Friday, August 19, 2022

truth

It is my casual observation, not that I have done any kind of study on this, that people are more likely now to believe in things that are not true.  I could be wrong because maybe people have always believed in untrue things, but it feels like now we are in an epidemic of delusional thinking.  I have a few theories about why this is, which I will get to below.

I am not going to get much into specifics, because there is a wide range of opinions about what is true.  However, the pandemic seemed to bring out the craziness in some people. Regarding the pandemic, I hear questionable claims, if not outright lies frequently.  

If we want to know the truth, we have to try very hard to remain objective.  There is a difference between opinion and fact, and likewise a difference between anecdotal evidence and fact.  Whenever possible, I try to find the relevant scientific studies, which are often available on the Internet.  I am more likely to find articles talking about scientific studies, and sometimes these contain links to the actual studies, but if not, usually the studies can be found with a Google search.

I think that most people have a need to feel special.  A person could be a fireman and that would be something that makes that person special.  For this reason, I think that people get very emotionally tied to their belief systems because those beliefs help make people who they are.  Then we get into confirmation bias, where people have a natural tendency to accept things as true that already agree with their opinion.  Therefore, it is very hard to change someone's opinion because their belief is closely tied to their identity.

Social media may have hindered normal human social interaction, which tends to naturally correct aberrant behavior and thought.  People interact less than they did before in person, and more online.  If you have weird beliefs, you can find plenty of people on the Internet who agree with you and support your way of thinking.  

Some social media places like Twitter seem inherently toxic with many bad actors on those platforms.

Having a worldwide existential threat puts a strain on people's ability to think rationally.  There is a strong tendency to demonize other people, which is worse now than it has ever been in my lifetime.  People on all sides are calling for the imprisonment of their political enemies, if not threats of violence and murder.  This is where people need to step back and try to have some perspective.  Things may be difficult now, but we have it far better than the generations that came before us.

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Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com

Thursday, August 18, 2022

What is modern monetary theory? | John Hancock Investment Mgt

https://www.jhinvestments.com/viewpoints/investing-basics/what-is-modern-monetary-theory

Money is not wealth. It is a placeholder for wealth. If you create more of it, then by definition each unit of money is worth less, unless somehow you created an equivalent amount of wealth.

I am a bit worried about the 40% increase in the money supply that happened over the last two calendar years and what this means for my retirement.

So increasing the money supply can be a form of theft. It is transferring value to those people who receive the new currency at the expense of the people holding the existing currency.

If we count precious metals as a form of wealth, then having a backed currency would make money a form of wealth.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

China and EV batteries

That's because most EVs run on lithium-ion batteries that are mostly made in China. The nation has a lock on some 76 percent of the battery market today (the US only represents 8 percent). And to get a deal passed in a deadlocked Senate, Democrats agreed to provisions that would require eligible vehicles to use batteries that are made in North America.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which passed the Senate this weekend in a party-line vote, would require batteries to have at least 40 percent of materials sourced from North America or a US trading partner by 2024 in order to be eligible for a $7,500 tax break. By 2029, battery components would have to be 100 percent made in North America.

Batteries that contain minerals that "were extracted, processed, or recycled by a foreign entity of concern," which is defined as a state sponsoring terrorism or countries blocked by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, would be ineligible for the credit. China is listed as a "foreign entity of concern" by the federal government.

Democrats, including West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who negotiated the deal in secret with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, are running on a tough-on-China message this year. But the auto industry says that the new requirements would basically disqualify every EV on the market today.

According to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the auto industry's main lobbying group, there are currently 72 EV models available for purchase in the United States, including battery, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell electric vehicles. Of those models, 70 percent are ineligible for the tax credit when the bill passes. And by 2029, when the additional sourcing requirements go into effect, none would qualify for the full credit.

No electric vehicles on the market today qualify for the new EV tax credit - The Verge

Saturday, August 6, 2022

"Freedom" in Calgary - Bill Burr

Inflation: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

People tend to blame everything except the fiat currency.  The technical definition of inflation is an increase in the money supply, not price increases.  From January 2020 to December 2021, the Money Supply went up 40%.  Although the effect is not immediate, we should be looking for a 40% increase in prices as a result, or at least close to it.


Wednesday, August 3, 2022

"People’s Rights are Disappearing," 'Star Wars' Show Introducing "Trumpian World" - Inside the Magic

Those who are more likely to favor government control complain about those who are less likely to favor centralized power as being like an Evil Empire?  Somehow the analogy doesn't quite fit, and I wonder if their wrong headed analogy might backfire?

A few people regard the political right as no more freedom loving than the political left, and even though some people on the right don't always side with freedom, I think that the overall difference is huge. 

 BTW, the Andor series suddenly has been delayed a month pushing it back to late September.  I wonder if last minute editing or reshoots are taking place?  I wonder if Disney learned its lesson from the colossal failure of Lightyear?  Go woke, go broke. 

I am actually looking forward to the Andor series, as I do all Star Wars series.  They all may not be perfect, and they might have an occasional thinly disguised political message, but on average the quality of these shows have been really good. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Begin forwarded message:

On Wed, Aug 3, 2022 at 5:11 PM John Coffey wrote:
Fiona Shaw shared with Empire that series writer Tony Gilroy has infused a "Trumpian" theme into the show:

"Tony has written a great, scurrilous [take] on the Trumpian world. Our world is exploding in different places right now, people's rights are disappearing, and Andor reflects that. [In the show] the Empire is taking over, and it feels like the same thing is happening in reality, too."

"People’s Rights are Disappearing," 'Star Wars' Show Introducing "Trumpian World" - Inside the Magic

Fiona Shaw shared with Empire that series writer Tony Gilroy has infused a "Trumpian" theme into the show:

"Tony has written a great, scurrilous [take] on the Trumpian world. Our world is exploding in different places right now, people's rights are disappearing, and Andor reflects that. [In the show] the Empire is taking over, and it feels like the same thing is happening in reality, too."

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

San Francisco beating of Elderly

I assume that the attack was racially motivated.  Anyone who conducts such a violent racial attack doesn't deserve to be called an American.  If it were up to me, people who perpetrate heinous racially motivated attacks, regardless of the race of the people involved, should lose their citizenship.  That's probably unconstitutional, but I think that we should draw a line that you cannot cross.