Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Telling Statement

Industry Fears Americans May Quit New Car Habit

When reading this NY Times article, I was struck at the arrogance and stupidity of car manufacturers designing cars to self destruct in order for us to buy new ones. Year after year, the gripes would pile on GM, Chrysler and Ford regarding equipment that simply did not last, where craftsmanship took a back seat to marketing while easy credit based on oil would enable people, in George Carlin's words, to buy crap they don't need with money they don't have.

Welcome to the new broke America where innovation has taken, hopefully, a temporary vacation while stupidity, passivity and greed reigned supreme using god as the mantra to put forth empty platitudes extolling America's so called manifest destiny onto a world changing faster then thought possible thanks to tech and the web, engines of creation developed by a tiny segment of the population who ignore the ongoing BS mouthed off by a significant segment of the willfully ignorant who call themselves Americans.

In reading about the false recovery mavens vs. the doom and gloom guys, (I lean toward the latter with reservations...) one sees a lack of nuance and common sense in trying to understand just what the hell is going on. For starters, here's a partial list of conditions and facts you rarely see in network news.

  1. Black swans are everywhere as quantum theory and chaos dictate unexpected events of tremendous impact rule. Rogue waves are a perfect example of this as is the blowback caused by the elimination of the Glass Stegall act courtesy of Bob Rubin and Phil Gramm.
  2. Stuff that works in the lab doesn't always equate to success in the real world. (read No. 1.) as gotchas abound in the chaotic reality in which we inhabit. Just take solar energy where it's a researcher's paradise and a manufacturer's nightmare due to the fact new breakthroughs are being discovered on a daily basis thus inadvertently delaying the manufacturing of really powerful solar energy hardware because nothing is worse then spending millions on a tech made obsolete even before the first product reaches the marketplace. Note: Once research finally centers on a set of cost effective, highly efficient and easily manufactured materials able to be configured in many different ways, solar will eventually become the biggest industry in the world, an impact that will, in part, free us from the tyranny of oil and coal. Time frame, 5-10 years.
  3. The financial system is broken. Factoid 1. We pay interest whenever we burrow our money from the Fed and the IRS is the agent collecting said interest. Factoid 2. The Fed cannot be audited. Factoid 3. The Fed is a private cartel protected by government. Factoid 4. The Treasury is on the hook for 12.8 trillion dollars with the majority of funds going to WS banks. Factoid 5. Derivatives created by the 5 biggest Wall Street Banks tally over 180 trillion dollars while the world's GNP is 56 trillion. (BRT has this data, just search and ye will find. :))
  4. The political system is broken. Politicians take orders from lobbyists and corporations as these parties fund their endless reelection campaigns, thus obtaining loyalty at public expense as seen by Congress ignoring the will of the people regarding bank bailouts and single payer health care.
  5. This economic crisis is NOT the same as in 1929 because in 1929, the US had money, oil and the best mass transit system in the world. (The depression was caused by the Fed tightening up the money supply, thus eliminating credit because without burrowing, there is no money.)
  6. Tech advances at double exponential rates but rolling it out into the real world at large enough scales does not (See no 2.)
  7. The inherent complexity of modern civilization is exceedingly fragile. i.e., the action of one errant car can totally stop traffic on any interstate highway at any point in time.
  8. Tech is far from perfect because we build it. Any questions?
  9. Global warming is the game changer writ large.
  10. The disconnect between tech, finance and politics is accelerating with no end in sight.
  11. Reality is a communicative/transaction process e.g. The photon, (light) carrier of the electromagnetic force, impacts every aspect of our existence. Without carrier particles such as the photon (gravitons/gravity, gluons/strong force, W & Z particles/weak force) the universe, and the information contained within it, would cease to exist.
  12. The singularity is near if we have enough energy and capital to make it happen, something many techies conveniently ignore while expounding on this exciting (and somewhat disquieting) prospect.
  13. Religion & government, it's all about control because it's much easier to comply and accept then to resist and question.
  14. Peak oil is here, something we must deal with if we are to survive as a viable species.
  15. One cannot predict the future due to the law of initial conditions, quantum theory and chaos.
  16. Governments lie - IF Stone
  17. We can make a difference if we have the courage and vision to do so.
  18. Education is the key to surviving in the connected and chaotic world of the 21st century.
  19. Creativity resides in everyone. The trick is finding where it resides and encouraging people to express it.
  20. Language and environment define how we view reality.
  21. The most intense advancement in tech happens in time of war.
  22. The military/industrial/congressional complex, in conjunction with the banks, are bankrupting the country. Just look at the budget and bailouts to see why.
  23. The status quo is no longer acceptable if this country is to survive. It's time to take our country back before it's too late.
  24. The next 30 years will be difficult at best because fundamental change is a bitch to deal with. Just ask the Romans (and many others) about this fact as nothing is too big to fail.
First Contact, the best Star Trek flick made prior to the 2009 edition, shows the world of 2063 to be a place where sustainability remains problematic while tech marches on as seen by Dr. Zefram Cochrane's development of warp drive. It's frontier time in the dawn of a new age where optimism, tempered by practicality, points the way to a future that can benefit us all.

Being stupid and consuming no longer works, being intelligent and resourceful does, always.

Friendship
The holy passion of Friendship is of so sweet and steady and loyal and enduring a nature that it will last through a whole lifetime, if not asked to lend money. - Mark Twain
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