Monday, October 31, 2022

Bullshit - Wikipedia

Brandolini's law, also known as the "bullshit asymmetry principle," holds that "the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than what's needed to produce it." This truism highlights that while the battle against misinformation more generally must be fought "face to face," the larger war against belief in misinformation won't be won without prevention. Once people are set in their ways, beliefs are notoriously hard to change. Building immunity against false beliefs in the first place is the more effective long-term strategy.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Taiwan chip production

What if we were to incentivize, i.e. bribe, Taiwan to move its semiconductor business to someplace relatively safe?  Or move part of it?  Hawaii, Thailand, Australia, or the Philippines?  At some point they may want to expand their capacity, so why not expand it to another country?  Become more of an international company.   It might seem reasonable if we provide the right incentives.  

Better than fighting a war. 

Meanwhile we could work on increasing our capacity, or invest in some allied country that makes chips. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

On Oct 26, 2022, at 4:21 PM, Larry wrote:

"If China would invade Taiwan, that would be the biggest impact we've seen to the global economy — possibly ever," Glenn O'Donnell, the vice president and research director at Forrester, told Insider. "This could be bigger than 1929."

While TSMC may not be a household name, you almost certainly own something that's powered by its chips.

TSMC is in the foundry business, meaning it doesn't design its chips but instead produces them at fabrication plants for other companies. The company accounts for over half of the global semiconductor market, and when it comes to advanced processors that number is, by some estimates, as high as 90%. In fact, even the best chip from China's top semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, has been said to be about five years behind TSMC's.

TSMC counts Apple as its biggest customer, supplying the California tech giant with the chips that power iPhones. In fact, most of the world's roughly 1.4 billion smartphone processors are produced by TSMC, as are about 60% of the chips used by automakers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

TSMC semiconductors are also used in high-performance computing: They can quickly process reams of data and guide missiles, making the company highly valuable in the eyes of government entities.

According to a 2021 report from the Semiconductor Industry Association, in 1990 the US produced 37% of the world's chip supply. These days, the US is responsible for only 12% of global chip production.

While the consequences of an invasion could be significant, many experts say it's just a matter of time before it happens, whether it's by 20302025, or even by the end of next year. On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken predicted China would take steps to annex Taiwan on a "much faster timeline" than previously thought, signaling that it could be sooner rather than later. The US government is already playing out war-game scenarios to prepare for this, and in the event of a full invasion it would reportedly consider evacuating the skilled chipmaker engineers on which it's become so reliant.

The spotlight has focused increasingly on Taiwan and the semiconductor industry as a whole in recent weeks following the export regulations the US government slapped on China. Those regulations limit sales of semiconductors made using US technology and are meant to curb China's ability to develop advanced technology.

How TSMC and US-China Tensions May Dictate Fate of Global Economy (

East Chicago man out on bond for attempted murder charged again with same crime

I am a little concerned that we release people to go out to commit the same crimes again.

Bill Maher #shorts

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Trump 'Repeatedly' Discussing Picking MTG As Running Mate: Journalist

Donald Trump has "repeatedly" discussed choosing Marjorie Taylor Greene as his running mate, a journalist said.

He's been discussing it since February, NYT magazine reporter Robert Draper told the Daily Beast.

Trump is considering Greene because of her unflagging loyalty to him, Draper said.

Greene has promoted far-right, white supremacist, and antisemitic conspiracy theories, including the white genocide conspiracy theory,[6][7] QAnon, and Pizzagate,[8][9] as well as other extremist conspiracy theories[10][11] about mass shootings, the alleged killings perpetrated by the Clinton family, and the 9/11 attacks.[12][13] Before running for Congress, she supported calls to execute prominent Democratic politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

"Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star. Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable," she wrote.

Marjorie Taylor Greene Says COVID Safety Measures Are Equivalent to the Holocaust.

Ben Shapiro replied to the tweet, writing, "This is demented nonsense. It is nothing like the Holocaust, and any comparison thereto is both insulting and insane."

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Coming soon: Netflix with ads

Netflix has been discussing an ad-based tier for some time, and now we know how much it's going to cost. (Drumroll, please.) The new Basic with Ads plan will cost $6.99 per month. 

Compare that to the Basic plan at $9.99, Standard at $15.49 and Premium at $19.99.

Here's what you get with the ad-supported plan:

Video quality up to 720p HD
An average of 4 to 5 minutes of ads per hour
There are a couple of caveats. Some movies and TV shows won't be available due to licensing restrictions, though Netflix says it's working on this. And you won't be able to download content to watch when you're offline.

Netflix's ad-based tier will launch Nov. 3. The streaming giant says its current Basic, Standard or Premium plans will not be impacted by the new one, but don't be surprised to see price hikes down the line. 

Other streaming services offer ad-supported plans, or they will soon. Compared to HBO and ESPN, Netflix isn't too bad. Here's how these plans stack up:

Paramount+ and Peacock: $4.99
Hulu and Disney+ (coming Dec. 8): $7.99
HBO Max and ESPN+: $9.99

A normal and terrifying thing about chemistry

The pork industry was looking for a humane way to slaughter pigs, so they tried having the pigs breathe pure nitrogen which did the trick.   This has been suggested as a humane way to do capital punishment, and there is a political movement of people who support suicide for terminally ill patients who were encouraging people to breathe pure helium, which is easy to obtain, as a painless way to die.

There is gas exchange between the oceans and the air.   CO2 in the oceans forms carbonic acid, which is used by calcifying marine organisms to combine with calcium to make calcium carbonate to create shells.  This process is sequestering atmospheric CO2 over the long term, turning CO2 into limestone deposits, which is why atmospheric CO2 has been on a serious decline over the last 40 million years.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

China's Economy is in Bad Shape

How War in Ukraine Will Cause Russia To Collapse

Predictions for the year 2122

In 1922, author W. L. George wrote:

"There is a good old rule which bids us never prophesy unless we know, but, all the same, when one cannot prophesy one may guess, especially if one is sure of being out of the way when the reckoning comes."

Good advice.

"I suggest a picture of this world a hundred years hence, and venture as my first guess that the world at that time would be remarkable to one of our ghosts, not so much because it was so different as because it was so similar. In the main, the changes which we may expect must be brought about by science."

"It is easier to bring about a revolutionary scientific discovery such as that of the X-ray than to alter in the least degree the quality of emotion that arises between a man and a maid. There will probably be many new rays in 2022, but the people whom they illumine will be much the same... I am convinced that in 2022 the advancement of science will be amazing, but it will be nothing like so amazing as is the present day in relation to a hundred years ago. A sight of the world today would surprise President Jefferson much more, I suspect, than the world of 2022 would surprise the little girl who sells candies at Grand Central Station. For Jefferson knew nothing of railroads, telegraphs, telephones, automobiles, aeroplanes, gramophones, movies, radium, etc.;"

To follow up on the predictions made by W. L. George, I am going to make an educated guess as to what things might be like in the year 2122.  The problem is that it is not hard to see where trends will take us over the next 50 years, or to a much lesser extent to the year 2100, but new trends will emerge that we cannot predict, making any prediction about the year 2122 far from complete.

For example, George knew nothing of computers, the Internet, and how they would change the world.  He knew nothing about television, but he did imply that new communication methods would be possible.

Unlike the prediction made by George about the year 2022, technological change will accelerate over the next hundred years to such an extent that our ghosts might find the world unrecognizable a hundred years hence.  Within 50 years machines will be smarter than people, but even before then, they will help us develop new technologies at a faster pace.  We will see huge advances in material science, medical technologies, energy, and anything digital.  Medical technology will improve our health, our mental state, and our abilities.  It is very likely that in the year 2122,  people will age very slowly or not at all.

All transportation will be automated.  Airplanes will not need pilots.  Cars, trucks, trains, and ships will not need drivers.  A driver's license will be a thing of the past.  

Unfortunately, most jobs will also be automated, with a fraction of the population supervising the machines that do all the work.  Society will have to be reorganized, with many people not being able to obtain work.  This could create great political turmoil, along with booms and busts and financial collapses, causing a few nations to fall apart and reorganize into something else.

War will not go away, but it will be mostly carried out by machines.  It is very likely that nuclear weapons will be used over the next century, with devasting consequences over large areas, which will greatly increase the need for defensive systems.

Most fossil fuels will be gone by the year 2122.  The future will depend upon whether we can develop nuclear fusion, which is likely.  If so, we will have abundant relatively-clean energy, although not necessarily cheap at first.  If we can't develop cost-effective nuclear fusion, and this is a distinct possibility, then a hundred years from now we will be facing energy shortages, and relying mostly on nuclear fission power and some coal, while maximizing renewables which by themselves won't be nearly enough to supply all our energy needs.  Every home and business will have solar panels.  We will see more windmills, more hydroelectric, and more geothermal energy production.

Material science might solve the energy storage problem, but maybe not completely.  We might also have to rely on synthetic fuels, because this may be the most efficient energy storage method.

Natural resources will become more strained and therefore more expensive.  The world population will expand slightly, level off within decades from now, and then slowly decline as resources become more scarce.

People will find their behavior more tightly controlled, not just by the government, but also by other people.  Surveillance will be everywhere, including in the home.  Crime might become impossible to get away with, but personal freedom will suffer.  I predict that there will be a backlash against this, and perhaps a political movement to protect privacy.

Movie theaters will disappear within decades.  Movies will be more like video games, or video games will replace movies altogether, with the user participating in the story, possibly with multiple endings depending upon the choices the player makes.  Realistic virtual reality should be possible, with many people spending most of their lives in virtual reality.  Some stories could take weeks to finish.

More computer technology will be integrated into people, allowing them to experience augmented or virtual reality, and increase their access to information.  

People might choose robotic pets, or even virtual ones, which could be made realistic but easier to care for.   Robotic pets might have additional features, serving as crude household robots, in addition to the other household robots that people will most certainly have in a hundred years' time.  Some people will have robotic friends which will provide emotional support almost as well as a person, if not better.  And they will have relationships will robots.  

"Reality" in the future is going to be much less real, with people spending much time in virtual worlds, having artificial companions, and experiencing the world through augmented senses.

John Coffey

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Anthony & Gavin React to Huge Alex Jones Verdict

I stopped taking Alex Jones seriously a very long time ago.  He advocated every conspiracy theory from space aliens to 9-11 Truther.  He once called himself "a performance artist playing a character" as if he knows how absurd and over the top he is.   It is guaranteed that everything he says is going to be the most conspiratorial position possible.

So how does a 965 million judgment against him make any sense?  Doesn't he have free speech to be as absurd as he wants?   As much as I don't like him, I thought it was criminal for social media services to ban him.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Electrical carbon capture

There are an octillion phytoplankton that are the basis of the ocean food chain, plus all the other plants that are the basis of the terrestrial food chain, all of which take CO2 out of atmosphere.  Atmospheric CO2 is plant food and it has been in a sharp decline over the last 40 million years.  What a pity to waste it.  It is a valuable natural resource. 

All of human civilization arose over just the last 12,000 years after we came out of the most recent period of mass glaciation.  Geologically it is not a very long time.  In just 10,000 years from now, half of North America will covered by a mile of ice and this period of mass glaciers will last another 80,000 years.

We will run out of most fossil fuels by the year 2100 and we will run out of coal by the year 2150.  Then the natural sequestration of CO2 by calcifying marine organisms will continue to deplete atmospheric CO2 until it eventually gets so low that it threatens all terrestrial plant life.  This has come close to happening already during the ice age 20,000 years ago.  If it happens again then we will have to generate CO2 from limestone deposits to survive.  

We are not the enemy of nature; we are its salvation. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Begin forwarded message:

From: Larry 
Subject: Electrical carbon capture

It would be great if we could go back to using coal with this carbon capture.
Allowing the demand on natural gas to drop lowering the price.
It would be interesting to see if this could be eventually used in personal gasoline cars so that the world doesn't also try to phase them out.

BYU Molten Salt Reactor

Saturday, October 1, 2022

How mobile games are designed to SCAM you

At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests-Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of False Negative: FDA Safety Communication | FDA

Most at-home COVID-19 tests are antigen tests and do not detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as molecular tests, most of which are laboratory-based such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. Molecular COVID-19 tests are generally expected to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at least 95% of the time when someone is infected. However, at-home COVID-19 antigen tests are generally expected to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus at least 80% of the time when someone is infected.

When you perform an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, and you get a positive result, the results are typically accurate. However, if you perform an at-home COVID-19 antigen test, you could get a false negative result. 

The FDA recommends repeat testing following a negative result whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms.

The Patriot Act 2.0

The WORST Housing Crash In 40 Years JUST BEGAN

I have always been very skeptical of gloom and doom predictions.  Nobody can predict the future with any accuracy.  However, a housing bust would not surprise me.