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Daily Digest 5/10 - Comfort Is Not Your Friend, Did Cambridge Analytica Turn Clicks Into Votes?

Thursday, May 10, 2018, 9:59 AM

Economy

Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web (Aaron M.)

But they all share three distinct qualities. First, they are willing to disagree ferociously, but talk civilly, about nearly every meaningful subject: religion, abortion, immigration, the nature of consciousness. Second, in an age in which popular feelings about the way things ought to be often override facts about the way things actually are, each is determined to resist parroting what’s politically convenient. And third, some have paid for this commitment by being purged from institutions that have become increasingly hostile to unorthodox thought — and have found receptive audiences elsewhere.

Cambridge Analytica: how did it turn clicks into votes? (blackeagle)

Step one, he says, over the phone as he scrambles to catch a train: “When you’re building an algorithm, you first need to create a training set.” That is: no matter what you want to use fancy data science to discover, you first need to gather the old-fashioned way. Before you can use Facebook likes to predict a person’s psychological profile, you need to get a few hundred thousand people to do a 120-question personality quiz.

The Average Cost Of Care After A Dementia Diagnosis Is Over $300,000 (Thomas R.)

“It’s important to note that all of this doesn’t begin to touch the indirect costs for families, such as missed work and missed school, or the inability to take that promotion or job in another city,” said Dr. Amy Kelley of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Kelley, who wasn’t involved with this study, researches dementia health care costs.

A Letter To My Daughter About The Black Magic Of Banking/ (blackeagle)

One of the most prevalent arguments they make against the state is that wealth is produced individually, by heroic individuals. Taxation is therefore seen as an unjustifiable confiscation of what is rightfully theirs. Nothing could be further from the truth. To see this, let’s go back to the beginning of market societies for a moment—to the time when the serfs were being kicked off their ancestral lands.

The Upside Of Envy (blackeagle)

But is there anything to be learned from envy? If Socrates was right and the unexamined life is not worth living, then surely we should examine our feelings to find what we really care about as opposed to what we would like to think we care about. And what better instrument for this kind of self-examination than envy, a feeling as honest as a punch.

STDs hit all-time high in U.S. (Thomas R.)

"Every baby born with syphilis represents a tragic systems failure," said Gail Bolan, director of CDC's Division of STD Prevention. "All it takes is a simple STD test and antibiotic treatment to prevent this enormous heartache and help assure a healthy start for the next generation of Americans."

Economists focus too little on what people really care about (blackeagle)

Equating money with value is in many cases a necessary expedient. People make transactions with money, of one form or another, rather than “utility” or happiness. But even if economists often have no choice but to judge outcomes in terms of who ends up with how many dollars, they can pay more attention to the way focusing on “material well-being”, as determined by the “measuring rod of money”, influences and constrains their work.

How Long Are Your Possessions Supposed to Last? (Thomas R.)

Many of the refrigerators that were made from the 1920s to the 1950s are still running today. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of a fridge has gone down quite a bit since then. You can expect to get 9 to 13 years out of a modern refrigerator. Want to squeeze extra years out of your fridge? Then, opt for a model without all the bells and whistles. Less working parts means less to break, and cheaper, easier repairs.

37 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Car (Thomas R.)

As someone who drives a teeny tiny hatchback with about 2 feet of storage space, there just wouldn't be room for everything without taking over some of the back seat as well. But then, I'm also a city driver, never more than 100 yards away from an auto mechanic's shop, gas station or taqueria, except for occasional forays onto a very well traveled interstate. Basically, I'm never going to be stranded for long and help is always nearby, and that cuts down my own list of essentials quite a lot.

Memes That Kill: The Future Of Information Warfare (blackeagle)

In internet-speak the word “meme” often refers to an amusing picture that goes viral on social media. More broadly, however, a meme is any idea that spreads, whether that idea is true or false.

Comfort is Not Your Friend (Aaron M.)

A market crash is nothing more than a period where low risk premiums are pushed abruptly higher. For that reason, the combination of thin risk premiums, increasing risk-aversion, and upward yield pressures is the single most negative set of conditions an investor can face. Ignore this paragraph to your detriment.

The World’s Youngest Billionaires Are Shadowed by a WWII Weapons Fortune (blackeagle)

Other German business dynasties whose fortunes partly stem from the Nazi era, such as the Quandts and the Oetkers—and even some Flick family members—have made some form of restitution for using slave labor. Friedrich Flick and his youngest son, who became sole owner of the conglomerate, never did.

This is why a top ice cream flavour may be off the menu this summer (Adam)

Today, more than 95 per cent of vanilla-flavoured foods don’t contain vanilla at all, but a synthetic flavouring called vanillin (commonly extracted from wood and sometimes petroleum), Business Insider reports. The use of vanillin is expected to become even more prevalent, the BBC writes, as industries attempt to dodge increased costs.

10 Myths About Geothermal Heating and Cooling (From 2013, Thomas R.)

The pipes that make up an earth loop are usually made of polyethylene and can be buried under the ground horizontally or vertically, depending on the characteristics of the site. If an aquifer is available, engineers may prefer to design an “open loop” system, in which a well is drilled into the underground water. Water is pumped up, run past a heat exchanger, and then the water is returned to the same aquifer, through “reinjection.”

Sunscreen Chemicals Are Destroying Coral Reefs And Now Hawaii Is Banning Them (blackeagle)

About 14,000 tons of sunscreen lotion ends up in coral reefs around the world each year, according to a study published in 2015 in the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. The highest concentrations of sunscreen were found in tourist-filled beaches, like many in Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 5/9/18

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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saxplayer00o1's picture
saxplayer00o1
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Corporate America Is Staring Down a $4 Trillion Wall of Refinanc

Corporate America Is Staring Down a $4 Trillion Wall of Refinancing

Bloomberg-21 hours ago
Companies will need to refinance an estimated $4 trillion of bonds over the next five years, about two-thirds of all their outstanding debt, according to Wells ...

Japan gov't debt hits record-high 1087 tril. yen at end-March

The Mainichi-4 hours ago
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's government debt hit a record-high 1,087.81 trillion yen ($9.9 trillion) at the end of March, the Finance Ministry said Thursday, ...

State legislature approves “painful solution” to unfunded public ...

The Colorado Independent-29 minutes ago
When Colorado teachers rallied outside the state Capitol in April, they were asking lawmakers to ensure they have a stable retirement pension, among other ...

Dozens of cities need bankruptcy because of unfunded mandates ...

Jacksonville Journal-Courier-5 hours ago
Harvey was the first Illinois city to have state tax dollars intercepted by the state comptroller's office to pay into pension funds. A financial analysis group says ...

 

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Preventing mass murders

https://www.ammoland.com/2018/05/mass-shooting-contagion-murder-made-me-famous/#ixzz5EunJbSQL

Sitting in a fast food joint at DFW Airport, eating a breakfast bowl, waiting for my ride, and thinking about the NRA Annual Meeting I just flew in to attend, I happened to glance up at the TV. Of course it was playing CNN. They pay to be on every TV in every airport in the country – and I noticed a series of almost iconic photographs flashing across the screen.

As each picture briefly appeared, I realized that I was treating it like a quiz, identifying the who and why of each photo. I was getting most of them, no problem – and that's a problem.

The faces flashing across the screen were all murderers, and I not only recognized almost all of them, I could name them, and describe their crimes.

The photos were being shown as a promo for a series that plays on a cable channel called REELZ. The name of the series is “Murder Made Me Famous,” and it serves as proof positive that the media is thoroughly corrupt, callous, and driven by ratings above all else...

The dominant media’s wall-to-wall coverage of mass murder events goes directly counter to guidelines published by research organizations including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and American Association of Suicidology.

For at least two decades my father, my brother, and I have maintained a policy of avoiding mentioning the names of murderers in our writings, and we've called on other media to do the same. Ben Shapiro has now declared a similar policy for himself, and his The Daily Wire news outlet. We adopted our policy because the evidence of fame motivating deviants is very clear and well-established, and we don't want to be part of the problem. If a murderer is killing people as a way of becoming famous, we don't want to give him what he's seeking. More importantly, we don't want to provide any inspiration for the next loser who wants to become a household name by shooting, bombing, burning, or crashing his way into the headlines and CNN's perpetual repetition that they call “news.”

Polls say that fame and celebrity have replaced wealth, power, athletic achievement, even happiness, as the most desired life-goal of the post-Baby Boom generations. Simply “being famous” is now considered a great achievement, even if the fame is based on some negative, embarrassing, or criminal event. From sports fans acting the fool to get their picture on the jumbotron during a big game, to tourists waving through the windows of the NBC studio during the Today Show broadcasts, it seems that a large slice of today’s culture are willing to do almost anything to see their picture on TV or in a viral video. While the desire for fame is not a new phenomenon, it has never been as pervasive at it is today.

That means the media’s obligation to be sensitive and responsible in their coverage of mass murder events has never been so great. It is a responsibility that they ignore.

All of the major news outlets are guilty of exploiting murder for ratings. This show advertising on CNN, with its outrageous title, goes way beyond careless and callous, and demonstrates just how indifferent the talking head “journalists” and their programmers really are. Unfortunately the American public will lap it up, and clips and copies will be floating on YouTube for decades to come, inspiring God only knows what kinds of evil and destruction. Meanwhile while media like CNN will gleefully continue to blame gun owners and the NRA for the actions of deranged degenerates, they refuse to take the simplest steps to even try to mitigate their own culpability in these atrocities.

When suicide researchers saw the link between heavy media coverage of suicides, and a phenomenon they dubbed Suicide Contagion, where one suicide triggers a series of others, the Society of Professional Journalists, newspapers, TV networks, and other media worked with them to develop and adopt a set of guidelines for reporting on suicides. Under these guidelines, focus was taken off of the suicide itself, and placed more on the people left behind, and the positive things in the person's life. The result has been a marked decrease in the frequency and severity of Suicide Contagion.

At its core, a mass shooting event is almost always an elaborate suicide. Few perpetrators have any exit plan other than a hail of bullets. It seems reasonable to apply the same sort of suicide reporting rules to reporting on mass killings, especially given the evidence that some killers are literally attempting to run up a gruesome “score” to increase their notoriety. Psychologists and psychiatrists, social scientists, and, to their credit, a few members of the media, have called on the Society of Professional Journalists, and all media to adopt something like these guidelines to reduce the frequency and severity of mass murder copycat events. So far these calls have fallen on deaf ears, and every time there is a mass-killing that receives heavy press coverage, we know that there will be copycats striking within days or weeks.

It is past time for mass media to stop exploiting murder for ratings. It is time for them to stop naming suspected murderers and showing their photos – over and over and over again. Stop speculating on motives, assigning rankings, comparing one atrocity to another, and publishing lunatic manifestos. And it's time for them to adopt guidelines such as those repeatedly submitted to the Society of Professional Journalists in a petition called the “Don't Inspire Evil” initiative, or the “Don't Name Them Movement” , No Notoriety and several other, heavily researched, scientifically backed proposals that have been put forward in recent years.

Adopting a few reasonable, sensible, voluntary changes in the way the media reports on murders would unquestionably save lives without interfering with anyone's rights. But the media and politicians would rather blame gun owners, and demand we surrender our rights to schemes that have never worked, and have historically failed to protect anyone. That's hypocritical and immoral.

 

 

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Imminent peak oil could burst US, global economic bubble

Imminent peak oil could burst US, global economic bubble (The Guardian)

Quote:

"The study notes that "oil shortages pose a high risk for economies" and points to evidence that high oil prices were a "partial cause" for the 2008 global financial crisis. Focusing on the US economy - the biggest consumer of oil and oil-based products in the world - the study found that all major industrial sectors were at risk, including food and food processing, primary agriculture, metals and metals processing, and transport:

"Because such sectors contribute substantially to US GDP, and because they connect to so many other sectors, they could put the entire economy at risk in the case of Peak Oil or other supply interruptions. The present economic system relies strongly on them and their output may become significantly more expensive due to oil price increases."

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HappyCamper
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Vanilla from beaver glands.

I will only buy/use pure vanilla extract. When they stop selling it I will include vanilla in my "back in the good ole days" conversations   :-)

 

 

 

 

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/beaver-butt-goo-vanilla...

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The Huffington post agrees, T2H

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/01/27/canada-gas-prices-oil_n_9083452.html#gallery/542910/2

Coupled with a de-based fiat currency, can imminant collapse be far ahead

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Oil Depletion

There are numerous sources regarding the subject of peak oil. Keep in mind that the U.S. government and the oil industry have known about peak oil for "decades". Here are just a few:

The Post Petroleum Paradigm and Population

http://www.jayhanson.org/page171.htm

 

The End of Cheap Oil

https://nature.berkeley.edu/er100/readings/Campbell_1998.pdf

 

Collapse by Michael Ruppert

 

A Crude Awakening    The Oil Crash

 

Dick Cheney, Peak Oil and the Final Count Down

https://www.peakoil.net/Publications/Cheney_PeakOil_FCD.pdf

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Oil depletion

Good on you, Happy. It can't be said enough!

UT

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Oil depletion

You know, for all you peak oil obsessives, consider: the 70% of oil consumption is in transportation. The United States could literally cut our transport in half tomorrow with no real loss in quality of life. Just by carpooling, driving less, living closer to town, and moving to more efficient cars. That's it. And higher oil prices, say $200/bbl, would make this happen naturally.

Summary: there  is no crisis. Yes, oil is likely peaking. Yes, oil will probably go to $200 or beyond in the next 5-10 years. But this is no worry at all, and will likely have no real lasting on GDP as we shift toward NG and conservation. In fact, it's a great investing opporunity. Buy some EXX stock :-).

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good point

Any folks out there that remember the oil crises in the 1970's, and were employed at the time, will likely remember that car pools and van pools (some company sponsored) were pretty much de rigueur for the times.  Can't say I recall a whole lot of 4x4's or SUV's (or a Wagon Queen Family Truckster) on the commute but maybe a few Chevettes and Pintos.  But hey, that was then.  Things are way different now.

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It will be painful for many MKI

I agree consumption can be quickly cut and running out of easy to extract oil pushed well into the future but it will not be easy for many.  Most people have no idea about oil supplies running low or how the whole system works.  

As an example most people where I work are forced to live at least 20 miles away due to housing costs.  That’s a minimum 40 mile round trip.  Most also bought large trucks and SUVs when gas went down in price. So with 72 month car loans and home loans for a majority of the working class in my City it will be painful.  They already live paycheck to paycheck even making over 40k.  As soon as they start defaulting that means they spend less also.  It trickles down and everyone feels the pain.  

So all the money printing has made our local home and rental prices unattainable for the working class and forced them into commuting.  They made the bad choices in vehicle selections.  So how do we unwind this mess?  Do you really think the banks will forgive all these loans?  It gets real messy going forward.  I would hate to be young starting over in this distorted world.

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Michael_Rudmin
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Yes, there is a crisis.

As long as the leadership has the will to hold oil prices down and keep consumption high, that crisis is going to hit hard in the poor Americans (perhaps better known worldwide as the poor plebes) sector. That sector is famous for causing problems that don't calm down once they get riled up.

Just the possibility of that happening is enough to make me think it IS a crisis. May things go as you say; I'm not sure they will, and it is by no means a given.

Petey1, sometime go to the library and get the book "Children of the Dust Bowl": it's a great read. Point from that book being, the moment those people who commute give up their commuter jobs, get rid of the car and get badly paying local jobs, is the moment their fortunes turn around and standard of living goes through the roof.

No kidding.

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HappyCamper
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Oil Depletion

MKI

Fuel conservation by banning private transportation may be own the horizon in our lifetime. But it might require banning firearms first. Are we witnessing a PTB attempt to solve a problem ?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato%27s_five_regimes

 

http://factmyth.com/how-democracy-leads-to-tyranny-from-platos-republic/

 

With all the research available it's hard to deny we're kicking the peak oil can down a dead end alley. When it happens we'll all see it   :-)

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Technically, it is natural

Wow, learn something new everyday.  At 132 kg per annual production (I almost typed "anal"), it would seem it should be priced at rare caviar prices.  What do our northern neighbors think about this, our Eh Team members?  BTW, somewhat OT, I do like real maple syrup and it ain't just a couple bucks a bottle like back in the day.  I'll do without when that disappears.

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Invisible Hands and other Magical Thoughts
MKI wrote:

You know, for all you peak oil obsessives, consider: the 70% of oil consumption is in transportation. The United States could literally cut our transport in half tomorrow with no real loss in quality of life. Just by carpooling, driving less, living closer to town, and moving to more efficient cars. That's it. And higher oil prices, say $200/bbl, would make this happen naturally.

Summary: there  is no crisis. Yes, oil is likely peaking. Yes, oil will probably go to $200 or beyond in the next 5-10 years. But this is no worry at all, and will likely have no real lasting on GDP as we shift toward NG and conservation. In fact, it's a great investing opporunity. Buy some EXX stock :-).

You are correct that the US technically could function ( and should)  live on half of it's oil budget through conservation.  But you are deluded if you think that the shocks and dislocation of significantly higher oil prices would not have crisis level implications for our economy and GDP, given the correspondence of economic activity with oil consumption and the dependence  of our teetering debt ponzi economic system on said economic activity.

Your thesis assumes gradual rise in oil price, rather than shocks. Effortless substitution of oil alternatives ignoring energy and economic costs of converting legacy transport infrastructure, deflationary impacts  on a growth dependent economic system  from reduced economic activity and the associated cost inflation impacts due to the embedded nature of oil in such things as food and medicine. 

All of which is happening in the context of the mother of all nested bubbles, civil discord in the US, widening war in the Mideast oil patch and the realignment of US global hegemony to a multilateral order with the implications for losing petrol dollar supremacy assuming we don't accidentally trigger a nuclear exchange.  Good luck with that!

Your optimism is analogous to the turkey who's every day on the farm has been great for his entire life.  He's grown plump over the last year with corn from farmer John and assumes this thanksgiving is going to be a good day as well.  Oh look, here comes farmer John!

mm

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You'd be in good company?
DennisC wrote:

Wow, learn something new everyday.  At 132 kg per annual production (I almost typed "anal"), it would seem it should be priced at rare caviar prices.  What do our northern neighbors think about this, our Eh Team members?  BTW, somewhat OT, I do like real maple syrup and it ain't just a couple bucks a bottle like back in the day.  I'll do without when that disappears.

Hey, typos happen.

At least yours would have been on a comment section and not have made it all the way through design, copy proofing, printing and distribution before being caught:

Either that's a major screw-up or Kansas City has contracted with the TSA to "welcome" their visitors at the city limits?

If that's the case, I'm glad they have a sax player on hand to pleasantly distract the visitors.

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