structure - the command & control hierarchy of modern business, government and even military organizations - carries within it, dangerous and sometimes lethal characteristics that ensure it's failure and eventual self-destruction.

This is why the "creative destruction" of hard-core capitalism is so absolutely necessary for human advancement and economic survival.

Look at the advanced-technology industry:  Now, if a "Pontiac" Division was about to be closed (the good, smart guys - who are creative, and are making others look so bad) - when the big head-office "organ" comes to close down that division, in the modern business model, the creative guys might just establish their *own* auto company, and build their good cars independent of the "Collective Motors"  business-entity model.  

The world *needs* disruptive business models, where clever folks push design limits and seek to obsolete their own products.  We must challenge constantly, the current state of things.

Grab that feather from the Firebird.   In a world dominated by oppressive organizations, and powerful demons that hold freedom and quality itself, prisoner, you will need it!   :)

(My "new" 2002 Pontiac Firebird correctly incorporates the rear anti-sway bar, as a key and critical part of it's suspension.  The thing corners like it's on rails!   This might be one of the very best cars ever made, based on it's fine balance of affordability, reliabiity,  high-performance and aesthetic good looks.)

[ August 7th, 2021 ] - Great Birds of Fire - (With apologies to Stravinsky and Russian mythology).  I managed to get a feather from the Firebird.   Complete with a 5.7 litre V8..    Bwahaha!    Now, I just need to find where Kashchei keeps his soul...

https://thelistenersclub.com/2019/01/23/stravinskys-the-firebird-a-shimmering-musical-fairy-tale/

My Firebird of course, came from Detroit, metaphorically speaking.  Last year of production, 2002.  Pristine condition.  Totally a "teen-dream".   Wanted one ever since I was a little tyke in mirrorshades.   I'll post a picture of the 'bird later today.

I also posted one of the strangely curious "wrong" forecasts the C-machine AI made... totally confirmed by the vibrant, positive action of Thursday and Friday. 

[ August 5th, 2021 ] - Namaste - Ok, so Terrance and Phillip just got 900 million US dollars from ViacomCBS for more South Park.  It reminds me of the IBM deal to buy RedHat (I use a lot of Redhat/CentOS software - it basically just works, and - look, it just works.  I can get stuff done... and we are not fighting all the f(cking time with Apple and Microsoft HackScamSoft Technics.   Ya, I guess it is worth maybe 30 or 50 or 100+ billion, since it is kinda what one needs to make the magic happen....)

No one I know watches "television" anymore.  Seriously.  We never watch broadcast TV.   I am gonna try to buy another car tomorrow.  J-girl got some injections for "trigger finger" today  - cortisone, it was.   And we saw a sticker on a Cadillac (not at Death's Head - it was a line drawing of Yoda which said: "Baby on board, there is" ).  Made me smile.   J-sweets had zero idea wtf it meant.  I am tired of explaining linguistic variants where verb is last word in sentance, so I just said "Demon, arimasu - je pense que..."

It's all getting rather comical and extremely surreal.  I'm finding it a tad curious, and so far, I have been using the Jay Leno approach - if unsure and confused - buy another race car.

(I have all these friends who have Porsches and those fancy Mercedes AMG things....  I kinda get it now.   The world is insane - but good engineering has a timeless virtue that - when one has the chance to experience it - comforts the soul)  5-jg3abXwm0?

I just encountered a video which puts it all in perfect clarity:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-jg3abXwm0

OMG - how do they do it?  Ok, $900 million, no problem...  Sold.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eqjNHoYag8

What can I say, except:  "Namaste, Youtube."    :D

[ August 3rd, 2021 ] - The Great Sustainability Scam -  We really hope that somewhere, there are legitimate investment returns possible, and operational, sensible economics evident in the whole "sustainability" strategy.

It certainly does not look to be the case in the automotive sector.   The entire economic model of electric automobiles looks to be very badly broken.

Honestly, it looks bogus.   (See the Camaro versus Mirai discussion for details.)

We are working environmentalists - we run a farm, own northern property, and spend real effort nurturing the land and the protecting the forests and shorelines we own.

But it is very important, not to be stupid, wasteful and dishonest.   Scams are expensive, and destructive to honest economic effort.  They apply costs to everyone, and must be avoided.

[ August, 2nd, 2021 ] - Dog Days & Hydrogen Gas- The Stock Market balloon might have hydrogen within?   Do we see a "Hindenburg" on the horizon?  ("Oh, the Humanity!..."?) 

The Stock Markets in USA and Canada (maybe the UK also), are likely to benefit from the wave of inflation that will wash over us.  This is an easy forecast, since it is already happening.   Enjoy the ride - but recognize the crazy dangerous economics that is behind this on-going bull run. 

The 1920's post-war, post-pandemic runup was based on real technology change and improvement.    Not so, this time, it appears.   We are doing a lot of research to confirm or reject this hypothesis - since it determines if we get to eat in the future.

We did identify a positive data-point:  The idle nuclear-reactors - which run in an energy-wasting mode when cheaper wind-turbines are used to power the grid - can be used during low usage periods to generate clean hydrogen gas.  This gas can be compressed (highly), and then used to power zero-emission cars and trucks.   When you burn hydrogen, you get only water-vapour as the by-product.  It was expected to become very popular, during the 1970's, as the oil-shock hammered the Western world economies.   It did not, since it was expensive to make, difficult to compress, and required engine re-design to be useful in cars and trucks.

But it has the advantage of being easy to make if you have a nuclear fission plant beside the sea, as you need just run an electric current thru water to get a nice, explosive mixture of oxygen and hydrogen.  If you used DC current - you get hydrogen at the cathode.  This process is easy and well understood:

https://www.energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-electrolysis

The use of hydrogen as a fuel means we can still have a big, working, car-and-truck-driving economy, without having to rely on lithium battery technology, and mass-conversion to range-restricted electric vehicles.

Toyota has already built a working hydrogen-powered car, which is actually nice to drive.  It can be re-fueled quickly at a hydrogen gas station.   And you can use a bigger tank to get longer range.  Putting a bigger battery in a Tesla costs an extra $50,000, which is a tad extreme.   The Tesla is for the very rich - as most electric vehicles will be.   A hydrogen gas economy might not be so cost-prohibitive.

And the existing nuclear fission plants that are sea-side, can be used to produce the gas in serious quantity, without doing damage to the atmosphere of the planet.

So, like the 1920's, we might have some technological fixes to drive growth forward and upward.   If this is the case - then the *inflation* that is already here, might be surviveable, assuming one is fully invested in assets that will leap up in value along with the general price level.

And also:  The "hydrogen economy" is not something far distant in the future.  The Toyota Mirai is available now -  an electric vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell and lithium-battery combination.   The first generation Mirai (the word means "Future" in Japanese), was more like a Prius than a Tesla - but a new, second generation model has been created, which is both attractive, and appears to have a range that can exceed 1000 km.   This means you can drive to your cottage and back - without having to refuel or recharge.   This is a *very* key selling point in Canada, a land of big roads and long distances (and not many Hydrogen Gas Stations yet...)

The Toyota Mirai is available in California for just over $50,000, and in Canada, for $73,000.   This is still a stiff price - but it buys you *RANGE*.   To put a very long-range battery in a Tesla can cost upwards of $50,000 - so your Model S can cost well over $100,000 if you want range.

A hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle can be fueled in minutes, and generates its own electricity to keep the battery charged up, giving it serious range.

https://newsroom.toyota.eu/toyota-mirai-breaks-world-record-for-distance-driven-with-one-fill-of-hydrogen/

So we might get a technological lift in the next few years.   All the technology exists right now - and it will only be the costs that limit its deployment and usage.

What is curious, is that  the coming inflation might actually *assist* in this process, rather than inhibit it.  If petroleum products become overpriced and abusively expensive, and the technological improvements can continue to be made in fuel-cell electric vehicle technology, the Toyota FCEV's might become economically feasible.  

And unlike the first generation Mirai (which had that "angry refrigerator" styling, that Cadillac made famous years back), the new 2021 Mirai looks rather stylish.

So the whole "hydrogen economy" - which Fortune Magazine promised us was coming soon - back in the early 1970's (50 years ago!) - might actually finally arrive in some form.   Here is the Car and Driver take on the new 2021 Mirai.

https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/mirai

Price in Canada:  upwards of $73,000.   ("Oh, the Humanity..." )  :D

[ August 1st, 2021 ] - The Trillion Dollar Bond Robbery - (Apologies to the Estate of Agatha Christie) - If you like the Agatha Christie stories of Hercule Poirot, then you might recall the clever tale: "The Million Dollar Bond Robbery". It was set in the 1920's, and here we are in the future - almost 100 years later, and the numbers have scaled...

The USA "Debt Ceiling" arrangement - two years of no restrictions - expires today, so that the total USA debt level of 2019, that was $22 trillion (US dollars.  Real Money.  Not Cdn "Dollarettes"...) gets reset to the current debt level, which is now (only 2 short years later), apparently $28.5 trillion dollars.   IF you can do simple arithmetic (which I often seem to have trouble with, for some curious reason), then you can figure out that that is an addition of *6.5 trillion dollars* in just two years.   

By my old-fashioned way of thinking - that seems to have been enough money to send 20 or 30 missions to Mars, and begin serious terra-forming and colonization of the place.  

It is important to grasp just what an expenditure this really represents.    We have basically given up an entire planet, so that a bunch of parasite people could get free rent and watch TV for two years.  They may not be parasites by plan - many simply watched their businesses and jobs disappear.  A few just died.  But most folks got little real work done during "lockdowns", despite getting paid money.  Expensive pandemic, yes?   Key fact is these "lockdowns" have had real economic consequences.  They caused true "money for nothing."

The USA debt level is now - here at August 1st, 2021 - $28.5 trillion - and what are the silly politicians who are pretending to be the USA government actually doing?  What *hard work* are these monkeyboys and monkeygirls doing on this summer Sunday?

Well, let me tell you:  They are working on a big bi-partisan infrastructure spending bill so that the good old USA Government can borrow and spend another one trillion dollars, and do some roadwork and pork-barrel State-by-State spending.

Holy Kcuf!  If you put all this into a 1930's science-fiction story - about the insane madness of a distopian & psychotic future - where aliens and lunatics - or maybe zombies? - have taken control of the USA, and are determined to weaken & destroy the place using economic-technical methods - your plot-line would be ridiculed and disrespected as being "too crazy and far-fetched."   Right?

And yet here we are.   The modern Neo-fascist Leftists - everywhere, not just USA-land - here too in Canadastan - seem determined to commit a kind of economic suicide.

It all has to start with these "Trillion Dollar Bond Robbery" events.

Let me explain:   These long-maturity borrowings will *NEVER* be paid back - in real money.  It absolutely will not happen.  Anyone who has even basic knowledge of any Economics knows this - and accepts it perhaps as MMT - Modern Monetary Theory - which asserts simply that money does not matter - only employment levels, output and social stability matter.   The old neo-classical folks raise their eyebrows and say simply: "Really?   Are you sure about that?"  and they leave it there, because they bloody well "know' for sure, what will happen eventually.

There is absolutely *nothing at all* to be gained now, by telling the truth about this, in academia.  All you will do is make yourself hated when the events play out.

We cannot know when or how exactly it will play out.

But by creating wealth out of *nothing* and then spending it on consumption - we are going down the path of slave-owning societies and nations run by mad kings.

This stuff works for a while - until the short time frame where it no longer does.   This kind of spending model evolves along a *very* non-linear path.   It just does, and there are many (really very many) examples of this sort of thing in the historical record.

I know why the ancient Mayan cities were abandoned so abruptly.  It was not just water-shortages.  The great Lord of Tikal - who built the place - was called "Lord Chocolate" (Ahau Cacahao) - which seems cute - until you understand the vital importance chocolate had in the Mayan culture and economy.  The beans themselves were so valuable, they were used as *money*.  And the whole economy actually worked pretty good - until it didn't.  Lord Chocolate - might be more correctly translated as: "Lord Money".  And  - like the great structures in Egypt and other nations - it was money that built Tikal and the other the cities - and it was the loss of money that ended them.

But the money does not evaporate - some mechanism causes it to be degraded, erased, or made by law or fraud or criminality - to disappear.   It all just "goes away" - often because the State behind it falls - either in war, or thru mis-management.

Nations do this *all the time*.  They reset their currency and impoverish or abuse their citizens - because those in power can.   It is a crazy-easy, simple game.

The simple reality of "Nation-States" explains the value that is assigned to gold, bitcoin and real-estate.    It's more difficult (but never impossible) for the State to steal these kinds of assets from their private citizens.  They will still try, of course.

But with the  modern bond markets - it is now possible to prosecute astonishing theft on a scale that defies imagination.  

Poirot was called in to find out what happened to the "Million Dollars of Bearer Bonds" that were "stolen" on the big ocean liner, sailing from England to New York.   It's a clever tale.  I won't tell you what happened.   Go read the story.

But I can tell you what will happen with this wild, out-of-control runaway spending in the USA (and here also, as it happens, in chilly Canada.  We have to follow America since we are joined at the hip ...):   We will have inflation - in prices, wages, salaries and the costs of every single hard physical thing that takes effort and material to fabricate.   It will damage us all.

This inflation will come on in a very non-linear fashion.  Non-linear is not wired into people's little brains.  None of us really appreciate the power of exponential compounding.  It's the rapid growth of growth-rates, and it allows for the rapid population explosions and mass-diebacks that we see all the time in ecology models.    Each small moth lays tens of thousands of eggs.  Almost all are eaten by preditors - but change the operational characterisitcs of the predation experience - and suddenly, you get several billion caterpillers crawling across your fields and eating all the crops.  Or ants, or bacteria, or viruses.   These non-linear process models are truly fascinating - and scary.

And the USA (and much of the rest of the world) - is building a big one right now - with it's most critical economic varible - the money units.

The theft is being executed against the future, and against those who have tried to save for their "golden years"   Instead of "golden years" - the governments are telling those prudent savers,  to be Bobby Brown, and just enjoy the "golden showers" the State is offering.   

Major problems occur when you set financial yields at zero (or less than zero, as is now the European case), and damage the integrity of money - since you damage and then maybe destroy the savings => investment process that is the means by which an economy can create wealth.  But the damage is done in a non-linear manner.  By the time you see it happening, it is too late for an easy fix.  Accelerating mass poverty and then war typically result.

It's all so curiously and comically awful that all you can do is laugh - and then go burn down some government buildings, I guess.  (Please don't.)   This is what English Canadians did to the first Government of Canada Parliaments Buildings in Montreal, on April 25th, 1849, due to extreme anger and a sense of betrayal that resulted from the way the "Rebellion Losses Bill" was handled.  The English felt betrayed by the folks whom they looked to to protect their interests - and instead saw their taxes allocated to those they (correctly) viewed as traitors and criminals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_the_Parliament_Buildings_in_Montreal

Curiously - until the internet made information available to the masses, I knew *nothing* whatsoever about this very key event in Canada's history.   Almost all of the Rebellion of 1837 - where intense, and serious battles were fought around Toronto for several weeks - which resulted in ugly government reprisals and public hangings in City Hall Square - including that of Judge Blount, a respected member of the Bench and a Rebel.   "Upper Canada" was under British Marshal Law for over 10 years after the Rebellion, and farms and property of those sympathetic to the Rebels were systematically destroyed by roving bands of British "Soldiers".   This is why Rebellion Losses Bill was so important - Government troops came into peoples house and farms, and burned them down or destroyed them.  The nature of the required compensation was a serious issue for all concerned.

But instead of our true history - of our tragic and failed Revolution, and it's consequences - we got this bogus, santiized fraud - thanks to the public, government-funded education here in Ontario.   We were taught this santitized nonsense - we had history classes to study about the "beaver trade" and "Lord Durham's Report" and worthless, foolish nonsense like that - and we learned nothing of our true, violent, nation-forming history.  Schools lie.

There is a reason we have a democratic system here.   Because if we did not - we would have serious (and I mean - *serious*) warfare in the streets.   The bars used to close on election day.   If you read the news accounts - there were often fights at the polling stations - sometimes with swords (I read an actual account of a sword fight to the death at one voting location in the 1800's).   Religion played a major role in politics - towns in Ontario were either Catholic or Protestant - much like Ontario (mostly Protestant) and Quebec (almost all Catholic, except for the English quasi-elite in Montreal - who did not feel at all like an elite - more like those in an outpost of civilization, working each day against local superstition and hot-headed French hatred.)

This is why democratic freedom is so important - the alternative is open warfare in the streets, and/or brutal police-state methods of murder and citizen-assault and mass imprisonment in gulags and concentration camps.  

And concomitant with democratic structural methods, we also need press freedom and hard-coded "freedom of speech" laws, and the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to possess weapons for self-defence purposes.  We also need sound money, and the ability to carry on business without interference from public authorities who would confiscate and sieze property.  And we need honest schools which teach honest, true history - which is very difficult, of course.  Everyone has a different picture of what true history was.

What is so curious, is the degree to which all these base-line requirements of modern civil structure are being degraded - everywhere - and especially by the Neo-fascist Leftists.  They are the worst.   They seem to be carefully and systematically attacking everything we have all built in the last 200 years.

This is becoming all so curious.   And of course, with our modern, newly-censored internet, we are tracking backwards to the old models - censorship of political ideas, restrictions on unpopular speech of any kind, laws allowing for prosecution of "hate speech", and movements back toward extreme levels of punishing taxation to support abusive and unwise spending on bogus social-political objectives - and of course, the sanization (or outright destructive manipulation) of the educational methods and ideas that are taught to young people in government-funded schools.  We are moving away from what has worked well in our historical context, and let us reach where we all are today.  This is setting the stage for a non-linear response.

Just like we are tracking very quickly towards a curious model of economic self-destruction, especially in the USA, where angry, dishonest old Leftists are attempting to steal another trillion dollars every four months from taxpayers - and from the young folks, who will live in the angry future, where both money and investment itself, may be broken.    The bonds being printed and sold today, will be "redeemed" with fake money.  Mark my words.

It would all make a great story - except it seems just too far-fetched. and crazy,   :^(

[ July 31, 2021 ] - Shake your Money-Maker - I put the "Shunga" print in the Economics 2021 section.  It seemed to fit there.   They are truly fascinating - and make us smile, across the centuries.

I put Miss Springtime (the young girl from the 1000 Kronen Austro-Hungarian Empire Bank Note) up top.   She looks like she wants to warn us all, whispering:  "Money is not what it seems.  It ages and dies, just as I have."

The First World War was supposed to be the "War to End all Wars" - fought with idiotic 19th century battlefield formations, but executed with machine-guns, poison-gas, bomber aircraft and attack submarines.   When the War ended, the returning soldiers brought the lethal "Spanish Flu" (which actually originated in China) to North America, and the rest of the world - which resulted in somewhere between 20 to 100 million dead, across the globe.   No one really knows the accurate number.  

"Miss Springtime", with the flowers in her hair, and her worried expression, really looked to be trying to convey something to us all, don't you think?    :/

[ July 30, 2021 ] - The Costs of Censorship - In an honest attempt to offer some useful, actionable advice to young folks who have high student-debt - I tried to post a short algorithm to a "MarketWatch" article about *high student debt* and the push to cancel it (which I think is *very very* wrong, as it teaches young people *exactly* the wrong thing).

I was astonished that even the sanitized version (no profanity or even harsh comments) version of my simple post was "Rejected as not meeting Community Standards".   "Holy ******* Jesus!"  I thought to myself.  "There is not a single fucking bad word at all, in the santiized version!  Un-fucking-believable!!   It's the pussification of America - going to extremes!  Wow..."

And so on..

Here is what I wrote, which was *REJECTED* ...

---------------------------------------- How to Fix Your Debt Problem ------------------------------

Here is a radical concept:  Want to get rid of that nasty debt?  Why not - pay it down?  
I know this is a radical idea - but, hey, speaking from personal experience - and based
on our research, we can actually assert - with some confidence - that this strategy works.   
And it has *huge* benefits!

You think I am being a wise-guy - but I am dead serious.

To pay down your debt - you need to make some money, right?   Well, focus your personal
efforts on **that** outcome.   Really work at it.  Get a crappy job that pays just a
bit - and then get your monthly expenses stable, so you are breakeven or a tiny bit
cash-flow positive.  The idea is to have a little bit of savings at the end of each month.  
That extra cash is dry powder.  It has unique power - that you may not even know yet.

Then, spend at least an hour a day, looking for better opportunities.  Don't waste time messing around.  Cut out booze, cigarettes and junky food.  Cut down - way down -any stupid screen time.  Unless you are going to design video-games for a living, avoid them.   Ditch the low-grade parasite-people in your life.  Just "ghost" them.  You know I am right about this.

Then, GRAB opportunities.  Forget all that b/s about "work-life balance" and "meaningful work".    Focus on outcome.  Once - I had no work, and got an awful job - washing dishes - but it changed my life.  I went back to school with focus - ditched goof courses & did economics and computer science.  This worked.   It can for you too.

------------------------- xxx ------------------------

Ok, so that little bit of (very goddamn important and useful) advice - honestly offered at my own time and expense - to try to make this sad fucking world a bit better place - was REJECTED.  And this was because the witless mothers at MarketWatch (a division of the now worthless Wall Street Journal ) decided it did not meet Community Guidelines.   "WTF???"

Well, f(ck you guys.   You can go suck rocks in hell.   What else can I say?

Pay down your goddamn debt, children.   The very act of doing that simple task - will teach you about 1000 times more helpful, useful, actionable, information-sets, than all the junk-courses in all the sad schools on this sad planet.  Your real education begins once you leave school.  Know this truth - and *USE IT* to your advantage.   Just maybe:  EVERYTHING YOU 'KNOW' IS WRONG.   Right?

I ran out of room in the tiny post I wrote - it ends with what looks like advice to go do economics and computer work.  That is of course, not all of what I was saying - that decision worked for me - but each person must pursue his/her own plan - and make their own choice.  You might do music - or artwork, or business or science work or so many other things.   Or get into advertizing or become an importer of some cool product that you have figured out folks will pay real money for.   There are literally *millions* of things you can do, to generate some income, and make those debts disappear.

But you first must get your own self under basic financial control, and accept that what happens to you, is your own doing.   This is a very key idea that you need to grasp on to.   Sure, bad sh/t can happen to each of us, that we have no control over.  But we CAN control how we react when the bad and the unexpected happens.    And that is where you can discover your own power.

There is power and gain and benefit in accepting responsibility for what you do - just like there is power that comes from generating even the tiniest bit of monthly surplus income.   Once you have a bit of surplus, you can begin to use it to change things in your life.   If you start on this path, you can learn and grow and gain, and become better in many ways.  It helps if you can be exposed to this simple idea early on.  WIth power and gain, comes even more responsibility - and your early experiences will help you use your increased power & knowledge wisely.  You will learn that most wealth is made by growing the size of the pie - not by fighting over the small pieces in the current dish.

Here is a good little book -  a slim volume written in the 1920's:  "The Richest Man in Babylon".  I recall it starts out with some young guy in debt, seeking advice from an older fellow, on how to escape his creditors and solve his money problems.   It is a cleverly written, helpful little book:

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+richest+man+in+babylon

Our world is at a crossroads now.   Each of us should focus on trying to make things better.  The best way to do this is to create financial security in your own life, for yourself and for those you care about.  You can fix the world by fixing first, your own flawed thinking - and it's results.

There are some real, serious, non-trivial costs to this current neo-fascist "Nanny-State" that the old, failed, Leftists in USA and elsewhere are now constructing.  More folks must  learn this truth.

The kids are being misled and cheated and lied-to, and the Bidenistas are making sure that it will be difficult for them to get access to anything that can help them climb out of the cesspits of political ignorance they are being thrown into - BY THEIR OWN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM!

The single most important thing a person of any age can learn - is to take full responsibility for the outcomes that result from their actions.   This is a very difficult lesson for people to learn.  Some people never learn this, and they typically self-destruct.  Along the way, they often become the ugly, painful, tragic problems that professionals have to deal with.  And - like the "crabs in the bucket" - they can pull down those around them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_mentality

Our schools need to re-focus on producing persons of integrity & quality who know how to think and to take responsibility for their actions.   But instead, the schools seem to be doing exactly the opposite of this.   And this "knowledge censorship" is going to raise costs for us all.

This is just not good.  It is a serious problem that needs attention.  A complete cleanup of the school-system is needed - especially now - since the internet is slowly going dark.

[ July 28-29, 2021 ] - Plan Comes Together - And yes, this is good.   We are doing very conservative investment plans - very, very little debt, almost no margin - but we retain long, all-in positions, despite the market volatility.  The Apple and Google earnings reported were wildly good.   But once you reach the top of the mountain, all directions lead down.   We are being very conservative  - but this is working ok.  

I'm looking for a used Tesla.  I will keep the F-150 (and forget the cool Cybertruck), and just get the Model S if I can find one.   But I need an 85kw battery - since I need to drive over 200 miles on a charge - and the 60kw battery - even when new - is only rated for 185 miles.  

[ July 27, 2021 ] - Time for a Change - The ecosystem-envelopment models of Google, Apple and Microsoft can now be seen to be both high-cost, and risk-laden.   The NSO Pegasus hackware, which is installed all over the world, and is used to monitor activity on iPhones and Android phones, demonstrates that unlimited (and unknowable) levels of risk result if one uses that technology.

We have found Linux devices to work well, and offer some degree of protection, if properly configured.  Plus - you simply can *know* most of what is actually going on - if you built the platform with open-source software and tools.

The days of the black-box, unlimited risk, secret-sauce platforms, might have reached their peak usage.

IBM was not unwise, buying Redhat.   We use CentOS and Fedora.  And we have recently learned that Linux open-source platforms are now available on cellphones and tablets.  Specifically:

https://pine64.com/product/pinephone-beta-edition-linux-smartphone/

and

https://puri.sm/products/librem-5/

The above products have different price points - but they both offer the possibility of being part of what we suspect is going to be a significant movement away from the existing monopoly (duopoly?) technology ecosystems.

The current approach - secret, black-box, hidden, patent-laden code with multiple back-doors and in-built user-envelopment strategies - is just not good.  

Our mobile devices are starting to look like Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft -  bad technics with really fancy user interfaces that make them look slick - but basically dangerous specifically because of the design decisions that have been made.

More about this, as our journey away from the Big Tech Monopoly world continues. 

And lets be clear - we use the Linux platforms for real business reasons - lower cost, better (much better) reliability, and much lower risk (if you do your homework, and set things up right.)

- MCL

[ July 24, 2021 ] - What Price Freedom? - So of course, the NSO Pegesus phone-monitoring software - courtesy of those fine Israeli folks - proves - yet again, as if we needed to be told one more time - that the Apple iPhones and Google Android phones can be compromised - so that bad-actors can read all your stuff, and listen-in to all your calls.   Such is the world.  Some links, if one is curious:

 

Some Background (what the New York Times reported in 2016):

https://www.theverge.com/22589942/nso-group-pegasus-project-amnesty-investigation-journalists-activists-targeted

Tool for Checking Your Phone  (I have no knowledge if this works or not...)

https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/19/toolkit-nso-pegasus-iphone-android/

What Amnesty International says:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/research/2021/07/forensic-methodology-report-how-to-catch-nso-groups-pegasus/

 

For thirty years, folks like us have quietly warned these "smartphone" devices are dangerously stupid technology, they can be used for mass-monitoring and location-tracking, so as to endanger people, and make their lives less secure.  ("Hey!  We're from the GOVERNMENT, and we want to HELP YOU!").   Sure.  Sure you do.  :D  ["Rome ith your fweind!"]

We've been doing some research on the "Freedom Phone" - basically what appears to be a cheapish Chinese phone, built with a variant of the old CyanogenMod code (now LineageOS), which is basically a version of Android, but with Google apps surgically removed.  The Google apps in Android - at least for me - have started to remind me of the "facehugger" in the first "ALIEN" movie.   They let you "breathe" - but you have to do it through them.  And you are never sure what else is being "inserted."

What is interesting is the tremendous level of animosity and negative reviews the "Freedom Phone" has engendered on the 'net.    Maybe it is just a scam.  But maybe not.  Not sure yet.  It is priced at $499 US (which is a bit high, of course).   I tried to watch a "yootoube" review of thing - by some varkjoule with 7.7 million followers (oh my) - who spent four or five minutes telling me I was stupid for wanting this thing - blah blah blah blah - and then I got a commercial for Nescafe coffee.  He called it a scam, and had lots of nasty things to say - but I never got to any details, and he provided no useful information - like most of the snot-slime nonsense on social-media now.   When the commercial for bad coffee came on, I just switched off the iPad.   (Social Media:  Just can't stand it - don't watch it, except when in teeth-gritting research mode <big, long, sigh...>)

Anyway, maybe "Freedom Phone" is bogus..  But maybe so are the folks behind Telegram and Signal.  If you use a commerical "app" to communicate, you will be at risk, I suspect.   All that commercial stuff seems *very* suspect to me - and it seems to be the entrapment algo to catch stupid criminals, and/or stupid children planning MOIC action.   

If you actually want a device that allows reasonably secure, encrypted, private end-to-end communication, you probably have to build it yourself, and then run it thru PGP and ensure you do proper key-management, and leave nothing on any server anywhere, if you can help it.  But that is of course, maybe not possible.  If we ever needed to communicate remotely with someone privately, we would use PGP - and some form of one-time pad - and then run the msg thru some old, mid-grade thing like Blowfish or something.   And then also assume that the guy on the other end would probably have someone reading his display.   Secure communication at a distance is almost impossible, and anyone with even cursory "tradecraft" knowledge knows the truth of this.

One can review the history of "Tunny" if curious, and the work of Tuttle, in WW2, at Bletchley, if curious.  Adding more wheels (entropy) does not always work, if the kids using the machines get lazy and re-use their one-time codes.

But I like the idea of the "Freedom Phone".  Google and Apple just pi$$ me off, truth be told.  We have no choice but to use all the modern stuff - but it annoys me.

I like the idea of a CyanogenMod limited-function smartish-phone, circa 2016 - without any of the Google "services", no gmail, no tracking code, and the ability to fully (not partially) disable location tracking.   And with wi-fi, it would be nice to have some sort of packet-by-packet monitoring.   So that means I need an earlier generation series of devices (or maybe not), with flashable (unlocked) bootloader, and the TWRP stuff (TeamWin Recovery Project) to flash the low-level ROM to install a bootable version of LineageOS).  

Maybe I will see if I can cobble together a prototype.  It would be nice to have secure SMS, but with some sort of rolling salt to further  enhance entropy - not super high grade stuff - but enough so that you were not sending everything in plaintext.   All your metadata will be recorded and stored anyway, and if you need good security - you could do some simple, one-time-pad type stuff, where you share a code in the voice conversation - which is part of the PGP (or GPG) decrypt string.  The whole problem with PGP is that ALL your stuff is wide-open plaintext, if someone gets your device and scarfs your private keys.

We had a simple, yet reasonably secure methodology for sending files remotely.  We would encrypt the file, using some algo that was reasonablely good - send the file over the public channel - and then communicate the pass-phrase to decrypt the file, using a different channel, at a different time.  Nowadays, you would basically do both - encrypt the file - then send it thru an encrypted channel using public-key crypto stuff - and then later, communicate the decrypt string, so even if your keys were lifted, your counterparty adversary would have to have all your file-by-file passwords.   And of course - a determined adversary would simply scoop up the file contents, once it was decrypted at the destination, if it was sufficiently important.

There is really only one way to ensure something stays secret - and that is simply to avoid telling anyone about it at all.    This of course, makes even small-scale project management a bit difficult.  

Generic Example:

Boss: "Well, how did the project go?"    Minion: "It went well."    Boss: "So, does that mean well enough that we don't have anything to worry about?"   Minion: "Yes, it went that well."   Boss: "And did we manage to learn anything new here, with this?"   Minion: "Well, nothing that we did not already know."   Boss: "Well, that's good."    Minion: "I figured you'd be pleased.  Especially since we had that thing occur, last month."   Boss: "Yes, that was not good.   But it's all been dealt with then, nothing that remains to be done?"   Minion: "Well yes.  Pretty much.  Just the usual bits and pieces of minor cleanup action."   Boss: "And, you're able to pull all that together by the end of this month?  So everything will be all wrapped up?"  Minion: "Yes, I'm sure of it.  Ceteris paribus, of course."   Boss: "Excellent.   Nice work.  I'll let them know upstairs."

So, without secure communications - where people can have real, substantial discussions about specific details - organizations tend to  have these content-free conversations, like the one above. 

I would argue that every single organization of any kind that is doing anything that actually matters at all - absolutely must have secure communication, otherwise folks will self-censor if they know they are being monitored.  And if the organization cannot communicate with itself - then it will never be able to deploy groups of people to accomplish major objectives.   Everything will be silos and independent actors dashing around doing their own special projects.

This is why cabinet meetings have to be secure and secret.  Otherwise, every group discussion becomes a poker game.   If people are to work remotely - then secure, private communication *must* be enabled by the technology.

Sure, you still may be completely "pwned" if some high-resourced SOB  (or an SLA - a "state level actor") gets physical access to your device.  (You likely will have to execute a 9 mil. or .45 calibre "wipe" of the device, probably, if that happens).   But it would just be nice to have a proper "cyberspace deck", which would allow truly secure, remote private communication to occur.   (I keep thinking of Mandrake, trying to make that "trunk call" to the "President" with the Wing re-call codes, in "Dr. Strangelove".   "Purity of Essense", I believe it was...   There are just sometimes, when - even if (especially if?)  you are a good guy, you want to (need to?) be able to have a secure channel to send your message.   "Peccavi" by telegraph just does not always do it.

The "Freedom Phone" might not be a great implementation of what is needed.  But perhaps it is a "baby-step" in the right direction.   Probably the key to the success of the thing - if that happens - will be it's ability to access a "Not_Google_Playstore" repository of applications.   The manner in which Google and Apple can simply *remove* applications from their application repositories, is deeply offensive to the operation of a free and fair marketplace.   Like IBM did in the 1960's and 1970's - both companies now control the hardware, the software and the distribution of 3rd party software.   This is what IBM did, and it bought IBM a significant anti-trust action, from the US Government.   At some point, similar action will almost certainly be taken against Apple and Google. 

Maybe Google and Apple are more like Boeing than the old IBM.  I sense that we are just building too much technology that flys the plane into the ground - and all automatically.   The technology itself - and the agency folks that operate it - should not be able to restrict, degrade or impair how people use the technology.   

Any effort that moves us away from the California Monopolists and Censor-Tech Combines really should be applauded.   And then copied!   :)

[ July 22, 2021 ] - Cerberus is Asleep - So, I guess that means it's a bit easier to go to Hell?   Perhaps I should message some old associates!   :D

[ July 21, 2021 ] - Everything You "Know" is Wrong - I'm reading Benoit Mandelbrot's "The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets".  I regret I never got to hear his lectures in person.  He says in his book, that it won't help make you rich.   Huh?  That is a curious assertion, which I would challenge.   An effective understanding of the properties of a dynamic system - and one where you are allowed to make financial wagers on the outcome of how it will evolve - hells bells, if you can't profit from that, then you are seriously stupid - even more stupid than I have been - and wow, that would be - honesty - pretty f***ing stupid...  :D

People get shitty results because they are stubborn and fail to learn.  And even if they have learned, they - often - fail to adjust their own behaviour.  They make hard, concious decisions to deliberately ignore beneficial information that contains significant value.   And this I cannot understand.   But again - hells ringing bells - I don't even have to understand human stupidity and stubborn arrogance, do I?   Of course not - all one has to do, is to quietly avoid it with careful focus.   Like Durer's Knight - or like that speech in Pulp Fiction (a direct Biblical Quote), where the protagonist shouts "I am beset on all sides by wickness ..." and affirms how he must track the path of righteousness - just before a dude bursts from a closet and fires 6 rounds to kill him - and all bullets miss their target.   (That scene is not far-fetched.  I was at the range a couple of days ago, with one of the "Nines", and I could barely hit dinner-plate sized metal targets at 20 feet away - something that on a warm day, in the summer, relaxed & comfortable, I should have no trouble doing.  But I am - as they say - out of practice.  Damn. )

We must be careful to *always* be cross-checking that which we "think we know".  Because it might just be wrong.  Once, I wrote this beautiful, complex system to construct portfolios of trending stocks, automatically, based on their price momentum.   It worked really well.  Until it didn't.

Diversification is actually an open question.  And the 60/40 bonds/stocks split recommended by the Portfolio Managers and Financial Theorists is a ticket to the f***ing poor-house, for most folks.    You are better off doing your own thinking - and making your own investing decisions.   You might (almost certainly) make horrible, awful mistakes.  But you will learn, and that will - if you are not stupid and stubborn - seriously empower you.    This is *really* important.   It's **especially** important for younger people - who can really get hard, fine traction, from their learning, and then have the time to let compound growth work seriously in their favour.

Diversification is kind of stupid, truth be told.  Maybe walk away from it.  Put most of your investment wealth into your *best* idea - but be damn sure that it *really* is a good idea.   This is not at all an original observation.  It actually is right there, in big, black-and-white letters in the "Zurich Axioms" - a book that I have found very useful - basically a little black book full of heuristics - rules of thumb - for making successful investments in a world fraught with risk.

Concentration is risky - but so the is breathing!   Each lung-full of air contains pathogens and viral particles and other people's fartwind and sneezed-snot and so on - especially in cities.  The sickest - I mean the VERY sickest I have ever been - was directly a result of riding the goddamn subway in Toronto, back when I was a young, healthy fellow.    I caught some damn flu - way back in the 1980's, and I recall being so sick in bed for at least two days - that I could barely drag myself to the bathroom.   I vividly recall thinking:  "If I fucking die here in this stupid condo bedroom, then I will not be discovered until some friend asks the building management to open the door, or until my corpse starts to stink so bad, that the smell disturbs the neighbours.   Arrrrgh."

A subway in a modern city - it is honestly a place of extreme and very high (and smelly) human risk - but young folks zoom around in the "tube" and think nothing of it.  I certainly didn't.  

When you are young - you should take risks - but try to make them intelligent risks, with a big, high pay-off if the risk "pans out".   Doing stupid shit like bungee-jumping (didn't do it), or night-time high-speed car-racing (did that, really was stupid) - is unwise, since the thrill-gain is small, but the cost-risk is really high (you know, death and destruction, eh?).  Skill learning risk is good - learn to drive motorcycles and/or fly airplanes.  That is really good, as it teaches you how to actively manage risk in real-time, and that is maybe the most important skill a young man can learn.   Have fun - but don't die a foolish and needless death, as life is not at all like a video game.  There is no replay.  You can get "do-overs" if you live (you will need these), but you have to not die to obtain them.  

Luck is weirdly important.  But you can improve your luck.  Go to Louisiana, and get a "mojo".  (I am kidding.  I think...)  Truth:  You can improve your luck with a statistical trick:   Here it is:  Keep the *costs* of your trials low, so that you can "try more stuff".   The more stuff you can try, the more you will increase your chances of hitting on something that works out really good.   This seems so obvious - but folks will sit around and do F/A, instead of just going out and doing *something*.  

Recognize that most heuristic life algorithms will be inverted or subverted in the markets.  This is a curious phenomenon.   Again, not original - but hard to implement:  You can quite often make the most money, by doing the least stuff, if you have picked a winner investment, early on.  Just holding on to a good investment, is often the surest route to big bucks.    I recall reading a book about an early investor in Xerox, in the 1960's.  The stock just kept going up and up and up.  Every single business - and government Agency - bought - and then upgraded - their Xerox copy machines.  While their patent-protection held, Xerox just kept raking in more and more money.  It was the Google or Microsoft of it's day.    This early investor held - and grew very wealthy - so rich he wrote a book.  He spoke of the "Itch Witch" that would whisper to him he should sell.  But he didn't  His broker told him to sell.  His wife told him to sell.  But he held.   And got rich.    ( I often wonder what happened to him?  Did he ride it all down, when the patent-expirations began the down-phase?  Unknown.)

When I get a good profit, I tend to sell, and almost *always* I deeply regret the decision, as I watch the stock in question launch out of sight, like Bezo's rocketship. 

You can make the most money, in the markets, often by doing the least - almost *exactly* the opposite of what you have to do in life, to be lucky and effective.   This is a *very* key fact that you have to internalize.  Algos that are really good in life (like being stubborn and determined) can simply kill you in the market.  If you make a bet and facts change, and it starts to degrade and weaken, then just dump it, forget about it, and try again.   It does not *owe* you anything.

It's why I write this stupid web-log, which actually *costs me money* to maintain and self-publish!

All this writing-blather started because I read a book called "The Artist's Way", which had this algo for creativity:  "Write three pages of something every day, without fail."  It's an edit/fix hack to help blocked-creative folks.  Sometimes, you just get **BLOCKED** and you feel you can't do anything.   It's an awful sensation - true terror, actually.  You feel check-mated, and yet unable to reset.  It's a common problem for many successful, creative people.  The wise advice in this book mandates the "morning pages" - this silly writing exercise.  I don't know why it works - but it does.

So, I have to write something each day.  Maybe it works, because it forces me to think and organize a wild blizzard of thoughts and emotions and visual sensations that would just maelstrom me otherwise?  Perhaps.   I also have developed a weird ability to type really fast - I can key this text almost effortlessly - like Mozart could operate the piano.   It's quite curious, and I am continually surprised by this - if I stop and think where the letters are on the keyboard, then my fingers get all tied into a knot, like that Bob Dylan song "Lost in Warez"  (We are all getting Lost in Warez, lately, aren't we... :D )  

I read "The Book of the Five Rings", by Musashi, and I think I know how he won all his sword-fights.   He would meet his opponent, and then run over and kill him.   His opponent - being Japanese - would probably want to have some sort of silly stupid formal start to the fight - and he would see Musashi show up (who never bathed - ever) looking like a filthy beggar, and skinking to high-heaven in the warm Japanese air.  His opponent would be filled with this confusing set of thoughts like an amp-ed up: "WTF???  Could this be the greatest swordsman of all Nihon-Yamato??  This stinking rag-bag??"  And while his challenger was dealing with this extreme cognative disonance, Musashi would run over and stick his sword through the bastard's chest.  Fight was over before it began.

Your most dangerous and really lethal-risky flaw and failure and problem - is not an outside thing, in the horrible/awful dangerous and evil world - it is the weakness and failure-system that lurks - somewhere - deep in your own heart and soul.   That sound's so poetic and almost like a bullshit goof-comment - but it is actually very true.    You will find out the truth of this, just by walking thru the world.   And it really comes out in the market.

The market will find your flaws, and use them to take away your money.  The political process in a democracy will use the same flaws and weakness-issues, to take away the freedom of a free-people, if they forget the price that their parents and grandparents paid for that freedom.

We need to construct process and fund military action to protect and defend our own lands.  But we also need to fabricate internal psychological mechanisms to protect and defend our own selves.   In these modern times - I would recommend avoiding all social media - except unless you are purchasing advertizing space, to market a product or service.  On the internet - *YOU* are the product.   Remember that.  And understand it.

Almost everything on the internet is bogus and awful now - there is so very much advanced knowledge on how to mess (badly) with people's minds, and get them to take action that is not in their interests.  

Hacking human brains - this is not an original or new phenomenon.  It's right there, in LeFevre's "Reminicenses of a Stock Operator" - where the bookseller salesman gets into the office, to successfully sell Larry Livingston a whole collection of Classical Poetry.  Livingston is virtually hypnotized by the guy, and signs the contract to buy all the books - almost completely on automatic pilot.  It's probably the most important story of the whole set of stories in "Reminicenses...", which most successful speculators agree is the best investment book ever written.   Clever operators and clever operations can *very* effectively mislead, and drive human behaviour like a cheap car with bad brakes.

Years ago, I saw this, and called it "Langdon's Lemma".  It's the shortest sentance - two words only:  "Everyone Lies."

Except Langdon himself, of course.  "I *always* tell the truth!" 

And I have never been to Crete.   :D

Music: I had to get my Atlas out and find Lake Charles, Louisiana...    This might be the best song I have heard a woman sing.  Thanx to Canadian Audio Mart and the "Blues Music" thread in their BBS thing, some guy named "Bruinsfan" (who posted about XRDS.FM), and the awesome Clarksdale Blues station, XRDS.FM, and also the authors of Mplayer (which lets the "Artist's Name, Album and Track"  data appear on the "xterm" window, when linked to music-stream sites.  Thanx to this constellation of folks, I finally found out who wrote this very lovely, hauntingly intense song I heard many years back:  Lucinda Williams.  She is unique.  She was born in Lake Charles, and the song is about her dead, ex-boyfriend - all I have been able to find out.  When I heard this song on some radio thing, many years back - it stopped me in my tracks.  But then - I never heard it again - until yesterday, when I found out who it was:  Lucinda Williams.   Go buy her recordings.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Na1Lv3eAcCk

[ July 20, 2021 ] - Mississippi Crossroads - The music that goes with Albrecht Durer's great image is maybe "Crossroads Blues".  I found a radio station that I can stream on the Linux Music Box I built that's connected to the sound system.  After yesterday, a little Southern Blues - direct from Clarksdale Mississippi - was certainly what the doctor ordered.  Funny how listening to the Blues is just so good.   Durer's image of the Devil - I wonder if it jives with what would have been in Robert Johnson's imagination?   (The best description was probably by the "Tommy Jones" character, in "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRQkC2FDXuw

I moved Durer's awesome image to "Economics 2021" section of this website.  Somehow, the Knight seems to be offering the best economic advice for 2021.  He says: "Ignore the awful, and the horrible.  Ride on, keep focused on the future, and don't be distracted by fear, the modern political insanity, the routine horror or even the painful truths of investment and human mortality and collapse.  Just ride with focus and carry good weapons."   And remember, Nelson Mandela pointed out that the best and most effective weapon is: "education".   Try to travelled well-armed. 

And get a Moderna or Pfizer Covid vaccine, if you can.   We are all feeling just fine.   :)

So is the Market.  We are up 618 points on the DJIA, 71.5 on the S&P500 (1.68%), so not a bad technical bounce.   Crazy times.   We have remained long, no position changes.  Put in some stink-bids yesterday, but no fills.    Guess Mr. "D" got his due.   :D

[ July 19, 2021 ] - Snakes on a Plane - 50 "Democrat Lawmakers" from Texas chartered their own jet, and flew to Washington DC to block passage of the proposed Texas voter-ID rules - rules that the citizens of Texas want to get their government to adopt.  Now, 5 of these people have tested postive for Covid.   When we first read this - the immediate reaction was a chuckle, and the obvious thought: "Perhaps those folks will just die, and the generate some real benefit for the State of Texas...?"   But truth is: they were all vaccinated, and their symptoms are mild.   Aw, shucks...

Everyone will catch Covid-19 eventually.  Getting an mRNA vaccine is a good idea - even for those who have gone over to the Dark Side.   :D    You may get some minor side-effects - but that just proves the vaccine is actually working.  In the first 17 days of  July in Indonesia (a nation with almost as many people as the USA), they have had 114 *vaccinated* medical doctors die from Covid-19.  That is tragic.   The problem was, the nation was using the Sinovac vaccine - which works, but not that great.  The mRNA vaccines (Pfizer/Biontech and Moderna) offer the best protection.  The Moderna vaccine seems to have given me strangely vivid dreams - but I have always had quite bad sleep/wake cycles, so perhaps the extreme-dreaming thing is unrelated to vaccine action.

The SARS-2-CoV virus - that strange, nasty and curious virus (one virologist said:   "If you find a cat with human hands - yes it might have evolved naturally.  But it is more likely that it was engineered") is not going to either kill us or save us.   We will just have to do what we can, with what we have, when we can.

Your thoughts are free, yes?   Use them wisely.

https://www.bitchute.com/video/kqsPA4O4Dr1P/

More research:   What do you think of this video?  Is it political?  Is there a message here?  Are things really going as wrong, as we think they are?  Or are we seeing just another turn of the Fortuna's Wheel? 

My primary AI model went red last week, and today, pre-market, I see the DJIA is down over 513 points (1.5%).  That is a big move, given that the low-risk annual yield on 10 year bonds in USA-land is 1.3% - if you are in the market, you just lost more than a year's income - even before the happy little New York stock market opens.   Oil (WTI futures) has fallen to 69.20/bbl (down > 3.6%), and the VIX is up 4.77 to 21.78 (a > 28% move  - wish I could go long that thing, without getting "greeked"...)  

It looks like it's gonna be a bad day. [Noon Update:  Oh yeah.  DJIA is now down 839, with Oil down to 66.50 (down 7.39%).  Cdn $ has dumped all it's gains for 2021, the Russel 2000 made back most of it's losses, but then turned down again.   I don't have the data - but I would hazard that the odd-lot types and dip-buyers are buying a bit.  Tech stocks are doing ok,  and FVRR (up 11.62 to 215.80) and NVDA (up 23.50 to 750), are showing strength.  They are not junk.  They are disruptive new stuff - and probably are pointing the way to the future.   Parts of the World are being broken.  The West is being taken over by gays, lesbians, radical socialist fraudsters and folks who don't want to pay their own bills.  The East is being re-captured by murder-monkey dervishes who kill for pleasure and put their women in black bags. 

No matter what you believe - these are just not positive trends.  The world is not going to "return to normal", because "normal" has been taken out back, shot in the head, and dumped into a ditch. 

We have all been tracking *away* from "normal" for quite a while now.  The pandemic has only accelerated this trend.

A lot of what folks have been betting on is likely not going to happen.   We may *never* get back to the world-scape of 2015 to 2019.   Those days are probably gone for 10, 15 or maybe 20 years.  Maybe for-ever, if there is a big war - which might have to happen, regardless of rational folks attempts to stop the drift to global insanity and violent conflict as a political toolset.

We are in perilous times - and even my clients don't believe it.  Curious.  It is possible that the ecological die-backs, and the mass-pandemics are just getting started.  Maybe the Army of the Twelve Monkey's is just now getting organized?   World politics seems to be walking a curious knife-edge between the very frivolous and foolish on one side - and the horrible and insane on the other - rather like the operation of a classical nuclear fission reactor.    Active effort is required to keep the system in balance - but this may not always be available for application.  Homer is asleep in the control room, and the autonomous robots have crashed into each other, and started a fire...   (I am not making any of this up - like Agatha Christie's murder-books - I am just pulling it from the headlines and news feeds...)

What about this video below - is it political?   Research subtext:  Why aren't white-folks having enough babies to at least replace themselves?  Why does everyone want to hold US Treasury paper?  We are now down almost 900 DJIA points, and tracking towards a > 1K down day...  Do smart folks have deep, in-built neural programs that trigger self-destruction, along the lines of cellular apoptosis?  If so, does that sufficiently explain US and Canadian political choices?  Or are the "choices" just Hobbsons (no "choice" at all - just the illusion of choice - vote for this brain-dead political mouth-puppet or just stay home and don't vote...)

https://www.bitchute.com/video/fzQiOYQ804pq/

Is Western Civilization really on the ropes?   Maybe.  How exactly does one buy and sell (and hold) crypto?   Go find out.   Meanwhile, I'll get the BBQ fired up and put the burgers on...  :D

[ July 16, 2021 ] - Itchy & Scratchy - Eight to 10 days after your second injection of the Moderna mRNA vaccine, you might develop itchy, red hives or little bumps that look like bug bites.  Except they are not bug bite - they are a minor side-effect of the vaccine.  In our case, it showed up 10 days after second Moderna dose.

In our unscientific small sample, it  looks to be just a minor annoyance, and is treatable with over-the-counter antihistamines.  We use generic Reactine (get it at the Costco Pharmacy).  

More serious cases, (what the New England Journal of Medicine has documented as "Covid Arm" - a big, red skin-rash around the injection site), can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs.   Go see your doctor, your med-tech/Nurse practicioner, or your pharmacist.  

It's a bit annoying - but almost certainly not life-threatening.  I am a crappy experimental subject, since I get mosquito-bites, and yesterday, I got stung by a bee, which was painful.  The little honey-bee nailed me on the side of my big toe - probably because she got caught in my sandel, which like an idiot, I was wearing while riding a lawn-tractor, and cutting clover-covered lawn which was very popular with honey-bees.  (Neighbours across the high-way, have a beekeeping operation, with about 10 hives.  We get lots of little bees - which are very peaceful, and only sting if you step on them by mistake..)   Bees are fine creatures, but get unhappy, if squished by a foot.

Bee-stings can provoke anaphylaxis (allergic) reactions, so my minor outbreak of itchy red hives (arms and thighs) might be due to the bee-sting and/or the mRNA-triggered anti-viral agents.  Or it may have a third cause - adult chickenpox, or something like that.  

The side-effects of vaccine actually mean that your body is doing something.  Most people get no side effects at all, except a bit of arm pain for one or two days.  The mRNA is really good science, since there is *no* live virus injected into you.   You can still catch Coronavirus, but it will almost certainly be a mild infection, if you do.   And be aware - as this virus mutates - it is showing the ability to get *worse*, not less lethal.   It's ability - engineered or the result of wild randomness - to mutate into a more-infectious agent, is interesting.  The glyco-protein (the glop of material on the end of the "corona" spikes) not only has amazing affinity for mammalian lung cells - but it also can swing back and forth, and this action can trick or mis-lead the cellular anti-bodies that typically prevent a viral breech of the cell-wall.  

Put all the religious books into the dumpster.  It is time we ended human superstition and foolishness.  Study the science, read the journals - look up every word or concept you do not understand - and read the articles until you understand them. 

Science has a lot of problems still - but it mostly works, and is really the only thing we have here that is of any real value.   Personal opinions are of almost no value whatsoever.   Social media is fantastically toxic and is just not a beneficial thing.  Human "community" is an annoying cluster that has to be tolerated and managed carefully.

Science works, because it is skeptical - it actually *demands* that scientists be skeptical, and work hard not to be seduced by absurd foolishness like godism or superstition - or politics and personal gain.    No amount of "prayer" will make any difference.  It is what you do, that matters.   Most human sounds are little different than the bleating of sheep or the grunting of pigs.   This sounds so harsh - and yet it is true.

Life is too short.  We all should work harder, and place much greater value on each living moment in each single day.   Since very, very quickly, our hourglass is exhausted of sand, and Death and the Devil will come to snuff out our candle.  

Enjoy every sandwich!    :)

[ July 15, 2021 ] - Gold as Good? - The central banks of the world are not completely dominated by fools.  There is actually some real wisdom there - otherwise our modern world, would not exist.   This page below has some example of wild inflation - and is created by the US Federal Reserve of Atlanta:

https://www.atlantafed.org/about/tours/story-of-money/16-price-stability-fed-goal/inflation-enemy-of-stability

Note the top title line on the page, stating that inflation is the worst enemy to an economy - worse than terrorism, war, criminality and corrupt politicians.  There is much truth in that assertion.  Imagine a poker game, where the value of your chips changes by large percentages - maybe hundreds and even *thousands* of percent!   Even if the cards fall your way, and you win a large pot - the subsequent loss of a small amount - perhaps even just the ante - might still be enough to wipe you out, and send you home with nothing!  

Inflation is most dangerous, because it carefully destroys the value and operation of the price mechanism - the device that transmits economic information thru the economic process.

Imagine you have built a beautiful AI-system - a trillion-node network that is working fine and well, making good decisions and making money - and suddenly, all the weights on the nodes get scrambled.  That is what inflation can do.   It can destroy the information-transfer process, and leave *everyone* - an entire economy of millions of rational people - in a state of advanced poverty.

We believe the goal of central bankers should be ** ZERO ** percent inflation.  That will almost never really be achieved if things are working well, but it is a worthwhile target to aim for.  To shoot for 2% or 3%, risks delivering (as has recently happened in USA) > 8%, and that is enough of a systemic shock, that it can alter human behaviour, and initiate an inflationary spiral, if it is fueled by rapid increases in the money supply.  (Which has happened...)

The target should be ZERO inflation, and 2% to 4% bond yields - but instead, we now have almost ZERO yields on government bonds, and 4% to 8% inflation.   And in USA, instead of trying to pull things back into balance - there is instead a plan to pump another 2 to 3 *trillion* dollars of *borrowed* money, into the economy to augment what is called: "infrastructure", but of course will mostly be pet-projects to generate expenditures in Democrat vote-harvesting regions.  

This set of fiscal and monetary policy choices borders on insanity, in our opinion.  It shows real evidence of serious systemic failure of the basic political process that operates in the USA.

The most critical theory for Americans to focus on now, is probably basic Economic Theory.

We suspect their Central Bankers are aware of the serious risks that are being taken.   What concerns us, is that they might not be able to do anything to ameliorate a rapidly decaying situation, if such a situation develops, perhaps because on another exogenous crisis - perhaps (but not limited to) something like a very large earthquake in California, or a series of major hurricanes, combined with further rapid evolution of virus activity.

Modern left-leaning economists are critical of US actions in the 1930 - but the USA was stable, and actually ran a *balanced-budget* in 1935 or 1936, if I recall correctly.   That is described as unwise - except it allowed the USA an enormous amount of *fiscal headroom* when it became necessary for America to deficit-finance the Second World War.   US citizens and other nations of the world, could invest massive amounts of funds in US War Bonds, with the knowledge that they would be paid back, if America survived (and won!) the war.

Americas history of careful fiscal prudence was a significant and valuable resource - and one that is overlooked by almost all economic historians and analysts.  It was an intangible - yet extremely valuable - resource, as it allowed the USA to "borrow-big", and finance a massive ramp-up in production of military material.

But now, *massive borrowing* - at really extreme levels -  is being used just to maintain system operation.  And this is also combined with extreme levels of money-supply increase.   This is a fine, and perhaps necessary response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But what if a *real* crisis occurs?   If you are margined up to your eyebrows, then your ability to engineer massive fiscal expansion might be impacted.  And monetary expansion might simply (and rapidly) translate into a "loss of confidence" in the currency - perhaps both domestically and internationally.  It is unclear if, and how, such a thing might occur, or play out.

I think, however, that we can be pretty sure it will first become evident in the inflation numbers.

Why? Because we can see so many modern - and ancient world - examples of this process.   Those old 1000 and 10,000 and 50,000 and 100,000 and so on bank-notes provide evidence of economic collapse-events that have taken place in almost (but not all) nations of the world.  (England was fortunate to have their inflation-driven economy-collapse occur back in the time of Henry VIII, when King Henry minted copper coins, and lightly-coated them with a silver-wash which gave the illusion of a silver coin - until the silver wore off on his nose, and then his face.)

Virtually every single nation-state has played games with their currency (in Early French Canada, the extreme shortage of coins, encouraged the French Governor of Quebec to use decks of cards - with an amount, and his signature - as promisory-notes, which circulated like bank-notes.  This playing-card money could be redeemed for coin when, the "ship came in" from France.)

In USA, at the time of the American Revolution, it was common for "book-entry" money to be created and circulated among local citizens, and between farmers and cities.  This collective creation of "virtual money" actually worked quite well, and allowed American English Colonial society to address it's shortage of coin.  (No one ever has quite enough money, do they?)

But if this process is amp-ed up, and expenditures and money supplies are run up without limit (and there is solid evidence now, that there really are no effective limits anywhere in the current US monetary and fiscal systems), then a dangerous situation is evident.

If there appear to be no limits to this process in the basic operation of the process itself - then it will fall to the real economy to self-engineer a limiting case scenario. 

And that limiting case, will be rapid, astonishingly surprising, run-away inflation.    We saw this begin back in the 1970's, triggered by the "oil shock".  In 1972 (pre oil-shock), a two-dollar bill would buy enough gasoline to allow me to drive around with friends all night, and bring the car home with the same level of fuel it had when I took it out.  Petrol was $0.43 per Imperial gallon - and 1 Imperial gallon is roughly 4.3 litres.  So petrol was roughly 10 cents per litre.  Yesterday, I noted it was $1.37 per litre.  That works out to roughly 5.5% annual inflation.  ( 1.055 to exponent 49 years = 13.7838. ).   This simply calculation suggests you need to invest with rates of return better than 5 and 1/2%, just to preserve any surplus wealth - which is why the evident long term stock market return has to be at least 6 or 7 percent, otherwise the process just does not work. (All the stocks that cannot deliver *at least* close to this return, are brushed away as failures.  The market does its job.)

But if inflation reaches 8%, then the whole process gets weird rather quickly.  We have actually had pretty good stability over the last 50 years.  If we had 8%, then the 1972 10-cent per litre fuel will have to be 1.08 * 49 = 43.427, so that we get $4.34/litre gas.  In the USA, where the smaller gallon is roughly 4 litres per gallon, that means gasoline price of $17.37 per gallon.

Hey America!  Are you guys ready for $17.37 per gallon gasoline prices?

What seems to happen in these times of transition, is the whole economy will just *JUMP* from the old curve, to the new curve.   There is no requirement for a smooth transition.   (This is a phase-space transition.  We see it all the time - especially in stock prices.)

With 8% annual inflation (a very small number by most national observations from other countries), the whole system will have to adjust.   And your AI models might *completely* be scrambled by the "new normal".   And with accelerating inflation - you get a new "new-normal" every few weeks.   It is all quite ungood if the inflation-meme becomes hard-wired into things.

Seriously:  Are you ready for $17.37 per gallon gas prices?   Because that is what the numbers are saying - right about now.

Oh, and the stock-market will need to run at a minimum 9% to 10% annual rate of return, just to keep the investment process working.

All this might happen.  And our evidence for this, is simple:  Because it is already happening now.   :)

[ July 14, 2021 ] - Sail Away - Well, in my dreams, I guess.  I have friends and family that have these big sail-boats.   They are really nice, and when the weather is fine - there is not much better than being out on the water. 

We are all much improved today - my partner had cataract surgery, and today, she is able open her eye without extreme or serious pain.  This is the second eye.  She also had both feet operated on, with what look like very good results.  We have been crazy-lucky, as suddenly, all the medical services she needed - became available because of Covid-19! 

Suddenly - the doctor's offices were phoning us with:  "About that surgery you applied for two years ago... wanna do it now?"  Of course, she was wise enough to say "Yes!" to all such questions.   And when Covid nonsense measures closed (or restricted access to) the hospital - local for-profit clinics (for the eye surgery) at our fine University of Waterloo, were able to step up, and offer the services of their facilties.  I will remember this.  Thank you, folkes - at my old alma mater.  Best school on planet Earth.

This is a *much* better solution.   Government hospitals are fine - but I want to thank Univ. of Waterloo, and their Optometry Faculty - and the co-located "TLC Laser Eye Clinic".   My partner got both her eyes done - lens replacement surgery - by a very skilled Chinese doctor - who is a woman.    This is part of the revolutionary change and real improvement in medical delivery services that is underway in Canada.    You have to pay some of your money for some of the services - but this is a fine and sensible thing - as it means a person can actually gain access to the needed medical services.    For my partner, the alternative was encroaching blindness - since up until recently - there were simply no doctors in our region that were accepting new patients.  

Pure - Liberal-style, Government-run health care is not good - let's be real  clear about this here.  Sure, it is good to have government involvment in health-care delivery - but health care is a service business like any other.   If you take the government chains off of it, then there are a *lot* of fine, skilled doctors and other providers who are able to step up, and do some really fine work, at fair and reasonable costs.  

The key - the absolute key to good health care - is to severely restrict the Government involvement in the service provision and delivery of this most critical good.

Anything the "State" touches becomes a fat bucket of bureacracy, with these worthless, high-cost armies of fat, "civil-servants" who crowd around the public trough, and suck up all the wealth to make their worthless arses - and their wallets - much fatter.  But health care suffers, and doctors find their opportunities limited.

The Covid thing has actually been wonderful for us - because it has allowed my partner to finally get access to the quality medical professionals - and still have most (but not all) of the costs covered by insurance - which of course we are paying for by high (and growing higher) property taxes.   But the major problem with government involvement in health care is like any other Agency problem - you have this massive Agency that harshly rations access to the professionals that you need to access, to fix your problems (like not being able to walk properly, and not being able to see clearly - rather serious problems, all would agree).  But Covid made everyone stay home, and so the service-providers started mining their back-log books.  And they found us! 

In just a few months, they have just about rebuilt my partner.  ["Gentleman:  We have the technology.  We can rebuild her!  Stronger!  Better!   Faster! ]    And OMG - it's true!    It's like finally finding a really good mechanic, and getting the timing-chain on your Porsche 944 Turbo replaced, so the engine purrs like a kitten.   With good technics, life can be wonderful! 

This is just hilarious.  We have been lucky, as it really could be so *much* worse.  We could be living in Africa!  Or Belarus (which is apparently turning into pure *hell*), or Myanmar (which has actually fallen directly down into hell, some are reporting) or Afghanistan, which is now on the cusp of hell, and is looking to join the hell-party of pain, cruelty, ignorance and violent murder-fun. 

I need to read some old material - and so I am trying to learn German (it's easier than Japanese).  It turns out there is little new that ever really happens.   Our political and and social machines just crank along and rotate thru virtually the same unwise organizational models about every 60 to 100 years.   I think Kondrotief was maybe onto something.   These cycles of madness and foolishness seem to be baked into the big pie of lies that is routinely fed to the public.

I need to learn more Latin also.   But I am fortunate that much is translated to English.  There is value in the writings of  Erasmus and his "In Praise of Folly".  Real historical study offers much.  It's all there in the literature - nothing actually changes but the technical transform co-efficients.

https://www.gutenberg.org/files/30201/30201-h/30201-h.htm

I am often critical - but sometimes, the Agency folks can show wisdom.  The Bank of Canada is doing it right, it looks like.  They have tapered bond purchases, and are very aware of the boom-time that has been engineered here in Canada.  Things are really hopping everywhere now, it seems.  The harbours are *full* of sailboats and big cruisers, and the waiting lists for dock-space are long.  Everyone is driving a new car, and houses seem to have sprouted wings.  Jobs - that actually pay real salaries - are apparently are available (a rare thing in Canada, truth be told).   The Cen-Bankers here are aware of this, and have made that clear;

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-14/bank-of-canada-boosts-inflation-forecast-dials-back-bond-buying?srnd=markets-vp

They say the two happiest days in Man's Life - the day he buys his first yacht, and the day he sells it.   :)

[ July 13, 2021 ] - "Hey, Ho & Up She Rises!" - (Another Sea Shanty) - the curious march of events is filling us with some concern.   Plus our models are flashing red-lights, and we remain long.   I ran a fever and could not breathe correctly last nite - my medical-technical advisors (on the Left Coast) have explained clearly, that you *will* catch Covid-19, with about 100% certainty.  The vaccine ensures that it simply does not kill you, and will run thru you rather like a mild flu.   Crazy feeling - like my iPad, when the battery runs out...  Astonishingly tired - like someone had pulled the switch and shutdown 75% of the circuits.   We have all been seriously out and about - and maybe I got stung with the Delta (Indian) variant?   Strange - because you get dysentery (diarrhea) also - very mild fever, and you cough stinky phlegm.  

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/covid-19-story-tip-experts-caution-about-risks-of-dehydration-from-diarrhea-caused-by-covid-19

Maybe this is just a seasonal adenovirus cold.   These are *really* common in Canada.  But a cold does not usually also come with diarrhea and extreme fatigue. (In my personal experience - ah, like:  never.  That's why it is interesting.)  Curious.  Drink a litre of bottled spring water.   Then more, if still thirsty.   If you are ok, just avoid the hospital, unless you get serious breathing problems.  If you had 2 vaccine does, you will recover in a few days, most likely.  Or maybe not.  Like they say: "Your milage may vary."   :)  

I'll survive - but seriously folks, get your vaccine, if you can.   The science is pretty solid, and it's just a question of risk management.   I will absolutely be fine in a few days - I am feeling a *lot* better today.   But this virus is real - and it floats in the air in every hospital, waiting room, pharmacy, grocery-store, bank, liquor-store, etc.   You *will* catch it.   The vaccine is your best defense.   (Believe this even if you are a skeptical, right-wing, right-thinking fellow. )

Markets:  Yes, the inflation stuff is running hard now, and starting to show up in the numbers.  It is interesting, the comments pundits are making.  The market cannot decide if it wants to track higher and follow the rising prices - or go into the dumpster, and cover it's head.

Our guess - for now - is: higher stock prices.  We remain fully long, not hedged, except by the properties.  If we get the big inflation, the properties will double in price, and track at least equal to, or maybe faster, than the overall price level.  

It's interesting how wrong the "central planners" get things.  The CPI in June 2021 is 5.4% higher than June of 2020.   And all the idiot economists and stupid pundits bleat: "Oh - but we want to look at only CORE inflation, and STRIP OUT all that volatile food and energy stuff!"  (You know, the stuff people have to buy TO LIVE....  God, but this is hilarious...)

Ok, so lets look at CORE CPI.  That fudged number is still 4.5% vis-a-vis June 2020, versus June 2021.   Ok, they say - but stuff is "transitory".   ("Oh for fuck sakes...", I want to say... )  Well folks, the CORE CPI - in the last three months ending in June 2021 - has increased at more than an 8% annual rate  (you have to drop down to the 12 paragraph to find that little gem of a data-point.)   It's all here, in this Boomberg article:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-13/u-s-consumer-prices-increased-in-june-by-more-than-forecast?srnd=markets-vp

The US Central Bankers (those oh-so-clever folks) have been aiming for 2% inflation, and have "printed" (using computers, of course), something like 5 **trillion** new US dollarubles.   Looks like it's worked.  The new People's Republic of the USA is now running - CORE CPI - of more than 8% annual  - BY THEIR OWN PUBLISHED NUMBERS.   Oh, my.

Remember:  P = Mv   (the economists version of the famous Einstein equation...)

They always taught us "get at least three independent confirming data-points" - so here is another from these folks:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-inflation-posts-biggest-increase-since-2008-cpi-shows-11626180086

Key point here:  In previous inflations - at the beginning, if the inflation is *demand-driven* (and this one looks like that), and exacerbated by real, actual supply shortages (lots of evidence for that), then two things:  

1)  Inflation still might be "transitory".  The jury is out.  It really might be. That would be good.

2) If it really is a *demand-pull" (instead of a "tax+cost push" type of inflationary situation), then one empirical observation is this:  A rising stock market may well result - as the rise in prices brings rises in earnings (or at least prevents a collapse in earnings), and an increase in employment level and wage payments, which can further pull demand.   You get a boom-time.

You actually may have a rising rate of return on capital - and the rises in interest rates can actually *stimulate* the inflation, as economic action is driven by new technical transformation co-efficients in the economy-wide input-output structures.   This is why tech stocks are bid up.    This just means you can use the technology to drive down costs, limit price increases, spike demand, and just coin money, if you are in the right business.  

This was USA at the beginning of the 20th century, and also after World-War Two, and during the first dot-com bubble.   You had rising interest rates, rising rates of return on capital, and rising stock markets.  "Happy Days Are Here" (first time) and then (second time) "Happy Days are Here Again"...  Or, as the Romans printed on their coins during their 4th century engineered inflations:  "Fel Temp Reparatio" (Happy Times have Returned! ).

The thing to remember - inflation works great at first.  But if it gets entrenched, and becomes critical to economic operation - then you can *really* find yourself (and your economy) in very, very serious trouble.  If anything allows the inflation to become entrenched, all sorts of ugly problems result.  This should be avoided.

If the current inflation is "transitory", then that is fine.  But if is NOT "transitory", then the central bankers had bloody well make it **become** transitory.   And that will be a pretty big "sea change" folks.  The Cen-Bankers will have no choice, but to "rate-shock" the economy, like they had to in 1980-81.  This can whack the market - except the bank stocks.  Unclear if that will be necessary.   Key point:  The economic reactive response is bloody well **non-linear**.

"Come in mein Boat..."?    Not if you are tracking rails-under, towards the rocks, at full-sail.   :O

We might see stocks double from here.  But we don't want a "soft landing".   We need *stability*, supported by hard-core global free-trade, and a very big step back from these idiotic "sanctions" and insane high-tax, high-regulation, central-command, industrial-policy, sand-in-the-gears foolishness advocated by Leftists, who have such a long tradition of engineering economic self-destructions in so many different nations over the last 120 years.

Could we please learn from history here?  Please?  Ok?

[ July 12, 2021 ] - First We Take Berlin - Then We Take New York? - Inflation studies are very interesting.  Does anyone remember the 15% to 20% annual inflation we had back in the 1973 to 1976 period?  It was never properly shown in the (fudged) national accounts or CPI numbers - since it would have blown up the economy.  But it was very much there. 

I remember sitting in the Parliamentary Library - with a bunch of computer printouts I seem to recall - either that or it was very current economic reports - and noting that the Nurses in Quebec had just inked a labour contract with the Quebec government, that gave them a 20% annual increase in their wages.   Sit down with a spread-sheet, or a calculator, and it does not take much effort to confirm that wage-increases of that rate will jump your economy to hyper-inflation rather quickly - in 10 years, annual salary increases of 20% will turn $50,000/yr jobs into jobs that cost over $300,000/yr per employee.   Taxpayers in the self-financing sector and businesses will be bankrupted, if they do not at least have the ability to jack up charge-out fees, and product revenues accordingly.  

The mid to late 1970's were a time of really stupid economics, no jobs, and insane cost-shifts.  It took administered interest-rates of 20% - across the board - to dial-down the inflation.  And this was done right as Ron Reagan became USA President in an honest election that turned the tide against and away from the insanity that had been prevailing.   Canada and USA signed a "Free Trade" deal, that pissed-off everybody who was "gravy-training" on both sides of the border.   Of course it was a fine and sensible thing that saved our bacon, made folks on both sides of the border rich, created major opportunities in both nations.  

And of course, it created the boom-times of the 1980's.    And inflation and interest-rates began the long decline that has taken us to where we are now - the strangest of strange times.

One certainty:  We need to beware the dangers of runaway inflation.   And of global warfare.  The two go hand in hand - and everyone loses.   From 100 Marks that worked good  (that blue 1908 100 Mark note was like a US $100 dollar bill), to 50,000 Marks that by mid-1923, would not even buy a pack of matches - inflation is a form of economic insanity.

It's interesting to actually hold it in your hand, as a real and physical thing.  

[ July 11, 2021 ] - End Times & Critical Race Cars- If you cannot get a little boat - then get a big boat.   If you can't afford a new car - then get a race car instead.    If the stupid airlines are all toast - then get yourself a turbo-powered COIN aircraft - fully armed...  There's always a solution lurking somewhere...  :)  

Really like this Apocalyptica video...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjvGjUovxPU

There're playing "All the Young Dudes", by Mott the Hoople on Radio Caroline as I key this.   Can't publish the details about the statistical AI (since it works just too good), and the Daneel project is still at the pulling-out-my-hair stage - but the music is pretty good.  "Gonna *RACE* some cat to bed - concrete all around, or is it in my head?"   Those lads were giants. 

Rain and cold weather - spent the time looking at valuation numbers.  They suggest we are maybe a tad stretched.   See the "Trading Notes" section for a new data-picture and comment.

Here is a really great video from 1983 - by German artist Ms. Nina Hagen - about the city that used to be the Centre of World Trade:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjY501O8hGU 

Nina Hagen - was (is?) an amazing genius.   Here we are in 2021, world is going to a curious kind of insane/stupid-hell, and her music has this surprising modernity - like it was done yesterday.  But this is from 1983.   

Then watch "Africa Reggae" - the intercutting is so pricelessly funny (to the German male panel guys), that I laughed so hard I almost swallowed a tooth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-FMglTIO30

Ah, the critical race car..   My Linux box, lets me play the Apocalyptica "Nothing Else Matters" with the Nina Hagen "New York New York" video -  the two videos at the same time - and it just mixes the audio.  It sounds - actually - perfect.   Wow - it's really curious how the extreme vocals of Nina Hagen perfectly match and sync up with the Apocalyptica minor-chord progressions.

Come in my boat - or come as you are.

One thing we know... the times, they are a changin... back.   Whether we are standing on the beach, or are still in the U-boat, talking about our race-cars.   (Ya gotta read the Neville Shute books from the '60's - along with "The Satan Bug".  It was all there, it turns out, along with Mandelbrot's stuff on the markets.  Curious.  There is nothing much new, ever, so it seems. )

[ July 10, 2021 ] - America Surrenders - and Decides to Attack Itself - Wow, even the MSM (main stream media) is documenting the collapse now.  Even CNN describes - in some detail - just how much lies and outright deception this Joe Biden character - El Presidente of the USA - is dumping from his mouth:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/09/opinions/biden-afghanistan-speech-malarkey-bergen/index.html

The situation in Afghanistan is in full horror-show mode - it is so like the fall of Saigon that it is sad.  America - a nation of serial surrender monkeys? - is this really what the American people want to show the world?  Do they want their military to sneak off like thieves in the night, and give away all the victories to the very, very bad guys?    This is just insane.

Reuter's has a detailed, well researched article documenting what is happening to the current Afghan Air Force - as murderous Taliban gangster bandits systematically track down and kill the American trained pilots.  

Here is a prediction from us here:  Joe Biden will go down in history as the single worse American president - far worse than Richard Nixon, who surrendered Vietnam to the Communists.  Biden is actually executing policy choices that specifically encourage targeted assassination as a political tool for regime change.    Biden is either a liar, or a fool, or - more likely - a tragic and comical puppet being operated by forces that seek to weaken and degrade American power and political influence.  There is no "conspiracy" here - just a relentless march of unfortunate events.

The Reuter's research - by reporters on the ground in Kabul - is particularly scary.   They make it clear just how absurd and foolish is this sad American abandonment.  For the cost of only a few hundred - maybe a thousand troops - the USA could have engineered an ongoing degree of stability in Afghanistan that might have allowed it to develop some of the institutions of modern governance.    But because of Joe Biden and his gang - this will now not happen.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/afghan-pilots-assassinated-by-taliban-us-withdraws-2021-07-09/

Within a couple of days, the Taliban have taken most of Afghanistan.  They may find it difficult to hold - but they have a model to follow, and we all know what that model is.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/militia-commanders-rush-aid-afghan-forces-against-taliban-2021-07-09/

The lies - "false assertions" as the CNN reporter calls the nonsense that Biden is spouting - has been used to justify this curious and tragic complete surrender.

America has not just "cut and run" - they have done so in a manner that virtually ensures that this political model now becomes the new face of American policy.

This model of surrender and failure on the part of America - and it's weakened, ineffective and degraded allies - such as Canada for example, along with the UK and Europe - will damage and degrade the future of the World, as it appears to show a collapse of the value-systems of Western Culture.

America seems now to be at war with itself.   We suspect this is not a transistion to a new and better America - like the original US Civil War was - but is in fact, a clear indication of a weaker, less effective and less capable America, no longer able to carry the Torch of Freedom for the Free World.    This is not surprising, since they have been having to do this task alone, and at their own cost.   The ineffective UN Agency players and the other former power-centres of the world - the UK and Europe - are also in a self-inflicted decline.  They are tired and ill, and have no stomach for conflict.

Yes, pandemics change things.   But this massive American Abandonment simply did not need to happen.    And the way it is happening - this direct, explicit legitimization of targeted assassinations as the tool for American-initiated regime change - this is really a very bad idea.

Mark my words here:  American policy - direct from the (acting) American President Mr. Biden, has explicitly said that it is OK to effect regime-change in this ugly and brutal manner.   American foreign policy has just explicitly indicated that targeted assassinations are appropriate.   The Saudi's must be laughing - MBS must be having a really good laugh - and the murderous Israelis, they can simply say "of course - we have been doing this for years.  Standard procedure, it is." 

My old Irish grandmother would simply have said:  "What is sauce for the goose - will be sauce for the gander".    This failure will damage America, and further degrade what remained of it's soft-power influence and of it's moral authority.    And Joe Biden has just given the world America's newest political model - which rather looks like a very old and very ugly political model beloved and understood by tyrants and bandit-gangs always.

We can expect a significant - and self-accelerating - rise in the use of violent methods in the course of politics now.   Democracy is at real risk of now being seen as an obsolete, and foolish historical anachronism.   It almost no longer seems to be viable.  This is a very bad outcome.

We predict this rise in violence will be sustained, ongoing, and will raise costs everywhere on the planet.  

Joe Biden - like that character Trump before him, who used targeted killings against Iran - have both legitimized this murderous, ancient-world approach to the operation of Nation-State governments.   This is unwise and destructive - and takes us all forward to a point where we have to re-think the legitimacy of the Nation-State itself.    If the Nation-State is just another bandit-gang, which uses targeted killing as a policy option - we will all need re-think the basic machinery of social organization.    And this will also bring new and serious costs and risks for everyone.

If the lights go out in America, the good times will be over.  It may look rather like the Fall of Rome.   We saw how quickly the Soviet Union collapsed.   Is America self-engineering something similar?   It is starting to look that way.    :/

[ July 7, 2021 ] - America Cuts and Runs - Funny how Trump was trying to leave the Afghanistan conflict - but was talked out of it by Taliban betrayal and his own advisors.  So, Biden gets to preside over another massive, sad and tragic American defeat.  The place has been abandoned by the Democrat fools of the Washington Swamp - right at the time when just a little bit of State-craft might have helped the poor sad bastards to actually create a modern, operational Democracy.   

Why could there at least not have been a UN "Peacekeeping" force deployed, or something sane and sensible like that?  The people there are not yet able to self-govern - anymore than a 6 year old with an AK-47 can make wise political decisions.    It's another sad horrorshow of failure and waste.

The way the Americans left Bagram airbase was shamefull and tragic.  They did not turn it over to the Afghan military in a formal ceremony - they just ran away like theives in the night.  It was shocking - and it left the base open to looters, who did what looters do - they looted the place.  The way the Americans left was similar to how they left Saigon.  Afghan soldiers in the current government expressed outrage at this astonishing betrayal - and apparent cowardice.  This will be remembered by history as the Biden Abandonment.

https://apnews.com/article/bagram-afghanistan-airfield-us-troops-f3614828364f567593251aaaa167e623

The Afghanistan Retreat and Defeat will probably hand the place over to the Taliban, and those merciless, abusive religio-neofascists will almost certainly re-take the place.  We have a political model which has such good predictive power:  The most ruthless, mother-raping bastards generally take the victory - cf. Myanmar and Sri Lanka and most of the tragic lands of Africa.   I wish this model did not work so well, but it does.  Historical examples include Germany in the 1930's and Russia during the 1910-1917 conflict.  The nasty bad-guys - those whom are the most violent and nastiest - almost always end up in charge.   Cruelty and terror actually work pretty good - since a willingness to die for the cause of Freedom seems to be actually quite a rare thing, truth be told.  The single exception is USA, which accounts for it's very unique (and critically important) status.

This is why Trump - bad and foolish as he was - was still probably a better choice for the USA and for the World, than the "cut and run" Democrats. 

Consider this:  What is better?  Suppose the USA had just kept Afghanistan as a political prize, and made it a servant-colony of the USA?   The Americans might have been able to make money from the place, had they run it as a big plantation.  This seems harsh - but will the lives of people living in Afghanistan once the Taliban re-takes the place - will they be better or worse?   The women will be reduce to non-educated slave status, simple baby-machines and sex-toys allocated as prizes for Taliban fighters.  Don't be offended - you know this to be true, if you look at how Taliban culture operates.   It was modern Western-world political/cultural social and economic models that offered the females a way out - and they were targeted by murdering-terrorists if they tried to get educated and independent.    The place is a classical horrorshow - but they were making some progress.

The civilized nations of the world have no choice but to engage in "forward policy" actions - since leaving these folks to themselves will result in not just awful cruelty - but also will put the rest of the World at risk.   Terrorism is trivially easy now - and a small group - with access to modern technology - can create terrible damage and costly crisis for the entire planet.   The Covid-19 virus shows *clearly and exactly* just how easy it is to create a pathogen that can infect and assault the entire planetary population.

Why would America just cut and run when they have achieved a viable stability in Afghanistan, and have created conditions for some degree of economic autonomy?   All the gains of the last 20 years will now be lost - and the place will slip back into religio-fascist darkness.   This scenario ensures that *everyone* loses, except the Taliban bandits.  It's just nuts.

The Romans and the British knew how to run an Empire.  But the Americans do not - because they basically don't want to.  This is because they really don't want to be slave-owners, and this is good and fine.   But it now means that Afghanistan will now be over-run by people who *really do* want to be slave-owners.  

This is just not a good outcome.  And what has already been demostrated, is that this lack of vision and planning and foresight - this basic lack of just thinking clearly - will place the world - and America - at more risk of more stupid (and maybe worse) terrorist attacks - since this insane ideology of violence and warfare is all the Taliban (and their ISIS buddies) really know or understand.     They are six-year olds with AK-47s.

And America - the only adult in the room - has just left the building.

What do you think will happen?

[ July 6, 2021 ] - There is a Quiet War Happening Now Inside China - The July 1st celebrations in China of the 100 years of Communist rule are a grim reminder of just how the world really works.  Humans do not - almost cannot - learn from their history.   China was uplifted as much by American Missionary Schools who brought quality, honest education to the Chinese in the 1930s and 1940s - as much as it was by the war-successes of the CPC against the Japanese and the Chinese Nationalists.  

The CPC (Chinese Communist Party) only won, because under Mao, it was more brutal and violent and cruel than any other organized force.   And once it had won, it's "economic development" efforts were a horrific disaster - resulting in the brutal madness of the "Cultural Revolution" - a time of insanity and political cruelty on par with worst the world has ever known.

The only thing that saved China was the economic turn towards a free-market economy, that they took after the events of 1989, when it became clear that the young people would create a true social revolution if they did not get access to opportunity.   

But this character Xi - he is all about power and nothing else.  He is determined to prevent China's Long March to Freedom to continue any further - and absolutely wants to see China  make war instead of money.    This is of course tragic, and yet it matches the models of history, does it not?   Once you reach the top of the mountain, all directions lead back down into the abyss.   It always seems to play out this way.    Curious, no?

The Chinese technology giants are being systematically degraded and damaged by Xi's policy decisions.   The latest Chinese success story - DiDI - which just did a successful IPO in New York, has just been told to remove it's app from the "app stores" - which means it's business plan has just been smashed - as has it's stock price.   Rather like what happened to Jack Ma.

It is clear, there is a war already underway - except it is inside China itself - as the old-guard hard-core Communists seek to prevent a truly open and free society from developing.   It looks like Xi wants warfare.   His forces are systematically degrading and assaulting the trans-national commerical entities that are directly driving China's growth.  This is not just "message sending" - this is actual real assault directed against Chinese technology companies that threaten State control and State military power.

In an open society - there would be some debate about how things should proceed - but under the Communist boot-heel - as it is now - no such debate is even possible.

The whole of China is starting to look like Germany in the 1930's.   It's a sad and rather curious development, since China was on a rather positive path until this Xi character took control.   But this is such a common occurance.   This process can be seen in so many political and commercial environments.   Events force a major direction change, and a group of young, educated folks get control, and throw out all the bad and foolish ideas and rules, and suddenly, a massive success gets spawned.   They run with it for a while - until a group of clever, organized bandits come in quietly and take control of the success, and remove the first group of good and honorable folks who made the success happen.

This is what is happening in China today.   They copied the American commercial model - but not the democratic revolutionary model.   Their political model looks like Europe in the 1930's, or Russia in the 1920's.   Xi wants to "take" Taiwan - which is actually a successful and working democracy - basically a really good model for all of China.   He knows it represents the most effective demonstration of how ugly and wrong Communism is - and how successful and viable Democracy actually can be - even for selfish Chinese folks.  Everyone is selfish and self-interested - and a democratic system accomodates this better than the horror-show of Communism.   And this is true for both politics and business.

Here's what might happen:   There needs to be a Quiet Faction established that can work to remove Xi and the hard-core Communist militarists.   This would be basically all the business-men and business-women of China.  They want to make money - not end up in a nuclear war. 

War is destruction - and even if you *win* - you might end up losing.  (Like Japan - which *lost* to USA, but ended up winning a new and much better, richer and more human-effective nation.)

China may not be so lucky.  Once war starts - it gets unpredictable very quickly.  Rather than war, the change needs to be carried out by the wise business people of China.   This "Quiet Faction" needs to engineer the removal of the militarists and Xi, and - under the strategy of the "One China" policy - invite the Government of Taiwan to assist in the establishment of a whole-China Democracy.    This is the most sensible and sane course of action.   Communist rule in China has been a legacy of economic failure and political disaster, up until 1989.   The last 30 years of success have been the result of leaving behind all the madness of "socialism", and allowing the creation of a free-market economy with private property - like the USA has and uses.

If China wants to eclipse and go beyond the USA, it will need to run on Taiwanese-style democracy - not the authoritarian militarism of Xi and his gang.   

Take a look at these pictures:

https://www.straitstimes.com/multimedia/photos/in-pictures-china-marks-centenary-of-chinese-communist-party-with-parade

What do you see?   It's "North Korea", isn't it?   And it's Germany in the 1930's.  It is very, very clear what Xi and the Militarists represent.    Xi and his gang have hijacked the extreme success that the "Free Market" faction created over the last 30 years.  His is just the old-fashioned politics of power.   It has an ugly, sad old face, that we have seen many times before.

The Western world is turning it's back on "forward policy" choices.   Everyone is tired of war, and see it as a fool's exercise.  But Xi keeps the old "anti-foreign" lie of round-eyed demons alive - when in fact, it is his group that are the league of demons.  

If the Chinese want to maintain and build upon their successful development of the last 30 years, they will need real democracy.

If they can engineer a real democracy - like Taiwan and Japan and South Korea now have - then they can continue to prosper, and become perhaps the dominant group on the planet.  But if they hold fast to their current political system - they are certain to fall back into isolation and poverty - rather like North Korea.  Nature and human history do not stand still.

The "Quiet Faction" needs to get organized, and lay the groundwork. 

Are you receiving me?

[ July 3, 2021 ] - A Time of Sunshine and Storms - Rather dropped from exhaustion I suspect - to sleep without even any dinner.  Got some hacked stuff working, medical issues successfully addressed for team members, and my partner and I got our second doses of mRNA (Moderna) vaccine yesterday.  I had a sore arm and just dropped into an 8-hour rest-period, shivering with minor fever - but she had no reaction other than a slightly sore arm.  No big deal - I suspect my minor fever was more the result of nervous exhaustion, rather than the vaccine.  I'm trying to do some work and related research, I don't know enough, so I'm reading &  not getting enough sleep.  Also farm work, and the weather and the markets are volatile.  We've had some wild - but very localized - thunderstorms - very typical summer weather.

Vaccine is a good idea.  Really.  Go get one.  The science supports it, even if risks exist.  Here is quick summary of latest efficacy observations re. Covid-19 vaccines:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/lack-side-effects-doesnt-mean-200103489.html

A Windows-10 box that I thought I had registry-modified to prevent it updating from 1909 still managed to run a 20-gigabyte update to another, more intrusive, version of Windows-10.  Quite hilariously abusive and annoying.  We run almost entirely Linux platforms - but we aquired this high-powered Nvidia-card enabled "gaming machine" for assessment and experimental use.  So very annoying now, is this Microsoft hyperbloat gunkware.  Microsoft - like Apple - is aggressively interested in becoming a "service provider" so that they can obtain a regular revenue stream from loser-users.  This is - of course - exactly what folks on the edge - like us - DO NOT WANT, hence the "Worm-in-the-Machine" design-model that the Microsoft monkeyboys inflict upon us all nowadays.  

In the 1960's, young, clever engineers with white shirts and short-back-and-sides haircuts were tasked with building science-fiction grade technology - quickly, and with sufficient reliability so that the stuff could be run in the vacuum of space.  Projects were run with the same intense focus on technical quality and rapid-development actions as the World War 2 "Operations Research" efforts were - the Manhattan Project being the canonical example.  Difficult stuff got done and built quickly, and the various technical envelopes were right and truly pushed back with vigour and success.

Now, all that is happening is *Another Web-Browser Update!!* - the purpose of which is to further extract control from the user-who-must-be-a-loser.   It is just so sad and silly as to be tragically comic.   The major technology combines have delivered a process ecosystem of neural-toxic bloatware that just exists to money-extract by means of crafted obfuscation and procedural trickery - much like the modern financial markets now do.  It is just hilariously awful.   

Innovation is not just dead in the water - it has been taken out behind the barn, and has been shot in the head, and dumped into an unmarked grave.    There is - honestly - no significant evidence of any sort of real innovation happening anywhere now in machine technology and scientific engineering.  There is, of course, in bio-tech.  That is now where all the action is.   The ability to gene-edit is significant, and the CRISPR technology has the potential to end a bunch of nasty diseases.   The mRNA vaccines are just amazing technology - and will save a *lot* of lives. 

But it is weird how there are no new machine products - except wildly expensive electric Tesla cars.   And StarLink - which actually lets country folk have high-speed internet.  And this stuff is all from the mind of one, single guy - Elon Musk.   This is surprising.  At the pointy edgy of things - where the loser-users like us sit, out at the periphery - there is just no new innovation-driven technology happening at all.  And we find this curious.  

I think the internet might be killing us, and making everyone stupid.  Exactly the opposite was supposed to happen.  But it's not.  Kids don't play with model aircraft and build rockets and hack together mini-bikes running with lawn-mower engines.  The just play video games and social-media each other.   All the action is virtual and synthetic and this thus creates only fake-experience.    Folks young and old, walk around staring at their cellphones and tablets. 

Their virtual world is where their human imagination is directed now.  Science and scientific research seems to be de-coupling from any sort of product-driven linkage - Boeing can't make aircraft that fly right, and the US Space program seems to have given up building rockets that go anywhere.  Look thru any catalogue of crap-for-sale for the home-owner, and you will see the same crap that was on offer in the 1980's.  We have bigger, flatter TV's, but there is *nothing* to watch on the public broadcasters now - one has to pay for a "television service provider" to retail crap TV shows.   We've completely given up watching any broadcast TV, as it is just too annoying and awful.  

I find this just curious.    Real innovation seems to have just died, and been replaced by "virtual" innovation - which gives (like so many things now) the "illusion of innovation" - but without actually creating anything useful, or valuable or even reliable.  It is only on the internet we see anyone doing anything.  But most websites are just way beyond terrible and horrible - they reach the level of comically awful - so useless and devoid of function, that they are like artwork-from-hell.

This is weird.  This was most certainly *NOT* the way it was supposed to be.  Where are the results from "3D Printing" technology?   Where are the small jet-engines, or small turbine technology to power local in-house power-generators?  Where the heck are the new products that should be the result of innovative engineering efforts?   

Maybe it's all in the military or something like that.   I wanted to acquire and install some solar panels - but I could literally not even get anyone who sold the technology to quote me a price - all the "solar" sellers were scam-dudes, looking to get "users" to sign contracts, and install the technology on metered-usage basis.  Again, so hilarious and silly that one just has to smile and walk away.

Real, technical, engineering-driven innovation is broken.  It's just a broken machine now.  Everything on the internet is now just bit-fiddling and data-spinning - and all that stuff is now done and working.  We are seeing "tail-fins" now - and not much else.

What folks need and want - are new and better and cheaper *machine* technologies that actually work - and are offered at the in-house level.  Not just data-fiddles like "Nest" - but real stuff that can actually interact with the big, nasty difficult world, and make things better.

Best, most innovated and amazing wonderful thing I have ever bought - is a Kubota tractor with a hydraulic front-end loader.   It has a 40 horse-power, 3-cylinder diesel engine, full four-wheel drive, and it is just bloody awsome wonderful.  It "just works" as long as you put diesel fuel in it, and with the new low-sulfur diesel, it does not stink or spew black smoke as you use it.    And there is absolutely ZERO chance it can be replaced with an electric tractor.   Electrification of transport is a bit of a joke.  It will just mean small cars and tiny trucks that don't drive very far - like Mazda made in Japan, right after they recovered from having their factory get whacked by the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in 1945.  Mazda is pretty good at doing small-engine trucks.  But I would like to see them build a *big* V8 engine - but put the same engineering tweaks that they put on their tiny-engines.

The automaker doing the best innovation right now, is Toyota.  Their hydrogen cars - with zero emissions (only a bit of water vapour) - are probably the correct and best low-carbon future choice.  

But what I find so curious - is why real innovation in physical products has just died.  And I think it must be the internet.   The money is there, and the imagination of the kids is there.    So, they think in terms of virtual/digital product on a screen - rather than a real aircraft or a real rocket or a real car.   This is a real problem.

This problem seems to present as much opportunity as it does risks and costs, perhaps?

[ June 30, 2021 ] - Medical Technology and Brainware - two very large areas that I know so very little about.  "I-O, I-O, it's down the bloody rabbit hole I go..."  The sirens call, and there are storms with heavy thunder and bright flashes of lightening, complete with gamma-rays.    The Standard Model has holes in it big enough to drive a Ford Bronco right thru.

And on another analytic note - we even have a theory for what the UAP's really are.  Probably trans-grav devices built by an NGO (non-government organization), which has tasked itself with preventing nuclear conflict between the stuper-powers.  The political monkeys who run things are too dangerously unwise to actually have the weapons tech that they now control - so a private trans-national org with advanced trans-gravity technology, has developed some monitoring drones to try and keep a lid on the bubbling pot of madness that is our little wet mudball.   Probably this particular NGO got founded after the events of 1910 to 1920 - with a recognition that political entities that engineered WW-1 needed some solid, direct, scientific oversight.  With the nuclear tech developed in WW-2 (1935 to 1945), the importance of rapid, dynamic response, and monitoring-with-ability-to-disable, became very clear. 

But if such an organization exists - where is it, and how is it being funded?   Where are the Men in Black?  (In Hollywood, of course... seems to be the only answer.)

A consistant observation of UAP's seems to be their routine ability to demostrate they are not operating in an aerodynamic medium.  They are not "flying" in air - they are navigating 3-space with some sort of gravity-cancelling technology, and this enables rapid changes in flight characteristics - extreme ability to vector and alter planet-relative velocity.   But if you had some sort of vehicle translation and transport technology that allowed for radar-response suppression and non-aerodynamic movement - you could keep pretty good tabs on what the military-boys and military-girls are doing.   

But that begs some questions:  Any hostile actions taken?  Do these UAP's get engaged by Phalanx guns or missles or even tracking lasers?  If they are shot at, what happens?   Do they ever show evidence of hostile intent?  It seems not. 

If there is a local "Captain Nemo" style organization operating this technology, they certainly seem to be bound by some sort of protocol that prevents them engaging in any other sort of activity other than data-collection and activity monitoring.   Are they bound by a "Prime Directive" perhaps?     Any speculation takes one quickly into the realm of "speculative fiction" and such.

If someone has developed some sort of technology that allows non-aerodynamic transport thru three-space, rapidly and without mass-transfer, then this technology might enable geolocational translation that could enable rapid long-distance travel.  Really, really long distance perhaps?  Like in, maybe, light-years?    If such technology can be actually developed, then perhaps an honest scientific effort should be made to actively work on this - maybe even with "Manhattan Project" style intensity and committment?

Or do we just wait for the Earth to stand still?   :) 

[ June 24, 2021 ] - End Times - But Nice Trucks - We may be living in the "End Times"  - but the hardware is nice.  I was in the neighbourhood of the Ford Technical Centre, and noticed some Brono and Raptor development-prototypes in the parking lot - complete with "Manufacturer" license plates from the USA.  Pretty cool (see top picture of two Broncos).   These are difficult (to say the least) to get from the Dealers - but they are available and shipping now - nothing secret about them.   Note: We have no business relationship with Ford.  We just like spiffy hardware.

[ June 22, 2021 ] - The Great Wall of Cloud - The idea from the visual this AM.  We seek to peer thru it - to see the money, of course...

Weather has been crazy-nice.  Crop & plant growth like I've never seen it - barley and winter wheat growing like bamboo.   Never thought I would be a Physiocrat - but it seems that the economics actually works out not bad.   When I first encountered "input-output" tables, I thought they were the coolest statistical device I had ever seen - until I managed to understand the Central Limit Theorem.  I remember walking thru the bond-floor ("Bondland" - not my world at the time - I worked in "Stockland"...) at my investment-bank client one day, and heard these guys talking about my Economic-Statistics prof - a clever little Greek woman whom I most respected (since she was smart enough to teach a serious Stats course to a thick-headed fool like me), and I heard this guy explaining she had apparently ended her own life by choice.   Shocked me - but I was too surprised and shy to go and query re. details.   Probably should have.    She was a clever person, an author & a good teacher.

One should never leave until it's necessary - there is always more to learn and do.  That's why you don't want to blow up - or shutdown before it is required.  Always, there are opportunities and fascinating discoveries to be made - even in a white (death) lily.  (In Asia, the pure white flower - just like here - is the death-symbol.  We have these white lily plants - they just flowered - and they always reminded me of the funerals I have attended.  I think they are used because they have a strong smell, and it masks the smell of the rotting corpse - or the preserving chemicals used, nowadays),

The stats-based AI kept us in the current trade - and called the turn yesterday.  It works so much better than the neural-net based AI, that it is just weird.   Statistical arbitrage is pretty tough to do with any chance of long-term profit.   But the kinky stuff running on the barn-find Compaq box works with alacrity and curious accuracy.

Of course - nothing is "accurate" in forecasting and such - you just try to get the sign right - and really, forecasting is not what one wants to do - the idea is just to identify times and price-points where good (ie. high or at least adequate probability) bets can be made so that sensible and investment-grade/viable actions can be taken to establish and maintain good positions.   That is actually quite different than forecasting.  

But it really is kinda fun, to get tomorrow's news results today.   It seems only statistics - as taught to me by a bouncy little Stats Prof (who is long gone now) who was also a micro-economics expert - seems to let this be possible.  I was expecting a "Bernard Baruch" type of thing; Typically, a change-of-pace market movement will have at least three down days, and then will turn.  You want to wait for at least three down-bars if you want to counter-trade position-establish  to re-capture the bigger, long-trend.  But yesterday, the big re-trace was called by the Stats/AI.    Funny world, moving quicker now.

Don't blow up, folks.  And for godbutt's sakes, do not end your time here in the playpen, before you need to.  Every day offers another interesting, extreme scenario -  horror and/or delight.  And maybe even a tiny bit of honey-money.   Collect as many and as much as you can!   :)

[ June 21, 2021 ] - Taper-Twenty-One - It's a new game - sorta like Blackjack - except everybody loses.   :)   (Oops... wait.   It seems that everybody wins, instead...)  :D

[ June 19, 2021 ] - Tianhe! - Congratulations to the China Space Agency for putting 3 of their astronauts onto the new China Tianhe - "Heavenly Peace" - space station.  They linked up less than 7 hours after launch, and that is actually a helluva serious accomplishment.  Well done.    The launch was smooth, the orbital transition went fine, and the docking was flawless.  The astronauts are safely on board, and all seems to be fine.  The plan is for them to spend three months in space!  That will be a real accomplishment also. 

Truth be told - it does not really matter if Covid leaked from the lab.  We pretty much know it did - but accidents happen - as our nuclear technology has taught us.  We need nuclear reactors, and we need to do bio-tech/virus research.   And we need to do space exploration.  It's all really risky.

The alternative is that the species just dies here, on this dirty, wet mudball, and everything ends for everyone for ever.  That is a silly outcome, given the wild extreme low-probability events that have driven us up the ladder.  Stuff happens, people die.  Everyone dies.   We need to take explorative action so that the species itself does not become extinct.

We need the original "Project Orion" more than we need all the "Safety-at-All-Costs" people who would confine us all to the prison of a "sustainable" future.  The whole concept of "sustainable" is such a perfect and absurd lie.  Nothing whatsoever anywhere is in any way ever "sustainable".  The concept itself is a fraud and an idiotic fiction.

If Elon Musk had not created SpaceX, then the USA would not even have an orbital transport vehicle able to carry humans into space.   That is very curious and surprising.  But it shows how extreme change can happen in a short time.  The USA is in decline now - only they don't really even know this yet.   They seem intent on degrading their own culture and history, as they race down quickly to the bottom rung.  This is so curious.

But it opens the way for other human cultures & nations to stake a claim on the future.   Humans either have a future in space - or they have no future at all.

[ June 18, 2021 ] - T34-ed...- Rather feel like I got driven over by a tank today.  :) 

Must get Daneel put together.  Silly situation - managed to sell entire position June 16th, at close, right at top of market - but had to do some stuff yesterday, and put in a lower, stink-bid for the full postion - and of course - got filled on the way down while I was out and about...  Oh my.   Feel like a dumbguy.  Of course, I should have waited a day or two.  Friday's are rather tough - financials all blew up a bit, and looks like it may continue.   Gnarly times - Covid, Costco and Closed frontiers.  And crusty, crashing mkts.   Will we all be "Trashed by the Taper"?   Unclear.  FD:  We remain long - but are hurtin' a bit...   : /

[ June 17, 2021 ] - 17th of June Street, Berlin - The 17th of June Street in Berlin is a continuation of Unter Der Linden, the street that runs thru West Berlin from the Brandenburg Gate.   Back when the Berlin Wall still existed, as a very young child, I was there, and remember the Soviet Memorial that was fenced off by barbed wire, and had to be guarded by two Soviet soldiers.   (Without the guards, that memorial would have been defaced and damaged by the citizens of free Berlin who hated the Russians with real passion.)  

The street name commemorates the June 1953 uprising against the Communist government of East Germany, by the citizens of Berlin (and most other cities in what was then East Germany).    The Uprising was an attempt to resist the abusive and outright insane attempt by the Russian toadies who ran East Germany, to "Sovietize" the East German economy (which of course, basically destroyed it).

The Uprising of 17th of June was brutally supressed, and the "People's Police" shot and killed many (at least 39) of their own citizens who were protesting the crashing "Sovietized" economy.   The entire episode represents an almost text-book case of Communist-inspired economic stupidity and abuse, leading to an obvious and rational popular uprising against unnecessary, pre-programmed planned social and economic failure.   Details are fascinating, and can be found here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_German_uprising_of_1953

This tragic historical episode is curiously similar to what is happening right now, in the ex-Soviet Rump State of Belarus, run by a Soviet-style flunky called Lukashenko.  

The History of Eastern Europe takes a remarkably circular pathway - as the thugs and stongmen abuse and degrade their citizens.  These thug-leaders - modeling themselves after Hitler and Stalin - circle around like the floating chunks of excrement in a toilet, until they are finally flushed down the Great Drain of History when their own citizens gain sufficient strength, power and opportunity to make the needed changes take place.

The legacy of Communism (and it's ugly little dwarf twin - Socialism) represent some of the very worst political-economic systems ever crafted and configured in all of human history - with the possible exception of the outright "slave-states" of the ancient world.  (Some folks who experienced Communist economic environments argue that "Communism" really was an attempt to re-establish the "slave-state" model, and evidence suggests they might be right.)

Every 17-of-June, we should all take a moment to remember the extreme economic and social failure of Marxist Communism, and the abusive, brutal murder-regimes that were created to promote it's existence.    We should remember the victims.  There were so many of those - especially in the dystopian hellscapes of Soviet Russia and Ukraine.

Communism was just a political tool to allow murderous gangsters to take power and maintain control of a nation-state.   In every nation of educated European people where it was implemented - Germany, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine - people rose up - often after failed attempts resulted in bloody crackdowns - but eventually, in every State - the people eventually removed the filth and stench of Communism from their nations.

It remains to be seen when the Chinese will take their corrective action.   They have the victims of the Tiananmen Uprising - the streams of blood and crushed bits of bodies were washed down the sewers of that "Heavenly Square".   There is no reason why the Chinese could not have a free and open democratic government - exactly like exists on Taiwan and in Japan and South Korea.  

Prosperity and freedom are possible.  And many have already paid the price.

We suspect the clock is ticking here.   And the whole change could happen over a weekend.   The Chinese do not need to be poor or stupid or be slaves.   They do not need to choose between prosperity or freedom.   They can choose prosperity AND freedom - like the Europeans have done.

Once you've lived 100 years, the time for the funeral grows near.

[ June 15, 2021 ] - The Covid Death Cross - In stock-price action "technical analysis", a "death cross" occurs typically when a short-term (often a 50-day) moving average price line crosses below the longer term (typically a 200-day) moving average price line.  This pattern suggests increasing probability of a major sell-off occuring.

A similar process plays out in dishonest strategies that are used by governments and public agency players to obfuscate and distort (ie. "spin") public information around major events of consequence.   The public fraudsters typically have significant resources at their disposal, and can effectively create impressive false-pictures of things, which offer the needed political cover to allow illegal, abusive and highly hostile action to take place.  

Major publically-funded entities have the most to gain by deception, and often the most to lose if the truth leaks out - so their attempts at "building the big lie" are often the most impressive.  And this process of "truth leaking out" rather resembles what happens in public markets, as short-term perceptions of valuation start to shift away from longer-term averages that reflect the reality that the investors were trying to create by their early development actions.   Markets are good at "sniffing out the truth", since all investors - insiders and outsiders - have a financial stake in the outcome of the investment development efforts.

But often - there is real conflict.  The early investors hope to reap big gains, and sell their initial stakes to later investors - who will end up "holding the bag", if the investment proves to have been characterized by a false picture of things.

The most interesting example now, of this "truth leaking out" algorithm is what is happening with the information that surrounds the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Anyone with any knowledge of what has been going on knows that the "natural origin" explanation of the development of the SARS-Cov-2 virus is simply absurd.  It has taken the intense and aggressive actions of funded agency players to support the "natural origin" explanation - and some real "whoppers" have been retailed to the public to support this astonishing deception.  

One of the most powerful lies was: "There were no live bats at the Wuhan labs", retailed by a well-funded fellow named Peter Daszak, of the agency "The EchoHealth Alliance".   

And now, a video has surfaced showing the bats and "humanized" mice, in their cages at one of the Wuhan labs.    It would be absurd to assume there were no live specimens at Wuhan - but that lie was an easy one to retail to a gullible and misled public.  This Daszak fellow looks to be seriously culpable.

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/wuhan-covid-china-bats/2021/06/14/id/1025093/

As time goes by, and the deaths from Covid-19 and the SARS-Cov-2 virus continue to climb, the process of "truth-leakage" is causing a percpetion-shift similar to what we see at a "Death-Cross" in a market-price dynamic.  Perceptions among political people and journalists are changing, in a similar manner to what happens when an analyst releases a report documenting a dishonest or bogus investment development process at a public company.  As the marketplace obtains and acts upon this new, truthful information, the "death cross" shows up as the price of the stock is marked-down by informed investors exiting their positions.

Only this time - the Covid-19 "Death Cross"  - is associated with a lot of actual, real human deaths. 

And it has become increasingly clear, that this curiously lethal disease did not simply "pop" into existence spontaneously, at a live-animal market located right beside one of the Wuhan Virology labs.  To argue such a absurd causality offers strong evidence of a deliberate attempt to promote an outrageous falsehood of astonishing proportions.  Only an agency player living off of public funds would attempt to make such an absurd assertion.

One has to think that both the Chinese and American governments know exactly what happened.  Their experts simply cannot be so stupid as to believe a theory of "spontaneous gain of multiple functions" for the virus, that one would have to accept, in order to believe in a natural origin of Covid-19.   The virus was engineered, and we suspect they know this.

The smartest thing the Chinese (and Americans) could do now, would be to honestly admit the truth.   There is a power and respect that comes from being honest, and making amends for error.   Everyone makes mistakes.   But it is how you handle the consequences, that determines your entry in the historical record.

[ June 12-13, 2021 ] - Call In an Air Strike - If you can deploy the technology - at scale -  then you can often solve the problem.  Our trees are being shredded by various kinds of worms and bugs.  It's extreme - last year we had an entire forest stripped of leaves.  It's early June, and the worms are everywhere again - hanging from trees on little threads, eating every kind of green leaf.   There are at least two different types - tent caterpillers and gypsy-moths.  So two weeks ago, it was a helicopter, and this weekend, a yellow crop-duster bi-plane.   The anti-worm bio-toxin is very specific to each pest, so as not to harm the surrounding collateral bio-ecology of the forest.  (So we are told...)

Nature is vicious, extreme and very toxic at times - the lovely, peaceful summer landscape is an illusion.  Take a closer look, and you will see intense, fight-to-the-death struggles between and among all creatures, great and small.  The weeds have elongated thorns, with bio-active poisons that cause extreme itching and irritation if they just brush your skin - and there are trees with similar mechanisms.  The Poison Sumac leaves a burning welt on your arm, if the sap from a broken twig gets on it.  Many plants have complex and very toxic alkaloid chemistry.   They can sicken or kill, if they are eaten.  Giant Hogweed can blind with it's UV-activated sap, while the pollen from many plants in spring and autumn causes sinus problems and allergies that range from the annoying to the almost lethal. 

And the insects - they sting, bite, and destroy - each other, the plant-life, and the other larger animals.  "Ecological balance" is one of those bogus concepts that is much like "equilibrium" in neo-classical economics.    It is only the result of not looking closely enough at what is actually happening.   Wild swings in population are the norm.   Entire species are regularly decimated, and take many years to recover.  This is standard process operation.  Nature is very harsh. 

An example:  The fireflies at night look so pretty - like stars appearing in the dark of the forest.  They flash their light using "luciferase" - the bioluminescent enzyme, about which we now know a little bit :  (eg., a 2009 article that can be still be found on the open internet)

https://iubmb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/iub.134

The firefly flashing of light is believed to be used to attract a mate.  Each firefly species has a different characteristic flash.  But there is a species of female preditor firefly - Photuris - that can successfully imitate the various light-flash sequences of other species - and uses this ability to lure male fireflies (of the Photinus Carolinus species) to this preditor - and their death.     (Here is a technical article describing this in some detail..)

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/psyche/2012/634027/

Nature is nasty, cruel and really quite horrific - and that pretty light-show that you see in the forest in the early and middle of June - is actually just another life-and-death struggle, which often ends very badly for many of the participants.  (Fireflies caught in spider-webs will typically keep signal-flashing as the spider wraps them in silk, and then devours them by draining out their entrails - see the entomological survey article above for details.)

The beauty and harmony of Nature is an absurd illusion, and should not be taken seriously by anyone who wants to have even a basic understanding of reality.   But it remains an attractive and popular false-picture - much like those flashes of light from the preditor Photuris female fireflies. 

Study nature - and if you want to avoid premature destruction, and live a long and interesting life, it is wise to be both skeptical, and also to develop the skills and abilities to deploy effective technological methods which can operationally degrade and then extinguish, your enemies.   It's the Way of Nature.   :)

[ June 11, 2021 ] - 1) Name? 2) Quest? 3) Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow? - And as we all know - the last answer is "European or African?"  (and off goes the troll...)

Much like the markets.  One must keep in mind the objective - to make money.   The AI models can yield interesting results - but the evident "wild-randomness" of the market action, makes using them for betting assistance, problematic.    The markets are not actually random - but they incorporate such diverse and rapidly changing information-flow sets, that AI-based detection and classification methodologies just plain don't work too well, to help a fellow make money.

But there are tricks and techniques that actually do work.  These come right out of good, old statistical methods - and the degree to which these good, old statistical methods actually work, can be curiously surprising.  The Central Limit Theorem actually seems to work.  And so do a bunch of other statistical tricks.   Sometimes, they do not work very well - but if one casts a big net, then occasionally, some large, flopping fish of a high-value nature can be landed.

The "meme-stock" phenomenon is interesting - and seems to fall right out of most market-makers history books.  

And that is the other "secret" ingrediant in the "tasty dish of big buckeroos" that one should seek to serve if trying to make a meal from market-action.  It is historical-study.   It yields a bucket-full of useful datapoints and offers visual-synthesis methodologies in curiously clear pictures.   You can look thru history, and actually "see" the processes as they unfold, like geometric topological forms - tesseracts being folded and unfolded before your eyes.  

The algo?  Just take *all* the historical patterns that you see, and rather than trying to classify and hack them that way, just subject it all to good, old statisitical analysis - and maybe even some "hoo-boy look at that puppy run!" style regressions, and see where the looney-time vectors can take you.   History shows, they often can take you on a little moon-shot.   And yes, there are reasons for this - reasons which seem to be built right into the market phenomenon as a "we must change the world" mechanism.

Humans exist in a very short time-window, and the markets give us a mechanism to compress the time-window of traditional change-process, into much more narrow time-delta windows than bio-evolutionaly change and physical-transitional change machinery ever allows.   The world changes slowly - and humans (ourselves) die very quickly.   Market process allows lots of humans to cluster together and - quickly - make some real change happen. 

This is a statistical "outlier" phenomenon - most change takes a very long time, especially when large groups of people are involved.   But market process allows large change to be made by significant numbers - wealth-creation strategies of all kinds can be tried quickly, and the ones that work, can be indentified, and acted upon *quickly* - with rewards and punishments allocated quickly.   Market process does this better - MUCH, MUCH BETTER - than any bunch of useless *politicians* or Kings or Princes or Dictators can ever possibly do.

The "meme-stock" moon-shot thing is like a flare-gun being fired straight into the sky.  Everyone sees it - and has to accept what is possible.

When we *don't* use market-process, we get administrative paralysis, and eventual failure - like the US Government "Space Program" which was able to show great early success, and then pretty much disappeared and faded out, once the money was spent.  It was funded by taxation, and that meant it would end, when the tax-harvest got lean and thin. 

If a market is working right and correctly - it will have these extreme *runaway* outlier price-runs.   And this is actually a good and fine thing, which allows people to see that an extreme run is actually possible.   This pulls risk-money into the process, and this is the fuel that the market-process machine uses and must have. 

If you actually want to make some money, you are allowed to climb aboard this money-machine-process, and go for a ride.  The ride might result in an explosion, and you might lose all (or most) of your money.    But maybe not.

And what is curious, is that some fairly straight-forward statistical tests can help one decide which of the different machines, one should get on board with, and that these statistical methods seem to work better than AI-based, neural-network enabled, classification exercises.

It all depends on exactly what is your quest, doesn't it?  If you want to "mess around with technology", and immerse yourself in a self-pleasing complex exercise, then there is much one can do.  But if you want to make money - then that often suggests a very different and much more outward-focused set of discomfortable exercises.  (Who really wants to keep climbing on board rocketships that explode shortly into the flight?).

Statistics really helps.  Just getting a sense of the "breathe-in / breathe-out" cycle in the pricing of various stocks in various  industrial-and-or-market sectors, can really pay dividends - even more than dividends!   Jessie Livermore maybe did something like this, when he was able to beat the bucket-shops - but would get hammered and beaten, when he tried to trade real stocks on the NYSE.   The slippage and skid and commissions gnawed away all his edge - which is what simulations and back-tests with TRASER-style modelling shows has to happen.   (TRASER is one of my old APL program workspaces which can be used for - well, tracing price action.)

Critical change-processes play out over time - and can be vectored into directions far from what the original initiators expected or wanted to have happen.  An arrogant politician or a foolish King starts a war with a neighbouring nation, and expects to gain some nice real-estate - and the result is that he finds he has picked a fight with a bunch of poor, hungry - and angry - well-armed folks, and instead of gaining real-estate, he finds he has destroyed his own nation.  This happens again and again in history.   Same with market price action, which can go wildly wrong.  People blow themselves up.  But this does not need to happen.

If your real objective is to make some money - then you should mostly focus on that.  That should be your Quest.  Forget about grails and don't try to ride imaginary horses.   And the best way to find a stock that is going up, might be to look for a stock that has recently gone up.   Curious just how well this little statistical observation is often able to pick the winners.   :)

[ June 10, 2021 ] - Trade More, Write Less - This writing is for history - what we will all become, quite shortly.  :)   Check out  "Trading Notes"...   :D

[ June 8-9, 2021 ] - The Leftist Tech Monopolies & the MSM are two Very Bad Things - Why?  Because they act - very effectively - to kill truth-seeking discussion, and critical thinking in the public sphere.  The most interesting example at the moment relates to the origins of Covid-19.   Of course, it was almost certainly a lab-leak - from one of the Wuhan Virology labs GOF (gain-of-function) research projects.     The American "intelligence community"  (a funny name for a bunch of spies and covert ninga-style assassins) has probably known the truth of this for some time - and the new political-monkeys who are now in charge (and replaced the old political-monkeys...) are grappling with how to "out" this information.   

What is (or will be) "forgotten" is that the USA and China labs - as recently as 2015 - were actively working on GOF-style experiments.   The folks in America at the CDC even brought the "Spanish Flu" (the deadly 1918 global killer-flu) back to life, using modern technology.  Not just DNA-sequencing - but actual, live, 1918 pandemic flu-virus!   You can see pictures of the thing, on this (and the CDC's) website.  This GOF (gain-of-function) research has been going on for *decades* and it is damned dangerous and comes very close to hard-core CBW war-research - but the fears were always dismissed with assurances that labs were secure and safe.  But any historical assessment can show the false-ness of that assertion.   Labs leak all the time.   So do nuclear reactors.   Pandora just can't keep the lid closed.

But so what?  We are all going to the graveyard, right?   It's just a question of when and where.  What I found so astonishingly amusing, was how anyone even discussing the evidence (and there is a *lot* of very solid evidence), was shouted down and accused of being a conspiracy-promoting nutjob.   Damn, but that is curious.   USA - and other Western "beacons of free thinking" just turned off the lights and went dark.  It was weird to watch - and yet it is what the "Left" always does.    

The Left-leaning big-tech monopolies, and the MSM (mainstream-media) news-generating organs, just shut down any debate on this critical issue - and then the hilarious fraud-monkeys known as the "World Health Organization" were brought into mouth-flap about things they had no knowledge whatsoever about. 

What is now even more amusing - is that this action has been so wrong and ugly and silly, that even the more honourable (and occasionally accurate) MSM organs, are starting to write "thumbsuckers" about how strange and ugly and silly the entire tech-monopolies and MSM news-fabricators have behaved - just about as bad and ugly as any of the klepto-gangster totalitarian State organs.

Here is an example from the Wall Street Journal - which was one of the very last good and well-researched newspapers around - until they went dark.   

https://www.wsj.com/articles/americas-covid-groupthink-functioned-like-chinas-repression-11623085417?mod=trending_now_opn_4

And there is more...   Finally, some folks in the MSM have learned about the GOF research which has been going on, and they must have read some of the (many) many technical articles about how the Covid-19 virus really looks like it was engineered - both in structure (the unique hinged spike-protein) and in it's very impressive ability to bind to ACE receptor sites in human lung tissue - and of course,  it's DNA sequence - which is more than 95% from batshit bacteria, harvested from the anuses of bats, found in caves over 1000 miles from the Wuhan "patient zero" site.  The GOF (gain of function) research has been a hot, and seriously debated topic since at least 2005, in the virology journals and the scientific community in general.   A June 6th article - again in the WSJ - provides some background.  Here is the link:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-science-suggests-a-wuhan-lab-leak-11622995184?mod=trending_now_opn_2

I don't understand why this information is being printed as "opinion" pieces.  Everybody with an IQ over 80, who has bothered to do any real reseach at all on this topic, knows exactly what happened.

But we are in a funny world.  We here in Canada have screwed up this whole Covid thing really badly also.  The Americans setup vaccine-clinics in sports-arenas, and vaccinated millions in a few months.  Here, our Governments are so concerned with "priorities", and "monitoring and tracking" - that it is taking forever to get people vaccinated.

I honestly believe that Government should not even be involved, since they operate so slowly and with such intense focus on bureacracy.   I got my first vaccine-shot at the beginning of April (only because I had internet access, using Elon Musk's Starlink dish, and by dumb-luck, was able to find a country clinic that had just been set up, and had slots the next day!)   The followup shot is supposed to be injected within 4 weeks - but my Government has decided on 4 MONTHS instead!.   That is just wrong and contrary to the science - but nothing I can do about this  (I have registered at a pharmacy which might (MIGHT!) get some mRNA vaccine - but they cannot forecast when).

What annoys me, is one cannot pay for this - and get priority that way.  We should encourage that, and then do vaccine roll-out QUICKLY, and use the funds earned, to subsidize FAST ROLLOUT to poor-folks - and that way, we get the vaccine rollout done FAST.  But we did nothing like this - so many millions here are still at high-risk - which did not have to be the case.

So - we messed up too.  Quite badly - and the fault lies with our Federal Government, which is run by arrogant fools.  Trudeau and his wife actually brought the Covid-19 virus here from the UK.  That's just so awful and stupid that all one can do is laugh at the idiocy of these clowns.

The best thing - would be for all national Governments to be TOTAL HONEST and 100% open about EVERYTHING around this Covid-19 crisis.   But - we are getting almost the opposite behaviour from the politicians we have in positions of power - and just about every government organ.

We are getting all sorts of censorship, lies, frauds, tragedy and foolishness - but not much in the way of timely access to the only thing that can make a difference - the mRNA vaccines.   :) 

[ June 6-7, 2021 ] - Building a Boat - Offline-  The strange and absurd "lockdown" continues.  Many stores remain closed.   Curious times.  I am repairing a boat.  Different type of work.  Sometimes you just have to do something real, not virtual.  Ran some query/search experiments.  Yes, it's true.  Much of what is on the internet is actually fake - and what is not fake, is basically either selling stuff, pron, or outriight fraud-based trolling for info.  

Simple, easy prediction:  The world will fracture - very intensely, and with extreme prejudice - into membership-restricted sub-groups, that will have no interest in wider communication outside of their group.   It's gonna get weird.  Much of what is on the public web, is toxic, false, and/or nasty.   It's all lies and scams and trickery now.  The internet no longer offers benefit, except as a private communications channel.   Kinda surprising.  I think the technology-enabled social experiment is over. 

The future will contain ever-increasing conflict and anger.  As an advertising vehicle, the modern internet offers literally billions of people, detailed image-experiences of that which they will never be able to achieve or obtain. This seems an obvious algorithm for the enhancment and expansion of social anger, which may find it's expression in mass-violence.

Governments will exploit this trend, and attempt to channel the anger by creating opportunities for warfare.  They may not be successful.   Warfare requires discipline.  But the technology is programming people to feel and operate in quite undisciplined modes of behaviour.  It is going to get weird - the only question is - how fast the rate of drift and decay?  

There will have to be some profound political changes.   We so need to get rid of idiotic, insane ideas like "equality of all people".   People should have equality of opportunity - but the idea that people should be forced into structures that make all people "equal" - this is complete madness.   Many people are lazy, cruel, stupid and worthless - and our world would benefit greatly from their collective removal.  This is an ugly and tragic truth, exploited by fascist governments throughout history.   It's the social part of the equation that Malthus didn't address.  War and famine and sickness limits population, we know this.  But what is seldom addressed, is just how very net-positive is the result of these tragic events.

Covid-19 has killed less than 4 million people.  Sadly, that is just not enough to change anything..   We can predict that some serious warfare and possibly other forms of nature-mandated population dial-back, will have to take place in the near future.   Nature does it's reset-actions with cold certainty.  

And this will benefit our economics also, we suspect.   Fewer people, means less scarcity.  And crazy war - where lots of stuff gets broken - also creates economic benefit, as the broken stuff must be replaced and rebuilt.

The idea of a crowded, hyper-motivated Earth, at some sort of on-going, gentle, peace, is an absolute madman's delusion.  We will need every scrap of our advanced technology just to survive the coming collapse, I suspect.  The US "Preppers" might actually be correct in their picture of the Shape of Things to Come.    :)

[ June 4, 2021 ] - Ok, Full DIsclosure - In a fit of concern, I unloaded all the bank stock.  But today, I bought it all back.   There is just too much liquidity around.  It is significant and all that inserted liquidity offers an easy solution as long as there is no significant inflation.  And that just seems to be the program we are in.   The price-deltas seem to be the result of actual shortages and supply chain disruptions - not really driven by changes in the supply of money.  Given the extreme nature of the moves in M1 and such, one would expect to see monetary factors moving prices - but it just does not seem to be there.  Folks actually seem to be hoarding cash - exactly the opposite behaviour one would expect to see, if a real money-supply-expansion driven inflation was being initiated.

The banks are actually doing crazy well - and I just don't seen any reason why the real-estate prices should re-trace.  If anything, they still seem to be moving the other way - at least for houses one can actually live in.   

And the labour markets are a mess - business folks who need workers can't find them - and folks who need to work are still being impacted by the "lockdown" strategies.   This is a curious time.  Once we get 70 to 80 percent of the population fully vaccinated, and we can end the lockdown silly stuff, there will likely be quite a little boom-let take place.   But we are not there yet.

But as things dial-up, we will probably see equity prices move along with that opening-up action.   There seems to be a lot of potential demand that is fundable (ie. it's real demand, and not just wish-full demand - the folks have the money to spend), and the labour markets are showing real difficulty in finding workers (so, the demand is there, and the supply is trying to catch up.)    We are seeing "Hiring!" notices everythere - even big adverts in the local community papers - which I don't think I've ever seen, since the 1980's.  

One just has to be invested in this sort of environment.   Cash on the sidelines is just not indicated.

[ June 3, 2021 ] - Hockey is On - check out the first image in the "Trading Notes" section.  It explains the price action we are seeing in both the dark and lit markets.

We are seeing crazy liquidity-driven bubbly prices - especially in real-estate.  We've quietly realized that if the real-estate markets in Canada tank only 20%, it will have a material effect on the asset-base valuation that underlies bank-stock prices.  If the home-price equity levels drop 20% (it was 25% roughly, the last two times I saw a real-estate market re-pricing - in early 1990's and post-2001 dot-com bubble-burst+9/11 market meltdown - the second time was when I purchased the farm I live on...), 

The banks make a lot of their money from mortgages - and those are sustained by the high-valuations that exist for Canadian real-estate.  The value of banks is driven by their collateral-asset base - if the collateral evaporates, then the mortgages become at greater risk, and a bunch of reserves will have to be set aside again, driving the whole bank-stock boom back down in the other direction.

If you look a the share-price series for bank stocks in Canada, you see that picture pretty clearly.   Bank stock prices may continue on their tear up up and away.  But if the real-estate market gets dialed back - then so will the bank share prices, unless they can start to bring in substantial international income.

Also - there is a *lot* of stimulus money flowing and floating around.  But someday, we will have to get our house back into some sort of order, or we risk a whole bunch of ugly things starting to happen, which will be very difficult to reverse, once they get rolling.

It will likely take a change of government to begin to repair the damage that is being done - but that will not change the reality of the economics we are already confronting.

[ June 2, 2021 ] - Virus-R-Us - It is painfully obvious that the evidence supports the Wuhan Labs "GOF" (gain-of-function) research as the most probable origin of the Covid-19 virus.   What is curious, is how awful and abusive the global "mainstream media" was in attacking anyone who suggested this.  Much like it has ignored the significant and sustained examples of the "voting irregularities" in the recent USA election.  Maybe Biden won honestly - since Trump did his best to even anger the US Chamber of Commerce folks  - which seems curiously unwise for a USA leader to have done.  Perhaps Mr. Trump might well have just plain lost.  But that does not excuse the Democrats for accepting routine voter-fraud as an acceptable practice, nor justify their attempts to prevent legislative correction of vote-rigging schemes.  The US Democrats seem to be just bent - much like our Canadian "Liberals" appear to be.

People are just getting silly.  But we have - at this point - NO IDEA exactly how Covid-19 originated.   The "World Health Organization" is an abusive and deeply dishonest political collective of incompetant fraudsters - mostly concerned with exercises in creating poliiclal cover for corrupt and abusive governments around the world.  It's recent "team-visit" to China to investigate Covid-19 origin was a purely political exercise.  The WHO organization is truly worse than useless.   It's role is to obfuscate and degrade information, as it engages in rent-seeking activity for corrupt national regimes run by outright criminals.   It exists primarily to try to extract funds from citizens in so-called *wealthy* nations.  It has failed completely to even attempt to address the cause and source of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.

And since this Covid-19 virus really LOOKS LIKE it was engineered (there are some very serious, very technical, fine high-quality research papers that support this thesis), the evidence - both technical and circumstantial - suggests a very high probability of a "lab-leak" as the source of the virus.   Lab-leak accidents are really common.  They *always* happen.   Go check.  Lab accidents sometimes even result in major scientific breakthroughs.   But the key point is that "super high containment security" is just about impossible.  Fukushima offers a recent example of this key assertion.

Here is what the former Science Editor of the New York Times has said:

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/wade-media-propaganda-research/2021/05/24/id/1022574/

Science and legal process - both require skeptical folks to question hard.  But the modern media fails badly at this.  It fails so badly, that it is becoming a dangerous, toxic force, which hurts the World, as it degrades and discourages critical thinking.    Most reporters do their "research" now by just reading other news-feeds, and then just writing opinion-pieces.   The result is worse-than-useless low-grade entertainment - and a disinformed public that is likely to make questionable choices, come election day.   

We might want to change this.  Degraded information-sets damage all of us, and needlessly raise both the financial and social costs of simply living-in-the-world.  

Lies can be very lethal.   But they enable the bad guys so well - and allow the gangster-leaders to turn crisis into opportunity.  

Folks need to pay attention to just how effectively State Agencies are being deployed now to achieve political  assault-objectives.  The "long knives" are out - even in the daytime.   The Covid virus is providing a perfect political cover for quiet, careful, attacks to be carried out against political people who oppose the various dishonest and abusive political regimes around the World.

This process is not just happening in Myanmar and Belarus.  It is happening right here - in your own town, city, and national government.

The Bad Guys are using the Covid virus crisis to take down their opponents.

It's ugly and it's really very nasty politics.  

And it's working.

[ May 31, 2021 ] - We Need to Build a World Where the Liars and Cheaters and Criminals Don't Always Win - Curious World...   We live in a time where the extreme dishonesty of politically powerful criminals and modern results from Behavioral Economics and neural-science research are linking up and are thus enabling the most impressive and abusive scenarios to be constructed and implemented.  

Mass deception and Government-initiated extreme violence are again being used routinely by corrupt, dishonest gangster-leaders who have lied and cheated their way into power,   Myanmar and Belarus are now simply two lost nations - entire collectives of millions of people have been effectively reduced to slavery by State-backed terrorists.

And even in our Western World - the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed abusive and ineffective social-supression strategies to be applied with ease to restrict and degrade human freedom.  The abusive "Liars-in-Power" have used the Covid crisis to maximum advantage, and are now prosecuting strategic objectives that have been enabled by human weakness and sickness - but have nothing at all to do with the pandemic.

The political people lie and cheat and scam us, because it is so easy now for them to do it - and the rewards that these corrupt fraudsters can obtain, are so great.  Their thefts are measured in the billions of dollars, while honest and honourable folks quietly fall down to personal ruin, economic destruction, and lethal social-isolation.    The corrupt political fraudsters know exactly what they are doing.   They make it risky and dangerous to even speak openly about what is happening.  "Free Speech" is pretty much gone.

The kids are eye-locked onto their iPhones and tablets and don't even grasp the degree to which they have surrendered their own critical-thinking process.  

The modern media-machinery and the neural-reach of the always-connected internet has enabled an almost perfect machine for mass-manipulation.   

The wonderful access-to-all-data of the early internet, has given way to an almost perfect scenario of inversion.  We get not the World of the Big Library - we get in fact, the world first envisioned by Orwell in his classic novel, "1984".     But the manipulation and bi-directional, State-controlled "view-screen" of "1984" is now carried in every kids pocket.

I look at the astonishingly narrow, anti-critical, "Sheep-you-must-follow-this!" nonsense that is projected now in almost all news stories, and I feel sadness and disgust.   So much is just lies.   The media says that everyone must be "woke" and politically correct and issue "trigger-warnings" to protect the easily offended - and all this foolish fraudsterism is just such an almost mystically awful abomination.  

They took the internet, and have turned it into a tool for "thought control", and it is so bad, it is almost comical.    Facebook and Apple (with their astonishing monopoly powers) really now appear to be retrograde, anti-free-speech engines of social abuse and deception.

The Covid-19 virus almost certainly came from one of the Wuhan Virology labs - and was likely an accidental release of a product of "gain-of-function" (GOF) virus engineering research.  This is almost certainly what happened.    And Facebook would apparently (and explicitly) delete posts where folks posted information in support of this simple, and rather obvious truth.

A corrupt, gangster-controlled Gulag Nation - Belarus, for example - is able to use outright fraud to hijack a commercial airliner - because people have lost the ability to think critically, and now just fail to understand how much of any State Agency activity is comprised of outright lies and overt deception.  

Mostly now - the data you get fed by State actors, is laced with untruths, and programmed deception.   The objectives are to control your actions, degrade your personal freedom, and expropriate your private wealth.

It's quite curious and surprising - we were in an data arms-race between truth and lies - but now, it has become a new Cold War.    Truth is being "nudged" out of the public space and the open debates are replaced with "Lectures from Lefties" about the need for a "Low Carbon" economy, and ESG investing and being "woke" and other racist, dishonest absurd nonsense.     And it is so surprising that so much of the mainstream media has "gone over to the Dark Side" - as one might say - and joined in this great data-driven Dance of Deception.  

The really Big Lies on the internet, are now coming from Governments and State Agency players.  And anyone who tries to shine a light on the fraud and abuse, is at risk.   Those who have a desire to correct things, and limit this sliding-away-of-honesty - whether it is Snowden of the USA, or Protasevitch of Belarus - is attacked and shut-down by what look almost like the forces of pure evil.

The Bad Guys are winning.  And the really, really bad guys, are winning big.

This is a disturbing trend.  I fear that the modern internet technology is now helping the Bad Guys more than it is enabling the Good Guys.

They used to say that "Truth" was always the first casualty of war.  And as the internet data-feeding process shifts into "war-mode", we are seeing a digital example of this happen right before our eyes - right on our little screens.

The Bad Guys look to be winning.   Double-plus ungood.    :(

[ May 24, 2021 ] - Problem Correction Requires Effective Action - The UK has suspended all overflights of Belarus, and the region has been designated as "Unsafe Airspace" by most international air carriers.   This is a beginning.   Let's hope the followup is a targeted action against the aviation infrastructure of that Gulag State - to begin if the kidnapped journalist Roman Protasevitch (and his young girlfriend!) are not immediately released.   Lukashenko is an Air-Piracy-Terrorist, and action must be taken to correct this unacceptable situation.  

From a Political-Theory perspective - an interesting result could occur:  Biden of the USA, could completely change the common perception of his being a weak, old-man leader, if he demanded the release of Protasevitch within 24 hours - subject to a targeted action if this did not take place.  Will the Russians risk nuclear war to save a bastard like Lukashenko?   I rather doubt it. 

Send a squadron of aircraft to overfly Minsk at mach-2, and then render the air-defense ability of the place degraded, and the Minsk air-terminal non-operative.  This would be a nice little NATO exercise, and would send exactly the right message to the gangsters running Belarus.

Sorta like exactly what the Russians did in Georgia several years back.   Time for some effective communication with the Belarusian gangsters.   Then - the upcoming meeting between Biden and Putin might have some chance of resolving a few outstanding issues of importance. 

You have to speak to these people in their language - otherwise one is just wasting time.  

There is a frightening terror-video from Belarusian "Government" of Protasevitch "confessing" that he is guilty of information-related crimes..  He has an obvious broken nose, and is wearing powdered makeup to half-hide the wounds received.   Details in this Reuters story...

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/this-is-total-insanity-says-father-detained-belarusian-journalist-2021-05-24/   

[ May 23, 2021 ] - Alexander Lukashenko -  TOP CRIMINAL OF THE 21st CENTURY? or Air-Terrorist Number 1?  Or Just Another Tinpot Thug Kept in Power by Covert Criminals?   

Yes, I know - a little bit over the top and all - but what sort of shit-stained scumfuck asshole sends a government military MIG-29 to HIJACK A ROUTINE RYANAIR FLIGHT FROM ATHENS to VILNIUS?  BELARUS IS RUN BY AN AIR TERRORIST GANGSTER CRIMINAL, IT TURNS OUT.

 Jesus, what a broken world.  When I read the Reuters story about how that criminal fraudster Lukashenko used a MILITARY JET to kidnap a JOURNALIST from a commercial airliner overflying the Gulag of Belarus - the top of my head just blew off.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-politics/belarus-forces-airliner-to-land-and-arrests-opponent-sparking-u-s-and-european-outrage-idUSKCN2D40BQ

https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL2N2NA0L0

What an astonishing piece of filth-evil is this Alexander Lukashenko creature.   

Of course, the Biden-Babies and the Women-of-Europe will do nothing effective at all, to free the kidnapped journalist - whose name is Roman Protasevich.

Damn, now we only have Boris Johnson left, and the Polish folks  - no one else will stand up to this air-terrorist Lukashenko, I suspect.  The Lefties of America, and the Old Women of Europe will do nothing - as usual. 

The correct response would be an immediate requirement for Protasevich to be released - and if that does not happen - then an AIR STRIKE on the MINSK civilian airport complex - as it is thus proven to be a TERRORIST ENCLAVE.  The corrupt part of the Belarus military that supports Lukashenko should suffer the same fate as Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces did.  But NATO will probably not act, because it no longer exists as anything other than a group of old pocket-fillers and tired time-servers.   I hope I am proven wrong here, as this is now the time for NATO to get into action.

[ Folks are critical this proposed action is too extreme - but look at how well this works in the Israel-Gaza conflict.  The Israeli's do not want those rockets launched from Gaza. So, the Israeli's communicate in a way and in a manner most direct that Hamas understands.  To do otherwise, would not solve the problem.   Lukashenko and the other violent criminals who hold power in Belarus doubtless will only understand similar, explicit language. If we with to solve the problem there, we must speak clearly with the language of effective action.  To do any less, is to do nothing.  Events have proven the truth of this assertion. ]

This character Lukashenko makes Osama Bin Laden look like a gentleman.   We need to purge our planet's evil, and clean the sad and dirty world of these terrorst scum.   Bid Laden was taken care of - but these events show more needs to be done, obviously.

There is a possibility that major war at some point will be needed.   Who in their right mind, wants to live in a world where gangster criminal scum like Lukashenko can exist and shit all over what remains of Western Culture and Rule of Law?  America has been captured by fraudsters, and Europe is run by weak old women.    So the true evil folks know they can run rampant and violate all the rules of law and moral virtue - and nothing will stand against them.

We have foolish, unwise and morally bankrupt leaders of our own, now - and the very, very bad guys are taking such effective advantage of this, sadly.

But this ugly state of affairs will not last forever.  Changes will come, and corrective action will have to occur.   We can get new people in charge - and the corrupt and broken World can be repaired.  This MUST be made to happen.

We simply cannot live in a world where crooked tinpot scumbag dictator criminals can use their State-gangster military machinery to bring down civilian aircraft, and prosecute their agendas of corruption, theft and old-fashioned psychotic, despotic cruelty.

This shit has to change.  But first - people will have to wake up, and see exactly what is actually happening.   The nazi-bastard criminal shithead liars are taking over again - and no one is doing anything to effectively stop these vicious State gangsters.

We need immediate action - not a bunch of pathetic old women and confused clowns talking about "sanctions".   Sanctions are monkey-piss.  They are nothing, and the criminals like Lukashenko know this. 

Remember when Ron Reagan bombed that air-terrorist criminal, Gaddaffi?  The US Air Force dropped explosives right onto Gaddaffi's own villa - they blew that bastard's country house all to hell.   We need that kind response - not a bunch of sad milquetoasts bleating about "sanctions ... sanctions".    Sanctions are nothing - pure theatre, without any real value.

You need to find where this fellow Alexander Lukashenko lives, and bomb that bastards house, while he is sitting on his toilet.  That's the only sort of message a foul gangster like him will understand.

We simply have to fix this State criminality.     We can fix it now, while it is small, and only a few evil bastards have to be removed - or we can wait until the World is in flames - again - and then it will be much harder, more costly, and we will lose whole cities - like the last time.    We could break this cycle now.  Lukashenko should be declared an international war criminal, and all the military effort of the Free World should be directed to arresting him for his act of international air piracy, and bringing him to trial for his crimes.  In the USA, kidnapping remains a death-penalty offence, for a very good reason.

[ May 22, 2021 ] - What Did We Do Last Time? - a powerful data-set, is that typically.   When faced with a crisis and/or an opportunity, we all tend to inspect what was done the last time it happened.  But the River of Time flows only one way, and the future never exactly mirrors the past.   What worked last time - might bring disaster this time.  And what failed last time - might be the best presciption for the present crisis.

Many of us are beating our brains in trying to figure out if we will be killed by inflation, excess government debt, or the unwise, curious madness of irresponsible political buffoons (cf. "the budget will balance itself" - anyone remember that line?).  Or maybe just by the forces of randomness?   Threats seem to be multipling daily - along with what may also be opportunities.  

We live in curious times of profound and rather disturbing problems - it really is a K-shaped outcome here.    We know so many folks who are riding smoothly up a fine stairway to financial heaven - on the up-trending vector of the K.   But for every fine favoured family - our research suggests there are *many* more fundless, failed family folk, sliding along the down-pointing vector into quiet ruin.   The rate and extent and breadth of their demise cannot yet be projected.  If you can pull-back on the control-wheel as the deck comes into view, and clear the mountain-top - you can save your ship and it's crew.  

But if you can't - you make a big mess on the landscape, and become just another news item. 

The thing I see mostly - is a curious lack of creativity and wisdom.  But this is - I suspect - the result of simple historical perspective.  We examine the historical record - and we see what worked, and kept things up and running.  We just don't inspect the large graveyards of events and processes and strategies that failed and left misery and ruin in their wake.  Those disappear quickly from sight - like the errors of a bold, risk-taking surgeon - who is able to simply bury his mistakes.  We only see the patients who had fine & successful treatments.  The ones who died on the table?  Well, they are out of sight and out of mind - gone from the public view.

The technical term for this is 'survivorship bias' - but there is more happening here, I think.

Once we have this large dataset of successful outcomes - I think it has a curious effect of poisoning our collective creative wisdom and ability.   Modern process that we are required to engage just seems so astonishingly unwise that I honestly ask - is this just an error in my own observation?  Or is both the average and the collective intelligence of the world really running so curiously retrograde?  Private individuals are able to exploit creative actions - but organizations are mandated to be unwise, toxic and lethal to human creativity.  And this is a growing problem.

Most folks in positions of authority - both locally and across the world - seem absolutely unable to reason or think clearly with any sort of wisdom, and this blinds them to the gains that creative solutions can provide to the various problems that seem to multiply each day.   Organizations are particularly effective at enhancing and projecting this modern wisdom-destruction process.

But my 'Inner Trader" whispers William Goldman's famous line: "Nobody Knows Anything. Remember the truth of this simple observation.  It is generally true."   Goldman was talking about successful outcomes in the filmmaking business - but it applies everywhere, it seems.   Remember - just because the world is run by the corrupt, the venal, the cruel and the stupid - you yourself do not need to be. 

Probably, one does not want to waste time throwing pearls on the floor before those large, round, flat-nosed creatures that do not appreciate their value.   Rather like this silly writing exercise I am doing here..!  :D

[ May 21, 2021 ] - What's Wrong with Huarong? - The big Chinese government-owned Bad-Bank (literally majority owned by the Finance Ministry in Beijing), is having trouble - it has not reported it's annual results (a couple of months overdue), and - oh yes - the former Chairman was executed (killed dead) back in January, after a show-trial.   And - according to the New York Times (and even Boombergerstein), the plan is to ensure that *investors* (those filthy bastards - like you and me) do not get paid in full on the bonds that they bought.   This appears to be called "cleaning up the finance industry" or some such strange Chinese concept.   Their idea of cleaning their corrupt GOVERNMENT funding schemes seems to involve DEFAULTING ON THE UNWISE INVESTORS who were dopey enough to buy their paper.   Oh my.

Well - exsqueeze me - but isn't the whole idea behind the establishing of *GOVERNMENT* owned Money-Borrowing entities - isn't the idea to offer GOVERNMENT assurance that the money you loan to these clowns, is rather likely to actually be paid back - since the Government folks can just print the cash if they need to?   Isn't that why GOVERNMENT bonds have those really low yields?  Oh, right...   Except Huarong issued bonds in real money (US dollars), not the funny stuff called "yawn" or "yuan"  or whatever it is they call it.   So, the Chinese State must tap that horde of US Treasury cash, maybe?   And they are thinking - what? - maybe we don't want to do that?   Oh dear me.

Here is link to the curious story, as reported in the NY-Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/18/business/economy/china-bank-debt-huarong.html

This gets even better, if you try to get details... Since Huarong owes over $40 billion (US dollars), and apparently needs to borrow money from other entities (Chinese State Banks?), the possibility of default is looming large, and the Huarong bonds are trading at discounts around 70 cents on the dollar - with their *perpetuals* (at 4.5%) down around 50 to 60 cents/dollar of face value.

Most information is hidden or obfuscated or behind various abusive paywalls - so silly fools like us tiny wee investor folk are KEPT IN THE DARK as per usual, when GOVERNMENT financial fraud is on the Long March...

So far, we have been able to determine this:

If and when Huarong may or may not  default or unveil a debt restructuring remains unclear and difficult.

Huarong’s $400 million note maturing in July trades at 94 cents on the dollar. That compares with around 66 cents for its 2.125% bond due 2023 and 53 cents for its 4.5% perpetual bond.

The divergence will have to narrow at some stage if a debt restructuring becomes closer to reality, though how long that might take continues to be a mystery. Beijing has given little away information about the company’s future. 

The fear is that the company will run out of funds.   But news reports circulate and suggest that Huarong has reached funding agreements with state-owned banks to ensure it can repay debt through at least the end of August.

The can has been kicked a little way down the old yellow-brick road, it seems.

Comments from the off-shore press indicate that the investors in perpetuals will likely get raped.

“If debt restructuring occurs, the subordinated perpetuals are the closest to equity and will likely see the largest haircuts,” said Chang Wei Liang, a macro strategist at DBS Bank Ltd. in Singapore. “On the other hand, shorter-dated debt could still be repaid if they mature before the restructuring decision is finalized by authorities.”  (As reported by that Bloomberg thing)

Huarong has been repaying its maturing bonds on time and said as recently as May 13 it had seen no change in government support. The company has the equivalent of about $2.5 billion in offshore and onshore bonds coming due through August, according to various published press-reports - which may or may not be accurate.

Bond prices suggest investors see significantly higher default risk from about 12 months out. The firm’s 3.375% bond due May 2022 is at 72 cents on the dollar after falling 12 cents this week, which is reported to be 7 cents higher than a low it hit in mid-April.

Government Finance is Great Fun - until it isn't.  

What we have learned - and my "Inner Trader" whispers to me as I drift off to sleep... "You can't trust any of these clever funding-fellows - especially the Government people.  Remember the old expression?  'He lied like a Finance Minister on the eve of a devaluation!' "

Please stay safe - and keep your *capital* safe! -  as more than ever before - the bad dudes of the world want to take it from you!       :)

[ May 19, 2021 ] - Crypto Convolo Crasho et Convulnero - Modern Latin?   I would have loved it if the crypto thing had succeeded, as it would have degraded the power of abusive governments and criminal State entities around the world - rather like gold and silver coins have always been able to do.   But it was dangerously naive for folks to think that the State entities and governments that operate the paper (fiat) money systems - to their own advantage, often at the direct disadvantage to their subjegated citizenry - would simply roll-over and let the digital cryptocurrency transition occur.  

(Note: If you click on the link below - you will see that the MSM news story has been deleted.  That is even more interesting than the non-story itself.   :)  )

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/bitcoin-slides-below-40000-ether-tumbles-2021-05-19/

Crypto-currency enables direct person-to-person digital transactions  and other entity-to-entity payments occur in a secure manner, and without the typical  "skimming" or vigorish-extraction  taking place. 

If you examine the business-models of Nation States, Life Insurance companies or traditional gambling casinos, the "skim" is what keeps the model in economic operation.  Sales & income taxes, parameters such as "COI" (cost of insurance), and house-favouring, hard-wired tilted-for-the-house game probabilities are used to enforce the "skim" in each of those models respectively.  But crypto enables almost "skim-less" transactions - and as such, represents just another disruptive digital business model.

But the State has the legal power to simply make the action illegal, and the modern internet monitoring is sufficient to be able to degrade and even block, the block-chain operation.  So, like it always does in modern "elections" - the State wins again.  And of course, we will all be slightly poorer for this.  And the market is simply reflecting this reality.

Note that this (predictable) outcome, favours traditional providers of cost-plus transaction services, such as the existing banking industry.   "The Times, They are a Changin'!"  (*back*..., says my 'Inner Trader'...)      :)

[ May 17, 2021 ] - Crash Palace? - World being broken down - to be rebuilt by the madmen, it seems? Or maybe just runaway inflation?   Or maybe both...  Today, we look at FPGA tech and M1 and M2 (in real money, of course..)

Spent a silly amount of time reading about FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) and how to program these - learning about BeagleBone small/powerfull embedded computers (they have Debian Linux on a chip - lots of memory, SD-card slot, ethernet connection and optionally even wi-fi and a full neural-net/AI system for DSP (digital sound processing) and image recognition.  Amazing-unfroking-believable technology - the entire package in a form-factor slightly smaller than a playing card - all on one little board - uses an advanced TI chip - same as what is found in Android tablets and/or other small netbook machines.  These little boards can run WIndows or Linux or Mac/OS.   The modern ones come with Debian Linux on-board.  We just acquired a Debian Linux box for evaluation/research purposes - already have a simple web-browser serving up videos on the LAN for experiemental purposes.   The BeagleBone board is available from Mouser (which is where we sourced all the Z-80 SBC stuff from - the Z-80 is a great proof-of-concept) - but the BeagleBone "Black" boards and the advanced Bone/AI boards really take it up several notches.

Programming FPGA stuff is bizarre - like you are "programming" the design/configuration and establishing the operation of a piece of hardware.  And this is old-tech, circa 2013-2014.   It's absolute magic - you can soft-configure a piece of hardware - you can actually fabricate a CPU and the related instruction-processing fetch-and-operate electronics  by configuring a big t-bar table of logic-gates.  I knew about it in theory - but it is down to the hobbiest levels now.   And the Bone/AI board has both software and hardare to implement a full AI NN (Artificial Intelligence Neural Network).   This is *very* cool, and I just happen to have an application...  (he giggled like a school-girl)...    :)

Madman Economics!

The economic environment is becoming insane.  US April inflatiion rate (as per CPI) was measured at 4.2% - and of course, everyone knows it is higher - ilke maybe 15 %to 20% if you need to buy something.  Folks on salary will just demand wage hikes - but for us in the self-financing sector -it's gonna get real weird, real quick.  

US money supply, M2 is up 26% and M1 (the most liquid measure of money supply) is up 316% year-over-year.   Pandemic spending in the USA is above $5 *trillion*.   That is what we call serious money.  The delta (change) in M1 is the biggest annual since 1943 (the time of massive war spending to build the *Arsenal of Democracy* - a really goddamn good thing, as it turned out...)  Spending money like madmen is good and fine - if it is needed to save the goddamn world - which it was then, and maybe is now also. 

And the US Federal Reserve is still spending roughly $120 *billion* per month, buying up US Treasury securities.  That is also serious money - and it has the effect of monitizing the US debt.   This means - without any dispute or argument - that the USA is using printed cash to pay for government expenditures.  Whoo-hoo, say the MMT folks.  (These interesting numbers from Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research.  This fellow is not a fool and he is not a liar.   If you have doubts, check the St. Louis Federal Reserve Website for downloadable data and graphic displays of the various money-related time series.)

But all this will come at the cost of some really serious inflation - which will probably show up in equity prices as well as everything else.   Trucks, lumber, fuel, houses, food, and electricity are all up in price where I live - and not just 5 stinking percent... more like 20%.    You can see it on the grocery store shelves, and the shelves at Home Depot and the price at the pump.  

Here is local Waterloo County, Ontario Canada real-estate data - from the KWAR (Kitchener-Waterloo Association of  Realtors:   For April 2021:  Total homes sold: 843, up 263.4% from last year (yes, crappy year, because of Covid pandemic).  But the previous 10 year April average number of sales (detached houses) is: 618.  So this April 2021, we are still 36.4% above the 10 year April average in volume of sales.  Price:  Average Price of a detached house:  $899,315.00.  Yes, that is the *AVERAGE* price - and it is up 36.9% from April 2020.  So both the volume of sales and the prices are both up > 35%  (which is what typically happens in markets - you want higher prices, you expect to see higher volume).   The velocity of the market is faster also:  Average Number of Days on Market for April 2021:  9.   This is down from 19 in the pandemic-time of April 2020.

So, our quick high-frequency take on property transaction data is close to what the money-supply delta numbers are showing - and which is what old Milton Friedman's models would suggest.  Hump up the money supply by XX% and you will get a roughly YY% increase in price level.  Remember P=Mv?  It's the economist's equivalent of E=mc**2.   Believe the truth of this.

It is up, up and away.   Bank stocks might double in price from here, as spreads and interest rates will have to blow out.  It will have to happen - like the sun returning to the north, after the winter.   It is just a question of when.

So, it's gonna get weird.  Because it is already getting weird.  What makes it ugly is that for the folks in the self-financing world (not the salary-monkeys), it means the squeeze factor is just going to continue to increase.   You had better lock into a good revenue-stream, or you will be killed by economics, instead of from Covid-19.   The First Rule secret to a long an happy life still remains: "Do Not Die Yet."   Rule Number 2 is of course, "Go Back and Review Rule #1."   :)

[ May 13, 2021 ] - Book of Days & Days of Books - I review things (for some unrelated complete nonsense) and I am surprised at how useful the material from wise people - who wrote good books about their life-journey events - has been. 

I've read material from George Soros, Jessie Livermore, Bill Gross, Nassim Taleb, Martin Zwieg, John Hull, VIctor Niederhoffer, John Train, Nick Leeson and many other market experts - and also William Gibson, Robert Heinlein, Issac Asimov and Herodotus, Procopius (read his "Secret Histories"), and Vaclav Havel (read "Living in Truth")  and Joseph Conrad (read his short story: "Youth")  and Akio Morita (a founder of Sony) and Hunter S. Thompson and Goethe (read Faust) and Descartes.

Read Descartes'  "Search for Method" - don't study it in school - just read it as a guide on how to "reason".   Most folks simply do not engage the process of thinking.  They just react like puppies.  And worse - the person of average intelligence attempts to expand his/her knowledge by *only* reading the writings of others.  This is a terrible error.   Read Descartes.  My copy was called "Search for Method",  I recall.   Here is a link to an English translation of the short monograph, written in 1637:

https://advocatetanmoy.com/2020/07/22/discourse-on-the-method-rene-descartes/

So much reading - and  everyone had something useful to say.  Sturgeon's Law of course applies - but I also read a lot of not-well-known folks who had useful and interesting things to say - and they also had valuable insights to offer.    Lots and lots of market books - and of course, Economics, Computer Science and AI stuff - mostly neural-net related.  Neural-nets are great - but only if there is really an actual thing, there.  If there is no "there!", there, then neural-nets will just train to noise, and have no predictive ability.  

But simple models can capture and predict not too badly, sometimes.   (Note: Simple - but not simplistic - "simple" in the mathematical sense - ie. a simpler proof is more robust and better than a complex proof which might contain an error).   It really is possible to know - in a limited and short-term way - what the future will hold.

We may swim thru obfuscation, deception and chaos - and be set upon from all sides by those who would degrade, impoverish or rob from us.  But we can still often see what the future holds in store, if we are willing to look ahead with an open mind and eyes unclouded by pre-conditioned thinking.   Most people cannot really do this - but for those who can, an interesting and prosperous life may be possible.   Human "equality" is an absurd illusion - as it should be.

This is the human condition.  We should try to do the best we can, and not lazily sleep thru our lives.   Each person must seek wisdom, and continuously strive to add to his/her storehouse of knowledge and ability - as the power of deception & fraud are great, and the levels of dishonesty and informational abuse directed at each of us now are manifestly stronger and more numerous than at any time in all of history.  

If you are trying to seek both wisdom and prosperity, you will become a target for all kinds of undesirable individuals and agencies with explicit agendas that see you losing and them winning.   Life is war - but any local victory will be short-lived, as the game-time is so limited.

It's not just the awful bio-active virus agents you need to guard against - there are a myriad of other agents just as lethal that seek to assault and diminish your life-efforts.   And in the end, they will win, and you will die and your corpse will be disposed of.   This is the path of life - it leads to the graveyard - for everyone.  This is a certainty.

But  one can still have some fun, and one can learn much, and do many interesting things, before one is brought down and destroyed by the Forces of Darkness and Decay.   The poets advise us:  "Rage.  Rage against the dying of the Light!"   

And maybe document the journey, so as to provide some light for those who will follow!

This is why some of us know we must write down what we have seen and learned.   We know we must.   It is possible to win - for a little while., at least.   :)   

[ May 12, 2021 ] - Mayday, Mayday... - Is a sea-change taking place?  Perhaps, but we doubt it.  Too much money is floating around, chasing too little stuff.  There are shortages of things - and one can notice this from the grocery shelves to the industrial-products distributors.

The plan to keep interest-rates low, and let the economy run hot, is probably wise and necessary, as there is real risk of serious economic disruption if the new Covid-19 variants run rampant, and prove to be more lethal and more contagious - as the preliminary data suggests is the case.   If you get Covid, you don't breathe - and if you don't breathe, you die.

Same thing for the economy - without enough money in circulation, business activity is certain to suffer the same fate.    Inflation is to be preferred over suffocation.

[ May 11, 2021 ] - Vix Trix - World funnier each day.   I have this model that said, when the spot VIX was around 17 and change, suggested it was almost a dead certainty that the VIX would trade up to 21 to 22 level - just based on recent dispersion - a bone-simple model which I don't put much faith in.  What is comical lately, is how good the simple, back-of-the-envelope stuff works..  It is hilarious, really.

Except there is a reason for this.  Models which have fewer factors and parameters have greater stability and typically tend to capture basic phenomenon more/better than complex models.  It's really just that simple.  World is funny.  The stone-circles the Plains Indians built in North America, used to determine annual sun-positions (and hence predict seasons with a high-degree of accuracy) are similar to the elaborate rock piles of Stonehenge.  Both of these simple rock-piles were perfectly effective at measuring daily positions of the sun, and hence could make accurate determinations of both seasonal durations and points of seasonal transition.   This meant the Plains Indians could predict when the buffalo herds would migrate into their territory, and the Britainnic Druids could forecast when Spring-plantings and Autumn harvests should take place.

Simple models work - and the VIX looks like it wants to run hot, and will likely do so for the next little while, since the algos have captured market process.  This is actually a big deal.  There are times, when the market is used by clever folks to spew money out into the pockets of fatboys and government toads - it almost stops being a device for price-discovery - and becomes an almost perfect machine for cash-extraction.  With all the modern tech that is deployable now, this process might be reaching a limiting case - as so many processes on the planet seem to now be reaching.  We see this in demographics.

For example: Even China is concerned about a near-future population implosion - which seems curiously unbelievable - until one inspects Japanese and European demographic characteristics.  Folks in cities cannot afford to create babies.  Last year, I was at a birthday event, where I met a bunch of guys I had not seen since high-school.  Except for one guy - who got married, and had 1 child - the entire group had had no children with their various women - and of course, several had had ugly marriage scenarios.    As Bill Gates' situation demonstrates (yet again, as if we need any more social-proof of this phenomenon) - for a guy, getting married is almost certainly a major, serious error from an economic perspective.   Creating a family for a guy, is often the economic-equivalent of a very bad trade.   You just experience increasing losses, until you have to bail.

So, demographically, we are in trouble.  And if you are a white-guy, wow, you are double-in-trouble because if you even talk about the crashing birth-rate for white-people in North America, you risk being tarred with the Big Brush of Racism - which is astonishingly stupid.   It does not matter if you are "woke" (another awful expression created by popular insanity) - if you are on the path to becoming "broke".   Only the very rich folks can afford to have kids in the world now.  (And maybe the very poor, also?)

So, it is curious.   Simple models often contain very powerful truths, which it is not really possible to politically obfuscate - although the liars try, of course.  To see the "End of the Race", one need only look at the fecundity rate of Canadians - last I looked it was around 1.7 and falling, meaning that folks here - all races - are not having enough babies to maintain the population.  So, we need roughly 200,000 to 300,000 immigrants imported *each year*, otherwise our pension schemes implode and our tax-rates spike - or our money becomes worthless.    There is no easy solution to this problem - and we cannot even talk about the social assault on our traditional values and characteristics that is taking place, lest one be accused of being a bad guy.  Oh my.

But it is yet another example where a simple model makes it clear what will happen - and yet the bogus nonsense of "climate change" is held up as the great social economic problem that threatens us.  This morning - May 11th - I had to scrape ice off of one of our vehicles that was left outside.  We are running virtually *exactly* the same climate variations we experienced 150 years ago - you don't open your summer place up north, until good Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24th) because it might snow and be freezing - and the northern cottages are typically not insulated.  The whole "global warming" thing is such an obvious fraud  - that it had to be re-framed as "climate change", and it requires extremely subtle (ie. fake?) models to make it possible to believe some non-cyclic change is actually taking place.

But if you are any sort of scientist - you have to be seriously skeptical about "global warming", because the phenomenon is just not supported in the data.  It is bogus - but the process is already working for governments, in that it is allowing tax-increases to be made effective.

"Climate Change" is all about raising taxes, as the poorly run Governments of the Western World are broke, bankrupt and unlikely *ever* to paydown their debts with real, actual money.  There is just no way a funded-payoff it can ever happen.   Within the next 30 years - governments need many *trillions* of dollars of *surplus* wealth to pay off existing debt.  It will just not be generated - unless we can build cheap fusion-reactors, working trans-planetary space vehicles, and farm the arctic regions effectively.   All this *might* be possible - but a rational skeptic (and my foul-mouthed "inner trader") both say that a series of defaults is much more likely - or, a massive (essentially engineered) hyper-inflation might also play out as a solution.

So, the simple models say that a grim future is always on the table.   It's gonna take some real work to avoid the path to the grim scenarios.  But the VIX will dance up some big numbers, probably, regardless of how things play out.  Looks like an easy trade - if one could just buy the spot - which of course, one cannot.   What does that tell you?    :)

There are some obvious choices - Financials (banks, and maybe insurance companies), should offer some hedge against the coming inflation, as they can adjust both their spreads and the rates on their existing loans.  Canada is nice, since there are no "30 year" mortgages here.  If you can get one of those crazy low 30-year mortgages in the USA, you might want to think about it.  In Canada, the term (for which the interest rate is locked-in) only extends to 5 years maximum.  This removes much of the "pre-payment" risk, and is a major benefit to Canadian banks.  If rates spike up to deal with inflation, the banks can re-prices their loan portfolios either immediately (as many loans are quoted "prime-plus...") and in the case of mortgages, they will get uplift in the collateral value underlying the existing loans, and the ability to reprice the loans with roughly 2 to 3 years on average.  Pre-payment risk is a non-event in Canada.  The banks can also expand their spreads, if rate volatility expands - as it probably will have to do.

The transformative power of technology is real, and can offer uplift to equity values if stocks are actively bought by issuing companies.  This has been a good game for many years now - but one can see that maybe this game is hitting a limit also.

It might be better to run airplanes with well-trained pilots, (rather than fly-into-the-ground computer programs written by idiots), and it might be better to run economy-critical pipelines with humans at the control consoles - rather than fully automatic control systems that can be taken offline by Russian gangsters - hackers or FSB Agents - it really matters little which group actually pulled off the "Great Colonial Pipelines Data Heist".  The point is that the current internet-based "Lack-Of-Control Systems" are neither reliable nor trustworthy.

As a hard-core technology guy - I have this sneaking suspicion that maybe all the modern technology is completely compromised, suspect and riddled with the kinds of "back-door" access methods ("Clipper Chips and/or Intel AMT webservers-on-the-chip, etc.) that we begged not be installed back when Bill EFFing Clinton was President.  They installed it all anyway, and the Clintons and the NSA told us EFF-supporter types to just fuck off... which of course, we did.  Never argue with an idiot - he will just beat on you, and drag you down to his level.  You have to just walk away.  And wait for the crash-and-burn scenarios to play out, Everclear-style.) "We can live beside the ocean, leave the fire behind, Swim out past the breakers, watch the World die.")

The Financials - and the Phone Companies that own the old-style reliable wire-line and fibre-optic infrastructure, might well be the Last Men Standing, we suspect, as much of the modern technology is found to compromised - and thus toxic and dangerous - for a variety of reasons which old 2600-era folks have warned about for almost 20 years.    Isoroku.

[ May 10, 2021 ] - Work from Home But Just Use a Telephone - Has anyone finally seen the quiet truth buried beneath the modern "Children's Hour"  technology paradigm?  The idea of using Microsoft Teams or Zoom or other video-link tricksterism, does not really work very well - and it quietly places us at a staggering degree of operational risk.  The Colonial Pipelines ransom-ware attack - which has shutdown - for three days now - the pipeline-based delivery of diesel fuel in eastern USA, shows how idiotic the current "interconnected world" really is. 

It's about as stupid as the "just-in-time" madness of inventory management (the idea there being that businesses keep all their inventory on the back of trucks, waiting in the parking lot to back up to the loading-docks to offload their hardware right on to the assembly line...).  

All this foolishness looks great on paper, as it lowers some costs - until it causes complete breakdown of industrial production, due to supply-chain disruption - just exactly like it has with the cheap-chips which suddenly aren't available, and auto-assembly lines have to shutdown for want of parts that cost less than $2.00 each.

The whole idea with big, complex systems - is to keep the critical sub-systems "insulated" from each other, so a single "short circuit" type of failure, does not bring down the entire East Coast of the USA, as in a power failure - for example.  Or a failure to disengage a flight-management computer-tool that keeps an otherwise over-heavy, under-powered aircraft inside a stable-flight envelope, does not fly into the ground and kill everyone on board.   The Boeing 737-Max-8 was a particularly awful example - but this nonsense just keeps happening. 

And why?  It is simply *bad design* - a problem which has always been with us.  But the more interconnected the system, the greater the risks of cascade failure induced by poor system design becomes.

Too often now, control systems are about **NOT** having control, because unwise makers  have designed hyper-interconnected processes which can be characterized as *lack-of-control systems*.  The system runs on automatic.  The economic argument is that this will "enhance efficiency" - which it often will.  Until it does not - and the unsupervised failure cascades, and destroys everything in a great shower of sparks, meltdowns and explosive events.  

In the markets, this dumb-guy scenario is typically the results of pumping returns by strategies like "selling the small puts", which is what one can do, to goose returns in a portfolio.  You (mostly) never see the extreme events transpire - and the put expires unexercised, and you get to pocket the premium.  The kids think they've found a money-fountain.  (The Malachite Capital Volatility Fund example comes to mind - a disaster created by couple of clever sales-lads originally from Goldman Sachs).  The old traders smile and shake their heads and mutter something rude.

In technical terms - events that are 5 and 6 (and more) standard-deviations offside from normal "mean range" operational characteristics - happen a *LOT* more often than the curious statistical models predict.   You can play with this class of problems until the heat-death of the Universe occurs, and you will not likely "solve" the problem.  

It's maybe why farmers can be good stock traders.  They know seasons *really* matter, and that there is a time to plant, and a time to harvest.  (And it's important not to get these two seasons confused, like children are wont to do!)

Farmers also know about the awesome, *unlimited* power of nature - tornados, hurricanes, early snow, big hail, late springs and wild, runaway weed-growth or insect attacks.   Grasshoppers cover the ground two inches thick - so many and so thick that the cars are sliding around on the streets of small prairie towns.   Nature - regularly - goes completely crazy.

Last year, I discovered these beautiful beetles that look like little golden jewels - of course, they are the vicious Japanese Beetles, and love to devour the wild-grape leaves, leaving only strange, skeletons of the leaves.  Once they've eaten the grape-leaves, they start on the trees - and find the Gypsy Moth larva have gotten their first.  You look at your forest, and one summer day, you see the trees have no leaves!

In a small acreage, it is possible to produce maybe 1 billion dandelion seeds - so that chemical treatments that make Agent Orange look like something soft and gentle, are needed just to keep down the weeds and ensure crops can grow.  (There will be not much food produced, if Roundup is ever banned...)  The power of nature to *continue* to produce ever more hardy and resistant variety-types of weeds is simply amazing.    An associate sums it up well, when she says simply:  " *Wild* is the House. "  (She knows about gambling, also...)

Nassim Taleb, the famous "flan-whore"  (I think that is what he calls himself now - I never was very good with French...) points out we live in "Extremistan", which is certainly a clever way to describe the evident wild-randomness of the Universe.  At least he sees it.   Many folks just don't even see what is there in front of their eyes.    I remember studying probability mathematics - and the wiz-guys teaching  would always want to be talking about "balls in a urn", and I remember thinking that they maybe had their "balls in an earn", but I was a hell of a lot more interested in the *wild* randomness of reality - like the world we live in. 

I was going to pack it all in, but then a wonderful clever woman who taught Microeconomics and also Statistics, taught us about the Central Limit Theorem.   I thought it was nonsense, so I tested it - and it is quite amazing - if your sampling device is really random - if you really are making random (not biased) samples many times against a big population, the sample means will cluster around the true population mean, and look like a bell-curve (the famous "Normal" distribution, from Gauss - aka a "Gaussian distribution") and this will happen, regardless of the way the population data is distributed.  

This seemed a bit counter-intuitive - but it turns out to be true.   This is why sampling works - and is also why sampling does not work.   Example:  Right-wing, freedom-loving, intelligent people simply now do not generally respond to "polesters" trying to inquire about voting plans.  There is nothing to be gained by indicating how you will vote, and much (maybe) to be lost, by letting your private confidential information leak into the public domain.     So, it is mostly the lower forms of human-life (high-school teachers, government workers, journalists, fraudsters, lazy drug abusers, folks on "welfare", etc) who respond to polls now, so the samples are just *not* random anymore.   The "polls" always show the Lefty-Types winning now.  Always.  Hey, maybe the elections are being "engineered"?    :)

So be careful now - the Covid Pandemic is nasty, but the statistics show it is more likely going to be a Government that kills you.   Or maybe one of those baseball sized hail-stones.  And if you are "working from home", remember that Microsoft or Apple have already infliltrated your computer, and might just be monitoring everything you say and do with it.    The more you "plug-in" to a system - the more likely someone will "reach out and touch you" with some weaponized shit-nasty software that will try to fuck you up badly.   Such is the modern world.   If the bio-tech doesn't  get you, the info-tech might just make it thru the filters.    :D

[ May 7, 2021 ] - Testing a Starship - Watched SpaceX Starship-15 test launch and successful return and touch down at the Texas testing site.   Reminds me of those science-fiction picture-books young lads had back in the last century.   Very impressive - Bravo to the folks at SpaceX.  Nicely done.

[ May 6, 2021 ] - Nunc ist Bibendum  - But be careful...   :)        

[ May 3, 2021 ] - Mr. Market ...  (Gimme ... !)- Ok, so we went long this stuff on Friday - Victor N.'s old trick from long, long ago.    Hilarious.    Sample - and hold.   ( "Quick Watson!  Come here, I need you!   -  and bring the Sampler & the Vocoder.... ")

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnJa2TqhX6A

[ Apr. 30, 2021 ] - Among the (Un)Dead - I keep wondering how I missed Tim Armstrong back in 2007-2008, and then the penny dropped - it was the fcuking "Financial Crisis" wasn't it.   I seem to recall fighting rather for my financial life, IIRC.   It was another stupid-ugly market/crash time-of-nonsense.  I had been keeping a file-folder labelled "USA Housing Crisis" since 2006 - and the damn crisis just didn't come, so I stayed long-long.  Which was dumb-dumb and wrong-wrong.  (I basically got stopped out after massive losses - and then went all-in on some Canadian bank-stock when some banker-folks did a secondary share issue to pump-up their depleted capital  (BMO).  Long at 35 or 36, I think it was - and by Feb. 2008, I think it was 28 or something ugly like that.  I remember thinking "fuck, I'm dead.  I gonna be fucking dead-arsed busted..."   But I held, as the numbers were not as awful as the market was pricing (the market does this:  - listen carefully: - a really shitty job of accurately pricing stuff.   That is how one can sometimes make money - and OFTEN lose a LOT of money.)  Funny world.  The undead can rise up pretty good, sometimes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HDdFRGkOJU

The start of this above tune reminds me of a young man's early market adventures.   I half blew up once before, so I know that Bill Hwang/Victor Neiderhoffer feeling of "oh shit shit shit shit".   You get killed quick and rejoin the dead at least once, if you are learning.   I met a guy when I worked the back-office at Lehman, in Jersey City, who had blown up big with options.  He was a quiet, careful guy.   But I guess he swung hard for the fence - and missed.    Curious world.   Tim Armstrong is a working poet - he seriously reminds me of Arthur Rimbaud.  "Among the Dead" is really pretty good.  Here is a compilation by someone on tuber...  (I really like #6...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCO2W6bkC_g

Anyway, I missed the whole SKA thing.  Hilarious and sad, as it was genius good.  The Tim Armstrong / Rancid / Hellcat Records thing is so crazy good it is just mind-whacking.  Do a DDG search on "Tim Armstrong Lady Demeter" or "Among the Dead" or "Into Action".  I really like "Translator" - just wonderful stuff.  And his black/white high-contrast videos look like Roy Lichtenstein paintings. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc_iFszDRuA

Oh, and did you know that "Dogecoin" has a higher net-worth than Credit Suisse?  Maybe because Dogecoin did not invest in Archegos?   :D 

And speaking of the UnDead:   Canada's GDP has pretty much recovered from the Covid-19 meltdown.   (Check the Bloombergsteingoldberger article..)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-30/canada-posts-11th-straight-monthly-gain-in-economic-output?srnd=markets-vp

Ya read the above factoid, and one has to resist a few Nelson Ha-ha's.  Or maybe a Dr. Evil-style "Bwah Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!"

But truly, it's been fcuking awful.   A time of sickness is just plain bad.   I was talking to a check-out girl at The Liquor Store last week, (In the People's Republic of Ontario, all Liquor Stores are "Taco Bell", remember )    Anyway, she was telling us about a friend of her's who died from Covid.  The SARS-Cov-2 virus can kill you quite effectively - like life does, as Warren Zevon warned us.  Get the fack vaccinated if you possibly can.  Do whatever it takes.    If you are vaccine-shy, then you are just facking stupid.    First rule of life, is: "Don't die."  And really, don't die needlessly, for no reason or benefit, other than stubborn ignorance.

I miss Californistan.  Tonite it is supposed to be minus 4 C.  Tomorrow is May 1st, FFS.  Pulp Fiction indeed.  When Pierre found profit, the little money worked out well...  and the big money works out even better, I am told.   But the White Trash Beautiful in desert trailer parks have a fine and maybe better climate-lifestyle than we northern blue-kintama folks have.   But I do like the ability to motor up to the edge of great open places of no-people.   Canada is just facking magical - and dangerous as hell - but that is the attraction, isn't it?    :)

[ Apr. 29, 2021 ] - A Student's Tail Risk - Ok, so today I am mixing Chaucer with Mandelbrot and the T-distribution...  This AM, complete fog (in the brain, and on the field), and I watched a turkey the size of a small pony walk across the field - from the viewport of the main window, it looked like a scene right out of Jurasic Park.  

Those big male turkeys look exactly like dinosaurs.  If I had time, I would whip up a bio-lab, and try to craft a clone/hybrid of turkey DNA with one of those big Indonesian lizards that spit toxic poison to take down their prey  (they are called: Komodo dragons - run a DDG search on them, and check the pictures - latin name: varanus komodoensis.  They are amazing creatures. )  

The Komodo Dragon saliva contains hyper-toxic bacteria which can rapidly infect and imobilize mammalian prey.  Nice candidate for modern bio-weaponization, doubtless..  Better than Wuhan batsh/t, as it would be targetable.      But more fun, would be to hack together the DNA of a turkey and big Komodo (aka "monitor lizard"), and see if a living, fast-moving, feathered dinosaur could be created.   Yes, I know, it's been done - but only in fiction.   With modern bio-active plasmid technology, one could seriously, actually do this  - maybe - and sysgen a fertile gamate that might grow in to a seriously proper monster.   No need to wait around for that useless doofus, Godot.   We can hardwire evolution for our own amusement.    I would pay serious money to actually see a real Jurasic Park full of real, actual, living dinosaurs.   Who would not?

I've learned that if I've thought of it, someone else somewhere is probably actually doing it.   Don't be a Gecko, if you can be a Komodo.    Key fact here is that as the natural Earth-planet biodiversity is going retrograde - we now actually have the tools to reverse this degradation, and now artificially enhance and extend the range of bio-alternatives.   And of course, research into randomness suggests we should just "mess around" and hack many, many new "monsters", without too much focus on what the target result is supposed to be - since we cannot really predict which path will be the most beneficial.  The gain is from  simple bio-diversity enhancement, and it will become clear later, where the benefits lie.

On another note - I have not managed to hack together Daneel yet.  But it is curious how not very useful NN/AI tech is for tradecraft.  I've gone in a completely (well, somewhat sort-of) different direction, and got a machine now that is *much* more useful than the Xerion Forecaster.  It's quite curious - yet another example of the importance of being flexible - and not being wedded to a particular approach, methodology or technology.   If you want to survive (and live long and prosper!) in this world, you must be intellectually promiscuous.   The set-of-things-that-work-well is always a *much* smaller than the set-of-things-that-don't-work-well.   Even the froggy mathboys "Nicolas Bourbaki" would have to admit the truth of this premise. 

[ Aside: DDG is getting a *lot* better in parsing search queries... I tried:  "synthetic french mathematican bourbeki"  (note the spelling error), and got a really good summary page of the history of the "Bourbaki" group - which was essentially a "Group of Seven"-style collection of math whiz-kids who tried to set things right in the big House of Numbers, back in the 1930's - the time when the modern world began.  Those boys (and Godel, too, doubtless), were, I suspect, the reason why blonde Latvian buxom babes were trying to teach us all set-theory in grade-school.   JHC - I just was crazy-lucky sometimes... (learning set theory from a gorgeous blonde Latvian girl at a very early age in grade-school turned out to be *really* helpful for me.)  Luck is so really important.  Key fact is to *recognize* that you are getting lucky - like when I encountered Czech literature - from Karl Kapec and "Rossums Universal Robots", to "The Engineer of Human Souls" (a good book, the title is a term that Stalin said described the job of the writer.)    I seem to have had this strange, curious ability to encounter a knowledge-dataset just at the point where I really needed to acquire it.  Very curious.  Blind randomness can look - with hindsite-bias - like a careful, well-chosen path.  It truly is absolutely not, but it can look like it. ]

Algorithm for Engineering Lucky Outcomes:

Here it is:   Once you figure out what is really happening - and how important luck is - you can craft strategies that enhance "lucky outcomes".   Yes, really you can.  It's simple:  1) Learn lots of stuff, and do lots of stuff - maximize your chances of finding something that is not sh/t.   Most of everything is sh/t.  (Sturgeon's Law: "90% of Everything is Crap").   2) The more you learn, the more you will recognize the really valuable good stuff and process.   Most datasets exist to mislead and misdirect the unwise.  Hold this thought.   3) Take action, but keep the cost of your action-taking low, so that if the idea/event/project does not work well as intended, you can back out of it without too much loss or grief.   If you are a guy, avoid "marriage", until and unless you find a girl that you want to go home with always.   This pretty much never is possible, so beware this simple truth.  Most marriages fail.  Women are difficult and spiteful - but they are also wonderful and can be a lot of fun, and a great help.    This means hold-on-loosely to stuff and people and things and even ideas.  You might just be wrong.   The process/person/idea might just be wrong.  Plain, ordinary wrong.  It happens mostly.   So, most important:  4)  Be willing to try, but do not be willing to die.  If it fails, move rapidly away from it, and regroup.   Move on.  Back away.  Run like hell, if you have to.    5) But if it succeeds, then push it a bit further, and see how far you can go with it.  You may get a *lot* further than you think was possible.   6) Routinely, test and check, test and check, test and check.   If it was working - but now it looks like it is NOT working, then do an honest assessment of it's failure-level.  Is it working or failing.  Be honest.  If it was working, but has done the S-curve thing, and is topping out, like a mine played out, or a hand that is over, or a new set of data has come that changes things - and it does not work anymore, then engage the Number 4 process, described above.  

Randomness rules the universe - and our goal-seeking and system-scanning little brains will create many, many false pictures of what is really happening.   Always keep checking, and revise the action vector if necessary.   Note:  This is *very* difficult for really smart, clever people - who will risk deluding themselves with confirmation bias.  My research on "traders who blow-up and lose all their money" suggests that this difficulty with Number 6 is maybe their greatest weakness.  This is because a really creative, thinking human brain will "see" good-stuff that is not actually there, to keep a human invested in a failing project with an ever-worsening result outcome looming up in the near distance. 

Number 6 Example:   It's like the captain of the big warship, demanding that the ship ahead, whose light he can just barely see, move and change course.  He grows ever more angry, and his signals operator finally makes contact.  The captain demands the other ship alter course, and the vessel ahead responds: "Cannot change course".   The angry captain indicates he is a supreme warship of the Imperial <blahblah> Navy, and that he will not change course.  The other vessel signals back: "You really should change course.  I am a lighthouse."

[ Apr. 27-28, 2021 ] - I Ask Myself, Is It a Sin - To Be Flexible, When the Ship Comes In? I have been doing this hard-core analysis of "guys who blow-up" - mostly to try to ensure I do not become one of them!   (Cool, Depeche Mode vid from some private citizen, URL below...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4LLfpYbLEY

I have learned something:  It is really important to be *flexible*.  Really.  A *lot* of times, one may be wrong.  There is a simple algorithmic response.  Stop what the fack you are doing, and engage the learning apparatus to: 1) Determine what you did wrong, 2) Design a process to execute an immediate corrective fix, 3) Implement that process *immediately* and then 4) engage long-term learning apparatus and hack some sort of process together to try to avoid similar wrong-action in the future.  

This is so easy to say/write - but our ego/brain-sys makes this tough.  We become invested in an existing path traversal.   Just stop, and go back.  Ask directions, Be skeptical, Retreat if necessary, and live to fight another day.  Dead warriors and bankrupt, busted traders are no longer operational, and become immediately useless trash - this is the Tough Way of Nature. 

The Buddha is clear on this.   Be cruel and ignorant and do the stupid and wrong things, and you will bring about destruction - both of yourself and others.  Your main task in life, is to:  Guard against this outcome, as it is more common than successful outcomes.  The Right Path is very narrow - the Path of Failure is as wide as the horizon in Mongolia on a summer day.

I am surprised at the consistancy with which clever, hard-working people are able to so completely self-destruct -  and often take down everyone and everything around them.  They create un-needed tragedy.

I suspect that it is great success that is the most dangerous thing for these folks.  They have a string of big successful outcomes - which are often due to a bunch of lucky (ie. random) events, and they start believing they are fucking genius-men.   This is why a Roman General had to have a slave or soldier in his chariot during his Triumph parade - whispering repeatedly into his ear: "Remember, you are just a mortal man."   I think the Latin was: "Mememto Mori."

Trading is *not* about being a "big swinging dick", and it is not about "living the lifestyle".   (My lifestyle as a trader is a lot like my lifestyle was when I was being a Consultant/Programmer.  I don't get enough goddamn sleep, I don't eat well (unless a good person runs the kitchen)  and I keep stupid hours, and read and read and read - and the more I learn, the more stupid I feel and the more embarrassed I am that: "Oh shit!  I didn't KNOW this!"  This feeling happens more and more often, the more I learn...)

But I think today, we may have to convene another committee of the Robert Bordens.   Things are ticking along so curiously well.  (Simple algo:  When you buy it cheap, and it goes up and becomes dear... resist the urge to sell and cash in - try to buy more, if you can still sleep at night..  I find this algo really, really hard to implement.  But it is a good algo.  It can make you wealthy.)

More generally:  Move towards what is good and fair and creates good success and makes people happy, and move away from that which is bad, and bent, and nasty and dishonest and ugly and cruel and stupid.   You will make errors - and you may be cheated and hurt - but retain the knowledge of the benefits of tracking the Right Path.  Be super skeptical, but also know that sometimes, it can play out exactly as it should.  The trick is to be onboard that ship - either as the captain or even just a red-shirt.  And remember, it might be better to be a red-shirt on a really good ship, than be the captain of a bad ship that is certain to sink if there is a strorm.

And there are always storms.  Nature will provide all the examples that you need, in order that you may learn how to deal with them effectively, and develop needed survival skills.   Nature and Randomness are cruel teachers - but they are also generous with the many examples of the really awful and the ugly that they provide.   They are generous teachers, which have patience no matter how stupid and thick the student is - always willing to provide another example-set of the wildly extreme.   Once looked at this way, Extremeistan becomes a fine and wonderful Library, full of many interesting and educational volumes that will entertain and enlighten for many lifetimes!     :)     (PS: Thanx for the Libraries, Mr. Carnegie.  I really mean that. )

http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/libraries/carnegie.shtml     My favourite, is the one in Goderich.  It looks like a tiny castle, with a round, cone-topped tower, so that the building looks like its wearing a Wizard's Cap - or maybe a Dunce Cap?   :)

[ Apr. 26, 2021 ] - The 747 Ronin of Myanmar -   Cool air, bright sunshine, strong upward trend with vix-puffing price-break-dancing algorithmic market pulse.    Everyone trying to reverse-engineer everyone else, and at least human-crewed spaceships are being launched again by USA.   That is at least something positive.  

Was reading how the SIG-Sauer factory in Germany was closed by SIG, which is now essentially an American company.   SIG is a good company - and it builds good things.  The German Defense Minister is a stupid old women, who should be asked to leave her job.  Such a tragic and silly outcome, for a nation that is dying, but does not need to be.

Sad watching the hundreds and hundreds of freedom-loving kids get slaughtered and butchered by the milspec gangsters who have siezed power in Myanmar.  This - *again* -  illustrates and teaches us the deep, historical truths:  1) The price of freedom is the blood of true patriots, and 2) a Democracy absolutely and without question, requires armed citizens.    If a nation disarms it's citizens - they become:  First, subjects, and then later - often quite quickly -  slaves.  And then, if they wish to hold on to their Democracy - corpses. 

It is absolutely and without question the primary responsibility of every free citizen in every Democratic nation, to become skilled in the effective use of weapons.  Once everyone is properly armed and sufficiently skilled - Democratic behaviour is the direct outcome.  The best weapon is literacy and the ability to think and reason clearly, followed of course by the great power of the Library and the historical record and Science and its critical, skeptical methods.

But knowledge without the ability to project that knowledge is of little value.   You have the responsibilty to be aware, and mindful - but sometimes you need to project mindfullness into the heads of your enemies - using 3000 feet-per-second projectiles, as this will allow - if not themselves - then at least others - to see the Light of Freedom. 

If there are to be conflicts - then it is important that the Good Guys be sufficiently armed so that the armed gangster Military Murder-Monkeys can be extinguished and removed with the necessary dispatch and effectiveness.   If you have no choice but to fight - then you must fight and win - or die.

We are fortunate to have a well-trained and disciplined and honourable national Police force, which commands the respect of our citizens, and is treasured by us all here.     What has happened in Myanmar is so tragic.  Their police forces have been chased from the nation by the murder-monkeys in their gangster-military.    I saw an interview with a Myanmar police official who had managed to flee the country with his wife and children - before he was killed by the military murder-monkeys.    He was an honourable man - trying to do the right thing and support his democratically elected government - but he had to act to save his family from being slaughtered by the Military Murder-Monkeys.

And the stupid clown politicians get together and mouth-spout about nonsense like "Climate Change" - while the bodies in Rangoon pile up in truckloads.

The USA failed completely in Vietnam, made a complete mess out of the Iraq invasion, and have now promised to cut-and-run from Afghanistan, after wasting billions there and achieving so very little.  In Myanmar, there is a situation where two weeks of targeted air-strikes could change the course of history, and demonstrate to the Thug-Monkey Gangsters of the World, that murdering your own un-armed citizens with automatic weapons in the streets by the hundreds - is not acceptable, and disqualifies you and your evil Junta fake-government from existence on this planet. 

Right now - with so little effort - a useful message of Enlightenment and Education could be sent to the Murder-Monkey Military of Myanmar - and could be done so at so little cost - and with possibly great results.  You would not even need "boots on the ground" - just some good weapons in the sky.   

But with the current clowns replacing the previous clowns - we can be certain that nothing will happen, and so the bodies of those who seek freedom will continue to pile up.

It's really best to correct ugly and horrible problems when they are small and reasonably low cost to correctly fix and repair.    That way, major conflicts can be prevented, and peace and democratic methods can be restored, and economic growth and prosperity can flourish.  But if you allow Murder-Monkeys to roam the city streets killing at will - then the message is sent to the World that this behaviour, if not acceptable,  can at least be tolerated, and no action will be taken.   This is the wrong message to send at this critical time in history.

The failure of the United Nations (the most corrupt and least-effective Agency possibly ever created), to do anything whatsoever about this - will be defined as a "War Crime of Inaction" by future historians, I suspect.   

[ Apr. 23, 2021 ] - Memo from R. Crusoe: Get Work Done by Friday - And Avoid Credit Suisse... - It's getting too weird even for me.  My neighbour (next farm over) had Covid-19.  He said he was tired for a couple of weeks.  (Tough farm boys:  Reason? The weak ones die as infants.  I am serious.  It's an evolutionary filter).  So, although our numbers are awful, and everything is closed again, it looks like we win the same way the Russians win - General Winter saves us, like it does them.  The weak die here.  It's just a moral-free fact.  Also - we have "socialist" medical system, which means few doctors, and limited, low-effort care if one does get sick.  This also contributes to herd-strength.  Unexpected and curiously not unattractive result.

Gave up on the VIX.  It's silly - poorly priced, and a bad hedge.   More research on modern failures:  I re-read "The Zurich Axioms" - by Max Gunther (circa 1985).  Excellent book, I highly recommend it.  Genius stuff, actually - easy to talk about and document - very tough to put into practice.

The whole blow-up show at Credit Suisse is absolutely fascinating.  It's like watching the Fukushima reactors explode (I have a real-time video of this happening - also fascinating).  You know the disasters are going to happen in serial succession - but knowing it, and then watching it play out over the course of real-time, are still two very different things.   Euroland - except for Germany - seems to be in a bit of trouble.  But the Swiss should know better.  They are supposed to understand risk better than others.   Things seem to have become curiously different, here in the 21st century.  Again, I am a rusticated farmer now - far, far from everything, so I only know the tidbits I can pick up on the censored, filtered, fake-news internet - so maybe there are many things I am missing.  Here are three links to Bloomberg summary articles:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-03/credit-suisse-s-greensill-mess-spoils-restart-for-ceo-gottstein

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-06/credit-suisse-takes-4-7-billion-archegos-hit-replaces-warner

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-22/credit-suisse-sees-654-million-second-quarter-hit-from-archegos?srnd=markets-vp

This is almost a comedy show - first Greensill mess, then these guys get Hwanged.  Their Risk Manager was obviously clueless on drugs or something.  I am sure she was a fine and noble Europerson, but this is a tad extreme in its low quality of actionable operation.  It makes for a fascinating technical study.

The trick with banking, is to studiously avoid schemes that damage or destroy your clients - and your own shareholders - wealth.    This is - of course - not a trivial exercise, as some risk must be accepted in the making of every loan and every investment of every kind.  But what makes this episode so curious - is that these are professional folks who all certainly should have known better.   There seems to have been two basic questions not asked: 1) What happens to these great "no-risk" loans, if and when the guys *insuring* the loans, decide they don't want to offer the insurance anymore?  2) If we (the bank) are marketing these loans as great investment vehicles to our clients as nice, high-yield, low risk investments - are we not just off-loading our job of loan-by-loan assessment of quality?   Isn't there an obvious risk of this process stretching out of control so that it starts with good loans, well supported by collateral and documentation, and then quietly migrates into that good-old-funtime world of traditional self-dealing?

This is an old problem:  A bunch of clever guys who are annoyed that they can't get funding for their high-risk business investments decide to set up their own little bank and make loans to themselves, so their own little projects can all get funded - and to make this scheme work, they put together a syndicate of some sort, and if they package it nicely, and wrap pretty ribbons of bumpf around it, and write lovely prospectus documents and other fine marketing literature - they can get some "Big" bank, to fund their "Little" bank, and make a bunch of nifty loans to their own little sub-companies, and for a while *everything* looks just fcuking wonderful, and everything looks like it is seriously profitable.  

This is the age-old problem in both private banks and governments and king's kingdoms that it is just comical.   A "Bank", by it's very design - is a wonderful device for turning a small pot of gold, into a great, flowing golden river.   But this financial alchemy only works if Mr. and Mrs. Banker are not criminals or a dumb-arses.    When you advance credit to Mr. Joe Blow-Hard business guy, you have to:  1) have some assurance that he is not a criminal, 2) have some understanding of this business, and a viable assessment of the probability of a successfully outcome to his venture, which he assumes will be wonderfully successful, and 3), some decent collateral to backstop the loan if things go south, and 4) a viable plan on how you will *take ownership* of the collateral, and dispose of it, if things really do go south, and the loan goes sour.   This is job of the banker.

Now, the problem with modern banking, is that all the banker-folk seem to want to get all the loan-making and loan-watching and loan-servicing action *OFF* their books, so they don't have to do this work that I just described.   And the problem then - is that by shirking their important jobs as bankers - they leave themselves exposed to risk that they need not be exposed to.

These modern bankers are supposed to be the *pilots* of the big aircraft of "Air Credit" - but instead, they all seem to want to sit in First Class and just drink and chat and nap. 

Someone needed to ask - in the Greensill mess - since we are selling these loans to our clients - is the banker-job work being done good-enough, so that the whole enterprise is running right? Are there factors here that could collapse this process, and the whole thing flops back into our lap, and we end up owning a cratering shit-show?   And a bunch of seriously pissed-off clients?  You know, sorta like *always* happens when a credit-bubble BURSTS IN YOUR FACE?  Now, this is really supposed to be the job of the Risk Manager - but they all seem to be farting around with a bunch of hoo-haw VAR models and other silly nonsense like that, rather than checking collateral quality, loan quality, internal business process actionable effectiveness, and making rational assessments of the external business models that their loan activity is funding.

Banking is just a magical and delightful process - if and only if it is done wisely and correctly.   If it gets corrupted (think "self-dealing" - like what happened with the Savings and Loans during the time of Ron Reagan), or if it gets plain stupid and silly (like what happened with the bogus house-price valuations & bogus-models that programmed the 2006-2009 housing market meltdown in USA), or stupid over-geared  -  think: Lehman Brothers  (Lehman was either 25 or more than 30 times leveraged, depending on whose numbers you accepted), or, if it gets undone by internal theives and criminals at the very centre of the process (Enron comes to mind here) - in all these cases, the beautiful banking process can break down in a spectacular manner.   (For a really interesting case-study about banking-breakdown, research the demise of the "Knickerbocker Trust Company" in New York City, in October, 1907. )

Of course, Credit Suisse is in fine, no-problem financial condition.  But they still have blown up over 8 billion USD's  (reactor 1 = Greensill, reactor 2 = Archegos and Bill Hwang...).  Fukushima had four reactors.  (Does the half-a-billion blow-up at York Capital Management factor-in somewhere here?)   At least now, the Swiss regulator (FINMA iirc) is having a little look-see also, so doubtless all will be just fine.   Perhaps some more heads will be tossed into the dumpster? 

But it all surprises the heck out of me, since I figured if any group of folks understood about banking - it would be these fellows and ladies at the BigCo Swiss Bank.   My problem of course, is that I am responsible for a couple of tiny portfolios, and I wake up at 4:00 am, and worry about the solvency of the global financial system.  It's just an old bad dream - but I have these (really quite silly) concerns about some sort of curious cascade loss-of-confidence.  We are already in the middle of what is effectively a cyber-war, which most folks don't even see or really know about.  It's possible that Bitcoin and Etherium and even Dogecoin are really, actually the future of money - specifically because their fabrication is *NOT* something under the control and influence of State Authorities, who cannot be trusted not to puff-up the local, national money-supply to fund free-money schemes for parasite-citizens who will otherwise burn down the cities.

See, my rude "inner trader" is whispering to me that Tim Armstrong (or Tim Timebomb as I think he is known now - the man is a musical and marketing genius) and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones might have a better handle on what the future holds, than do the Risk Managers and the nutjob Leftists who have taken power in the good, old, USA. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USUEiyKJJjs

Damn, but I love the dear USA -  and even Russia and China, too.   I wish we could all just get along, and dial-back from this ramp-up to thermonuclear war that so many analysts see coming, but won't talk about publically.   Maybe if we all agreed to hang the military gangsters who are mass-murdering in Myanmar - it might create the illusion of Global Justice that the world needs to see. 

We are so beset with fraud now - the great fraud of "Climate Change" is just not what matters.   In the Murder/Gulag-states of Asia and the Far East, human life is considered cheap and essentially worthless, while Russia is backsliding into more sad tyranny and political gulagism.  That sh/t is just not compatible with our picture-of-the-world - and people here with IQ's over 3 digits know this - and know what will have to happen.  (GloTherNuWa?)

A degree or two warmer summer won't kill you.  But many other things will... You should really be more concerned about Russian "Novichok" murder schemes being engineered by Putin-spies, Chinese Wuhan-lab weaponization of the "SARS-Cov-2" virus, and/or being shot by an out-of-control, violence-loving American cop or some other juiced-up military-killboy.   Putin is turning into Stalin - except he uses radioactive isotopes and lethal bioagents instead of murder-monkeymen with ice-picks.  (That man has to go now.  I hope Mother-Russia can self-correct and protect herself.   There is no such thing as the "West" anymore.  That is ancient, cold-war history.   The "West" no longer even exists.  Putin is living in the past - like so many out-of-touch old men do.)   China is engaged in an accidental effort to kill the whole world, and America is shooting itself in it's feet - and it's head - as the nutjobs have taken over in Washington,   And all this, while the MSM invents new "stories" about "climate change".  

But what really worries me most - is that the clever Swiss - who used to be among the smartest folks in the world - seem to have forgotten how to be bankers!  This just seems to push the weirdness meter up into the red-zone, for us farmboys here in Canuckistan.    :)

[ Apr. 22, 2021 ] - Sam Scam, the Flim-Flam Man - Everything seems to be turning into a scam.  It is really interesting, from a technical viewpoint. 

All data is suspect, most news is "tailored", "spun", "targeted"  or just outright fake.  Market data pricing from NYSE and CBOE is absolutely cryptic - not only can you *not* get accurate data from the major marketplaces in the USA - you cannot even determine what the true price of the data is!    A little research project into the "VIX" - CBOE's "Volatility Index" has created in us the curious suspicion that the entire VIX-trade in futures and options - is maybe just a bit of a scam.  

The VIX is supposed to be an index derived from the prices of stock-option-contacts that prevail on 300 different S&P 500 stocks.  ("stonks?")   The famous (or infamous?) "Black-Scholes" model is used to reverse-calculate the implied volatility evident in each of the prices for these stock-option contracts on each of the 300 stocks - and an average is then calculated, which is termed the "Volatility Index" - the VIX.  Then, futures and options contracts can be written and traded against this index - which itself is a purely artificial construct that falls out of a particular economic model, which may or may not accurately reflect reality.

The "futures" on the VIX are always in "contango" - which means they trade at a (significant) premium to the so-called "spot" price of the VIX (which is not in fact actually a price at all - you cannot buy or sell at the "spot", because it does not exist.)   It is just an artifact of the calculation methodology applied to the options contracts on the 300 stocks in question.  Do you really need 300 sets of options contracts to calculate the true B-S implied volatility?  No, says current research.  With neural net/machine learning - around 20 or 30 stock-option contract prices is enough.  You don't even need AI - the Central Limit Theorem is probably enough.   Here is a link to an interesting research exercise that demostrates this result (published Feb. 2021):

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2102.02119.pdf

It is impossible to "go long volitility" - without using VIX "futures" and "options" contracts.  But the VIX futures are super-premium priced (since the VIX is - not surprisingly - very volatile), and the options are even worse (you have time decay and skid, and the other "greeks").  The whole thing has the smell of the bogus.   Volatility itself is not an "enemy" - only one side is bad, depending if you are long or short a particular security.   So, even "going long volatility" is a LOT less useful, than just *MANAGING YOUR FUCKING POSITION* as your inner-trader, and Risk Manager might say!    Trading the VIX is great if you want to have some Vegas-style fun - but to hedge against a market meltdown - YOU ARE A HELL OF A LOT BETTER OFF BY JUST MONITORING AND TRADING YOUR ACTUAL POSITION.

The recent puke-fest in the Archegos / Bill Hwang episode demostrated a hard-core example of this.  What happened IS NOT COMPLEX AT ALL.   Hwang was allowed to run a margin account that was roughly 5 to 6 times leveraged - AND DO THIS ACROSS MULTIPLE BROKERS.  Duh!  Do you think that was maybe a tad too risky, given modern market conditions?  ("Fuck, yeah" is I think the right answer here....)

Goldman got out fine - by closing their super-over-leveraged bonehead position quickly.  Hwang failed to cough up the margin - and so out go the "stonks", no further discussions are necessary, nor should be undertaken.  Credit Suisse and Nomura dithered and butt-farted and did the hum and haw thing - and got fucked for billions of USD's.    Oh my.

Clearly:  Ditch the VIX - or use it only as a "meter" to watch to get a sense of market conditions.  It looks like a rather poor hedging mechanism, compaired to the simple requirement of WATCHING YOUR MARGIN and MONITORING AND DUMPING IF NECESSARY YOUR RISKY POSITION.  

I'm rusticated - out on farm, in the middle of the Grand Dutchy of Erehwon -  so I don't have all the data - but it looks like Goldman Sachs and even Morgan Stanley, got out OK, while those who dithered got whacked.

Between 70 and 80 percent of options contracts expire without being exercised.  But the large payoffs possible from "spike events" make YOLO-style trading attractive, and also encourage games to be played by manipulating the price of the underlying security.   And you can only "manipulate" a price, by corrupting the information stream of accurate, truthful data - not by buying or selling.  Buying or selling is what it is.  There is no *manipulation* possible.  You can only "manipulate" prices by assaulting truth and accuracy.

So, as the markets advance, and the complexity and range of derivative instruments increases, we can expect the quality of the information flows to basically turn to shit.

And that seems to be happening everywhere now.   :)

[ Apr. 20, 2021] - Decoupling.- Disconnect from the foolishness.  Go do a little hunting or fishing.   The world is insane - and curiously lethal and astonishingly unwise.   :)

[ Apr. 17, 2021] - Making Money - Usually, when we hear the English expression "making money"  - it means "earning money".   

The right to actually fabricate money, is typically reserved for the King (or Queen) and/or the State.  But of course, this is not always the case.  In prisons and "Concentration" camps, things like eggs and cigarettes can become money.  Money becomes whatever easy, commonly agreed-upon medium folks are willing to accept.

The greatest monetary invention was "paper money".  The first major experiment was carried out in 1720's France, by Scotsman John Law, and the French Royalty - in which they converted a limited amount of gold - into an *unlimited* amount of paper currency.   It was at this time that the word "millionaire" was first coined.  It described a person who achieved a net worth of a million "livre" - the French unit of currency at the time.  

People who do not understand Economics, describe this first French experiment with paper money as a terrible failure which wiped out the savings of many people - both rich and poor alike.  But this is - of course - not correct.  The scheme was spectacularly successful - in that it successfully erased almost all of the crushing French national debt, run up by the previous King Louis in his economy-destroying wars.   (War often defeats two nations - the losing nation that is occupied and subjegated, and the victorious nation, that spends it's wealth engineering a great destruction instead of a great construction.)   It did this by engineering a significant inflation.  It was not just that the debt could be paid-off  with paper banknotes - the inflation ensured that the real value of the payoff was small, compared to it's original value.

John Law's scheme was a great success for the French Royals and other indebted aristocrats.   They paid off their loans with vastly depreciated currency - and kept their land holdings.

Fast forward to now:    Now, it is "digital" money - and it's value is inflating nicely, creating an ever larger group of "billionaires" now.   Some folks have done very well  - and some others may also still benefit in a mighty manner.   But I fear that the coming inflation could create waves of dislocation and destruction.

But perhaps a great deflation - 1930's style - is a greater risk and a much worse evil to have to endure.  So, we have the "Coinbase" IPO.  I think it will go down in history - for better or for worse.

For the fellows who can operate this way - it is a fine and wonderful thing - if you can actually "make money" by direct fabrication - rather than the old-fashioned approach of having to work, or trade something of value to obtain the funds.   This is truly the magic of Economics.  If you can print your own 20-dollar bills, and folks in the wider-world will accept them as payment - well, that is a fine and lovely situation for the printer, yes?

It's like being the USA, and issuing the world's reserve currency.   People accept your notes (or digital book-entries) as payment, and happily squirrel the notes (or datasets) away, believing now that they are wealthy!    And, for a while - history shows - they truly are.    For a while.

[ Apr. 16, 2021] - Ganh the Politicians - A Modest Proposal:  We need to get rid of the Politicians.   Seriously - Biden and Putin need to go - Biden because he is an idiot (sanctions are *really* stupid), and Putin, because he assaults and tries to murder his critics.  Myanmar is in serious need of some immediate airstrikes, and here in Canada, we desperately need a change of Government. 

China needs Democracy - and absolutely everyone there who is a not a made-man gangster-killer knows it.   Instead, the good people are being jailed by the bad people.  This is tragic.

The World is in need of some very *serious* political cleaning.  But sadly, the internet is becoming toxic, dishonest and censored by the astonishing lies of the mainstream media, and the astonishingly abusive actions of the big technology companies.   We are truly all getting screwed by such an impressive constellation of powerful, dishonest and brutal, nasty forces.  As private idividuals, there is so little we can do to oppose this creeping nightmare.

Revolutionary raw may actually really become necessary, it looks like.   This is a curious outcome - quite unexpected.   

Trump obviously appears to have won the election - the massive statistical difference between the "bags of Biden ballots" and the actual, physical true polling that took place on election night at the actual voting stations provide powerful evidence of this. 

But given that folks did not have to provide identification to vote -  the ballots cannot be verified one way or another.  Nothing accurate can really be said about the USA presidential election results.   It's smoke and mirrors - again.    And current attempts to correct the opportunity for election fraud - proper ID-verifications - are being characterized in the mainstream media as racist conspiracy action!   The USA mainstream media is now just ugly, toxic garbage. One can only just give up on it all.  No other alternative is rational.  In Canada, it is even worse - the mainstream media here is like TASS News was in Russia during Soviet times - just a propaganda arm of deep-state dishonesty.  It's a joke.

But business does and can work.  We can live in a good world - IF and ONLY IF - we can have mechanisms to remove the stupid, hostile, ignorant cancerous political operatives that take control of our modern economies - and then start hunting down their enemies and trying to destroy them.   Business is just so different - and it can do a good job.   Commerce requires honesty.  But modern politics is a process of pure deception - a grotesque stench of fraud and lies that pretends to be exactly the opposite of what it actually is.  

Absolutely nothing whatsoever that a "politician" says can be trusted.  It is ALL theatre.   And it is almost always dishonest.   It's just the nature of the process.    All we can do, is create checks, balances and regular, systemic replacement of the filthy political creatures.   Otherwise, they grow absolutely dangerous and toxic - like gasoline put into babyfood.   Nothing really honest or good ever comes from a politician.  A politician creates and enriches himself or herself - using politics.  Government politics is just "office politics" on a bigger scale.  Nothing good results from this.   We all need to recognize this reality.

We have to design new mechanisms where this dance of political foolishness cannot easily happen.   No politician should *EVER* have more than two terms at the top.  And those that try to alter and fiddle and break the rules to become "Presidents for Life" should be subjected to intense and consistent and effective efforts to ensure their removal - by any and all means possible.   Each person has a moral responsibility to understand this and to become part of the process to make this needed change happen everywhere on the planet.

[ Apr. 15, 2021]  - Fun With DIck and Jane - The 1977 original, of course.  Those were such different times.  1977 was just a fu-ooh-ing wonderful year.  I went to Europe in the Summer, to study film-making in England and France ("I see London, I see France - I see Judy's ... (whatever))".   They really were such gentle and generous times - despite the global economy being deep in the dung-dumpster.  If you weren't there in the late "-seventies", you just cannot imagine what a strange time it was - inflation was extreme and quite out of control.  (*seriously* - I did school and work assignments on this, and the summer before, I had *worked* as a CR3 - lowest level clerk possible in Fed-Gov hierarchy - for Trudeau-(ver. 1.0)'s Anti-Inflation Board.  It was hilarious, but helpful.  1976 was a summer of lots of work - but no action at all.  Truly - Hell will be a lot like Ottawa, I suspect.  But I discovered a profession (computational & statistical economics) - and also learned the curious phenomenon where I could be right about something - and yes, everyone else could be rat-arsed, hard-core, wrong.   For a dangerously young kid, that was curious (and rather astonishing) knowledge.    In 1977 - the next year - I resolved to go to Europe - rather than risk another chance of an Ottawa summer.    And in that wonderful year, I learned even much more. 

By 1978, I had to make some money in the Summer - so it was back to Ottawa - and a job in a computer consulting/programming shop which had big contracts with Government Agencies and Ministries.  I found I could program almost effortlessly - since I had an almost idiot-savant's ability to hold multi-dimensional data and procedure constructs in my head almost like the Rain-Man.  (I can't do math worth sh/t - unless I can turn it into visual constructs...). 

It was another Summer of work, and developing a useful profession .  Turned out to be useful skill-set.  I recall meeting some of the early Trudeau-Mafia types that had become cabinet Ministers.  Jean-Luc Pepin was the most interesting - he was really a fine fellow, with the advanced people-skills of a bartender in a biker-bar.  I was honestly impressed.  Those guys knew nothing about economics - but they understood politics the way Smith, Wesson and Colt understood making pistols.

Technology work let me pay the bills.  But it was speculation, that let me get the Farm.  It is *very* difficult to make money - really any surplus wealth - in Canada,  given the abusive and outrageous tax rates that are applied to individuals here.  Most people who plan to take risks to achieve gain, move south to the USA, or leave Canada long enough to earn some real wealth in a tax-free jurisdiction - and then return and buy a house - the only tax-efficient investment option that exists in this country.  Curious.  One wonders what might happen, if we reprogrammed the tax-system, so the top marginal rates were not almost 60%.   Everything is taxed heavily in Canada, and the Canada Revenue Agency has the luxury of doing whatever it wants - until an election and change in Government maybe causes a reset to occur.  Or not.   :)

And I really did use the Grade 1 Reader - "Fun with Dick and Jane."   So the original film that came out in 1977 really was a treat.   It was a time of very bad economics - and very good times.   It's called "Youth", of course.   This is also the title of a Joseph Conrad story - which I highly recommend.    The first time you see Paris - the first girl you have in Paris - it rather stays with you, all mixed together in romantic, nostalgic illusion - even though now, it is just the rattling and switching of old neurons, nothing more than that, really.   Unless you write it down in the ether like this, as you try to trade the wind.    :)  

We all end up at the same Country Club - it's called: "The Graveyard".   I think people who have lived, feel they should leave behind some part of their hard-won knowledge base - and for that, we have the written word.  The modern version is this digital dataset.   I hope in enriches and entertains you.   I would suggest you take risks - but make them intelligent risks.   Ensure you can survive and continue in the game, even if you suffer losses & reversals.  (Because you will!)

That means you must have rules-to-live-by, and one of the best to have is some level where you get "stopped out" - you determine the level.  But it must be at least 50%.   Don't lose your stake.  Don't blow up.  Don't take trades with huge leverage multiples that can kill you overnight.

Be good to those around you.  Respect the law (or try to, at least), and play fair.  But most important of all:  Don't blow yourself up.   Live to fight another day.  Study and work hard, sweat more in training, so you bleed less in battle, and don't be foolish.  But - more than anything:  Do Not Self-Destruct.   That means risk-management and self-discipline.  Took me a while to learn that - but it has paid off, and let us avoid destruction.  The world is a nasty, dangerous place.

We have been lucky - but understand also, the harder you work - the luckier you will get.   :)

[ Apr. 14, 2021]  We Suspect Volatility Will Stay Volatile- But it's a bogus game - suited to risk-junkies.  The Coinbase IPO is curious - and seems to reflect the times.  Nothing wrong with betting at the Horse Races.  Or playing Roulette at Monte Carlo.  If you have big bucks, and want some fun - it's good, clean fun.  It's not that rich people like to gamble - it is that there is little likelyhood of becoming rich in your own lifetime WITHOUT taking big gambles.  It is a data-set phenomenon.  Folks who have become rich - without just inheriting wealth - have taken big gambles typically, and won.  So, they retain a predilection for the process that made them *rich*.  Gambling is deeply addictive - and therein lies danger.

There is a lot of money to be made, selling the small (and also the not so small) puts.  Most options expire worthless.  Also, as option trading becomes more popular ("YOLO" betting), there will almost certainly be a corresponding "dull/spike/fall/dull" cycle to market prices - because that will be the mechanism by which the new, skinny folks (with "skinny" levels of capital), will be successfully "skinned" by the market professionals.   Not everybody runs a "Hedged Fund" (as they were originally called).   Options are leveraged, speculative vehicles, which mostly are crafted to hoover up cash from folks with extra amounts of it.  Anyone crafting "Options Strategies" should read the entire history of "Malachite Capital" in careful detail.  It is very interesting and instructive - basically it was financial "Russian Roulette" - a not-very-good game to play, no matter how much money you make until the final play.

Rarely - and even occassionally -  there are crazy times - when everyone can get goosed and get phat.  This might be one of those times.   But take care how you play.  COIN is trading at $333.81 per share, up $83.81 on the day from it's IPO price, and GME is up $23.75 per share, at $164.74 as I write this.   The VIX - which was 16.71 yesterday, is 17.30 right now (15:35 EDT).  There is a *lot* of money to be made here.  But how much will be kept? 

It is worth studying the mid to late 1300's, after the waves of "Black Death".  People went crazy, and all sorts of wild ideas and behaviours circulated.  And poor folks got rich - if they didn't die.  We are not at that point yet - we are still in the middle of this pandemic thing - so we are not at the real crazy zone yet.  But the data and the historical record - both suggest that it is on it's way.   It might get really weird.   It's already basic-standard weird.

[Apr. 12, 2021]  Volatility is Volatile- Which of course, everybody knows.  But in the last year - it's been *really* volatile.  You can see a chart of it, in the Trading Notes tab.  Using Windows-10 (on the "Gaming Box") to enter this. It has a keyboard that glows with different colours, like Beetlejuice's Whorehouse signboard.  It's really hard to go long volatility, without getting toasted (one way or the other...)  :)

[Apr. 11, 2021]  Nice Day To Vax - We got our Covid-19 vaccines today - able to register yesterday, and found a nearby country clininc today - with some slots available. Thanx to the Starlink high-speed internet link - I navigated the pre-registration website, & the subsequent registration site - and we got registered appointments for today - Sunday! - to get the shot.  A bit of a sore arm, but no other bad effects - it's all good.   We had lovely, sunny warm weather - a nice drive to the little town where the clinic was, and a low-stress process to get hit up with the vaccine serum.

But the crazy-vivid dreams!  The Moderna vaccine seems to maybe be a psycho-active pharmaceutical.  It's not bad - the dreams are not scary or disturbing.  They are simply VIVID.  They are vivid to the point of being medically and neurologically interesting.  Many other folks are reporting this phenomenon also.  It is not a problem - but it is curious.  We know RNA is directly involved with memory formation - so perhaps the mRNA carrier is jumpstarting or boosting something in the brain's neural processing, which is made evident in dream-activity.   Really.  Vivid.  Dreams.    (Note:  The dreams aren't bad - just intense & very detailed.  I literally woke up and google-searched to see if others had reported this curious side-effect.  Many have.)

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2021/03/22/crazy-dreams-covid-19-vaccine/

It reminds me a bit of the viagra development story.   Heart drug has curious side-effect - of lifting the male member to new heights of operation.   Turns into a good product.   If neural function is degraded because of lack of quality, dream-grade needed REM sleep, then maybe an mRNA booster for "high-grade dream sleep" might be a product here.  Vivid dreams are mentally refreshing, not to be feared.    Curious.

[ Apr. 9, 2021 ] Market.  Mark-it!  Mark, It's Over...  - I've made detailed studies of how and why guys (it's always guys)  blow up as traders.   From Jessie Livermore, to the Meriwether's LTCM, to Soro's Victor Niederhoffer, Barings Bank's Nick Leeson, and Société Générale trader, Jérôme Kerviel.  And so many others.   I created a new section - "Trading Notes".   And I have to fix this mess of a blog-hack.  The page is too big, and needs to be re-factored.  :)   (ps.  We are doing well, but researching Hwang's story gives me shivers.  See the Trading Notes sections for comments and notes on the topic of "blowing up".)

We are researching "volatility trading".  Here is a note, from a well-known mag on the subject:

https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b1m6kkzscgqrl0/How-to-Lose-a-Billion-Dollars-Without-Really-Trying

[ Apr. 8, 2021 ] Starlink Access Working Better- The Starlink link to the internet is working better tonite.  It is noticable - and makes a difference in the quality of the user experience,  Streaming radio is staying up and continuous, and it really improves the experience.  

Also, got the Zenmap stuff working nicely on an old 32-bit Linux box - Nmap version 7,40 -  running under Linux and Python, compiled from source  The graphic interface is nice - quite magical, actually.  The Python is an old version 2.5, and the Linux version is a homebuilt Linux with many upgrades to compiler, build-tools and OpenSSL,  I had to fiddle some of the .py files in zenmapGUI and zenmapCore - but  eventually got it to build and run.  There is one default flag for 32-bit code (which prevents long-long defns from kacking the build.  Details later...  Nmap is a good tool, with powerful features.  And the snake is not dead - it's just resting.   :)

[ Apr. 7, 2021 ] Power/Fail at Nite & Star/Crash During Day- Should get some more/better UPS stuff - massive 1-second powerfail last nite, at 4:10am - all off - spike (flash) - all on - except not.  Everything taken down violently and then re-power to the circuits.  We look ok, but we need better isolation/backup for the mains.  Pretty funny.. we just get the internet access working not too bad, and the wired-circuit to the local nuclear-fission plant gets flakey.  Such is life in the country.  Starlink last nite was much better (less dropouts & reconnect).  They sent out an email to subscribers explaining they had a bug, and have installed a fix.  We notice the difference (ie. I ran a streaming radio-playing link via our latest hacked mplayer on an old Linux box - and it ran ok until I switched it off around 2:am)

Dealing with *Fake* data:  I;ve been reading about neural-net "adversarial training" experiments. The idea is you include deliberatly "faked" images which can be mis-classified by image-recognizers - into your training data, to deal with this problem, and make the image-recognizers better - so they don't get *image-hacked* as easily.  Turns out you can make minor pertubations in images, to "fool" the image classifiers - and these tweaks are much smaller changes than random noise. There is nice solid science on this.  Here is an ArXiv copy of a conference paper from 2016:

https://arxiv.org/abs/1611.01236

Fake-data - both crafted and accidental - is an ongoing, never-ending problem in almost every endevour now.  It's not just that people are stupid and cruel - it's they can lie with astonishing creativity, so that misdirection becomes a profound and sometimes lethal problem, as the internet extends their reach, scope and scale.

I'm so enamored with Zenmap, I decided to put an earlier copy on an older Linux box, that runs an earlier Linux kernel (2.26.27).   I used nmap/Zenmap 6.47.  The Linux box has Python 2.5 and Gtk-2.0 as its default O/S Gnome X-windows stuff.  I run a Python 2.7.14, built from source, on the thing - and this home-built version did not have Gtk-2.0 stuff - so no display.  But the "nmap" stuff compiled and installed nicely.

So, since I had Tcl/Tk on the box,  (and I have all the graphics stuff working for other apps)  I changed the box to default-run the older Python 2.5  (just fiddled the softlinks in /usr/local/bin and /usr/bin to reference the original "python" startup script).   But "Zenmap" still would not load.  I could start python (and get the system default version 2.5.x) and could run "import gtk" and it worked - but running "zenmap" would fail with a bug in the *.py script file: zenmapCore/NmapOptions.py. 

The compile/install process for NMAP 6.47 installs the two zenmap directories,  zenmapCore and zenmapGUI, ( the zenmap Python scripts) into /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/.   The fix was just a change to how "functools" was imported.  Line 84 in file /usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/zenmapCore/NmapOptions.py which was:

       from functools import reduce

was changed to:

       import functools

and then zenmap would load ok,  paint the screen with the "Zenmap" GUI image via Python/Gtk-2.0, and everything would run.  (See the image at top, which has annotated network schematic produced by Zenmap and my adding text on the .jpg screen-capture ).

Also - Starlink network access went down from 14:11 Eastern Dailylight Time to exactly 15:00 (3 pm) today.  The Starlink router and satellite internet access came back up by itself, and the Linux gateway box re-connected without problem.  But we were star-crashed (instead of linked!) for over 45 minutes today - right in the critical middle of the day.

[ Apr. 5, 2021 ] More Starlinking...  I wanted to install "nmap" and "Zenmap" on the Linux boxes.  Windows was easy - just get the self-extracting install thing from nmap.org (windows version), and run it an Administrator.  Worked fine.  

But Linux was a trick, since I have a custom Python 2.7 in /usr/local/lib/Python2.7.  When I tried to run "zenmap", Python 2.7 could not find "Gtk-2.0"  ("import gtk"  would just fail.) in Python 2.7 with "could not find gtk".   Here is a solution, if you are running a custom built Python 2.7, not in /usr/lib/Python2.7.

On Linux 64-bit machines, you will have pycairo, gobject and glib already installed in /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages.  The version of Python2.7 will be 2.7.5 probably (run it with /usr/bin/python and it will show version number).   I run a Python 2.7.14, built and installed in /usr/local/lib/python2.7.  If you type "python" at command line, you get that one.  But it won't have gtk-2 installed, and all the dependencies. 

In order to leave the system version unchanged, I copied over (and used "pip install") to put the Gtk-2.0 stuff into my custom Python 2.7.   (Note: You CANNOT install gtk-2.0 for Python 2.7 using pip or by building it from source, because of dependency loops and conflicts.  It is pretty silly - but it flat out will not work.  But modern Linux distros come with Python 2.7 and Gtk-2.0 pre-installed, so best solution is just to replicate that stuff over into your custom Python 2.7, if you are running one.)    I had to do this:

    1) install pycairo, using pip.  (all this from CentOS-7 CLI)

         pip install pycairo   (this should install to the default Python 2.7.14 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7)

    2) cd  /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages    (create the directories, and copy from lib64)

            mkdir glib 

            cd glib    (pwd should show: /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/glib )

            scp -r /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/glib/* .    (note the "dot"! )

            cd ..    (your back at python2.7/site-packages )

            mkdir gobject

            cd gobject

            scp -r /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/gobject/* .    (note the "dot"! )

            cd ..    (your back at python2.7/site-packages )

            mkdir gtk-2.0

            scp -r /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages/gtk-2.0/* .     (note the "dot"!)

            cd ..   (back to /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages )

     3) copy over these four gtk-2 files from /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages over to /usr/loca/python2.7/site-packages directory. 

             pygtk.pth

             pygtk.py

             pygtk.pyc

             pygtk.pyo

      4) You should be able to now run "zenmap" from cmd-line, assuming you have compiled and installed it.   You might want to run it as root, in  order to have it be able to aggressively scan your machines, but it will work from a non-root account.  I think I had to install "pycairo", using "pip install pycairo" at this point, but installing pycairo first should still work, I believe.  (You can read the manuals and websites for PyGtk to see what all the bits and pieces of Python+Gtk are.  It basically is all the Tcl/Tk stuff wired-up to Python 2.7, so you can have sophisticated, conformable graphics - which work cross-platform - ie. on  Windows-10, MacOSX and every flavour of Linux.   It's bloody wonderful stuff, despite the painful hot-mess of dynamic complexity.

             zenmap  

      5) I built "nmap" and "zenmap" from source, using tarball:  nmap-7.40.tar.bz2, from nmap.org.  here are the install instructions, from that site:

            https://nmap.org/book/inst-source.html

The build works well, but you must have a Python with a properly configured Gtk-2.0 software suite, to run "Zenmap".  For modern 64-bit Linux boxes, the glib and gobject and gtk-2.0  packages are in /usr/lib64/python2.7/site-packages, which is bloody confusing, since there are also Python2.7 packages in /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages directory - just NOT THE glib, gobject and gtk-2.0 stuff!  Hope this helps!

Everyone who operates a LAN needs "nmap" and "Zenmap".   It is a basic requirement.  We should be able to view and inspect and check each of our machines on a local network, as easily as we can list files on a desktop box, and check whether they have read-only, or read-write status.     (Now, I have to get it to work on the Macbook with OSX and it's pee-lists...)  :)

[ Apr. 1, 2021 ] Data Days of Spring - Syntax highlighting is distracting - not helpful.  This actually is true, but is not immediately obvious.  Less information is sometimes more actionable and helpful - if it is the right information.  Our brains are what they are - devices for seeking & solution sifting, easily misled and interrupted.

Beta-test report:  Starlink wins the "Great GEMESYS Network Fly-Off".   This is not an April Fool.  (I am the April Fool, since I paid the Xplornet invoice last week!)   Xplornet has just GONE DOWN again, and Starlink - even with it's annoying occasional 20-to-30 second satellite re-connect latency - wins and wins with a solid score of *usable for making money*.  We bought a truckload of stock yesterday, and today, ye old Stonk Market is flying high.   We have been able to do this stuff, because Starlink reaches the "good-enough" level.   Not great, but "good enough for the Boys in the Bush".   :)  (See the report by our Robert Borden Committee, in the top image on this site.)

[ Mar. 31, 2021 ]  Going Dark & Staying Light - It's all going dark, it seems.   Information sources, data-feeds, academic documents & articles, even Google Search - it's all just *going away*, and being replaced by curious crap. 

We are seeing a systematic and co-ordinated information degradation and outright data-source removal across most domains now.  The open internet began dying around 2015 it seemed, and the process of "contrived obfuscation" now seems to be reaching a fever-pitch.  Everything contains an element of a trick or a scam or a dishonest "nudge" towards the obviously-fabricated.  It's not just "fake news" - it's a like a "Confederacy of Deception" seems to have been quietly born - perhaps by virtue of the application of modern neural-research results.

Providers of  "content"  (what a curious weasel-word that means nothing) have an obvious motivation to deliver "content" that induces you to behave in a manner that benefits the "content provider".   This is a pretty basic axiom of human behaviour - people act in their own self-interest, and will say (and even believe) what benefits themselves...  But this simple observation has been turned into a solid science of manipulation now, on the internet. 

It's getting weird.  It's like, all the data-sets are full of worms.  It used to be about retail:  eg. "bricks versus clicks" - but now, it's just "truth versus tricks".   Except "truth" got tired, and left the building.  You don't get a "bottomless bowl of soup" anymore - you get a "bottomless bowl of poop".     :)

But the combo net of Starlink and Xplornet - seems to provide a chance to get a real-time picture of things, that is not degraded by network failure.   We did some messing about on the markets today, and it seems to be feasible.   And Radio Caroline can be streamed OK on Xplornet, even if the data-rate is slow.  Once radio-stations can be streamed on Starlink, we will know is it finally working.   :)  

Also, funny thing is - the darkness of the news services is maybe not a bad thing.  I find - in all honesty - news has *never* - not once, not even one single time - ever made me any money.

Radio Caroline is *very* nice, because it has *no news*.  It is a pleasure to listen to.  And the "Mellow Show" (which is aired in the UK at night) comes on here at dinner time.  California wine from old vines, real-time UK "Pirate" radio, and Oka cheese from Quebec.  The other really good things have to stay private..  :)    What we find that is curious, is that as you dial back the noise, you can actually dial up both the quality and the results..

[ Mar. 30, 2021 ]  Hwang Dang Doodle - "Contracts for Difference"?   Jeezuz, guys, are you quite insane?  This is hilarious - (I'm talking to the brokers here...).   Mr. Hwang was just doing an obvious thing - if his broker-counterparty is dumb enough to let him do it.  If your gonna play big - your gonna run the risk of *losing* big.  But this guy was smart enough to keep the *blowup* risk mostly with his brokers. 

Hilarious.   Boom.  Another one bites the dust.   It's not the wonkers at Reddit that will hurt you, it's when the "whales" explode - that's when the stinky rotting mess splatters on everyone.   And this guy was a god-believer, too.  Maybe he should have bought a pair of those "Satan Flying Shoes" those dark-side boys in New York are selling.  (Those "Satan Nikes" are over 1000 US dollars a pair!   Mephisto is getting rich, I guess.    But rich god-boy will find that he has to go thru that Needle's Eye with the camels - isn't that the storyline?    What a planet. )

Meanwhile, I understand some scientists have actually, successfully created operational, cellular replicating - LIFE, using artificial methods.    Move over, God, you abusive low-achiever!  You finally got some real competition!  :)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2021.03.008

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2272899-artificial-life-made-in-lab-can-grow-and-divide-like-natural-bacteria/?utm_campaign=RSS%7CNSNS&utm_source=NSNS&utm_medium=RSS&utm_content=news

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(21)00293-2?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867421002932%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

[Research Note: Starlink vs. Xplornet] - Getting strange results - but Xplornet, even with its slow (2 to 2 mbps download speeds) is more reliable and useful for online-trading, and listening-to (or monitoring) online streaming services.  Starlink is just not usable - every 15-20 minutes (or much for frequently, we are noticing currently) - the network simply "goes away" - for periods of time between 20 seconds and 2 minutes.  This is probably a satellite dropping below the horizon-of-access, without a fast-switch taking place to another bird.   This causes the buffer to bleed dry, if streaming (regardless of buffer-size, which is curious).  It also degrades a real-time quote feed and screen, and introduces problematic behaviour if a drop-out occurs at the time of trade-entry. (With flakey Xplornet, I once ended up with a double-position.  Once I figured out what had happened, I just sold the extra part - and took a tiny loss.  I think I earned points with my online-broker, since I didn't whine about it, just indicated it was my fault, and paid to correct it myself.)

There are also latency problems (browser-initiated screen updates taking 10 to 15 seconds) on our trading application - which is supplied by a major Canadian Bank.  It is now served as a "cloud app" by IBM Canada, apparently, and it has *always* been awful and slow and crappy and problematic, so the latency there may not be network-related.

All in all, our internet access still sucks, truth be told.  Starlink works ok with Youtube, as the algo there does downloading in "big chunks", as it is *not* real time.  But Real-Time streaming videos - even in Youtube - seem to cause Safari to crash (on an iPad-2), as well as causing choppy (interrupted) Youtube video playback.  Starlink has fast download speed, but it is -- so far --  basically not usable with a real-time streaming service.  Running a custom-built, buffer right-sized, modified and tuned  "mplayer"  (which works all day on Xplornet, as long as Xplornet does not go offline), simply cannot be made to work on Starlink - even for streaming radio - for more than 10 or 15 minutes.  It interrupts and then crashes, and even manages to generate a curiously awful scrambled data-feed sometimes (which sounds really strange..).

I will publish graphics of network thru-put, which show the nature of the Starlink drop-outs.   More satellites are needed.   And this must happen *quickly*, if Starlink is to be successfully positioned as a premium service.   

We understand this is a beta test and that it should get better.  We are happy to have Starlink, and we feel Starlink as it is now, is a good start.  (Reminds me of that old joke, about a hundred dead lawyers at the bottom of Lake Ontario...Q:  What do you call that?   A:  A good start.)   One of our neighbours (next concession road over), was a founder of RIM.  The guys who trenched in my Bell land-line wire from the road to the farm-house, indicated he paid seven figures to have a fibre-line run from the nearby city, to his farm.   The cost, apparently, was mostly for the special hardward (the road-ditchside big digger and fibre-spooling device).  

You have to have fast internet now, or you don't exist.  Without 'net access, you are digitally dead.  Curious times.  Nobody told me there'd be days like these.   :)    (Yoko Ono is 88 years old now, and is unwell.  We wish her well.   I saw her "Yes" art exhibit at Ontario Art Gallery, back in the 1990's.  It was really good.   She was a serious and influential artist, in her own right.   She and John changed the world - and good for them.)

[ Mar. 29, 2021 ] Running in Parallel - Anyone remember this concept?  From the days when people actually tested computer programs and technology platforms, before releasing them to the public?   :)

We are running in true parallel with Xplornet Wi-Max link and Starlink satellite link.  We are running two almost-identical LInux boxes, connected to the same real-time data service.  We are noticing curious and serious differences.

[ Mar 26, 2021 ] Digital Islands Rockin' in the Stream - hacking some code on a Linux-box to get a nice, working real-time radio music stream, now that we have a real internet link.  Streaming - in a smooth, not-choppy / not-broken manner - is still difficult.  We are trying to design and fabricate a solution which involves *removing* cruft, gunk and bloat from the software stack, rather than adding to it.   We have a prototype which is working reasonably well - and when it works, it is goddamn nice, with remote control on an iPad.   It was working good for a while, but then a buffer-overran or some sort of gnarly sequencing error, made the radio stream sound like a drunken garage band being mixed down by a guy on serious pharma - pieces of the stream all  out of sequence.. like an old analog turntable when the whole room starts skanking and resonating the house, making the needle jump to random grooves.    :) 

[ Mar 25. 2021 ] Starlink Working Well Today - Blinding speed, and reliable operation.  We've bought another router, reconfigured some stuff, and we can toggle a CentOS Linux box using software, between the two networks now.  Useful, and lets nice apples-to-apples/oranges-to-orange speed tests be run.   Starlink is a *major* improvement, if uptime reliability is obtainable.   We like having it.   A lot.

[ Mar 24-PM, 2021] Windows-10 - Arrrrrgh! -  Windows-10 did an *update* of the EDGE Windows browser last nite!  It shut down and rebooted the P/C and nuked all my Firefox pages, on which I had various critical stuff I was looking at.   

Also, the unrequested install re-configured the machine to use the Nvidia "Advanced" sound-board - except it is HDMI output only! - so I am using the on-board Realtek card for sound, and the EDGE update JUST TURNED IT OFF  - took hours to put the machine back into operation  as we want it - the box is patched thru to a strereo system, via a plug/jack output connection.

It's comical:  Windows updates the machine - I finally get it working again - open some webpages, try to turn on Radio Caroline - and I get..... < ** THE SOUND OF SILENCE ** >.

Not the Paul Simon tune - just no audio!

So, we have a major project to fix this crap - tweaks for Firefox to work right (and not show annoying running videos - adverts and mouth-yapper journalists that no one wants to see.  (Fix: media.autoplay.default - setting is 1 to play videos, but without sound, change it to 5 so it requires user to press button to play, the obvious preferred operation).

I wanted to use gpedit and the secpol.msc programs to prevent automatic "delivery" of MIcrosoft "content", and I eventually got this configured (I think) - but the slimy pronks at Microsoft have DISABLED GPEDIT and SECPOL.MSC on the crippled "Windows-10 - Home Edition" that came with the MSI Intel box!   

The install of new EDGE was nasty - it forced a machine reboot, and upon login, tried to force me into a setup/login process for this piece of digital cancer.   This sort of abusive monopolist nonsense should be illegal.   It's the moral equivalent of using a laser to display a billboard on your car's winshield as you are driving down the highway.  It's just nasty.

You can enable the gpedit and secpol.msc programs you need to prevent "Microsoft.Content" application from AUTOMATICALLY installing software on your machine, with the "gpedit-enabler.bat" program, which you can download, and then run - AS AN ADMINISTRATOR - from "Cmd" line shell.    Once "gpedit" and "secpol.msc" are available, you can configure a local security policy to DENY the Microsoft nasty "content delivery"  program  (which is great for downloading viruses onto your machine!) from auto-installing ANY code at all.

Folks need to understand that this *constant update* nonsense is all about a long-term process whereby these major technology enterprises, are basically taking background control of your machine, so they can automatically engineer the behavioural responses that will given them further wealth and power.   It's just business - and a very good & profitable business it most certainly is.  What is ugly, is how tightly connected this sort of technology now is to the behavioural results that State authorities want to see. 

The telemetry features on a modern WIndows-10 box, show roughly the same level of user-action-data uploading as Apple devices typically demonstrate.   Everything you do, every website you inspect, the data you download, and the communications activity you engage in, all seems to be uploaded to active monitoring services. 

It's just the business model.  And the Governments LOVE this, since they have the spy agencies just hoover up all the traffic, and are thus able to show detailed meta-graphs of who is talking to whom, over any time-slice.   It's pretty astonishing. 

I will describe in detail, the steps I took to *try* to disable Microsoft AUTO Install of toxic software APPs from these curious people.   One creates a "Security Policy" using "secpol.msc" which acts to DENY access to the Microsoft Content Delivery application. We think this might work.  It depends on how many "backdoors" Microsoft has built into it's latest Window-10 build.

We need to have stable machine technology operation here - and if the software on the platform changes each night, then we are not able to make any valid statements about reliability of any related component or system or say anything meaningful about system operational characteristics.

It's astonishing that the world is trying to be run this way.   This is just abusive and perhaps is a result of some kind of strange social madness.  The fools in charge don't see what is happening, and the truly evil political control-folks who want to engineer dishonest social results, look at this mass monitoring sh/t like a dog looks at a raw steak...  they are just salivating.    :(

[ Mar 24, 2021 ] - Starlink Down this AM  - Like the Vampire Weekend song, "Harmony Hall" - a problem ends, and another one begins.  We woke this AM to NO NETWORK - this time Starlink had failed.  It had gone offline, and was not smart enough to re-connect by itself.  This is very disappointing.  This is the way Xplornet was working for the last several months - no information or diagnostics - only option is to shutdown and then re-power everything.  This is - let me be VERY CLEAR here - completely NFG - NO  Fvery  Good.  

If the failure was due to new software being downloaded into the Starlink router, then the download/update process needs to at least indicate the need for a re-boot.   It could auto-trigger the reboot.  But then that would be similar to the ugly little web-server that Intel chips have inside and on-board themselves -  (Intel's AMT nonsense).   This is a very  dangerous security hole, of course.  The correct approach might be to offer DIAGNOSTIC information on the Starlink equipment, so users can actively manage their hardware.

The user, at the pointy end of things should NOT HAVE TO REGULARLY REBOOT HIS EQUIPMENT ALL THE TIME, just to keep some badly-written software working.   If this is needed, then YOUR CODE IS POOR - AND THE CORRECT SOLUTION IS TO FIX THE CODE.  

The network should be able to remain operational, and re-connect by itself, without a complete shutdown and restart of the head-end earth-station equipment.

Starlink Beta Test:  Starlink net went completely offline this AM, as of 8:04 AM EST.  System stayed down for over an hour.  We powered off all Starlink hardware, re-powered, and it reconnected.  Latency very is high today - several seconds for a DNS query & ping.  Looks and feels like serious traffic overload issue, but unclear what the problems is.  We purchased another wireless router yesterday (ASUS RT-N12 Wireless-N300), configured it,  and are now running a Linux box in parallel on Xplornet wi-max, which seems to be working well.  We need active redundancy here, it looks like.

We now have three active Wi-FI networks - a new one on Xplornet via the Asus RTN12, our orginal Wi-Fi via a Linksys router, and the Starlink Wi-Fi router, which supplies DHCP address, to any wireless device.    The Wi-Fi stuff all seems to work well.   We hope that someday, the wi-max and satellite internet services might also work without routine opertional failure.

On-board diagnostics on local hardware, goes a long way to address the frustration that end-users feel.   Those lights on the wireless routers not only indicate system operation - but also the rate and characteristics of network data throughput.   The Starlink router offers the user no information other than a single red-light/white-light, indicating operational status.

And as there are no instructions or information on how to get any traffic statistics or other information from the device, this means we are kept in the dark, which is unfortunate and unhelpful.  This means we are unable to diagnose - or correct -  connectively issues, such as the complete failure of the Starlink network we experience this morning.   

No on likes to have the wool pulled over their eyes.  We reject this trend towards ofuscation and information-hiding.   Openness and full disclosure is better unless we are actively at war.  :)

[ Mar 22, 2021 ] - The Crazy Years - This was Heinlein's term from one of his "Future History" scenarios.   We are in the future now, and it really is crazy.   The big banks in USA land, will soon be forced to *turn away* large deposits, in order to keep on-side with the artificial picture of their *risk* that the Regulators look at.   Banking regulation is basically insane now, characterized by a rat's nest of conflicting rules and fictional "stress tests" that don't even test for the most critical risk we are certain to face - rapid-onset hyper-inflation. 

The next Econ-storm on the horizon will happen the end of this month, when the "supplementary leverage ratio" restrictions (a Fed-rule that counts deposits the big banks have with the USA central-bank, and Treasury bills as "risky capital")  will be re-applied (they were relaxed for Covid-19 liquidity concerns).   Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPM has suggested that this may require JPM to turn away large institutional deposits, to keeps it's leverage-measures onside.

This, of course, is madness.  Scenario: Big-Money-Company-Dude: "Hello, Mr. Banker, I have a billion US D's for ya!   Whoo hoo."    Banker-Guy: "Great... Except the new rules mean that if I take your money - and even buy USA Government Bonds with it - the regulators here will KICK ME TO THE CURB with a bigger "leverage" number.  So, I can't take your money."   Big-Money-Dude: "Man, that is just #%&$ing insane!"    Banker-Guy: "You are so right.   We are not happy.   But we now seem to have curious folks in charge of things."   Big-Money-Dude:  "Wow.  We're all screwed now, aren't we."    Banker-Guy: "Yeah, pretty much..."

As John Lennon said: "Strange days indeed."

[ Starlink update:  Beta Test results:]  Today, it has gotten weird.  The wheels seem to have fallen off the Starlink satellite service - big latency much of the time (we're talking *regularly* 20 to 30 seconds - like every 5 to 10 minutes) - this is not a satellite dropping below the horizon, this is just a *slow network*.   When we run "ping" to local servers (University of Waterloo, for example) or even google.ca, we are getting 10 to 15% DROPPED PACKETS!   This is atypical - but it has been so consistant today for several hours now, that I am running an experiment: 

I took one of the 64-bit HP Linux boxes (running CentOS-7.4), changed it from static IPv4# to a DHCP (automatic IP# 192.168.xxx.yyy), with automatic route for gateway) and confirmed the Xplornet modem/transponder is still operating.   I plugged the Xplornet PoE brick output RJ-45 ethernet cable directly into the Linux box's ethernet port.   Ran a speed test (the Ookla one)   (https://www.speedtest.net) and got download speed of 3.94 mb/s, and upload of 0.89 mb/sec. 

The Xplornet folks throttle the connection brutally, but it's latency today is not bad  (immediate response to ping requests, and 50 to 60 millisec reported) - basically the same as Starlink - when Starlink is actually working.

This is curious - but this is what Beta-Testing is all about.  The Xplornet server is reported as Kingston, Ontario.   The Xplornet link is *slow* - but it's typically operational, since we have done the re-aiming (at our cost).   The CentOS Linux box, directly connected, gives good, low-latency access, without  Given the general flaky-ness of the Starlink connection today it looks like we are going to be "running in parallel" for a while.  We will keep Xplornet as a backup, at least for a while, until Starlink stablizes with better business-hours latency.  This constant 20 or 30 second rolling latency is just not acceptable for real-time, mission critical work.

Here's a simple trick, to monitor network action AND keep the data:  Open two xterm windows, and in one, ping a site every two or three minutes, and pipe results to a file,  Then, in the other window, run "tail -f <filename.txt>" to see the action as it occurs.  Eg:

    In xterm window-1:    ping somesite.com -i 120 >> pingdata.txt   (run a ping to somesite.com every two minutes, put results into a text file)

    in xterm window-2:    tail -f pingdata.txt     (This will show ping results in the window, as responses are appended on the file)

[ Mar. 20, 2021 ] - Music Please - Just love this track... so good:...  "Into Action", 2009, Hellcat Reords...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVYD1D62VDk

Twist the dial, and we get: The Dead South (named after what a northern travelling boy's compass vector displays on the panel).  Fine tunesmithing, nicely executed. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9FzVhw8_bY

[ Mar. 19, 2021 ] - Typical Country Weather- It gets crazy here in the Spring.   I look out the front window, and 6 full grown deer are running in my neighbour's field, across the highway.  These are *wild* deer - moving around like little race-horses.   It's sunny - and with the bright, spring-shine sun, the wildlife gets a bit rutting-nutty (the English expression is actually "Mad as a March Hare"). 

[Here is quick link to "The Interrupters: On a Turntable" (Good performance at  91X Phaser Studios in San Diego)]:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_VunvUmM7Y

The deer are literally "gambolling" like spring lambs (running about and acting frisky, just for the pleasure of the action).  One can Google "gambolling lambs" - and note that the: "Gambolling Lambs, Kells Monastry, County Kilkenny, Ireland", on Overstock, is completely sold out. 

Been trying to buy some equities all week - no frcking chance - just hilarious - put in a bid, and Mr. Brightside comes in an front-runs everybody.  He didn't get the girl - but he seems to have made up for it, by becoming a nano-second trader, and getting crazy rich.   :)

Trying to figure out how I missed the whole Ska/Punk scene, 12 years back.  And then the penny drops, and I remember - the flipping "Financial Crisis" - really the "Great Housing Market Fraud-driven Crappy-Bonds Implosion Enabled by Bogus Models Doofus Crash" might be a better name.  I seem to recall losing most of my money, and sitting shell shocked at a wonderful combination Starbucks/bookstore (which has since closed down) - and then making it all back.   Very educational experience, and almost repeated in March of 2020.    O Tempora/ O mores - oh shit.   All work and no play, makes Jack (and me!) fucking stupid.   Jack wised-up and they all moved to Cali, but I am still here in Zona Stupidica.

My best trades are "long idea" trades - they pretty much work.   But this buy-and-hold and collect dividends - it is the path to losing all your money and being an old poor fucker living in a trailer-park in Florida on a government pension.   (Nothing wrong with that, maybe.   Those folks probably get more action than old Dr. Darkbak up here does... )   :)  

Insane world.  Too long in quarantine, maybe.  Need to do some gambolling - instead of gambling.   I hate quad-witching day.  I keep whiffing, despite easy pitches.   And that simple 1 hour time change thing seems to ramp up what is already a confusing time of year.   (Fall forward, and spring back?  Or Spring Out? )

Covid-19 Trudeau-Driven Death News:  (Can we get a new Federal Government, please?)

Covid-19 is running rampant now in Ontario, where we live.  In all of Ontario, we have less than 15 million people.  We also have a bio-technology industry, which I know a tiny bit about.  We should have vaccinated EVERY ONTARIO CITIZEN by now.   One gets the impression that our Federal Government is DELIBERATLY WITHHOLDING VACCINES which could be administered in Ontario, where Canada's major city is located, and where the economic engine basically is.

Our Premier in Ontario, Doug Ford, has made it clear we could have done 9 million people already - but instead - there is virtually NO VACCINE AVAILABLE (except for doctors!).  Folks in Ontario are starting to get really PISSED OFF at the dishonest & incompetant Federal Liberal sock-tuckers.  (Ya all know "Sock-Tuckers", right?   They get your tax money, and they tuck it into Liberal socks.   They tuck-sock real good, those Liberal boys...)

We got 1745 new Covid-19 cases *today*,and 10 more deaths.   Here is the picture of the "Third Wave", in Ontario, as of today; March 19th, 2021 (See URL for CBC news story below):   

Note how much WORSE the curve is now than it was last year.

The CBC has actually started reporting Ontario details, instead of data-hiding and acting as a Government shill for the sock-tucking Liberals bastards in Ottawa.   Maybe it might be time for classical "revolution".  We need change AND WE NEED IT NOW! - before the new variant of the Covid thing, starts to kill young people with speed, EXACTLY LIKE THE 1918 "Spanish Flu" was able to do - with the cranked-up cytokine-storm that causes your lungs to fill with your own fluid.  You literally drown in your own saliva, and it happens FAST and BEST in people with YOUNG, HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEMS.

Finally, the curious folks in our medical system are starting to catch on to this critical dataset of lethality information.  The 1918 Flu killed the young and the healthy the quickest and most effectively.  The science behind this is now WELL UNDERSTOOD, and the bio-evoluation of the Covid virus was predicted by many researchers.  Here are the charts for today.  Double-plus ungood, guys.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/covid-19-ontario-march-19-2021-pharmacy-vaccines-1.5956094

The Pfizer vaccine is best (mRNA is a better carrier than a damn cold virus), but any vaccine is better than NO VACCINE AT ALL, and an awful, unnecessary death by pneumonic drowning.    Ford and the Ontario Government is doing what it can.  We might get some access to some vaccine next week.  Maybe.  BUT THIS IS NO THANX TO THE ALMOST-CRIMINAL PALACE-DWELLERS IN OTTAWA, who have BOTCHED BADLY Canada's response to the Covid crisis.  We are at last place in the world of advanced nations, in our vaccination rollout.  Many who did not need to die, will die because of this.

Many analysts quietly (and not-so-quietly) suspect that Trudeau *WANTS* a painful crisis here, because those politically shrewd Liberals know they can successfully milk the crisis to advance their corrupt and dishonest legislative agenda - and retain power.       This is just ugly, nasty wrong.  There entire approach has been just bad-wrong.

These are curiously nasty times, my friends.    We need change, and we need it NOW.

[ Mar. 18, 2021 ] - What's Your Plan for Tomorrow? - The discovery continues.  Good music is not dead.   Let's Get Moving, Into Action.  Wise, wise advice.

"The Interrupters"  (without interruption.  Kinda ironic, yes?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bzYctW0zjk

We are enjoying the Starlink bandwidth.   Youtube seems to work surprisingly well - multiple sessions are possible - almost like having "fibre to the home".    Moving the DIsh out further on the roof (more sky area), seems to have improved satellite capture and tracking.

Here is Tim Armstrong (of "Rancid", but on his own, circa 2009).  This might be the best piece of music+visual/pop-cultural art of the 21st century, so far.   It's like Roy Lichtenstein set to a back beat.  It's like it dropped into a temporal rift, and got flung here into the future.  So much now is crap.  This is not.  This is just a perfect little gem of genius-perfection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVYD1D62VDk

[ Mar. 17, 2021 ] - Starlink is Like a Canadian Woman - Good, Fast, But a Bit Chunky.. :) - Doubtless, this comment would get me in trouble if I was a Company Man, or even a New York Governor!    (Good gracious, why is it going so weirdly gruesome in USA land?   A guy can send in the Drones to murder and kill the innocent, and *nobody* cares, but let some political day-glow guy pinch a ladies bottom or two, and even his *own* Party-people start howling for his head?   Insane...  Quite insane.   O Tempora, O Mores.  ... )

Anyway, it is going from just plain silly-strange to outright insane-crazy, everywhere. 

But the technology is better, no question.   We are Beta "Star-Linked" now, and this is good.  See top photo-comments for details...   and Happy St. Patrick's Day.   Play a little "Drop Kick Murphys" or maybe some "Flogging Molly", and have a Guiness.   But it's tough to drink with a face-mask on...  Ok, Here's Flogging Molly at the Hollywood Palladium, LA, St. Patrick's Day, 2019 - not a face mask in sight!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLaFcfHYsgI

[ Mar. 16, 2021 ] - StarLinking & Digital Plinking
- Lots of tests.  First setup the Starlink Disk on the lawn, confirmed it all worked, and then moved it all to the roof.  I cut holes in walls and roof of house with old hand drill in order to route in the cable from the roof to the office, and it all looks to be working.  Speed tests show everything from 82 mpbs download speed, to more typical 10 to 17 mbps down, and 4 to 7 mbps up.  Not too bad.  Not bad at all.    :D

Some issues with loss of signal pretty regularly, which require reload/re-fresh of browser page, if watching streaming video.   But we can have two streaming video signals running - ie. two different Youtube channels, or NHK and a Youtube real-time streaming video.   And then we can add a third, and it seems to work.   Except when it doesn't - and then, even a single ping won't  work.  But when it does *not* work - it's like tropical weather - just wait a moment or two - and it will work again soon - usually in less than a minute.   More details soon...

Anyone monitoring this:   Can I get the Starlink monitoring app running on an Android phone or an Android tablet?  Ping me an email via the contacts menu s.v.p. and enlighten me & ELI'm5.  Thx.

[ Mar. 15, 2021 ] - Ad Astra, Thanx to Elon - I was literally in the shower - suddenly, dogs barking - and Fed-Ex hath arrived!   OMG - Saints be Praised!  I look out on the front porch, and their is a great, grey *monolith*.   It is the Starlink DISH!   Est Est Est!   

But StarLink looks like a fine and good thing.   Now, I get to be Beta-Boy, and see if the thing works.   My expectations are high, and the purchase of the new fast MSI box, suddenly looks so very wise and prudent.   We shall see if this Brave New World can link-up as it all should. 

"Gentlemen - We can rebuilt him.   We have the Bandwidth!"

[ Mar. 14, 2021 ] - Dragon Breathless - In a fit of madness, I bought a Gaming P/C.   If ya can't beat 'em, ya gotta join 'em.   Wise old country philosophy...    I scored a MSI Infinite Series A level 915, with a respectable Pentium 2.9 ghz, 64-bit core i5 processor-cluster, a 250 gb SSD drive, a 1-terabyte HDD, 8 gb, and an Nvidia GTX 1660 which outputs in HDMI and an HDMI monitor which I also added..   The harsh part is the Windows 10 - version 1909, which has functionality removed, and is frustrating to set up.  But we have the science running on it, and it create nice graphics.

I had to use "scp -r " option to get all the old files over from the a WIn-XP/SP3.  Just did the update to Firefox 78 ESR, and I am using it to key this.   Will config it for dual boot to a Linux also - but not today.

This machine is so much faster than the HP boxes, it is wild.  The keyboard is a "gaming keyboard" with the most wonderful key-click tactile nature - and it lights up, like a big rainbow over a cathouse, which is so hilarious...  The box  is by MSI (MIcro Star International) - outta Taiwan.   It is nicely built, and runs cool and fast.    

Once Windows-10 is up and actually running - with Firefox - the thing does work.  It was a frustrating project - but I am very behind the times re. Windows.   I prefer Linux, but this thing was a simple OTBE config (Out of The Box Experience) for setup, and I was lucky it could not find my network, so I have all local accounts ( the only sane way to set this up).   

I have pages of notes, I will post here.  You get the needed icons on the desktop with right-click of mouse on desktop, select "Personalize", then select "Themes", then select on screen right, there is a tiny option for "Desktop Icon Settings", under "Related Settings".  There, you can click-to-toggle all the missing icons (for "This PC", "<username>", "Network", and "File Explorer" and "Control Panel", which you will want to have.

Also, if you want to change your Workgroup setting from something other than "WORKGROUP", the only thing that will work, is to run PowerShell, in an elevated (ie. Administrator level), and at the PS prompt, enter: Add-Computer -WorkGroupName "<group-name>" .   Nothing else will work. 

Also, if running "Cmd" or Powershell as the Administrator (left click with mouse on icon to get the pop-up menu that allows "Run as Administrator" to be selected), you will likely need to re-define your mapped server drive letters, using this trick:

       C:\mydir\ >  net use X: \\<server-name>\mydir

and this will let the administrator-level program see your mapped drives. 

You use the "Map Network Drive" option in the "This PC" icon program, to map a directory letter (ie. "X:") to your files on whatever box you are using as a file server.  You might need to tweak SMB-1  (Samba version 1.0) on the Win-10 box, on so this can work.

Also:  If you want to activate the actual "Administrator" account (which  is difficult, because  programs like "lusrmgr. msc" and "compmgmt.msc" and even "control userpassword2" will report "This snapin may not be used with this edition of Windows 10".  Oh my.), you will have to use this trick, run from a "Cmd" shell running as Adminitrator:

       net user administrator /active:yes

       net user administrator *       (This will let you set an Administrator password)

And once you have the Administrator account unlocked and setup, then you can run Powershell as an Administrator, and set your Workgroup value to your local LAN's setting.  None of the other approaches documented on the internet, worked for me, except this trick.  Most curious.

Microsoft just wants you to buy a proper copy of "Windows 10 - Professional", so they partially cripple this "Home Edition" version, it appears.  That seems just wrong, to my way of thinking.   But such are the times...     :)

I am happy to have a "fast machine".   It really flies.

Now, if Elon can just send me that damn "Starlink" dish, so I can radio-net-link to his satellites,  then I will just be smiling and playing Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" all day...  :D

[ Mar. 13, 2021 ] - vST - very Strange Times - A curious mixture of the fine and the awful, mixed with the truly delightful, and the horrifically tragic...  

But we really are fortunate to be out on the farm.   The old "Back to the Land" trade, which almost everyone disagreed with back 20 years ago, when I first suggested it, has turned out to be a pretty damn good decision.  It's nice here, and we are productive, if not exactly profitable.

Spring is coming, and the usual strange transitions are occuring.   This morning, about 1000 Red-wing Blackbirds decended from the sky, and sat for a while among the perimeter forest on the one side of the field.  They made a significant, non-trivial amount of noise - they make a grinding-chirping audio roller, like a machine-sound, and several hundred doing it at once, produces an astonishing cacophony.  But on a summer-like Saturday morning in early Spring, it sounds like a raucous, drunken celebration - like a Venetian Carnival in 1420, after a good year of trading.   :)

The news stories are just so awful as to be curious.   We just disconnect mostly now - modern datasets are provably bad for your health, and quite toxic, it turns out.     I like "Radio Caroline" out of the UK, as it has *no news* whatsoever - except some music news, which I don't mind.  Got to listen to "Radar Love" in support of the fellow who wrote it, who is in a bad way.   (Everyone who is ill, please get well soon!)

Ok, so I just bought day-before yesterday, an "HP-MIS Gaming Box".  It was fat handful of Cdn brown hundred dollar bills.  The machine is beautiful, nicely built, with a cool gaming-grade keyboard, and a wireline but very flash, mouse.  It has "Windows 10 - Home Edition".   This O/S is curiously awful,  I am in awe ot of it's terribleness.   It took hours before I could figure out how to map a network drive from another old Windows P/C.  And then - XCOPY would not work.  I mean, I spent *hours* trying options and tricks as documented on StackExchange, and about 15 other websites.   XCOPY would *NOT* create a directory on the Windows 10 Home Edition box.  Nothing - no "taking ownership" icacls tricks, no NTFS fiddling on source-side, no combination of option switches (which used to work on other boxes) would let bloody XCOPY create a directory on the Windows-10 box.  

XCOPY - running under a CMD shell - either as USER or as ADMINISTRATOR - on the Windows 10 box -  was *rigged* on the WIndows 10 box, so that XCOPY explicitily COULD NOT  copy a high-level directory with its files, from my old Win-XP/SP3 box to this Windows 10, "Home Edition".  The XCOPY version is running on Window 10.  There is NO REASON for this not to work, other than Microsoft clearly does NOT WANT IT TO WORK.  

I had the drive mapped correctly, and I had FULL ACCESS to the files and directories on the Win-XP box.   But XCOPY would NOT CREATE A DIRECTORY.  I could copy files - but I COULD NOT COPY A DIRECTORY STRUCTURE OF FILES from the WIn-XP box, tot the Windows 10 box.   This is clearly, by design.   What a bunch of serious, nasty rathumping *bastards*!  

Let's be clear here:  Windows 10 - Home Edition - is a deliberately crippled thing.   It seems to be designed to *prevent* folks from migrating digital data that is resident on a Windows XP environment, to a Windows 10 environment.   The nasty wanna-be, hard-core monopolists at Microsoft, plain and simply to NOT WANT you to do this.  They want you to BUY NEW SOFTWARE - such as their ugly, SUBSCRIPTION BASED "Office 365" (you just keep paying and paying and paying - it never ends, right?).  Hilarious.

And to install fonts - they want you to CONNECT TO THE MICROSOFT STORE AND BUY - BUY! - your FONTS.   It is curiously difficult to install existing fonts onto machine, so your WIndows software can actually *see* them.     Oh my.  

So the O/S is really just a laugh-out-loud awful thing - an example of deliberately crippled design.  I ran into this with Windows-8 on a laptop. It literally took *weeks* to get the needed software installed on the thing, so it could be used propertly.   

The HP MSI box has a, big fat motherhonker of an Nvidia Graphics card inside it, and I bought a monitor, that connects using HDMI - a nice 24 big inches.   Pretty sharply cool, actually...

But I have been fighting with goddamn Windows 10.  If the Coronavirus does not kill me, the skyrocketing blood-pressure I am getting from this wicked abortion that is Windows -10 - Home Edition - might well succeed in doing so.   Oh my, it is awful.   Where is the "My Computer" or "This PC" desktop icon?  How can I put the icon for this critical program, on my desktop???  

( Later:  I found this - you left-click main Windows Start button, screen bottom left, select "Themes" and in that screen, there is an option to put the "This PC" and "Network" icons on the desktop.  When the big copy ends, I will clean up this comment, and put in the exact steps needed, which I found, thanks to my Linux/Firefox box and Google-search.  Thank-you, dear Microsoft.)

And wicked "Edge" - what a nasty piece of horror-show that thing is.  I run FIrefox on all the platforms - WITH AN AD-BLOCKER.  The internet is non-usable now, without an advert-blocker. 

Try to use that "Edge" thing, and you just get these dancing video-adverts IN YOUR FACE!   What???   It just shows you active video-junk adverts!  - WTF???  DId I say I wanted an ACTIVE DANCING BILLBOARD IN MY FACE WHEN I AM TRYING TO WORK?).    Jesus, I never appreciate how good, and fine and wonderful CentOS-7 (or even my old Fedora boxes) are, until I try to run a modern Windows box. 

Holy crap, what a toxic nightmare.   I need three font files.   Why not just a simple icon-program to "INSTALL FONTS"?   Really, just copying the FONT FILES into the FONTS directory, should be enough.  Anything else, is just classical obfuscation.   This is just wrong.

I run an APL, and I need to install the APL fonts. And installing the FONTS  is still NOT OBVIOUS.  It should be dead-easy, but Microsoft - seriously - tries to VECTOR YOU TO THE MICROSOFT STORE to BUY  ( BUY???)  FONTS!     I already have the font files.  I just need to USE (ie. INSTALL!) the fonts, so they show up.   

If I did not have Google to query to find out how to do this - the most basic stuff - which I have already done earlier, on an Asus laptop, a couple of years ago - I would have been pooched.  No documentation on the Microsoft Windows O/S- and not even a LICENSE KEY - was provided with this (expensive) machine.  Curious.   Really curious.

Basic, critical, standard stuff - like the features of "This PC" are HIDDEN on Microsoft WIndows 10 Home Edition.   It is obviously a strategy.  They want you to PAY  to upgrade to Windows 10 PRO.  This  HOME EDITION is so crippled that you can't CONNECT YOUR OTHER COMPUTERS EASILY - like I can DO WITH EASE, ON ALL THE LINUX BOXES.  (Do I sound frustrated?...  This strategy just makes the customer fume with anger.   Curious.  )

I also run static IP#'s for the other machines.   There was no obvious way in the setup procedures, to enter in the needed information.

At least, I found "Cmd" inside of /windows/system32, so I have been able to run SCP to migrate stuff onto the box, since it has no CD or DVD drive even.  I was lucky to have installed all the "CYGWIN" stuff (ssl, scp, ssh and ssh-driver and putty and other Linux-ish utilities on the old WIndows XP box). 

Fortunately - the WIndows Home Edition DID HAVE "ssh" and "scp" installed.  Whoever made that decision, I want to - sincerely - extend my thanks to you.  Without that, I would have not been able to migrate ANYTHING from the old Win-XP/SP3 box, to the new HP-MSI machine.

Since I had CYGWIN stuff installed (all the OpenSSL and Linux utilities) on the WIN-XP box, I was able to run this from the HP MSI (Windows-10 box).  (I had created at "C:\root" directory on the new WIn-10 box, and had a "c:\root" directory on the Win-XP box, which had a bunch of stuff in subdirs.  SO, this worked (or is *running now*, actually...)

    (from an "Adminstrator Cmd" session on Windows-10 HP MSI box...)

      cd c:\root

      scp -r <myuserid>@HPWINXP:/cygdrive/c/root/*  .     (note the "dot"  means "this directory")

Also note:  The same "hosts" file trick works on the Windows-10 box as on the old WIN-XP box.   You start a Cmd session as Administrator, and edit c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts where you can put in your machine names and static IP numbers.

The new HP MSI box is a nice black tower, with a handle.  It is a nice form factor, and the Intel Core-i5 with the installed, on-board Nvidia card is nice.  Plus you get 250 gig SSD drive (as C:) and a 1 terabyte disk as D:, which is a standard hard-drive.   And there is 8gb of memory, which is really nice.  (Eight gigabytes of memory aught to - finally - be enough for anyone.  If you can't do it in 8 gig of RAM, then you should really re-think your program design.)

The Nvidia card is actually REALLY nice - but they should tell folks how to connect the damn thing up - since there is also a motherboard HMDI port - which does NOT WORK at all.  This is probably the way to have it configured, so that is good.  But why not a message on the monitor that says simple "Hey, you have a Gforce board, idiot.  Disconnect from this on-motherboard port, and plug your big sexy HDMI monitor in the HDMI port on the expansion chassis Gforce board-slot, two inches lower from where you are plugged in now. " :)

I finally figured out how to put the "This PC" icon on the desktop.  It's an option choice under "Themes", and something else,  which is a left-click on the main-screen bottom, left Windows Start icon.   I'll make some better notes later.   And then I found this rant in Reddit, and laughed myself breathless...  (PM: update: It's over 30 hours later, and the "scp -r" copy from the old XP box to the SSD on the Win-10 box is still running... )

https://www.reddit.com/r/rant/comments/hbeemz/god_damn_windows_10_garbage/

[ Mar. 12, 2021 ] - No Soup (or Vaccine) for You! - I can understand why the folks in Ottawa are trying to make it difficult for Canadian citizens to buy modern rifles.   We have a "Soup Nazi" in charge of the country!   Just like old Adolph did, this little guy is trying to prohibit our access to the rifles we actually manufacture here.  Pretty funny.  

It's so awful, it's comical - real "Theatre-of-the-Absurd" stuff.  Just when you thought it could not get much worse - hey, you get Soup-Nazi Boy taking on the role of "Leader" up in Ottawa La-La-Land!   It's like the darkest of dark-comedy...

The only vaccine available in Canada for people who aren't doctors or Indians, is the Astrazeneca version (that uses a cold-virus as the genetic carrier - unlike the mRNA the Pfizer one uses), and so it is limited to folks in the narrow age-range of 60 to 64.  That means we're out. 

The Government of Ontario - acting on it's own to try to save a few folks in our Province - managed to score 200,000 doses of that vaccine.  That little piece of work, Trudeau, up in Ottawa, is delivering the few Pfizer does to his people and some Indians and Innuit up north - virtually nothing for citizens down here where the taxes get paid.   Pretty comical.  But also par for the course, given the outright corruption and financial fraud that characterizes typical "Liberal" gang operation.   

I watch the politics in Canada, and it is just laughable.  It is so bad here, it is just over the top nutty.  We have the great untendered contract / "We Charity" scam - a fraud on the scale of Enron, but excuted with Canadian taxpayer's money - half a billion dollars of "pandemic relief" for Liberal folks and the scam operation these people are running (WE out in the country, have seen *nothing at all*.  Nothing.  Not one single operational program, no benefits - just a cycle of taxation related scams and tricks executed by corrupt, dishonest LIberal fraudsters.   It is just hilarious.   It's like: "Got Covid?  No?  Well, here is some for YOU! (Covid-19, that is.  No money.  Ha ha ha.)" .     FFS.

Of course it could be worse.  We could be in Myanmar or Ghana or Haiti or some awful place like that.   But it is still pretty sad.    We used to be like USA.  Now, we are becoming like Argentina.   Curious and unfortunate - but such is the path that is tracked, when corrupt, dishonest, incompetent light-weight pretty-boys take charge of the State fisc.  

I can understand why our corrupt Federal Government is behaving so badly - because they are completely incapable of getting vaccines for Canadians - and that means a lot of people will die, who don't actually need to. 

I was talking to my neighbour yesterday - and asked how everyone was.  He indicated he had had Covid back in December, less than 3 months ago!   Oh.    So, being out in the country, offers no protection, especially since these silly bugger god-believers are probably all going to some sort of church-thing so they can super-spread the virus.  Or, maybe not. 

This world is populated by the unwise - many of whom seem to capture positions of power and authority that they should *most definately* not have.   Curious.

In hell-hole countries like Myanmar, the corrupt Army-Junta can just empty out the jails, and send murderer-criminal "soldiers" into the streets to kill unarmed, peaceful protesters with machine-guns.  This is typical behaviour by a Government, sadly.   Inspect history.   All the *really big* crimes are carried out by Governments.  Always.  Everywhere.  In and across every single temporal and geographic domain - the big crimes are carried out by the State.  

I personally thing that the "War in Vietnam" was a bloody good idea.  The only failure that occured there, was a curious failure of the Americans to make a decision to cut-and-run before the job was completed.   It was the idiot Democrats who started that whole foolish project.  Nixon tried to finish it - but had niether the money nor the support at home, to get the job done right.  Hanoi should simply have been removed from the map.  It should be like "Carthage" now - a place where there is not much at all.

A UN-backed Democratic Expiditionary Force should be dispatched "RIGHT NOW" to Myanmar, and tasked with restoring the rightful government.  This should be done - especially with China watching - so the Chinese Militarists could have a close look at what the Sword of Freedom looks like, and how easily and effectively it can be deployed against bandit-scum Junta-government criminals who murder their own people.   The criminal THUGS who have siezed power in Myanmar should be rounded up and hung from lampposts at the main harbours, just like the pirates used to be in Boston and Halifax.

No-one learns much from history - except to deeply distrust the dangerous power and abusive ugliness of criminals who have siezed State Power.  These kind of Governments exist to enrich their friends - and crush and kill their enemies.   This is the standard political model, history teaches us.

This generally has been a little bit more difficult a program to execute in Canada.  But it will be a lot easier, if this lethal Trudeau character is not removed from power, soon.   He is a serious and dangerous menace to this country.    I wonder how many people have to die here - who didn't have to die - before the people of this nation wise up, and vote this slimy little fraudster out of power.    His tenure has been the worst time for this country, I have seen in my entire life.

He is one of the worst political figures to ever take the stage in Canada.    And I fear his vicious stupidity and outright incompetence might actually kill many of us now.

Canada should not be facing the failure-to-vaccinate problem that we are facing here now.  It is really a fantastic and extreme failure by the worst federal government this nation has ever had, in it's short lifetime. 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/canadas-covid-vaccine-failure-11613772230

 

 [ Mar. 10-11, 2021] - Nothing Succeeds like Excess - "The best advertising is the tape" - old, 1920's expression by Mr. Livingston (aka Livermore).. 

We are in strange times, and some of the extreme stuff is really tracking.   The market leads the current view - and the attraction of mass-death is becoming apparent.   Killing off the old, the weak, and the rich, turns out to be pretty stimulative after all (one really needs to inspect the historical record for 1325 to 1400 - but 1917 to 1922 will also work...)   

I read all of Ray Bradbury once - and he wrote a story I think called "Dandelion Wine" (yes, just googled-it, and there is a ton of info on it...) It was like my childhood, truth be told - the time of fantasy and horror and astonishment that rarely comes again in adulthood.  It was set in the summer of 1928, I seem to recall.  The 1920's were very advanced - much more so than most folks grasp. 

You can also read "Lady Chatterly's Lover" for a picture of that time period, which is actually a pretty good yarn - with very tame stuff by modern standards.  The real story is the destroyed lives of the people that came out of the mindless violence of the First World War.  Lord Chatterly, a young war veteran,  is wheel-chair bound, and wants a son and heir - so he as much as suggests to his young wife that she get pregnant by someone else.  She is young and healthy and full of vigor, but she falls for and fucks the gardener, instead of some upper-class weasel, and this is a problem for the no-penis Lord of the place.  It's a great story - but it also does a fine job of describing and explaining the dramatic social changes that the 1920's brought in.  

The market-runup was driven not just by new magical technology - but also by new, young people full of good red blood and healthy desire who wanted to make a new world and live new lives, free from the old (and very bad) restrictions of social class.   The story ends with the gardener and Lady Chatterly leaving the sanctuary of the Manor, and making plans to go to Canada, and get the hell out of England.    Their children would have grown up with my parents in the same milieu and demographic cohort.  

But the crash-and-burn of the stock markets in 1929 etched a lasting impression on any investors who lived thru it - although the real meltdown was from early 1930 (when there was a pretty good recovery) until 1932, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 43, IIRC.   In late 1932, there was a 1 week bank "holiday", when the (mostly bankrupt) banks were all closed, and "recapitalized" by government fiat.   It was an interesting time.  But the markets survived, despite the assault by the government regulators and the Joe Kennedy SEC.

Are we about to run all this over again?  Maybe.    I have not found any dips to buy - so I don't know where this talk of "dip buying" comes from.   Journalists invent stuff now, and gen up explanations after the fact..   But the forward view is driven by what is seen, and what is in the minds of the folks in the action.   Little else matters - or is used to make decisions.

This is difficult for thinking people to accept (and to act upon).   It is why the damn computer models work so much better than people do  We mentally "anchor" to stuff that is just neither true, nor constant.   We humans are bad decision makers - especially in fast markets.

We might be seeing a major, self-sustaining run here.  Almost all our AI stuff has say "Buy. Buy anything.  Buy anything,  Anything,  APOS or a happy Game-stonk or LESTA or any bloody thing."   The vectors point straight up - it's nuts.  I figured it had to be wrong.  But it looks like it is right.  I am the thing that is wrong  ... :)

I stand in awe of this result.   My economic instincts (and training) suggested all this had to be already discounted in the evident, current market price.  But that is just not the case.  Today, more mad running.   Bids are flying like winged pigs to everything.  GME is almost $300, based on cryptic tweets and blather.  (As I edit this note, GME is now $337.  Mr. Graham and Mr. Dodd have left the building.  Maybe the planet, also.)

Joke is, GME might actually have something.   It's in one of Gibson's books, I think - the local shop for access to the "matter compiler", which can fab (from digital data and a matter-stream) pretty much anything.   The key is just to have a retail network.  The matter-compilers  are installed in a coffee-shop chain, IIRC, and you can go there and "print" anything you want.  The matter-compilers use nano-tech to assemble stuff - tiny little microscopic robots, that assemble material things, molecule by molecule.   Interesting idea. 

Maybe GME will allow game-lovers to create their own game-worlds, and then market the DVD-disks with source (and an animated film for entertainment and explanation) for the game. 

Youtube has become boring and awful.  GME could create a business where individual kids could be Movie-directors and GME the "Producer".  The kids could could create complete "Game-world-movies" - sort of like what Disney does now.  And the GME storefronts could be where the DVD-based Game+Movie is distributed from.  New titles each week.   The GME store becomes what the crowded (and awful) movie theatre used to be - the distribution point.  You do it with DVD's, so that its easy, marketable, and slightly less likely to be hacked.  Plus the DVD could be sold with a piece of hardware or an action-figure.

More I think about his - more I want to buy one.   What about a "Godzilla" game, which has all the Godzilla movies, a few of the better kid-created Godzilla-Games (you get to stomp either New York or Tokyo or Jersusalem or Berlin - whatever metro location you want...), and a bunch of cool sound-track music by a Japanese Anime-band?   (The Anime-Bands are already up and running...)  

Google has become boring and a bit annoying.   Android is nasty, like iOS is now.  You are chained into their payment vectors, and are just a tool for them.  All the money and data flow to them.  Such is the power of the monopoly.

Maybe GameStop could create a "Technical Tiger Team", and create an entire ecosystem - that would run on open-source computers - and that would not require developers to become minions and revenue-streams for powerful California monopolists.  

With just a tiny bit of creativity, and a brutal attention to technical detail (like Musk does, when crafting production algorithms), a retail "Game Store" could become like a Starbucks - a must-go place where the latest releases of "Anime/Music/Movie Games" are made available.   The trick is not just to make high-rez shoot-em-up games, but to also create story-lines, and creative stuff, like Osamu Tetsuka did with his early Manga.

Ya, that's it.  Online, Manga-style animated, clever-story, immerisive entertainment - maybe using VR headsets - which of course, you would retail at low prices - so, you get the latest Game/Movie-release, and also acquire the hardware, tweaks and upgrades, to drop into the virtual world, Gibson/cyberspace-deck style.  And, of course, you also want to have a social/virtual world-thing, like Second Life or something like that - and maybe you have it free at the "first level", but then for the "higher level" interaction experiences (think real-time immersive chat-rooms), you have a "club membership" - ie. a monthly subscription fee - for access.

All this stuff exists now - but a retail operation - an actual outlet where the new tech could be promoted and made available, is so obvious.   The devil is in the details.   Like the Apple Stores - I shudder to think how much money we have spent there - Fu-chan bought a thousand-dollar iPhone, a Macbook Air, and of course now wants a big MacScreen machine so she can watch Japanese videos.   I hate Apple, but I have a Macbook, and it is a very good deck.   It would be even better, if it ran Linux (and of course, you can just put a Linux machine in a Virtual Box, which I have had running for years (and an old XP-Windows on it, built before I discovered and installed WINE everywhere)).

So, GME could actually become something, maybe.   Or maybe not. 

Some guys just 3-D "printed" a house, using a big 3-D grid that "prints" using cement.  We really might get some additional gains from technics.   I am not sure - and I thought it was all pretty much done.   But perhaps not.

But the real magic to drive change is "advertising by tape" - 1920's style.   Is GME the next Google?   My instincts say "no way".   But why could it not be?   DEC with it's awesome "ALta-Vista", could have been Google, if it just had had a tiny bit more market-savvy and creative ability to take action.  Instead, they imploded and sold to Compaq, who sold to HP.   The DEC P/C computers were an absurd dog's breakfast of non-compatible confusion.  HP won by simple consolidation.    But then they blew up, too.

I run a bunch of HP machines, and might buy a big "Gaming Box" that is on sale at a local retail shop that just re-opened.   HP splitting in half was an absolutely astonishingly stupid thing to do - they obviously never heard the African proverb where the father shows his sons several large sticks.  He asks his strongest son to break a big stick, and the fellow does.  Then, he takes a bundle of several sticks, ties them together, and hands this to the same big lad, and asks him to break that - and of course he can't.  Then the father looks each one of his sons in the eye and asks if they understand what he is trying to say to them.  They do.  Stick together.  Work as a team, and don't fight with each other.  This is easy to say, but hard to teach.  Even harder to actually do, since people are selfish and really stupid.

So, we invent the command-and-control hierarchy.  The military uses this.   That sort-of works.  But "The Key" is to understand the need to remain unified and hence, strong.  You need to understand this.

But  HP did not.  It was run by some fool woman who had no clue, sadly.

We live in a very strange world.  Everyone laughed at Google at first - and said: "Search is a solved problem.  How can they make a company just offering 'Search' ?"    Duh.  By being Madmen, lads.  They will sell us "VIP".  Everyone needs VIP.   You don't even need to know what it is - just that you need it.  And you need it bad, right?

My economic instincts tell me a huge crash is coming.   But also, my psy-ops research suggests that maybe all I am seeing is just my own future, which just has *me* doing the crash, falling into my own grave!    The market and the world will continue to tick along, just fine -  Like it always does.  And the future can be successfully built when human creativity is applied to and enabled by effective technology.   If it can be financed, then positive, prosperous projects can be made to happen.   Or maybe not.   :D

(Perhaps this Youtube video describes the best prescription...)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo 

[ Mar. 9-10, 2021] - Critical Patch/Fix for Most Excellent "wmctrl" Utility - This is crazy,

because I am not a very good C/c++ programmer - but I just don't like it when my stuff does not work right.  I was supposed to buy a bunch of stock (stonks?) today, but I had to fix this goofy problem - didn't buy, market is up insanely, and I missed making some serious money (I am stupid - truly)..   but "wmctrl" was not finding *some* of the windows on the modern 64-bit CentOS boxes  ("wmctrl -l" would list  some open X-windows, but not all!), and most google-info was all blather and crud about Wayland and such - but it is not a Wayland versus Xorg issue - there is just a bug in the 2003 "wmctrl' source code.  It relates to 32-bit/64-bit issue like so many other silly problems we have all been having - working on this cost me about 30K in foregone gains, so pay attention:

Get the original wmctrl source,and at line 1443, just before "ret_format" is used, stick this code-chunk into "main.c" so that 64-bit window ids are handled correctly:  (Its pre-processor stuff, to set the variable correctly based on machine word size... ):

#ifdef __x86_64 
if (ret_format == 32)
{
ret_format *= 2;
}
#endif

So, my version of wmctrl's "main.c" now looks like this, starting at line 1443:

 /* null terminate the result to make string handling easier */
/* --- hack patch from : https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/slackware-14/wmctrl-is-not-showing-all-windows-4175433231/ */
/* --- this is a 32-bit/64-bit issue, re. ret_format...  - MCL note   */
#ifdef __x86_64
    if (ret_format == 32)
    {
        ret_format *= 2;
    }
#endif
/* --- end of patch ------------------------------------------------- */
    tmp_size = (ret_format / 8) * ret_nitems;
    ret = g_malloc(tmp_size + 1);
    memcpy(ret, ret_prop, tmp_size);
    ret[tmp_size] = '\0';

    if (size) {
        *size = tmp_size;
    }

    XFree(ret_prop);
    return ret;
}/*}}}*/

(the above is just a snippet.  But with this patch installed, and a "./configure | make | make install", my current version of Gnome Shell on the 64-bit CentOS-7.4 box (which reports it using Mutter version 3.28.3)  can be USED SUCCESSFULLY with utility: "wmctrl".

All windows now show up with:  "wmctrl -l" .   And, from within the GNU-APL interpreter, I can run: 

         ⍎')host wmctrl -c "The Name of the Window" '

and the X-window (typically a ⎕PLOT created window) can be closed under program control. 

You can also list all open X-windows from with GNU-APL, using this:

        ⊃ ⍎ ')host wmctrl -l '

and this command string can be put inside a function - so you can have APL fling up windows, maximize them, and then close them and go on the the next one.  This lets APL run a real-time data-driven display of time-series or matrix or tensor  (ie 3-dim. or more) data.

This worked fine on the CentOS and Fedora 32-bit Linux boxes, and on the MacBook Pro (where "wmctrl' was built using Homebrew, after much effort), but half the damn windows were simply not being "seen" by wmctrl under Gnome on the 64-bit Linux boxes.   The little patch resolved the problem, and wmctrl plays nicely (and seems to work well!) with the new Gnome shell.

It is a very good thing to have the SOURCE CODE for stuff, since then that means you can FIX IT YOURSELF if you have to.   :)

[ Mar. 9, 2021 ] - The Falling Profit of Rates- World is engaged in a dramatic economic experiment.  Reviewing how China's "National Team" steps up to buy stocks when any market downburst is considered too much, too quick.  This is another example of national econ-managers gain-riding the equity market.  This phenomenon, combined with standard policy-response of hyper-liquidity injections to fight "the-crisis-of-the-day" also combined with managed low-rates on government debt, means that we are unlikely to get stock market crashes.  A "market crash" is just not going to be allowed to happen.   Market crashes are easy to prevent, if one is armed with essentially infinite & unlimited amounts of fiat money.  You just set up "State Investment Agencies", back-stop them with Argentina-style money-supply production, and all is good.  Maybe.  For a short while.

Before any market crash scenario can play out, an extreme jump to hyper-inflation will be required, and that might not happen in any sort of smooth way, based on the global demographics.  

Hacking the markets has become as difficult as hacking modern "secure" technology - much of which is so secure, it won't work and cannot be used. 

I wonder if and went the American thinkers, writers and media-children will finally recognize the big "protest" in Washington January 6th, as the positive and necessary political event that it was.  There are only two political models - democracy and gangster-run totalitarian states like China and Russia.  That's it.   America is one of the few remaining true democratic entities.  Power really is still held by the American People, despite the actions of scam-artists and the ugly efforts of professional political thugs like Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the so-called "Democratic" Party. 

The politics of freedom are messy and sometimes bloody,  But the current gang that has taken power in USA by virtue of its voter engineering efforts and its media-machinery, is still captive to the requirements of economic events, just like every national goverment is and always will be.  

What this means is that stock market crashes are now not likely to happen, until some entity can halt the unrestrained fabrication of money for and by, the current ruling political groups.

It a helluva game that is underway - an experiment in exponential action which has already reached extremes that threaten to kill - economically - large groups of older folks.  

If people like Andrew Cuomo in New York and Justin Trudeau here in Canada don't kill you in your Retirement Home with Covid-19, then their economic managers will still kill your investment returns with interest-rate related policies that ensure you have no viable investment options.   It is just hilarious.    Economics literally is being made to operate to destroy - rapidly - the value and usefulness of savings.    It is explicit government policy, to make lifetime savings become rapidly worthless.

Once one realizes this is the game, it all makes sense.  Governments are now - deliberately - by carefully-crafted government policy action - trying to engineer inflation, just like the Democrats "engineered" voting-process changes to ensure they could take control of Washington, despite the an almost-majority of folks not wanting them there.    The current economic actions in most nations - even Canada -  is just so reckless and awful that it is just comical. 

The Central Banks *want* inflation.  The Governments *need* inflation - otherwise, there is little chance any modern nation will ever successfully repay current debt.   Where are the "bond vigilantes?"    Long term yields should be around 10%.  But the modern national governments are creating money - by buying their own government bonds - or running "stimulus" programs, which typically flow funds to political "agencies" which are part of a profoundly corrupt and self-serving process.   A few folks are getting *very* wealthy.  Good for them.   But most are not.

This is a profound economic experiment which has already reached an extreme level.  The lack of significant monetary inflation is due to many consumers simply not having cash, and being expelled from the labour force by Covid-19 related restrictions.

Our consulting practice is simply non-operational.  We are fortunate to also operate a small farm and various investment strategies.   We will survive - but not likely prosper in this modern "stay-at-home" world run by political fraudsters.   That matters little - but it is curious and strange, as we are not unique.    We face a curious and disturbing lack of any attractive investment opportunities - and that means no income.   This is a problem.   

This modern economic experiment - by reducing yields on low-risk government securities to effectively below zero, after adjusted for inflation - means we have no choice but to take on high-risk equity investments which are *certain* to either implode or collapse, once the inflation becomes evident.

And this inflation *will* become evident - our models suggest that it will come on *very rapidly* - much more extreme and more quickly than the policy people suspect it will.

What this means, is that we are screwed.   And we are - I suspect - not unique.   We are certain to be wiped out by inflation - if we don't invest - but are also at great risk if we take on any sort of investment now that generates any income.  The Great global experiment in hyper-debt and hyper-liquidity creation that is being run to keep real interest rates flat-lined below zero, is effectively destroying our ability to generate an income stream that can last.

This is a curious and disturbing problem.   I can honestly understand why Biden and his Bogus Brigade need 20,000 armed troops in Washington to protect them.   The average American is offered only low-quality, high-risk investment options - and also watches helplessly as his own government tries everything it can think of to destroy the value of his lifetime savings.  Of course, he wants to march on Washington, and communicate his concern to the wealthy political classes he sees destroying his world.

Our research (and history also, if anyone cares to look) suggests that this current economic experiment is basically pathological & very unwise, and risks the planet in ways that far surpass "global warming" or even viral plagues.

The governments have now even built mechanisms that appear to prevent any sort of stock market correction from taking place.   What do you folks expect?  That this bubble can go on forever and not end?  The nasty, pointy-end of inflation is already here in rapidly rising food and energy costs.   When your income has gone away, this is where the little remaining money gets spent, right?  So it matters, guys.   Removing "volatile" prices from the inflation calculations, is like removing sanity from the political process.   It seems unwise.  Don't you think?  

We are *really* concerned the current debt-runups and money-printing will have significant destructive results.     Very few jobs are created by giving New York Bond Traders another hundred billion dollars profit.   They might well just invest it in India (where government bonds are 6%) or Argentina (which does not ever actually repay any of its obligations at all).

Low rates do not create jobs.   But they do create inflation, and they do destroy the income streams of low-risk oriented investors.   And those vanished income streams mean that economic activity is (perhaps substantially) reduced.

I honestly wonder if there are any economists who work in government jobs, who have any brains or ability at all?  Maybe there actually are lots of really good people, writing the same warnings, and they are just being ignored.  That is probably closer the truth of things.   

These *below-the-rate-of-inflation* interest rates are TOXIC & WRONG, are KILLING THE RATIONAL INVESTMENT PROCESS and are LETHAL TO INVESTORS.

This global economic experiment in being *really stupid* should perhaps move towards an end-game scenario now.   And creating Equity Markets which can only go up, is also a foolish trick that is not likely going to go own forever.  And when it ends (nothing funded this way lasts forever - or even very long, actually), it will likely have a very bad ending that will create extreme and widespread damage.   Mark my words on this.

[ Mar. 7-8, 2021 ] - How to Hack a Mac with Brew and Building Utilities From Source - There is this thing called "Homebrew" for the Apple Macbook, and it's a bloody brilliant thing. It's billed as "The Missing Package Manager" for Macbook.   I was skeptical - but I've had to use it to install all sorts of code on the Mac.  I put many flavours/versions of Xcode and all the Linux build utilities - and this has been good, as the latest magic has been the ability to get the GNU-APL 1.8a to build and run successfully on the Macbook.  This is just bloody wonderful, since I now have a working Linux APL, for which I have working source code for.  I have my slightly-hacked, self-supportable version of GNU-APL running on 4 different platforms now - old 32-bit custom-kernel Fedora, 64-bit CentOS-6.6, some CentOS-7.4 boxes - one now with the 5.4 Linux kernel - and of course, the curious MacBook platform, with all it's "pee-lists" and Mac/Apple cruft.

The magic on the Macbook is partly possible because of "HomeBrew", which basically looks like a big container (a complete virtual environment) built using  some Ruby-code, to make RedHat Yum/RPM (and now DNF) style package-management possible. 

I run Xquartz on the Mac, which is the X11 stuff, needed to enable the operation of an "X-server" on the Macbook.  This lets over 1-million quality applications run on the goofoid Apple BSD-Linux-Next-O/S under-engine that the Mac stuff is built upon.     X11 is the brilliant but kinky thing built at MIT in 1987, which offers a GUI (graphic user interface) like Windows, but without being a Microsoft proprietary product.   The current wikipedia page on X11 actually has a good historical explanation of X - the idea being that a "X-server" runs locally on your box, and "client" applications on the internet/network can interact with your boxes "X-server".  This kinky inversion of the concept of the "client-server" idea (which I only recently grasped - we need a "Gaten!"-style program for self-taught programmers..) has worked very well, and stood the test of time.

Anyway, X11 (via XQuartz) on the Macbook, is a very good and necessary thing, if you are doing any development or science, or design-work, or analysis or programming (or really anything other than typing text and fiddling with spreadshites).   I just updated to latest XQuartz via a ".dmg" file, and it worked OK.  I am still running an older MacOS, since I have built virtually a complete Linux-style dev. environment on the Macbook.   Building the GNU-APL from source successfully on the Mac has vindicated (again) the wisdom of this platform lockdown.  Just about everything I have running on the Linux boxes, I can build and run on the Mac.

THe latest has been a tiny utility called "wmctrl", which is a CLI (command line interface) program which allows X-windows to be altered and/or closed gracefully.   I can execute it via the GNU-APL command ")host", as in ')host wmctrl -c "Plot Window" ' and that string can be inside a running APL program (called a "function"), as a literal, with an "execute" operator in front of it.  In this way, I can create what is essentially a live, "Powerpoint"-style presentation on-screen, of a whole bunch of numerical series datas - with windows generated by ⎕PLOT opening, displaying, being made larger, closing, and so on.   Works nice on the Linux boxes - but if I want to see a client, I need it running on the nice little portable Mac.

What a project this was.  The "wmctrl" utility is tiny, and I thought - hey, get the tar.gz file, make a directory, compile with "./configure, make, make install", and boom, we are done.

Ha ha ha.  Turns out, "wmctrl" needs "glib-2" library-stuff.  And so it was off to "Homebrew" I went, since their doc said just:  "brew install wmctrl" to install wmctrl, and you can start using it.

Not quite that simple...  Attempts to build "wmctrl" from source failed with X not being found, and attempts to compile a trival glib program failing - with good error message explaining that glib is needed by wmctrl.  So it was Homebrew, or code it myself (self-concious smirk...).

Turns out the list of dependencies for "wmctrl" was a long list - including "ninja", "openssl1.1", "glib-2.62.5", and even Python 3.7!   I started out updating Xquartz using the downloaded .dmg file for the latest version.  That went ok.  But the "brew install wmctrl" kacked on a failure to get the specific "glib-2.62.5", with a (useful) error message from "curl" (the get-what-need utility) saying that it could not connect to get the specific version of glib.  So, I did a "brew install curl" to get a more recent version of curl, assuming that new version might use the updated openssl stuff, and that the "certificate error" that might or might not have stopped curl getting what it needed might be resolved.  The "curl" update worked fine, but re-running:

        brew install wmctrl

still kacked at the attempt to download "glib-2.62.5" - but this was now all I needed ("Homebrew" had successfully obtained and installed all the other six or seven dependencies - which was pretty impressive, actually....).

I figured, I'll just get the damn tar.gz file and stick it in the local archive directory that "brew" uses, since Homebrew does indicate when it can find the downloaded thing it needs (Note: whoever did the design of "Homebrew" did a GOOD JOB.  It is actually a very fine package manager and source-code-auto-builder, as it reports useful info to the poor sod (me!) who is trying to use it to build what he needs to save his project & his bacon.)

This was tricky - as the local tar.xz (not .gz?) file, has to have a *special* name, which looks like a hash-code of a SHA-256 or SHA-512 or MD5-ish hexadecimal hash-string prepended to the actually original filename.  Below is link to the StackExchange thing that offered the solution to my local grief:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/59017569/how-to-force-homebrew-to-install-a-local-file

The trick is to run:

     brew --cache glib

and it tells you the kinky filename for the file called:  glib-2.62.5.tar.xz

What I did, was to just get the file directly from the Gnome site, where the file was:

   (I just googled the filename, found right version at Gnome.org.  Details below:)

        URL for source:  https://download.gnome.org/sources/glib/2.62/

        Reported SHA-256 hash: 

        b8d1cdafa46658b63d7512efbe2cd21bd36cd7be83140e44930c47b79f82452e  =>  glib-2.62.5.tar.xz

        To display the SHA-256 of the downloaded file, use "gpg --print-md".   (gpg is gnu-pgp, and the "--print-md" lets one print the hash-code "message digest".  PGP is cryptic, since it is for cryptography, right?  :)  So, just do:

         gpg --print-md sha256  glib-2.62.5.tar.xz.

======> Down a rabbit-hole, trying to install "gpg" on MacBook.  Homebrew didn't work <===

       [crazy rabbit-hole tangent ...]  I ran the "gpg --print-md sha256 <filename>" on a Linux box, after doing an scp of the file from the Macbook to one of the Linux boxes.  I did not have gpg on the Macbook, which is annoying.  So, I did a  "brew install gpg" on the Macbook, and got a just a truckload of dependencies - but figured, lets try it, see if I can build gpg, which is gnu-gpg, something that everyone should have a working copy, and basic understanding, of.  If it runs to completion, then I can finally do CLI (command line) quick and simple (and trustworthy?) checks of SHA256 and SHA512 hash checks for files.   The repeated downloads of tar.gz sourceballs has just knocked MyZen Radio off the air on my main Linux box.  Oh my...]

      Note that "bison" latest version (needed to build gpg) is what brew calls "keg only", and so it will not be found by compilers unless paths are tweaked and LDLIB flags set (I'll note later).  This gpg install is insane - a ton of stuff, bison, cmake, a bunch of libraries, automake, autoconf, libtool, libcrypt, nettle (didn't see hogweed..), and a bunch of other stuff.  I've done all this for the Linux boxes, but I guess gpg needs *all* the advanced crypt-stuff, and to build it, needs all the latest build tools (libtool, cmake, etc...)  

     [Further down the hole:  Discovered & configured all the streaming-radio stuff, since Sirius has kept bugging me about the new truck (a "Blue-Jean" Blue Ford F-150) which has Sirius-XM radio.  It was working for a few months when I bought the thing, so I have enjoyed radio without adverts (really a lot), did a tiny project on how to get internet radio for free.   You go to "fmstream.org", and click on Radio Caroline (it has adverts), OR you can go to "Shoutcast.com", click "listen" button at top, and find "ABC Piano" a classical piano site by "Daniel PinkWater" who is a writer.  Anyone can setup an internet "Radio" or even Youtube "Video" station now. ]

     Complete fail with "brew install gpg" - the new clever dns resolver called: "unbound", fails with the error:

=============================================

    curl: (35) SSL peer handshake failed, the server most likely requires a client certificate to connect.

  but the error message of course does not tell you how to find and install the certificate that you need.  This message seems wrong, since I can download directly, ok.

=============================================

Ok, so I DID NOT get a "gpg" running on the Macbook using Homebrew. 

(I tried the trick of manually downloading the correct "unbound" version from here: https://nlnetlabs.nl/projects/unbound/download/  and used "brew --cache unbound" to get the exact filename and put the file into the downloads cache directory, but the "Homebrew" attempt still failed, with a "cannot use the fast-TCP/IP stuff" on the Homebrew ./configure for "unbound" build.  It is unclear where the ./configure files are kept, so this stopped the "Homebrew" attempt to get "gpg" working, and the "Homebrew" error messages tell folks to go do "git pulls" and not bother the developers.  Hilarious!)

The solution, of course, is what I did - just copy the goddamn file to be checked, over to a proper computer (a Linux machine), and run any version of  GPG with "--print-md SHA256" option to get the glib-2.62.5 hash string.    But I really wanted a working GPG on the Mac.

[ *** Rabbit-hole report:  I finally got the GPG on the Macbook, built the old gpg-1.4.23 directly from source.  Worked. ]

[ I will try this guy's manual build in detail later:  https://carreno.me/articles/how-to-build-gnupg-2-from-source-on-os-x

[*** GPG rabbit-hole:  What I did to get a minimal gpg working on the Macbook:  Downloaded and built from source, the older 2015 gpg, which is version:  gpg (gnuPG) 1.4.23.  This trick worked, and at least I have a real gpg on the Macbook, which I can use to check file hashes now.  To build this good, working gpg on the Mac, you can do this:

      - create /home_made/gpg  (I used a directory called: /home_made on my Macbook)

      - get the gpg-1.4.23 tarball here: https://gnupg.org/ftp/gcrypt/gnupg/gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2

      - If you have "curl" working, you can get the file with:

             curl "https://gnupg.org/ftp/gcrypt/gnupg/gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2" >> gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2

        If you have another gpg, you can run the SHA256 hash on this tarball, and it should be:

             gpg --print-md SHA256 gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2

gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2: C9462F17 E651B650 7848C08C 430C7912 87CD7549 1F8B5A8B
                      50C6ED46 B12678BA

 Once you have this tarball file, you can build this version of gpg as follows:

                  cd /home_made/gpg      (cd to a build directory)

                 cp  /Users/<youruserid_name>/Downloads/gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2 .  ( <-- note the DOT)

                 tar -xvf gnupg-1.4.23.tar.bz2   (This creates a source directory structure.  Just "cd" to it.)

                (you can also get the .sig file, and use that to check that the tarball is real, if you want.)

                (I'll put the SHA256 hash here (I am typing this on a Linux box)...). I'll check that the MacBook gpg message-digest matches the "gpg --print-md sha256" I get on this box... )

                 ./configure

                 make

                 make install   (note that the gpg executable binary is inside subdir "g10" )

     So, once this is finished, on the Macbook, you can run this:

                 gpg --print-md SHA256  /Users/<me>/Downloads/glib-2.62.5.tar.xz    (you should get: )

                 glib-2.62.5.tar.xz: B8D1CDAF A46658B6 3D7512EF BE2CD21B D36CD7BE 83140E44 930C47B7 9F82452E 

-----

    Once you satisfiy yourself that the glib file is ok, using "gpg", you can proceed.

   (Download the file into your Downloads directory. )

Then, you have to put the glib-2.62.5.tar.xz file into the following directory:

   /Users/<my-user-name>/Library/Caches/Homebrew/downloads/ xxxxxx.tar.xz

Where xxxxxx.tar.xz is the very long hex-hash-code-plus-filename that brew uses for the local copy of the needed source-ball, that brew reported from running "brew --cache glib".

It's kinky, but it worked.  Running "brew install wmctrl" again, did not try to use "curl" to get the glib source treeball, but instead reported "Already downloaded...." and proceeded to download two specifc "hunks' (patch-pieces) and install these, from which it was then able to generate the correct "glib" dynamic library which I am assuing that wmctrl needs to do it's voodoo correctly.

The whole trick worked. When "brew" finished, the "wmctrl" utility worked fine.  Joy was had.

The Macbook can now run the exact same APL workspace that I run on the vintage 2008 32-bit Fedora box, on the 64-bit boxes - the CentOS-6.6 box, and the systemd CentOS-7.x boxes with modern kernels.     The APL workspaces are cool and nicely intercompatable in GNU-APL, as they can be made with ")SAVE" or ")DUMP" (for .xml or .apl format).  Either format can be loaded for data-bashing and/or vector/matrix hacking.

Oh, one more tweak:  To get brew to find the file in .../downloads, one should have a link in the upper directory, which points to the long-filename-with-hash-string actual filename.  Do this as follows:

     cd /Users/<your-user-name>/Library/Caches/Homebrew

     ln -s downloads/<big-long-hash-hex-string>--glib-2.62.5.tar.xz   glib-2.62.5.tar.xz

This of course, just creates a "soft-link" file called "glib-2.62.5.tar.xz" which points to the actual file in the downloads directory just below.  (This step is maybe not necessary, but it keeps the source archive consistant.)

[ Mar. 6, 2021] - Mars Perseverance Rover Video- 360 Degree View- Cheesy video of Mars Perseverance Rover spin-thru - real quick and dirty.  But is is a simple 360-degree video of another planet.  So it's pretty cool, regardless.    I thought we would be dune-buggying around the place now, with plutonium-power runabouts.  Sending robots instead of people seems just a little lame, to my way of thinking.  But it's at least a nice proof-of concept.

[ Mar. 5, 2021 ] - Ar-Chi-V or ArXiv - There is this ArXiv thing - curious how when one articulates carefully the problem, a solution is sometimes evident.    There is an initiative to allow open publication and access of useful and important science publications.  This is good. 

We have an interest in exoplanet research, and discovered this useful article by a collection of scientists using NASA resources to study Vega, the brightest star in the sky.   Vega is so bright, it is typically used as the calibration reference for the brightness of other stars.   (The "ArXiv" repository is named as a play on words - the "X" being the Greek letter "chi", so you get "Archive" phonetically, but the website URL is "arxiv.com").  Here is the URL for the exoplanet observations  of Vega.

https://arxiv.org/pdf/2101.08801.pdf

Vega is only 25 light-years away (that makes it close.)  We observe it rather "pole on", so transits of the disk are not visible, I am assuming.  Instead, the observations involve variation in the rotation of the star - which is less than one day, it looks like.  

The whole idea, is that you have a very weak signal you are trying to detect, amid a bunch of noise and at a very great distance.   Much scientific research is driven by this requirement.   You need to see what the hell is really happening - except the observed event action is taking place in a maelstrom of chaotic noise and at a very weak level.   But these very weak signals can actually drive the process - they are actually the useful and truthful essense of the process.

Astronomy turns this upside-down - and looks for the very minor perturbations in stellar observations - either the rotational variations of a star, or minor variations in its brightness - as signiture conditions of the existence of planets orbiting the star.   The various sensitive observational technologies  have allowed real science to take place - we now know that most stars actually do seem to have planets orbiting them.  Our solar system is not unique - and this is useful knowledge.

And these techniques for extracting very weak signals from distant, noisy data, can be useful in other areas of research.  For example - if you generate a first-difference plot of a simulated price series, driven by a randomness-factor, and a real data-series of market prices - you will see that they look different.   There is a "human signal" overlayed on the market randomness in the real price series.   This is where the gold is buried.   If you can read that signal - and forecast its action and operation - then some of that gold can be yours.   :)

[ Mar. 4, 2021 ] - Tomorrow Belongs to Fee?  (Maybe better: Tomorrow Belongs to Free.) - Theodore Sturgeon was clearly on to something.  His famous observation (now termed: "Sturgeon's Law" ) was that "90% of everything is crap."  I researched the source of this brilliant observation - and it turns out it was from a 1953 Science Fiction convention, where writers were discussing fiction genres - Sturgeon was speaking in defense of quality SF writing, and suggested that SF - which was dismissed as lurid drivel for children by "serious writers" - was in fact writing of similar characteristics of quality-distribution as writing in any other genre was.  

Real truth there.  And now, with the internet unleashing every sort of vanity-driven self-published dreck into the world, we see the "%-crap" number climbing far up past 90.   This approach means that anything of any sort of quality-level, will have to be purchased - either with a toxic advert stream, or a monthly subscription fee.     

Another nail, in the coffin of the Library, it would seem.   Andrew Carnegie, we need you again, it seems.   I used to do some work at the Goderich Library.  It was built in 1902, (opened in 1905) as the result of a $10,000 *grant* from Andrew Carnegie - one of the over 2500 libraries he gave money for the construction of.    Many of the 125 libraries he funded the construction of in Canada, are still operating as libraries.   And of course now, they typically have free internet access, which makes them especially valuable.   

Carnegie came from a poor but proud Scottish family, and he started his working life as a telegraph boy in the 1830's in the small town of Pittsburg (but which was growing fast).  An old chap he knew let him borrow books to read - and Andrew read everything he could literally get his hands on.  This gave him a good education, un-damaged by "teachers".  As a young lad, he bought some shares in the railroad company he was working for.   These did well - and so did he.   He made a great fortune - and spent a chuck of it on public works.  He used his money to build *thousands* of libraries across North America.

He is truly one of the greatest fellows that ever lived.

When you are a young fellow - getting both the time and the opportunity to just wander around in a library and read and study whatever you find interesting - it's like getting the girl when you are a teenager - except you don't quite realize it at the time. 

I just re-read a bunch of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays - which are in a book I literally found lying on the side of the road, in front of a HIgh School in Toronto, many years back.   Some kid had dumped his books on the sidewalk, which was hilarious. The teachers had made him study this stuff, and he was obviously so happy to be free of it.  Earlier, I had found a book on auto mechanics, and had read it all, so I could repair cars and a cheap truck I bought.  Finding Emerson's "Essay's on Self-Reliance" let me repair my thoughts, in much the same way as I fixed the broken technics on my Ford van.

Finding and keeping and reading books I often acquired at almost no (or zero) cost, not only provided crazy large benefits - it might have saved my life -  many times over.     Random books - but of sufficient quality that some publisher thought he might make money printing them - these are good to own and read.

Fees are bad.  Free is better, but quality is critical.  This is an economic problem.  You need a system where publishers can make money by going thru "slush piles" and academic research can be filtered to some extent - so we don't get dis-info and dreck all the time.   But Einstein's 1906 paper on the photo-electric effect would not have been published, except for Planck insisting it was important and good.   But history shows most "peer review" is a poor filter, and science only advances by virtue of the graveyard.

The solution to this problem is the library, and Carnegie understood this.  So did Liebniz.

We are in difficult times now - and the difficulty is growing and become greater.

There is one thing we might do.  

There is an evil thing, we should maybe just end -  perhaps even utterly and completely remove and destroy.  This is the idea of copyright.   We have allowed the creation of the Great Scientific Paywall - where Journal subscriptions cost many thousands of US dollars per year.  Science is being locked-down now, and is being restricted and only made available to the very rich.

This ugly "Anti-Library"  is enabled by the use of evil laws which lockdown information, such as the DMCA.  This is such a bad and awful thing - built to protect the funds of the "Big Jews of Hollywood", some wags assert, as in "Bullworth".    (Oh, those "Big Jews.."  They get blamed for so much that they had really so very little to do with...   Such silliness.)  

The ugly and awful DMCA was more likely passed to simply make it easier for the venal and self-serving political folks to obtain funds.   Copyright should be like patents - it should expire in 20 years, at the very most.   It should not ever, under any circumstances, last more than 30 or 40 years.  This is just so wrong.

The internet (and Google now also, with it's curiously degraded search algorithm which yields so few, and highly filtered results), is leading us back to the "locked library" phenomenon.

We all know the truth of "Sturgeon's Law".   How about we unlock the LIbraries?  Maybe we could call it the "Carnegie Correction."   Good, quality material should become free and accessable to all.  Right now, the opposite is happening.   The crap is rising, like foul cream, to the surface of all things, and this is just sad.  It is also unnecessary.  We have the technology.  We just need to repair the broken laws.

[ Mar. 3, 2021 ] - The Model Fell Off the Shelf (and I broke Gnome, but fixed it, and upgraded LInux - But the model did not break.  The model has done very well, curiously.   I buggered up my Linux box, but then fixed it.  Hope I can do the same with the portfolio... :)

The markets are running on automatic now, and we are not sure when it will happen, but we are pretty sure it will happen.  SHTF seems to be in the process, maybe?   I am having these truly disturbing dreams, like I am getting temporal reflections from a near-future catastrophic event.  

One should discount that sort of thing, as it is almost certainly from lack of proper sleep.  I've been building software stuff, and upgrading platforms.   We ordered (and paid for) Starlink - but I have not seen anything yet.   Bringing some boxes up to current versions, to ensure that we are fast-net ready.  We are waiting on so many things now - strange times.

I've upgraded to Linux kernel to 5.4.101 from 4.18, via the famous "Elrepo"  (which sounds like a Spanish yakuza site selling black-ice software, but is in fact, the "Enterprise Linux Repository") - took the LT kernel instead of the ML version, and it seems to run well.  (LT is the "longer term" kernel, which is "supported" for a while.  Not sure exactly what the "support" actually is... :)  )

  Do this with:  yum --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel install kernel-lt

   (Doing it this way updates GRUB  and GRUB2 stuff so that one can boot into the kernel of your choice.  This can be helpful, if there is a problem with the new kernel, or you mess something up by tweaking the kernel parms from Grub (Grub is the boot loader.)

  Hint: (You can see what kernels and related -devel stuff, headers and tools are available on the "Elrepo" site with this: )

       yum list available --enablerepo=elrepo-kernel | grep kernel

Also, had to reconstruct Gnome - even built a manual Xorg.conf file in /etc/X11/Xorg.conf.d/ with X command.

I also used info from this stackexchange note below to fix broken Gnome (which broke because I tried to update Gnome to 3.28.2 on one box, to match the Gnome version on this box I am using here to type this...).

https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/121090/unable-to-get-gnome-desktop-after-installing-from-centos-6-5-minimal

I ended up doing this:

   yum groupinstall "Gnome Desktop"

in order to execute the Gnome upgrade, and restore my dead desktop.   What would happen is that "startx" would just fail partway thru, blank the screen, and then lock up the keyboard.  I could "ssh" into the box from another machine, and see that Xwindows startup locked at trying to load DRI2 module - probably because the display was wrong.  I ran some voodoo to rebuild the "xorg.conf" file (which did not exist), and stuck it into /etc/X11/Xorg.conf.d directory, as 10-xorg.conf.  This let a partial desktop come up, but it had no Gnome stuff around it - just icons only.   I figured I was pooched, but the above thing reinstalled/rebuilt the desktop, and all seems to work ok.

What I am doing, is going back thru the CLI commands via the up-arrow key, and documenting what I did.   Once I got the desktop working, that stupid bottom menu bar (the Window-list) was back, and the Gnome Tweaks feature to disable it was not enabled (screen would appear, but the slider-bar to disable bottom-panel "window list" would not respond. )

Solution is to go to the directory where these stupid features are configured like Android apps, and just rename the directory-name for the goofus feature you DONT WANT.  Like this:

      (as root) 

       cd /usr/share    (and then do a "ls" to see the massive bloat that is here!)

       cd gnome-shell

       cd extensions

       mv  window-list<at>gnome-shell-extensions.gcampax.github<dot>com TURNED_OFF_window-list<at>gnome-shell-extensions.gcampax.github<dot>com

      (Note: The goofy editor I use here will see the @ sign and the .com thing, and turn the above into an active email link - so replace the <at> with an @ and the <dot> with a . obviously.)

    Ah, found it..  What you can do, if you break Gnome, and it won't start, and you are running it from run-level 3 (the CLI run level) and not the (very bad idea) of running from run-level 5 (full GUI), is to run "X -config <filename>" to manually create an "xorg.conf" file, that you can then copy into /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d as 10-xorg.conf, and you should at least get a working Xwindows session.

   (from Linux command line)  X -config /root/xorg.conf.new

   (then, take a copy of this file, and put it into /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d and call it: 10-xorg.conf )

   (once you get Gnome fully working, you can try to delete this file, and let the original default process that sysgens Gnome start again.  It is unclear how this actually works, I fear.)

<Rant:> Modern Linux machines are pretty fcuked up now, especially with "systemd" - the idea being that RedHat (and now, god help us, IBM!) wants to *very much* get Linux users into cash-generating support contracts, so there is this sad trend of creating hyper-complexity and obfuscation now at every level - everything is a cryptic wrapper-script on a shell-program over and on top of a bunch of unclear executable cruft that creates this appalling mud-ball of gunk - and then the whole trud-pile is dropped on a virtual machine and flung somewhere out into an underwater server-farm to further create a slush-bucket of cost and complexity.  It is just hilariously awful and comical - the kids are just re-inventing the "IBM DataCentre" of the 1970's - and they think they are making progress.  <a big sigh...>  </Rant>

The "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" was of no help at all in figuring out why Xwindows was failing so completely.  "Messages" file was also a worthless bitpile (millions of "DAC-read-search" failures because of systemd awful/terrible design structure...)

What happened was,  I was trying to resolve a problem where the APL worked fine on one machine, but was giving awful, broken graphics on the other machine.   This turned out to be fixed by simply re-building the GNU-APL  ***WITHOUT*** gtx2 graphics.   This was done simply with: (in the GNU-APL 1.8a build directory (my custom version of GnuAPL 1.8.a now)):

      ./configure --with-gtk3=no   (gtk3 is package name for either gtk2 or gtk3, it turn out)

      (and then "make" and "make install")

this lets Gnu-APL us the "xcb" stuff for graphics (like my Python stuff does), and it builds ok and WORKS FINE.  (I get proper charts using "xcb", which the ⎕PLOT routine can successfully configure.)

But I did this very bad thing, initially.  (Do not do this!).  I confirmed (by going back thru my CLI session using BASH feature up-arrow to retrieve previous command), that I tried to update Gnome with this:

        yum update gnome-session-xsession    (do NOT do this!)

and this update was done - but it destroyed my Gnome desktop.  Running "startx" would just completely hang the keyboard and give me a blank display.   (The idea was to upgrade Gnome Xsession from 1.19.x to 1.20,x.  Bad idea, it turns out)  The /var/log/Xorg.0.log simply showed that the Xwindows startup just stopped and hung at the DRI2 module install.  It was the above manual creation of the xorg.conf file (and moving it into /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d as 10-xorg.conf) and the 'yum groupinstall "Gnome Desktop" ' that eventually let me recover the destroyed desktop.  

And now the Gnome desktop, and the custom-built GNU-APL works fine.   From CLI (command line interface) you can confirm the kernel version you are runnnig with "uname -a" and then list the system process running with: "systemctl status"  (this puts results into a "vi' editor session like using "cat yattayatta | less" does, for inspecting a long text file,  Just  use <space-bar> to page thru the results, and then ":q" to exit.)

The "systemctl status" report is more explicit and clear than the data-vomit from the traditional "ps -aux" query. 

[ Mar. 2, 2021 ] - Rosetta's Stoned - And she's pretty drunk, too.   Maybe someone should take her car key's away from her.  😉  (We worry she will get into her new Electric Car, and and try to use Autodrive to take her home, and go to sleep at the wheel...)

AI technology is effective at processing image data -  such as finding the battle-tank in the image - provided you run a lot of training cases.  And it works for face-recognition - because we can recognize faces, can't we.  The information really is there.  But sometimes, there is no there, there.  I tried lots of things with Xerion, and had it train down nicely on various hacks of market price source data, only to pretty much always have it fall to around 50% accuracy on the evaluation data - often less, around 45%, when it tries to forecast the next observation in the series.   It was pretty clear I was mostly training on noise.   And my randomness experiments provide solid evidence that much of the movement of market prices is mostly, almost noise.  Except when it isn't - and that is only now and then - when a big exogenous event occurs.

Sure, we all knew this - but you still need to run the experiments yourself.  

AI and neural-nets are interesting - and the math is lovely pretty.  But there are two *much* better methodologies for forecasting time-series data, and making intelligent bets.  I have an APL-based "simulator" (which is actually not really a simulator, it is a trading algorithm implemented on a time-series of price data...), and another forecaster tool - and they *both* outperform the neural-net AI to a significant degree, and consistantly.  The weakest part of the process is me - since I have trouble pulling the trigger on the counter-intuitive trades these two programs want me to put on.

Plus I seem to be a little bit unwell - nosebleeds, dizzy, a little trouble breathing...  Not a great sign.   Also, caution took us out of the trades, and I have been feeling quite sick watching the market advance to the crazy high price-points that our old non-neural-net models indicated as targets.   "Hold your nose and just buy" was advice I got from an old guy, many years back, when I suggested prices were too high to enter on the long side.   That turns out to be the indicated prescription, more often than not.    I actually have three models that just nailed what is currently taking place, but it just seemed silly and too much,  too soon.  But that's how it works.   We mentally "anchor" to the current (wrong) price, and are surprised to see the markets price-in a new reality.    My computers are better at the business than I am, which is a little annoying.     :)   

[ Mar. 1, 2021 ] - The Joy of Chaos - The world is built and run by randomness, much more than we realize.   Trading and making money is of course, not a random exercise - but markets are much less predictable than even the specialists believe.  We've been playing  with simulations.  The process is quite educational.  :)

[ Feb. 26, 2021 ] - Turning Japanese? - Tokyo market fell 3.99% (can I call it 4?) last nite, with the Nikkei falling 1202.26 points.  It may be a while before a similar reflexive response happens in North American markets.  But I suspect we are on the cusp of a serious set of not-so-positive changes.  In Canada, the complete failure of our current national government to offer any access to Covid-19 vaccines to Canadian citizens - other than Indians and Doctors - threatens to be lethal for us here, so we may be "off the air" soon.   We are not pleased about this.  ðŸ˜

One thing is certain:  The folks in United States - on average - get *MUCH BETTER* health care than is available in Canada.   All the drivel and disinformation that appears in the mainstream-media suggesting the Socialist medical model in Canada is somewhat better - should be seen for the false and misleading nonsense that it is.   Socialist medical service delivery is useful for *controlling costs* but this is accomplished by means of a simple *denial of service* business model.  

The socialist medical deliver model is just plain nasty and often lethal..  It produces results similar to what Governor of Cuomo New York State discovered in the Nursing Homes of his State - lots and lots of dead people - who probably didn't need to die.  We had the same thing happen here, sadly.

Modern evidence suggests Governments should not even be involved in the delivery of medical-services, they consistantly do such a very low-quality, high-cost job of it.  Our current "health-care" model threatens to kill us, and we now want this low-quality, lethal approach to change.

And today's market-history tidbit:  Markets which show evidence of violent reversal action off of short, sharp & steep declines, are not healthy.  This sort of "gambler's action" , which is fun if you are on the right side of it, but not so fun if you are blindsided and whipsawed, often shows evidence of degraded prices for all assets a few time-periods down the road.  Go look, if you don't believe this.  The "V-Bottom" may be in fashion, but it also offers real warning of problems ahead.

[ Feb. 25, 2021 ] - Do a Line? - Just drawing lines on charts is instructional.  What the current "technical analysis" suggests, is that the DJIA could fall about 2,170 points , and still be on the same current uptrend path.   Prices and valuations seem just a bit stretched.    And the long-bonds are telling a story here, if you can listen to what they are saying.  

[ Feb. 24, 2021 ] - Shivering Before Cracking & Breaking - Markets are shaky now.  Finally figured out what the price action reminds me of.  If you test a piece of steel or concrete or wood - any firm material - in a testing press, which applies controlled force to break or crush the material - just before it breaks, the material will shiver or shake, as the atoms and molecules begin a shift to new alignments.   It's kind of like the thermal change-over in a lake in spring when the ice goes out - nothing happens, and nothing happens, until it reaches the transition point, and then, all hell breaks loose.  You don't want to be out on punky ice in the spring just before the thermal changeover - where the ice sinks and the cold, deep +4 degree water rapidly moves up to the surface.   It all happens in one day, usually.

The process is analogous to when the material testing press applies enough force to cause the material to break or be crushed.  

This looks like the market now.  We got a tiny preview yesterday - but then the "dip-buyers" were pulled in (via their algorithms).   At some point, the algo-traders will have to get crushed - like soybeans, perhaps.

[ Feb. 22, 2021 ] - We are Inflating - See the top Canadian Core CPI chart, "50 Years of Canadian Inflation".  It's already here folks.  We are running real, serious inflation now.   

[ Feb. 19, 2021 ] - President Bye-Done - Maybe it's all over now for the Western world?  All the experiments are coming to completion, and the results are looking not so good.   What choices remain viable alternatives?  Virtually nothing, it seems.  There are times when the inventory of attractive options begins to run low.   

It just rather hit me today, that perhaps there is nothing remaining.  It's all done.   All reaching an end-zone of "bye-bye-its-all-done" phenomenon.  Nothing remains in the future, except the final credits and the "Fin" screen to be shown.    This is a very grim picture-of-things.   But one must be honest.

We watch the details of another robotic device being landed on Mars.   "So what..." was my sense of it.   We spend $2.5 billion, and another $300 million to monitor the rover - and what gain is there at all?   Nothing.  It's a time and money waste which will yield nothing of any value.  The exercise is pointless and tragic and just a bit silly.   It's all been done before, and nothing new can or will be learned.  Exploration is over.  It's done.   Nothing of value was found.

One gets the strange feeling, simply: The future seems to be shut down, and just playing re-runs now.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkFCJyqd0As

And when one Door closes, so perhaps does another...  We are not the only ones worried about this bubbly-frothy foam-and-funny-money bogus-asset-class stock market...

The most useful info in this Reuters News story below, is the CBOE (Chicago Board Options Exchange)  put-call ratio chart.  

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-stocks-bubbles/toppy-stock-markets-spark-more-bubble-chatter-idUSKBN2AJ1IL

[ Feb. 18, 2021 ] - UXB - Everywhere we look - at every data series - the numbers are just insane.  The historical record  has examples of this sort of money-running - and they all end really badly.   What has been programmed here *absolutely requires* some hard-core, big-bottomed, all-out massive inflation - just to keep this current big-ticket system running.

We *must* have serious inflation, or else the tax-costs required to fund the debt that has already been taken on, will simply crush and ruin us all.  What typically happens when this kind of mass impoverishment is programmed into the economic process, is old-fashioned mass warfare.   A huge, destructive war will simply allow all the monetary counters to be reset, and a new generation of "lab rats" to be created and placed on their little running wheels.

Maybe Orwell really got it right.  War perhaps really actually is, peace.   Curious, indeed.

We are already seeing the inflation now.  Fuel prices are up between 15 to 17 % (gasoline was $1.00 per litre last year - now its $1.17 as of yesterday.     A cabbage is almost $5.00 for one head.  A box of cherries from Chile was $12.00 recently.  (Was $8 two years back).  Four small sirloin streaks - $38.00.  (Used to be roughly $25.00 pre-Covid).   A bag of blue corn-chips - was $2.99, now  $3.99.   A couple of years ago, a 1.85 litre container of orange or grapefruit juice was $2.99.  Now, the container is 1.54 litres, and the price is $3.99.  Grocery prices are just going straight up, as restaurants go out of business at an increasing rate.   People have to eat.

What is curious, is the economic bi-furcation.  The governments are desperate for funds, at the same time as the average business person is seeing their opportunities vapourize, and their cashflows evaporate.   Property taxes are up only 2.5% this year, and the local townships is applauding their fiscal prudence. But the property-tax numbers represent serious capital confiscation, for businesses that have seen their income streams vanish.

So we can accurately and easily forecast the coming serious, 10% or greater annual inflation, because it is already here.  It's like forecasting nightime will happen, as you watch the setting sun.

But what action is possible for private-sector agents?  Stocks are *very* richly valued already, and fixed-income options are simply stupid.  Any reactive response by central bankers can only be to degrade the value of bonds, by raising interest rates.   And long duration stuff will just crater if and when rates move off the near-zero base-line.  Gold is falling in price (it was crazy high, really), and property is priced to perfection just about everywhere.

What is curious, is the complete lack of any sort of attractive investment alternatives at this curious point in time.   The crash last March was really it - if you didn't get on board back then, then you are probably out of luck now.   Buying into high-volatility equity postions at this point in time, looks like a very dangerous game.

But the painful reality is that there is great danger in simply sitting in cash, also.  The value of your cash is certain to be destroyed over time - and the real problem is likely the positive 2nd derivative.  The rate of this capital-destruction is likely to increase in the very near future - the numbers are really that awful.

This is why the stock market is being bid up.  We are back to TINA in spades.  There really is no alternative.   If you don't at least try to invest, you are certain to be destroyed - your government is working each and every day to engineer that outcome.    Sadly, they also have no real choice, and are backed into a series of ugly corners from which they have no alternative except to borrow more and more to attempt to prevent national economic collapse.

So it becomes a "stock-picker's" market, in a time of extreme transition.  It is a bit like the 1920's, except that was a time of transition of real, significant, positive economic and technical improvement - radio, aircraft, improved automobiles, improved medical and telecommunications technology, mass-electrification with A/C power, etc.   Nowadays, many of our "improvements" are illusions - battery-powered cars are *much* more costly, difficult to refuel, and require complex and error-prone software to keep them running - much like modern aircraft.   Moore's Law is running into physical limits, computers are expensive again, and the benefits from software improvments flow entirely to a very small group of extremely richly-valued, monopolistic corporations which may well be broken up by anti-trust regulators (and probably should be, of course).

So there are few obvious or attractive investment options anywhere now.  And this makes for a very grim world for the investor now.  The current market shows every indicator of being substantially over-valued and over-stimulated, and subject to a possible significant correction.  

But the cost of staying in cash, grows with each uptick in inflation.  As an investor, you face the "burning platform" problem, as with each passing day, the situation becomes even more dire.

Not really a very good situation.  Jessie Livermore was at least able to go have a nice meal, and a few "Old Fashioned's" at his favourite restaurant.   My favourite restaurants are closed, and even the coffee-shop that I enjoyed is "drive-thru" only.   There are no newspapers available anywhere, the information on the 'net is mostly dis-info, and our internet service is spotty and unreliable.  (Internet information now is like prison food..  it is really bad and awful - and there is never enough!).   

And it's cold here - really goddamn cold - all the time now.  It gives me nosebleeds it's so stupid cold.   It the old days, one could fly to the Carribean for a few days, just to feel some warmth, and recover one's sanity.   But even that is off the table now.  General Winter usually wins the war.

"I shouldn't complain.  But sometimes, I still do... "   :)

[ Feb. 17, 2021 ] - The Olivaw Project: Building Daneel - What the worlds needs now - (is Love?) - not likely.  What the world needs now is better weapons systems, don't you think?  

Imagine one day - you come into the lab, and the lab animals are all armed with laser-sited AR-15's, and they have grown little hands, and are able to use them.  You turn and call to your associate, and comment quietly:  "Ah, Dr. Frobon, you might want to come here and take a little look at this..."   

Just as you say this, a .223 metal-jacketed projectile tracks past your skull and shatters a ceramic tile on the wall behind you.   You look over in the direction of the thundering sonic shock-wave, and see your Covid-19-infected chimp, "Bigboy", wearing an oxygen mask, and holding a Colt rifle.  

The noise has brought fat Dr. Frobon into the lab and he sees you and Bigboy.  But as he is about to speak, the sight of the rats, sitting on top of their cages, and wearing little steel-coloured helmets on their tiny heads, stops him.   Each helmet looks to be equiped with tiny goggles.   He just stands there with his mouth open in mid-disbelief, unsure what to say...

---  bit of a silly story opening, but it has some resonance, maybe?

We are embedded within curious times.   The need to engineer change, and make the needed course-corrections grows with each passing day.

One of our current efforts is the "Olivaw Project".   We want to construct "Daneel", who will do the trading for us.   Daneel will be a robotic agent, and will act to assist us as we engage necessary ventures and perhaps even adventures.   We anticpate more use of fuzzy logic and statistical methods - rather than just neural-network methods.  Those will still be applied - but our experiments have demonstrated the effectiveness of the old-fashioned Central Limit Theorem.  It has been almost an accidental discovery - like the thorium-doping of tungsten filaments in vacuum tubes, or the transmissive capability of high-voltage spark discharges.  Or the bread-mold contamination of the bacterial petri-dishes,  

A signal is good and interesting - but the tuning of that signal, using a resonant oscillator is what really lets the whole magic happen, yes?   Soros discovered the magic that is possible when one successfully locates self-re-enforcing processes (what he called "reflexivity" in his book on financial alchemey and New York geomancy), and his minions had fun (and made millions) with simple tricks like the Friday-Monday phenomenon.  But tuning into a signal, which then can be shown to demostrate resonant properties - this "radio-trading" stuff should not really work (too much like a fast-fourier comb-filter trick - they did this back in the 1960's using IBM 360 Model 44's).  

Crazy stuff - it should not work.  But it does.  :)

[ Feb. 15, 2021 ] - The Age of Rage - Welcome to the New Age..  Not quite Aquarius, is it?   The BLS Labour Force statistics don't even being to tell the whole story.  The unemployment estimates are not even based on hard numbers - just survey questions.  Who actually provides data to survey questions anymore?  We used to - but not now.  Most datasets understate what is actually happening, or are "massaged" to obtain the results the Government masters want the minions to produce.  Should this surprise anyone?   The more we study the numbers, the more worried we feel.   The "improvements" look like they are statistical artifacts, generated by a sliding re-base of the numbers, driven by decaying rates of engagement across a whole bunch of different data domains.   

[ Feb. 14, 2021 ] - The Forester's Daugher - I read a McKinsey note, called "The Great Acceleration" which was interesting - the upshot being that we are getting a massive shift to digital methods at a rapidly increasing rate - changes that were expected to take place over a time-frame of 12 to 18 months - ie. the next two years - are taking place in the next two months instead.   Many organizations are in a "change-or-die" mode, almost (quite much, actually) like a war-time emergency.

Kinda reminds me of "The Great Replacement" - the document by the New Zealand shooter, Brenton Tarrent, who made a race-based argument suggesting that the survival of the "white race" was under threat (we don't think so).   The fools who run New Zealand tried to ban the reading of "The Great Replacement", and of course that made it all the more popular, and ensured it's widespread distribution.   Curious world, and curious times.   It's like no one anywhere now, learns anything whatsoever from the historical record.  There is a curious, willful blindness that seems to infect folks - even the ones (especially the ones!) that should know better.

It's interesting how the artists seem to warn us.    The modern uses of AI technology really are awful, and getting worse.  If you doubt that assertion, consider the awfulness of the whole Boeing 737-Max-8 tragedy.  Boeing paid a $2.5 billion fine, the CEO had to step down, many hundreds of innocent people were scattered - unnecessarily so - as smashed pieces of corpses across the landscape - and all because a stupid computer program was allowed to be installed that flew a fine, working aircraft into the deck.  

I see - curiously - not by way of complaint - almost nothing new anywhere that is really of any benefit to people.   Everything seems encapsulate a scam.    The benefit-vectors are all pointing backwards now - all the gain flows to a few, at the expense and exhaustion of the many.   The cause of all this is not "capitalism" or "imperialism" or any of that silly leftist "anti-fa" nonsense.  Near as we can tell, the cause appears to be primarily the result of simple ignorance, combined with a pathological arrogance and self-centred mindset that combines to make a really toxic human agent.

And these curiously toxic people embrace and execute toxic algorthms and processes.  In my consulting career, I saw this every single day, pretty much everywhere.  I had thought it was a selective sample-set issue - as a consultant, I typically only saw the problems and the problem-places - it was an occupational hazard one just accepts.

But now - McKinsey folks might be right - now, it is everywhere, and getting worse.  People - and/or their algorithmic methods - are just getting worse - and this process is occuring now at an increasing rate.  

Simple example:  I now am suppose to "login" to a bunch of different service providers stupid little "apps" and/or putz around on their poor, awful-designed bad-bad-not-good websites, until I can figure out how to download my invoice.  The cheap stupid toxic toads don't want to mail an invoice to us - because that is too expensive.   So, we get an accelerating decline in service quality AND a whole bunch of explicit new work and effort that now WE must undertake - just to send money into some bastardino org that can't even answer it's phones now.

And it is *every agency* that is doing this - government, telecoms, internet-providers, banks, financial houses, etc.   It is just comically awful.  All they are doing is shifting their work to their customers, and lowering their service and product quality.  It's just sad.

But we might have one thing that works.  Elon Musk's SpaceX-based "Starlink" thing is now on.  We applied - a few times - for the Starlink "Beta-test" program - and got the email.  We were without internet service for over two weeks in January, thanks to Xplornet removing an access-antenna panel on the tower our wi-max modem-transponder was pointed to.  So, when we got a chance to plug into the Starlink satellite network - we immediately ordered the hardware.

I couldn't get the "Check for Obstructions" app to run on my Android phone - but we also had an iPhone, recent model, and it installed and worked fine there.   Our site looks fine - and the app shows that pointing the dish straight up looks like it will work.

Wow - fast internet from a satellite constellation.   Cool.  I only had to wait 30 years for it!

I remember - as a very tiny child - watching the funeral of Winston Churchill - and the screen said "Live Via Satellite" - Canada was the third nation to design and orbit a satellite.  Ours were telecommunications transponders, so we could fling a T1 video signal from London to Toronto - and do it in 1965.   We were solid partners with the USA, and our North American Defense monitoring computers (in North Bay) were tied into the NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado, and we had full "Big Board" style air-defense and radar-monitoring of our North-Am homeland.   A few years later, the USA boyd were driving cars around on the Moon, and we were seeing double-decker "Jumbo" jets (the awesome Boeing 747) track across our skies.  And all that space and weapons research encouraged the semiconductor guys to put whole CPU's on a single piece of silicon - which made for some real economic magic.

The future was looking really good!

Then, Nixon took the USA off the gold standard completely (otherwise he couldn't pay for the Vietnam War), we had killer inflation, and the future blew up and failed.  It was pretty hard-core and clear what happened.   The 1970's were an economic meltdown, on par in many ways, with the 1930's.  In 1969, at University graduations, there was all these "recruiting tables" set up by agencies looking to hire the "school-leavers",  By 1978,  there were no jobs at all. In 1976, the first Trudeau had been re-elected, and had introduced wage and price controls, a terrible energy-policy, a state-owned oil company, and other leftist foolishness which just devestated the Canadian economy.   The hollowing-out began.  The only two laws that could be trusted - Moore's and Murphy's...

And now - here in the *future*, we get to see his child do the same sort of damage to the nation that the dad did.  (There are no vaccines in Canada.  Nothing.  No where any to be found in the cities.  It's pretty tragic and awful. )     Looks like the future has been cancelled by the Liberal Government.  Again.  Oh my.

At least with "Starlink", we will be able to live beside the Digital Ocean, and watch the World die.  Swim out past the breakers...!  And stay, forever clear.    :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MW6E_TNgCsY

[ Feb. 12, 2021 ] - Where are We Now? - Maybe Berlin in the 1970's... like David Bowie was, when he released "Low"...?  

We are concerned.    If you look at a long-wave Fed-Funds interest -rate chart, it looks like a guy dying from heart-failure.    I am curious...  Does setting interest rates at near-zero, really stimulate the labour market?  Or does it just show an economy flat-lined in a 1930's-style Keynesian "liquidity trap"?

[ Feb. 11, 2021 ] - S&P-500 is Rich - Maybe You Won't Be - The S&P-500 P/E ratio is pretty rich.  It is actually in the "too rich to buy" territory, closing in on 40 times earnings.   This is a really expensive market now.   We know stupid can become even more stupid, yes.  But if you look at the long-wave picture, (first chart now) you can come back to reality.  And with President Biden blowing up oil pipelines and throwing thousands out of work, the future looks a bit grim.  Buy at these prices, and you may be programming the destruction of your own capital, we fear.

[ Feb. 10, 2021 ] - The State is Hacking *You* - For years, I've quietly pointed out that everything on your silly iPhone or Android phone is completely compromised, and visible.  If you use your "smart" phone (or Blackberry) or any damn-fool hand-held computer that is tied to the cell-phone or telephone system - everything you do is being tracked, monitored and recorded.  But still this fiction circulates that there are "secure" applications which allow "privacy".   This is, of course, complete bullsh/t.   If it is on a computer - and you can do something so it can be read by you - then someone else will be able to do something so that they can read your stuff, too.  Your "keys" have to be stored and decrypted somewhere, somehow, and they have to be deployed so you can read your "secret" stuff.  The badguy just has to find where the program that did this, left it's traces, and then use them to do the same thing it just did.   This is an old concept, with simply "new solutions".    Any cellphone - in "AFU" state - can be read.  ("AFU" just means: "After First Unlock").

If you doubt this - (and believe what Moxy Floppilimp asserts) - just read a recent Forbes article (Note: Forbes will attempt to assault your browser if you are running an Adblocker - but just reload about 5 times, hitting "X" to stop before completion, and then invoke "Reader View" - and you can bypass the Forbes Adblocker-blocker - so you don't have to turn off *your* Adblocker, which will risk your device or browser with toxic ad-spew. )   We can Cellebrite the Grayshift, I guess...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2021/02/08/can-the-fbi-can-hack-into-private-signal-messages-on-a-locked-iphone-evidence-indicates-yes/?sh=25e0f23462

Also, the State agents now do not need any warrant, or even a "reasonable cause" to rape your devices for data to hack you completely - taking copies of everything on your device.    This is now thanks to ruling by Judge Sandra Lynch, who struck down a bunch of previous law that had ruled on this issue.  (Do these American "Judges" have any fcuking legal training at all ???)

If crossing the US border - you want to probably take a virgin machine, a wiped phone, and re-load any information you need from a web-based encrypted site once inside the USA.   Remember - the USA is now an absolute "Zona-Mala" - a gangster-style zone of danger and organized malevolence and malfeasance on the part of their curious "Governments".   They make up their "laws" as they go along now, just like the Russians do.

Half the people in the country did not vote for the clowns that now have taken power - and the crowning of "King Biden" requried over 20,000 armed troops to be stationed in Washington to protect the "new regime".  How 'bout that.

Reminds me of a tune: "Meet the new Boss... Same as the old Boss...".

The trick, of course, is not to be fooled again.  But we will be.  That much is certain.  Those dark shadows of deception and disinformation are always being drifted over us.    :)

https://www.theverge.com/2021/2/10/22276183/us-appeals-court-first-circuit-border-phone-search-decision-fourth-amendment

[ Feb. 9, 2021 ] - Lab-Rats. - We are in the middle of an economic "experiment" of significant scale and extent.  USA "prints" the World's "reserve currency" - which is a great thing for Americans - it's like being able to print cheques and give them to people for payment for purchase of stuff, and then the person never cashes the cheque - he holds it because it's "valuable".   The whole scheme works very nicely - right up until the day it doesn't.

History suggests when this type of scheme fails, it fails fast, and in a very non-linear, not-smooth way.   We suspect there will be no gentle transition to a new scheme-of-things.  We expect a rapid "phase-jump" to a different orbital space for the economic variables.  Again, history has many examples of these kinds of economic transitions.

Most Western nations have pretty much zero chance of ever "re-paying" the debt they have taken on.  In Canada alone in the last 12 months, our Federal Government has run up roughly $350 billion in debt which is now just another big addition to the Federal & Provincial debt that has already reached levels where envisioning it's repayment with dollars that still have some value, seems difficult.

We strongly suspect our debt-load - our great "Trudeau" (a mountain-sized  "Water-hole", since debt is always an "in-the-hole" & "under-the-water" kind of thing), will require a massive inflation in order for it ever to be re-paid.  But with a massive inflation - the repayment is a financial illusion.  The capital has already disappeared, like a bag-of-rice eaten by an army of mice.

America and Europe are doing the same thing - and will require the same thing Louis 14th of France required - a massive inflationary scheme to be engineered so that the debt can be made to "go-away" - rather like it has recently for Chesapeake Energy, and did several years back for General Motors.   

This astonishing money-spike is an attempt to kick-start that inflation.   The danger of course, is that it kick-starts a traditional "spike-and-crash" meltdown on the American stock and bond markets - since investors are not completely stupid all the time - just often enough to allow the clever folks to profit early, at the expense of the fools who stay too long in the game ( or should I say, the "lab"?).

If you are a lab-rat, and things start to go really wrong in the lab, the trick is to get out of the lab by any means possible.  But given what happens to lab-rats, that's always good advice.

[ Feb. 8, 2021 ] - Zig-zag Jag & Sag - We have this model - a simple chaotic thing, which projects forward a "critically damped process" - basically a series of fluctuations of increasing magnitude - which seems to be conforming to what we are seeing in the markets.  We are deeply concerned by this.

Also, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - the one based not on mRNA, (like Pfizer and Moderna's), but on an adenovirus (common-cold type coronavirus) carrier - is only 22% effective against the South African variant of the Covid-19 coronavirus (20I/501Y.V2 or B.1.351) -  which means it is pretty much not effective at all.  

This confirms our concern about a "possible diminished effectiveness of vaccine" scenario.   This is proving to be the case (despite the dishonest drivel and dis-info that is being provided by people like the French Health Minister, for example.)   We are seeing high levels of deception from public authorities in many areas now.  This is unfortunate, but is also expected.  (Old political expression: "He lied so very well - like a Finance Minister on the eve of a devaluation!   He was a skilled politician!")

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain/south-africa-halts-astrazeneca-vaccine-after-shots-fail-against-new-variant-idUSKBN2A80ME

FD: We also have a Dow-Jones Industrial Average model that is forecasting a growth curve value of 29,380 level for the DJIA, versus the current market value of 31,148 as of Friday, Feb. 5th.  This just suggests we could drop roughly 2000 points on the Dow-Jones Average and still be comfortably on the long-term upward curve.   We could even drop into the 25,000 region, and still be tracking the long-run upward curve, as such swings are in the existing dataset.  

But the Zig-Zag chaotic model (where each swing is amplified - not damped down), suggests a much more sinister possible track - back towards the region of 12,000 to 15,000 - a market decline of 30 to 50% or even more.  This is also in the dataset.  Markets "re-base" like this quite regularly, if one examines the historical record.  It's rather like a video-game "reset".

An overall market decline now of 50% or more seems absurd and unlikely and completely out of the question.   But consider history:  In 1929, US Steel, was trading at $260 per share, and paid and $8.00 annual dividend, for a yield of just over 3.00%.   It was considered a safe, very high quality investment-grade security - something to be owned by "widows and orphans" who needed to be careful, and needed the dividend income to pay their bills.   Within less than two years, the share price was at $22.00, and the dividend would be suspended for 4 years.   And US Steel was a good company.   It survived, and was eventually able to resume dividends.  

Many companies in the 1930's - including "high quality" rail-road stocks and bonds - simply fell to zero, or very close to it, and remained there.  Many just disappeared into the graveyard.

So far, we have seen roughly 2.3 million deaths - globally - from the Covid-19 coronavirus.   Current expectations are for this plague to be behind us all, by the Fall of this year.  But the history of mass plagues suggests this might not be the case.   Most last for several years.

We have a worst-case scenario in which the SARS-Cov-2 virus either naturally or by laboratory assistance, is configured to mutate in response to the vaccine efforts.  Such mutation enhances and extends both the ability of the virus to engage in air-borne vectoring, and it's lethality.     No effective 'herd-immunity" occurs, infection rates continue to rise, and death-rates climb.   Interest rates are already at or near zero, and this is forcing those who must invest to seek ever more risky and unsustainable investment strategies.

We envision a rising overall corona-cost-curve, tracking thru time, intersecting with a money-supply expansion curve, such that a limiting condition is reached where further attempts to expand monetary levels are not sufficient to address the rising real costs of failing businesses, locked-down consumers, and dying victims.   A curiously rapid onset of inflation could result.

The rapid run-up in money-supply, the zero-level interest rate policy, the rising tax and food costs, and the still-expanding unemployment and related labour-market dislocations are already playing hell with low-risk (ie. fixed-income) investment returns and this is squeezing the average household hard.   This, combined with increasing rates of "bread-winner" deaths, and inflation-spikes in food and fuel costs - suggests a demand-collapse scenario that is not too different from what happened in the 1930's.     In fact, it looks disturbingly possible.

And if folks are using profits from extreme market price-shifts as part of their income-generation strategies to survive the lockdowns and mass un-employment, then any market downturn will accelerate household impoverishment. just like it did in 1929-1932 period.

The modern wealthy, plugged into "information-movement" jobs (government-people, lawyers, accountants, computer software developers, etc.) who can "work from home" are doing just fine - and are accumulating savings.   But an entire underclass of dependent ex-service-economy people is being created that will at some point "hit the wall" economically.   They may choose to take action, rather than just die at home, or in an over-crowded hospital.   Costs will have to be born to address this issue - one way or another.

Our worst-case scenario, as it is driven forward by events - suggests that a market-valuation shift of 20 to 30 or even 50 percent is not completely impossible.   We may have to see coronavirus deaths ramp up into the 5 to 10 million people levels in North America and Europe to see the really ugly parts of this scenario begin - but the market may discount much of this set of possibilities at any time - including right about now.

To say that this concerns us, would be an understatement.

[ Feb. 6, 2021 ] - Forecasting & Prediction -  Some Thoughts:  Drawing lines on charts actually works.  It's doesn't work very well - but maybe good enough to survive and even prosper.   Just don't get too complicated.  My all-time best forecasts were the detailed-data-driven - but simplistic back-of-the-envelope ones that used accurate data, but few factors.  Honestly.  Once you introduce too many factors into your model - you run real risk of being "exactly wrong" as my old Economics professor would have said.  His name was Dr. Kerton, IIRC.  He taught a course in Economic Analysis which I made a nut-pile with.   When he taught us Cost-Benefit Analysis with ideas like "payback-periods" and so on - he stressed that one should not over-quantify future (unknown) benefits and costs, and he also indicated not to introduce precision into a forecast.

"Don't be stupid and use 4 decimal points of accuracy on a future-forecast, so that you are certain to be *exactly* wrong.  Always use an *interval* as your future forecast, and work your analysis from that range of possible, expected results."  This was a wise and sensible piece of advice, and I recall putting into practice in a work-term, right away.  It was really good advice.

More useful advice on forecasts... see the new section: "How to Forecast" by clicking the menu option above.  It contains my notes on forecasting, as well as Paul Saffo's 2007 article "Six Rules for Effective Forecasting", and my (critically important) Rule Number 7, for those using forecasts in their trading activity.   Enjoy.   And Good Luck!  I mean that sincerely.

[ Feb. 5, 2021 ] - Everything is Being Weaponized. - This is not a new observation - folks have been discussing this and its ramifications for many years.  But this curious process - seen in so many domains and fields of effort and action - seems to be accelerating.   It seems to be co-incident with a generalized failure of the older trust-models that evolved out of the characteristics of human community.  The first written words were bills-of-lading and related shipping documents - typically on clay balls or tablets or the pots used to transport the goods.

I find it curious the degree to which it is not possible to trust anything anywhere anymore.   And it is surprising the extent to which almost all communiction on the internet and telephone system is fraught with risk and overt weaponization - emails carry toxic attachments that infect and destroy the integrity of one's computer.  This process alone has advanced to quite an impressive level.

Even social emergency activity - the Covid-19 response - has been effectively weaponized.  Several articles have appeared, detailing how this is being done.  There is even some evidence the virus iteslf was the direct result of an accidental release of an agent developed in a lab, the purpose of which was research and development related to the weaponization of viral agents.

  (A virus is a wonderfully effective weapon - better even than a high-radiation neutron-bomb.  The people are destroyed, but the infrastructure remains intact for occupation and beneficial operation.)

So we are all now on doubly-dangerous ground.  It is not just AI technology that is being turned into weapons.   Everything is subject to this rather disturbing trend - even efforts at communication and analysis.

This trend will continue, until it ends badly, we suspect.

[Update: For amusement - check out our forecast of a major economic crash this year, in 2021, based on the "Benner-Fibonacci" cycle-analysis model, detailed in Robert Prechter's 1978 book "Elliot Wave Principle".   It is the "Economics 2021" tab above - just click on it to see our back-of-the-envelope projection, we made in 2016  (five years ago - knowing nothing about Covid-19!)  :)

[ Feb. 4, 2021 ] - Hacking the Future - I have three model/algorithms which attempt to forecast - one is low-frequency, one is high frequency, and the last and what seems to be best, is the low-high frequency one (MCLprop), which used a high-frequency technique, but focuses the high-frequency view to the most recent data-points of a price series.   This hybrid version seems to work best, for getting a sense of what is likely to unfold.   It's a hack, but it seems to work.

This entire process is fraught with a myriad of conceptual and philosophical (and even mathematical) problems and flaws.   Then why do it?   For the money, of course.   We have to admit that we know not the future, but in any market process - one cannot make any money unless one places a bet, and rolls the dice.   We often use the mental imagery and metaphors of  games when speaking of marketplace activity - but the marketplace is not a game.  It is a critical and necessary component of human life and activity that builds our cities, feeds our children, and enriches our awareness and knowledge.

Humans have to rise up out of poverty, and leave the cave-dwellings and supersitious foolishness of religion and violent tribal conflict behind in the past.  This is only possible with economic specialization, economic co-ordination, and honest trade.   An honest marketplace and sound money are the algorithmic methods by which human communities are able to socialize without violence and conflict.   It's either warfare or business.   There really are only these two comprehensive modalities of social interaction.   You either make it yourself, or you organize a "government" with strong warriors (a military) and go bash the neighbouring tribe into blood and bones and take their stuff, or you agree to trade the results of your individual economic efforts, in some sort of honourable, trust-laden manner.

We stay in deep and natural poverty with option 1.  Option number 2 requires regular, violent conflict, blood-soaked earth, fathers burying their dead sons (instead of what should be the other way around), and an organized culture of routine mass-murder.  Warrior cults can be effective for a while, but are ultimately self-defeating.  A recent example was the ISIS.  They require abuse and violence to operate, and seen up close, it quickly becomes apparent that this option is horrific in its awfulness.   So that leaves Option 3 - trade, commerce & business.  Communism is just an attempt to apply the abusive militarism of Option 2 to economic production.  It is a perfect failure - for the same reason the Massachusetts Bay Colony almost failed - until the Governor deeded out private land-holdings to every citizen-colonist.   Once the Colony had a proper land-tenure system - and fathers could leave their improved property to their son's, the Colony thrived.  Before that, all land was held in *common* - an absurd and profoundly unwise economic model, in which no-one had any rational incentive to work or take hard effort to improve anything, and produced economic failure and starvation.  The deeding-out of the land, was a last-ditch attempt to save the colony, and it succeeded.  It became the City of Boston.

Option 3 - trade and business in a private-property-owning, law-following economic organization - is the *only* method of social organization that works to allow humans to rise up out of poverty and violent warfare.  It is the only method that will allow an operational future to be created.  If you study history honestly (not like it is promoted and obfuscated in modern, academic "History Departments"), then this conclusion is inescapable.

So, we have to learn to be good at business and marketplace action.   The most astonishing example of the Triumph of the Market Model is of course, Japan.  In an astonishingly short time, a small island nation, smashed flat and burnt to zero by a powerful invading force (that it picked the fight with!), was able to do more than just recover.   It was able in just a few years, to rebuild itself and challenge the world with the scale and quality of its products.    We are now seeing China make a similar astonishing transition.

But the forces of darkness are always present.   Violent conflict is deeply attractive to many young men, and political opportunists know this truth - and bend it into manipulative lies to achieve private objectives.  Being powerful is very attractive for some.   Very bad people, can become very powerful, and can do terrible damage to honourable, economic activity.

We seem to be moving now, everywhere, in this direction.   In every area, powerful forces are now working to engineer non-economic, military directed actions.  The objectives are social-control for the purposes of holding on to political power.   Military methods and military agents are re-taking the field - and using the force-of-arms to maintain power and social domination.

In Asia, the militarists are taking control - not just in Myanmar, but in China and Vietnam and Thailand.  Russia - which had the beginning of real success, is now showing the world that it is dominated by a murderous and out-of-control spy-thug who has corrupt courts and a fraudulent, fake legal system at his control.   Russia's arrest of the poisoning-victim Navalny, (ordered by the criminal leader of Russia, that sad ex-spy character, Vladimir Putin) shows that poor nation to be completely corrupt and off-limits nation - again.  This is very tragic and unfortunate.  Russia is a beautiful and wonderful land.   It is sad to see it again captured by a criminal agency.  Putin has to go, and go soon, if Russia is to prosper.

In Western nations, the Covid-19 virus is being used as an excuse to introduce abusive and aggressive economic "lockdowns", and in Canada, enforce a new, and dangerous racist ideology.  The Indians and Innuit up north are getting access to publically funded vaccines - but the white folks in the southern cities and country-side, are being told none is available for them until maybe next year.   This absolute and profoundly racist strategy would have appeared unthinkable a few years back.

We are seeing the Covid-19 crisis being used to implement both curious and profoundly dangerous new, race-based political organizational models in Canada - which are at extreme variance to everything we thought our nation stood for.

But seen in the light of this clear drift toward militarism, and abusive use of armed authority to achieve - and retain - political power around the world - it suddenly does not appear unique at all.  Government agents in nations as diverse as Saudi Arabia, China and even the USA are explicitly detaining, assaulting and/or murdering those they see as political threats.

This is the *new normal*.    A future based on honourable market-place actions, and trade and commerce, is being replaced by a future based on the use of armed, military agency operations and abusive use of corrupt courts by dishonest politicians, to maintain their holds on political power.  

It's quite an astonishing transition.   There is no overt "conspiracy" here.  There is just a clear, visible movement - everywhere - away from honesty and fairness, to militarism and armed deployment of thugs to gain and hold power by means of force.    Democracy is again being viewed - like it was in the mid-20th century - as something that does not work right.   And this appears to be true, in practice.

It is astonishing that in Canada, the vaccine to fight Covid-19, is being delivered and deployed on a race-based action plan.   And there is no economic alternative.  You cannot *purchase* the life-saving vaccine you may require to continue to live.   You can only go cap-in-hand to some government political figure, and ask for it - and if you are white and live in the country in the south, you will be refused.

This represents - certainly to the white-skinned people who are being refused access to the vaccine - an astonishing betrayal of all that Canada was supposed stand for - a non-race-based "colour-blind" equal-opportunity, free society.     But in only a moment - it all slips away because of a very bad, deeply dishonest and abusively fraudulent government.

It is rather mind-blowing to see it quietly take place around one.  Our governments have morphed quickly into something ugly and grotesque.  And the media simply retails the official lies.  It is surprising to see it play out so clearly.

So we face a difficult and problematic future, if we simply allow events to grind forward and watch passively as the bandwagon of fraud and abuse of authority rumbles thru the streets of the world.  The only way these sorts of frauds are possible, is by means of deception, and ultimately, military force and abuse of legal authority.   This is the new model that is coming down on us - all of us - everywhere, in every land.  It is curious and surprising.

We have to change this algorithm.  We have to change the racist-model that is being reflected back towards ourselves in such a profoundly ugly, dishonest and abusive manner.

We have to hack the future.  We face a critical requirement to make active efforts to restore the freedom of the basic actions that we need to survive.   We here are even unable travel to the USA to acquire Covid-19 vaccine, where it is freely available in most major cities.  Why should I not be allowed deal directly with drug-makers, and purchase a supply for myself and my loved ones?  The government here is completely unable to do this.  Why should laws be erected and borders be closed to prevent private action to occur, where State action has failed?

Our governments here have failed us badly.

In the USA, they are vaccinating over 1 million people per day.  They are not limiting the distribution of the vaccine to any racial group, as we are here.  America - and many other nations - are making real efforts to vaccinate their citizens.   This is not happening in Canada, and this is profoundly and dangerously wrong.

What is happening here is so wrong, that I suspect it could be part of a clever re-election strategy by the Trudeau Liberals.  They have shown themselves to be the most dishonest and corrupt government this nation has had since Confederation, and it is possible they seek to provoke a response in the citizenry, so that they can deploy military authority and further expand the "State of Emergency" authority.  This would give them the opportunity to postpone elections, and further re-write the rules so as to retain power.

One see's other nations engage in this sort of abusive strategy - but it still comes as a surprise when it hits so close to one's home.

We will have to hack this future, or be destroyed by it.

[ Feb. 3, 2021 ] - Ludic Fallacy  This term was coined (by author Nassim Taleb) to describe the simple fact that life is not really a game. ("Ludos" means "Games", in Latin,)   A game requires boundries and rules and allows those who carefully plan, and have perfect memory, to typically win - or at least have an advantage.  It also describes the use of probability mathematics that is very helpful when one knows what the distribution of results is limited to, being incorrectly applied to situations where you have no knowledge of what the distribution of possible outcomes can be.  This is a subtle difference - typically smoothed over by making assumptions that are basically "Well, we don't know *exactly* what the range of outcomes can be, but we can estimate what is by looking at what we have seen recently".  Mostly, this approach sort-of works.

Until it doesn't.

If you roll dice, or play cards - you can determine exactly what the probabilities are - these are given by the nature of play rules, and the range of possible outcomes described by the number and type of cards or faces on the dice.   If you roll a pair of dice, the probability of getting double sixes or double 1's ("snake eyes" in craps), is 1/36, or 0.027777778.

In an open-ended, unbounded social-poliltical situation, the probability of getting a certain result - like an uptick and a bid sufficient to exit a position profitably, simply cannot be known with any real accuracy.  This is a place where randomness enters.  Market activity is of course, not random.  Any idiot can see that - and experience it for himself whenever he wants, if he participates in market action.

You cannot know the probabilities of possible future outcomes with accuracy in human activity, typically.  But you can get a reasonable idea of when probabilities shift in your favour or not.

And this is key.  Just because you cannot know exactly, does not mean you cannot get a pretty good idea of where the expected range of possible probabilities lies.  It's a bit like the two mathematical methods we used above.  1/36, the fractional representation of the chance of rolling a double six, is an absolutely accurate number - because we kept it as a fractional value.  But try to transform that number into a decimal equivalent, and we get a mess, right?    Do your old school-boy division, and divide 36 into 1.00000 and you get 0.027777... repeating,  If you have even half a brain, you have to think "WTF!?"   I just want to calculate and document the accurate probability of rolling a pair of sixes on a pair of cubic dice with numbers 1 to 6 stamped on each face, and suddenly, I am on a fast rocket-sled to infinity!   My mathematics is bloody well *broken!*    And it is.   The ancient Egyptians, who built the pyramids, were not stupid.  If they had to express a fractional result - they simply used *fractions*.  Rather clever, actually.

Indian/Arabic numerals, and base-ten math is a wonderful and brilliant invention.  But it has it's problems.

And so does all the rule-making and formalism that is brought to bear on market-process.  The whole "GameStop" thing shows this.  Going short of an over-valued stock is often a wise and profitable strategy.  Until it isn't.   The risk of a "short squeeze" is very real, and we have just watched a simple one happen.   Your crappy stock - which you have cleverly borrowed and sold, hoping to buy back later - maybe months or weeks or days or hours - is suddenly being accumulated by folks who know you have made this risky trade.   They run around and buy up *all* the stock available, and now, regardless of whether the stock is good, bad, or awful, you have to *buy-in* what you have sold, in order to satisfy the demands of your clearing-agent.

Selling something you don't own, is like using money you don't have to buy something.  You have to make good the contract - either by buying the thing you sold, for delivery to the guy you sold it to, or by borrowing the money from someone who has some, and paying a fee to use that borrowed money.   This is a very, very old and simple and clear and fine economic model.   It was (we think) invented in Babylon, and perfected by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The whole GameStop run was based on a simple recognition that most of the "hedge funds" and other wealthy, well-funded professional speculators, had decided that the company was toast, and would fail like a video-rental shop, because everything is available on the internet.   But Mr. Gill said maybe not - and made this fact known on Reddit - a social media site which is just a update on the old 1980's "Bulletin Board" sites, where people could get together and type chat-notes to each other.   That is all that it takes, to engineer a "short squeeze."  

Jim Fisk - a big trader back in the 1870's ran these kinds of squeezes. (Fisk and his partner, Jay Gould, were legendary.  They rose from poverty to wealth and power & defined an age.)

https://blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/2012/09/robber-barons-gould-and-fisk/

https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/murder-jim-fisk-vermont-robber-baron/

https://vtdigger.org/2017/02/12/vermont-peddler-wall-street-robber-baron/

You don't do it all yourself, of course.  You need only start buying shares in a heavily shorted stock, and let this fact become known in the market place.  The "tape-worms" (the folks who watch the ticker-tape to see and trade off of price-action), will see the price of a boring, disliked, sleepy stock, suddenly come alive, and they will know *exactly* that the "game is a-foot", as Mr. Holmes liked to say.

There is absolutely nothing new about the GameStop short squeeze.   The only issue for the regulators, is that there are rules against pre-planned, secret, dishonest combinations of market participants getting together and spreading lies, and then moving the stock price, based on lies and false information.

It is only thru lies and false information that any sort of "market manipulation" can occur.  Once you step up to buy and/or sell, then that is that.  Your actions are visible - because of the quotation screens (the "tape", in the old days), and all can see what is happening.

It is only unskilled, foolish, or uneducated folks (and regulators?) who find co-ordinated action disturbing.   It is against market rules to put together a big secret group that then tries to manipulate a share price.  But if you take action out in the open, and talk about what you are doing, and make no secret about your views - then in my opinion, no rules are broken.

But the current crop of Democrats in Washington are a pretty tragic and foolish collection of political opportunists - almost as awful as the Republicans - and in some cases, worse.  And many are also unskilled and uneducated in the realities of honest market action - so doubtless they will milk this event for their political advantage and do some huffing and puffing, as the politically clever - but marketplace ignorant - types always do so that they can give the appearance of dealing with an *issue*.

Politicians are what they are.   They are the exact opposite of market people.   Folks in the world of markets place a very high value on honourable behaviour, and truth-telling.  Political people are exactly the opposite, as they dispute truth with a vengence, and place their value on deception and obfuscation and mis-representation.   Politics is mostly about sham and delusion and the manufacture and marketing of imaginary falsehoods.  This is seen as a valuable political skill - and was actually taught in schools in the ancient world.   It is sometimes called "rhetoric" or "sophistry", and it is to politicians, what money is to honest traders and business-people - the currency that political people use to gain advantages over each other, by the manipulation of public opinion.

When events occur, it is entertaining and instructive to see the way the political lie-machines and the mainstream media (the "handmaids" of the lying pols..) will spin the event in their talk-fests.

"With such little wisdom the world is governed..."

----

[ Feb. 2, 2021 ] - Sea Machine / See Machine - (I feel like I am at sea just a bit...)  The C_machine forecast turned down last nite.  Me, sitting in front of the computer, sweating a bit, at 3:00 am (I went to bed early at 9:30 pm.. up at 3 for the puppy...).  Anyway, today, we closed the position we had put on, as per previous fcst.  Got lucky today, a nice pop in all the markets - took advantage of it.  Even the fractal models are twitchy now (I suppose they are supposed to be...).

Previous fcst slotted into " Economics 2021" section.  This website is a mess, must re-factor it and clean it up.  It has grown like a weed-front.  Will try to make it more organized.  😎

FD: (Full Disclosure:  We closed the position with a comfortable profit, despite being offside for a while.  My New-Year's resolution was to follow the damn models, and try hard to inject less of my own ego into the trading.  I try to trade like I am not even here - seriously.  But it is difficult.)

[ Jan. 31, 2021 - Feb. 1st, 2021 ] - Memory RNA & Copper Thunderbirds - When the going gets weird...   The low is to the south of us, the high is probably in Bushmills, and perhaps warmth as well.   It feels surreal.  Fri and Sat spent running errands, paying bills, fixing chainsaw (new chain - real sharp), and sectioning up a tree-trunk the Township left us (they were kind enough to take down another dead Ash on the road-side).  Sectioned into rounds, the tree-trunk was then transported via Kubota to the carport, and each round was sectioned up with an amazing hydraulic wood-splitter we acquired many years back from TSC (the Tractor Supply Company, now under new ownership and re-branded as "Peavy Mart").

Perhaps Detroit could re-brand itself as New Tokyo, (kinda like we did here with the big Toyota factory), and improve it's prospects.  We build the Matrix mini-SUV there, and the Honda CRV's up in Alliston.  We bought one of the Honda's and they are amazing - all the crap around the fenders and the rocker panels are hard, black plastic - that poly-styrene type like they used to make telephones out of.  Good and hard, and will not rust.   Our "new" used (2011) CRV looks like it rolled of the line yesterday.  Curious.

Copper goes green, steel beams turn to rust - but plastic is forever, if it is made right.  Like stainless steel.   If you build it right, you put your future-self out of business, I guess.  So, everything is mostly made crappy.  (Except our Honda, it seems...).  

Maybe "Made Crappy" is the theme for the future.   Like the New Green America?   Will Biden issue "MACA" hats to his followers?  ("Make America Crappy Again" ...?  perhaps the new dance craze - the Green MACArena?).   I don't know whether to laugh, cry or just buy more ammo. 

:)

Reading all about Mr. Gill the Gamestop Guy.  Hilarious.  Reddit is hilarious.  The internet is a fucking comedy show of truly bibilical proportions.  But at least the "Race to the Bottom" has been replaced by the "Race to the Crazy".  It is some improvement, I guess.

I've always found taking short positions really difficult - for exactly the reasons the Gamestop thing has demonstrated.  Is Gamestop the new Google?   I don't think so.  But I thought Facebook was just stupid and silly - until I realized it might actually take over the world - like Google sort of has.  I've never made really any money at all in tech stuff, since it all seemed so simple and painfully obvious and silly overpriced - and of course, it just became even more silly overpriced.  One should not be critical of stuff that is silly-overpriced, because often there is a reason for this - but the reason is not immediately evident.

If the World really is as painfully messed up, and is run by idiots and criminals to the degree that it actually appears, then a lot of really stupid stuff - stuff that looks insane on the surface - can actually make sense, if one digs down into the truth of things, just a bit - like Henry David Thoreau recommended in "Walden", if I remember correctly.

[I found my copy of "Walden" on the office bookshelf]  Thoreau had a beautiful passage where he said:  "Shams and delusions are esteemed for the soundest truths, while reality is fabulous.  If men would steadily observe realities only,  and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights' Entertainments."

We do not use our technology as wisely as we could.  Much more is possible, I suspect.

I re-read "Walden".  It is a well-crafted essay, and an interesting snapshot of an interesting time.  America still had Negro Slaves, and yet also every sane Yankee farmer knew that such a thing was a stench in the nostrals of their fictious god, and an obvious repudiation of everything their new constitution claimed to stand for.  The poor American slave-owning folk had to make the argument that Negros were not actually men and women, but were in fact animals that could be owned for profit.   Anyone with honesty in themselves, could see such an argument was insane, and so the US was marching towards a civil war when Thoreau was writing, and I am pretty sure he knew this.

I visited Thoreau's grave in Concord, and the Walden Pond park also.   America is a good thing, and it should be encouraged to survive and prosper.   And hold on to and keep at the ready, it's best weapons - nuclear and intellectual, and those fine AR-15's. (We make them here also, just like Honda's.   Canadians are the world's best engineers - but don't promote this curious fact.)

Thoreau wrote passionately about the need to see reality clearly, and not thru the lens of false thinking and delusion.  He wrote of the possibility of other worlds with people perhaps upon them, circling stars like our sun.  He was seriously educated, and appears to have read and understood Latin and Greek, and was clearly conversant with the Science of the day, such as it was.

I have been reading about the military coup in Myanmar (Burma), and the arrest and detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, the rightful leader of that nation.   It would be a fine thing if the enlisted men in the Myanmar Army simply shot their dishonorable "generals" and placed their high-command under arrest for illegal military abuse af authority.   I wonder if Thoreau is read in translation?   Once one is exposed to American thinking, then life under a bunch of military thugs and criminals simply becomes impossible.  The license-plate motto of the State of New Hampshire says it best:  "LIve Free or Die."   Good, clear, direct, honest - and accurate - simple and yet very profound, Yankee philosophy.   

It is just not worth living in a nation run by Army thugs, "Communists", or other lying, murdering, brutal, worthless criminal scum.   The Chinese wisely gave up the idiocy of "communism" and retained only the silly name.   A wonderful and sensible way for China to be re-unified, would be to simply invite the Government of Taiwan to come over to Beijing, and be the Government of All of China.  

If China could hold free elections, and determine which folks would be sent to the capital to be parliamentarians, then a Unified Republic of China - with multiple political parties - could be created, and it would become the richest and most prosperous, powerful nation on the planet.   I wonder if such a thing could actually happen.    It happened in Japan, but it took the nuclear bombing of two of their cities, and full American military occupation, for this to become possible.

What history teaches us, is that war - old fashioned "bellum" - can actually be a positive thing, if it leads to a positive outcome that brings stability, peace and prosperity to everyone.  Curious.

The tragic and ugly outcome in Myanmar shows what it looks like when it all goes wrong.  The correct thing for the citizens of Myanmar to do is simply - *nothing*.  Everyone should just sit down and stop all economic activity until the rightful, elected government is restored, and the military thugs who defied the people are taken down and removed from any position of authority.

A complete, and absolute general strike should be undertaken.  After a few days, and people are hungry, then food riots could begin, and when the military sends out the troops to murder the citizens, the citizens should ask the enlisted soldiers to turn around, and shoot the thug-leaders.  

Full, open revolt against all forms of illegal, thug-boss military authority should be authorized by the elected, detained leaders of Myanmar, so the soldiers could shoot the criminals who have siezed power, and do so knowing that they - the soldiers - are acting with full government authority.   And perhaps if the USA or other nations wished to assist, they could offer some nice, targeted air-strikes against all the locations where "military generals" might be hiding or running to.    Air-strikes are a really fine and wonderful thing - like a big, fat hand of an angry god, reaching down and plucking out the thugs from their palaces and hideouts.   

Direct action needs to be taken when basic laws are broken so badly.   And one need never make war directly on soldiers.  That just makes them want to fight a force that is not their true enemy.  The key is to find the head of the snake, and destroy it completely - like was done with that filthy toad Gadaffi that ran Libya into destruction and failure, or Hussein of Iraq, or the god-hating vermin of ISIS.   You just locate these murderous criminal-leaders, and you dispatch them like the viruses and cancer-cells that they are.   This is really just "hand-washing" on a larger scale.

As Thoreau so eloquently noted:  To make a fine omlette, you need to break some eggs.

We need these fine Copper Thunderbirds - not just as artists - but as flying, operational forces as well.   They are not just visions of transformation - they are the actual machinery by which transformation is made to occur.   They fly in and bring destruction to the thug-leaders and worthless killers of the World.    Our history teaches us clearly the regular necessity of this sort of action.   We must access our memory, our history, and our knowledge of all things, and see that the need to make these corrective actions is always present, and does not decay with time.

[ Jan. 29, 2021 ] - Tune Into the Right Frequency (Everything You Know is Wrong) - Getting the tuning right can be difficult, no question.   You look for "this", but you get "that".  Oh my.  Didn't Niel Young write a song about this problem?   Trying  to *lockdown* a national economy so that sick people don't "crowd the hospitals" is stupid.  Trying to give something valuable and scarce away to *everyone* for free, (like doctor's services) is really stupid.   And combining this socialist economic medical model of "doctor rationing" with a lethal viral pandemic - well, the manifest stupidity of the choices that have been made becomes painfully evident.

I honestly was once at a social function, where this fellow from the "Ministry of Health" (which is of course, an agency that is all about *sickness*), explained to me how they were going to control medical costs, by limiting the number of doctors that our province would allow to graduate from the medical schools.   (I said nothing, but thought: "WTF?!")

He reasoned fewer OHIP billing numbers, fewer doctor-driven invoices flowing into the Ministry to be paid.   As a juniour-G-man-economist, I suggested that this might not work, since you were limiting a scarce and economy-critical resource, and that reducing the supply of a critical good, typically drives up the price.

And as well, it will be creating a bunch of nasty distortions, and other supply-side problems that pretty much have to add to costs of just about everything that interacts with the critical good being supply-restricted.

(Viz: SIck people with minor sickness that is treatable - but who are denied easy access to medical care - will almost always get much sicker, and will require bigger, more expensive medical care explicitly because they could not see a doctor early on, and get the problem fixed when it was just a small thing.  And the number of sick people risks growing rapidly, if illness cannot be quickly treated and resolved.  This will reduce the supply of healthy taxpayers, and business-generators, and will also leave sick folks with contagious illnesses, in situ, to create more sick folks, during flu outbreaks...  All bad and expensive outcomes...)

But this poor fellow just did not believe that economics mattered in doctoring or medical care service delivery.  For him, it was just about total hospitals, number of beds, number of doctors, and total costs to deliver the government-mandated *programs*.   I realized I was talking to an idiot, and smiled and said I had to get another drink.   I also resolved to give up on "economics", and be a computer programmer, since I (incorrectly) thought I would not have to deal with quite so many idiots.  (Fuck, was I wrong on that call...)

But at least I was able to get gigs and contracts enough to pay the bills.  But of course, I had to be careful not to get sick, or hurt, since there were suddenly no doctors anywhere taking in patients anymore.   Strange times.

And so now, here we are.  No doctors, crowded hospitals, everything supposedly "free" - except just like basic economics would predict - it is not actually available, since good health and good medicine is always a valuable thing.   And if agency operatives mandate that it must be offered to everyone at no cost - then it does not take much to forecast that there will not be any fucking supply to be had.  This is always the case when any sort of price-control or supply restriction is applied.

A Fucked World - run by lying, ignorant dishonest asshole fuckwits.   Is it really surprising that folks are just a tad unhappy with this situation?    And now they are telling us we will have to use electric cars and trucks that cost six-figures to buy, and maybe even more to keep running?  This is turning into quite the comedy show, is it not?  

Market Action:  We are long and wrong, it looks like.   We have several models, and we chose to try a combo of high-frequency and long-wave decision selection.   But political events are rolling over us hard, it seems, and we are offside.  Oh my.

We have a worst-case scenario, in which Biden dies of a heart-attack, and the Women take over in Washington.  Kamala Harris and her crew of lefty witches will begin the demonic assault on all that is America, and the free citizens of the USA will be left with no choice but to begin a Second American Revolution.

This is a crazy, very low probability, very worst case scenario - but I am curiously surprised at how often our extreme, worst-case expectations seem to be made manifest in reality, lately.   It is also such a golden, perfect time for China to move on Taiwan.  If I were the Republic of China Government, I would be running the secret centrifuges at full-speed, and would be spinning my yellow-cake into boom-grade material as fast as I could.  And ff they are smart and want to stay free, they also might have some breeder-machines making some purex - you know, that laundry detergent - so that they could keep their fine island nice and clean and free from that nasty red stain that seems to leak out when great fraud occurs.

Once Biden dies or drops, will the Women care about the ROC?  Not likely.   They will be too busy welcoming terrorists into Washington, aborting fetuses, and giving "poor" people free money.   Historians might call it "The Great Rape of the US Treasury".    This scenario is so awful, that it is comical - it seems to remind me of "Springtime for Hitler" - something designed to be maximum terrible - but it has the curious smell of the possible.  "Nose before ear" ( the song by the "Cowboy Junkies") seems to come to mind.    It is so awful, that it can't possibly happen - until it suddenly plays out, and we all stand there watching the TV, as the real sh/t-storm begins.   The key is, you have to have the army on your side, and you have to have solid plans in place to exploit the "fog of war" when the real action begins.

But this time, it won't be in Iraq or Libya or Georgia or Tigray or Fukushima.  It might just be down the street from where you live, if the madness keeps progressing at it's current rate.

[ Jan. 28, 2021 ] - Langdon's First Law: "Don't Be Stupid." - Damn, I just can't resist.  Memo to the Reading Robots: "Please try to tell your makers not to be stupid."

This is an important message.  Stupidity is like a force.  It is like a tsunami of stubborn ignorance, self-delusion, and obfuscation, and it threatens to wash over the world.   Actionable key-point: "Do not try to short this market."  There is this "Great Wall of Cash" that has been created, and is not being deployed, for many various reasons.   And the sad inability of the Governments of the World to do anything constructive about this curious viral plague, suggests that even more cash will be created and spread around.  That is obviously the only thing they can do, since they cannot create and distribute vaccine.  It is just tragi-comic how awful and foolish the policy response by the Nation-State governments is turning out to be.

Biden has cancelled the Keystone pipeline project.  And that is just stupid.  The US economy is *shrinking* and this is not the time to play politics, and trash mega-projects which are both economic (they will make money for everyone involved), and also critical to the effective operation of the world's biggest economy (the USA runs on oil, and will do so for many more years).   Biden is being a fool and a failure, and his Administration has only just got started.  It is quite amazingly tragic and comic. Support the Green-Nazi types if you want, but also be smart enough to look into the camera and say "I am the President of Texas and Detroit - not just of California.  We will advance this pipeline project because American workers and the American Economy require it.  End of Discussion."   Why not be a leader, Joe?

The Democrats are now the Government.  The poor stupid folks need to start acting like an actual Government, and not a collection of loony-leftists and green-arsed nazi nutjobs with pie-in-the-sky fantasy dreams.  Government is all about difficult and critical choices.  These people seem to have missed this.

And for the big traders:  The USA markets will trend upwards.  This is not the time to be short anything.  It is important not to be stupid.   Interest rates are basically zero.   Sit on the sidelines if you must, but don't blow your brains out with bullets made out of your own crystalized arrogance.

And for systems-people: Don't use AWS or Google servers.  Pay for and deploy your own hardware.  Otherwise, you risk being fucked by Bezos and the Californicators, and be held hostage to their politics.  Locate your servers in a place where you have complete control of them, and route your packets carefully, with all necessary strong encryption.  But expect to be taken down by Chinese, Russian, Romanian or American black-hat boys.   World is ugly, and nasty, and you must plan for all possible contingencies.  Use satellite distribution if you can.  It will get worse, before it gets better.

Market Hint:  Ok, you might think that AI and machine learning is complete bullshit.  And you might be right, some of the time.  Maybe even most of the time.  So just use a very old trick from 120+ years ago - circa 1901 to 1912 (and still in use by old guys who make more money than they lose..):  Just draw straight lines on linear stock-price charts (not "log" or "semi-log" charts).  It is so simple - and yet actually, not really as simple as it looks, as you still have to interpret what is going on.  I'll post a simple, "straight-line" forecast chart, done with simple mechanical techniques (linear "regression", or least-squares linear "curve" fitting).  On our "testbed" security (a bank equity we have been playing with for 20 years, and whose dividends pay the bills), we have a target price forecast that is roughly 20 to 30 dollars higher than the analyst-consensus forecast (which is 10 dollars per share higher price than where the stock is currently trading!).  It's a funny world.  

It's quite curious how well straight-lines drawn on stock-price charts actually work.  This is especially true in the case of interest-rate sensitive stocks & high dividend payers (ie. banks and phone companies and other utilities).  And it is curious how often crazy mis-pricings of risk and value seem to crop up.  For analytic background, you can read the original 1934 Graham and Dodd "Security Analysis" - a very good fat book, written to be read and used by curious, educated people - so unlike the modern editions of similar tomes.

The prices of interest-rate sensitive securities (bonds and dividend-paying stocks) tend to trend over long periods, typically generations (20 to 30 years and more).   The price changes tend to be serially auto-correlated - which just means that the prices trend.   And of course, major crashes and booms (especially crashes), tend to happen much more often than the volatility of typical prices *changes* tends to suggest.   Mandelbrot did interesting work on this in the 1960's on this phenomenon.

But you don't need fancy math - you just need to realize that "reset" events happen often and regularly - and these are typically wealth-wipeouts, and these *MUST* occur regularly, to counteract the power of financial compound growth, which any simpleton can see quickly causes wealth to rise to astronomical levels if allowed to continue for hundreds of years.   (I was the "Mayor of Simpleton" for a while..  Maybe I still am?)

If we don't have crashes to wipe-out compound growth financial gains, then every family on the planet would be billionaires in a few generations.  And this does not happen.  In Canada, the old market saying about family wealth was: "Overalls to overalls in 3 generations."  (First generation works hard, invents something or makes a big score, and gets rich.  Second generation lives well, and builds on the base, if the old guy taught his children well.  Third generation pisses away all the money on foolish ventures and stupid living.   This pattern just repeats and repeats and repeats...)

Don't be stupid.  And this turns out to be curiously difficult.   Look back over your life, and count up the really stupid things you have done.  Are you up to a big number yet?  Hell, I certainly am.  :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6FObPezIAk

[ Jan. 27, 2021 ] - Stopping the Game in Crazy Times - But, hey, we have our internet back!  It's just a bit insane - our "provider" decided to simply disable and remove the antenna panel on the tower we were line-of-sight connected to with our WiMax tower transponder-modem.  We had to pay for a couple of technical specialists to come out and re-point us to a different tower!  This feels like the late '90's again - the "last mile problem" biting us hard.  Just silly - like the "stonk" trading in the Excited States.

We are long again, as the C-Machine - and the World as well - has made it clear that the market direction is up.  We've literally spent two weeks offline - and it's been weird - I even turned on the old short-wave radio, and the regenerative-receiver I built to investigate feedback circuits.  There is nothing on short-wave anymore - nothing at all.  It's quite curious - literally, there are only a few god-yappers and nutjobs - nothing else.  When I was very young, there still was an entire ecosystem of transmissions on short-wave.  Radio, railways and telephones were the first internet boom - with social transformations that were just as extreme.

For the first time, I used the voice-recognition software at our online-broker, to do a trade.  One cannot get thru to live people at most businesses, and not at all at any Government entity.  No-one has live people answer telephones anymore, it seems.   Curious.

We are extraordinarily lucky - as I saw this kind of world coming, like a tsunami in the rear-view mirror.  Life on the farm is nice - even if it  is a bit like being on Mars sometimes.  The Android cellphone has been a life-saver during this "time of no Internet", as even without data, the use of AI-based voice-recognition technology has advanced enough to be useable and it actually works (it never really used to..).    This is a big deal.

The rate and speed of USA money-supply growth - begun under Trump - will be extended under the Biden folks.  I would say that "It's going to get weird" - except it already has.  So I am pretty sure it's going to get even more weird.  The Dutch riots are a perhaps a picture of what our future is going to look like.  

It is almost certain that national governments are going to ramp up or maintain the extraordinary levels of monetary stimulus we are seeing.  The new cash money will be (and is being) deployed in the markets.   This is a trend that will continue at the very least until everyone on the planet is correctly (two shots) vaccinated - probably at least two more years.

[ Jan. 18, 2021 ] - Locked Down & Messed Up- Well, this is a fine kettle of fish.  At probably the most critical time for us, our internet service provider, Xplornet, has shutdown some panels on their Wimax tower, and has knocked us off the internet.  Repeated calls to them (where you can wait up to an hour to get thru to a live person) have resulted in them saying we need to hire - and pay for - a technician from an unrelated 3rd-party company to come and check the alignment of our tower's equipment.  We know our tower has not moved, and the equipment is working correctly (I've logged into the modem - with one of their technical people on the phone) - and we know our radio modem is functioning correctly.

But we have no internet.  It comes on a few minutes - maybe even 10 or 20 minutes - but then drops off, and we have nothing for hours.  It's hilarious, except it is putting us out of business.  Sadly, Canada has - honestly - the very worst internet service in the whole world, I suspect.  It's actually better in most third-world locations - and way better in Asia, Europe and USA.  Pretty funny, considering the telephone was invented here...

Anyway, I am sitting in a parking lot, in front of a Starbucks typing this.   Sitting in the parking lot, dropping packets - but not many, since the Starbucks internet is good.   Quite hilarious, really.

I've called other companies - and there is no Wimax service available - the towers are full, apparently.  

Double-plus-ungood.   Maybe we are just finished, it looks like.  Take a copy of this site, it's full of all the little gems I came up with during these very strange times.   Guess we will have to go renegade, or something like that.   Bye-bye.   Stay safe, and all the best.

[ Jan. 14, 2021 ] - Xplornet is Trying to Kill Us.- Help.  Well, not actually launching missles at us - but we have been without internet for four days now.  Many phone calls - lots of work with their technicians - turns out they hacked their own tower, and shutdown/changed 10mpbs panels (antenna + transponder/routers) to 5mpbs, and broke our connection - but they won't admit the damage was their work.  The want us to pay hundreds of dollars for a 3rd party technican to come and fiddle with our equipment we know is working perfectly.   Crazy world.  Elon?  You there???  I have a handful of $100 bills for a Starlink base-station for downlink - and even if it runs at dial-up speed, *I WILL TAKE IT!" OK?

Because WE HAVE NO INTERNET ACCESS at all.   I am sitting outside a Starbucks, typing this on my MacBook Pro, which I re-programmed to have DHCP access, so it could connect to the Starbucks LAN.   This is crazy - worst time / worst case - and the markets are moving, and we cannot even get quotes.  Insane and crazy.   World is rather f*cked, sadly.   Without internet access, it is not possible to "work from home".   Goddamnit - this is just nuts.


[ A Time of No Internet => Xplornet Removed Antenna Panels from Their Tower.      ]

[ This nasty action killed our internet service completely.   We had no warning.  ]
[ We were off-line at the Farm, for more than two-weeks in January, 2021.         ]

[ Deployed GNU-APL 1.8a across all machines ]
This is a pretty cool hack. This box is an old 32-bit Fedora/Red-Hat box, with a semi-custom Linux kernel, but based on a Linux kernel: 2.6.27.25-78.2.56.fc9.i686 (as reported by "uname -a"). I've got the GNU-APL 1.8a (the SVN version 1379, with my fixes to the LIBXCB stuff, so ⎕PLOT works correctly. This involved some major work - first, I had to build a working gcc version 4.8.5, which is from 2015 - actually a pretty solid compiler - complete with a good FORTRAN (gFortran), and Java and other stuff. I also had previously built Python 2.7, and the box runs two versions of Tcl/Tk. To build gcc 4.8.5, I used the original gcc 4.3.0 (from April 28, 2008) which was on the machine. (Attempts to build GNU-APL with this older gcc compiler, failed with "long-integer" errors. So, I had to upgrade gcc to 4.8.5 to build GNU-APL 1.8 from source.)

But this is the coolest thing. This GNU-APL is a real, native Linux APL, and one uses "xmodmap" to setup the APL keyboard/APL characters. I had assumed that the APL would not run under a 32-bit processor, but that's wrong. If you have gcc 4.8.5, (or later, probably), the GNU-APL 1.8 will configure and compile & build successfully, if you have installed the newer libxcb stuff and the fftw3 code, for FFTs (if you want to do some signal-processing, or other waveform bashing.)

When you upgrade "libxcb", by building it from source, you run into problems trying to link stuff together, because the xcblib-xlib.so.1 library just got removed in the move from libxcb.so.1.0.0 to libxcb.so.1.1.0, and on this older platform, I kept getting undefined references to "_xcb_lock_io" and "_xcb_unlock_io", during the build. (Here is an old Gentoo note found on Google: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-p-7282170.html?#7282170 )

When I first built and installed LIBXCB (I used the LIBxcb.1.12 tarball), it completely destroyed my X-windows/GNOME GUI! Oh my.. The install for libxcb sets up a symlink in /usr/local/lib which points to new /usr/local/lib/libxcb.so.1.1.0 dynamic library. And in /usr/lib, the symlink libxcb.so.1 which points to /usr/lib/libxcb.so.1.0.0 gets ignored. I spent hours tracking this down and figuring out what was happening. You can run "ldd" (the tool to check dependencies in dynamic librarys) on old libxcb-xlib.so.0.0.0, and see where libxcb.so.1 is pointing to. Once I installed the newer libxcb, the libxcb.so.1 reported by "ldd" was pointing to /usr/local/lib/libxcb.so.1. The idea is that new stuff goes into /usr/local/lib, but the old system-critical stuff in /usr/lib is unaffected, so your system will remain functional. But when programs (like X) look for dynamic libs, they look in /usr/local/lib first, then /usr/lib (on RedHat/Fedora/CentOS). To recover function of my Xwindows/Gnome, I just removed the symlink to the newer xcblib.so.1.1.0 in /usr/local/lib, by removing /usr/local/lib/libxcb.so.1, and then X-windows/Gnome was restored.

This way, the new xcblib stuff can be used, but the old remains available for system operation. Run "ldd" against /usr/lib/libxcb-xlib.so.0.0.0, and you see now that libxcb.so.1 now points to /usr/lib/libxcb.so.1 (not the one in /usr/local/lib.

You have to do other stuff also, to build the APL. Typically (like the gcc build also), you set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to /usr/local/lib and PKG_CONFIG_PATH also to /usr/local/lib, so your new code can link against the newer installed versions of libs in /usr/local/lib.

For gcc upgrade, I needed to build: mpc, mpfr and gmp. For the GNU-APL, I had to build fftw3 and xcb (as mentioned).

Also, to get GNU-APL to build to completion, so it could be successfully installed, I had to hack the "Makefiles" in the /tools subdirectory of /home/gnuapl/apl-1.8a (where I put the current APL source).

Specifically, I was also gettting the "_xcb_lock_io" and "_xcb_unlock_io" undefined reference errors during the GNU-APL "make". I did this build of gcc 4.8.5 and GNU-APL on two different 32-bit boxes. On the first box, in the xcb build (of libxcb-1.12), I had to also build pthread-stubs-master, xcb-proto-1.12 and libXau-1.0.7. One the second box, the build of xcb lib used only pthread-stubs-master and xcb-proto-1.12. But on the second box, I had to tweak the "LIBS =" parm in the ../tools/Makefile to include: " /usr/lib/libxcb.so.1 /usr/local/lib/libxcb.so.1.0.0 " at the end of the string. So in apl-1.8a/tools/Makefile:

LIBS = -lc -ldl -lcairo -lfftw3 -lm -lncurses -lcurses -lnsl -lpthread -ltinfo -lxcb -lX11 -lX11-xcb

became:

LIBS = -lc -ldl -lcairo -lfftw3 -lm -lncurses -lcurses -lnsl -lpthread -ltinfo -lxcb -lX11 -lX11-xcb /usr/lib/libxcb.so.1 /usr/local/lib/libxcb.so.1.0.0

In /usr/local/lib, I have both libxcb.so.1.0.0 (the original one) and /libxcb.so.1.1.0 (the newer one) of the xcblib libraries. And I notice a symlink called "/usr/local/lib/libxcb.so" has been created in /usr/lib, which actually points to libxcb.so.1.1.0. So mostly, I am getting the new library during "make" runs. But a link to the older 1.0.0 library is included in the "LIBS=" line in the make file. This let the build work, without needing to build libXau-1.0.7. (It would appear.) The build runs libtool, which create .la files for xcb and other stuff in /usr/local/lib. These .la files are text files which give dynamic load-library location information. You can google "What are .la files?" and spend a while reading what ".la" files are, and how "libtool" creates and manages them.

I didn't really expect to get all this working. But it does now work, and Xwindows/Gnome GUI is working again. And on the second machine I setup, it is quite amazing. The machine is an old Pentium III Compaq-EN, with only 1.3 gig of memory, and the APL and the ⎕PLOT graphics and the ⎕FFT stuff all works. The image above shows the GNU--APL 1.8, with ⎕PLOT working successfully. This machine is a 32-bit Pentium 4, with 2 gig memory, and it runs along snappy quick, no problems. I'll try to write up all this a bit better, as I am just going thru scribbled notes, trying to capture stuff I did on the fly, and just wrote scrawls as I got things to work. This note is mess, but I wanted to get details down while it's all still fresh. I will try to write up something better, later. What this means, is that with a bit of effort, you an take an old 32-bit box, install a Linux on it, and build a very powerful APL machine, that looks like it works, complete with ⎕PLOT graphics and ⎕FFT, and also SQLITE3 functional access. Cool stuff, for major data-bashing and model-hacking. :)

This is interesting. The C_Machine Forecaster says "Down", but Mr. Market is saying "Up". It rarely gets this different. But when it does, I have noticed typically that risk rises quite a bit. I don't have hard numbers on how much - but I have a new APL platform now that runs in native Linux, and we are going to try to get a better handle now just how much risker it gets when these sort of phenomenon occur. Full Disclosure: We took some small profits from a position that worked out OK. It's always good to start a new year with a profitable trade. We are mostly in cash.

I would caution everyone - things are looking just a bit weird. Markets are crazy positive, the SARS-CoV-2 virus cases are ramping up sharply again everywhere, and political turmoil continues to bubble along.

Yes, we know they say the best time to invest is when the blood is running in the streets. Well, I still get nervous and concerned at market tops, and this feels rather like a market top, if I ever saw one. The old guys, who have seen - and survived - several cycles, might suggest that thing are priced to perfection now. Prices may be bid higher - but my tiny little AI model says a turnover is forecast. And yes, the model has been wrong. It is just a mechanical box - it has no emotions. And being human, I worry more about the blood running in my nose, than in the street. :)

Update - Close, Jan. 8, 2021: Impressive. The technical factors are significant - for our favourite and for the TSE in general - we are hitting and breaking thru the 52 week highs. Our cash position again looks unwise, as inflation seems to be breaking out all over - especially with oil prices. ($52.49/bbl as reported, up $1.66 on the day...).

Curiouser and curiouser. We have a deeply divided nation, an angry and frustrated citizenry, a continued and expanding viral plague (between 3000 and 4000 deaths daily now - with deaths in the last 12 months exceeding by a factor of roughly 5, all the American deaths in the Vietnam War), jobs still being lost, instead of created (the forecasters can't even the sign right on the forecast - like us!), and intense political reprisals underway in the Capitol, rather than attempts to address the problems the nation faces. And in the face of this hot mess, the market participants bid up stock prices to new 52-week highs - and this before a weekend! It seems the risk now is considered higher *not* being in the market, than being in it.

I worry that most market investment actions now are being driven by algorithmic, momentum-based robotic methods - and that this process might fail rather spectacularly, rather like "portfolio insurance" did, many years back.

But of course, the flip-side view, is that what is happening is all good and fine - as it looks like it may provide a plain and clear repudiation of the begger-thy-neighbour, abusive, isolationist, xenophobic & cruel foolishness of the Trump years. And market folks and investors view this as a positive picture of the future. And it is the picture-of-the-future, that drives investment and stock-price action in the present moment.

But is the near-future picture, really that attractive?

[Image]
This is screen-shot of GNU-APL running ⎕PLOT tests on CentOS-7 Linux box. I'm using X11 library "xcb" which works well with latest GNU-APL ver. 1.8/SVN:1379M. The "xcb" library is good, it allows the APL to run and generate plots on both Linux boxes and the MacBook. (Click on image to enlarge it.)


[ Jan. 10, 2021 ] - It's My Party, and I'll Buy if I Want To... - so say the Market Mavens of 'Murica.   It's really bizzare watching the OMG! poo-flinging re. the recent Washington protests in the USA MSM, and the upward tracking of the US stock market, commodities prices, and crypto-currencies.   It seem astonishingly dishonest.

The Democrats seem to have forgotten that (almost) half of USA voted against them and their policies.   The Pelosi-sponsored attack on Trump - given he is already defeated and in lame-duck-mode - is just comical and tragic.   It resembles theatre-of-the-absurd.

That curious woman seems to have forgotten that violence - real, hard-core brutal violence - is what America is all about, and it has been the signature method by which almost all major policy actions are taken in USA in it's history.

From the very beginning of the USA Experiment -  the 1776 violent rebellion against British Colonial Rule, to the Indian Wars of the 1850's, to the mass-killing and city-burnings of the US Civil War, to the extreme mass-killings of the First and Second World Wars, and the use of fire-bombing and nuclear-weapons against enemy civilian populations - the USA - throughtout it's *ENTIRE HISTORY* has always been about violence and violent action taken to achive political objectives.  

In modern times - the massive military effort of the Vietnam War, and the more recent military invasion of Iraq (roughly 600,000 killed or disappeared as a result - on the pretext of faked CIA disinformation (weapons of mass-destruction, which simply did not exist)), etc. - all this "American History" has been entirely about hard-core, intense aggressive violence.

Violence is how things get done in America.  It is how the political machinery and the foreign policy projection of American interests always operate - from Teddy Roosevelt's invasions of Cuba and Veracruz in Mexico, to Ron Reagan's invasion of Grenada, to CIA support for assassination squads in El Salvador.

America talks of "regime change needs to occur" and routinely expresses support for violent transitions in the "banana-republics" it seeks to manipulate.   It is one banana-Republic to another, many outsiders feel.

So, you had a violent protest in Washington.  Well, what do you people expect?

Do you think you can run these models against the whole rest of the world, and not at some point expect to see this political algorithm on your own doorstep - in your own corrupt capitol city?  Or maybe in your own living room?

Pelosi and especially that fellow Schumer and the other Leftist fraudsters stayed silent and supportive when Donald Trump decided it was OK to send in a  murder-Drone and kill an entire convoy of cars in civilian traffic, driving in from the International AIrport in Iraq, because they wanted to "take out" an Iranian General.    USA was not at war with Iran, so that action amounts to nothing more than simple murder.   We have no love for the Iranians, but that action was no different than a gangland hit by a crooked Mafia Don.

Pelosi - you fraud -  what did you do then?  What about you, Schumer?    Can you people not expect to be taken down by the same methods you are supporting & using against people all around the world?  Can you honestly be surprised when this strategy comes right home into your own offices and living rooms?  Are you not providing the model for everyone?

Do none of you American political people ever even look at the results of what your are doing?  You people applauded the "Black Lives Matter" violent riots, and supported idiotic madness like "defund the police" and other toxic political nonsense.

If Donald Trump were not such a limited thinker and a political neophyte, he would have - after his people had shut down the BIden certification - had you and your monkey-minons arrested and put into protective custody, and removed from the process.   Trump simply was too unwise to have a plan for properly siezing power, and putting what his people viewed as fraudsters and cheats, out of business.

You know what most people outside of North America *really* think?  They think:

"Poor dishonest and corrupt America.   Your Constitution is a joke, your government is a corrupt Ponzi Scheme, and your military are dangerous out-of-control mass-murderers with high-tech killing machines."   Of course, this is not true - but you need to see what is happening now.

You Lefty folks won the election.  Stop making Donald Trump any more famous or infamous than he already is, and try to begin the process of pulling a shattered and angry, hostile violent hell-hole-of-hate that the USA Nation has become, back into some sort of stable, trustworthy operation.

Stop being so painfully dishonest.  The recent Washington Protest was trivial, compared to what many people in many other countries routinely have to experience.

Move on - because if you don't, the next major protest may not be so tame and bogus. You might find that a much more determined, focused, smarter and more effective group of folks - probably some from your own military - will simply tire of your chatter, and will just declare a "State of Emergency" or whatever, and just put all you foolish monkeys out of business with much more effective and focused, planned efforts.   Seriously.    This is what history teaches us typically happens to dishonest senators who get together to murder Caesar.   Sure, Trump is not Caesar, but people are so angry now, that he doesn't need to be.

[ Jan. 8, 2021 ] - High Ho! - And it's up and up we go.   This is just a bit curious.   The market is probably the most postive I have ever seen it since maybe 2005, or the immediate aftermath of Trump's election.

I suppose Trump is like a yacht.   They say the two happiest days in a man's life, are when he gets his first yacht, and then when he manages to get rid of it.

[ Jan 7, 2021 ] - Trump Goes Out Like a Light.  But Freedom Still Burns Bright.- Americans have nothing to be ashamed about.  Democracy is a messy business, and freedom is sometimes a bit rough and tumble.  But no one threw firebombs.   The People have a right to visit their Parliament - politicians should remember this.   Of course, no one should bring violence of any kind to the Legislature.  But the People should visit occasionally.  It's not a bad thing.

Trump will leave, and Biden will take over.   And there was no need for tanks.  This is not a bad outcome.

Canadians might want to reflect on the time when an angry Tory mob, in 1849, burned the new Canadian Parliament Building in Montreal to the ground.   In a real democracy, which uses democratic methods to resolve real disputes, it can sometimes get a bit messy.

But it is still a very good thing to have and live in a messy democracy, than have to live in an "orderly" Police State, run by criminals and gangster thugs - oh, like Belarus for example.

Sometimes, to get a critical transition accomplished, a bit of action has to take place.  A Tory mob may have burnt down the Parliament in 1849, but by 1867, Canada became an independent sovereign nation, and was no longer just a British Colony.   Two very different cultures - French and English - were able to use democratic methods to build a rather fine Nation.

Democracy is like cooking - the kitchen might get a bit awful messy - but the result can be just what everyone wanted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_of_the_Parliament_Buildings_in_Montreal

The original new Canadian Parliament was in Kingston - but that city is on Lake Ontario, and an unsuccessful American invasion attempt had occurred.  Kingston was considered unsafe.  Toronto and Montreal both wanted to be the new Capital, but a clever solution was to ask Queen Victoria to choose where the new national capital should be.  She wisely suggested that maybe you Canadians might put your new capital city up the Ottawa river, at Bytown, which would place it on the border between Upper and Lower Canada.  I still think that Montreal would have been a better choice.   Montreal is just a great city.  It really is.

The old joke in Canada is that we could have had the very best - British Parliamentary Government, French Culture, and American Technology.   But instead, we ended up with French Government, British Technology, and American Culture.   Oh my...   :)

PM Update:  C_Machine forecast is curiously focused to "down", as market moves "up".  Forecast is maybe just wrong.  Maybe things are different now.   Maybe.

[ Jan 6, 2021 ] - The SARS-CoV-2 Virus Really, Honestly Looks Like it Was Laboratory Made.  And the Origin of Covid-19 Really looks like a Lab Accident.- And lets be clear, we are *not* blaming China or saying the Wuhan Virology Lab people were doing viral weaponization.  

We are not engaged in any conspiracy theory nonsense - it just looks like a lab accident with a manufactured, experimental virus, is what really happened.   The virus is too similar to the bat virus (RaTG13) [96% similar nucleotides], not to be bat-related, but the source of the bats was over 900 miles away.   The bat spike protein was tweaked so it targeted human lung tissue, and a further tweak let the virus bind *really well* to the ACE2 receptors - and this made it aerosol transmissable.   The SARS-CoV-2 virus looks to be a made thing, not an evolved thing.

Why do we say this?  Because this is what so many of these virus labs were doing - it's called "Gain-of-function" research, and it looks quite dangerous.  Many labs were taking existing animal coronavirus samples, and were running genetic splicing technology to make them human-targeted.  Many, many labs were doing this.  Just like the CDC labs brought back to life - fully and completely - the 1918 Flu virus - a horribly awful lethal living killer.

The funding for this research has gone from millions per year, to billions per year.   If you read what the virus labs were actually doing - you can understand why public health officials in Denmark wanted to test minks and ferrets for Covid-19.   The New York Times reported in 2011 how a Dutch scientist, Ron Fouchier, took the nasty H5N1 bird-flu virus, and hacked the virus so that a population of ferrets could be infected with this partcularly pathogenic (ie. really lethal and awful) virus.   The Times even wrote an editorial suggesting this was very unwise ("An Engineered Doomsday"), and many scientists agreed.  Fouchier wanted to show that "via aerosols or respiratory droplets" the avian influenza viruses could be 'forced" to infect and sicken mammals, and that this would  "pose a risk to humans and could become a pandemic".  

Lab accidents happen.  They happen quite often.   And big, complex labs have big, awful accidents.  In Canada, back in the 1950's, we had an experimental research nuclear reactor completely meltdown and crash.  It was an awful accident, and it took place in December of 1952.   Many hundreds of military personnel from both Canada and USA worked to clean up the awful radioactive mess.  A young Lieutenant, James (Jimmy) Carter (who became USA President), was part of the team that helped clean up the mess.    Accidents happen. It's a fact of life - and it is rather common, when very complex technology is involved.

And what is even more curious - is that it has become almost impossible to even talk about the whole Wuhan Lab and the American funding it received, as being a source of the current SARS-CoV-2 virus, without being censored or labelled a crazy "conspiracy theorist".   And that is just silly and wrong.

Of course, this virus came from somewhere.  And what is really interesting - is how very specific it is in how it attacks human lung tissue, and binds to human cells.  It looks like an engineered device.  We know how and why this occurs - the spike protein "toggles"  (or some say it "shakes"), and this lets it trick cellular defenses.  Also, the virus has unique and highly specific ability to bind to human ACE2  (“angiotensin-converting enzyme 2”) receptors.  It can attach itself, and it can very effectively trick its way into a human cell, and in doing so, damage lung tissue.  And, it can live for *days* in aerosol form - little droplets in the air.  

Here is a link to a November paper, which explains that a laboratory origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus simply cannot be ruled out.  There is just too much evidence that suggests this is the most likely explanation of why this virus first appeared in the city of  Wuhan.  The nearby seafood market did not sell bats.   The bats - with their coronavirus RaTG13  - came from over 900 miles away.  But there was bat-coronavirus at the Wuhan labs.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/bies.202000240

The most rational, sensible theory is that some "Gain-of-function" experiments were being done at some lab in Wuhan (there are two virus labs in Wuhan - the Virology lab and the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention), using the bat-coronavirus RaTG13 as a starting point.  The plan would be to hack the bat-virus so that it could infect humans as easily as a common cold (also a coronavirus), and learn more about the method by which this infection process occurs, and how it might be inhibited.  Somebody built a test-bed virus platform.

And there is evidence for this - the spike protein has particular affinity for the enzyme furin, a chemical in human cells, and especially human lung cells.  And there is a unique sequence - R R A R  (amino acids: arginine, arginine, alanine, and arginine), that codes for the "furin-like cleavage site", which the SARS-CoV-2 virus has.   If the coronavirus was a product of evolution from another species, then we should be able to see evidence of this in some other species.  But it looks like it was just "slotted in" - a perfect, non-random fit to target humans.

And the Chinese did not eat bats.  And there were no bats on sale at the markets in Wuhan,  And a bat would not have flown into a crowded city.

And what is really curious - is that these "gain-of-function" experiments have been going on at many virus labs around the world.  Making horrible-awful human-targeted viruses from animal viruses has actually been a rather common project.  There was a lot of funding available for this this research.  It is so common that the term for this type of viral research - "Gain-of-function" - is typically abbreviated as simply "GoF" in the discussion documents.

A detailed article which looks at the possible lab-origin of Covid-19, has been written by Nicholson Baker, in New York magazine.  It is well written, well researched, and is worth reading.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/coronavirus-lab-escape-theory.html

The idea that this very human-specific nasty new Covid-19 disease suddenly *evolved* out of nothing, is just not supported by any evidence anywhere.   Evolution leaves a clear trail - and so far, despite a lot of research and careful genetic sequencing - no such trail exists.

There is only the one BSL-4 (Bio-security Level-4) virology lab in China.   Is there maybe also another secret lab?   Unlikely.  The pandemic began in Wuhan, right where the virus lab is.

Lab accidents happen - and these "Gain-of-function" experiments were common, and the Wuhan lab was working directly with American researchers who were doing this same kind of research work - building highly pathogenic virus agents so to better understand how they operate.  This is cer