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Haven’t posted in a long time. Just thought I’d post that the new Charmin has shrunk yet again. Paid $22.99 for 840 sq. ft recently at Costco. That makes it $0.027369048/sq. ft. A 36% increase over the last 10 years. The package when placed next to an older one is considerably smaller. Pretty soon each roll will be single use!
Check out SMA Sunny Island inverters (there are probably others now). They allow connecting multiple DC/AC generation sources and handle islanding so that you can use PV with/battery when the power company is down. You might also look up AC coupled backup systems, they are a good solution when you plan to be mostly on-grid but want the ability to operate off-grid. It allows you to take advantage of the grid solar inverters / power company net metering and still have backup power. Here is an article I wrote for PP along time ago. It’s mostly still right. Things I learned are not to use the manifold design for thermal, better to use a primary loop type system, you get a lot more control/data. Also – many solar companies are unreliable so do-it-yourself is good so that you have an understanding and can work on the system when companies go under.
The PV system described in the article once configured correctly was pretty much maintenance free for 10 years. It just worked. The thermal we had issues with a design flaw in the collectors, they had a > 50% failure rate with leaks and the company did not stand behind them. 🙁
We have since moved. into a much more passive solar home but we will probably do another similar PV system on it in the near future.
They have earned their names!
There are no secret backdoors in a code transparent platform like BTC or ETH. Not happening.
And I'm sure no one ever uses a mobile phone for any type of crypto-currency transaction:
If the price goes way up the demand for electronics would go down, which would push silver's price back down. Am I missing something? I slept though my college economics courses.
It would take a very serious price increase to have a large impact on electronics, probably at least 2 orders of magnitude. For instance, according to this article, the EPA says there is 772 lbs of silver in every 1 million cell phones. So that means every cell phone has:
(772 lbs * 453.592 grams) / 1,000,000 = .35g / phone
So every cell phone at todays spot price ($0.56/g) has $0.20 of silver. Say silver went up 100x, would a iphone price change from $650 to $670 really collapse the industry?
You also have to consider that as the price rises, it then becomes more economical to find alternatives or find ways to reduce the amount that might not have been reasonable to do at the lower price. For a lot of other products that use silver, such as those odor reducing tennis shoes, the quantity is even smaller, so it would take a really huge price change to reduce demand.
I would really like to attend Burning Man someday. I'm pretty sure I would be enthralled by the spectacle as I really appreciate creativity.
It is definitely quite the spectacle. We spoke about it around the camp fire after my second burn at the Lowesville seminar in 2009 – do you remember? The Burning Man community is very much like the community you talk about – not just at the event, but year round. The ethos of many (a higher percentage than in the general population) in the community mimic many of those of the crash course – self reliance, preparedness, community, etc.
And I'd like to observe how the largest non-cash economy of which I am aware functions. What's the true value of various goods and services? Do they vary across the camp? How are they set?
It's not really like an alternative currency, its a gifting economy so there is really no valuing of goods and services. Think of it more like you invite someone over to you house and feed them, do you try to value what you gave them? Do they? While on some longer term level you would probably not invite people back that never reciprocated or were not gracious. Since Burning Man is only 1 week, you only get the initial "gift" and none of the longer term evaluation of the value of the relationship. It's interesting, but not sustainable since over a longer term you would definitely be weeding out those that don't contribute or it would progress to a "barter" type scenario.
It's fun and a break from the "default world". For a week I don't think about money, the economy, energy, work, phones, etc. It's a time to be awed and have a great time. There are very few places you can really get away from normal life.
Plan now to go next year!
Over the last week I've seen a couple go by on some of the mailing lists I'm on. If I see any I'll post them here and send you both private messages. Good luck on finding a ticket. If your ready to go at the last minute I suspect you may have luck.
If you do get a ticket, come and ask for Rabbit at camp Poly Paradise.
Same camp (PP), come by and say hi. Frantically packing.. -)
It seems to me these are all problems that are not all that difficult to fix if someone who knew basic electrical systems felt like doing it. And certainly, having power during daytime with limitations (for instance, at dawn/dusk power generation will be quite faint) it is infinitely better than no power 24/7 during a prolonged blackout situation.
I would point you to this article I wrote for this site 4 years ago:
There have been a couple of changes to it but it works pretty much as described. We added another 10 panels (now 13kW) and a transfer switch to completely remove solar from the house in case we need to work on it. The only thing is I no longer recommended the installer (CST Solar), so if your in Albuquerque, I would stay away from them since we've had problems with them supporting the system and delivering on their contract.
The thermal solar hot water has been a bit more of a learning experience. It works well and is producing pretty close to the theoretic output, however, I have learned that the central manifold is not the way to go, it's better to use a primary loop system. You can get more control and better instrumentation from it. That said, with recently upgraded software controls, we are getting good output. I must say the PV is easy, thermal hot water that is used for heating and domestic hot water is much more of an art form.
I need to write a follow up article, perhaps this fall I'll work on it so that I can show the results we have achieved after having the systems for 4 years. The payoff and energy output has been very close to that predicted. Our heating and power bills went from an average of $390/month to $-150.00. Yep, that's a $540/month difference. We also added an electric car (Leaf) to the mix, so we are using even more power than we were before the systems were installed.
I can say I would still do both the thermal and PV systems again, but would do things a little different after having experience with the systems. Of course everything is a learning experience…..
But if there is no government and no social contract/safety net what happens to the family with legitimate needs that doesn't have observant neighbors or ones who are willing to help? Or that don't live near a church that actually still does charitable work and isn't a member of one that only focuses on member need.
I believe you are making some assumptions:
- That government will step up and help? Do you really think government is going to be observant that someone is is need when a neighbor doesn't? If a person in need doesn't seek out help they need, government is certainly not going to come to their door and say, hey you look troubled, where you at least have that chance with a neighbor.
- If you think charitable actions by non-governments have waned, why? Perhaps because the money is their for people to be charitable because a high percentage of income goes to support government? Would you be more charitable if you had say 43% more income?
- Then there is the final assumption. You are assuming that while you are good and would help, others would not. Why? How can we build a world based on cooperation when there is this moral arrogance floating around. I'm good, but others are not so we need to steal from people (taxes) to insure everyone is taken care of.
The Native American societies of old had welfare and it was a tribal/chiefdom responsibility with large responsibilities for family/clan.
And I will point out the entire tax structure needs major revision, as in start over, and no I don't believe voluntary taxes is the way forward so I'm not going to have that discussion.
Yes, there has most often been a ruling class. It doesn't matter if it the chief of a tribe or a modern day politician. If you think tribal leaders are benevolent, then you are really buying into the storybook illusion, just look at the massive amount of corruption within modern Indian politics. Anytime you have a ruling class, they will abuse those they rule over – now and in the past.
Isn't that making a really big assumption if you don't consider voluntary activity. If you start with the assumption that you will use violence to make your world better? It's all well and good to talk about how we need to be more compassionate but it seems highly hypocritical when you decide you are going to take from others using a gun as a starting point.
No government means governance by mob, then by large corporations or by another government. Vacuums always get filled.
I think you are making another assumption here. Just because you make something voluntary doesn't mean it won't exist. You can easily have a government that is voluntary. Just as you choose to join any organization. Do you belong to any clubs/organizations? Do they collect dues? Do any of those clubs provide services? If yes, then you are seeing voluntary governance with voluntary taxes. Take many churches for example, they collect money voluntary, (they don't go to your house with a gun and take from you), and provide services to members and non-members alike (charity).
How much more responsive do you think a government would be if it had to actually please the citizenry in order to persuade them to give money, versus the current scenario where they can take what they want? Think we would be bombing other countries? Giving special favors to large corporations?
Before the usual question from some about who decides does its usual surfacing, I'll address it simply and clearly. All of us decide. If it is a democracy it is called majority rule for a reason. If you are in the minority you will need to be willing to compromise, dialogue, maybe change some minds and accept the outcome and move on.
So if a group decides it is fine to rob others, kill them, then just because the majority decided it's okay? So let's take a look at something up your alley. The Indian tribes got what they deserved. The majority said, kill them, take the land, put them on reservations. All good and okay since the majority decided? I guess they just didn't vote or "change minds". My guess is you can only hold this attitude if you have been on the "abusing" (winning/majority) side most of the time. Just because a group votes to do something doesn't make it right.
And one last observation. We must get past our fear. In the U.S. fear is consuming us. It is everywhere. When we are afraid we are easily manipulated, very angry, very judgmental, willing to trade personal freedom for security, willing to let the "experts" decide for us, find it easy to shoot someone on our doorstep in need because we assumed they were dangerous, unable to actually listen to opposing viewpoints because we just want a solution that stops the pain or that confirms how right we think we are, easily distracted and generally really poor citizens of a representative democracy.
First we are not supposed to be "representative democracy", rather a "constitutional republic". While the later is better in my opinion it still suffers from many of the same issues. So who is promoting the fear? Who keeps telling us to be fearful of our neighbors. Sure looks like its our government producing boogymen everywhere so they have a reason to take away more of our freedoms.
unable to actually listen to opposing viewpoints because we just want a solution that stops the pain
and no I don't believe voluntary taxes is the way forward so I'm not going to have that discussion.
If it is a democracy it is called majority rule for a reason. If you are in the minority you will need to be willing to compromise, dialogue, maybe change some minds and accept the outcome and move on.
I'll leave you with some Larkin Rose – while talking about how to handle problems, I think it equally applies here: