It’s now clear that the Age of Trump represents a resurgence of powerful interests tied into a dying civilizational paradigm, being disrupted by converging social, ecological, energy, economic and technological forces.
In this sense, to see Donald Trump himself as ‘the problem’ whose removal would return us to the course of progress would be a grave mistake. Trump is, rather, a symptom of the problem: and the problem is global systemic crisis.
End Of A Golden Age (westcoastjan)
What was it that made the Golden Age exceptional? Part of the answer is that economies were making up for lost time: after years of depression and wartime austerity, enormous needs for housing, consumer goods, equipment for farms, factories, railroads and electric generating plants stood ready to drive growth. But much more lay behind the Golden Age of economic growth than pent-up demand. Two factors deserve special attention.
The art industry is closely watching the London auctions running this week and next as the year’s first test of the global market following a significant contraction in 2016. Christie’s sales fell 17 percent to $4 billion pounds ($5.4 billion) last year, while Sotheby’s reported a 27 percent decline to $4.9 billion. Both houses saw steep declines in their two biggest categories: Impressionist and modern art, and postwar and contemporary art.
Fake Risk, Fake Return? (Axel M.)
For those that say the system is rigged, I concur. In my assessment, central banks are largely responsible for a compression of “risk premia.” All else equal, quantitative easing and its variants around the globe have made assets from equities to bonds appear less risky than they are. This is at the very core of central banks efforts to entice investors to take risks, as risk taking is key to making an economy grow. In practice, central banks have foremost pushed up financial assets, but have largely disappointed in generating real investments. As a result, those holding financial assets have disproportionally benefited.
Looking to a future in which governments abolish cash in useful denominations, it follows that they will then focus on eliminating personal and commercial commerce through the use of compact high-value commodities such as gold and silver, a natural progression if $100 bills are taken out of circulation in the United States.
During Monday’s meeting, Brad Gross, staff member of the Legislative Research Commission, clarified the numbers that had left many wondering about the governor’s $82 billion estimate. State Budget Director John Chilton, in a prior meeting, used a 4.5 percent assumption of the state’s borrowing rate or a 2.7 percent assumption, based on the 30-year treasury rate, to show how Kentucky’s unfunded liabilities would grow from $32.8 billion to the $82 billion using different assumption numbers.
The Karmapa shows us how gaining emotional awareness of our connectedness can fundamentally reshape the human race. He then guides us to action, showing step by step how we can change the way we use the earth’s resources and can continue to better our society. In clear language, the Karmapa draws connections between such seemingly far-flung issues as consumer culture, loneliness, animal protection, and self-reliance. In the process, he helps us move beyond theory to practical and positive social and ethical change.
Utopia Inc. (westcoastjan)
Communitarian experiments such as Tamera are nothing new, although its longevity – almost 40 years – is unusual. Generally, intentional communities fail at a rate slightly higher than that of most start-ups. Only a handful of communities founded in the US during the 19th century’s ‘golden age of communities’ lasted beyond a century; most folded in a matter of months. This golden age birthed more than 100 experimental communities, with more than 100,000 members who, according to the historian Mark Holloway in Heavens on Earth (1951), sought to differentiate themselves from society by creating ‘ideal commonwealths’. The largest surge in communitarian ‘start-ups’ occurred during the 1840s and 1890s, coinciding with periods of economic depression. But it would be a mistake to see intentional communities merely as a knee-jerk response to hard times.
More alarmingly, the documents show that the DoD believes that within just fifteen years, it will be feasible for mission planning, target selection and the deployment of lethal force to be delegated entirely to autonomous weapon systems in air, land and sea. The Pentagon expects AI threat assessments for these autonomous operations to be derived from massive data sets including blogs, websites, and multimedia posts on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Energy flux is the driver of change in our galaxy. Nothing happens without a flow of energy. And what is energy? Energy is the ability to perform useful work. And in physics, what is useful work? Work is useful if it overcomes inertia or resistance in order to generate motion.
Energy, not money, makes the world go round. Energy is destiny.
Brillouin Energy Closes $7.75 Million Series B Round (Arthur Robey)
“This kind of financial support allows us to continue to build on the significant progress we have made toward commercializing the development of Brillouin Energy’s LENR technologies,” said Robert W. George II, Brillouin Energy’s CEO. “We’re excited that so many new and current investors value the opportunity ahead for Brillouin Energy as much as we do. Together, we’re going to make ultra-clean, low-cost renewable energy a global reality.”
“Earthjustice will use the full strength of our nation’s bedrock environmental laws to protect our communities and secure our future. If the new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and President Trump try to ignore the law, Earthjustice will continue to challenge them in court to ensure this Administration does not dismantle the basic mission of the EPA – the protection of our health and the environment.”
Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Sonja Schmid and Charles Perrow address safety and energy issues surrounding the nuclear accidents at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island at an Einaudi Center panel discussion March 11, 2016. Hirokazu Miyazaki, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and director of the Einaudi Center, and Rebecca Slayton, assistant professor of science and technology studies, moderated the discussion.
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