Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 11/20 - Germany’s Preliminary Coalition Talks Collapse, The Wireless Power Grid

Monday, November 20, 2017, 11:13 AM

Economy

President Mugabe stuns Zimbabwe by defying pressure to resign (TS)

Two sources - one a senior member of the government, the other familiar with talks with leaders of the military - had told Reuters Mugabe would announce his resignation to the nation after ZANU-PF dismissed him as its leader in a move precipitated by an army takeover four days earlier.

U.S. General Says Trump Order for Nuclear Strike Can Be Refused (tmn)

The comments come as the threat of nuclear attack from North Korea remains a serious concern and Trump's critics question his temperament. Trump's taunting tweets aimed at Pyongyang have sparked concerns primarily among congressional Democrats that he may be inciting a war with North Korea.

Slaughterbots (Alex M.)

A video presented on Friday at a meeting of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons at the United Nations in Geneva shows the frightening power of tiny AI-equipped drones that decide for themselves whom to kill.

Russia’s Election Meddling Is Another American Intelligence Failure (Jen H.)

Unlike 9/11, the Russian campaign did not occur without warning on a quiet fall day. Rather, it unfolded over at least six months on Americans’ social-media accounts—hardly the stuff of spy novels. Kremlin leaders had signalled their plans years in advance. The Russian playbook wasn’t a secret, either. It had been well documented by European governments, researchers, and journalists after the Kremlin’s information operations to destabilize Estonia, in 2007; Georgia, in 2008; Ukraine, in 2014; and Britain, in the leadup to the 2016 Brexit vote.

Germany’s preliminary coalition talks collapse (tmn)

He blamed the lack of a “common vision for the modernisation of the country” and of a “common basis of trust” for a prospective Jamaica government (the parties’ colours are those of that country’s flag). It had been impossible, he complained, to secure the “trend shifts” that FDP voters wanted in areas like the economy, tax and migration: “It’s better not to govern at all than to govern wrongly”. Nicola Beer, the FDP’s general secretary, characterised the talks as: “No agreement on the Soli [“solidarity” tax funding the former communist east] or education federalism, no proportionate immigration rules. Instead an ideological energy policy that would have deindustrialised Germany”.

The Wireless Power Grid: More Than A 100 Years In The Making (Michael K.)

Naysayers abound, but magnetic induction and resonant coupling is not just possible on a large scale—it’s inevitable. And none too soon, as the requirements for distributing electric power continue to change with the gaining presence of renewable energy sources and increasing fears of grid security and unreliability.

The U.S. Is Crushing Its Clean Energy Forecasts (Wendy SD)

Renewable energy infrastructure is also expanding at a much faster rate than was thought ten years ago. 2006's prediction for installed solar was a massive 4,813 percent shy of the 2016 reality. The U.S now also has installed wind capacity of 82 gigawatts, 361 percent more than had been hoped for.

In fact, energy consumption in total was also 17 percent lower than expected... which is odd and perhaps a better indication of the recovery-less recovery's reality?

Six Years After Fukushima, Robots Finally Find Reactors’ Melted Uranium Fuel (thc0655)

Now that engineers say they have found the fuel, officials of the government and the utility that runs the plant hope to sway public opinion. Six and a half years after the accident spewed radiation over northern Japan, and at one point seemed to endanger Tokyo, the officials hope to persuade a skeptical world that the plant has moved out of post-disaster crisis mode and into something much less threatening: cleanup.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 11/17/17

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."

9 Comments

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 82
Propoganda Alert

The Russia's Election Meddling... article is another American Journalistic Failure. She discredits herself in the first sentence. This is a journalist who has a very slight grasp of reality and is operating in a bubble. Many of us should know -- regardless of which version of events that we subscribe to -- that the powers that be knew about the possibilities of an event (9/11) of this nature. (Indeed one select group of idealogues were not-so-transparently hoping for it to occur.) Before irrationality kicked in, the local public radio station interviewed a professor from the University of Idaho who said that he was part of a team that prepared a report warning of an event of this nature. He claimed that the White House had received the report and had shelved it. He must have been quickly shut down. To my knowledge, he was never heard from again. It appears to have been his last interview.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 5471
Yep. Got it fantastically wrong....
Matt Holbert wrote:

The Russia's Election Meddling... article is another American Journalistic Failure. 

Got it so wrong on the opening sentence that you know reading further will make you dumber, not more well informed.

I like it when the journalist helps me avoid having to read any further to understand that.  Very efficient.

 

Matt Holbert's picture
Matt Holbert
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 3 2008
Posts: 82
More on Propaganda

[My apologies for misspelling propaganda in the earlier comment...]

Interestingly enough, it was around the time of 9/11 that NPR became National Propaganda Radio. In the early-mid 2000's I attributed this to the substantial amount of money donated to NPR by Ray Kroc's widow. I thought that there must have been some strings attached that required NPR to give up reporting on anything that was critical of mainstream. There is probably more to the story, though. I also realize that I had become more widely read and as a consequence became more critical of mainstream myself.

It is eye-opening to listen to programs like Thom Hartmann and Democracy Now! and to realize just how biased their views are. It is obvious from listening to those who call in to Hartmann's program that they are just as biased as those who call in to Limbaugh's show [full disclosure: I haven't listened to RL in years]. Hopefully we will see the emergence of a daily radio show that can help bridge the gap and provide more integral -- transcend and include -- views. 

Tim Ladson's picture
Tim Ladson
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2012
Posts: 76
NPR Factoids

Matt,

To understand  just how mainstream NPR has become, I was not aware that that the Nightly News anchor, Judy Woodruff is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations. Hmmmmm.

Today I was listening in the car to a discussion of the Russia / Collusion "story"on NPR and Max Boot was the "expert" profiled on the discussion. Max Boot is another CFR mouthpiece and a pretty rabid neocon IMHO.

This shows me that NPR has gone completely around the bend and is nothing more than a Deep State propaganda organ now. 

Tim.

 

 

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1690
Weaponizing Robots

Below is a 30 minute video of one reporter's trip to the DARPA funded robotics labs at Virginia Tech to answer the question of whether these robots are being developed as weapons, or whether they are truly to "save lives" and "rescue people trapped by natural disasters."

It has a couple of good examples of robots in action.

A counter point is offered by a woman who feels certain that the military will weaponize anything that can be weaponized -- that is just what the military is all about -- winning wars.

No sooner does the Army representative explain to the reporter the humanitarian intent of the bomb disposal robot (to save lives) does the story cut to a unit with a fully automatic gun attached to the same "bomb disposal robot."

And here is Atlas, from Boston Dynamics, who has learned to do a backflip.  (ht Saxplayer)

 

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 4856
atlas

Atlas looks uncomfortably like the 1978 version of the Cylons.

If I were going to weaponize robots, I'd want to think about the following:

  • adding in some sort of off-switch, in case they got hacked
  • having some sort of fail-safe that doesn't let them target "our guys" by mistake - in "read only" memory
  • strictly limiting the amount of field upgrade-ability
  • don't allow them to learn

This is why I said AI was a revolution.  We just haven't it play out fully.  Of course the military will weaponize the things.  You don't need to pay a pension for a robot.  They don't mutiny, either.

But I bet they are gonna break down a lot...at least at first...

Think: "tanks in 1917"

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1690
Atlas and "Directive 4" off switch

From Robocop. 

A hard off switch preventing our hybrid Robocop/Officer Murphy from arresting his maker:

DennisC's picture
DennisC
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 19 2011
Posts: 243
We've had plenty of warnings

I think Dr. Smith would have just pulled the power pack.  What would you do?

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: May 3 2014
Posts: 433
Who needs robots when we have Monsanto?

As Glyphosate is slowly losing its effectiveness as the "go-to" universal herbicide, dicamba reuse is running into trouble with regulators and farmers with its use and "not-so-happy" results.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pesticides-complaints/monsanto-basf-weed-killers-strain-u-s-states-with-damage-complaints-idUSKBN1D14N0

Why waste your time developing robots when the chemical companies can do it for you. Or have we forgotten Bhopal:

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2014/12/bhopal-the-worlds-worst-industrial-disaster-30-years-later/100864/

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