Monthly Archives: September 2016

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De Ratiocratie, een fix voor de ‘Democratie’

De democratie in Nederland is kapot, de demos, de kiezers, hebben geen grip of zicht op de wetsvoorstellen die het bedrijfsleven voorbereid en bij kamerleden onder de deur door schuift, met leuke commisariaatjes en toekomstige banen als beloning. Als een partij stemt houdt het de mening van de individuele kamerleden angstvallig geheim terwijl dat ons juist laat zien op wie we zouden kunnen stemmen om onze mening in de kamer gerepresenteerd te krijgen.

De Meute

Ondertussen zijn er partijen die hier tegen in gaan maar verder geen enkel zinvol beleid hebben, de hoofdreden is dat zinvol beleid complex is en daarom lastig te communiceren naar kiezers. De oplossingen tenderen zo naar hele ruwe maatregelen, bv. alle moskeen dicht, koran verbranden etc. Dit soort oplossingen creert problemen, de kunst is om een oplossing voor problemen te vinden die zoveel mogelijk doelstellingen helpt te realiseren, niet alleen het beeindigen van een irritatie. We streven niet naar een land zonder immigranten, maar naar een welvarend, gelukkig en gezond land. Dat blijft ook moeilijk als er geen immigranten zijn, dus zie daar niet teveel heil in.

De Media

De democratie is ook kapot omdat de media onze aandacht continue op inhoudsloze en nutteloze zaken richt. De media is als een brandweerwagen die met veel lawaai en zwaailichten door de stad rondjes rijdt omdat mensen dan denken dat er iets belangrijks gebeurt. De telefoon aannemen doet men niet in de brandweerwagen, dat is te ingewikkeld. Zijkant van de wagen is als billboard verhuurd, branden worden door zelfstandige journalisten opgespoort en door vrijwilligers geblust. Ondertussen schalt het uit de luidspreker op de steeds weer langsstormende wagen “Er is brand! Er is brand!” .

De transmissie van informatie in het politieke proces is ernstig verstoord door belanghebbende partijen

Het Economisme

De democratie is tenslotte kapot omdat het leidende belang een getal is het BNP, waar de meeste stemgerechtigden geen invloed op hebben. De meeste zijn werknemer, niet werkgever, het BNP bevat vage financiele getallen, die banken onderling verzinnen. Is het analyse, voorspelling of beleid wat een econoom zegt? Je kunt er niet van opaan, waar je wel van opaan kunt is dat ‘de economie’ altijd een couveuze kindje blijft waar jij niks voor kunt doen, waar je banken, economen etc. voor nodig hebt. Die hebben de macht en die maken het beleid. Wat kamerleden doen is zorgen dat dit niet tot zoveel onvrede leidt dat er iets wezelijks verandert.

Vrijheid van meningsuiting

Afgelopen weken gebeurde het dat POW News een relletje in scene zette die de Minister President aangreep om grof taalgebruik te introduceren, waarop dit door alle kanten werd veroordeelt. Er was geen rel, maar dit is al niet meer belangrijk. “Pleurt op” is helemaal terug, en onze MP heeft de integratie eigenhandig een decennium teruggedraait. Vrijheid van meningsuiting is een groot goed, maar er wordt vaak vergeten dat het natuurlijk gaat om uitingen die geen invloed hebben op acties, op zaken die ons dagelijks leven verstoren. Dan is het discriminatie, hate speech, misleiding, malversatie, wanprestatie. Als een chirurg aan de operatietafel om een emmer slagroom vraagt, wordt hij ontslagen (hopen we). Als je woorden een organisatie creeren die vervolgens intimideert dan doe je meer dan je uiten, je pleegt een daad met tastbare consequenties. POW News mag niet opruien, wat levert dat voor bijdrage aan ons doel om welvarend en gelukkig te zijn? Maar wie zegt dat POW News en de VVD niet samenwerken?

De Ratiocratie

Er wordt veel gedebatteerd in de kamer, en dan gaat het vaak over de feiten. Vooral ‘links’ tegen ‘rechts’ doen dat continu omdat links vaak wel van feiten houdt, en rechts gewoon zegt wat het moet om de krijgen wat het wil. De SP is een partij die dit trucje nu (eindelijk) lijkt over te nemen. De ratio zien we vaak bij het boekhouden, dan snappen de partijen elkaar, want waar haalt de ene die 400 miljoen vandaan? Het is een gedeelde werkelijkheid, het CPB wikt en weegt, de politici hebben daarmee houvast. De ratio in het debat helpt de kanten vervolgens duidelijk te maken wie de dwaas is en wie een solide plan heeft.

De ratiocratie introduceert de mening van de kiezer als die deze gevormd zou hebben volgens de meest geaccepteerde en gevalideerde methoden

Maar feiten bestaan niet in de politiek, het zijn jou feiten, mijn feiten. ECN zegt dit, TNO zegt dat, wie heeft gelijk? Welke hoogleraar wordt betaald om stellig voor kern energie te zijn? Dat je een energie bespreking hebt waar de VVD twee random pro fossiele delfterikken laat aanschuiven. Dat een PVVer zegt niks van de economie te begrijpen, of dat klimaatverandering een hoax is oid. De ratio is er, maar er wordt teveel met de feiten gespeeld.


Wie fossiel verbrand verwijdert zuurstof uit te atmosfeer

Motie van Vaststelling

Waarom geen motie die een feit vaststelt. Of beter nog, die als effect heeft dat de breedst mogelijke best gekwalificeerde mening op een bepaald punt wordt gezocht waar dan iedereen in de kamer mee moet werken. Als voorbeeld, kamerlid x wil een wet tegen verbranding omdat de zuurstof concentratie in onze atmosfeer afneemt, en er ook zuurstof neutrale alternatieven zijn. Dan zegt de PVV “Onzin, wat een idioot dat de zuurstof afneemt dat zijn de immigranten”. Dan komen de linkse partijen bij elkaar, omdat ze wel wat zien in de denkrichting, en zeggen “Motie van Vaststelling : Neemt de O2 concentratie af?”. Na twee maanden ligt er een overzicht van meningen, van experts natuurlijk, metingen van over de hele wereld, en ja, inderdaad, de zuurstof conentratie neemt af (we hebben zelf al berekend dat we over 4000 jaar zullen stikken, maar dat kan ook veel eerder zijn).

Feiten zijn koppig, maar een vastgesteld feit moet in de politieke redenatie altijd erkend worden

Om corruptie, lobby etc. te voorkomen kan een motie van vaststelling worden vernieuwd op basis van nieuwe gegevens, maar daarbij wordt in tegenstelling tot wat gebruikelijk is in het politieke steekspel alleen wetenschappelijk methoden gebruikt, geen persoonlijke meningen of devinaties. Vervolgens kan in de kamer een PVVer niet zeggen “Onzin” maar moet deze proberen niet achterlijk voor te komen terwijl hij/zij zegt “Ok, uitgaande van dat de zuurstof concentratie afneemt, laten we de immigranten eruit gooien want die gebruiken onze zuurstof.”. Toch een verschil.

Feitenrijke politiek

Zo zal zelfs als de media rondtoetert dat er van alles aan de hand is in de kamer de ratio iets hebben om vanuit te gaan dat relevant is en in touch met de realiteit. En het proces van vaststelling kan volledig transparant plaatsvinden, toegespits op het verbeteren van de besluitvorming door het voorkomen van hartnekkige leugens. Natuurlijk gaan veel kamerleden dan bankiers en economen als experts aanhalen maar daar is al een CPB voor, en economie is geen wetenschap maar een fossiele marketing ideologie. Dat kan dan weer wel worden vastgesteld.

 

 

 

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Greening Shipping


AP Moller-Maersk, Maersk Group is Denmarks biggest comany. It ships goods around the world in the biggest container ships, it owns industrial operations in logistics and energy. They have their own oil wells and are in the process of buying more, amongst others from Shell. Shipping and oil have existed in symbiosis from the beginning, as the low cost of logistics increased the opportunities to arbitrate (make profit of price differences) around the world. Once the margin in price between a shoe made in China and one made in the US covers the cost of shipping from China to the US, shoes will be made only in China.

This seems normal economics, but it isn’t, because the price of bunker fuel is not fixed. It has no price. the price is set for the effect of it. This is because producing the fuel is not costly. The dirty fuels used in shipping comes out of wells, is moved around the world by trucks and ships that can almost burn it (so at a bit of loss) and can be moved into the fueltank of a big ship without money changing hands. In theory. In practice it is produced, made available on the market bought by Maersk and then used.

Of course Mearsk can easily get credit to buy the fuel if it needs to, credit being money printed on the spot to grab fuels from the market. Banks are smart to do this because Maersk turns a profit, meaning it grabs more credit from the clients than it needs from the banks. Thus it increases the demand for credit, it reduces the demand for resources and this is what makes the banks happy. Normally, if Maersk sources its fuel from other businesses, it may be that the two (like Maersk and Shell) have a cooperation meaning Shell gives a special price to Mearsk so it can ship. The secondary effects in the financial market and fuel demand around the world of shipping are huge. Ship a motorcycle to Uruguay and someone there needs fuel for it, someone there needs money to buy the fuel etc.

Maersk now owning and buying oil wells is an attempt of this company to disentangle itself from the world market, and become a bank in itself, a transportation bank. To achieve this it has to fully own wells, control the price of oil extraction, have a way to internally allocate the oil to its ships. Then, because the cost of its operation will be near zero, it can decide to ship goods or not. It gets a lot of control over what is shipped where. It can say to a chinese company : We wil take your goods over that of a more polluting company.Why? Because they don’t need to be payed for the service anymore, even if they are.

Of course there are losers in this move, one is Shell, who doesn’t see any cashflow and loses control over Maersk. Another is the fuel brokers, the financial intermediaries and banks that used to profit from supplying oil to Mearsk. The interesting thing is that these companies now no longer have an incentive to let Maersk use fossil fuels at all. How do these companies grab a piece of the international shipping cashflow if Maersk does not need anything significant (except ships) they can control and set the price of?

The answer may be in NH3, or ammonia. An alternative fuel, burning like diesel, and 100% green. Its not a water proof plan to recapture some of the Maersk cashflow, but its the best bet. For it to work the financial and energy players have to collude and lobby and bribe like they always have. This time to declare fossil bunker fuel illegal.

The idea is to make it so that Maersk can not use its oil. Nobody can use it for shipping. To make that possible an alternative has to be offered (because even though intl logisitcs was inflated to generate revenue for the same outsiders, it can serve that purpose with and without fossil fuels). This means wind generated NH3 farms have to pop up along the shipping routes. They can be off shore, ‘stranded’ as long as the ships can refuel there. They can run on NH3 without much changes. Emissions will be H20 an N2 and no NOx, because those exhaust can be neutralized on board.

If the lobby makes it so that the soot and polluting fuels Maersk now uses become illegal, and it makes it so it has the NH3 production resources in place to supply Mearsk, the company will not have the financial power to resist the switch, it will experience a ‘carbon bubble’. Shell has a lot it can do in this respect. The process needed is tried and tested. The offshore wind business is one they want to enter (or at least they claim they do, they are duplicious dicks and c$nts and have been for a century).

Once the need for NH3 grows in shipping, intermediaries can once again source and trade it, banks can invest in the sources, everyone can take a piece of the pie called Maersk operational turnover. And the planet will be healthier, fuel will be clean and cheap eventually (cause solar and wind don’t run out), and Maersk’s strategy will have triggered the change we so desperately need.

 

 

 

 

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Why Economic Globalism is Doomed to Fail

We have a global economy, or so it seems, an economy which is measured in terms of profit, value of assets and investment. This seems to be a system that is here to stay, that needs some expanding but will eventually permeate everywhere. There’s some reasons why this won’t happen.

The global economy follows economic rules, and economic rules are flawed in several ways. First they assume a store of energy to do work can be accessed through the creation of credit. This is the case today with fossil fuels offered on a global market, but will that last. Another flaw is that resources are not monitored in the economy, what is available is traded, what is not is not thought about. Resource depletion is the biggest problem of ‘economic thinking’.

Why do we adhere to the basic economic ideas? Because fossil fuels are available, because resources are not completely depleted and because it gives traders a dominant position, and this dominant position is consolidated constantly against opposing forces.

The main way to consolidate a cominant position for traders is to separate the consumer and the origin of the product. The ‘consumer’ as a role for a person to play is in itself a total fabrication and result of economic thinking getting its way. When thinking about globalization the question becomes : Can everyone be a consumer. Clearly not on the same level, because the current system makes use of slave labour from sweatshops in India to inmates in the USA. People doing fine manipulation to turn raw materials into products being payed poverty wages or below make some of the major companies possible, for instance Apple.

To create producers and consumers logistics is essential, and for logistics fossil fuels are essential, still, because they are nearly free. Maersk, one of the big shipping companies has its own oil rigs, so it ships countainers around the world for the cost of the consession, which it can pay in oil, so when it uses its own oil it can ship for free. Thus enables trade and the dominant position of traders.

These factors, the fossil and resource factors, have always driving globalization. The fuels allowed shipping from India, China to the US,. The cheap labour (by people who where more producers than consumers, unemancipated etc.) Created an implicit dominant position that at times had to be defended by force. The western realm, so countries in the West, where more or less playing a game who could grab the most resources for its people, which translated into wealth.

This game now seems to be running into problems, because India and China are developing their own consumer populations, they are asserting their desire to have a wealthy society and they are less and less impressed with the West. The history books shows how for instance the UK has exploited India and China in the past, and the spread of this awareness creates scepticism against trade agreements, foreign exploitation of for instance coal reserves.

India is canceling trade agreements with serveral countries because it finds they are based on the game, how clever can you be to buy a big Indian mobile operator and then avoid $2,5 taxes by running the deal through Cayman islands. That’s fun if you are competing in Europe, but not if it means you take a lot of wealth from India, not anymore. India is just to powerfull to accept that kind of treatment.

Similarly a few years back Russia took its wheat off the global market, because it had a bad season or because of the tensions ove Crimea. A bad harvest in Russia can and has caused political unrest in Egypt. This type of destabilization is likely to become more frequent as the world loses production due to climiate change (which because of water vapour effects can lead to 3.5 times the temp changes than averag in some places).

The advantage remains with the West if it controls the currency in which most fossil fuels are sold. This is changing, and this in turn is the cause of struggle between the US, Russia, China. Why? Because if all the oil in the world is sold in dollars the US never runs out of oil. It can always print dollars and buy more. Countries that don’t have dollars and can’t trade (because they can’t produce because they don’t have the fuel), can’t access the oil.

New blocks are changing the petro dollar dominance, and another factor also plays a role, namely renewables. Solar and Wind are energy sources nobody owns to start with, so a city or country (like Costa Rica or Denmark) that can produce 100% of what it need does not need dollars or other currencies to by fossil fuels anymore. This in turn weakens the Western grip on globally available resources. Economics, being uniquely fossil fuel based (as it assumes the availability of stored energy when it extends credit out of thin air) is doomed to fail. The replacement will a situation where oil trade and thus the trade of all kinds of products in return is much reduced.

Another factor reducing the need for global trade is automation. Foxconn is replacing many of its depressed underpayed workers with robots in the next years. Then the question becomes “Why in China?”. Robots can be put in the middle of the desert or on the South Pole, maybe the North of Russia becomes a nice spot when it becomes ice free all year round. Who cares? Automation is more likely to pull production of many goods back close to consumers, as it saves a lot of cost. Then if you live in a country with a lot of renewable resources you are in luck. Many consumer goods can be made practically anywhere if labour cost and fuel cost become unimportant.

The sad fact is that if a country is unable to protect its resources today, and if renewable based automated production of what people need is delayed because of fossil fuel economic forces, the weak countries will still see all its forest destroyed, burned for palm oil plantations, countries will be exporting wheat while its own population is starving. Some Asian countries are about to feel the burn of economic progress under US domination, it seems lately any country without the ability to defend itself is turned into an extra state of the US (Costa Rica, Venzuela, Holland). Traders rule, financial markets rule, and fossil fuels are the forced diet.

As more become aware of this unequal playing field, between the suits with laws of the WTO, CETA, TTP etc, and the unprotected, frankly unaware population of less developed countries these countries will muscle up and make ready for war. China has done so with success, The US granted it the right to use oil and coal to grow, now it seems stronger than the US. The balance of power and the lack of war depends on sharing of real economic growth, trade dependencies, which certainly are a factor that makes peace more attractive than war.

But fossil fuel use and its effects are going to put come countries in more precarious positions, and this may eventually lead to a breakdown in these relationships. The question is whether we should keep going until the system breaks down or we should set a new goal that we know will land us safely down the line. The game should be survival of our species, not competitive access to weakly defended resources. The game should not be global domination of anyone, but the reduction of the need to trade globally in things that are of existential importance (like food).

Striving towards global independence, allowing cultural identity to remain (not US exported Disney MGM monoculture), rebasing all industry on renewables (which will eliminate a sizable part of it), maximizing life by planting trees, repurposing land. Being real honest about the military balance and the desire to leave each other be instead of taking a threatening posture or forcing deals. Introducing renewables and automation to assist in this process. Perhaps using a rule based or automated system to predict the outcomes of actions taken for all countries and the planet as a whole, so that it is visible what the effect of decisions will be, and an ad hoc alliance of forces of different countries will always enforce that decision.

We have a class of gamesmen (and women) who have a magic wand called ininite credit, ruling Wall street, who divide and conquer and put countries like Venezuela in a position where it has to export its oil and can’t keep its people fed. The class is obsolete because a unipolar world is no longer affordable. The cubs they once played with have become wolfs and packs. The world that was that simple is disappearing as we speak.

Better focus on the new ‘order’ and find ways to create the cooperation and independence that it needs, in terms of energy and production, resource protection and legal disentanglement. Because long term it is the best option for all except the few who are now at the craps table. They are risk takers and will risk everything to keep going.

To move in the right direction renewables and storage are key. Because they create ownerless production capacity, they are a trade independent source of wealth and power. This also means blocking any introduction of non renewable or non sustainable activity, because they create new dependencies. Also countries should form blocks to prevent the introduction of wrong and unsustainable practices. This is hard because especially poor countries are highly sensitive to corruption (not forgetting to mention that anti globalist get killed or put in jail as well). A good sign is when the trade and need for fossil fuels is reduced, when the culture is not foreign and when in spite of those things wealth, health and  happiness increase.

 

 

 

 

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Why our universe is NOT a simulation

Nick Bostrom calculated the odds of our universe being a simulation, you can read about it here. Bostrom makes claims about AI that follow the common ignorance about what it takes for something to be intelligent, even what that actually means. When it comes to whether our universe is a simulation he does a similar thing, going into some debt, but keeping to a level that does not reveal enough to generate a true answer.

Bostrom makes a common mistake made earlier by the so called logic positivists, who thought the world and all thought about it could be described by logic. It can’t be, because logic is a special case of human intelligence, which very clearly excludes the recognition processes, so you would have to state in your logic inference somewhere that  “tomato(green)”, meaning “the tomato is green”, but how do you determine this assertion ? The proponents of logic positivism simply did not get to that question in the exploration of their approach. Today one can fix that particular problem (say while building an artificially intelligent robot) by having hardware that produces a description in terms of logic expressions as a result of sensing (camera) and autoclassification of the camera output. Even then logic is intrinsically a model, so can never ‘simulate’ reality.


Fundamental particles, ones we think we should observe, but sometimes can’t

When asking what the chances are we live in a simulation Bostrom goes to his usual exponential realm of super computational powers. This is kind of a intellectual trap, we see simulations that clearly amaze us and we extrapolate our idea about those simulations into the future. Surely this means we can simulate everything? If we can drive a virtual car off a cliff in 3d today, who knows what we can do in a thousand years?

We are introducing a strong quality filter here though : ourselves. We live in a reality that is defined by our senses. We evolved to survive in reality, which causes us to focus on certain aspects of it and have certain plans with it. A good way to understand our brain is as a simulation system evolved to internalize our environment to such an extend that we can model and predict the outcome of our actions, so that we can identify risks before we experience them. This in my opinion is the origin of time to begin with, we create it so there is a now to make decisions about a future, but that is another story (can’t find the post I wrote about it).

Bostrom forgets or ignores a thing that is enormous, which is the apparent computational power of our universe (if we assume it is non deterministic). The universe is a fascinating thing, because it demonstrates a property we call the conservation of energy. If the universe would not conserve energy (meaning stuff keeps changing into other stuff with the same overal energetic value) it would implode or explode immediately. Every nanosecond the finest particles that make up our universe instantly find a new configuration to make that rule true. This happens even though we know there could be many alternatives according to quantum physics. That instant matching of the energy conservation rule with every change is a feat of problem solving that the quantum computer builders try to capture and use.

Quantum mechanics is not exotic and out there, f.i. a single quantum of light, one photon, can cause a response in our eyes, even though we can not see it. To see light we need about 9 photons. The number of them hitting 1 cm2 in daylight is about 100.000.000.000.000.000

What we seldom realize is that in order for the universe to find the new ‘now’, for any change to occur, many options have had to be considered. This is if we assume that there is not only one outcome. There is an argument for that, because quantum physics is probabilistic because we don’t know what the particular outcome in a particular instance is. That is just like saying a role of a single dice has an outcome of 1 to 6 each with 1/6 probability. However the sequence of outcomes could be fixed, we would not know it because our process of roling dice does not allow us to observe it, because we too are dice being rolled in a way (or not : we are coevolving).

There are subquantum energies that we can’t observe

But if our reality is a simulation it has to be modelled. That is hard, because we know there are influences we can’t observe. We know they exist from the so called Cazimir effect, because we observe that non-detectable particles outside to thin plates close together will push the plates together because the space in between is too small for  some particles to emerge there to push them back. Emerge? From where? Out of the vacuum of space is the answer. We don’t really know for sure but we think there are other dimensions from which particles emanate into our observable dimensions which then quickly anihilate. Can we measure these particles? No, because they anihilate. Why? To make the energy conservation laws true. The only device that seems to be able to capture them is the so called EM drive.

So we have the world we observe, and we know there is a quantum dynamica structure to it etc. and we are puzzled by the ability of reality to keep evolving, but there is also an unobservable substratum of activity we will never be able to measure or model deterministically.

Nick Bostrom in the mean time hypothesizes that there will be future intelligent beings that will have access to more computational power so much that they can simulate us and our universe, and that the question whether this is the case can be answered by investigating the combined probabilities. This is a top down type of reasoning that assumes intelligence and then projects it as a driving force that may be responsible for our universe.

The description of our universe created so we can mentally simulate it introduces options and properties which may not really be there

We can turn this around. How would a computational system ‘simulate’ the sub quantum particle existences that do have effect on our quantum reality (as the moving Cazimir plates prove) because the nature, direction, type of these apparitions follow unknown rules (except that the wavelength has to fit), if the particle can exist in a vacuum, then it may, for a brief moment. Its like the rule of energy conservation quickly deletes it.

A deterministic computational system would have to take the multidimensional reality and inject these particles based on the quantum context for every location in our gravitational matrix (more on my understanding of it in another post) and thus allow new moments to emerge (at least in our simulation that tries to escape its entropy laws). All this while Bostroms simulation computer would be a clocked device, with discrete timesteps and rules. If we let go of our preconceptions on the computational device of our future intelligent beings, and we would assume they mastered quantum computers (symbolizing a mechanism by which one can choose the instant solution to the conservation of energy challenge when its context is created) then we run in some trouble. Because we then claim the simulation is a mechanistic combination of devices that do what? Be the univers in its raw state. Right.

So Either we run into the limits of a time deterministic law driven simulation as it can not meet the demands of creating the reality we observe or we harness this same reality in order to ‘simulate’ it. We would need the universe to simulate the universe. It would be impossible to observe this universe from outside because this would violate the principle that holds it together. Ergo, we can’t be living in a simulation.

That said our reality is weird, but we should recognize our desire to find a structure and the cause of things or its origin is one that is born from our design. This is why Bostrom is so succesfull, he creates a fantasy threat ( super human AI for insance which can be real for sure) that answers our potential to fear. In that sense the theories of spooky action at a distance when considering quantum entanglement is exicting because it promises us the ability to cover great distances possibly faster than light. That’s a like a race car, fighter jet or thoroughbred stallion to our minds : Cool. But there’s no proof for it.

From the height our biased intelligence we may think we may exist in a simulation, but from the fundamental processes we observe and those we know we can never observe it follows we can’t be. If we do take the position that our universe could be computatioally simulated and observed then we let go of our tools of argument and the question can be answered clearly with : “who knows”.