Links 7/24/13

BREAKING NEWS: Woman Gives Birth To Baby Huffington Post

“Hockey stick graph” climate researcher’s defamation suit to go forward ars technica (Chuck l)

Student Science Experiment Finds Plants Won’t Grow Near Wi-fi Router Waldorf Today (furzy mouse)

Vibrating bicycle seat cover provides new incentive to cycle to work DailyMail (Chuck L)

A Black Box for Car Crashes New York Times. Ugh.

A brewing storm in the Western Pacific Asia Times

More bad news on China’s economy Walter Kurtz

China capitulates Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph

Richard Koo On Why Labor Tension In China Is Now Set To Explode Clusterstock

Dutch housing bust intensifies MacroBusiness

Syria rebels could have US arms soon Guardian

American Weapons Linked To Outbreak Of Birth Defects And Cancer In Iraq DS Wright, Firedoglake. Further confirmation..

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

GOP insurrection heats up over surveillance Salon (Lambert). You need to read this.

White House makes plea to scrap Amash curbs on NSA Guardian. Hahaha, the Administration is breaking a sweat!

Wyden Speech on NSA Domestic Surveillance at Center for American Progress (Deontos)

NSA says it can’t search its own e-mails ars technica. As Chuck L points out, a feature, not a bug.

NSA Shouldn’t Get to Delay Court Review of Spying, Opponents Say Courthouse News (Deontos)

10 signs your co-worker is a spy MarketWatch

How Republicans Can Help Us Grow Old Gracefully Bloomberg

Obama donors keep sending those checks Politco (Carol B)

Nate Silver Went Against the Grain for Some at The Times New York Times

Penn Study Finds Safety in Cities, More Risk in Rural Areas NBC 10 Philadelphia (Carol B)

Don’t Let Bankruptcy Fool You: Detroit’s Not Dead Atlantic. Housing is so cheap that maybe a bunch of us should go colonize it. But you do have those Michigan winters as an offset.

S.E.C. Says Texas Man Operated Bitcoin Ponzi Scheme New York Times. Your humble blogger said Bitcoin = prosecution futures.

US plans criminal charges against SAC Capital Financial Times

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Take This Goldman Sachs Aluminum Story And Run Right Over Wall Street With It Clusterstock. I gotta say, I love these Daily Mail-ish headlines.

Sorry, commodities are a poor diversification tool FT Alphaville

Market turbulence revives ETF fears Financial Times

Easing of Mortgage Curb Weighed Wall Street Journal

The New Economics of Part-Time Employment, Continued New York Times

The New Sick-onomy? Examining the Entrails of the U.S. Employment Situation Dan Alpert. A very good “one stop shopping” post on what is wrong with the American jobs market.

Why economics needs economic history VoxEU

The Disutility of Work Pieria

Antidote du jour (Agnus):


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  1. YankeeFrank

    “NSA says it can’t search its own e-mails” — that is the biggest load of hogwash I’ve ever read. Its even worse than the NSA claiming they can’t estimate how many US emails and phone calls they’ve hoovered up because its far more easy and obvious. “E-mails” are stored in things called “databases”, for which any number of complex queries can be generated, independent of what stupid search screen your “email program” provides you with. Is the NSA seriously expecting us to believe they don’t have any software engineers or database admins to run some queries for them? I mean COME ON!

    1. from Mexico

      Quoting Hannah Arendt, from The Origins of Totalitarianism:

      Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it. The assertion that the Moscow subway is the only one in the world is a lie only so long as the Bolsheviks have not the power to destroy all the others. In other words, the method of infallible prediction, more than any other totalitarian propaganda device, betrays its ultimate goal of world conquest, since only in a world completely under his control could the totalitarian ruler possibly realize all his lies and make true all his prophecies.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        NSA should not be run like a household.

        Give these people more money to hire whatever number of software engineers they need!

        The sky is the limit.

        Or maybe not.

        Big Brother can hear you even if you migrate to Mars.

    2. James G.

      Yeah, no kidding. The NSA saying “it can’t search its own e-mails” is like saying Mr. Freeze doesn’t know squat about air conditioning repair. lol

  2. sleepy

    About the “Detroit isn’t Dead” article by Richard Florida–

    I thought that Richard Florida’s poisonous creative class theory that tech-savvy hipsters could revitalize a city was what was dead, particularly since Florida himself had recently written something to that effect.

    Sorry to see he’s back.

    1. Klassy!

      I linked to this yesterday, but I’m going to link agian because I thought you might like it:

      Actually, they were writing stuff like that in their pages 15-20 years ago and I guess at the time it was not as depressing because you figured eventually the sham would be exposed. Well, that didn’t happen.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I am sorry to hear that tech-savvy hipsters are killing plants wherever they plague with Wi-Fi, even as we Homo Not-So-Sapiens are busy enriching the atmosphere with plants-friendly CO2 (go forth and multiply…on gas exhaust and GM foods).

        Actually, it’s good at least the truth is out now.


    2. lakewoebegoner

      sigh. florida’s creative class hypothesis is another one of those many “feel-good” hypotheses that go viral without real merit.

      The biggest catalysts of urban America in the past 20 years have been lower crime (for many years), EZ money, and disinvestment in America’s infrastructure which made greenfield sites too far for a reasonable commute.

      detroit’s problems are too much crime and low density + sprawling hiway networks that makes long commutes easy…..nd Chicago which is the big magnet for area college graduates who don’t want to leave for the coasts.

    3. scott

      The Atlantic is the MSNBC of print. I’m letting my subscription lapse after 21 years. They are spoon fed corporate propoganda and package it like news.

  3. diptherio

    Let’s all move to Detroit…I’m in. I’m looking for a change of scene anyway. I was thinking maybe Philly for the relatively large number of co-ops, but Detroit is on my list too. What better place to build a new world than in the smoldering wreckage of the old?

    Edward McClelland talks about the history of Detroit, Flint and Lansing in this recent book, Nothing but Blue Skies:

    1. Klassy!

      Michigan has a lot of water. It might come in handy one of these days. You just have to learn to love the winters. Michiganders do. Up north and in the upper peninsula the winter is the high tourist season (when there is enough snow.)

      1. rjs

        winter in detroit is no worse than chicago or cleveland, and being on the lee side of lake erie, it gets about half the snow we do in northeast ohio…

        the place you dont want to be in winter is buffalo…that was a stupid place to attempt to build a civilization…

        1. rjs

          maybe that’s a terminology error there…detroit would be on the windward side of erie, not the lee side…the point is the prevailing west wind does not bring lake moisture with it…

    2. Goin' South

      Enticed back in ’09 by those “Houses for $1” stories on the web, our family decided to give it a go in a city similar to Detroit. After two years of looking at houses and learning about the auction and Fannie Mae hustles, we found (on Craigslist, of course) a lot with two houses in a palatable location for less than $4,000.

      Neither house was occupied. The larger two-family had been unoccupied for at least ten years according to our neighbor. We decided to focus on the two-family since it was already gutted, i.e. most of the plaster and lathe had been removed along with the wiring and plumbing except for the drain system under the basement floor and the water line coming in from the street.

      We moved into the house after installing one bathroom, the electric panel and getting a few rooms wired. We created privacy with black plastic walls (like “Dexter”), heated with ventless propane and electric heaters and dressed warmly inside for what was fortunately a mild winter.

      Two years later, we’re finished with wiring, and we’re installing a second and third bath and putting up our last load of drywall. We’ve done all the work ourselves, and while everything took longer and cost more than originally estimated, it’s all been done without incurring any debt.

      We picked up the lot behind us after the house was condemned and the property tax foreclosed. It cost us $1 plus shipping and handling. The neighbor to the north offered us his four-plex for $1 since he’s given up on rehabbing it and owes $10,000 in back taxes. We’ll wait for the tax foreclosure since that provides an ironclad deed under state law.

      The neighborhood is ethnically mixed. There are whites of mostly eastern European descent. (We have a great Slovenian restaurant around the corner.) There are African Americans. And there are Asians (we’re at the edge of the area with most of the Asian restaurants, supermarkets, etc.) Right in our neighborhood, an old school has been torn down and replaced with a year-round urban farm that employs more than a dozen people. The state’s extension service has moved into the one part of the school that remains and will be offering classes in food growing and preservation along with free plants.

      We’re a ten minute bus ride from a downtown that houses a great public library, a fine theatre district and major sports stadiums/arenas. It’s a ten minute drive to cultural district with great art museums and a concert hall. We’re less than two miles away from the large university our adult children will be attending in the fall.

      Has it been trouble free? Our old car was stolen a year ago from the front driveway, though it was recovered 5 days later more or less undamaged about 5 miles away. A Chinese restaurant at the end of the street is a regular source of violence with shooting deaths every year or two. The chain pharmacy a half a block away is held up a couple of times a month. These are all issues not with our neighborhood’s residents but because these are establishments at or near major crossroads and attract those with criminal intent from other parts of the city.

      We’ve done this as a family. I think it would be even more successful if done by a group of people committed to a similar project. Go for it.

    3. Goin' South

      And I love this:

      “What better place to build a new world than in the smoldering wreckage of the old?”

      I assume it’s an echo of those beautiful words from the Spanish Anarchist, Buenaventure Durruti:

      “It is we [the workers] who built these palaces and cities, here in Spain and in America and everywhere. We, the workers. We can build others to take their place. And better ones! We are not in the least afraid of ruins. We are going to inherit the earth. There is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts. […] That world is growing in this minute.”

      1. diptherio

        That’s an inspiring story you’ve got there. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for the quote as well, I hadn’t seen it before. I was actually thinking about something Zakk Flash of Operation OK Relief said about their post-tornado rebuilding efforts: something along the lines of using the opportunity to rebuild sustainably, rather than just recreating the same old screwed up systems.

      2. from Mexico

        Simply to brand as outbursts of nihilism this violent dissatisfaction with the prewar age…(from Nietzsche and Sorel to Pareto, from Rimbaud and T.E. Lawrence to Jünger, Brecht, and Malraus, from Bakunin and Nechayev to Alexander Blok) is to overlook how justified disgust can be in a society wholly permeated with the ideological outlook and moral standards of the bourgeoisie.

        –HANNAH ARENDT, The Origins of Totalitarianism

        This disgust is unfortunately a two-edged sword, which can be wielded in the service of totalitarianism or, on the contrary, beautiful and uplifting pursuits such as yours.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I guess it’s math day* today.

            A negative number times a negative number equals a positive.

            An absurd response to an absurd stimulus equals completely ration result.

            If you are surrounded by absurdities, you know what to do now, as craazyman will tell you.

            *We are all math-toddlers (not mathbabes)!

    4. Patricia

      diptherio, if you become serious about it, you are welcome to stay at my house while exploring. I have autoimmune disease and so can’t roam/host in any heavy way but would be delighted to point you to places and people and provide you a comfortable spot to rest and talk.

      Guaranteed interesting, possibly lovely!

      1. diptherio

        That’s really sweet, Patricia. Thanks. You can send me an email [ mahankhal(at)gmail(dot)com ] so we can keep in touch other than via the comments section.

        I’m definitely going to relocate in the next few months and I have a feeling that it’s going to be somewhere between Kansas City and Philly. Wherever I can earn my daily bread and be relatively close to a little untrammeled nature (is that asking too much?).

      2. The Black Swan


        I didn’t want to post my email, but well… I am very interested in what is going on with Detroit, so here goes…


        I hope to hear from you soon.

        The Black Swan

  4. from Mexico

    @ “Why economics needs economic history”

    Many years ago I had ceased to be a stranger to the phenomenon of people’s resistance to facts. I had learned that the facts do not speak for themselves. If the facts happen to run counter to people’s deeply ingrained prejudices or interests or emotional commitments, then so much the worse for the facts.

    –DANIEL YANKELOVICH, Coming to Public Judgment

    Science is touted as having methods that prevent the above phenomenon described by Daniel Yanelovich from happening. But what we’re now discovering is that when it comes to the sciences, and especially the social sciences like economics, that the phenomenon is undoubtedly more pronounced inside the academe than without. Without going into a long discussion of ontology and epistemology as to why this is true, just let me say that in the academe, when theory is pitted against reality, or rationality against empiricism, theory will win almost every time.

    In the field of economics, the reigning theories are the self-interest axiom and the greed-is-good doctrine. Any evidence that runs counter to these dogmas must either be ignored or neutralized through anti-empiricism.

    So, as Michael Hudson points out, what gets taught in economics schools is not history, but anti-history:

    I want to start by saying how shocked I was a few years ago to find that Germans are being propagandized with a travesty of history regarding the Weimar hyperinflation in the 1920s.


    What is remarkable is that awareness of the empirically valid side of the 1920s German reparations debate has disappeared from today’s discussion. [The austerity advocates] have swamped the popular media, government and even the universities with what psychologists call an implanted memory: a condition in which a patient is convinced that they have suffered a trauma that seems real, but which did not exist in reality. The German public has been given a false memory of its traumatic hyperinflation. The pretense is that this resulted from the Reichsbank financing domestic currency spending. The true explanation is to be found in the foreign currency collapse – trying to pay foreign debts far beyond the ability to do so.

    –MICHAEL HUDSON, “Financial Predators v. Labor, Industry and Democracy”

    The bottom line is that economics schools that teach orthodox economics are just part and parcel of the propaganda machine of the lords of capital.

    The famous line from The Book of Laughter and Forgetting comes to mind, when Milan Kundera’s character Mirek asserts that

    The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

    1. Susan the other

      +100. And combining Pieria’s “The Disutility of Work” by David Spencer with Vox’s Kevin ORourke: “Why Economics needs Economic History” we get the questions: 1. What role should work play in human life? and 2. Why are we so rich (compared to other cultures)? Answer number one: We should work to eat and then to defeat work defining us. And Answer number two: We are rich because we value foolish things. And an observation: We are not sufficiently lazy. Probably because we are constantly being hyped with imperatives like we must manufacture and trade our way to prosperity.

      This dovetails with Dan Alpert’s the Sickonomy. Not only is Productivity Fatal, Capitalism is a wasting disease. And oh, by the way, Hugh’s monthly labor report was more or less lifted by Alpert herein. He also almost accuses Bernanke of being disingenuous because smart guys can read and understand all the prevarications in the labor stats.

  5. Saddam Smith

    On The Disutility of Work:

    A nice, simple article, but it didn’t actually define work itself, just kind of implied economic work.

    Is unpaid work, vounteer work and work like taking a shower of brushing your teeth still work? What is work?

    We adhere, at the cultural level, to this split between work and pleasure and seem incapable of merging them. They, as phenomena, are obvoiusly not opposites, nor are the separate, and yet on we unthinkingly plod with antiquated defintions.

    Another question is: What isn’t work? Or: Is nothingness possible?

    Work as we define it today (and for centuries) is closely linked to the difficult challenge of valuing social contributions. But why isn’t getting healthy amounts of sleep and rest a social contribution? Try being useful to society on no sleep whatsoever. Why are such activities not thought of as work?

    And there is a link into dessert here, too. We deserve rewards if we Work Hard, but otherwise not, and Hard Work is unpleasant by definition. Laziness should be punished. But surely laziness involves work too, in that one’s heart is beating, etc. Again, nothingness is impossible.

    So it comes down to valuing ‘productive’ contributions to society and calling that work, though even here clarity is far from easy. But now that tech has already taken over the vast majority of simple, repeptive work and produces most of what society ‘needs’, I’d say we need a very different cultural sense of work, one which definitely includes pleasure, play and joy. And considering consumerism is neither fulfilling nor sustainable, we couldn’t have more incentive to rethink this vital area of our existence.

    1. Goin' South

      I think the term “wage slavery” is more what the author is talking about than “work.” “Wage slavery” is a hoary term, favored by Wobs and others, but it well describes what irks many people about employment.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Have anyone heard of ‘Just In Time’ slavery?

        You rent slaves by the hour or minute.

        Instead of the trouble of maintaining a slave and all that, you just rent one and let the slave take of everything else.

        Some say it’s the greatest invention since 1860.

        If no one has ever heard of Just In Time Slavery, I hope then I am the first to offer that.

  6. Howard Beale IV

    ‘Black boxes for cars’ have been around for well over a decade (or more due) to the massive use of digital electronics and the ubiqutily named CAN bus (controller area Network). Heck, many personal injury lawsuits use the black boxes as evidence.

    Ironically, the Progressive dongle was recently used to clear an individual charged with an crime/incident.

    Now if someone was mucking with the contents of the stored data to make it look like someone was doing something nefarious….

  7. Brindle

    Dept of Homeland Security involved in prostitution sting.

    Interesting to see what DHS is doing with all their increased funding

    David Baer was news director for the CBS affiliate in Harrisburg, PA.

    —“Baer was one of three people who were arrested in a prostitution sting by Swatara Twp. detectives and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Human Trafficking Task Force”—

    1. from Mexico

      From the article you linked:

      Baer was one of three people who were arrested in a prostitution sting by Swatara Twp. detectives and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

      This appears to be just another road sign along the pathway to the “new federalism” in law enforcement that Richard Nixon started us down 50 years ago.

      As Christian Parenti explains in Lockdown America:

      Once in office Nixon faced an interesting problem…: crime control was predominately a local issue, beyond federal jurisdiction. So how was Nixon to deliver on his political hype and how was he to restore order? He had invoked the specter of street crime, political chaos, and narcotics abuse — much of which was thinly veiled code for “the race problem,” namely African American migration and the political demolition of US apartheid…

      The mean young squares at the White House soon found a strategy. Narcotics would be the Trojan horse for deeper federal involvement in policing. Since the Harris Act of 1914, the Feds had policed illegal drugs based on their constitutional right to tax. But this rather narrow entrance would not accommodate the onslaught of forces that Nixon was planning. So the new team slid federal prerogatives onto the more generous terrain of policing interstate commerce by redefining narcotics trafficking as a violation of the Hobbs Interstate Commerce Act.

      It seems that DHS has employed the same “Trojan horse” to interject the federal government into the policing of prostitution: in this instance not interstate drug commerce, but “Human Trafficking” or interstate commerce of human beings.

      1. from Mexico

        And to pick up on our conversation yesterday about “the race problem,” and how Trayvon Martin was a victim of policies and philosophies put in motion by Richard Nixon 50 years ago, there was this on The Black Agenda Report a couple of days ago:

        Cornel West: Zimmerman Verdict Reveals Nature of System

        The “legal lynching” of Trayvon Martin “allows us to see what is systemic and what is chronic throughout the criminal justice system and its connection to the larger capitalist society,” said activist and academic Dr. Cornel West, of Union Theological Seminary. “We have to make the connection between the killing of our innocent brother Trayvon and the killing of innocent children by U.S. drones in Pakistan and Yemen and Somalia.”

        This got me to thinking about something Hannah Arendt wrote in The Origins of Totalitarianism:

        The fact that racism is the main ideological weapon of imperialistic politics is so obvious that it seems as though many students prefer to avoid the beaten track of truism. Instead, an old misconception of racism as a kind of exaggerated nationalism is still given currency. Valuable works of students, especially in France, who have proved that racism is not only a quite different phenomenon but tends to destroy the body politic of the nation, are generally overlooked…

        Race-thinking…was the ever-present shadow accompanying the development of the comity of European nations, until it finally grew to be the powerful weapon for the destruction of those nations. Historically speaking, racists have a worse record of patriotism than the representatives of all other international ideologies together, and they were the only ones who consistently denied the great principle upon which national organizations of peoples are built, the principle of equality and solidarity of all peoples guaranteed by the idea of mankind.

        1. from Mexico

          I just came across this interview of Cornel West on Democracy Now. He says Obama has “very little moral authority at this point” and brands him “the drone president” that is “a global George Zimmerman.” Obama speaks out of both sides of his mouth so much, or says one thing and does the opposite, that “the contradictions become overwhelming.” He says we have a “criminal justice system that is criminal when it comes to its treatment of poor people” and it’s time for black folks to reject Obama’s “monstrous hypocrisy” and “hyper mendacity,” his “re-niggerizing of the black professional class” and for them to “get off the Obama plantation.”

          ~~~Cornel West: Obama’s Response to Trayvon Martin Case Belies Failure to Challenge “New Jim Crow”

          Overall it is a blistering attack on Obama, and a great primer on why racism and classicsm do not compete with each other, but march in lockstep.

      2. Brindle

        DHS also a Trojan Horse for Union busting:

        —“The bill itself was also controversial for the presence of unrelated “riders”, as well as for eliminating certain union-friendly civil service and labor protections for department employees.

        Without these protections, employees could be expeditiously reassigned or dismissed on grounds of security, incompetence or insubordination, and DHS would not be required to notify their union representatives.

        The plan stripped 180,000 government employees of their union rights.[13] In 2002, Bush officials argued that the September 11 attacks made the proposed elimination of employee protections imperative.[14]”—-

        1. from Mexico

          Brindle said:

          The plan stripped 180,000 government employees of their union rights.[13] In 2002, Bush officials argued that the September 11 attacks made the proposed elimination of employee protections imperative.

          It seems to me that the “time of War or public danger” phraseology we find in the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution has been so vastly explanded so as to strip Americans of just about every constitutional right or protection they once upon a time might have enjoyed.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Great news. Hope it’s true.

      Nice to see the tyrant Obama smacked in da face with a rotting fish.

  8. Deb Schultz

    Re the White House seeks to quash the Amash amendment: Best example of irony yet — the administration’s statement that “this blunt approach [meaning the amendment] is not the product of informed, open or deliberative process.”

    1. Brindle

      Just called my rep’s office in DC and urged to support Amash amendment, he is a Dem. The intern or whoever is taking calls did not know of his position.

    2. Ms G

      Love Obama’s reaction — not product of deliberation, bla bla bla.

      As opposed to his “signature legacy legislation” — the ACA, ObamaCare — which (as his toady Nancy Pelosi told us) had to be passed before its contents could be (even) read, let alone understood, discussed, deliberated upon!

      Another instance of “they’re not even faking it anymore”! (Or, their secure in the belief that the key demographics are heads deep in their iPhones, tweeting, being indoctrinated by NPR, etc., and otherwise not paying attention to the main event(s).)

    3. Ms G

      Love Obama’s reaction — not product of deliberation, bla bla bla.

      As opposed to his “signature legacy legislation” — the ACA, ObamaCare — which (as his toady Nancy Pelosi told us) had to be passed before its contents could be (even) read, let alone understood, discussed, deliberated upon.

      Another instance of “they’re not even faking it anymore”! (Or, their secure in the belief that the key demographics are heads deep in their iPhones, tweeting, being indoctrinated by NPR, etc., and otherwise not paying attention to the main event(s).)

    4. Ms G

      You have to Love Obama’s reaction — not product of deliberation, bla bla bla.

      As opposed to his “signature legacy legislation” — the ACA, ObamaCare — which (as his toady Nancy Pelosi told us) had to be passed before its contents could be (even) read, let alone understood, discussed, deliberated upon!

      Another instance of “they’re not even faking it anymore”! (Or, their secure in the belief that the key demographics are heads deep in their iPhones, tweeting, being indoctrinated by NPR, etc., and otherwise not paying attention to the main event(s).)

  9. Leviathan

    Bear with me for a moment. I’m beginning to think that Weinergate 2.0 is (again) a distraction from the crucial vote (or non-vote) on Amash’s amendment today.

    It’s almost like Weiner is an emergency fire extinguisher. “Break this glass” and all. We could even question whether the sexts that have him on the spot this week were “uncovered” by our friends at the NSA (that would mean that they have the really damning ones under wraps–if he’s a good boy they’ll stay there and he could come back into politics when his kid is ready to go to college…this could also help explain Huma’s “loyalty,” because God knows that strong women everywhere are worrying about her today).

    1. Leviathan

      By the way, where oh where are the American MSM’s stories on the Amash amendment? Coverage of Sen. Wyden’s speech yesterday?

      I see some tacked on derivative, page 12 stories about the NSA lobbying on Capitol Hill but nothing putting the amendment itself front and center.

      Permanent Washington carries a big stick and uses it freely, while our “free press” cowers in a corner. How long until the Guardian is blocked from these shores?

  10. god

    Design of artificial intelligence must read

    [1 paradox]Why 0.999… is not equal to 1?

    Written in 2012

    The current mathematic theory tells us, 1>0.9, 1>0.99, 1>0.999, …, but at last it says 1=0.999…, a negation of itself (Proof 0.999… =1: 1/9=0.111…, 1/9×9=1, 0.111…x9=0.999…, so 1=0.999…). So it is totally a paradox, name it as 【1 paradox】. You see this is a mathematic problem at first, actually it is a philosophic problem. Then we can resolve it. Because math is a incomplete theory, only philosophy could be a complete one. The answer is that 0.999… is not equal to 1. Because of these reasons:

    1. The infinite world and finite world.

    We live in one world but made up of two parts: the infinite part and the finite part. But we develop our mathematic system based on the finite part, because we never entered into the infinite part. Your attention, God is in it.

    0.999… is a number in the infinite world, but 1 is a number in the finite world. For example, 1 represents an apple. But then 0.999…? We don’t know. That is to say, we can’t use a number in the infinite world to plus a number in the finite world. For example, an apple plus an apple, we say it is 1+1=2, we get two apples, but if it is an apple plus a banana, we only can say we get two fruits. The key problem is we don’t know what is 0.999…, we can get nothing. So we can’t say 9+0.999…=9.999… or 10, etc.

    We can use “infinite world” and “finite world” to resolve some of zeno’s paradox, too.

    2. lim0.999…=1, not 0.999…=1.

    3.The indeterminate principle.

    Because of the indeterminate principle, 1/9 is not equal to 0.111….

    For example, cut an apple into nine equal parts, then every part of it is 1/9. But if you use different measure tools to measure the volume of every part, it is indeterminate. That is to say, you may find the volume could not exactly be 0.111…, but it would be 0.123, 0.1142, or 0.11425, etc.

    Now we end a biggest mathematical crisis. But most important is this standpoint tells us, our world is only a sample from a sample space. When you realized this, and that the current probability theory is wrong, when you find the Meta-sample-space, you would be able to create a real AI-system. It will indicate that there must be one God-system in the system, which is the controller. Look our world, there must be one God, as for us, only some robots. Maybe we are in a God’s game, WHO KNOWS?


    More infos, download txt files from:

    1. craazyman

      It all shrinks down to a dot when you think about it long enough, then it disappears completely, and so do you.

        1. craazyman

          faaaak you can’t believe anything mathematicians say.

          In fact, just yesterday I was reading a book about math and they had some ridiculous “paradox” about a barber and set theory.

          They said people got confused when they thought of this: “In a town there’s a barber that shaves all men that do not shave themselves, and only those men. Does the barber shave himself?”

          Somehow this confused people. Sh*t. I figured it out in 5 minutes. First, the barber might not be a man. That solves it. They wouldn’t have thought of that because they’re all men who waste their time with this nonsense. And second, if the barber is a man, he might not be the barber while he’s shaving himself. And how could he be a barber when he’s not a barber? haha.

          F8888ck. Why waster you time with this stuff? God wouldn’t waste his time with nonsense like this. Better do something useful like channeling or watching Adele on Youtube.

            1. Pepe

              0.9999… = 1

              Thus x = 0.9999…
              10x = 9.9999…
              10x – x = 9.9999… – 0.9999…
              9x = 9
              x = 1.

          1. Short Plank

            Perhaps I’m too thick to entertain confusion but:

            1. the set question is, “Does the barber shave HIMself?” Hence the barber must be a man.

            2. IF the barber shaved himself the statement as given would not be true. Thus if we are required to accept the statement as true the reasonable solution is that the barber has a beard. Less likely would be the possibilities that the barber is too young to need to shave, or be hormonally deficient.

          2. anon y'mouse

            he has a beard.

            unless that falls under “those who do NOT shave themselves”, although that to me implies those that submit to the need to conform to the unshaven look.

      1. F. Beard

        I could almost swear there was a song whose lyrics included:

        Me and my umbrella
        are catching lot’s of fellas.

    1. Brindle

      Hillary Clinton is reportedly getting $200k per speech now that she is “out of govt”.
      I’d guess Obama will command a minimum of $250K when he gets out office, likely closer to $300K. So Obama can wipe his orgs debt with just a handful of speeches.

      1. BikeShopStiff

        Reagan got a million from a Japanese corporation for one speech shortly after leaving office.

  11. diptherio

    Re: The New Economics of Part Time Employment

    This article is flawed in a number of respects, imho. For one thing, the author makes a whole lot of assumptions which he simply states without justifying. Economists do this all the time, but that doesn’t make it legitimate. Take this statement, for instance:

    …the Affordable Care Act would…[offer] access to generously subsidized health insurance to part-time employees while denying it to most people who work full time. As a result, more people will work part time (under the law, less than 30 hours a week) rather than full time, and this will occur at significant taxpayer expense.

    Uh…how is he so sure about that? ISTM that there are other considerations that determine how much a person chooses to/is allowed to work, besides just trying to maximize the value of their health insurance benefits. I, for one, don’t know anyone who can simply choose to work only 30 hours a week instead of 40 at their job. Ditto for employers.

    I think we should be skeptical of this guy’s analytic skill in general. In his recent book, The Redistribution Recession, Mulligan argues that food stamps and unemployment insurance caused the recession {facepalm}. This is from Amazon’s description of the book:

    Redistribution, or subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor, unemployed, and financially distressed, have changed in many ways since the onset of the recent financial crisis. The unemployed, for instance, can collect benefits longer and can receive bonuses, health subsidies, and tax deductions, and millions more people have became eligible for food stamps.

    Economist Casey B. Mulligan argues that while many of these changes were intended to help people endure economic events and boost the economy, they had the unintended consequence of deepening-if not causing-the recession. By dulling incentives for people to maintain their own living standards, redistribution created employment losses according to age, skill, and family composition. Mulligan explains how elevated tax rates and binding minimum-wage laws reduced labor usage, consumption, and investment, and how they increased labor productivity.…It reveals the startling amount of work incentives eroded by the labyrinth of new and existing social safety net program rules, and, using prior results from labor economics and public finance, estimates that the labor market contracted two to three times more than it would have if redistribution policies had remained constant.

    So, according to this guy, our unemployment problems are mainly the result of social safety nets. If only we took away unemployment benefits and food stamps, our economy would be booming! Pure genius…

  12. Sanctuary

    About the Ambrose Evans-Pritchard post: I don’t know if you saw it but he referenced an article from earlier in the week in which he shows that GDP in China is really at the 2% level. I suspect that to be the truth since every other metric shows massive lack of demand in the West, low electricity usage rates, low freight tonnage, construction grinding to a halt, etc. There’s just no justification for the 7.5% print other than it is what the Party said it should be so they made the facts fit that number.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It’s probably more credible if China just concentrates on faking jade antiques.

      Apparently there is no scientific, objective way to date jade.

  13. Jim Haygood

    I read the BIS paper cited by Isabella Kaminska in the FT article linked above. She claims that the use of commodities as a diversification tool has been ‘beautifully debunked.’

    Not so fast, sistuh. The commodity index used in the BIS paper is the GSCI (Goldman Sachs Commodity Index). The GSCI’s global trade-weighted methodology produces a notoriously energy-dominated commodity index, which of course is highly volatile.

    More equally-weighted commodity indexes — the CCI (Continuous Commodity Index) to name one, and Rouwenhorst’s SummerHaven Commodity index to name another) — are in fact somewhat less volatile than equities. Over the past several decades, they display a solid record of low correlation with equities, and thus represent a useful diversification tool.

    Had Kaminska claimed that the GSCI is a poor diversification tool, I would not have a problem with her statement (while not necessarily agreeing with it either). However, nowhere in her FT post is the GSCI mentioned. You have to download the BIS paper to discover it.

    So, the sleazy rhetorical trick that Kaminska employs is to substitute ‘commodities’ for ‘GSCI.’ That’s a bit like substituting ‘stocks’ for ‘Nasdaq 100,’ and then claiming that ‘stocks’ are way too volatile. How unprofessional. Just goes to show why ink-stained journos scribble for a living, while fund managers trade for a living. Two different worlds.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      That makes me wonder if this could just be the time to invest in commodities now, if the brainwasher-complex is pooh-pooh-ing it..

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      How many signs do I need to see if my neighbor is spying on me?

      Gotta make sure the home is safe too.

  14. Ms G

    Attempted 3 times to post reply to comment about Amash Amendment. It was eaten 3 times. Giving up.

  15. financial matters

    Money markets.. what could go wrong?

    “”The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 17 quietly issued new guidance to money funds that spells out the risks they could face if borrowers in the tri-party repurchase market collapse.””

    “”In a repo agreement, a fund can buy a security from a bank, which in turn agrees to buy it back after a pre-agreed time-frame, typically weeks or months. That way, the deal provides the bank with short-term cash.

    The third party in a tri-party repo is the clearing bank””

    “”Devastating for Lehman perhaps, but all in all pretty okay for JPMorgan. Better to keep your money, get called a meanie, and be sued years later than to give up the money and hope it all works out. If you have the life-and-death power, and inside information, that comes with being a clearing bank, it’s probably best to use it, even if you end up looking like a jerk.5

    Or so I would have thought. Am I wrong? I’ve never been a clearing bank, and it’s true that my image of how to do it properly is informed mainly by the quite alpha example set by JPMorgan in its dealings with Lehman and, for that matter, MF Global. But for a vast-exposures-and-slim-margins kind of business, that alpha model seems like the right one, no? If you’re not losing a few lawsuits over your overly aggressive actions to protect yourself, you’re probably not doing enough to protect yourself. If you’re bringing the lawsuits it’s hopeless.””

  16. diane

    07/24/13 White House braced for Congress vote on amendment to limit NSA collectionObama opposed to ‘Amash amendment’ as vote provides first test of congressional opinion on widespread NSA surveillance

    “Just how important this vote is was underlined when they started doing the classified briefings and the intelligence community came out in full force and acknowledged this amendment would stop their bulk collection under 215,” the ACLU’s Richardson said.

    Richardson said the legislative scrambling ahead of the Amash amendment was so intense that the outcome of the vote “can’t be predicted right now.”

    A Washington Post poll released on the eve of the debate over the Amash amendment found widespread public skepticism of the NSA. Seventy-four percent of respondents said that the agency’s monitoring of telephone records and internet communications intrudes on Americans’ privacy rights generally, with 49% believing it intrudes on their own.

    Two of the most respected Washington personages on national security issues, Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the Republican and Democratic chairmen of the 9/11 commission, wrote that the bulk surveillance poses “serious questions for our country.”

    “The NSA’s metadata program was put into place with virtually no public debate, a worrisome precedent made worse by erecting unnecessary barriers to public understanding via denials and misleading statements from senior administration officials,” Kean and Hamilton wrote on Politico shortly before the vote on the Amash amendment. Hamilton, a former Indiana congressman, was one of Obama’s earliest foreign policy advisers when the president served in the Senate.


  17. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Safety in cities…

    By Jove!

    Luckily the horse was domesticated a long time ago!

  18. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Labor tension in China is set to explode.

    Wait, that does not, in theory, happens in a communist country.

  19. optimader

    BREAKING NEWS: Woman Gives Birth To Baby

    make that

    BREAKING NEWS: Woman Gives Birth To Parasite

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Sometimes old news is new news and that’s why we recycle news, making news green and sustainable.

      Old News: Goddess Woman Gives Birth to Paradise

  20. charles sereno

    Hi all. Briefly, I’m signing off on commenting and, sincerely, no one should care. I’ll continue reading Links and Posts and (surprise!) Comments, which have so enlightened me and given me incentive to share my AM oatmeal with. My departure is simply because I’m out of my league. It’s not that I think I can’t contribute. It’s just that I can only do a couple of sentences and they won’t get noticed in the flood of erudition. My favorites were (and are) the piquant, pompous, cavalier, impudent, insulting ones (as long as they were short enough to keep my attention). May your pennants (and bad words) fly free!

    1. optimader

      Comments here are merely the separate grains of sand that make up the Beach. Your grain is as valid as anyone else’s.

    2. F. Beard

      When I get up everyday I have a choice, read the Bible first or log on and have some fun by, for example, skewering gold-bugs. I usually choose the later. But truthfully, if I don’t keep up on the Bible reading, I quickly become “uninspired.”

      Thank’s for some of the rare positive feedback I’ve ever gotten. And you will be missed by others too, just like opti has said.

      1. Emma

        C’mon guys, our comments are simply a connection of ideas through the play of words just like Hume’s fork.

        1. F. Beard

          Ha, ha! I just wiki’d Hume’s Fork and no thanks to philosophy in general. Life is too short.

    3. Jackrabbit


      FWIW, I thought you made a contribution.

      I understand how you feel. I am amazed by the time and thought put into the comments by many of NC’s readers.

      It takes a lot just to keep up with what is going on. But when you have some insight or a different perspective that illuminates an issue, I hope you will share it with us.

    4. Lambert Strether

      A comment that isn’t “floodful” can still be valuable. People with a taste for the pithy will certainly skip over the longer comments.

      Your choice, of course, but I’m not sure I agree with your premise. And I’d certainly hate to see the stylistic range of NC comments narrow.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I watch my word count.

        They might appear floodful, but my words per post is quite short.

        I spread my allocation over many comments.

      2. F. Beard

        I should have added this, I’m sorry to say, but Lambert reminds me: :)

        When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
        but he who restrains his lips is wise.
        Proverbs 10:19 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

          1. F. Beard

            Not so good at those but here’s a limeric, I think:

            There once was a banker, Bernanke,
            well versed in all Fed hanky-panky.
            He tried many things rotten
            with linen and cotton
            but ended with nary a “Thank ye!”

    5. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Big Brother will say the same thing, but as often in life, it means something completely different:

      ‘Charles, we will always remember fondly what you have said, even if you decide not to post anymore.’

      1. charles sereno

        Breaking my silence already! But only to thank you guys for your short, clever, and kind remarks. Truth is, I’m not against length, per se. Haven’t we all read something sometime, feeling heartbroken, knowing it must come to an end? The mark of a bard.

        1. charles sereno

          Oops!!! Upon re-reading, I pray I wasn’t misunderstood. I tried to say that I could never be a bard, but I love them so and wish we had more of them.

    6. AbyNormal


      An isolated person requires correspondence as a means of seeing his ideas as others see them, and thus guarding against the dogmatisms and extravagances of solitary and uncorrected speculation. No man can learn to reason and appraise from a mere perusal of the writing of others. If he live not in the world, where he can observe the public at first hand and be directed toward solid reality by the force of conversation and spoken debate, then he must sharpen his discrimination and regulate his perceptive balance by an equivalent exchange of ideas in epistolary form.
      i beg you to reconsider…oatmeal for grits heheheee
      and continue swirlin with us!

      1. LucyLulu

        What Aby says.

        I’ve enjoyed your posts, Charles. Me thinks you underestimate yourself.

        Granted the brainpower around here can be quite intimidating. But if brilliance is a requirement, shit, there’s quite a few, including myself, who should quit posting.

        Naked Capitalism, Equal Opportunity Employer

  21. frosty zoom

    But you do have those Michigan winters as an offset…

    i wish.

    this july it’s the swamp. rain, rain, rain…

    winter? oh, i remember that.

  22. Skeptic

    GOP insurrection heats up over surveillance Salon (Lambert).

    If you are running a large, criminal Wall Street bank with tens of thousands of employees, would you consider it in the bank’s interest to have all your employees’ emails, cellphone calls and other communications recorded for posterity and analysis? Then along with access to other databases an out–of-control Government Agency throws all this into a pot and then begins massaging. Hmmmm, seems to me you would never know when the Shoe Might Drop. Political, ideological and economic winds have been known to change, sometime quite suddenly. All that data stored, all those years. Quite worrisome. Who you gonna call, errr contact somehow? You might just get your for sale Gongress working on this.

    Just one of the powerful vested interests which may not be enamored of the SPOOX running amok.And, if I were an influential billionaire, I would want myself and my employees exempted from such free trade interrupting surveillance. After all, I have gotten lots of exemptions already, like paying taxes, for instance.

    1. F. Beard

      Not to mention that Republicans may be some of the biggest hypocrites wrt sexual sins?

  23. Hugh

    The New Sicko-nomy is a good take on the crapification of American jobs during the so-called “recovery”.

    The author does make one error though in equating two categories: Not in the Labor Force Want a Job Now and the Marginally Attached.

    The Marginally Attached (2.582 million, seasonally unadjusted) have looked for work in the last year but not the last month. They are a subset of the Not in the Labor Force Want a Job Now (6.580 million, adjusted; 7.152 million, unadjusted). Alpert’s 6.6 million of the marginally attached actually refers to the second category.

    The U6 rate is a measure of un- and under employment and is the sum of the U3 unemployed, involuntary part timers, and the marginally attached divided by the labor force.

    Alpert considers the decline in the participation rate from 2001 to the recession beginning in December 2007 due to unspecified demographic factors. The reality is a lot simpler. After the dot com bust and the 2001 recession, the Bush Administration had a bad to weak jobs creation record. Even the housing bubble couldn’t mask it, and when the housing bubble went splat, and more particularly the subsequent meltdown, the bottom fell out of the participation rate.

    As for real earnings, these have been largely flat since around 1980.

  24. Hugh

    If you have the stomach for it, Obama’s speech on the economy can be found here:

    It starts out with a lot of bragging about how far the economy has come under Obama’s watch. Yippee! Hooray!

    “So you add it all up, and over the past 40 months, our businesses have created 7.2 million new jobs.” The kicker here is that these are private sector jobs. Obama does not mention that government jobs fell by 600,000 over this same period. Or that the total of all jobs (public and private) remains 2.154 million below the January 2008 high point. And he especially doesn’t say that this high point was itself nothing much to brag about being the product of years of pretty awful jobs growth during the Bush Administration.

    This part of the speech is followed by the BUT we still have a long way to go part:

    “But — and here’s the big “but” — I’m here to tell you today that we’re not there yet. We all know that. We’re not there yet. We’ve got more work to do. Even though our businesses are creating new jobs and have broken record profits, nearly all the income gains of the past 10 years have continued to flow to the top 1 percent.”


    “So in many ways, the trends that I spoke about here in 2005 — eight years ago — the trend of a winner-take-all economy where a few are doing better and better and better, while everybody else just treads water — those trends have been made worse by the recession.”

    If you take this part together with the previous one, the only way the economy is creating (some) jobs and all the profits are going to the 1% is if those jobs being created are crap. I am not sure how one can tread water worse but yes, Virginia, err Obama, things have gotten worse for most Americans, but this can not any longer be ascribed to the recession which technically ended 4 years ago but Obama’s own policies.

    This is no doubt why the speech shifts to blaming the Republicans mode. Obama lays it on pretty thick though blaming the Republicans for the sequester he engineered.

    And from there he moves on to a largely meaningless grab bag of ideas that won’t accomplish much or won’t make it into law. Maybe someone else can take up the narrative from this point because for me he was all sounding like blah, blah, blah.

  25. anon y'mouse

    in the Economonitor article, I am again confronted by the fetish on “wanting full time” and not getting it.

    what that should really say is: needing the income that full-time work would provide, and not getting it. if most of us could make the same amount working 35 hours per week as we would have made working 40, then surely many of us would want our extra 5 hours (need it to commute anyway, probably) back.

    but, since most job creation is part-time AND low status, satisfying those “wanting” and “needing but not really wanting” are rather like fantasies about winning the lottery.

  26. Jackrabbit

    Watching the Amash Amendment vote on C-span…

    Callers to C-span from across the country demonstrate a deep concern for where nsa spying could take the country, and a (surprisingly) good understanding of the issues involved.

      1. from Mexico

        And the house leader tried every trick in the book to avoid a roll call vote, but Amash wasn’t having it:

        Relavent floor proceedings:

        6:21 :43 P.M. H.R. 2397 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Amash amendment No. 100, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Amash demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.

        6:53:20 P.M. H.R. 2397 On agreeing to the Amash amendment; Failed by recorded vote: (Roll no. 412).

      2. Hugh

        On a vote like this, the ayes don’t tell you anything because some of those voting aye might vote no if their votes were needed to defeat the amendment. They only vote aye because they or more specifically the party leadership know their votes won’t be needed. This is especially true on a split, i.e. not party line, vote like this one.

        It’s the no votes, the votes to defeat the amendment, that really tell you where a politician stands, with the NSA and the surveillance state and against the American people.

  27. diane

    On this country’s historic, age old surveillance, that of non-whites:

    07/24/13 Glen Ford Obama Supports the Racial Surveillance That Killed Trayvon

    Hyper-surveillance places the assumption of guilt on the peoples and communities that are targeted – which, in the U.S., means all Black people (even Barack Obama – “until I was a senator,” he said). Hyper-surveillance – its justification and practice – stripped Trayvon Martin of the presumption of innocence, marking him with a fatal presumption of guilt. Two-thirds of whites still believe his death was justified, despite the clear facts of his innocence. That’s why his death is ordinary – because ordinary white people routinely condone such killings.

    And so, in practice, does Obama, despite his press conference theatrics. The president has high praise, and possibly a powerful appointment in store, for Ray Kelly, the New York City Police Commissioner who has overseen and defended over five million stop-and-frisks since 2002, overwhelmingly targeting Black and brown men. Obama is looking for a new head of Homeland Security. “I think Ray Kelly is one of the best there is,” Obama said. Kelly proudly justifies his management of the Mother-of-All-Stop-and-Frisk operations, as intended “to instill fear” in young Blacks and Latinos that they may be patted down by a cop whenever they leave their homes. Kelly also created a massive program to spy on Muslims, not only in New York City but in other localities, and arranged for CIA agents to be embedded in the NYPD to conduct domestic surveillance – which is illegal.


    1. diane

      Very sorry, I messed up the last three links in the above excerpt, they should have been as linked here:

      …“I think Ray Kelly is one of the best there is,” Obama said. Kelly proudly justifies his management of the Mother-of-All-Stop-and-Frisk operations, as intended “to instill fear” in young Blacks and Latinos that they may be patted down by a cop whenever they leave their homes. Kelly also created a massive program to spy on Muslims, not only in New York City but in other localities, and arranged for CIA agents to be embedded in the NYPD to conduct domestic surveillance – which is illegal

      I would have corrected the links much earlier, but my post was snagged in spam for hours (it didn’t post at the 8:PM EDT time noted), I hadn’t known it had posted at all (and thanks for recovering it from spam).

  28. bobw

    Apologies if you already have this. July 21. Math fraud in pensions.”I’m not sure what happened here, but it seems like a bunch of people in a profession, the actuaries, got worried that they were being used by politicians, and decided to investigate, but then that initiative got somehow replaced by a bunch of politicians. I’d love to talk to someone on the inside about this.”

Comments are closed.