Friday, August 31, 2018

A Creative, Charismatic Guy, Given Way Too Much Power

He was also give way too much, essentially free, money as well (along with the rest of that industry), but that is, of course, what made him powerful. And also quite inevitably, being human, he was also subject to all of our propensities for being seduced into the many siren's songs that such power can put before you; the various weaknesses such as vanity, and pleasure seeking, excess in general, and just wanting to shake things up because you can.

What is especially interesting for me here, though, is just how far reaching, and complex, the waves of effect can be when somebody like this actually gets his excessive cake, and then OD's on munching out on it. I mean seriously? Changing the landscape of entire oil economies? Wrecking water tables all over the place? And now putting the underlying emphasis on just how fragile that new wave of development may be now; precisely because so few of these companies actually make any money. Wow. How can you not be in, at least some, bit of awe of this guy? Even as you also ponder the terrible costs that will yet have to be paid for the damage already done, and who knows how much more to come.

The bottom line, though, as always, is that this just serves to illustrate how we can no longer tolerate a system that would give this much power to people, just as subject to mistakes, and very poor choices, as the rest of us are. We simply cannot let a few wreck this kind of damage just because they're good at selling us on something; even if it does provide what seems like desirable, immediate gain.

If we didn't have to be in such an all out rush all of the time to have to make decisions, because electrified competition demands that this be so, maybe we could, individually, and collectively, take our time a good deal more in asking deeper questions about any of the important actions our, now greatly expanded abilities, allow us to do. And Gosh oh golly. What a concept. Actually taking your time and trying, with all due diligence, to see the full scope of effect of what the new thing you may want to try and do will have. To just try and think it through more completely.

Now wouldn't that be a real change.

How America's 'most reckless' billionaire created the fracking boom

See Also:


Photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier's "Anthropocene Project" chronicles mankind's permanent alteration of the natural world.


Two tech titans made billions and remade the city. Is it any better off?

As climate change ravages the Golden State, earthquakes could become the least of residents' concerns.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

More Reasons Why A Money Approach To Life Will Not Last

OK. Starting from the left again we have us a fine ultimate thread to follow here.

First of all we have another indication of the pressure building because of the fact that money is now electrons, and photons, flowing through various transaction circuits, throughout our many layers of webinated world. As such it is only logical that this creates an automatic desire to get rid of the old hard copy renditions, as soon as is possible.

What's interesting to me in this is the contrast of how obvious, in the act of turning physical currency into something that must be mediated by an effective autocracy of information flow, it is that this is very much like turning the clock back on knowledge itself, as in, in a sense, getting rid of books; that pesky hardcopy again.

And of course it will be those not empowered within the new, virtual autocracy (whether that is one economic group, or one economic titan, hardly matters to the rest of us), that will have a great deal less means to affect anything precisely because they have become so ever much more dependant, upon said same autocracy, to not only know anything, but to have to be servile in order to have access to any of life's basics.

Which, conveniently, brings us to the next element in our current tableau of absurdity. Student debt. Because here do we see a main convergence of elements: as in money and knowledge now being equated; again precisely because information and money are the same thing. And of course, in that context, you can't have knowledge unless you pay for it. Never mind that it was society that made getting that knowledge possible in the first place.

And it is also here that you have to ask yourself this question: If so many on the left accept that there should be a basic living wage, shouldn't they also accept that there must be a basic level of education that comes simply with the rights, and responsibilities, of being a participating member of what keeps your community going? And that the whole notion that you must not only pay for the knowledge, but that you must also pay an extra premium for the use of the money, is absurdity squared, if not cubed; because heaven forbid if the poor dears who have all of these counters should go even a picosecond of time where even one of their counters is not gaining return for having been used, temporarily, by another.

Which then leaves us with the last element. The one that really matters because it represents, finally, the growing sense in economists, that the disruptions coming, in this case from what we did to the planet, actually will, fundamentally, affect Capitalism. Wow. Only about a decade, or three, late, but at least it is a start. At least it is an indication of the recognition that Capitalism cannot possibly hope to cope with not only the disruptions of Extreme Weather, but also none of the other disruptions possible because of Capitalism's other absurdity: It's penchant for creating very dangerous competitions, which are all part and parcel of the process to determine what will constitute that final "autocracy." And in this, certainly, I am talking about competitions for markets, resources, and the military prowess to see who, ultimately, ends up with the biggest stick.

And therein do you see the last, and final absurdity. That this surviving autocracy might actually triumph, and be able to do so with a piece of new instrumentality, that will solve what they will think is the last obstacle to a new, and triumphant regime of power. Only to come to realize that this stick, big and intimidating though it may be, whatever it ends up being, will be of no use whatsoever to saving them from the wrath of a divine process ignored for too long. The very living process that gave these people the ability to supposedly "think" in the first place. And won't they then wish they had a lot more, free thinking individuals, to help them find a way out?

See Also:

Why is the nation's flagship loan forgiveness program failing the people it's supposed to help?


There will be as many different iterations of this storm, and the ones to come, as there are Houstonians. And we have to hear them — they're what will determine our map for the next one.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Making Money Is Going To Be Less And Less About Making Anything Of Real World Substance

No matter what that costs society as a whole. And you won't care because they will make the insubstantial plenty addicting enough, don't you worry. And then the chemists will always be able to help kick things up a notch or two, in the deluxe model of whatever new VR modality comes into being. And then the geneticists will start working on just the right alterations, for the right people naturally; to each according to his, or her, own manifest destiny, or so they will come to see it.

How long do you think savey capital is going to tolerate the long view returns of your Amazons, or Netflixs, or Tesla's? Who cares if they still actually make things, or make a very necessary service; and might, at some point down the road, be able to make a lot of money. Assuming, of course, that the consumers are still interested in things outside of VR. Even if they just "have fun themselves" to death. Better way to go, don't you think, than what's coming from Mother Nature?

As always, time will tell.

Fortnite's Revenue Growth Is Slowing -- CNBC

See Also:
[Post Note: I recognize that the people associated with this new game development also hope that this sort of biometric technique might be used for beneficial psychological effects. And maybe it might. Then again maybe it won't. You just have to ask yourself which you think is the most likely; because, of course, if making money is involved, what is most likely is not going to be something that benefits the user nearly as it benefits the money maker. At least if the history of money making is any guide here. J.V.]

This video game knows when you're scared — and it wants to use that against you

[Post Note: And then there are the things You Are Not Paying Attention To As Gaming Absorbs You Into Its World. J.V.]

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

We Can't Even Defend Ourselves Properly Now Because Money Just Gets In The Way

Even though we spend more than all other major nations combined. And all because of money, and the corruption fueling, economic operating system we blithely call Capitalism; when it should be called "Addicto-Corruptionism" now,  because that is truly what it is.

The recent conviction of administration officials should only be an exclamation point to the deeper problem of needing to scrap this toxic waste heap, and start over with something completely new.

How could it be any more obvious. How could it.

How many times must this kind of brickbat of obviousness hit you before you do something about it. That's what I really want to know. Because now that you see, you have to ask yourself: are those idiots trying to feather their own beds, at the expense of all life on the planet the real villains? Or is the majority, who just sit on their asses, and do little but make excuses, for doing nothing much different at all, as they watch all this continuously unfold?

Because that would require accepting a great deal of responsibility for making the change happen. That would require forsaking whatever "cold comfort" zone you have now; as in actually not texting, and tweeting, and shopping, and buying, and doing the job that is still your little bit of "business as usual." In short, it would require real sacrifice from all of us wanting peaceful change. And if we could marshal the desire for that change, with the willingness to sacrifice, we can begin to engage the Big Money people with the kinds of labor stoppages that they have only known in their worst fears of labor organization.

Think long and hard on this because it is no conceit at all to say that the fate of the planet rests on it.

Someone Is Waging a Secret War to Undermine the Pentagon’s Huge Cloud Contract

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[Post Note: And what's really "throttled" when major carriers pull something like this? Do you suppose this company would be so. at least outwardly, remosefull if they could have had this information squelched in the first place? J.V.]
Image: Mendocino Complex Fire
Fred Greaves / Reuters file


Verizon admits 'throttling' data to firefighters amid California blaze

The company admitted it should have lifted speed restrictions for firefighters battling the largest fire in state history, but said the issue was not due to the rollback of net neutrality rules.

[Post Note: And of course, how do we defend the sanctity of information, much less informed citizens, if we can't stop having information being so damned much like money. Whereupon, certainly, any institution charged with providing an aspect of information to us becomes a target for every kind of con, subterfuge, attack, and outright co option. Do you seriously think a free press can survive this sort of environment indefinitely? J.V.]

At a Kiev nightclub in the spring of 2012, 24-year-old Ivan Turchynov made a fateful drunken boast to some fellow hackers.

[Post Note: And what are you going to defend in the first place if there's so little water left we end up fighting each other. J.V.]

"If something like this happens again next winter, then we'll be in big trouble."

[Post Note: And Here Are More Indications Of How Money Has Gotten In The Way. Money and the "Addicto-Corruptionism" that now rules this nation. J.V.]

[Post Note: They may not be Conservative, or Liberal, but they are certainly greedy individuals bent on profit above all else. And they will ensure that money gets in the way of most of what the majority of working people need to live, and love, as life, in balance, ought to dictate; along with a truly well informed electorate that can then take responsibility for themselves; and in large part because we won't have to fight over information nearly as much anymore.  J.V.]


The enemy of social media is not Alex Jones. It's labor costs and controversy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Interrelated Context Of Things

I provide juxtapositions like this because it's been, so far, the most convenient way of trying to tie interrelated aspects of assails us these days, both in terms of information, and the all too real events of day to day life now.

In this new one, unfortunately, we have to get especially complicated. This is so because it brings together so many aspects of a few, supposedly isolated reports on events; as I usually cherry pick from Digg. And yes, of course I cherry pick. I have already told you I'm biased after all.

There is also added, however an extra, non Digg element here. And that of course is to provide contrast to the Amazon dominance story. That comes from another, identified source (see link below).

So, all that being said, let us begin.

From the left, which is always fitting for me, we start with a question that, in one sense, is quite logical in its underlying criticism of building homes, or businesses, in disaster prone areas. Not only is there private rebuilding expense, naturally, there is also a good deal of public expense as well; both in rebuilding public facilities damaged, but also in responding to such emergencies in the first place.

What you need to remember here, though, is not only that this applies to more than just "Wildfires," but that the question must not be, and cannot be, considered just in that commercialized view of property, and who pays for what. It must be considered in the context of our actually understanding the need to see this turned around to a more social, fundamental need. That it must instead be stated as "How can we afford not to rebuild?"

And I think I can say this because it goes to the point now that everywhere will be subject to one form, or another, of such catastrophic events; both because ever more erratic weather will ensure increased likelihoods that all areas might get hit with some kind of extreme occurrence in this vein. But even more than that will all areas be affected by the indirect effects of the other areas that get affected, whether the unaffected have no weather extremes at all or not. Indirect effects of critical system production, or service, that the affected areas provided, and that many, surrounding areas depended on.

Then we have the whole concept of market dominance. One company controls virtually half of all Ecommerce. Two companies control a huge swath of Web advertising. And because of this at least one of these companies has become the poster child for how to bully localities into letting it operate without paying for much of anything extra. And very few, if any, of the others, are all that incentivized to want to pay for anything either. And remember here, the "anything" we're talking about at the moment is "Rebuilding Costs."

Speaking of which, you really ought to try Googling the phrase: "estimated extreme damage costs for 2017, 2018," Boy, what an eyeful. Total costs since 1980, according to NOAA, for the 233 events that exceeded a billion dollars, exceeded $1.5 trillion overall. And can you guess how much of that probably went into increasing our national debt (it wouldn't be all of it certainly, but it would be quite significant in my opinion)?  And does any of this damage get presented to the American public as the real debit to our GDP that it ought to be? As in when they trot out big, glowing numbers as to how well the economy is doing right now?

Then we come to worry about Democracy. And don't think that's not its own coming disaster either, because it is. Only here, not only are the fat cats not going to help much in rebuilding it, that are, right now, in significant numbers, trying to use their ungodly, outsized ability to induce human activity, to thwart all of the most important aspects of what Democracy needs to survive at all. And they are doing that precisely because they see it now as one of their biggest threats to survival.

These are the things you must balance out in your own mind. How are we going to contend with just surviving, much less prospering as free people? Do you even care anymore?

As I always say, time will tell.

Facebook, Google Digital Ad Market Share Drops as Amazon Climbs

See Also:
[Post Note: Does this qualify as a new, natural disaster?

After all, it might actually create its own local weather for a while. Assuming most of the cars had a goodly amount of fuel to keep getting access to... Eventually... As in allowing delivery tankers to get to the gas stations so that the ever creeping parking lot, that this system represented, could still flow enough, however slowly, to get the big rigs there at all.

Anyways, I just had to include it because it creeps me out that we might come to this as well. J.V.]

Monday, August 20, 2018

It Is Still People, Fortunately, That Make Up Most Companies Continued

This saga is still unfolding, as you can see. I am betting on the people of Alphabet, and Google.


Employees are in the dark — and they're furious

Thursday, August 16, 2018

It Continues Until The Next Big Disruption

And there will be a next, "Big Disruption," because how can there not be when you are continually pumping in more and more turbulence into all of our social systems now; for us as a Nation, as well as for the actions of others doing much the same thing in their own countries. Just as we have been pumping in turbulence into the environment; as in a series of system carrying capacity overloads (too much of this and that in the air and the water everywhere); and now we reap the whirlwind.

This is the other side of "Live By The Market, Die By The Market," that investors just don't seem to be factoring in much at all these days; at least as yet. A factor that goes beyond not letting your counters get sucked up into low velocity turnover entities, in terms of quarterly return, even if some huge potential market control, in an idealized future, might be at stake (as in the Amazon's, NetFlix's and Elon Musk adventures so far). This is where the risk of ever more serious trigger events occurring is going to start hitting home to folks in "Big Money" world. And each time a bad thing happens you will see venture capital get more and more cautious because of it.

And let's be clear here. The likelihood is that another bad event will put a huge damper on consumer spending precisely because ordinary working people are going to be the most likely to be hit the hardest, when the event in question does happen. And let's also be clear as to just how shaky most working people are now paycheck to paycheck; as well as to question just how much more total debt load working people can keep on servicing.

These things have huge potentials for bad interactions; which only makes things even worse for State and Local governments, who can barely do basic services now. And make no mistake on that front. Once things start spiraling down, with folks getting less and less help, in times of increasing instability, the incendiary to light a terrible urban expression of frustration, and rage, won't have to amount to much more than the right tweet storm from the right group of idiots.

Consumer spending is keeping retailers healthy, but for how long?

See Also:

The Time Bomb Inside Public Pension Plans

In a warming world, the fight for water can push nations apart—or bring them together

[Post Note: And because commercial competitions, as well as resource competitions, continue to get more dangerous, so to do the necessarily related military competitions become. And we all know now that nobody is going to win the next big war. Absolutely nobody. No matter which army defeats the other, and no matter how badly. Because any fool can see what a whole lot more destructive chaos is going to do to our already accelerating run to destroy the planet by toxic, economic means. And what it would further do to any chances of organizing the world to actually start fixing things for a change; maybe even to hope we could bring this wonderful blue marble back to health again. J.V.]
China expanding bomber operations, likely training U.S. strikes, Pentagon says

Why Middle-class Families Can No Longer Afford America

[Post Note: And because crazy knows no bounds when it comes to electrons turned into money, because that is Rumpelstiltskin turning imagination into gold, boom and bust will go hand in hand with drug like compulsion to hurry through, ever faster, the cycle of going up, and coming down, ever faster. Because, just like the gambler, who doesn't really want to be rich, so much as they just want the continued rush of risking for continuously bigger stakes, and simply not caring what crashing does to them, or anybody else. Because of that, you can just bet yourself, because you will be, that life is going to become a whole lot more of going up, and crashing down, in the next few years; only the crashing down will eventually make itself be totally "not to be ignored any longer." And let me just tell you that that last one is going to be a real ass biter of epic proportions. J.V.]