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    Daily Digest 2/19 – World Stocks Lift On Trade Optimism, Scientists Develop AI That's 'Too Dangerous to Release'

    by DailyDigest

    Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 10:47 AM


16 States Sue to Stop Trump’s Use of Emergency Powers to Build Border Wall (tmn)

The dispute stems from steps Mr. Trump said he would take after lawmakers granted him only $1.375 billion for new border barriers, legislation he signed last week to avoid another government shutdown.

Seven Lessons About Blackmail (tmn)

Even if you don’t believe all these allegations, it matters if people think they might be true. A world full of perceived but phantom blackmail attempts has many of the same characteristics as a world full of actual blackmail — namely, that people are afraid of being caught.

Uber Reportedly Preparing To Go Public Despite Losing Over $1 Billion In 2018 (Thomas R.)

The company blamed the loss on investments outside of their core business – like bicycles, scooters and shipping.

World stocks lifted to 2 1/2-month highs on trade optimism (Thomas R.)

The autos index, a bellwether for Europe’s economy, fell 0.4 percent. The industry was also weighed down by fears that a US Commerce Department report would lead to tariffs on imported cars and auto parts. German shares slipped 0.1 percent lower .

An Itch You Can’t Scratch Off (tmn)

State-sponsored lottery was first instituted in the United States in New Hampshire in 1964, but that was a weekly phenomenon that functioned more like a raffle than a gambling venture. Players had to give their name and address to purchase a ticket, and the state didn’t invest in advertising the game. A handful of other states joined New Hampshire by instituting lotteries during that decade and the next; Connecticut added its own in 1972. But then states realized lotteries could be a source of revenue, and growth exploded during the economic upheaval of the 1980s. Today all but six states—Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah—run a lottery.

Policing For Profit: How Civil Asset Forfeiture Has Perverted American Law Enforcement (Alex)

In sum, asset forfeiture creates a motivation to draft more laws by the legislature, while more laws create greater opportunities for seizure by law enforcement. This perverse incentive structure is having devastating consequences: In 2014 alone, law enforcement took more stuff from American citizens than burglars did.

Brexit: Fool Britannia (tmn)

Britain is a country under self-inflicted stress, gripped by fear of the unknown. Remainers and Leavers—two tribes that have taken on the mythic stature of Roundheads and Cavaliers in a second civil war—are clinging together like drowning swimmers, each side convinced that the other is provoking an epochal disaster, neither side understanding why the other won’t submit to its version of reason and allow itself to be guided back to the surface. As the deadline approaches and the clock runs down toward the “No Deal” outcome that was supposed to be unthinkable, the divided nation faces what is, by any standards, a major political crisis. However, as British people like to remind one another, we are supposedly at our best in a crisis.

Scientists Developed an AI So Advanced They Say It’s Too Dangerous to Release (Thomas R.)

The system devises “synthetic text samples of unprecedented quality” that the researchers say are so advanced and convincing, the AI could be used to create fake news, impersonate people, and abuse or trick people on social media.

GM to invest $36M at Lansing Delta plant to build crossovers (Thomas R.)

Barra said in Lansing on Monday that she meets with employees at the plants when she visits, and those employees often offer ideas to improve production at the facilities. Barra said that though no job increase is planned as part of the $36-million investment, the automaker is monitoring demand for the crossovers built at the Lansing facility and could add a shift in the future.

Global Car Markets Are in Reverse. Trump Is Making It Worse (Thomas R.)

“Downward pressure is still there,” Gu Yatao, a Beijing-based auto analyst with Roland Berger, said of China. “The government isn’t adopting stimulating policies to give the market a shot in the arm.”

Europe Scrambles For Sour Crude Oil Amid Tight Market (Thomas R.)

The U.S. sanctions on Iran had already limited some of the heavy grade supply into Europe. Then with the new round of OPEC/non-OPEC cuts that began in January, Iraq’s Basra Light and Heavy—typically very popular among European refiners—have also been in short supply on the spot market in Europe as Iraq is diverting more barrels of Basra to the premium market for Middle Eastern producers: Asia.

Professor Valentina Zharkova Breaks Her Silence and CONFIRMS “Super” Grand Solar Minimum (thc0655)

Lee Wheelbarger sums it up: even if the IPCC’s worst case scenarios are seen, that’s only a 1.5 watts per square meter increase. Zharkova’s analysis shows a 8 watts per square meter decrease in TSI to the planet.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 2/15/19

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the “3 Es.”

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  • Tue, Feb 19, 2019 - 4:28pm



    Status Bronze Member (Offline)

    Joined: Aug 20 2011

    Posts: 252

    good bbc article on collapse of complex societies

    i was peeking over my girlfriend’s shoulder as she was reading a bbc article, expecting it to be fake news.
    instead i was surprised to see familiar themes such as EROI, the energy cliff, environmental degradation, and societal complexity
    the author even goes so far as to mention increasing inequality and centralization of power (though he stops short of mentioning central banking as being the culprit):

    bbc wrote:

    INEQUALITY AND OLIGARCHY: Wealth and political inequality can be central drivers of social disintegration, as can oligarchy and centralisation of power among leaders.


    good article, with themes we are familiar with here, but surprising to see it on mainstream media

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  • Wed, Feb 20, 2019 - 7:21am



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Oct 01 2008

    Posts: 1369

    super grand solar minimum


    So these two articles are suggesting that a grand solar minimum could have a cooling effect of about 1 to 6°C, depending on how human greenhouse gas emissions change over the next century. Is it plausible that a grand solar minimum could make that happen?
    The short answer is, ‘No.’

    fuelner & rahmstorf 2010


    Human Influence on Climate Change is Bigger than the Sun’s

    The bottom line is that the sun and the amount of solar radiation reaching Earth are very stable. Even during the Maunder and Dalton grand solar minima, global cooling was relatively small – smaller than the amount of global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions over the past century.
    A new grand solar minimum would not trigger another LIA; in fact, the maximum 0.3°C cooling would barely make a dent in the human-caused global warming over the next century, likely between 1 and 5°C, depending on how much we manage to reduce our fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. While this is equivalent to about a decade’s worth of human-caused warming, it’s also important to bear in mind that any solar cooling would only be temporary, until the end of the solar minimum.
    The science is quite clear that the human influence on climate change has become much bigger than the sun’s.



    Like a bad game of Telephone, this inaccurate reporting then spread throughout the conservative media, including Fox News, the Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin’s Twitter page. The story was debunked by the climate scientists at Climate Feedback, and Metro subsequently issued a correction, but the damage had been done.
    The ‘imminent mini ice age’ myth rears its ugly head in the conservative media like clockwork every year or two. It’s always based on claims that the sun is headed into an inactive phase, like those that coincided with what has popularly been called the “Little Ice Age”—the period from roughly about the 16th to 19th centuries when some exceptionally cold winters made the Thames River sometimes freeze so solidly that Londoners held winter fairs on the ice, and contemporary diarists wrote that the snow was so deep in New Hampshire that people burned their furniture because they couldn’t get to the woodshed. (“…[O]ur last Winter brought with it a Snow that excelled them all,” wrote Cotton Mather wrote in his diary in 1717, under the heading “An Horrid Snow.”) But the term Little Ice Ageis a misnomer, and some climate scientists have argued that the name should be abandoned. It was not a full-blown ice age at all (or even a little one), but rather a very short-lived and puny climate and social perturbation, by the standards of geologic time.


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