Monday, April 12, 2021

Income And Wealth Are Markers Of Behavior

Over at The Grumpy Economist, there's a good essay that amplifies another good essay on Bidenomics. Here's a summarizing tidbit.


Old view: Scarcity is the default condition of economies: the demand for goods, services, labor and capital is limitless, their supply is limited. ...faster growth requires raising potential by increasing incentives to work and invest. Macroeconomic tools—monetary and fiscal policy—are only occasionally needed to deal with recessions and inflation.

New view: Slack is the default condition of economies. Growth is held back not by supply but chronic lack of demand, calling for continuously stimulative fiscal and monetary policy. J.W. Mason.. said, that “‘depression economics’ applies basically all of the time.”

It goes on to debate the economic models, charts, graphs and third-derivatives of M2 money supply vs hectares of soybeans in Kansas. Or something like that.

Keep that in mind when you read about yesterday's riots in Minneapolis over the death of a young criminal who was shot by police while resisting arrest. Here's what the state's governor had to say.

“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” Democrat Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted after the situation turned chaotic. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

There's no mistaking that message. The cops, employees of the local government, "took the life" of a "Black man," Daunte Wright. Their boss' s boss, is signally to everyone that they're "taking lives." Just how long would you continue to work in a dangerous job for such people?

Here's a glimpse of the "Black man" from his own social media feeds. H/T: Ian Miles Cheong.

You're losing cops in defense of guys like this. In exchange for that, Washington DC will print money and send it to you. That's the essence of what's going on across the country, whether it's the open border down south or the ongoing riots in Portland or the San Diego School District eliminating tests and homework in the service of "racial justice."

All of those graphs and charts are derivative data points. That is, they're showing you results once-removed from the actual problem. The reason the debt is so massive and the reason we're having to print money in the first place is that we've debased our culture. Having isn't connected to earning. Success is not connected to work, it's connected to "equity," whatever that is. Kids like Daunte are being processed through the school system on a conveyer belt regardless of their performance because there are too many for the school system to hold back when they fail.

One more data point. We're losing wars without acknowledging that we lost or why we lost. Dig this.

Glenn is at least partially right, but he's missing the bigger point. While our military leadership gibbered about "diversity being a force multiplier," we lost the longest-running war in our nation's history to a technologically inferior enemy whose entire ihe kpatara ịdị adị* is the elimination of all diversity, everywhere. And yet, no one is aking our Joint Chiefs of Staff about this any more than anyone is asking Tim Walz about his preference for thugs over cops.

The Elites are living in a world of pure thought where feelings are the dominant currency. The Normals, like cops in Minneapolis and Army infantrymen in Afghanistan, live in the world of Rudyard Kipling. We don't have an economic problem, we have a cultural one.

Bonus Data Point

How long can we allow the destruction of private property to continue? Or, more to the point of the post, how long can you pay for the destruction with printed money?

* "Ihe kpatara ịdị adị" is Igbo for raison d'êtreRaison d'être is French and the French are white so raison d'être is racist, hence the Igbo translation. We try not to be racist on this blog.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Bear Aesthetics

This blew me away. The bear was clearly bothered by the cone laying on its side.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

H/T: Sissy Willis.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Young Women Need A Family

This morning, I was prepping some spare ribs for a dinner party tonight, listening to my Confederate Railroad Mix on Spotify when this song started playing.

I absolutely love it, but today, I heard something different. Anticipating my upcoming break from work, my subconscious is pondering how to help Take Charge Minnesota. It hit me that the meaning of this song is the way a family protects its girls. That's another way to look at what TCM is trying to achieve.

The message is that the girl won't be able to resist you physically, but the men in her family sure will.

True dat.

Friday, April 09, 2021

God Hits FF

I thoroughly enjoyed the most recent Uncommon Knowledge podcast wherein Peter Robinson, the best interviewer in the world for my money, chatted with Stephen Meyer about evolution.

As a Catholic, I don't have a coelacanth in the fight. It's all one to me whether it was natural or whether God intervened. For that reason, I can be skeptical about both sides. A previous UK podcast turned me onto the mathematical problems with evolution and since then, I've fallen more on the Divine Nudge side of the debate.

In short, for higher order animals that don't reproduce often and have small litters, like whales, you just don't get enough throws of the dice to achieve bodily transformations. That is, with complex creatures, most mutations cause deadly deformities in bone structure and organ performance. To get one that creates a new structure without killing the animal, you'd need more and more chances for mutation. Instead, in animals like whales and elephants, you get fewer and fewer because their reproductive cycles are very long and their litters are very small.

In the Cambrian Explosion, the biosphere went nuts. Lots and lots of new and very novel species came into being in an evolutionary blink of an eye. In fact, dig this.

The replacement of the late Precambrian Ediacaran biota by morphologically disparate animals at the beginning of the Phanerozoic was a key event in the history of life on Earth, the mechanisms and the time‐scales of which are not entirely understood...The extremely short duration of the faunal transition from Ediacaran to Cambrian biota within less than 410 ka supports models of ecological cascades that followed the evolutionary breakthrough of increased mobility at the beginning of the Phanerozoic.

In plain English, a whole bunch of new living things popped into existence over a period of 410,000 years. 410,000 years might as well be next week from a mutation probability point of view. I can kind of suspend my disbelief at that, given the reproductive rates of plants and simpler animals, but combined with the issues raised above about bigger, complex animals, I find the gradual evolutionary change theory hard to swallow.

So what happened?

KT's Theory Of Evolution: God got bored. He made the Universe and all of its Laws of This and Equations of That, but it was taking soooooo long to get to the good parts. The Big Dude decided to hit the FF button on the remote and zip through the fern-into-redwood scene. It was way too boring anyway. He probably figured that by the time humans were clever enough to look into the evolutionary record, they'd have figured out that He made the whole thing so why not leave really big clues about His existence?

Or maybe He just did it to see what kind of intellectual Gordian knots Richard Dawkins would create trying to explain it all.

Searching on "multiverse," I got this image from Adobe Stock. It's called Multiple Glowing Bubble Universes. That's, like, totally scientific and stuff, man. No faith needed. Plus, it's super cool after about 5 rips on the bong.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

George Chauvin

 ... is the way most of us should think of the trial in Minnesota. That is, we should know so little about it that we get the names confused. A rando thug died while overdosing as a rando cop held him down. If it had been either of my brothers, I'd have shrugged and moved on to the day's activities. I mean, it's not like this was a surprise. It wasn't going to end any other way. Drug addicts are like that.

KT's Summary of the George Floyd incident: Drug addicts come in all colors. Sometimes, drug addicts overdose. Drug addicts are very likely to encounter cops. Cops come in all colors. In this case, the overdose and the encounter happened simultaneously while the addict was black and the cop was white. BURN IT ALL DOWN!

It does at least provide an interesting problem in logic. Can you murder someone who is in the middle of killing themselves? If Floyd had a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, did Chuavin murder him if his bullet went through Floyd's skull first?

This case is even murkier than that. There's no indication that Chauvin intended to kill Floyd. There's certainly no indication that race was a factor. The question is really, "Can you accidentally murder someone who is in the act of committing suicide?" Of course, in a country where trees can be considered racist, it hardly matters what anyone's intent might have been. The race-crazed among us will do what they do. Wise people are even now preparing for the burning and looting.

On the right, it's an opportunity to attack the media for biased coverage. Also, we should note that the sun rose in the east this morning. I wrote that last fact down in my experimental journal. I'm beginning to see a pattern.

The death and the trial should be a distasteful non-event for the rest of us, not some kind of societal inflection point. The world is full of such things every day. 

Going back to my summary above, it suggests our cities were doomed from the start. Given the size of the populations involved and a time frame of years, such an interaction was inevitable from a probabilistic point of view. 

If you want to read an expert take on the trial, visit Powerline. Here's their latest.

On a much happier note, I found the excellent webcam below. When I work from home, I have my Citrix client open on one screen and a nature webcam on the other. I find it calming and cheerful. I like the aquatic ones the best, but they've been a bit murky lately, so this one is my go-to these days.


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Tomatoes, Compound Interest And Salvation

The TomatoCam is working reasonably well these days. It's a Raspberry Pi 3 with an inexpensive webcam attached. It takes a shot every day at 1100, storing the resulting jpg file in its internal memory. Every so often, I download them to my desktop PC and see what I've got. The Pi also has a web server which allows me to scroll through the images.

Here's the most recent movie, sans about ten images taken during dark and rainy days. It's got decent resolution, so it might be worth a full screen click.

Compound Interest

The plant growth is clearly accelerating. It occurred to me this morning as I watched it that this is an example of compound interest. If the plants grow 5% a day, then as they get larger, that 5% becomes greater with each passing day. That makes sense as their roots and leaves extend their reach, bringing more noms into the plant to be converted into growth.


On Easter Sunday, our parish gave out the book, Salvation: What Every Catholic Should Know, to each family. Meh.

Michael Barber, the author, drives down Grace Boulevard as the road to salvation and, in the first chapter at least, he minimizes the value of Self Help Street and Effort Way.

Yuck. That was a horrible metaphor. Enough of that.

Anyway, that kind of talk always rubs me the wrong way. What's the point of a covenant if one side is so feeble that they can't be expected to do anything other than receive Grace? What's sin if we're such abject failures? I mean, if I'm that unworthy and I can't at least strive to be better, then why should I work to improve myself? Why am I going to Confession?

We have a covenant with the Catican Guards. Their job is to not eat the furniture, not poop in the house* and, in general, be amiable creatures. In exchange, we treat them like beloved three-year-olds. When we were training them, if they broke the rules, they got swats and yelling. They're not expected to do much, but they're expected to do something and they were expected to improve from their earlier states.

When religious writers talk about how we're saved by Grace and not by our own works, it drives me bonkers. It makes no sense to me at all. Yeah, I get it, God treats me like a toddler and I'm expected to do very little. But I'm expected to continually improve nonetheless.

If dogs can do it, so can I.

* - The no-pooping-in-the-house rule is lifted for the smallest one if it's raining. Rain is very scary!

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

The All-Star Game As Atonement For Sin

No one actually believes that twaddle about the new Georgia voting laws suppressing the vote. Certainly not the soulless creatures occupying the board rooms of our corporate titans. That's why they haven't given up their golf memberships at Augusta and they haven't divested from the slave state of China.

Similarly, only the fanatics within the Republican party, perhaps to include Rand Paul, believe in that babble about the debt. Fie upon restraint! We shall spend our children's money, yea unto the last farthing!

Once you have done away with Higher Powers and objective morality, this is where you eventually end. It's not that we've become secular, it's that we've become animals. How does X affect my ability to eat, mate and stay alive? Abstract concepts are dissolved in the acid of the physical world.

Is it possible to devolve and become simple primates again, creatures without a soul? There's a thought to ponder.

In any case, noodling about the fraudulent and empty posing and preening over Georgia, it finally dawned on me why I hated the "public service" ads during the election that told us voting was the most important thing we could do. That's only true if your elected officials control your life more than you do. It's also contingent on there being nothing to us but our flesh.

If that's the case, then voting is a sacrament and all that matters is getting right with the Man. That's the Man in DC, in case you were wondering.

Evolution at work.