Monthly Archives: November 2016

Shmall Shbusiness Shaturday

In post-industrialized economies, money never stays local. It eventually finds its way out downstream from retail purchases. The local small grocer may buy their produce from the farm down the road, but the farm probably doesn’t buy their machinery locally. If they do buy local machines, the manufacturer buys parts and materials that come from the world over—just about everywhere but locally. This is the state of things for two reasons. One is that there may be barriers to market entry, via regulations, that could enable producers—parts manufacturers in this case—to “set up shop” in closer proximity to the grocer. The other is that, in any local geographic area, it’s difficult to reach the level of sector diversity to generate all the “stuff” that goes into getting that final product on the shelf; no one is going to be mining lithium for batteries where there are miles of rice paddies.

To truly make everything “local” is to ensure an absolute cap on technology and affluence, locally. The reason why that tomato is 99 cents and not $9.99 is because the money has left the locale in exchange for machine parts that enable the farmer grow their economy of scale. The tomatoes are literally worth less to him because he’s able to farm more, thus able to sell more at a cheaper price.

There are definitely some pros to shopping locally, like a stronger social cohesion (which could be argued is more valuable than money). Buyers also receive a dopamine hit for meeting an (artificial) social mandate. But if there’s a level of affluence in a given locale, which is the case pretty much everywhere in America, then money is eventually leaving that locale in some form.

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Thanksgiving Chitinous Crevasse

An appropriate videographic compliment to the holiday festivities. My favorite part is when the song kicks in when Jack Black’s character starts fighting, at the 0:58 mark.

When you wake up at halftime from your recovering slumber, pluck at your $5000 iPhone 2000X until you can listen to Travis’ recent interview with Ron Jarzombek of Blotted Science.

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We’re Leaving

“This place is a tomb.”
-Captain Miller, Event Horizon


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Photo: Supermoon, November 2016

Horrible photo, but this post is more for posterity than aesthetics.


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Aftermath, Part 2

Probably the worst thing about Trump’s presidency is the perpetual onslaught of hand-wringing and fainting from writers. That series of essays, obviously, comes from elitist New York authors that that no one reads or has heard of but other elitist New Yorkers. Soon, look out for more accessible media like sci-fi films or endless stacks of YA dystopian novels to feature orange-skinned villains with funny hair, small hands, and hot wives.

Expect things to be a lot more generic in those areas in the next 4-8 years.

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Official Ghost in the Shell Trailer

I have to admit, it doesn’t look bad at all; they’ve mirrored some iconic scenes from the original. My only qualm is how it seems director Rupert Sanders is treating Motoko’s identity crises, and it’s important because that was the theme of the original film. How can we know ourselves? What separates us from, and connects us to, another? How do we cope with incompleteness? Sanders is framing it as a Bourne-Neo-Wolverine-Robocop “whoever did this to me will pay” revenge story, which definitely deviates from the source material, probably because it’s being marketed to Western audiences. If I can read into it too much, that existential questions are solved primarily by discovering (and likely killing) your creator is a sign of neurosis and not a real desire for self-discovery.

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As always, Ed has good analysis here and here. From the first link:

A critical element in Trump’s election victory was how the mainstream media was totally blindsided by the Internet. Have you noticed how the old media still acts as if the Internet was some kind of extension of the print-based world they dominated? They have no clue: virtual space shares little with meat space. While most of the people who use the Network do it instinctively, it’s not so very hard to become conscious of it’s vastly different nature. The old media still assumes they can somehow build walls around media and create an artificial shortage of news as a product. They are the only trustworthy source, of course. News is whatever they choose to tell you is newsworthy — except that news of that sort is not the same as data on the Internet. Information is free and it was the free exchanged of ideas in conflict with the mainstream media that enabled this political revolution.

It’s funny: 100% of mainstream media content creators are coastal. Do you would ever think they would give a fair shake to people in flyover country? There’s no incentive for them to do so. Middle America types, as normal human beings, can only be mocked for so long before dropping the gee-wilikers act and start seriously having a problem with it. This is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation on my end of anything that will happen, or has happened, as a reaction to being unfairly maligned; just an observation of basic human behavior. I’m not surprised of the blowback against elitism and coastal neo-liberalism. If you bother people who just want to be left alone enough, they eventually won’t give damn what names you call them or how much shame is heaped on them.

As Scott Adams is fond of saying, none of the candidates “align with my political views,” but I prefer some more than others. Trump’s nationalism is more in my favor, because nationalism tends towards being in the favor of that particular country’s citizens. The same with isolationism and fascism. At the opposite end is imperialism and globalism, which tend towards a significant strain in national resources and require lots of mass socialization for people to be sort of okay with it. I didn’t vote on principle and for practical reasons, but as it stands now I, materially, preferred Trump over Clinton.

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Cthulhu for President, 2016 and Forever

The general order of events:

The red herring for this post: a fictitious Cthulhu “presidency” isn’t that much different than a God “presidency,” at least to Americans. There’s a strong tendency for some folks to equate the supernatural with malicious forces; if you’ve already accepted this equivalency as truth then the terror of Cthulhu isn’t going to be that much different than the wrath of God to you.

I had a longer post about the election, but there’s not much else to say. You can find whatever opinion you’d like to online, and I don’t feel the need to add to the pile. It won’t matter much, in the end, who becomes Head Bureaucrat. So long as America remains a representative democracy or any other form of western nation-state, it’s not going to remain intact on the other side of the fire.

The nations are all chess pieces to God, and He’s got all the moves already mapped out in His favor and timing. Voting does little at the national level except to provide a quick dopamine hit from meeting a civic duty. It accomplishes as much as wishing for a sunny day tomorrow when you’ve just heard an uncertain weather forecast. The results and consequences are entirely out of your hands. I’m sure there’s plenty of better things you could be doing with your time.

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