Insider en How The Nature of Work Is Changing ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li>The Matrix of Work &amp; the 5 Forms of Value Creation</li> <li>The essential elements of the future&#39;s ideal work environment</li> <li>How mobility creates career security</li> <li>How to start switching from &quot;work&quot; to &quot;work that matters&quot;</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">Part I:&nbsp;Escaping the Rat-Rac</a><a href="" target="_blank">e</a></em><em>&nbsp;available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In <a href="" target="_blank">Part 1</a>, we reviewed the forces of structural change in the economy and the nature of work.&nbsp; In Part 2, we&rsquo;ll cover the <em>matrix of work</em> (how to create value in the age of automation) and discuss specific strategies for building a resilient career you control.</p> <h2><strong>The Matrix of Work</strong></h2> <p>In the traditional capital/labor model, labor is paid by the hour to perform routine work.&nbsp; In the emerging economy, routine work is increasingly performed by machines or outsourced.&nbsp; In this environment, the premium for human labor arises from <em>creating value and solving problems</em>.</p> <p>The tool I use to understand this premium is the <em>matrix of work</em>, which is the overlay of the five forms of value creation: <em>non-process-based work, high touch, non-tradable work, sensitivity of the output to mastery</em> and <em>flexibility</em>.</p> <p>Let&rsquo;s start with <em>commodification</em>:&nbsp; when goods or services can be traded interchangeably across the globe, these become commodities, as opposed to one-of-a-kind goods and services unique to one small-scale producer. A Fuji apple from Washington State is the same as a Fuji apple from overseas in terms of its tradability and retail value.</p> <p>Labor can also be commoditized:&nbsp; if human labor is being sold as time performing basic skills, then the time and basic skills can be bought and sold interchangeably around the world.</p> <p>Work that is <em>process-based</em> is easily automated or commoditized, meaning that it can be performed anywhere by interchangeable laborers.&nbsp; Process-based work can be broken down into tasks that take a specifiable input and yield a specifiable output.</p> <p>One way to avoid being commoditized out of a job is...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider career Charles Hugh Smith job labor profession work Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:48:16 +0000 charleshughsmith 86164 at Humans Making Bad Choices Is Why I Garden ]]><p>As long as you&#39;re curious and read somewhat widely, if you&#39;re one of those readers who digs a bit further now and then, it&#39;s pretty much impossible to avoid the conclusion that humans are living&nbsp;unsustainably.</p> <p>We&#39;re using up energy sources that took approximately 350 million years to accrete in a single 350-year-long orgy of consumption.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider aquifer Chris Martenson Drought Garden Ogallala Peak Soil soil Three E's water Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:35:21 +0000 cmartenson 86275 at Off the Cuff: The Fed Is Very, Very Scared ]]><ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Fed&#39;s Nightmare <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Bedlam will ensure if/when the market loses confidence</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Age of Anomalies <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Fed-induced market distortions are shaking that confidence</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Pump &amp; Pray <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Does the Fed have any better game plan?</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Central Planning Fault Lines <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Rifts among allies are increasing the risks</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Brian Pretti capital Federal Reserve Janet Yellen Off The Cuff The Fed Fri, 18 Jul 2014 18:16:32 +0000 Adam Taggart 86216 at Reducing Your Risk To A Grid-Down Event ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li>The most likely forms of cyber attack the national grid is vulnerable to</li> <li>The evidence that shows malicious attacks on the US grid have been attempted multiple times</li> <li>The low level of integrity in the current grid&#39;s defenses</li> <li>A checklist of backup systems at the home level every concerned citizen should work to have in place</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">Part 1: The Electrical Grid May Well Be The Next War&#39;s Battlefield</a></em><em>&nbsp;available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <h2>Cyber Attacks, Hacking, and Malware</h2> <p>The other main threat we should concern ourselves with centers on the highly automated nature of the electricity grid combined with the human propensity for mischief. As with everything these days, computer-controlled devices are at the heart of the entire electrical generation and distribution system.</p> <p>Again from the same Peak Prosperity member quoted earlier:</p> <blockquote><p>Combine this with the known vulnerabilities of the <a href="">SCADA [Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition] systems controlling the power grid</a>&nbsp;and you have the recipe for a real coordinated and manufactured disaster.</p> <p><em>US researchers have identified 25 zero-day vulnerabilities in industrial control SCADA software from 20 suppliers that are used to control critical infrastructure systems. Attackers could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to gain control of electrical power and water systems, according to </em></p> <p><em>Nine of these potential exploits have so far been reported to the suppliers concerned and the US Department of Homeland Security.</em></p> <p><em>In theory, an intruder could exploit the vulnerabilities simply by breaching the wireless radio network over which the communication passes to the server.</em></p> <p>Unlike the &quot;heartbleed&quot; zero-day bug that could be more or less addressed by software server patches, the SCADA systems are hardware boxes sitting out in the field. It&#39;s quite possible they are not upgradeable, or they were made by companies no longer in business, or whose programmers no longer support the system any more. <em>&quot;Uh, you want me to come up with a patch for THAT old system? Really? The guy who knew that code retired 10 years ago. I&#39;m not even sure we have the source code anymore - or if it compiles - or if our build system can even compile for that CPU-type. And then we have to test it. We don&#39;t have any of those boxes to test it on anymore. And once tested, how exactly do we deploy this patch?&quot;</em></p> <p>If you&#39;ve ever worked in a software organization, you&#39;ll know what I&#39;m talking about.</p> <p>No need to launch any supersonic missiles. If the US power grid is down, the US Navy won&#39;t be projecting power anywhere, since we&#39;ll be so busy trying to keep our people alive (and/or deploying what forces we have available into our own cities to prevent all those people who can&#39;t use their EBT cards anymore from tearing the place apart) to worry about what Russia is doing in their own backyard.</p> <p>So - yes, asymmetric warfare. A coordinated cyber-assault supported with a kinetic attack on a select group of substations will...</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Chris Martenson electrical grid sterling engine Thu, 17 Jul 2014 03:38:23 +0000 cmartenson 86201 at On Creating a World Worth Inheriting ]]><p>We all know that the current paradigm is unsustainable over longer time frames. Here are a few of the ways in which we can express that concept more specifically:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Collapse conflict debt oil population unsustainable water Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:52:07 +0000 cmartenson 86166 at Off the Cuff: To The Moon And Back ]]><p>In this week&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Off the Cuff&nbsp;</em>podcast, Chris and Mish discuss:</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Highs And Lows <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">How high will the markets climb? And how fast/far will they fall?</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Magic Fed <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The backstop of last resort. But what will happen when it fails?</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">It&#39;s Net Energy, Stupid <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The measurements for our economic decisions are all wrong</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Prostitutes &amp; Drugs <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The lengths we go to fool ourselves</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider energy Federal Reserve GDP Mish Shedlock Off The Cuff Yellen Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:51:06 +0000 Adam Taggart 86116 at On The Fast Track to Crisis ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li>Understanding the broken narratives we are telling ourselves about: <ul> <li>Energy</li> <li>The Economy</li> <li>Our Education system</li> <li>Financial&nbsp;markets</li> <li>Western&nbsp;exceptionalism</li> </ul> </li> <li>And why we will continue to hurdle farther off course until we decide to look at our situation truthfully</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">Part 1: Reality-Optional Economics</a></em><em>&nbsp;available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>It is in the interest of healthy adults to remain sane, even when the powerful matrix of society is going crazy around them. I don&rsquo;t think you can overstate the capacity of societies to go crazy. We still marvel at the murderous cruelty of Germany and Russia in the mid-20<sup>th</sup> century, the sickening slide into industrial barbarism, and the technical proficiency they achieved in pursuit of their lunatic ends. And what provoked those terrible journeys into collective madness? Isn&rsquo;t it part of the horror that no explanation seems to suffice. They were both losers in the First World War. Boo hoo. Many societies sober up when they lose a war. Both opted for organized mass murder instead. Joseph Stalin summed up Russia&rsquo;s collective psyche in that period when he said, &ldquo;One death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.&rdquo; The regime that promoted that particular view of the human condition lasted seventy years and then dissipated like a mere bad dream, an extremely fortunate outcome for Russia, and not so easy to account for, either.</p> <p>And so what of us in this new century, faced with the gravely serious problems of resource scarcity, ecocide, climate uncertainty, demographic stress, cultural breakdown, and financial bedlam? How do we...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Wed, 09 Jul 2014 17:08:41 +0000 JHK 86102 at Las Vegas In Dusty Trouble ]]><p>One thing that is certain to trip up the human race is its tendency to pursue short term goals and solutions without any weighty regard for the long-term consequences of those actions.</p> <p>We routinely learn that unintended consequences are the norm, not the exception, and yet that rarely stops us from boldly interfering with complex processes.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Drought Las Vegas water Tue, 08 Jul 2014 02:16:35 +0000 cmartenson 86070 at Off the Cuff: When?? ]]><p>In this week&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Off the Cuff&nbsp;</em>podcast, Chris and Charles discuss:</p> <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Time To Short This Market? <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Chris is very close to making that call</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Replacing Energy With Debt <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">A short-term fiction that&#39;s quickly coming to an end</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">2015: Bonanza or Bust? <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Lots of voices on either side</li> </ul> </li> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">The Impact If Oil Goes Higher <ul> <li style="line-height: 19.5px;">Get ready for Global Recession 2.0</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Charles DeGualle Charles Hugh Smith Off The Cuff Thu, 03 Jul 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Adam Taggart 86031 at The Signals That Will Tell Us A Stock Market Reversal Is Imminent ]]><h1>Executive Summary</h1> <ul> <li>Understanding the importance of the &#39;Smith Market Uncertainty Principle&#39;</li> <li>Technical analysis techniques for identifying the arrival of a market reversal <ul> <li>Bollinger bands</li> <li>volatility</li> <li>moving averages</li> </ul> </li> <li>Using the above indicators to know when to sell</li> </ul> <blockquote><p><em>If you have not yet read <a href="" target="_blank">The Approaching Inevitable Market Reversal</a></em><em><a href="" target="_blank">,</a> available free to all readers, please <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>click here</strong></a> to read it first.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>In <a href="">Part 1</a>, we reviewed the case for the Fed-enforced New Normal of &ldquo;no more downturns&rdquo; and the case for a trend reversal in the stock market.</p> <p>In this Part 2, we consider signs that a trend reversal has taken hold.</p> <h2>The Mechanics of Manipulation</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s briefly review the mechanics of stock market manipulation.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s easiest to manipulate a low-volatility, low-volume market, as low volatility (i.e. complacency) lowers the risk premium in index options, and a low-volume market is influenced by the purchase of relatively modest blocks of index options.&nbsp; As a result, the Fed or its proxies can prop up the markets with large purchases of index options that cost very little in comparison to the overall size of the market. &nbsp;(Recall each option leverages 100 shares of the index or stock.)</p> <p>The other way to manipulate the market is to intervene at the critical technical levels that money managers and trading computers are watching.&nbsp; Every well-known technical system has been programmed into the trading bots, the majority of which appear to be trend-followers: if the market reverses at key technical levels (due to massive blocks of index options buying, for example), then the bots start buying the uptrend.</p> <p>Since the vast majority of trading is now done by machines, this greatly simplifies the process of manipulation:&nbsp; the manipulator need only defend key technical levels with mass purchases of leveraged index options and the trading bots will jump in and buy the uptick.</p> <p>Experienced traders have seen this sort of activity countless times in the past five years. It has become predictable that...</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Insider Bollinger bands Charles Hugh Smith Markets moving average options techincal analysis trading volatility Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:38:14 +0000 charleshughsmith 86002 at