Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 9/18 - The Age Of Flux, Is The Shale Showdown Overblown?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 10:54 AM

Economy

Survey highlights tensions in public attitudes toward science (Paul D.)

Such figures have long prompted calls for more public education in science and more attention to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in the school curriculum. However, U.S. research indicates that social, religious and political factors can trump education when it comes to shaping attitudes on controversial scientific topics, regardless of how well the relevant science is explained. For example, in a study published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that those who most differ on topics such as climate change are often the most educated.

The Han-opticon (tmn)

Chinese tech companies, once seen as capable only of imitation, are now leapfrogging their Western counterparts in some of these surveillance fields, unhindered by the ethical concerns that may hamper their uptake in the West. Elsa B Kania, of The Centre for A New American Security’s Technology and National Security Programme, says Chinese companies are not just innovating, but becoming world leaders, and are “starting to emerge at the forefront of particular disciplines within AI such as facial recognition, as well as smart voice natural language processing. In some cases, you have Chinese start-ups placing at the top of international competitions for some of these applications.”

China Strikes $60 Billion of U.S. Goods in Growing Trade War (jdargis)

In an announcement on Monday, Trump ordered his administration to levy 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion in Chinese goods on Sept. 24 and to increase the rate in January to 25 percent if Beijing refuses to offer trade concessions. The latest round of duties comes on top of a 25 percent tariff already imposed on about $50 billion in Chinese goods, which triggered retaliation from Beijing on the same amount of U.S. imports.

The Age Of Flux (tmn)

In the West, the default ideology—a democratic capitalism posing as inevitability—ran on for longer, still powered by the energy of victory in the Cold War, a cartoon character running over the edge of a cliff until, after Iraq and the financial crash, it looked down and saw there was nothing underneath and plummeted.

Judge to Georgia voting officials: You’re terrible at digital security (jdargis)

"Professor Halderman explained in his testimony in detail the reasons why the DRE auditing and confirmation of results process used by state officials on a sample basis is generally of limited value," Judge Totenberg wrote. "This process is keyed to matching the total ballots cast, without any independent source of individual ballot validation, and it can be defeated by malware similar to that used by the Volkswagen emissions software that concealed a car’s actual emissions data during testing."

Is The Shale Slowdown Overblown? (Michael S.)

At the same time, because there have been bottlenecks for things like water disposal and frac sand (which has been shipped in from Wisconsin and Minnesota), new water handling services and frac sand mines have opened in Texas – another way that the industry has kept costs down. “These factors combined have significantly improved capital efficiency and have allowed producers to grow output at a similar pace to 2014 while spending roughly 30% less,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch concluded.

2100, and the Fundamental Fallacy of Climate Change Predictions (Paul D.)

However, unlike manmade production of carbon and methane that can – in theory, anyway – be controlled, reduced or even eliminated, these natural processes, once triggered, reinforce themselves. A smaller ice cap means more warming… which means an even smaller ice cap than before, which means even more warming than before leading to even faster shrinking of the ice caps – and so on. The smoke from massive forest fires leads to even drier and hotter conditions, which creates even larger forest fires than before creating even more smoke than before – and so on.

UN report identifies where global harvests will rise and fall by 2050 (Paul D.)

"Whereas most tropical regions are likely to experience production losses due to rising temperatures, production in temperate regions is expected to benefit from warmer climate and longer growing seasons," the report said.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 9/17/18

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