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Messages - JimD

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The rest / Re: 'Deep State' Fact or Fiction
« on: May 26, 2018, 11:02:59 PM »

Nice topic

From my experience of having spent a career deep in the bowls of the military/intelligence machine I would state with total conviction that a 'Deep State' does exist.

But not as some imagine it.  For instance this from your first post..

"In the United States the term "deep state" is used within political science to describe influential decision-making bodies believed to be within government who are relatively permanent and whose policies and long-term plans are unaffected by changing administrations.

..absolutely does NOT exist.  This is conspiracy crazy stuff from spy books and movies.

But if you take this quote.

The term "deep state" was defined in 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former Republican U.S. congressional aide, as "a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process."

I would say that pretty much hits the nail on the head.  With the addition of those of very substantial old money wealth also having significant influence.  But this term far predates Lofgren and 2014 as I used to use it and hear it in conversations at work back in the 1980's. It has been rattling around for ever.

The Deep State is not an secret organization sending little missives down to the President and Congress telling them what to do.  It does not work that way.  What it does is basically provide the strategy and direction of the country.  It works to maintain the Empire and grow it when possible, it sets the ideological parameters which govern the political parties, it chose the neo-liberal economic structure which the D's and R's adhere too, it chose globalization at the expense of the workers, and so on ad infinitum.

You can see the workings of the Deep State in its reaction to the reforms and govt structure put in place by FDR.  It lost control then and spent decades working its way back into full control.  Ideologies were reworked, goals towards deregulation set in place, resetting the tax structure to strongly favor the wealthy, using various forms of propaganda to steer the voters emotions towards voting against their own interests, maintaining a permanent state of war, taking over the free press so that we have corporate control over almost all media, deepening the surveillance state whenever possible, and so on.

You select your ideological precepts, find political scientists and economists to provide a paper basis for your goals, push candidates who will attempt to implement your desires via new laws or by revoking old ones, work hard to undercut the political power of your opponents, work to cripple the public school systems, create armies of lobbyists and thousands of 'think tanks' to push your agendas, stuff the courts with pliable judges (corporations are people for instance), and so on.  All stuff we have witnessed over the last 40 years. 

The US is a democratic country in name only.  Voters have virtually zero actual influence on policy, the voting of our officials, and, of course, we don't actually vote for the top 2 positions even though we pretend to.  Our directions are set by the 1%, the captains of industry, the leaders of the MIIC - the Deep State.

This is not to say that there is complete consensus among them.  There is always strife between humans and different ideas and power structures.  But there emerges, if not a full consensus, at least enough of one to enable movement in a general direction to take place.  Change comes slowly in such a system as the need for new approaches are identified and adaptations made.  Thus we have destroyed most of what enabled the working class and middle class to have decent lives over the last 40 years - and the mainstream D's and all the R's worked hard to make this happen as their masters wished them to do.

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: May 26, 2018, 10:19:40 PM »
It is very rare for someone to best the original but here are several.

Disturbed - The Sound Of Silence [Official Music Video]

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Voodoo Child (One Night In Texas)

Gary Moore - Parisienne Walkways - Live HD

Others to good to describe

Joe Bonamassa & Tina Guo - "Woke Up Dreaming" - Live From Carnegie Hall: An Acoustic Evening

Leonard Cohen - A Thousand Kisses Deep

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - If This Is Goodbye (Real Live Roadrunning) OFFICIAL
a tribute to the victims of 9/11

Chris Rea - The road to hell (long version CD) HD

Sarah McLachlan - Angel [Official Music Video]

sarah mclachlan - i will remember you

Estas Tonne - The Song of the Golden Dragon
stunningly good

Hmm...I may be getting carried away.  Guess I have to go listen to some music - it is one of the best drugs ever invented.

The rest / Re: AI - Another way to end civilization???
« on: May 22, 2018, 03:49:24 PM »
Princeton Dialogues of AI and Ethics: Launching case studies

The impacts of rapid developments in artificial intelligence (“AI”) on society—both real and not yet realized—raise deep and pressing questions about our philosophical ideals and institutional arrangements. AI is currently applied in a wide range of fields—such as medical diagnosis, criminal sentencing, online content moderation, and public resource management—but it is only just beginning to realize its potential to influence practically all areas of human life, including geopolitical power balances. As these technologies advance and increasingly come to mediate our everyday lives, it becomes necessary to consider how they may reflect prevailing philosophical perspectives and preferences. We must also assess how the architectural design of AI technologies today might influence human values in the future.

Consequences / Re: Limits To Growth Predicts Collapse in 2015
« on: April 09, 2015, 06:36:23 PM »
Please keep in mind that the Limits to Growth studies never predicted anything.  They extrapolate trends to indicate what will likely happen should BAU continue along its trajectories measured at the time of the studies. 

The reason they have hit the trends so precisely is that their warnings of what the extrapolations of BAU would lead to were ignored.  BAU is suicide is what the studies indicated was likely and after 40 years of BAU it sure looks accurate.

The biggest thing to keep in mind about discussions related to the Limits to Growth works and our current emphasis on climate change is that they are two different mechanisms and processes.  The Limits to Growth works do not take climate change into account.  This is a huge point.  The Limits to Growth work is almost totally related to the global carrying capacity issues and subjects.  Leaving climate change completely out of the analysis those studies which are now seen as incredibly accurate point to a civilizational collapse.

Thus we are left in this situation.

Civilization will collapse over the next few decades due to our exceeding the globes carrying capacity if we continue to pursue BAU scenarios (black or green does not matter) detailed in LTG.

Civilization will collapse over the next 30-40 years due to climate change regardless of whether we pursue BAU or not (that is ignoring carrying capacity realities).

In combination the effects of exceeding the globes carrying capacity and worsening climate change present a death sentence to our complex civilization but they also present an existential threat to the survival of large numbers of our species.

The only path forward which satisfies a rational risk/benefit analysis is to pursue a vigorous program of global degrowth (or managed collapse for those who prefer frank language).  And let's get started in 2005 at the latest.

There is an interesting quote in the paper that is almost identical to one I have made many times ..and got beat up for making.

This suggests, from a rational risk based perspective, that we have squandered the past decades, and that preparing for a collapsing global system could be even more important than trying to avoid collapse.

BAU won't work.  Get over it.

As to the 2015 projected peak in per capita industrial production being the prime metric for determining when collapse starts I an not sure I agree with using that metric.   I think one can make a good argument collapse started some time ago or one could make a fair argument that we are on sort of a plateau at peak and have not really started measurable decline.  But those arguments are not really important as we can clearly see the freight train coming at us at this point.  You can jump in the river and try and swim for it, or you can stay on the tracks and try and stop the train.  Your choice. 

Policy and solutions / Re: Geoengineering, another rush for money?
« on: February 21, 2015, 08:32:51 PM »
The quote that appears on the bottom of all  my posts is very appropriate here.

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

As long as we fail to understand that technology almost always causes problems at least as big as what it is being used to solve we will forever continue to make the geo-engineering type of mistakes.

Barking mad?  You bet and anyone doing such a thing is the same as the pathological criminal carrying the axe.  Self defense in such a circumstance is fully justified.

Policy and solutions / Re: James Hansen loves nuclear power
« on: March 25, 2014, 05:44:49 PM »
EROEI of nuclear and solar

Above we see a claim

EROEI of nuclear is somewhere between 20 and 40

EROEI of Solar is between 6 and 8 and will be much higher in a few years time.

If one considers a carbon-weighted EROEI (say, carbon-free Energy Return on Energy Invested) then the value of the energy returned vs that expended in the emission goes up to 40-80 and 12-16 (normalizing to appropriate Social cost of Carbon values).

If you wander over to the Renewables thread you can find the only large scale real world analysis ever performed for solar power plants (in Spain) done be Charles Hall one of the world's preeminent experts on calculating EROEI.  His numbers for actual performance are 2.45 yes 2.45.  In an ideal location.  He estimates that the German average is less than 2.00

What does he say about nuclear?

We have found the information about the EROI of nuclear power to be mostly as disparate, widespread, idiosyncratic, prejudiced and poorly documented as information about the nuclear power industry itself. Much, perhaps most, of the information that is available seems to have been prepared by someone who has made up his or her mind one-way or another (i.e. a large or trivial supplier of net energy) before the analysis is given. As is usually the case, the largest issue is often what the appropriate boundaries of analysis should be.

The seemingly most reliable information on EROI is quite old and is summarized in chapter 12 of Hall et al. (1986). Newer information tends to fall into the wildly optimistic camp (high EROI, e.g. 10:1 or more, sometimes wildly more) or the extremely pessimistic (low or even negative EROI) camp (Tyner et al. 1998, Tyner 2002, Fleay 2006 and Caldicamp 2006). One recent PhD analysis from Sweden undertook an emergy analysis (a kind of comprehensive energy analysis including all environmental inputs and quality corrections as per Howard Odum) and found an emergy return on emergy invested of 11:1 (with a high quality factor for electricity) but it was not possible to undertake an energy analysis from the data presented (Kindburg, 2007). Nevertheless that final number is similar to many of the older analyses when a quality correction is included.

Note the above quoted numbers obviously fall into the wildly optimistic camp.

Tyner was the author (or co-author) on the 1988 and 1997 reports which are examples of the lower EROI numbers -- less than 5:1. Tyner’s 1997 paper reported an “optimistic value” of 3.84 and a “less-optimistic” value of 1.86 and may be based on “pessimistic” cost estimates. For example capital monetary costs were 2.5 times higher than those reported for Generation III and III+ plants (Bruce Power 2007, see below). Fleay’s 2006 on line paper at least gives very detailed numerical analyses of costs and gains and hence probably can be checked explicitly. Different boundaries are used for these “low EROI” studies than most other recent studies that effect the results. For example Tyner takes interest (with a 4-5x larger energy cost magnitude than capital energy costs) into account in EROI (Tyner 1997). The two large EROI values reported here were for nuclear lifecycles which used centrifuge fuel enrichment as opposed to diffusion-based enrichment. Centrifuge enrichment uses much less electricity than other methods (Global Security 2007). We do not know how to interpret these analyses because centrifugal separation is an old technology. Newer rotor materials allow more rapid rotor spin which might influence results. At present much of the enriched uranium used for nuclear power is coming from dismantled nuclear warheads from the US-Russian agreement to decrease nuclear warheads but, apparently, that program will soon come to an end and we will have to contemplate again generating nuclear power from mined uranium. Much of the arguments about the great or small potential of future nuclear power comes from those who argue about the importance of technology vs. those who focus on depletion. As usual, however, technology is in a race with depletion and the winner can be determined only from empirical analysis, of which there seems to be far too little.

The most knowledgeable people looking at the  cradle to grave EROEI of existing nuclear put the EROEI numbers around 5.  Not 20 and certainly not 40-80.

The above link contains about 20 additional links to back up the numbers.  It also leads to very extensive EROEI discussions which can be used to learn about this subject.

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