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Messages - Ka

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61
The Kitchen Sink / Re: Peak Facade and the Collapse of the Left
« on: December 17, 2016, 06:52:34 PM »
The specific issue is not what happened in the eastern empire but what happened in the western empire where collapse happened.  Social organization became very local and life veered in the direction of mean brutal and short.  Talking about the eastern empire changes the topic.  I was advancing the argument that decay came from within.


Well, I would argue that collapse in the West wasn't because of decay from within. It happened because the Germanic tribes got stronger, so that the Empire as a whole could no longer fend them off, given that it was also beset by tribes from the steppes and from Persia. Since the main wealth of the Empire came from the Eastern provinces, it was the West that got the short shrift.

62
The Kitchen Sink / Re: Peak Facade and the Collapse of the Left
« on: December 17, 2016, 05:33:18 PM »
On the history repeating/rhyming question, I'm firmly in the "this time it's different" camp. In the first place, Roman civilization (better called Graeco-Roman) didn't collapse in the fifth century. The economy in Western Europe did collapse, but the civilization continued in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, was adopted by the Muslim Empire, and re-established itself in Western Europe after about 1000. It only faded away in modern times, thanks to the scientific and industrial revolutions. I think that it is understanding that change that matters in trying to guess what happens now.

What changed is the power structure. In Graeco-Roman civilization, as also in China, Japan, and in the Americas, there were four classes: priestly, warrior, merchant, and peasant. Power was held by the first two. The change to modern civilization is, of course, that the merchant class assumed power, with the peasant class largely being turned into the worker class, the priestly class revamped into the intellectual class, and the warrior class becoming the security apparatus of the merchants. (Oversimplifying, to be sure.)

So what happens next, now that the industry that the merchant class depends on cannot be sustained? As I see it, it is bye-bye to the merchant class. I would hope that the warrior class has the sense to impose a military socialist dictatorship, which is to say, ally with the working class, with the priestly/intellectual class roped in to spread the propaganda of the virtue of voluntary (actually involuntary) simplicity (that is, poverty). But, of course, it could all just dissolve into warlordism.

63
Cyber Security / Re: Fake Newz
« on: December 09, 2016, 01:04:13 PM »

Consciousness is at best a fuzzy concept,...

The concept of consciousness is only "fuzzy" if you think that consciousness has to fit in somehow in a reality that is fundamentally not conscious (that is, if one assumes materialism). But since there is no evidence (and by definition there cannot be any such evidence) that anything exists outside of consciousness, why make that assumption? Especially when making that assumption creates the so-called "hard problem of consciousness".

Quote
Contrast that with Euclid, which uses logic and builds, step by step, to a greater understanding which everyone can (and must) agree on, and you will see the utter uselessness of religion.

Euclid can be completely logical because mathematical objects are totally imaginary. With religion one must deal with experience. I start with the axiom "there is changing awareness of things", and from that conclude that consciousness is fundamental, in that it is much more plausible that consciousness can produce an illusion of nonconscious stuff than that nonconscious stuff can produce consciousness. Science, by the way, or at least proper science that is not infected with metaphysical presuppositions, is neutral on this question.


64
Cyber Security / Re: Fake Newz
« on: December 08, 2016, 07:59:37 PM »
If God is understood as Being itself (and as such not a being), and Satan is understood as a metaphorical personification of a sense of  being separated from God, which sense of separation is the root of all evil, then count me as "God exists and Satan exists". But -- since there are a bunch of  i's to be dotted and t's to be crossed before this can make sense -- I clicked on the last option.

65
Science, Inventions & Techology / Re: Computer Planned Obsolscence
« on: December 08, 2016, 03:43:26 PM »

Let's see.
1986 -- Leading Edge (IBM PC clone)
Between then and '04 I went the component route described by Palloy in the other thread. So I guess one should count motherboard purchases -- maybe 3 or 4.
2004 -- Dell laptop
2009 - Acer netbook
2014 -- Samsung 4 7" tablet
2016 -- HP Stream notebook (a mistake, as it turns out -- it doesn't have an ethernet port, and when I loaded Linux (Ubuntu) it couldn't find the wireless connection, so I had to put W10 back on. Also the wireless will sometimes flake out, requiring a reboot.)

Cell phones
2004 -- Nokia bar dumbphone
2014 -- LG dumbphone

66
Geopolitics / Re: cyber-gauntlet
« on: November 05, 2016, 03:33:45 PM »

Besides that, how would anybody buy groceries at Safeway or Toys at Walmart?  All those POS terminals function over the internet.  So do the terminals the tellers use at the banks.


I'm not so sure of this. Banks have their own (non-IP) networks, which are currently connected to the internet, but if the internet went down, they would just shut off their web servers, so no more online banking, but the ATM and teller terminals would still work. This might also be the case for credit and debit card processing, at least for big players like Walmart.
It's irrelevant whether those networks are separate from the WWW, they all still rely on the same fiber optic network of servers and routers.  It all can be hacked by the Chinese or Ruskies, whether your laptop can sign on to Facepalm or not.

RE

But that's the point. They are using different servers and routers, and (perhaps) different fiber optic strands, if not different cables entirely.

I'm not saying they can't be hacked, just that they can be isolated from the internet.

67
Marathon Man Newz / Re: The Eddie Poll
« on: November 05, 2016, 02:37:25 PM »
Okay, I think I have it figured out.

The dynamics of a "one state one vote" situation would seem to depend on the relative strengths of the two parties in each individual state. In the link below you can see which states are fairly sure to vote one way or the other.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_U.S._states

Taking information from the table titled "Table of U.S. state party statistics" and looking at the column 2nd from the right, you can see how many Dems and how many Republicans are House Reps for each state.

Sorry it won't post as a chart you can read, but a quick list indicates that if the election goes to the house, that Trump WOULD win easily.

First, lets assume all the Democrat controlled states would vote Hillary. That's a good bet. But there are only 14 of those.

Second, there are 3 states that are tied with respects to Dems/Republicans in the House. Those are Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.  For the sake of argument, lets assume Hillary wins those. That gets us up to 17 for Hillary.

Most Republican dominated states have a high ratio of Republicans to Democrats in the House. But a few are close, and those might possibly be cross-overs to Hillary. They are Arizona (5-4), Colorado (4-3), Nebraska (2-1), and WI (5-3). Lets give Hillary those. That gets her to 21 votes.

The other 29 states look too monolithic. They all either have large Republican majorities in the House, or they are solid Trump states already, imho.

If it goes to the House, it will surely go for Trump. Thank you Ka for helping me get this squared away.

You're probably right, but some majority-Republican states whose electoral votes went to Hillary might think they should respect their voters' choice (or face major trouble back home, or from Wall Street).

Another remote possibility is, say, that Hillary gets indicted for major crimes, and Trump does something totally outrageous post-election, then the House also has the option of picking McMullin (assuming he gets Utah).

68
Geopolitics / Re: cyber-gauntlet
« on: November 05, 2016, 02:33:29 PM »

Besides that, how would anybody buy groceries at Safeway or Toys at Walmart?  All those POS terminals function over the internet.  So do the terminals the tellers use at the banks.


I'm not so sure of this. Banks have their own (non-IP) networks, which are currently connected to the internet, but if the internet went down, they would just shut off their web servers, so no more online banking, but the ATM and teller terminals would still work. This might also be the case for credit and debit card processing, at least for big players like Walmart.

69
Marathon Man Newz / Re: The Eddie Poll
« on: November 05, 2016, 12:37:10 PM »


He isn't. Not yet, anyway. Odds are still 4/1 favoring Hillary. Trump's main chance is still preventing Hillary from getting a clear majority of 270, in which case, presumably, an overwhelmingly Republican House would easily vote him into the White House. Right?

I'm not sure of that.

If it goes to the House, the voting is one state one vote (or so says the Constitution), so Hawaii and Wyoming would offset Texas and California. How it all adds up I'll let someone else figure out.

A couple of more wrinkles: Though DC now gets electors, it would appear to me that they don't get a vote if it goes to the House. Also, if the House can't agree by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President-elect becomes President, who (assuming the Electoral College doesn't have a majority there either) is elected by the Senate.

70
Marathon Man Newz / Re: The Eddie Poll
« on: November 05, 2016, 12:14:44 PM »


He isn't. Not yet, anyway. Odds are still 4/1 favoring Hillary. Trump's main chance is still preventing Hillary from getting a clear majority of 270, in which case, presumably, an overwhelmingly Republican House would easily vote him into the White House. Right?

I'm not sure of that.

If it goes to the House, the voting is one state one vote (or so says the Constitution), so Hawaii and Wyoming would offset Texas and California. How it all adds up I'll let someone else figure out.

71
Geopolitics / Re: POTUS Election HORROR Scenario
« on: October 29, 2016, 10:44:10 PM »
The Donald wins the Popular Vote, 47%% to 43%, with the other 10% split between Gary & Jill.  Electoral College vote goes to Killary and she is named POTUS.

Killary is then indicted on the emails.

How does this play out post-election?  Guesses?

RE

Can a president pardon herself? If so, she then gets impeached by a Republican House, but not convicted by the Senate, then back to BAU of gutting the public and waging war.

72
Marathon Man Newz / Re: How's That Socialism Working Out In Venezuela?
« on: September 19, 2016, 12:31:58 PM »
Wrong question. Right question: "How's that socialism under constant attack from capitalist opposition aided and abetted by the US working out in Venezuela?"



73
Collapse Narratives / Re: Message from the CJCS
« on: August 19, 2016, 04:28:24 PM »
Not buying this is a true hack of the CJCS.

Looks more like a Doomer wrote it and attributed it to the CJCS.

RE

I was going to reply "Would Winkyleaks lie to you", but then it occurred to me that there just might be a Winkyleaks, so I googled it. There is (one of them about Henry Winkler). So I hereby notify all and sundry that it wasn't them that hacked the CJSC. It must have been the Russians.

74
Collapse Narratives / Message from the CJCS
« on: August 19, 2016, 02:56:30 PM »
(From a Winkyleaks hack of the personal computer of the CJCS)

Super Ultra Top Secret Burn Before Reading Message from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Select Top Brass of the US Armed Forces

Much as we all like the present situation where after we retire we can get cushy well-paid jobs as military consultants to multi-national corporations, I think we all know that this situation cannot continue, due to having reached the limits to growth, and those corporations requiring growth to --er-- keep growing, which they must do to stay in existence. This goes for the whole national and global economies. And so I think we all need to consider what to do to carry out what our real job is supposed to be, namely to preserve as a functional entity the United States of America. This means formulating a decades-long transition plan to turn the populace from a bunch of greedy whiners addicted to oil and private property and hugely complex production and distribution networks into a decentralized loose network of more or less self-reliant and environmentally sustainable communities. In this message I won't be going into what that future will be like, but rather on the immediate steps we need to take to make it possible.

As we all know, the current governing of this country rests on the three-fold power structure of corporations, politicians, and ourselves. The corporations control money, we have the guns, and the politicians make it all legal, with the corporate-controlled media keeping the populace in line. So clearly, what we need to do is to take the corporations out of the loop, since they are the only ones that need economic growth. To do this, I propose that you all be ready with your favorite politicians to react in the following way at the next financial meltdown.

- Be sure to make it a complete meltdown. That is, tell the pol's that this time there will be no bail-outs. Instead we let the financial system fail completely, so there is no money circulating, and so economic activity comes to a halt.

- Make sure you have good contacts with National Guard units and police departments, so you are ready to step in quickly to quell riots over empty shelves, when the politicians declare martial law.

- Be ready with legislation to
 - nationalize all financial institutions that have FDIC accounts. Of course these accounts are all frozen, but we don't want people to think the money is just gone, even though it is.
 - nationalize all major media outlets. Be ready with propaganda to place the blame for all this on corporations.
 - authorize the military to oversee the production and distribution of food and other providers of necessities, such as utilities, gas and diesel refining and distribution, telecommunications, healthcare. "Overseeing" basically means telling the managers and employees of all the companies involved to keep doing their jobs, at the point of a gun if necessary, with the promise that they will get paid just as soon as a new money system is implemented (see below).
 - Close all military bases in the Eastern Hemisphere. Henceforth the reach of the US military will be restricted to North America, though we may want to extend that to Central, or Central and South America, and possibly to West Africa. More discussion is needed on this. Clearly we need to control Canada's oil, but it might be that trying to control Nigeria's and Angola's will not be feasible. But for sure, we will need to plan our energy future without MENA and FSU oil.

Beyond this point I'm afraid I can't be definite on what is possible. So what I am proposing is what I think is feasible and -- with the proper propaganda push -- can be made acceptable to the populace, given that they have just gotten the scare of their lives from the financial/economic meltdown.

The new monetary system will be 100% fiat, completely controlled by the US Treasury (not banks and the Fed, the former being nationalized, and the latter history). All adults will get a Basic Income, enough to buy necessities, plus some fraction of that for dependents.

The companies that we have been overseeing to keep necessities flowing are all nationalized, their employees becoming government employees (their stock and bond holders getting bupkis). Government employees get the Basic Income plus some extra. This extra can be spent on private enterprises -- crafts, better quality locally grown food, or what have you. In other words, more money keeps being created, which can be used to develop non-government businesses. These will need to be well-regulated, e.g., to make sure they aren't environmentally or socially harmful. One thing to do is not allow corporations as legal entities at all.

State and local governments become branches of the federal government. After all, they have no money, so what else can they do. If there are some local jurisdictions that think they can go it alone with just minimal connection elsewhere -- have enough community cohesion and local resources that they think they can survive through barter or their own money, by all means let them be, even offer police protection. After all, that's what we want to happen everywhere eventually, so they can serve as prototypes.

The national debt is of course history, since the monetary systems it was based on, in the US and elsewhere, have disappeared.

The only income of the government is what people pay for the products and services of government-owned businesses. The only expense of the government is employee salaries. No taxes, no government contracts. To limit corruption we may need to make the financial accounts of all government employees public records. There is also the problem of making sure government employees do the work they are being paid for. Suggestions on this are welcome.

Private ownership of cars will be phased out. It can't be immediate because too many need cars to get from home to job. What I suggest is that the government offer some sizable percentage of a car's worth (say half), with the promise that that percentage will decrease as time goes on. In this way, local governments can acquire cars to serve as shared taxis while they get public transportation in shape for a future of no private cars. Of course no new cars will be built.

All land and buildings become government property. To make this palatable, rents paid will be made roughly equal to what was being paid in property taxes, plus sales and income taxes, all of which go away. Of course many own property as investments and for income from rents, but them's the breaks.  We'll probably need to make self-employed plumbers, electricians, roofers, etc. government employees, since the gov't is now responsible for maintenance. Ok, ok, there are a zillion details to be worked out to make all of this happen. What I suggest is that you all get involved on doomer websites where people have been thinking about post-collapse issues, see if maybe some wiki can be set up to work out these details -- of course keeping your military status to yourselves.

By the way, doomer sites seem to be split between left and right-wing types. Forget about the right-wing types, all they care about is armed protection of their pitiful fantasies of self-sustaining ultra libertarian compounds. Perhaps we should consider allowing them some area in which they can  (post-collapse) play out their fantasies, say northern Idaho and western Montana. Just a thought. The left-wing sites have some good ideas for life down the road (permaculture, localization, etc) but that's not our immediate concern. Though we should coopt them in the short term as part of the propaganda program -- i.e., give the populace something to look forward to decades down the road.

So what do you all think? Can it be done, or is our only post-collapse future spending the rest of our lives keeping people in FEMA camps, or ourselves in bunkers?

75
I picked mathematics (which is what I did major in) for more or less the same reason GO picked literature -- just for its intrinsic interest. I might have chosen philosophy but a) it's not on the list, and b) philosophy departments are dominated by materialists. For money, I would set my sights on something like learning to be an electrician, not an electrical engineer

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