This is James Bowery's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following James Bowery's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
James Bowery
Recent Activity
Read this 1982 prediction of what is now emerging for a different take on the forces at play: There is a tremendous danger that careless promotion of deregulation will be dogmatically (or purposefully) extended to the point that there may form an unregulated monopoly over the information replicated across the nation-wide videotex network, now underdevelopment. If this happens, the prophecies of a despotic, "cashless-society" are quite likely to become a reality. My opinion is that this nightmare will eventually be realized but not before the American pioneers have had a chance to reach each other and organize. I base this hope on the fact that the first people to participate in the videotex network will represent some of the most pioneering of Americans, since videotex is a new "territory". In other words Trump is a reaction, not so much to the neoliberal state, as a reaction to a more fundamental disruption. If Trump hadn't arisen to deal with this disruption, the consequences could have been far more catastrophically reactionary for the neoliberal global order. The "nightmare" arising from, what I called, "deregulation" (this was about the time of AT&T's consent decree) arises from network effect monopolies such as Facebook -- and their de facto censorship.
According to Tom Wolfe's Forbes article "Robert Noyce and His Congregation": There may be something to what you say about "Protestant dissent" (as opposed to "Yankee" ingenuity) but this kind of dissent really originates in a predisposition toward individual integrity imprinted on by northern European culture in which natural duel was the appeal of last resort in dispute processing. The midwest (more than the "Yankees" of the northeast) produced a lot more than Noyce. Seymour Cray (Wisconsin) and William Norris (Nebraska) humiliated Thomas J. Watson Jr. with the first supercomputer as documented by Charles Murray in his book "Supermen". The Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts was credited in a court case with the invention of the first binary computer. John Bardeen (Wisconsin) gave a talk at Altgeld Hall of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in which he described how he and Brattain (Spokane, Washington) had to hide their work on the first transistor from the imperious Shockley -- a character flaw that led to Noyce's "treason" and the first planar integrated circuit thence Intel. I could go on....
Trump may, quite despite his own myopia, stumble into a technological bonanza. Although he sees crony capitalist rent seeking in the public sector, Trump is blind to private sector rent seeking. He really believes the profits enjoyed by Microsoft for its gate keeping position between software developers and consumers, are due to the genius of guys like Gates, Ballmer and Allen. He really believes that the network effect enriching Zuckerberg is due to Zuckerberg's genius. He really believes that the network effect profits of Paypal was due to the genius of Thiel, Musk and the rest of the Paypal Mafia... Uber, Linkedin, AirBnB, etc. The sole exception is Amazon but that's more because of the Washington Post's relationship with the CIA -- both hostile to him -- than a recognition that Bezos has bypassed local sales taxes with Amazon. Therefore he really believes that Silicon Valley has gone from minority Asian IT workers to majority IT workers because they're "the best and the brightest from around the world." Witness his mishap during the campaign with rhetoric about H-1b visas. What he fails to see is that these kinds of economic rents, left in place due to taxes on activity replacing taxes on assets, are profoundly corrupting to an economy. Moreover, he fails to see that exploitation of this kind of corruption is highly evolved in Asia -- hence the Asian invasion of Silicon Valley, and from there the Fortune 1000 hiring positions. The compromise of the entire information infrastructure isn't just a national security threat. It's an attack on Yankee Ingenuity that created Silicon Valley. So that's a huge handicap he starts out with right off the bat. He's got enemy armies with boots on the ground in the US in his trade wars and these armies don't even have to do anything out of the ordinary to do economic damage. It's just what they do. It will be completely invisible to him. However, there is still enough of America left that certain key technical breakthroughs now emerging here will bail him out. All he has to do is get serious about intellectual property protection: A long-time failure of national defense of US assets abroad that he's been aware of and vocal about for a long time. Sure, it will be, in large measure, sucked up in economic rent to subsidize further importation of "genius Asians" (who really are geniuses at rent seeking). And, yes, profits retained in the US will _not_ go to the American middle class -- but to the rent seekers here. But it will be enough of a win for Trump to at least loosen the thumbscrews on the American middle class through infrastructure projects. It will also finance a military buildup with both revenue and technological advantage.
One hopeful sign: I've gotten feedback on a local demurrage currency backed by local property rights, with the demurrage distributed evenly to the able bodied men of the locale. The people who get it are not just "able bodied men of the locale" but also older men who would not be included in the demurrage stream but who are veterans. The prospect of war clarifies.
Please consider this local currency designed for just such a collapse: I presented a similar idea a few years ago to an evangelical leader in the midwest who had asked me for ideas about how to make small towns survivable in the event of chaos. He said "it is sound". Now, what does an evangelical leader know about currency anyway? Well, this particular evangelical leader was, prior to his retirement, a biotech VC.
Next year at about this time, the explanation may be Fake Reality:
I think it is more accurate to say that the _legitimacy_ of the US government has been hollowed out. As long as the US government retains the ability to throw its "citizens" in prison to be raped by HIV and Hep-C infected ethnic gangs for the crime of not obtaining Federal Reserve notes as legal tender for payment of "taxes", it can offer the world something valuable: Torture of US "citizens".
Toggle Commented May 9, 2010 on THE DECLINE OF THE WEST at Global Guerrillas
There were 9 stocks that spiked in virtual unison. This is very much like a system dynamics test where you run a transient through the system and then observe the time distribution of signals. You can get a lot of information about a system's structure if you can stimulate it with a discontinuity (and track the system's reactions over the subsequent time interval). This gives you the high frequency structure of the global economy so you can make near-term predictions better. This, of course, is highly useful for bots.
Duncan, governmental stability arises from a combination of vendor lock-in (via network effect) and customer loyalty. Gates is all about vendor lockin. Getting control of a network effect gives you the vendor lock-in. The biggest vendor lock-in right now is the US dollar's reserve currency status. The "financial" GG's are actually monetary GG's first capturing, then exploiting the Federal Reserve's "Bill Gates status". It merely _appears_ "financial". Gates represents another kind of "reserve currency" -- in this case an IT standard network effect that has imposed vendor lock-in ever since IBM started mass distribution of the IBM PC with MS-DOS. Controlling that vendor lock-in is highly valuable because you gain control of the "Windows update" stream.
Toggle Commented May 9, 2010 on THE DECLINE OF THE WEST at Global Guerrillas
Duncan Kinder asks: "whence Bill Gates?" Listen to this: Basically, Gates will try to buy mercenary protection and the mercs will end up owning his ass.
Toggle Commented May 9, 2010 on THE DECLINE OF THE WEST at Global Guerrillas
BenK asks: "... what are the fracture lines that would cause a division between the US military and the US financial elites, for example?" "Now THAT was the Mossad." said the wife of a friend of mine when the Pentagon was hit.
Club-K reminds me of a hilarious incident back in 1987 where WW II vintage mines were floating around the oil shipping lanes and the US heroically stepped in with their Navy to protect the oil tankers. The problem was that all of the mine sweepers were decommissioned except in the Pacific. So the destroyers sent to "protect" the oil tankers ended up cruising around behind the oil tankers because the destroyers were more valuable than the oil tankers. Oh, you didn't hear about this? Yeah. I know...
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2010 on LINKS: 27 APR 2010 at Global Guerrillas
There is something else going on here: When Bill Norris, founder of Control Data Corporation and benefactor of Seymour Cray, started making major investments in localizing production and virtualizing via the PLATO network, he was viciously attacked by the financial press and made such a pariah in his own company than when some fellow engineers and I demonstrated a mass market version of PLATO in 1979 ($40(1979)/month for unlimited service and terminal rental (512*512 bit map with touch panel input) including phone and cable local comm lines), we were blocked by middle management from presenting the system to the executives and it died on the vine. It is as though some sort of religious fervor infects those who want everything centralized and interdependent -- a religious fervor reflected in the increasingly "evil" connotations of words like "survivalist", "stockpiling", etc. Its as though the old Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared" has become the original sin of a new theocracy that now has control of the centers of power. The desire for control is a vicious cycle -- the more you acquire, the more you need to maintain it.
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2010 on LOCALIZE AND VIRTUALIZE at Global Guerrillas
WHOOPS! A dimensional error caused failure of a fairly obvious sanity check: 5MW/5MV = 1 amp Although the described cable will carry that easily, 1 amp will more than kill you at 5MV. Oh, well, that's what John McCarthy means when he says "He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense."
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2010 on RC UPDATE: Microgrids at Global Guerrillas
My own preference is for individual sovereignty upheld by minimal law, but no one is really dealing with what that minimal law must be outside the Valorian Society. That's probably because no one else can face the fact that a minimal law individual sovereignty society entails replacing war and most other force with single combat (primarily between men competing for resources) to the death under conditions found in nature. Of course, I recognize that "The 10,000 Year Explosion" has left a large fraction of humanity as Socrates' "political animals", so it certainly wouldn't work for everyone.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on AVOIDING COLLAPSE at Global Guerrillas
A couple more quick calculations on the 5MV DC grid approach: A 5MV line would be critical at the dielectric strength 0f a low density polyethylene insulator radius of 50mm: 100kV/mm;5MV ? mm = 50 mm So let's double that radius to 100mm. That 20 mile transmission line, given a factor of 2 safety factor on its dielectric strength (100mm radius) with low density polyethylene (buried), would cost: pi*(100mm)^2*20mi;1000dollar/ton;940kg/m^3 ? dollar = 1.04776E+06 dollar If you charge 1 penny per kWh and run that line at capacity, over a 10 year amortization period you bring in: 5MW;10year;.01dollar/kWh ? dollar = 4.38E+06 dollar I really don't know how close you could get to capacity utilization but there is some slop here.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on RC UPDATE: Microgrids at Global Guerrillas
Erratum: That should have been 2mm^2 cross section.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on RC UPDATE: Microgrids at Global Guerrillas
A quick calculation indicates 5MV transmitted over a 1mm^2 cross section aluminum conductor for 20 miles, carrying 1milliamp (minimum sensible by a human) would let two very rural small towns share about 5MW of capacity with almost zero loss. 28.2e-9ohm*m;2mm^2;20mile;.5*(5MV)^2;5MV ? 1mamp = 5.50861E+06 1mamp
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on RC UPDATE: Microgrids at Global Guerrillas
What use, if any, could a resilient community make of a very efficient (>50%) 5MV DC generator that was very easy to fabricate and could burn just about anything?
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2010 on RC UPDATE: Microgrids at Global Guerrillas
I would hardly call Detroit irrelevant. It is a harbinger -- an experimental result.
Toggle Commented Mar 27, 2010 on RAGE AND HEALTH CARE at Global Guerrillas
RanDomino, the answer isn't "worker ownership" but "citizen sovereignty" which means that just as a sovereign in a feudal kingdom collects land rents from his serfs, so does the citizen collect land rents -- or their modern equivalent which is net tax on IN PLACE LIQUIDATION VALUE -- and distributing the revenues evenly to all citizens thereby bypassing bureaucracies and special interest politics. That removes rent seeking from both the public and private sectors. Business activity proceeds untaxed as does the value of property above its liquid value.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2010 on QUESTION: Capitalism, the Game? at Global Guerrillas
You're not only divorcing life from reproduction which is nonsense -- you're divorcing life from subsistence. I demand not only personal subsistence, but what I would have in the state of nature: Either enough resources to raise children, or death. Anyone who thinks they "own" the land to the point that an intelligent, able-bodied man and a mutually compatible and fertile mate don't have a right to fight for the resources to reproduce -- and I mean FIGHT meaning INITIATING FORCE -- anyone who "axiomatically" opposes such force is anti-life.
Toggle Commented Mar 24, 2010 on QUESTION: Capitalism, the Game? at Global Guerrillas
Personally, no. Why would I, a living creature that has carved out a niche for himself from nature -- else he wouldn't be alive to agree to anything -- agree to give up my right kill intruders on the assets I need to raise a family unless I had some sort of iron-clad guarantee that I would not be deprived of those assets? Capitalism is predicated on the sanctity of property rights over the sanctity of life.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on QUESTION: Capitalism, the Game? at Global Guerrillas
"The anger is mostly Boomer Rage hence irreverent." That's the first time I've heard the idiom "Boomer Rage". What is it, hence its irrelevance?
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on RAGE AND HEALTH CARE at Global Guerrillas
Tom "The Greatest Generation" Brokaw has the answer for the establishment: Portray "The Boomers" as "The Most Spoiled Generation" so they accept whatever the elites do to them rather than leading the fight for genuine reform. See: I give Brokaw too much credit, of course. This is obviously something that has beeen in the works for some time as is obvious from Elizabeth Warren's incredulity at her own findings being typical of her Harvard peers.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on RAGE AND HEALTH CARE at Global Guerrillas