Links 11/18/14

How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization io9

Authorities Have No Idea How Family Bought LSD-Contaminated Beef At Walmart Consumerist

Electric shock study suggests we’d rather hurt ourselves than others ScienceMag

Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith Reuters. Lambert had this in Water Cooler but this was such good news I felt compelled to run it a second time.

Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists BuzzFeed. Note the Financial Times made this a lead story.

The moment I learned just how far Uber will go to silence journalists and attack women Pando

Warrant issued as crowdfunded donations vanish KXAN (furzy mouse)

Baggage Blues No More: A Smart Suitcase Raises $1 Million on Indiegogo
Enterpreneur. Wow, do I want my bag geolocated too? Plus notice if you lose your phone or have it stolen, you can’t get into your bag either. How swell is that?

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Moves to Clear Out Occupy Protesters: CRT’s Live Blog – WSJ China Real Time (furzy mouse)

RBA says house price jumps good for economy Sydney Morning Herald. EM: “Some central-banker delusions simply refuse to die.”

The Japanese GDP Release: The Bad and the Not so Bad Menzie Chinn, Econbrowser

Japan’s Abe Announces Election Wall Street Journal

Soon, there won’t be a Europe to be part of Telegraph

Putin claims west is provoking Russia into new cold war as ‘spies’ deported Guardian

Russia Seen as Biggest Threat in Poll Even as Oil Erodes Putin Power Bloomberg

Russia’s Weak Ruble Puts China’s Moscow Development Projects On Hold | Moscow Times (furzy mouse)

Putin Leaves G-20 Meeting Early After Bitterly Chilly Reception OilPrice

This “Putin Isolated” Nonsense Is Dangerous Moon of Alabama

HK authorities clear protest site BBC


Mitt Romney and GOP Want ‘Boots on the Ground’ to Fight ISIS Fiscal Times

Seize Tanker-Trucks Serving Islamic State Areas, UN Panel Says Bloomberg

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

AT&T drops ‘super cookies’ from cellphone data Associated Press (furzy mouse). But not Verizon.

Keeping Secrets Henry Corrigan-Gibbs (Bruce Schneier)

The Persecution of Julian Assange Counterpunch

State Department Email System Hacked: Reports Business Insider

Ahead Of Ferguson Decision, Governor Declares Emergency NPR

Dear SRA: will you be ready if a large law firm fails? FT Alphaville

Standard Chartered Is Outraged That It Is Treated Like A Criminal For Its Criminal Acts Bill Black, New Economic Perspectives

Whither Markets?

Warren Buffett Is Dumping Stocks out the Backdoor Wolf Richter

GRANTHAM: The Stock Market Will Run Deep Into A Bubble Before It Crashes Business Insider (David L)

The spillovers of fiscal and monetary policies Bruegel

Deep Recessions Leave Permanent Scars, Fed Research Finds WSJ Economics

Antidote du jour (Kevin H):

House Finch

And a bonus! Hat tip Scott via Paul B. This ram is my kind of critter. See how he tries to look oblivious when he gets whacked by the heavy bag.

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. craazyman

    where’s that cat in France? how could a 6 foot long wild tiger escape 50 guys with assault rifles and helicopters in a Paris suburb? where is that thing? holy smokes what happened to that cat?

    Yves have you checked behind your bookshelf? Maybe it got back there. I read they talked that cat down to only a few feet long and said it wasn’t a tiger after all. Maybe it can fit behind a bookshelf.

    It could have gotten on a plane and landed at JFK and wandered in from Queens. it’s not inconceivable! Isn’t there an idiot savant someplace who can model this with math? that might help focus us on where to look for that thing. You just hate it when something makes the news and then they forget about it. maybe somebody just made this up. Maybe they didn’t realize they were making it up! that’s weird..

    1. dearieme

      Did you see the advice of the French tiger expert, on how to make a tiger run away? “Shout at it! Preferably in German.”

        1. craazyman

          Well they found it! I never thought they would. I guess I was wrong . . . .

          French “Tiger” Apprehended by Gendarmes

          by D. Tremens, European Correspondent
          World News Service

          (Nov. 18) — Sur le Rive, France
          French police today apprehended a 65 pound house cat that some residents of this Paris suburb mistook for an escaped tiger loose from a local game park. The cat was discovered behind a bakery eating remnants of croissants and pastries, according to informed sources. Reported sightings of a tiger on the loose outside Paris riveted world attention last week, but police and armed game wardens were unable to locate the animal.
          “I thought it was a dog at first,” said Jacques Vallee, a cafe patron who reported the cat to police after it meowed instead of barked. “I was shocked when I realized it was a cat.”
          Local authorities say the cat lived primarily on a diet of fois gras and dessert items left in the trash behind the café. It would sleep during the day and wander the town at night, according to local informed sources.
          “People knew about it, but everybody thought it was a dog,” according to the town’s mayor Charles Forte. “Nobody thought anything of it. It never uttered a sound. It didn’t bark, it didn’t growl. It was usually asleep.”
          Terrified neighbors called the local police after spotting the animal last week standing next to a small tree. Local authorities mounted a search using helicopters and armed squads of paramilitary police but no tiger was found.
          “It’s just one of those things” said Mr. Forte. “You just never know, I guess.”

          1. proximity1

            Yeah, like the man said, “You never know.”

            Say, by the way, just where exactly is the French commune or village or hamlet or whatever it is, cited here as “Sur Le Rive” ?

          2. proximity1

            Found eating croissants and pastries behind a bakery— Mon œil! Blaggeur !

            And, is Mr. “D. Tremens’ ” first name by any chance “Delerium

            Yeah, I thought so.

  2. FreeMarketApologist

    Uber executive Michael claims his statements “do not reflect my actual views”.

    As Frank Zappa said, “your mouth is your religion.”

  3. proximity1

    Pussy Riot: ‘When friendly people like us become enemies of the state, it is very strange’

    by Carole Cadwalladr

    The Observer, [Sunday] 16 November, 2014

    ‘ Nadia is explaining how Masha succeeded in getting the authorities to allow them both to have the books they wanted in jail. “I like theoretical books and they couldn’t provide them for me and they refused to allow people from outside to send me books. Until, after four months, Masha pushed the prison administration to give us the books because she fucked with their brains.”

    ‘ Is that Masha’s special skill? Fucking with people’s brains?

    ‘ “Yes!” says Masha. And her eyes light up and she enunciates the English words carefully: “I’m a fucking brains person.”

    ‘And then they both collapse with laughter.’

    Full feature article at:

  4. dearieme

    Buffet is a wily old cove, isn’t he? Especially the way he gets the media to view his actions entirely uncritically.

  5. Jim Haygood


    Senator Harry Reid of Nevada has long refused to bring a Keystone bill to a vote. But with Senator Mary Landrieu now fighting for her political life, pushing her Keystone legislation through the Senate could be a last chance for her to hold on to her seat.

    In an attempt to bolster [her runoff opponent] Rep. Bill Cassidy, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has promised him a seat on the energy committee if he wins.


    Never mind sound policy — it’s all about the partisan make-up of the world’s most exclusive kountry klub!

    If I were Bill Cassidy, I know whom I’d be running against: Mary Landrieu Obama — Barack’s bath toy; Hussein’s handmaiden; Beelzebub’s barmaid.

    It’ll look like a scene from the gritty B-movie Night of the Living Democrats as voters flee in horror from Typhoid Mary Obama, who will live happily ever after as a well-compensated lobbyist on K Street.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      This HAS to be the wackiest “electoral strategy” I have ever heard.

      When you think about it, what dems are REALLY saying is that if you want something done, DON’T elect us. Landrieu has been there for years, and she doesn’t bring home the bacon until she DOESN’T get elected.

      There must be a lesson for “progressives” in there somewhere.

      So voters DON’T elect Landrieu, get the Keystone Pipeline they presumably want, and THEN they’re supposed to ELECT her???? It makes Gruber’s “stupid voter” statement look positively genius.

      1. James Levy

        dearieme asked yesterday about how America could be so unprepared for Ebola showing up here. I would say this vote on Keystone speaks volumes as to why. The Constitution places the largest number of powers clearly in the hands of Congress, which was supposed to be the locus of governance and until Lincoln was. C. Wright Mills saw the Congress receding into the second rank of power centers all the way back in the 1950s. Today, it is a Tower of Babel. Everyone talks past one another, and only those items on the elite consensus agenda have any chance of passing in a coherent form. Everything else comes out hundreds of pages of lawyer-speak written by lobbyists and staffers waiting to become lobbyists. It’s all opaque so that the Powers that Be can bend it to mean whatever they need it to mean to gain whatever short-term advantage they are looking for. Clear thought and serious consideration are completely absent. No planning takes place because it is considered an evil step in the direction of Socialism and might crimp the style of the elites, who are endlessly looking not for sound policy, but for an angle or a loophole.

        Without a functioning, serious, deliberative Congress, our political system can’t work as intended. I understand that this is the point. But it has put the USA in a nightmarish situation where when reality intrudes, we have no body of serious legislators or informed, empowered bureaucrats to deal with it. Everything must be endlessly improvised by people with little knowledge and short time horizons. If a plague or massive disaster hits, we are toast.

        1. Paul Niemi

          Everett Dirksen said, “When I start to feel the heat, I start to see the light.” So when the voters show they can throw the bums out, the smarter people in Congress will see how legislating in good faith is the only alternative to what you have described.

        2. Banger

          Well, the system created in the 18th century and fleshed out in the 19th is, to put it simply, obsolete and has been thoroughly gamed by the oligarchs. We have no Republic, and no Constitution and no democracy either. We have an Empire run by and for a gaggle of running con games and factions within the oligarchy–our new nobility.

          We need direct democracy–no middle men, aka Congress.

          1. sufferin' succotash

            Or at least a unicameral Congress elected by proportional representation (abolishing single-member constituencies would eliminate gerrymandering, for one thing) with publicly-funded campaign financing.

  6. jef

    “How farming…” – What seems left out of this analysis is how population density allows for certain individuals to extract small increments of the production of many others. In other words not having to work or as I am sure they would put it using their brains instead of their physical labor. This allows the individual to accumulate way more that the laborer and therefore elevate that person to a higher position in society. Eventually that person can buy and sell…not just produced items but the means of production aka labor. Eventually this becomes oppression and exploitation and the people/the 99% rebel and its game over. Next time it starts up the “certain individuals” who extract understand that if they wish to perpetuate this sweet deal they must make clear up front the threat of extreme violence to any who do not conform. This has been documented over and over to varying degrees of success.

    Then along comes debt based money which accomplishes the same thing but is so subtle that most do not rebel they simply comply.

    We know this about ourselves yet we allow this pattern to occur over and over.

      1. trish

        sorry, meant to include these parts from the post:

        “The problem is that people in Neolithic mega-villages had inherited a system of social organization and spirituality from their nomadic forebears. Because nomadic life requires everyone in the group to share resources to survive, these groups would develop rituals and customs that reinforced a very flat social structure. Certainly there would be families that had more prominent positions in a hunter-gatherer group or small village, but if they ever started hoarding resources too much that would be bad for the entire group. So people would strongly discourage each other from ostentatious displays of social differences…
        …but once you have a thousand people living together, it’s harder to have a flat social structure…As soon as somebody took enough power to be a representative or proto-politician, other people would rail against them. He believes that major conflicts may have grown out of this tension between a belief in flat social organization and the need to create social hierarchies in larger societies… when cities re-emerge in the 4,000s BCE, they have rigid social hierarchies with kings, shamans, and slaves…
        …In a sense, agriculture was a technology that came before human civilization was ready. It gave humans the means to grow into large settlements and proto-cities. But we’d spent tens of thousands of years as nomads before that, and weren’t yet ready to abandon our ancient beliefs that [nobody] should ever accumulate more than [his] neighbors.

    1. gordon

      I’m not aware of any evidence of plague at Catalhuyuk or other large Neolithic settlements. As far as social organisation goes, I don’t see why Catalhuyuk should have survived for (according to Annalee Newitz’ article) two thousand years before the inhabitants realised that their social organisation was inadequate and went off to live in small villages.

      Newitz says “…when cities re-emerge in the 4,000s BCE, they have rigid social hierarchies with kings, shamans, and slaves”. There is no evidence for that. Gwendolyn Leick’s book “Mesopotamia: the Invention of the City” is in fact at pains to point out that there isn’t evidence of much social stratification in the earliest Mesopotamian cities, even though they erected some enormous buildings. I might just mention here that the “artist’s impression of the ancient city of Uruk” included in Newitz’ article shows a ziggurat – but there was no ziggurat in the earliest Uruk levels, though there were plenty of other big buildings.

      Newitz’ claim that the earliest Mesopotamian cities “had writing” is just wrong. The cities and the monumental architecture at Uruk pre-date writing. And she is wrong again when she says writing “is primarily used to tally up who lives where and owns what”. The earliest writing is in fact a kind of record-keeping which could just as easily be interpreted as the records of a collective farm as of some kind of proto-capitalism.

      These sorts of stories without evidence are really myths. They remind me of the myth of how a barter economy morphed into a money economy so often taught in economics courses. There is no evidence for that myth, even though generations of economics students have been taught it. In her article it looks to me as though Newitz is publicising a myth of management – that you need a management hierarchy (like the ones we are so used to today) if you want a big city, a big organisation, a big empire etc.

      1. gordon

        Re: the myth of barter and money – The Archdruid took a run at this recently – see Links for 16 Nov.

  7. Larry Headlund

    Mitt Romney and GOP Want ‘Boots on the Ground’ to Fight ISIS Fiscal Times

    It would be nice to get a Status of Forces Agreement signed first, otherwise those “boots” could be tried in Iraqi courts.

    1. cwaltz

      Pesky details, none of the 1% like Mitt “boots on the ground” Romney will actually be on the ground, and who cares if the 99s shoot up innocent brown people! Pick up your pom poms and cheer for the loss of your tax dollars and American lives. The MIC must be fed.

  8. McMike

    Possible practical example of Verizon cell phone signature code (or Google persistent cookie):

    No matter what privacy/security settings I invoke, the Youtube app on my iphone remembers who I am, and makes video recommendations obviously tailored to me.

    Not a huge surprise of course. But just an example of how there is really no practical way for everyday folks to avoid the monetization surveillance. (Except for going Luddite and fully opting out)

    1. bob

      You tube is very heavily integrated with android, the location aware mobile by design operating system.

      youtube = google = android

      One of the simplest android devices is the nook e-reader. It’s impossible to use without logging in via google/youtube. There is a “hack” where you can change the OS on it, but you still have to register it though youtube, before it will work.

      It is “possible” to use it without registering, but there is a built in annoyance, you only get about 10% of the battery life without being tied to google.

  9. DJG

    Somehow, as I look at the list of headlines related to Putin, I’m wondering if this confrontation is necessary. On the other hand, I have no doubt that both the Democrats and Republicans managed to manufacture it. But it is a crisis with no basis. Putin could have been de-fanged (as it were) through negotiations, much as the Iranians seem to be coming rationally to decisions through negotiations with the jittery and irrational West. But neither Obama nor McCain nor Hillary Clinton nor… has the wherewithal to understand another’s point of view.

    1. kapala

      Wow – kinda all over the map there. Let’s see is we can clear this up:
      only the “west” needs defanging.
      Putin is doing his level best to deal with the fascists foisted upon Ukraine while avoiding a larger confrontation while slowly defanging the “west”.
      IF (BIG BIG IF) Iran did/does intend to develop a nuclear weapon (imho they only want threshold capability) this is not an irrational policy given the nuclear armed zionist vampire that most urgently requires defanging. The only reason the “west” “negotiates” with North Korea (as opposed to “colors” with a revolution) is nukes.

      It is the jittery and irrational “west” that is the issue here. They are the ones on the offensive.

      1. Gaianne


        Well said.

        Having lived through the First Cold War and now watching the development of the Second Cold War–which is, indeed, completely bogus–I am having to re-evaluate my understanding. Through observing the similarity of machinations, it is now becoming clear that more of the First Cold War was bogus (that is, utter shameless lies by the US) than I had thought.


  10. McMike

    re Farming.

    Was it Joesph Campbell or Paul Shepard who linked the rise of hierarchy to the introduction of horses?

    Hunter-gatherer cultures were the ultimate meritocracy. If you can’t haul yourself and your own stuff around, you were toast.

    1. McMike

      They were also models of collective cooperation.

      It took several people to bring down and process large game. There was no way to keep it all for yourself, or consume it all before spoiling anyway. And you needed someone to watch the wife and kids while you were on a hunt.

      Hierarchy required resource (wealth) accumulation, which required stationary living.

        1. James Levy

          I think the most viable conclusion based on the evidence we have now is that people were extremely cooperative within the in group and extraordinarily ruthless and lethal towards those outside. And our close relatives the chimps and the baboons have hierarchies without private property or accumulation. It must be pointed out, however, that the evidence is far from conclusive any which way, although the Rousseauian notion prevalent among Anthropologists 30 years ago that Neolithic people were a bunch of tree-hugging goddess worshipers has been shot to hell. Too many skeletons with arrow and club damage for that to hold up, although some still try.

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            Perhaps during periods of resource scarcity. There is evidence of cannibalism at some Neanderthal sites.

            We also ask why is it that humans migrated all the way to the tip of South America – if they were just following and chasing prey, maybe some animals did travel from Asia to here, but more likely the early humans would also backtrack to Africa, in every direction of the compass. A more plausible explanation is the direction of any early human migration was to move away from existing populations.

            With a smaller population and more space, it was easier to be peaceful. More equality as well…and they had peace more often than today….turn the other cheek, move away , move to another territory (the whole clan, not just the elites)…until we run out of room here and have to go into outer space (only the elites this time…this time is different…harder, more costly, more resource-exacting), to reproduce our ‘success.’

          2. Banger

            Human beings are infinitely flexible and are capable of a broad variety of activities and societal structures–but we have the capacity for connection and, since one of the projects of modernism is to create a global civilization not dominated by tribalism it is best to nurture our connective tendencies to encompass the planet itself and not just our small group.

          3. bob

            I remember, in reading about the celts, how they were thought to practice infanticide/human sacrifice.

            What if that behavior could be called “rational’? Only so much food to get through the winter. You can always make more kids.

            Not that I agree, but it seems that a case could be made….

        1. scraping_by

          Big game hunting was at its most widespread during the last Ice Age. Today in Alaska and the rest of the Arctic, simply hanging strips of meat in the cold, dry wind drives out the moisture so it becomes essentially eternal, without losing most of its nutritional value. The warmer, more humid air of the temperate zones guarantees untreated meat will rot, but ripened grain has only a tiny moisture content, and will store without too much damage for at least a year, until the next harvest. So the retreat of the glaciers made farming a better bet than hunting.

          Climate change drives economic change. Who would’ve thought?

          1. tiebie66

            Agreed, climate change is an important driver of human activity. Climate change is the most likely cause of ‘pristine’ agriculture. Note that a semi-global, severe drought occurred around 8000 years ago (Alley et al., 1997 “Holocene climatic instability…”) as the Natufian population (Fig. 4 in the article) was increasing. People displaced due to resources becoming scarce migrate to where they are still plentiful. If the latter region is geographically isolated by expanding wasteland, populations will become trapped in this region, resources dwindle more, and people will be forced to start eating things that they normally did not before. Eating the seeds of grasses is an act of desperation, not an act of inspiration. During such a prolonged period of forced ‘settlement’ lasting many generations, people forget many of their old foraging techniques and adopt to new circumstances. Thus, they do not readily revert to foraging when the climate improves.

            When a second severe adverse climate event, many generations later, displaces a new wave of foragers to these same locations, they find holdover settled populations there. Compared to the displaced foragers, distressed by hunger and long migrations, the settled populations were much better off resulting in near instantaneous, natural stratification between these two populations.

            The lack of a relationship between climate events and population growth reported for Europe may hold true for populations that already practiced agriculture or adopted it by way of learning (or for populations in Europe only), but is really irrelevant to Newitz’s Anatolian example. In many other places (Harappa, India; Hunan, China; Caral/Paloma, Peru) population increases, agriculture, and settlement were preceded by severe adverse climate changes.

    2. diptherio

      Hierarchy showed up in the Western Plains tribes not with the introduction of the horse, but rather with the introduction of Anglo culture. Just sayin’….

      1. McMike

        Perhaps because the horses were distributed more widely through he tribe. In the hierarchy model, the only ones with horses are the elite (and their private security forces).

        I remember reading about the US government’s practice of “shopping” for an amenable chief to sign giveaway treaties. Many tribes didn’t really have chief like that, or at least with that sort of unilateral authority. But the government would find one that was willing to show up and sign, and then the government would call it a done deal.

        And the evictions would commence.

      2. gordon

        Subthreads are hard. I thought I had put my comment on the Neolithic settlements link in the right place, but now I find I maybe didn’t (it’s upthread, if anybody here is interested). There are two subthreads. I’ve got no idea what the solution to that is, but it is a bit irritating.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      My guess is some ‘enslaved farmers’ escaped ‘civilization’ to become horse-riding nomads…a new breed of hunter-gatherers, unlike the pedestrian Paleolithic hunter-gatherers.

      Maybe the horse brought hierarchy to ‘civilized worlds,’ but it also gave freedom to those who could escape.

    4. Vatch

      Horses may have influenced the rise of hierarchy in Eurasia, but hierarchy developed in portions of the Americas without them. The Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations were heavily hierarchical, and horses had been extinct in the Americas for several thousand years before those civilizations emerged. I suspect Cahokia and other Mississippian civilizations were also hierarchical, but I don’t know how much the archaeologists have been able to determine about their social structures.

    1. Clive

      Not least because many of its products lines are, at least as far as my experience goes, overpriced, crapified tat.

  11. rich

    Firm Accused Of Illegal Practices That Push Families Into Foreclosure

    ‘It’s Robbery’

    The lawsuit alleges that Ocwen has been charging marked-up and illegal fees as well as engaging in deceptive business practices.

    about time?

    oh wait…he’s revered….so nothing will probably happen?

    Bill Erbey Made $2.3B Off Your Underwater Mortgage

    “He has a very unusual combination of capabilities,” says billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, who joined Erbey on the board of Ocwen after it bought a company called Homeward Residential for $750 million in cash and stock from him last year. “You find some executives who are good strategists but not so good at the details of operation. He’s good at both. And then in addition he has been totally brilliant at capital markets activities.”

    You probably haven’t heard of Erbey, and even the companies he oversees aren’t familiar to most people. But if you’re behind on your mortgage payments, you are more likely to be dealing with Ocwen and one of its 5,097 India-based call center operators than you are with any other company. A mortgage servicer is essentially a debt collector. Ocwen, which specializes in nonperforming loans, services $130 billion of the $1 trillion in delinquent mortgage loans in the U.S.

    1. psychohistorian

      Thanks for the link and your ongoing contribution of examples of financial immorality/criminality to NC.

  12. Eureka Springs

    Equally appalling to someone putting LSD in beef is the medical industrial complex reaction to people on LSD. Intubation had to be the worst possible idea for a patient on LSD…. but then they take it a step further and force a caesarean section upon the mother!

      1. bob

        Funny bit about LSD- You don’t have to “eat it”. Touching it does the same thing. The skin will absorb it.

        Handling the uncooked meat could have caused it.

        1. bob

          Also adding, the LSD is out of your system within an hour or less. It isn’t the LSD that “causes” the trip, it just starts it, the brain does the rest.

          Very weird stuff.

        2. optimader

          I would suppose the entire family didn’t pass the meat around before cooking it.
          More to the story I suspect.

          1. bob

            Yeah, it doesn’t make sense as presented. Only one “package” was contaminated? To do that would require a lab tech level of care be taken, and then for the meat to be immediately packaged, and not “leak”.

            The linked story also says that the victims were polygraphed, and found to be telling the truth. Huh? Not that I doubt the victims. How many cargill/walmart employes were polygraphed?

            The melting point of LSD is over 175 degrees F (well done), and even that doesn’t “break it down”.

            To the c-section birth- LSD and similar things will induce labor. A few ‘legal’ drugs for that purpose were developed in the same ergot line as LSD.

    1. bob

      Amazing. I’ve dealt pretty well with people having a “bad trip” before. Just sit down and try to relax. In one of those instances I had a gaggle of EMT’s swarm us. Poking, prodding and demanding an emergency room visit.

      No f-ing way. The patient didn’t have ID (first, best way to stop them), so they were reluctant. A few hours passed in a makeshift first aid room and we snuck out the back door, completely fine, no worse for wear.

      1. psychohistorian

        Thanks for the good info about LSD.

        As we legalize marijuana around the country it would do us well to bring out the truth (to the extent we currently know) about the drug, its use and potential abuse. The existing sub-culture is compromised by the illegality surrounding it for so many years, IMO.

        1. bob

          I’m not sure. Ignorance has brought us some great comedy-

          “I strained to remember where I was or even what I was wearing, touching my green corduroy jeans and staring at the exposed-brick wall. As my paranoia deepened, I became convinced that I had died and no one was telling me.”

          “I think we’re dead”…

          No one has ever died as a direct result of marijuana or LSD. It’ll pass.

    2. bob

      There was, within the last year or two, a former ‘subject’ of MKultra who sued and won, finally.

      He was a police officer on the west coast. They dosed him, without his knowledge. He ‘lost it’ and then his job. Can’t find the story. It was a good one.

    3. ambrit

      I guess it’s just me, but I first read that line as, “…LSD contaminated beer at Walmart.”
      That would have been much scarier, since beer does a similar job adequately by itself.

    4. evodevo

      I don’t understand how it survived the cooking process – heat, chlorine and a number of other things will degrade LSD quickly. Whole thing sounds fishy to me.

  13. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Grantham – the stock market to run deep into bubble before crashing.

    I think that is what motivates speculators to get up out of their beds each morning.

    “I can’t afford to miss capturing as least part of that parabolic rise…(half or a third of a 1,000% move is still a lot)…and I know I can get out before other greedy b*stards…I am…nimble and smart…”

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Electric shock study.

    Did they include people who were too rich to need experiment money to participate in the study?

    Maybe they should try electric shocking people occupying the top floors of Wall Street to see if the conclusion still holds.

    1. cwaltz

      I was thinking the same thing. The problem with most of the sociopaths and psychopaths is they think far too highly of themselves to care about other folks and their feelings. They never got past that toddler stage where you become part of a bigger picture.

      1. trish

        how surprising that I immediately thought the same thing, as well. pain for profit is one of their primary business models.

    2. optimader

      The Simpsons S1E4 Shock Therapy

      Stupid things kids do.. we had a wind up dynamo, I thing for a field telephone. When playing games like Trivial Pursuit, the loser had to take a crank or two and the winner earned an adult beverage (or was it the other way around?).

      1. bob

        I’ve seen that dynamo at bars. “everyone” holds hands in a circuit until one “quits” and has to buy the next round.

  15. Andrew Watts

    RE: Uber Executive Suggests Digging Up Dirt On Journalists

    What an idiot! Doesn’t he know that journalists are like cops? You threaten or insult one of their kind and you’re going to end up fighting them all. If you tweek Canada’s Royal Mounted Police you’re screwing with the American FBI and so on.

    RE: Keeping Secrets

    A good review of history seeing as I’m not overly familiar with this time period. The story continues into the present day as the research that was done into cryptography continued and stirred another widely known controversy in the early 90s with the advent of PGP. Which was primarily coded based upon research conducted in that field. Thanks to Hellman and Co, the creator of PGP was easily able to demonstrate that his work was based upon information in the public domain. Avoiding a possible jail sentence and enormous fines for the creation and proliferation of encryption.

    The Clinton Administration responded with their Clipper chip proposal which failed spectacularly. Shortly after this the NSA switched gears from trying to stop the spread of encryption to actively sabotaging it. Which is where we are in the present.

    The moral of the story is that small groups of individuals have fought the NSA; academic researchers, computer programmers/hackers, and military historians/journalists (“Yay for David Kahn!”) and prevailed. Though it hasn’t ever deterred the NSA from it’s primary mission of collecting signal/electronic intelligence. Which is as close to an acceptable compromise as we’ll ever get.

    1. Howard Beale IV

      Of course, the idiot who made those statements is still on Uber’s payroll. too bad-he and others of his ilk won’t meet this fate., which France came up with a slightly more humane method in the 1800s (if you could call it that…)

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I just loved how relentless he was, even with not being terribly smart about it. He was gonna beat that bag into submission and he did! And the occasional getting whacked back by the bag just seemed to make him more determined.

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