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    Daily Digest 7/7 – Mexico’s Next Chapter, Paying For Tesla’s Gigafactory

    by DailyDigest

    Saturday, July 7, 2018, 4:55 PM


$700 billion will disappear from Social Security’s coffers in next decade (Sparky1)

The newly released annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees highlights some very big changes that are now underway with the program. Beginning in 2018, and continuing with each passing year, through 2034, Social Security will be paying out more in benefits than it’s generating in revenue. That hasn’t happened since prior to the reforms passed during the Reagan administration in 1983.

Survival Of The Richest (VeganDB12)

Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

Mexico’s Next Chapter (Thomas R.)

Mexico, while reasonably prosperous, is a mess at present. As in some of the Central American banana republics, such as Honduras, the legitimacy of the government to fight crime is in doubt. Many in Mexico see the government as merely another cartel, albeit one with classier shoes.

Trump Scoreboard still showing better numbers on jobs than wages as total hiring tops 3 million for the presidency (Uncletommy)

But wage growth, as measured by the 12-month change in average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers, is still mediocre. After 2.7% growth in June, median wage growth for his presidency stands at 2.4% — slower than the 3-plus percent gains during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

China-U.S. tariffs: Wisconsin cheese industry hopes Trump has strategy in trade disputes (jdargis)

“I have yet to find an example where tariffs have worked for the long term good of the country that first imposes them,” Schwager told CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds.

The president’s protectionist moves have prompted U.S. trading partners to retaliate with tariffs of their own on such Wisconsin exports as cranberries, apples and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

AP Exclusive: Washington psychiatric hospital called ‘hell’ (Thomas R.)

U.S. and state regulators for years have found health and safety violations at the 800-bed hospital, ranging from assaults on staff to escapes of dangerous patients, including a man accused of torturing a woman to death. Even after that 2016 escape, a nursing supervisor told The Associated Press that a patient who had been charged with murder and found not guilty by reason of insanity was placed in a less secure ward and the nurse faced retaliation after reporting the danger to non-violent patients.

Nerve agents not found in samples from Syria’s Douma – interim OPCW report (lambertad)

Later, the Russian military found an entire laboratory operated by militants in central Douma, which was capable of producing chemical weapons. The lab had some sophisticated equipment, including an industrial chemical reactor, which was apparently used by the militants to create toxic agents. The footage, taken by Russian journalists inside the facility, also showed vast stockpiles of various chemicals, some of which were produced in Germany, as well as empty mortar shells that can be filled with poisonous substances.

‘All humanity has left the area’: paying for Tesla’s Gigafactory (blackeagle)

“A year ago I was the caretaker of an apartment building and my wife was a caregiver. Then I lost my job. We couldn’t afford to rent anywhere so now we live here,” said Kevin McCullough, 48, who like his partner, Pixie, was sunburnt from outdoor living. Home is a tent by riverbank reeds.

Psychology’s Replication Crisis Can’t Be Wished Away (jdargis)

Technical discussion aside, I want to make two points here. First, the Reproducibility Project is far from the only line of evidence for psychology’s problems. There’s the growing list of failures to replicate textbook phenomena. There’s publication bias—the tendency to only publish studies with positive results, while dismissing those with negative ones. There’s evidence of questionable research practices that are widespread and condoned.

There Are Fears About an Oil Spike Above $150 (Will H.)

The oversupply of crude globally in recent years has masked “chronic underinvestment,” Bernstein said in the report. Oil has rebounded to the highest in more than three years as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies started curbing output at the beginning of last year to trim a global glut. The producers aim now to pump more to help cool the market, but disruptions from Libya to Venezuela are keeping prices elevated.

U.S. agriculture secretary says exports at risk in tariff disputes (Uncletommy)

Initial exemptions to the metals tariffs have been granted to Mexico and Canada as negotiations over a revamped North American Free Trade agreement continue. Exemptions for other countries could help ease tensions among other trading partners, Perdue said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/5/18

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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  • Sun, Jul 08, 2018 - 12:12pm



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1918

    Immigration into Europe: Animated Graphic

    Saw this animated graphic of the flow of immigrants into Europe.  Each dot is 25 people (half a bus load).  You can run it at different speeds and can put a cursor over a receiving country to see where the immigrants to that country are comming from.  Very cool.  Human rivers.

    But, the arriving populations do not integrate well due to radically different social customs, mores and languages. (Many are from RED Meme locations!)  They are not easily employable due to different languages, inadequate education and math and science skills. 
    The US experience is that immigrant integration takes many generations, and sometimes just never happens leaving ethnic neighborhoods, even 2 centures later.   Common public schools help, but still takes a couple of generations.  When the immigration RATE is too fast, the melting pot doesn’t melt.
    So immigrants cluster in ethnically distinct neighborhoods.  Most are very poor–i.e.–these neighborhoods would be called ghettos.  Welfare is extended to them, but it is not enough for some, and they are unhappy….

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  • Sun, Jul 08, 2018 - 5:20pm



    Status Platinum Member (Offline)

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 1918

    Charles Hugh Smith asks: Will AI "Change the World?"

    From This Week’s Mussings Report, Charles asks an exceedingly penetrating question:
    Will AI “Change the World” Or Simply Boost Profits?

    The hype about artificial intelligence (AI) and its cousins Big Data and Machine Learning is ubiquitous, and largely unexamined.Let’s start by asking: who owns all this powerful AI? This raises two other questions: who benefits as “software eats the world” (to use Marc Andreesen’s pithy phrase), and to what purpose is all this technology being applied?The answers are all painfully obvious: large global corporations, many of which function as quasi-monopolies (Facebook, Google et al.), are the owners of these new technologies, and the purpose being pursued is to maximize profits and secure a monopoly that insures high profits into the future.The hype takes two predictable pathways, one Jetson-cartoonish euphoria and the other dystopian ruin.Self-driving vehicles will change the world in wonderful ways by eliminating the source of accidents: human error.And that’s a nightmarish prospect because what will those millions of people currently driving vehicles do for a living?Few people ask: who will profit from all this? Obviously, the manufacturers of self-driving vehicles and the owners of services which replace private vehicles.The real race in AI is to secure profitable franchises and eliminate competitors by scaling up faster than other corporations.This is why the market cheers Netflix burning billions of dollars every year: if they’re burning billions, they must be scaling up faster than competitors, and thus they will be the ultimate “winner” in the race to create and distribute mediocre content globally.Consider the uses which corporate-owned AI has already been used to maximize profits: Facebook’s manipulation of its users’  data and content feeds and its selling of their data.After a brief downturn due to fears of regulation, the market is back in love with Facebook’s immense profits, and Facebook’s stock is once again at record highs.AI and Big Data collection is the profitable heart of Surveillance Capitalism, which includes Amazon’s gargantuan contracts with the National Security agencies and many other lower-profile contractors (SAIC, et al.)Rather than a Jetson-cartoonish world of intelligent robots doing all the work so we can all become poets and watch mediocre films all day long, what AI is doing in the real world is extracting profits from data collected from the populace either to market something more effectively or to control the populace more effectively.The AI-robotics enthusiasts never seem to actually work in the AI-robotics industries. They extrapolate extrapolations without asking the key questions: who will own this technology, and what will be the core purpose to which its applied?We know the answers: global corporations, and maximizing profits.To dismantle just one part of the Jetson-cartoonish worldview of robots and AI becoming essentially free. Fabricating a robot will never be free because robots require large quantities of energy and resources for their manufacture and maintenance. Even if human labor has been completely eliminated, the costs of extracting, refining and transporting resources remain, along with the costs of extracting the energy to do all this work as well as manufacture and assemble all the parts.Eliminating human labor removes very little of the cost structure.As for AI software being “free”— it will be free like the Android operating system and the Apple iOS: free to those developing profitable uses of corporately owned franchises.In my worldview, AI has one purpose: eliminating bias and privilege. Properly programmed software won’t keep track of skin color or other sources of human bias.The danger is corporately owned software tracks everything that can be used to market or control the populace, and this includes every nuance of bias and privilege.The real battle isn’t between a cartoonish vision or a dystopian nightmare--it’s between decentralized ownership and control of these technologies and centralized ownership and control.The CLIME system (as described in my book “A Radically Beneficial World”) is in effect a decentralized, distributed AI system that organizes a network of independently, democratically operated community groups that pay members to perform needed work in their communities.AI that isn’t being harnessed to maximize profits for a few wealthy, privileged owners gets very little attention.

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