Links 8/1/2023

Dear patient readers,

I want to very much thank you for the advice re finding a way to bridge from WiFi to Ethernet so I could use my Vonage router (Vonage personal offers only hard wired routers; I had tried Vonage Business which does allow using WiFi on devices before I left the US and had a simply dreadful experience, including it taking 50 minutes with a tech support specialist to record an outbound greeting (WTF?!?!) and not having international calls enabled as the default (?!?!?) and rather than having that be a simple setting the account owner could flip, it took them 72 hours to enable it).

One or maybe even several someones suggested in comments that rather than go buy some equipment, I could use my Mac to bridge. This was actually trivially easy (yours truly has multiples of every type of cord and cable I could conceivably need, so I already possessed many Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapters) once I found the critical steps, one of which was not obvious but I did find after more poking around on the Internet.

Since this is not tidily explained anywhere else (tutorials on using a Thunderbolt bridge are about transferring files from one Mac to another), the steps are

Connect device you want to get the WiFi on the device WAN port to the Thunderbolt port on the Mac using Ethernet cable and the Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter

In System Preferences>Network Settings>Network, in the panel on the left, enable Thunderbolt Ethernet

You need to provide the correct IP address in the IP address field for the WiFi connection, which you can find when you click on WiFi in the same panel. It is in the text right under the “Connected” in bold

The step that eluded me initially is you ALSO need to enable Internet Sharing, which is under System Preferences>Sharing. You check Internet Sharing in the panel on the left. It then makes you select what you want to share, which is WiFi from a dropdown on the right side and then you check Thunderbolt Ethernet in the list below.


This was way way easier than getting Vonage to work on Tesla’s early DSL rollout in Sydney in 2002, which took hours of experimentation with NAT and port forwarding configurations. I so rarely can figure out and implement anything tech wise on my own that I am chuffed despite this being, as I said, very easy once you unearthed the steps.

However I am still fighting a very uphill battle with T-Mobile to get them to provide the service that every one of the now-way-too-many customer service reps I have contacted says I have under my plan, which is being able to use the account overseas. It is shocking to see the way the T-Mobile reps dispense lots of empathy and then flat out lie about what they are doing (I literally had three reps running say they had put in a ticket, only to find that nothing of the kind had happened on subsequent calls…then to get a ticket put in where I finally got a ticket #…only to find another 3 calls later that it was a mere customer complaint ticket and did NOT escalate my matter to the tech support team, even though the reps by that point had acknowledged in their tickets that I had a provisioning problem. Oh, and T-Mobile does not allow customers to speak directly to tech support). I was also repeatedly promised call-backs and/or e-mail updates, with reps dutifully taking my phone number and no follow up ever happened. I have now e-mailed Jon Freier, President, T-Mobile Consumer Group (oddly T-Mobile makes his coordinates public) and have one escalatory step beyond that before I write a suitably caustic post.

And why haven’t I taken the logical step of just abandoning T-Mobile and porting out my #? Because I am trapped. I can no longer access a recent statement showing I own the account. I attempted a password reset and that failed because T-Mobile confirm that with SMS, which I cannot receive. And that same phone number is the one that Citi, on ofe my two banks (added very recently because supposedly the best of a bad lot at international) uses for two factor verification, and they do not allow any other method for that. I was always hugely leery of SMS for two-factor verification. My prejudices have been almost immediately borne out.

* * *

Video captures Bengal Tiger in India on Int’l Tiger Day Anadolu Agency

Rare Golden Gar Fishing Fury. Lance N: “I think it was 1 out of 40k gars are golden.”

For the Love of God, Stop Microwaving Plastic Wired (Kevin W)


Long Covid is debilitating 65M people. Where is the urgency to treat it? Los Angeles Times (Paul R)

Incidence of Diabetes in Children and Adolescents During the COVID-19 Pandemic JAMA (Paul R). From last week, still germane.

US must show that Seoul, Manila made right choices Asia Times (Kevin W)


Will there be enough cables for the clean energy transition? Financial Times (Kevin W)

As ‘farming ugly’ grows in Minnesota, more money and regulation arrive StarTribune (Chuck L)

Water-Soluble Circuit Boards Could Cut Carbon Footprints By 60 Percent engadget

If a Cactus Can’t Survive This, Neither Can You Jessica Wildfire (Dr. Kevin). I disagree with dissing the merit of increasing heat tolerance. I adapted somewhat in the South and kept the house at 78 degrees in the summer…which did result in my needing a space heater in their short winters. Better heat tolerance allows you to function well without a/c and even potentially fans (as in among other important things, sleep pretty well). I regularly see Thais wearing long sleeves and even sweaters (like a thin fleece pullover or a cotton sweater) in mid to upper, 80 degree temps. Now if someone can advise on how to increase both heat and cold tolerance, please pipe up!

Professor Jason Box – Atmospheric River Rapids + why next year will be worse + what can we do? YouTube (Chuck L)

The Guardian view on a water crisis: Uruguay points to a wider issue – and to solutions Guardian

Rain panel power: super energy or stupid energy? Spectator Australia

Climate Change Obsession Is a Real Mental Disorder Wall Street Journal (Kevin W). If you can’t win an argument on the merits, go ad hom.

The Profound Loneliness of Being Collapse Aware Alan Urban (Chuck L)

The first US nuclear reactor built from scratch in decades enters commercial operation in Georgia Associated Press (Kevin W)


Chuck L recommends scrolling down to the videos:

Biden urged to completely cripple AI chips to China The Register

The US and Europe Are Growing Alarmed By China’s Rush Into Legacy Chips Time

Taiwan Considering Costly Life Extension For Problematic French Mirage 2000 Fighters Military Watch

Niger coup makers: Ousted gov’t ‘authorised French attack to free Bazoum’ Al Jazeera

Old Blighty

UK house prices record biggest drop since 2009 Financial Times

‘My father put his life savings into a retirement home. I had to sell it for £30,000’ Telegraph

New Not-So-Cold War

Inside the Wagner Group’s Armed Uprising New Yorker (furzy). Have not had the time to read to get a sense of substance to spin ratio.

The Other Counteroffensive to Save Ukraine:A New European Recovery Program Lawrence H. Summers, Philip Zelikow, and Robert B. Zoellick, Foreign Affairs.

By contrast, note SCOTT RITTER ON UKRAINE, BELARUS AND POLAND YouTube. Ritter, among other things, describes why Ukraine is done. Russia has taken and is not given back 20% of the country, its best economic engine, and that is not coming back. Russia will probably take more. Most important, Ukraine women have left in droves and will not come back to a Ukraine that will be nearly entirely agricultural. As Ritter notes, being a farm wife is hard work and most modern women are not signing up for that. So reconstructing what remains of Ukraine is a lost cause, even before getting to the wee problem that the point of reconstruction money will be the looting by Western interests and the locals.

Big red warning on the tweet below as to being unverified. One reason this might not be a fabrication is that Ukraine is massively corrupt (as Ritter underscores above), so it’s not hard to think anything could be purchased for enough money:


Afghans in Pakistan say US help is so slow they’re being sent back to the Taliban they fled CNN (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

I Gazed Into Worldcoin’s Orb and Saw a Boring Dystopia Staring Back Gizmodo

Imperial Collapse Watch

When I Talk About...Andrei Martyanov (Chuck L). On US inability to paln operationally and strategically.

How Lockheed’s $7.9B stock buyback bonanza is paid for by you Responsible Statecraft


Why Trump’s poll lead went up after criminal indictments BBC (furzy)

Georgia’s Broad Racketeering Law May Now Ensnare Donald Trump New Yorker (furzy)

Donald Trump’s defamation lawsuit against CNN over ‘the Big Lie’ dismissed in Florida Associated Press (furzy). For a guy who likes to litigate, the Trump filings I have read have have been piss poor. Long on screeds, short on arguments and sufficient mapping from alleged facts to relevant law.

Trump has spent millions more than he’s raised in 2023 Politico


Former business partner says Hunter Biden sold ‘illusion’ of access to Joe Biden, source says CNN (Kevin W)

Versus: ‘ Biden spoke at 20 of son’s foreign business meetings – media ‘ RT

‘My guy’: Hunter Biden partner Devon Archer says Joe Biden was on calls with foreign patrons for ‘the brand’ New York Post. Note not the lead story


Ron DeSantis’s economic plan is to topple ‘elites’ from the Fed and C-suites Yahoo! (furzy)

RFK Jr’s super PAC is mostly funded by a GOP megadonor who spent millions on Trump and bankrolled an effort to build a border wall in Texas Business Insider. Remember PACs are independent of the campaign.

High school boys are trending conservative The Hill (Li)

Our No Longer Free Press

Musk’s X Sues Non Profit That Tracks Hate Speech Over Report Bloomberg (furzy). I am not a Musk fan but I am a strong form free speech supporter. I have been bothered by media claims banding accusations of “hate speech” when it is hate crimes that are illegal while even hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. Putting on my Foghorn Leghorn Law School hat, I would assume speech would have to be a very direct attempt to incite a hate crime to fall under hate crime prohibitions.

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Regulate Online Speech (Elizabeth Warren & Lindsey Graham) Libertarian Institute (Kevin W). This is wrapped in the pretense of being mainly concerned about protecting consumer data, but that horse left the barn and was in the other county way before 2010. Don’t kid yourself that this is a Trojan horse for yet more censorship.

Facebook to Unmask Anonymous Dutch User Accused of Repeated Defamatory Posts ars technica


The Secret History of Gun Rights: How Lawmakers Armed the N.R.A. New York Times


Can Doctor AI predict cancer, save lives? Aljazeera

Google’s Jigsaw Was Fighting Toxic Speech With AI. Then the AI Started Talking Fast

Inflation Narratives and Their Consequences Institute for New Economic Thinking

Autoenshittification: How the computer killed capitalism/a> Cory Doctorow. Important.

Class Warfare

Paralyzed man dies 90 minutes before Michigan court restores his home care Detroit News (ma). What an awful country.

The tyranny of merit Lars P. Syll

Customers want instant gratification. Workers say it’s pushing them to the brink Associated Press

Antidote du jour (Chet G):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. W Pedersen

    Regarding advice on how to increase heat and cold tolerance, the Wim Hof Method is great way to do this. The practice has benefits in increasing tolerance to all types of stress, mental and physical.

    1. Paul O

      Just the breathing? Or does it have to involve the cold showers? I tried out the breathing for a while but would really need a powerful pep talk to take a cold shower.

      1. Joe Well

        If it does require cold showers that’s some hilarious First World brain. I just lived through a heat wave near Cancun, and you can’t get cold or even cool tap water at any time of the day or night when it’s that hot out, and ice will melt to lukewarm in minutes.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Likely we will have no choice but to get used to higher heat levels the way that climate change is accelerating. But when I read that original article about getting to learn to live with the heat is sounded vaguely familiar. And then I realized where I had hear it before – and from the same sort of people. So two years ago we were told to ‘learn to live with Covid’. Now we are being told to ‘learn to live with the heat’. In both cases it is governments abandoning any pretense about doing anything for people and throwing it all onto the backs of the little people who are told to make their own ‘personal assessments.’ And if they make the wrong one or have no control in the matter, it is all their fault – not the governments.

      1. The S

        Ditto. The “Learn to increase your own personal heat tolerance” sounds like “reduce your carbon footprint by recycling and walking to the store,” which turned out to be individualistic non-solutions when it should have been “work together to ban industrial manufacturers from producing plastic bottles, and fire the Exxon executives into the sun.”

      1. t

        There’s a world of difference between stepping away from the American norm of considering cold air “comfortable “and pretending that humans can magically adapt to dangerously high temperatures.

        1. Bsn

          This whole concept is complete Bee Ess. I’ll never forget a picture in an article, early on in the 2nd Iraq war (or was it the 3rd, 4th? So many I forget now – but I digress). The article was about how well the US soldiers were doing and that they had bottles of water in their humvees for their breaks. The picture showed some Iraqi “insurgents” running through a cemetery full of concrete headstones on a 100+ degree day wearing black clothes all over their bodies, hoods included. I figured, no way are we gonna win when their fighters are running (yes running) around dressed in all black while we take breaks ’cause it’s too hot.
          My point is it takes generations if not centuries to get used to extreme cold and hot. Doing pushups in the Sun is ludicrous – for a northerner.

          1. W Pedersen

            Sorry, you are completely underestimating the human capacity to adapt. Everyone’s body can be trained with cyclic hyperventilation and deliberate cold exposure to be comfortable in the extreme cold. It is about thermogenesis , interoception and brown adipose tissue.

    3. Wukchumni

      It can be 108 here in Hades-adjacent during the 100 days of 100 degrees, but if i’m under the shade of trees at my swimming hole on the river and I go in for a minute or 2 every 15 minutes, its quite tolerable.

      When i’m walking, wearing a broad-rimmed hat is very important in keeping me cool and why in old timey photos you’d see just about every man wearing a hat back in the day before air conditioning.

      My preferred headgear is a Henschel Aussie Breezer that allows air to circulate around your noggin.

      Burning Man is a proving ground for heat tolerance as the only shade is what you bring, and as long as air is allowed to circulate underneath a shady area, 103 ain’t bad.

      1. Ignacio

        Here I go for a bike ride at about 17:00 which can be the hottest moment each day without any extra weight on the bike (no water). The duration of the ride is between 90-120 min at maximum. If longer it would be problematic. No problem with heat except by night. The new normal in the Mediterranean is “tropical nights” most of the summer and this is the most difficult feature to adapt to. Difficult to sleep well. Slowly the body adapts though i always wake up sweating like a piggy giving birth.

        1. Wukchumni

          Houston we have a problem, as we in Cali don’t do humidity.

          Our Achilles heel, if you will.

        2. The Rev Kev

          When I was down in Greece, lots of people slept on the flat roofs was it as a lot cooler than sleeping inside. Of course the sun wakes you up early but at least you got a good night’s sleep.

        3. johnnyme

          That’s been my experience as well. If you live somewhere with four distinct seasons and if you can exercise outdoors most days, you can follow the seasonal temperature curve and slowly ramp up your heat (and humidity) tolerance and then switch over and slowly ramp up your cold tolerance.

          To get prepped each year for riding in Minnesota winters, I’ll do my autumn rides in just a t-shirt and bike shorts down to 40F/5C, throw on a long sleeve shirt between 40F/5C and 32F/0C and finally relent and break out the gloves, jacket and bike pants when the temp goes below freezing. It can be uncomfortable sometimes but makes those 0F/-17C cold winter rides much more enjoyable.

          After a few years of doing this, both the heat and cold no longer bother me the way they used to. Now if that could only help with dry skin…

        4. playon

          You must be on the younger side if you can ride 90 minutes without water!

          When we lived in Thailand it took some time to get accustomed to the temperatures both day and night, but after a few weeks our bodies adapted.

      2. RoadDoggie

        Thanks for the recc, I ordered one. If it’s good enough for the gates of hell it should be fine for the summer up here in the PNW. Thanks again.

      3. WhoaMolly

        The Henschel Aussie Breezer hat looks quite good. Thanks.

        We have 108 – 100 days about 3 weeks of each summer. Rest of summer is 94-99. Being outside during day is debilitating. Humidity of 16% makes it feel awful.

        Lately I’ve been using a “farmworkers straw hat” from the hardware store. They last about one season.

  2. Terry Flynn

    I saw “stupid energy” and “Australia” in a link and instantly had to post the latest Youtube video from thejuicefever (Honest govt ads) which recently went up.

    Brilliant, as usual. Language warning, including the c word. Read the comments for translations of the non-English language they use for additional lulz. Being half Aussie, I laugh and also shake my head in shame.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They are great and they are more mini-documentary makers than anything else. We have absolute morons in charge down here. Trying to imagine an American or British version.

    2. JohnA

      Ha, love the video, but I expect the Aussies to be outbid in the hypocricy stakes by Rish! Sunak.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        The Koreans did this quite a few years ago, although so far as I know they didn’t replicate it on other paths. Thankfully, they also didn’t replicate the idea of a bike path right in the middle of a highway.

        Solar shades for bike parking are quite common in Japan, Korea, France and elsewhere. The French are making it largely compulsory for surface car parking.

    3. communistmole

      Thanks for the link. At least the event is not held in Switzerland. We are also stronzi.

  3. thoughtfulperson

    Yves, I was traveling internationally 3 weeks in Chile this past March. When we arrived we got sim cards for local phone companies that had the best reviews and plans, and had good connectivity in the area we planned to travel.

    Why not get a second phone and use that as your “home phone”? Then at least you could get text messages without having to figure out an online text service.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I appreciate the offer to help but readers keep ignoring my issue, which I keep stating clearly and at length, and has NOTHING to do with local service or making calls of any kind.

      I need the T-Mobile # to work for 2 factor verification from Citi via SMS to that T-Mobile number. This is the ONLY method they use for 2 factor verification. The only way I can change that number is with an in-person visit to a Citi branch that handles small business and personal accounts. That means a trip to the US since the branches here handle only the large corporate line of business at Citi.

      So to get this resolved, I either need T-Mobile to cooperate or go on a very expensive trip to the US for the sole purpose of changing my 2 factor information on file.

      1. Eric Anderson

        Yves, do you have someone with Power of Atty in the U.S.?
        It might save you the trip.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Be very wary of that. I once met this Aussie guy in Italy traveling around Europe who had given his brother power of attorney before leaving home. It seemed a good idea at the time (it always does) but as time went on he found out from the brother’s letters that he was making all sorts of decisions. So one he read to us said ‘I sold your car today’ and it got to the point that as there was nothing he could do about it in Europe, he was just waiting for the latest letters to see what his brother had done next with that power of attorney.

      2. Jonhoops

        If you have an iPhone, have you enabled iMessage/iCloud syncing with your Mac? If you do that, the texts will be sent over Apples servers as well as TMobiles wireless net and you will get the two factor text on your Mac.

        On the phone in Settings>Messages set text message forwarding on and add your Mac.

        Also under settings> cellular data , turn on wifi calling and calls on other devices.

        Not sure of the Mac settings but I think you just enable sharing in either iCloud or Messages.

        The key setting is text forwarding on the phone.

        Hope this helps.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Thanks for the kind ideas but this does not work if the phone is not connecting to the network. From your link just above (emphasis mine)

          When you set up Text Message Forwarding, you can send and receive the SMS and MMS messages from your iPhone on any device that meets the Continuity system requirements.

          As long as your iPhone is turned on and connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network, new SMS/MMS texts can be sent and received on the devices that you added.

          You already have to be getting SMS messages on your iPhone to forward them.

          That is not my situation.

          1. BhamDan

            Sorry to hear about your TMobile travails Yves.

            I ditched the heinous AT&T for TMobile some 8 years ago and it’s worked perfectly during international trips to Panama, Portugal, and Ireland/Scotland. The only thing I had to do was turn the phone off then back on after touching down in those countries, which I’m sure you’ve done.

        2. fjallstrom

          I would try this one. The messages are in the network and if you can get them to the computer they can be read.

          We had a situation at work with an employee traveling overseas who couldn’t get roaming to work. The instructions on how to get it to work was apparently sent by text message…

          A quick method you could also try is putting the phone in airplane mode, wait 30s and then turn off airplane mode. The idea is to force a reconnect to the network you are roaming in. Didn’t work for my co-worker, but could work.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Lordie, please no more “assume a can opener.” I keep getting upset because too many people offering suggestions have NOT carefully read my description of where things are.

            I cannot get to the account. I do not have signal on the T-Mbbile SIM when I do on other SIMS. The SIM has been reset multiple times. T-Mobile admits it is the problem and the problem is provisioning.

            As I showed by quoting the page Jonhoops linked to, his forwarding idea work ONLY if the iPhone is on and getting SMS. I can’t get SMS so this is of no help.

            I have done every sort of debugging, I turn the phones fully off as a matter of course, which also disconnects them. I have manually set the phone to various networks.

            And I cannot get to the admin panel online either due to trying a password reset when my old password inexplicably stopped working. T-Mobile requires inputting a code sent only by SMS to complete the reset.

            1. fjallstrom

              I did read your description in detail as I have some experience with similar problems. When I started writing my reply to Jonhoops your response was not yet visible on my end, otherwise I would not have endorsed it as a possible solution.

              Turning airplane mode on and off, as I described it, was suggested for my co-worker by an expert with decades of experience in telecom, for a situation very similar to yours. I don’t know why it would work better than turning the phone on and off, as I am not said expert. But if you have already tried it, then that didn’t work for you either.

              1. Yves Smith Post author

                I did both and it made no difference. T-Mobile has trouble shot this (to my annoyance since the steps were the same and should have been documented) at least 4x and I also spent an afternoon running around to phone stores here and they said the issue was not on the phone end. The fact that two other SIMS work fine in it should be dispositive. T-Mobile concedes this is a provisioning issue.

      3. The Unabiker

        I would think about posting the TMobil sim to a trusted friend in USA, preferably on west coast, then you can get the sms sent to that person who likely/hopefully has a dual sim mobile device. It’s a nutsy solution but you’d only need to sms that person and ask them for a code number. It’s not a big inconvenience for a friend or family member to deal with.

        This is certainly not ideal, but it might work as a temp solution. I deal with this problem with Capital One. They, however, allow a customer to change their profile info on the app. I have used my sister’s address and phone number as my card user info, and when cap one demands to verify identity I sms her get the code they sent to her number then enter the code on my phone.

        Another idea is to check Citi branches in Singapore which likely isn’t third world banking. Then it’s a quick and cheaper flight to get there. I’d also check Kuala Lumpur.

        I haven’t read thru the entire thread or even your introductory notes to this problem, so forgive me if I’m churning “no can do” stuff previously stated.

      4. Skk

        I accidentally gave my magicjack router based ‘landline’ as my phone number to an Indian bank. Luckily this meant that that their 2FA codes when I’m in India came to the Magicjack number and I picked them up on my magicjack app on my phone via WiFi using family, friends routers.

        Perhaps this will help others.

      5. Glen

        You have my sympathy. We live in a bit of an RF hole and have only had semi-reliable cell service with T-Mobile so we have used them for decades. But any time we have had to interact on-line or on the phone for help – they are horrible. The only method that works reliably to get problems addressed is to go to a T-Mobile store and work the issue at the store.

      6. juno mas

        How about a Zoom conference with Citi? They can see you, hear you and you can stand in front of a green-screen with Ankor Wat in the background to confirm you’re in Souteast Asia:)

      7. thoughtfulperson

        You could ask a colleague in the US (or some country where tmobile actually works, Germany?) to get the text from Citi. Then change the number? I see this was suggested.

        Or possibly tmobile can forward texts to email. I recall a text to email service. Here’s a link to wikihow:

        I also found this link from tmobile but it crashed my wifi only Phone. (I use a second phone in flight mode to read in the evening – so no cellular connectivity). Apparently tmobile has an app called “digits” that may be of use.

        Good luck!

      8. Jorge

        Ah! Tmobile has an app called “DIGITS”. This app lets you register one phone as a remote proxy for another phone. I have not set it up. It might be that the proxy can also see the texts sent to the primary phone, even if the primary phone is not on.


        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Thanks but I cannot do that because I also cannot access my T-Mobile account via the Internet. I did a password reset and T-Mobile uses SMS to verify identity, which I obviously cannot receive. So I am a beached whale.

    2. Kevin Smith MD

      You might not need a second phone if your existing phone [eg iPhone XS, XR, 11 and above] has an eSIM in addition to a SIM card slot. For example, when travelling in the States I installed an ATT account using the eSIM in my iPhone. Very easy and convenient, and I could automagically still send and receive calls and texts on my Canadian [Rogers] account without any roaming charges. When you do this, be sure to turn OFF the SIM card data etc so you don’t get roaming charges.

      1. TimH

        Slight off-topic… but there’s an obsolete cell phone number associated with my BofA account which I can’t remove (when logged in to BofA) because the removal procedure involves a TFA on that number… which I no longer have.

  4. KLG

    Opinion pieces in the WSJ are such a hoot:

    “These anxieties are no more rational than the threats from climate change are existential. A more apt term for such fear is climate hypochondria.”

    I suppose that depends on the meaning of “existential,” which is starting to rival “holistic” as the Word of the Decade. Anyway, good to know.

    1. William Beyer

      I nominate “holistic” for word of the half-century. It was used daily by my boss exactly fifty years ago when I began practicing architecture.

      1. semper loquitur

        What about “passionate”? Or “inspired”? Ugh. How many times have I heard those words used, always earnestly, about everything from hand cream to real estate to one’s life-work as a organic kale fed alpaca wool farmer? Half of the US would have ascended to the heavens on a beam of light long ago if everyone was as ecstatically passionate and inspired as has been presented….

        1. Milton

          I’m sick of “journey”. Even cancer victims are expected to take note of their journey as they head to the alternate plane.

        2. Henry Moon Pie

          I’ve had it with “space.” “Our start-up will disrupt everything in the “climate space.”

        3. jonboinAR

          “Passionate” is the most BS-iest of the past half-century. Like say, I was to get into beekeeping and bottled up some honey and took it to the local crafts fair. On the poster in front of my table I would be sure to say I was “passionate” about beekeeping. That would account for several sales, for sure.

          1. jonboinAR

            Indeed, he has.. By popular account, he taught all the women to smoke, that rascal. “You’ve come a long way, baby”.

            1. Alice X

              IIRC. Women held a march in NYC and at a designated point pulled out cigarettes, lighting up, proclaiming them as torches of freedom. Bernays much later expressed remorse for the stunt and its results.

    2. Bart Hansen

      The word of the half decade has got to be ‘sweeping’ and comes from Mueller:

      “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

      Media employees jumped on that word with both feet.

    3. semper loquitur

      As for the author’s bona fides empowering her to identify and diagnose novel mental illnesses:

      “Ms. Finley joined The Wall Street Journal in 2009 after graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies.”

      1. c_heale

        I’m really tired of reading bullshit about science or pseudoscience, written by journalists who have no scientific/engineering/medical background or knowledge. The most egregious examples of this are the articles proclaiming some panacea or miracle discovery/invention which is going to solve some major problem.

        That’s ignoring the complete bullshit coming from the “tech” sector.

    4. NotThePilot

      At least they didn’t call it “climate change culture.”

      Like “food culture” (you mean “cuisine?”), “fitness culture” (you mean “athletics?”) or “boring culture section copywriter culture”

  5. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “The US and Europe Are Growing Alarmed By China’s Rush Into Legacy Chips” article at-

    Seems to have gone MIA from the Time website itself. Makes you wonder if the panic is about them not using more modern chips that might have extra ‘features’ baked into them. As for Time magazine, it has little worth as far as news in concerned when they have headlines like this and also ‘Gem Hunters Found the Lithium America Needs. Maine Won’t Let Them Dig It Up’

    1. digi_owl

      Another thing is that for most uses, them chips are way past “good enough”.

      You do not need the latest gen ARM or x86 to create a useful phone or computer for most tasks.

      Thus the main benefit of pushing towards newer fabrication processes will be chips pr wafer.

      1. hunkerdown

        No, but to make a useful phone or device for standard WEIRD use cases you need a LOT of boring little things like voltage regulators, solid-state power switches, Hall effect magnetic sensors, battery charge controllers, battery protection controllers, super-low-power programmable controllers for power management, and other “legacy” technology. Those smaller leading-edge processes won’t stand up to hundreds of volts.

        Chips per wafer can only be pushed so far. Connection pads cannot be shrunk very much below 70µm on a side without complicating the packaging process or diminishing reliability. Also, the streets between dice are 10-75µm wide depending on the type of dicer. Assuming that 1 of 4 “feature”-sized tiles contains an active transistor junction, on a 28nm (trailing-edge or mature) process those streets and pads are some 400-3000 transistors wide.

        IMO the main “benefit” of newer processes is simply the maintenance of Applied Materials et al.’s engineering departments, the American ownership of semiconductor IP, and an excuse to keep that capex moving.

      2. Glen

        I seem to remember reading just a couple of years ago that the vast amount of chip shortages which was shutting down automotive and consumer production was in the 28nm node. And that the major chip manufacturers were not interested in expanding 28nm chip capacity because it was not deemed profitable enough to spend money on.

        But it looks like this is what China may be doing, and this might be a good node to expand capacity at:

        28nm to be a long-lived node for semiconductor applications in the next five years

        TSMC to Customers: It’s Time to Stop Using Older Nodes and Move to 28nm

        28nm: The Last Node of Moore’s Law

        More anecdotal in nature, but it makes me wonder. It seems to me that in the early 00’s there was a shift in American industry where many companies that had long maintained in-house fab facilities began to out source and off shore these facilities. I know my own company did this, and later on met other engineers which had been surplussed because their companies had close their in-house fab lines. I think this was occurring as part of the massive wave of corporate outsourcing to reduce cost because it’s “not our core competency” (or some other MBA blurb). I would argue that it’s almost impossible to put a dollar figure on the lost knowledge when America’s industrial base is solely managed for profit. I think the end result of managing for profit is that America is no longer the leader in the chip industry.

  6. Pat

    I have always run hot, probably still run hotter than the average human so take this advice as you will.
    As my heat tolerance has risen, my ability to withstand cold has decreased. To give you an idea, I used to wander around in 30 to 40 degree weather in a good fleece. Now I need a full coat. Both from working outdoors and experience over the last couple of years, what I have learned is common wisdom from people who live in the conditions is helpful. Most of this won’t raise your cold tolerance so much as make cold tolerable.

    You don’t want to make things worse. Don’t overheat your homes. If you can stand to be in a mid sixty degree house with some covering, don’t raise the temperature to 70 or 80 and wear shorts. When you are outdoors or in a heavily heated area and start feeling warm don’t just live with it. Start opening up coats and sweaters, or if necessary shed top layers.

    Be aware of your extremities, particularly if one helps regulate your body temperature. For me it is feet. Wear good socks indoors and out they don’t have to be wool, but they should insulate, You can substitute decent slippers but since I believe a cold bedroom facilitates sleeping it is socks for me. Indoors, as ridiculous as we might consider nightcaps wearing even a lightweight head covering in the house helps regulate your temperature. And if hands are an issue there are fingerless gloves. Obviously when you go outdoors the same things apply just go heavier. Use Thermal insulated boots or shoes, wear a good hat, scarf and full gloves are musts.
    Layers are your friend. With few exceptions multiple light layers will keep you warmer than one heavy layer. And yes it helps that you can shed them as needed.
    And just as cooling pulse points help in heat, warming them helps with cold. Old style would be heated stones and hot water bottles, but you can also use microwaved rice or buckwheat pouches, battery charged handheld heaters and the chemical pouches.

    Nothing you don’t know, but what the heck.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Pat: Yes. I have excellent heat tolerance. I don’t notice a “warm day” till the temperature hits around 97 F.

      Contrariwise, winter is a trial.

      I agree: Many of us would likely benefit from fingerless gloves. Here in the Chocolate City, our local “ambulanti” (itinerant vendors) were selling them on the streets and in the open markers. A big relief all winter long.

      [I suppose, though, that in the U S of A, after the mask wars, the next skirmish will be the fingerless-glove wars.]

      For summer, when the temps go over 100F? An old Italian remedy is to spray oneself with lavender water. It works.

      1. jonboinAR

        Does the lavendar contribute to the cooling effect, do you think? Or mostly disguise the sulphur odor?

    2. Carolinian

      Where you grow up may make a difference. I grew up without AC and live here now without it although my house is heavily shaded. I don’t think I could manage if the house was roasting out in the sun like so many.

      However when I lived in NYC over one of their colder winters I thought it was the coldest I had ever been in my life. It might make an interesting article to discuss how climate has shaped the way our country evolved and how technology–air conditioning–is affecting that evolution now. With AGW we may all need to expand out definition of “comfort zone.”

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Studies have found where you lived before you were six years old determines how many of your sweat glands get activated. I lived in the Maryland Panhandle then with either no a/c at all or at most one room unit.

        1. anahuna

          Interesting! I lived in the Darien rainforest in Panama until the age of 6.

          Thankful in NYC summers for those active sweat glands.

        2. ambrit

          Ah, news I can use. I grew up first in London till four and then in Nassau till six, so, I qualify as an irrigation project in hot weather.
          So many of our basic bodily processes are ‘set’ when we are very young. The ‘wild children’ who can never learn language after being “raised by wolves” comes to mind. Which makes me wonder if children raised by sociopaths develop in the same manner? Nature or nurture often turns out to be a false dichotomy.

      2. Pat

        I grew up in the Southwest. I was okay up to 80 and started getting uncomfortable after that but wasn’t miserable until over 90. Still that was in a dry climate and evaporation was your friend, swamp cooler or just cold water. Not possible in NYC.

        Meanwhile the winters here didn’t bother me outside of black ice on the sidewalk.
        Elevation matters in winter weather, and almost everywhere my family lived whe I was growing up were either high elevations or mountainous. (For instance Albuquerque has mountains on about three sides, but is still higher in elevation than Denver. It can get cold.) So it was probably less of a shock to me than someone from the Southern US.

        Oh I have very active sweat glands.

  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Reactions to Overshoot realists–

    Yesterday, we had Rebecca Solnit’s article in The Guardian that pretended to be about maintaining a stiff upper lip in the face of bad climate news but was in fact the first step in a call to censor Overshoot realists like Nate Hagens and Rachel Donald:

    Maybe they just get their facts from other doom evangelists, who flourish on the internet, no matter how much reputable [read “employed by billionaires”] scientists demonstrate their errors.

    Today, we get the WSJ editorial board’s contention that Overshoot realists are a few pieces of silverware short of a setting for eight:

    These anxieties are no more rational than the threats from climate change are existential. A more apt term for such fear is climate hypochondria [“it’s just the sniffles”].

    (Yesterday, the WSJ printed an op-ed by star climate change denier Bjorn Lomborg arguing that forest fires were getting better. Don’t believe your lyin’, burnin’ eyes.)

    As the effects of Overshoot become more and more undeniable, the Business As Usual defenders have not ramped up their defense of their increasingly untenable positions on the condition of the planet but have moved to the “best defense is a good offense” position. Ultimately, the goal is to shut down Overshoot realists and to cancel as crazy hypochondriacs those who understand what’s happening.

    We should also note that this new stage in the battle has united two heretofore implacable enemies: the Deniers, largely funded by Big Oil, and represented in the WSJ “they’re all crazy” op-ed; and the Ecomodernists, who pass the “anthropogenic climate change” shibboleth but claim they can disconnect GDP growth from Overshoot. Those two groups are now united in trying to silence Overshoot realists who argue that the only real solution to our situation is to end and reverse GDP growth in the affluent West.

    Degrowthers have been ignored and ridiculed. Now we’ve moved to the third stage where there is a real fight going on to preserve BAU even as Overshoot begins to directly affect more and more lives.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Henry Moon Pie: Thanks for delving into these articles. I read Rebecca Solnit’s latest offering yesterday, and one of my thoughts is that the “man-splaining” beat must no longer be paying off for ole Rebecca.

      I hesitated to comment because for years (having read my required seven essays by Solnit) I have thought of her mainly as a slob. Harper’s Magazine got rid of her, so far as I can tell, because the upper echelons there don’t suffer fools gladly.

      Like many good bourgeoises (yes, I’m thinking of Annalena Baerbock and foreign policy), Solnit simply wants to wish away the problem. Like many bourgeoises, she is deliberately blind to certain (certain) power relationships. Hence, man-splaining–because no bourgeoise ever exploited a power relationship. Except for that mean Madame de Merteuil, but she was a marquise.

      As I mention below, it is becoming increasing evident to me that the Anglosphere is neither logical nor rational. It’s all marketing on marketing platforms all the way down–and offers to survive on credit-card “points” and other such essentials.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        DJG, I’ve came across this quote a week or so ago, and have posted it here a couple of times, but without much feedback. I think it applies as much to our time as it does to the reign of Louis XIV, which was Galbraith’s original application, though I don’t find him limiting its application to that place and time:

        People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason. But the privileged also feel that their privileges, however egregious they may seem to others, are a solemn, basic, God-given right. The sensitivity of the poor to injustice is a trivial thing compared with that of the rich.

        I’ve verified that quote. It is delivered in the first 20 minutes of the first episode of “The Age of Uncertainty” (1977), a BBC mini-series doc about the history of economics.

        Now I think one way things have changed since 1977 is that few elites would call what they exercise a “God-given right.” Today’s Lars Syll link to Michael Sandel’s eight minutes of the perils of meritocracy is more applicable today.


        An especially bountiful collection of Links today, Yves, and so much of it is cross-related.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Have the same quote on file and have also quoted it here. It goes a long way in explaining the attitudes of the wealthier class and why they feel that they are so deserving and why they feel that they are ‘oppressed’ when there is talk of equality. As you said, it is from John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Age of Uncertainty.”

    2. nippersdad

      O/T, but not really, yesterday Alex Christoforou went off on a rant about the obligatory neoliberal “climate religion” of Globalists. Which was kind of funny because the last few weeks have witnessed his travels from Cyprus and Greece into Hungary and then Russia to escape the heat back home.

      So the obvious answer to climate change is to get on a plane, because there is nothing Globalist or neoliberal about climate tourism at all.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        nippersdad: Yep, it is a major Christoforou blind spit, that little problem of all the data showing global warming and climate disruption. I suspect it has to do with his strong libertarian tendencies. The problem is that libertarians, being as woke as the woke, will deny the flames licking the suburbs of Athens.

        Oh, someone didn’t turn off the gyros spit. Come on, Alex. A little thinking isn’t going to hurt that much.

      2. Alex Cox

        What I found very interesting about AC walking through the streets of Nicosea and Moscow was how few people there were!

        Compared to the big western cities – LA, Mexico City, London, Madrid – the streets were virtually deserted.

        I wondered if he was filming at dawn, but his Moscow reports were shot around midday. Now he’s in St Petersburg, which seems a little more crowded, but still much less than the west. Less traffic, too!

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Andrei Martyanov. When I Talk about…

    I highly recommend this piece, which isn’t all that long. Yet it is a diagnosis of a highly serious disease. Possibly terminal.

    Martyanov’s assessment (with a parenthetical from me): ‘And that is my point, the US [the Anglosphere] is so deep in lies, about itself, about the world, about history, about military et al, that I don’t see how can one reasonably debate those people, those masters of discourse who pretend that learning several stratagems and abstract “strategic” constructs makes them masters of “strategy”.’

    There are levels of the “problematical” here:
    –The U.S. and English elites live in a fantasy world that is self-reinforcing. That special relationship, which is fundamentally dishonest. England as the new Athens, indeedy doody. [I’d call it a circle jerk, but I don’t want to give masturbation a bad name.]
    –Throughout U.S. and U.K. society, the strategy is to beggar the population and extract money any way possible. It is hardly a strategy, more of a bad habit. Look at tipping and “right to work” laws (plus Thatcherism and the unions). As we all know from U.K. series exported to the world, getting good servants, willing to turn to the wall when the master passes, takes some doing. Compare: Slavery.
    –The strategy of looting and slavery has been loosed upon the world through a combination of might is right, white is right, and apocalyptic thinking (the redeemed can take what they want).
    –The U.S. and the U.K. elites are terrible at tactics. Hence, taking a knee in a kente cloth stole (borrowed). Hence the endless blabbering and publicity tours. Memes! Fighting wars on Twitter!
    –Anglo-Americans simply aren’t logical or rational. I’m not sure when logic and rationality went out the window, but they have. Here in Italy, I watch Anglo-Americans in action–they are bumblers and much less logical and rational than Italians are. (Yes, I know, you’ve seen Roman Holiday and beg to differ.)

    But back to Martyanov: The crisis is cultural, educational, religious, and ethical. The Ukraine Project has no strategy (Feminist Foreign Policy? per Baerbock) and no tactics to speak of (more ancient tanks?).

    What is to be done?

    And yet I align with my neighbor Antonio Gramsci, in being pessimistic in viewing the welter of data of such essays as Martyanov’s but still optimistic by sheer will: the excellent gelateria across the piazza from where he once lived is a sign that life in all of its exuberance can go on.

    1. Ignacio

      Watching US or UK films or series, with few exceptions, is for me an increasingly difficult exercise. Is people in the UK and the US as crazy as these films suggest or are they distorting reality to the extreme? I am sure a lot of distortion goes on but it is nearly impossible to feel the slightest sense of empathy for the characters described and I would like to know if UK or US viewers feel the same.

      I rarely go to the cinema nowadays but when I go I never watch US/UK/bloody stupid Spanish films trying to look like American’s. Last time I enjoyed cinema was with a lovely film from Morocco: The Blue Caftan.

      1. The Rev Kev

        A recent trend is for not only actors but also director’s to criticize people that do not like the films that they make. One Disney-Marvel director actually came out and told people that they should lower their expectations about films being made which I guess meant his films too. Seems though that people are voting with their wallets & purses – by not opening them to spend big money to buy tickets to whatever Hollywood throws up.

      2. semper loquitur

        I find most television and movies I come across these days to be boring. Shallow, heavy on the gee-whiz special effects, lots of gratuitous violence, dreadful writing. There are occasional exceptions but they shine out like diamonds in pig $hit…

      3. Wukchumni

        American films lost their need to be authentic around the same time the technology to make them became widespread and dirt cheap compared to what you would have had to spend back in the day…

        Enter CGI which no layman can recreate, you got your monopoly back, but everything has to be so over the top with reality not really needing enter into the picture show, it was similar to the photograph in the mid 19th century making the need for exact painted portraits, a moot point. Art went in every direction other than the straight ticket, reality was what you made of Cubism or what have you.

    2. rowlf

      The Phantom Blooper is a 1990 novel written by Gustav Hasford and the sequel to The Short-Timers (1979). It continues to follow James T. (Joker) Davis through his Vietnam odyssey.

      Black John Wayne saw it all: you can stay here and live with us in our constructed phantom paradise if you promise to pay lip service to the lies we live by. If you salute every civil service clerk who claims to be Napoleon, you may play in our asylum.

      In America we lie to ourselves about everything and we believe ourselves every time.

      Everything in life somehow ends up being different from what you’ve been told. And when you learn that, when you learn to what monumental extent you have been bullshitted in the land of a thousand lies, something in you dies, forever, and something else is born. From that moment on, you’re in danger. In the land of a thousand lies, to be an honest man is a crime against the state.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “High school boys are trending conservative”

    Can’t help feeling that this is a really dubious article this. They are trying to say that boys are turning conservative while girls are going liberal. And of course they rope in Triump. De Santis and video games as causing boys to trend to conservatives plus a few YouTube commenters. You know what might make an interesting study? Who those kids actually dated in high school. So do liberal girls date liberal boys or conservative boys? And for conservative boys, are they are more attracted to liberal girls or conservative girls. However much they identify with one side or another – if they even bother – dating choices is where they put their real beliefs into action.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The article includes poll results. so this is not made up. It does acknowledge that the students may not be clear about what they mean when using those words.

    2. Lexx

      I was wondering about the ‘racial diversity’ of those polled. It’s almost as though they’d looked down the road at their futures and made a calculation about where in the political spectrum they’ll find the most power and agency for their gender. ‘Which party will best butter my biscuits?!’ And if they’re young, white, and male it’s at the conservative end of the spectrum… huh.

      Don’t recall giving it any thought at all in high school.

    3. Random

      It’s a general trend that males tend to be more “conservative” and females more “liberal” in most societies.
      Can be seen on the chart and many other studies about this.
      Difficult to say what any of that means given the changing definitions perceptions though.
      Support/opposition for given policies would be more helpful but this might also not mean much in school aged children.

      1. hunkerdown

        Sorry, the 4chan “most”, the Glorious Revolution reenactment politics, and Protestant self-absorption have no value here. You’re gonna need to reason from ethnography and history if you want to be taken seriously.

        1. Random

          Which part?
          The differences in political leanings between men/women? For the US it’s right there in the linked article with a few decades of data.
          Otherwise I have no clue what you’re talking about or even replying to the right person.

    4. hunkerdown

      So it’s more that they’re internalizing the love of virtue signaling, schismatic rivalry, personal branding, and subordination to other people’s grand dreams (all obsessions of the heroic society), than any coherent personal moral philosophy or vision. It’s stage 3 in Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, “What would my parents think?” building toward “What would my society think?”

      And The Hill‘s job, like all politics, is to counterfeit meaning out of a dynamic of two self-identical capitalist totalitarian religions. Talk to your children about heroin AND heroism.

    5. Lost in OR

      My 17yo son has a neolib mother and a radical father. He definitely trends conservative.

    6. mrsyk

      I’m skeptical of this article as well. Do enough 18 yo boys have independent political views to make this headline mean anything, or are most 18 yo boys political views merely unfocused reflections of their father’s political views? Does the survey sample represent US population as a whole (This is hard to do.)? Plus, there’s that word “liberal” again. Do high school boys equate liberal with say “communism”? Or does “Liberal = Biden/Hillary and Conservative = Trump? I will speculate here that Trump is much “cooler” than Biden/Hillary and “being cool” is going to have an effect on responses. Confounders, confounders, I smell narrative construction.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        Coming from someone who is surrounded by this population all day: They will do a lot for attention. Including quoting non PC things, or just blurting out things like “Let’s go Brandon” without knowing what it means. When asked about what the world’s they blurt out means, they have no answer or thoughts.

        This was a self identification survey as well, so take this with a few grains of salt. They should have asked the kids if they can define liberal or conservative first.

        Also, from the article:

        The full story is messier and murkier. High school seniors, boys and girls alike, are more likely to claim no political identity than to throw in with either liberals or conservatives.

        So more likely to espond with no identity at all than liberal or conservative.

      2. marym

        I can’t find the survey to see if there are additional demographics of the people surveyed.

        Later in the Hill article it says: “The political leanings of young men have changed little over the past two decades, according to an analysis by the Survey Center on American Life. Last year, 43 percent of young men identified as moderate, 31 percent as conservative and 24 percent as liberal. Twenty years earlier, the numbers were more or less the same.“ According to that link these numbers are based on “analysis of Gallup surveys.”

    7. semper loquitur

      Conservatives aren’t the ones on YuTube etc. telling young boys they are inherently racist and/or misogynistic, that if they are struggling with their sexual identities they need debilitating drugs and surgeries, and that any and all notions of masculinity are Harmful™.

    8. B24S

      We live in the SF Bay Area. When our older son was in high school he thought we were raging radicals. Then, in the early ‘oughts, he spent four years at SF State, and realized that wasn’t nearly the case, that we were just outside all the boxes. After that he went off to med school near Phoenix Az, with a semi-fundie administration, and was so horrified by the school and the locals that he arranged to finish his studies back in California. A bit of a whipsaw, but it showed he was solidly grounded. My wife suggests we never gave him enough to rebel against. The younger one never had to go through quite that transformation of perspective after watching his brother.

      We’ve recently spent some time talking with young men we’ve met, and are buoyed to see that they can have clearer views than reported. Perhaps climate change, the erosion of women’s rights (they do have mothers and sisters, after all), and economic collapse might have something to do with it?

    9. NotThePilot

      Like someone mentioned, there is a bit of a buried lede that a solid majority of the respondents responded apolitically or as “other”. I think most high-school kids are over it, but it could obviously be concealing some people that are pretty much liberal or conservative. Or into weirder stuff.

      As for dating, at least in America, I don’t think you can necessarily assume that’s as much a thing for the average teenager (or anyone for that matter anymore). Looking back, it had already started declining when I was in high school. Now, I think it’s become even more of a niche thing for kids from families still mentally living in the ’90s or earlier.

    10. Darthbobber

      Well, in the survey they got their headline from, about 2/3rds of either sex declined both labels.

      Given the way both labels function as containers whose contents are constantly changing, I’d be hard-pressed to take much meaning from this

  10. Lexx

    ‘My father put his life savings into a retirement home. I had to sell it for £30,000’
    ‘The Profound Loneliness of Being Collapse Aware’

    I’ve been watching an estate sale website, auctioning off multiple estate’s contents in my area. Old people have a lot of ‘good stuff’. There’s a pattern to what buyers are interested in. Large sized beds and modular leather couches do well but for the most part buyers don’t want furniture*, not even high end furniture.

    What they want is art, jewelry, counter-top appliances, bedding (like goose down duvets… it’s Colorado), electronics, dish sets and flatware. Beyond these rough categories, the lots for sale will sell of a tiny fraction of what the owner originally paid. Often the reason all that ‘good stuff’ is for sale is because the survivors/inheritors would rather have cash without having to sell it themselves. It’s likely those folks have households of their own and they too in middle age have ‘good stuff’… and there are debts to be paid.

    Today I saw a new-looking bright red Mercedes convertible, with many days to go till the end of the sale, at $9k. That number will undoubtedly go up, but it will sell for considerably less than the owner paid. I’m watching two new still-in-the-box Ecoflow portable power stations, from an estate where I’m getting the sense that last occupant spent a lot of money on The Home Shopping network and bought in multiples.

    This activity causes one to think and reflect on where the hell all the items in this house will end up. We’re all drowning in products that in the end have nowhere to go, and we may be the last generation with homes large enough and storage sufficient to have bought all that ‘good stuff’ in the first place. Not even the landfills will be able to absorb our excess.

    *I’m looking at you, Ethan Allen and Drexel Heritage.

    1. Wukchumni

      My mother recently passed away @ 98, and she had a good ride and was the best mom ever…

      My sisters and I all live far away and what do you do with everything in the aftermath when you’re under the gun to not have to pay $7k rent for August in the assisted living place she called home for 7 years.

      We’d fortunately cleaned house when she sold our childhood home and that greatly helped by creating 3 categories, keep/donate/throw away. It was a lot more fun when she would comment on the discards, everything seemed to have a story attached.

      I rented a U-Haul trailer and took what I could of her furniture, but only about 1/3rd of what she had, the rest was donated to a local charity, and I made numerous runs to Goodwill with her 2 closet wardrobe, my sisters having taken what they wanted.

      It struck me that my mom’s clothes would have been the equal to the wardrobe of a queen in say 1822, we have so much stuff now.

      One interesting item I found was a stash of postcards & letters in envelopes addressed to my father and postmarked 1944 & 1945, all with stamps of the 3rd Reich protectorate of Bohemia & Moravia with Adolf on every one of them, only about 6 centimeters away from daddy-o’s name.

      He was living in Prague then, well before he met my mom and everything is written in Czech, so it’ll have to wait until a relative can translate what’s what.

      1. Lexx

        What I’m looking for at ARC and Goodwill these days is fabric and canning jars. Long gone are the days when I could luck into an abused solid wood cutting board in need of some TLC.

        I was last in there about two weeks ago, found no treasures to go home with so wandered the aisles. It could just be me and the fact that they’d completely rearranged the store displays, but I’d swear the quality of the merchandise is improving and the inventory is increasing. We’re not talking anymore about stuff that didn’t move at the end of the garage sale. Even I can’t turn my nose up.

        At this point I’m telling those I think might be interested, ‘Oh, you’re picky too? Have you been in ARC lately? It’s not your mom’s ARC… although some of her stuff may be. Not you’re scene? Have you tried estate sale auctions in your area? With patience, a little credit, and reliable transportation you can seriously score ‘good stuff’.’

        As someone with one foot in the grave (age), I’m a bit appalled by how little those goodies sell for… and the burning memory of how much I’ve paid to buy new in the past. Last week I picked up a Cuisinart food processor (plus all attachments) and coffee bean grinder in nearly new condition, a Surelite fire safe, and German imported nutcracker doll, all for under $120. I carried back in my luggage just one nutcracker from Germany and paid $60 marks for it thirty years ago.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I think Husband had been home maybe two hours from a visit to Washington that included spending some time with his 87 year old ma, when texts hit his phone from his sisters saying that mom’s front pasture had caught fire but was put out by the fire department before it reached her house. One of those texts was from my youngest SIL, whose house burned to the ground this winter. Cause: the lithium batteries in her disabled husband’s scooter fueled by the bug bombs he’d set off inside before leaving the house to run errands.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          You need to come to Birmingham. Consignment stores overfilled. I had to give away insane amount of stuff to America’s Thrift Stores and Assistance League, including a cedar linen chest, a Japanese Champleve lamp, a Capiz shell lamp, two very fine Art Deco armoire (I paid $8K for one and $5k for the other in the early 1990s). Etc.

      2. Mildred Montana

        >”best mom ever…” My dear mother passed away five years ago at the age of 88. She would have happily settled for being called the 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥 best mom ever. ;)

        Although she had some nice stuff, she didn’t care a bit about any of it. The only thing she treasured was her large recipe collection compiled over many years, and 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 she insisted go to a good home where it would be used, appreciated, and serve as an abiding memory of her. My sister was happy to take it and cherish it.

    1. Jonhoops

      Seyfried is great. For more on this approach a great book is “Tripping over the Truth” by Travis Christofferson.

  11. Henry Moon Pie

    Cory Doctorow on enshittification–

    It is an important read for sure. Doctorow collects a wide array of enshittifications aimed at imposing ever more ridiculous rents on customers.

    This trend alone is grounds enough to give a serious listen to the primitivists. Back to the Paleolithic!

    1. hunkerdown

      But none of those things kill capitalism, just the capitalist myth. I’d hope Doctorow would know the difference between material reality and a myth, even if every capitalist True Believer is snarling the word “materialism” because some overdressed clown on the dreamcatcher did so.

      In fact, “enshittification” is the generation of private property, the lifeblood of capitalism, by extracting the substance from the form, same as in the beginning. The flow of goods and services is not the point, merely the pretext.

      1. Mikel

        “The flow of goods and services is not the point, merely the pretext.”

        That is a good way of putting it. Things related to the point I think you’re making, let’s call it the “meta-enshittification”: the auto makers as being primarily loan sharks and corporations like Apple and Walmart putting their bets on being more like financial services institutions…

      2. digi_owl

        So the use value has been almost completely eroded, while the exchange value has gone ballistic, to put in the bearded one’s terms.

  12. hunkerdown

    re: dissolvable circuit boards, a board that dissolves under ambient conditions in “several hours” isn’t going to be very useful in the wild except: as a self-destruct mechanism in the style of Mission: Impossible, in tightly-controlled dry environments, or with (expensive) conformal coatings to seal the board during its service life (which is already done for applications in hostile environments). Perhaps they will lengthen the service lifetime and/or require a plant-sourced catalyst in the dissolving bath (menthol? limonene?). I think PMC just get a thrill from destroying material objects which is why engadget is onanizing over it.

    Here’s an interesting little grace note for the right-to-repair beat, dare I say the buried lede:

    provide guidance on the reuse and recycling of power semiconductors removed from Soluboards

    Those semiconductor devices are usually sold for once-through application, due to the superheating of absorbed moisture, thermal expansion cycles, and other mechanical insults likely to fall upon them during assembly and rework. Typical semicon manufacturers’ guidance for component reuse says “don’t” or “don’t call us”, rarely “you have three chances, roll them dice!”. Fortunately, power transistors are almost as easy to substitute as machine screws. Tentative kudos to Infineon for tentatively supporting a path to reuse.

    Cross-cutting, these dissolving boards’ sensitivity to heat makes them poorly suited hosts for analog power applications such as amplifiers, which tend to dissipate a fair amount of heat even at idle. Designers will need to upgrade to less lossy devices and rework some designs to be less wasteful. I’m sure Infineon’s power semi division (formerly the venerable International Rectifier Corporation) won’t mind.

    1. Grumpy Engineer

      And I want to know how they’d fare in a high-humidity environment. If they absorb moisture and swell a little bit (which is my strong suspicion), they’ll likely experience long-term reliability issues that make them unsuitable for deployment inside any equipment that has a multi-year service life (like the 10+ years you’d expect a TV or computer to last, or the 20+ years expected with industrial control equipment). Heck, the only application where a water-soluble circuit board makes sense to me is in disposable electronics, like those embedded in those dorky greeting cards that have embedded sounds chips.

  13. Kevin Smith MD

    re: For the Love of God, Stop Microwaving Plastic
    Article claims microwaving exposes plastic to ultraviolet:
    NO, microwaving exposes things to INFRA-RED [eg heat] which is at the other end of the spectrum from UV.

      1. Joe Well

        Wired clearly meant that UV radiation exposes consumers to the hideous sight of the overly processed yet overpriced garbage inside, Hot Pockets, microwave popcorn, instant “oatmeal,” microwave “pizza,” etc. /s

  14. MicaT

    Jimmy carter was in part not re elected because of his wear a sweater for the oil crisis speech. I’m very pro renewables and I realize that they won’t do it all only a part.
    In the US, if the energy transition means people cant cool or heat their houses, work places etc, then whichever party ( republicans) is going to fix that with more gas or coal or whatever is going to get elected.
    I read an article last winter about how close the east coast got to having blackouts, not because of any failures with the grid but because of the reduction in base load power plants. Having been decommissioned and “replaced” by solar. And by replaced I mean the solar is a fraction of the old coal plants, or the large nuclear plant shut down in NY.
    Near where I live they have shut down a 1GW coal plant and “replaced”( these are the terms I read )
    It with a 200 mw of solar. Now I’m pretty sure that 200 is not1,000 and that coal plant can go 24/7. I’ve read lots from people more knowledgeable than me about this and they all agree that this isn’t going to work.

    With greater need for energy caused by more heat and cold, and more electric loads, I see more power plants not less. And while I agree that some people can and will persue having higher ac temps and lower heating temps, the majority won’t.

    Fans are much more energy efficient compared to running AC. It’s not always a substitute however.

    1. Joe Well

      I briefly had a roommate who wanted to wear nothing but shorts and T-shirts in the house through the coldest winter days. And not originally from the US, this is not just our problem.

    2. Pat

      I am not against renewables. But a long time ago I realized for my large urban area, NYC, you could put solar on every roof top or even add solar awnings on every south facing window and you still couldn’t provide enough power for more than half the city. Sure some energy efficient changes would get you closer but between our weather and the limitations it just isn’t possible. Now I realize that there are other areas of the state that could be more renewable production friendly but still weather is a problem. Without serious upgrades to renewable electrical output, NY electrical use coming primarily from renewables is a fairy tale. And that is before NY’s other pipe dream of moving all vehicles, stove and heating to electric based systems.

      1. MicaT

        Hi Pat. Agreed.
        Transmission lines from the sunny states to the north central and east coasts even if that would happen, decades to do. And depending on who I listen to, it would take dozens to hundreds of them.
        A new powerline from New Mexico to California I think took close to 15 years. And that is across easy desert regions of the country.

        Doing transmission lines across the Midwest? Not gonna happen.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        You are correct, but the entire state of NY has so much empty land that you could make it work. And look at all those power lines that carry power from Niagara falls.. already installed.

        1. Pat

          But then we hit the big problems. Who is going to do it? The legislature is fine with unreachable and unaffordable edicts for individuals and some tax credits but limit their utility company edicts to plant closures. The utility companies even with massive fees and rate increases are barely keeping up with maintaining what they have after the obligatory high management salaries and profits for shareholders.

          Unless billions are put to doing it, plus brokering an argument over using already cleared farm land versus clearing land to do it, IOW things even more contentious than what is happening currently, that sea of wind farms and solar panels are not coming to NY.

          1. ambrit

            Then you come across the ever present Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) phenomenon.
            A local example:
            Solar has a fairly large carbon footprint. As is discussed here, a more optimal solution is to reduce average energy usage. Seeing that Jevon’s Paradox applies here, such reductions will have to be implemented through legal restrictions, or The Jackpot.
            Jevon’s Paradox Wiki:
            Jevon’s Paradox technical:,consumption%20rather%20than%20a%20decrease.

    3. Procopius

      See Isaac Asimov, Caves of Steel, and the whole Foundation series. I figure it’s about twenty years until Teen Vogue is ecstatic over some multi-billionaire’s underground home. Fifty or 100 years until the rich realize they need to save some poor people, otherwise who will wash their underwear? Unless we enter a new Ice Age, the only hope for mankind’s survival is to go underground. Reducing carbon dioxide emissions will never do the job; we’re past the turning point. Maybe in a new Ice Age, too, I haven’t given that possibility much thought. Of course, a Nuclear Winter would make the argument moot.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “8 Labs In Ukraine Owned By Their National Battalions Harvesting & Exporting Children’s Organs”

    That video is real nightmare fuel that and is a segment from a longer video. Just recently a Ukrainian official was busted trying to take a kid across the border – after promising the parents that he would be taking him to safety – but where he had arranged to have that kid used for organ harvesting. If places where those organs are intended for wanted to control and maybe stop this traffic, a first stop would be to take a quick DNA sample to see which region that that organ originated from. And of course that DNA could possible be used to track relatives of the ‘donor.’ But I am not holding my breath till that happens. The business is too lucrative.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I’ve always heard about adrenochrome but never believed it to be anything more than modern “rhino horn” for people with too much money. Now I have to have to wonder. Seventeen biolabs seemed like a lot.

      And then there’s the fact that a 100-year-old Henry Kissinger just flew to China to hang out with other geriatrics. Wikipedia lists almost eighty former world leaders over 90 who are still alive. When I was young, being a leader meant dying shortly after you retired, such were the notorious demands of high office.

      All the talkers have been saying big things are coming soon. Adrenochrome would qualify.*

      * Especially if it’s made from UFO aliens (who, acccording to my sources, taste like chicken).

      1. ambrit

        “Especially if it’s made from UFO aliens (who, acccording to my sources, taste like chicken).”
        That’s funny because my copy of the Zeta Reticulan Bar-B-Que Recipe Scroll says the same about Terran humans.
        Returning to the original theme, can I just mention that this “activity” qualifies as Maximum Evil. Such themes and memes, even if not true, are the perfect fuel for mass outrage and revolutionary movements.
        If a connection between the Biden Crime Family and this ‘organ harvesting’ business is established, Biden will be lucky to just be impeached in the House and convicted in the Senate. He could be shunted into his Basement Campaign Office and the basement then filled with cement.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>He could be shunted into his Basement Campaign Office and the basement then filled with cement.

          Nah, that would be too much like a memorial. Facedown in an unmarked grave at an unknown crossroads, the more isolated and forlorn, the better.

    2. rowlf

      And of course that DNA could possible be used to track relatives of the ‘donor.’

      The old British television show UFO used that idea in the premier episode. The series is set in the future of 1980 and revolves around aliens coming to Earth in an attempt to harvest human body parts to keep their own species alive.

      Maybe Texas can use a variation of “The US Politicians Welcome You” as a warning sign at the US/Mexico border?

    3. flora

      There’s currently a movie out – Sound of Freedom – that covers some of this horror. (The MSM is doing its best to ignore the movie, even though I think its box office topped both Indiana Jones:part whatever, and the Barbie movie.) There are people in the world who are not like most of us. Maybe vampires do technically exist. That most of us aren’t like them is a good thing.

      1. ambrit

        I have encountered maximum denial from generally level headed people when the subject of this film comes up. Someone, somewhere desperately wants this film to just go away. That tells us a lot, right there.
        This is a case of one not being able to be sufficiently cynical.
        The take away from this is that Evil really does exist. It may not be just sociopaths, nor demons in disguise, but it is working in the world.
        Stay safe. Practice situational awareness.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>Stay safe. Practice situational awareness.

          I would rather use my situational flame thrower. Really.

          I am not entirely convinced of these latest reports, but I know about Jim Crow and its more unpleasant practices; really you don’t want to know, but they do include celebratory picture postcards of the events, and souvenirs kept, with children and their parents in their Sunday best watching.

          I could always go back three generations to those New Orleans slave brothels were the workers were a bit young and preferably white looking. Although don’t be too surprised as the cities of New York and London also such in the 1880s albeit they were technically free.

          Then there was the Belgian Congo from where the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad got created. The novel is not really fiction. I also know about Aktion T4, which was used by the Nazis for practice Then again, the Gulag Archipelago and events like the Red Terror were also was the same. Or Jeffrey Epstein and Marc Dutroux. It couldn’t be real, could it?

          Like the organ trafficking of the Uyghurs and other unwanted people that are too terrible to be true, even thought the Chinese are supposed to be sterilizing women as well. Don’t be shocked. The Americans did the same for over sixty years. Poor whites, blacks, Appalachians, Indians. Well, there are somewhat credible claims that they still are in some of the more hidden places. Places where those illegal immigrants, just as all those Americans in the community clinics and the prisons in the “past,” were sterilized. California is notable in this. I would guess we are still doing this. It is completely illegal, but so what? The last credible news stories are a decade old. Right around the children in cages stories.

          So, I really don’t want to be like that fool who told my uncle, based on a book he was reading, that the Holocaust was not real. The book against his lying eyes. General Dwight Eisenhower really did have a point when he sent in the photographers to record the camps.

          The last lines of the movie Se7en:

          William Somerset: Ernest Hemingway once wrote: “the world is a fine place and worth fighting for.” I agree with the second part.

      2. Pat

        It has not topped Barbie (which is currently on track to be the biggest film of the year), Oppenheimer or the Super Mario Brothers. It did top Indiana Jones and the big shocker the new Mission Impossible. And it has a fairly unique funding and marketing scheme.

        I think that a large portion of society considers children as disposable commodities for various purposes is no longer a dirty secret. (And this one is uniworld, merely the form changes between first world and third world.)

  16. Carolinian

    Re the Doctorow–he doesn’t seem to know much about cars but ranting he has covered. The use of digital has been a great improvement to cars and if you want your basic nightmare try the pre computer car engine with various vacuum hose circuits to control all those virtuously required pollution controls. While it certainly doesn’t make sense to replace a simple bimetallic control in a refrigerator with a chip, a complex system like an ICE car becomes much more reliable when placed under the supervision of a digital chip which, like all digital, has the virtue that it either works or it doesn’t–no fuzzy in between.

    Of course if it doesn’t then you need another chip but we read in a different link today that the US is complaining because the Chinese want to greatly expand the production of these older machine controller chips. The real thing that Doctorow is complaining about is government and its failure to properly manage our new digital age. And many of these problems track back to the control of government by a corrupt capitalist system based on human greed. Digital isn’t wrecking capitalism. It’s the other way around.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I disagree vehemently. I had unending computer reading fails on the car I was babying with result that trouble lights were never cleared out for more than a week. I was being bled dry by bogus readings. I never want a car with a lot of electronics.

      1. Carolinian

        Well I had a car for over twenty years and the only thing that never gave trouble was the engine computer and the associated pollution sensors. I’ll concede that electronically controlled cars make greater demands on manufacturer quality management but Doctorow is talking as though the use of computers in cars is always, and not partially, arbitrary. Of course we don’t want our cars to become part of the Internet of Things but the huge mileage improvements versus several decades ago as well as emissions management now depend on digital control.

        And consumers do still have agency. I doubt that BMW or Mercedes owners are very pleased with their games regarding seat heaters or accelerators.

        1. hunkerdown

          There is HUGE technological daylight between “car as a service” and “uses electronics”. Absolutely no off-board communication is ever necessary to sustain internal combustion.

          Market production is neoliberalism’s gift economy. The catalog graciously given you by the PMC knows better than you; if it’s not in the catalog, it’s not of value and you shouldn’t want it.

        2. cnchal

          Internet of Things is exactly what new cars are, and that cannot be shut off by the so called “owner”.

          The huge mileage improvements are a mirage. The complexity used to achieve that, lead to engine and transmission failures that are so expensive to repair, the car may as well be scrapped when those failures happen. I see that all the time when looking at cars built after 2006, my cutoff date for “good” cars. All newer stuff, with notable exceptions are off my list.

          Notable exceptions post 2006 are Acura and Honda with the V6 which is a timing belt motor. Timing chain motors do not last anywhere near as long as timing belt motors, is my observation..

          OBD II has been the standard since 1996 and two of the cars we have, both 2001s even have drive by wire throttle, so all this emmisions technology and computers in cars is old hat and that era of car is repairable by the owner or any mechanic.

          Now we have OBD III coming up in a couple of years. What is the major difference?

          There is no official information about OBD3 features. But, automotive experts expect the following features in the OBD3 upgrade-

          OBD3 may come with wireless features. You don’t need to plug an obd3 scanner into the OBD port.

          It will be designed for electric cars and provide information about toxic gases released in the chemical reaction in the battery grid.

          OBD3 may come with satellite data transfer features.

          You can tune up your vehicle remotely.

          OBD3 may inform the vehicle manufacturer about any fault or problems.

          Many automobile experts predict that- obd3 may send your vehicle speed to police and insurance companies.

          Note– These are just expected features of obd3. There is no authentic news about it. Real features may vary.

          Its about spyware. No one could pay me enough to own that garbage can.

          1. flora

            re: mileage.

            My old car, as in very old but not quite antique, had to spend a few days in the shop for repairs. I rented a new, small, light, hybrid electric car with the latest electronics for those days. I saw no better mileage with the rental than in my old, heavier, standard engine car that has minimal electronics. No onstar, no bluetooth, no touch screen, no usb ports. I was very surprised by the mileage results. I did the same driving in the rental that I do in my car. There was no mileage difference, for me. Go figure. It was a nice car, but I don’t see the need for one for my type of driving.

            1. Carolinian

              Practically all cars now are fuel injection and that process is controlled by an engine computer or ECU that goes back to the late 80s. Unless your older car is older than that it quite likely does have a computer to control the engine, perhaps behind the dash.

              And fuel injection was a big boost to mileage versus the previous carburetor era. Other mileage improvements are accomplished through the use of lighter materials and transmissions that give a more even, optimized rpm. My first car was a Volkwagen–a tin can indeed–and it got high 20s tops on the road. My current car in the “compact” category weighs almost twice as much and gets 44mpg on the highway via use of an “Atkinson cycle” engine. The current car just runs without the slightest need for attention although the battery eventually wore out and needed replacement as they do.

              Bottom line: it’s pointless to complain about computers because any car you buy is going to have one and this has been true for decades now. I agree with Yves that “radio features” are undesirable but on my car at least you aren’t required to use them. Such a requirement on any car would make me not want to buy it.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Seconding Yves, you don’t know what hell is until you buy a USED car with all these chips in it. Worse, while in Wisconsin I had a car that couldn’t pass the emissions test not because of emissions but because my car couldn’t talk to the testing equipment properly (known bug, nuddin we can do bout it).

      Used cars, like old operating systems, never seem to get their bugs fixed. That gets old real fast. #crapitalism

      1. digi_owl

        There is no money in maintenance (or fun, going by various comments from high flying programmers over the years) basically.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Must be some money in it; Hyundai charges over $100 for an update to the entertainment system, as far as I can tell, that is simply posted as “software update” on the quote. No one could tell me what it was, or if it was required for the car to continue to operate. That was I’m sure the point. I declined. With a large enough USB drive, like 128G, this large update can apparently be applied for free at home. What a scam.

  17. The Rev Kev

    ‘An Israeli ship has become the first to break through Moscow’s grain blockade🌾’

    So what exactly did they have in their cargo holds when they went in? They would not have been empty. The Israeli government would have had to have given the OK for this to happen so it must have been very important. Maybe navy drones being delivered? The Ukrainians not only just tried to attack two Russian navy vessels but also some civilian vessels with them. But there will be consequences for this. So maybe Hezbollah is about to get an upgrade in some of their weaponry or maybe the Russians will accidentally on purpose let Hezbollah have plans for a drone that they could use. Maybe, as Russia is the second biggest wheat exporter to Israel, that there will be delays in deliveries. But a message will be delivered.

      1. ambrit

        Those “full strength” S-400 air defense systems will have Russian operators, believe me. Some of that tech is held “close to the vest” by Russia. And imagine the consternation if it ever came out that the S-400 can shoot down the F-35. Properly ‘advised’ Russian crews could manage to ‘let’ F-35s go about their business, thus saving the “surprise” moment for when it is needed most.

    1. Kouros

      I am thinking that the Russians will intercept them at the exit and put them on hold… One can dream.

    2. Lex

      It didn’t really because it made the trip inside Romanian territorial waters. Russia is obviously not going to start interdicting ships within the territorial waters of NATO members.

      Great headline but little more than propaganda because the Danube ports on the Ukrainian side can’t replace Odessa and can be attacked (one already was, prompting all the international ships to move over to the Romanian side of the river).

  18. Carolinian

    Turley explains Biden-gate

    A few things now appear established for most of us. First, Hunter Biden (and his uncle) were openly selling influence and access to Joe Biden. The calls were designed to prove their deliverables of Joe Biden. Second, the Bidens received millions from foreign sources through an intentionally complex series of banks and accounts. Money does not have to go directly to Joe Biden to benefit him and his family. Third, these foreign figures clearly believed that they were buying access. Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky reportedly said that Hunter “was stupid, and his dog was smarter.” Hunter may have lacked the numbers on IQ but he had Joe Biden on speed dial and Joe Biden was controlling federal aid to Ukraine.

    Thing is though that all of this was more or less known–if not all the details–before Biden became president. Pelosi even impeached Trump for trying to delve into it. So what we really have is lesser evilism spinning out of control. Which is to say to our elites it’s ok to be corrupt as long as you can portray your opponent as being even more corrupt. Simple personal honesty doesn’t even seem to be on the table.

    Tom Wolfe is gone and a new Balzac may be needed to describe our age. He said in 19th century France every great fortune = a great crime. History is rhyming like crazy.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Check out Fox News at any hour and chances are that the talk will be about impeaching and jailing Joe Biden. Turn on CNN or MSNBC and all you will hear about are the efforts to jail Trump. It should make for a very interesting January, 2025.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      The cadence of the current historical rhyming suggests we’re in the middle of an epic limerick.

      1. Wukchumni

        There once was an ex President in Nantucket-adjacent
        Responsible for much of the Democrat debasement
        His skill ratio in oratory was unmatched
        By deeds he’d done hatched

        1. Mark Gisleson

          The evolution of the Democrats
          Into punchlines from “The Aristocrats”
          Gets my teeth to grinding
          While my fact-finding
          Has me wishing for a coup d’etat!

          First limerick since middle school. You kinda have to mispronounce coup d’etat to make it work.

    3. hunkerdown

      No system can exist under its own rules, per Gödel. What people call “corruption” is merely the cost of preserving the system’s “spirit” against material reality.

      May the epic limerick be détourned and never again began.

  19. tegnost

    The responsible statecraft chart has a real “ukraine war in pictures” vibe

    part of the closing para…
    These problems have not gone unnoticed. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been particularly vocal about the harmful implications of these trends.

    and I’m so sure she’s going to do something about it not.

    1. ambrit

      The real Pocahontas ended up in London, dying in England at 21 years of age.
      Sure, the Pocahontas meme is a slur upon Mz. Warrens character, but we must admit that the Senatrix exhibits many of the worst aspects of the Professional Managerial Class’s character.

  20. diptherio

    I don’t see why tracking “hate speech,” however defined, is a problem. I also don’t see the problem with people or organizations calling for changes in the way a business operates, or making statements like “twitter is overwhelmed with harmful content,” whether the owner of the platform (or anyone else, for that matter) agrees with them. Isn’t this just Musk using the court system to attempt to stop someone from saying things he doesn’t like? Isn’t this just him hypocritically attempting to place legal restrictions on others’ rights to speak freely, simply because he happens to disagree with what they are saying?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I have serious problems with claims like “overwhelmed”. I use Twitter heavily every day and Lambert even more so and neither of us encounters any, or at most very very rarely and then when someone is amplifying speech they don’t like to oppose it.

      We also have a society that hyperventilates over microagressions. Cultivating neurotic responses to minor slights is not psychologically healthy. It was not that long ago that therapists trained patients to learn to ignore that sort of thins.

      So either these folks have an insanely generous definition of what hate speech is or are lying about its incidence.

      As for Musk’s suit, defamation cases are hard to win. They generally require showing actual malice, that you knowingly made false derogatory remarks. But per my and Lambert’s experience, Musk may have a case.

      1. mrsyk

        “We also have a society that hyperventilates over microagressions. Cultivating neurotic responses to minor slights is not psychologically healthy. It was not that long ago that therapists trained patients to learn to ignore that sort of thins.”
        I’d like to amplify this and add that a few years in the restaurant business will cure that hyperventilation reflex.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      I will fully support this endeavor when the legislature passes a law that new housing units must be built for every license to hire an immigrant. Otherwise you are just supporting more housing demand and the undercutting of labor power.

  21. antidlc

    RE: Paralyzed man dies 90 minutes before Michigan court restores his home care Detroit News (ma). What an awful country.

    What an awful country.

    YES. IT. IS.

    Been living in Obamacare hell for months now, helping a relative.

    I know EXACTLY what IM DOC has posted about Obamacare.

    It’s inhumane.

    (The linked article isn’t about Obamacare. I just had to comment about the awful country we live in.)

  22. Tom Stone

    I went to my Oncologist a week or so ago, of 8 patients in the waiting room I was the only one masked, one attendant was wearing a baggy blue chin diaper…
    Of the reception and support staff ( 9 or 10), no masks.
    My Oncologist was wearing a 3M Aura, one other MD was wearing a cup shaped N95 and the Nurses in the infusion room were wearing baggy blues.
    I did give my Oncologist a link to the Lancet article about the new CDCCovid 19 indoor air quality guidelines which he was grateful for.
    Anecdotally my friend Mike who is a fencing contractor has two of his three crews out sick with a “Really bad summer cold”….
    The County fair opens this weekend and the Gravenstein Apple Fair is the weekend of the 12th and 13th (The Community Church has their annual apple pie sale the same weekend and they are really good pies).
    It’s going to be an interesting next few months…

      1. Tom Stone

        Thank you.
        My Cancer is still in remission (Waldstrom’s disease) after 3 years.
        Chemo was very rough, but well worth the trips to the ER and the time in ICU.

    1. kareninca

      Those doctors don’t want to catch covid. They really, really don’t.

      You can now buy 420 N95 auras on Amazon for $95 plus tax (from a seller I’ve bought smaller quantities from in the past without issues; they do not appear to be fakes; it is simply that they are now greatly discounted). I just shipped that quantity to an event in the Midwest that I won’t be attending. I hope some of the people who go to it wear them and take some home as well. I was told by a lady in Michigan that N95s cost $5 each where she lives; I got them for 22 cents each. I imagine they are not far from expiration but that is okay.

  23. mrsyk

    “The Profound Loneliness of Being Collapse Aware”, Alan Urban: Thanks for posting this. It accurately sums up my last five years. Not many people want to talk about this stuff. Despite never bringing it up and only discussing it in the most general terms when climate was being discussed, my views on abrupt catastrophic climate change caused most of my family to seriously wondering if I was going insane (not mutually exclusive). And who wants to be that guy on the corner with the sign that reads “The end is near.”? Lonely is a very accurate description for how I’ve been feeling these last few years.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      mrsyk thank you for posting about the article – had just about gone through the 147 post so far today to see if anybody was going to post about it – just about everyone i know fits into one of the examples of people Alan Urban spoke with – it intimidates to discuss the subject in any depth with anyone – i am fortunate to have 2.5 acres on which i have cultivated an orchard and there is always some manner to get my hands dirty or to worry about japanese beetles attacking my trees and planning on using nematodes this Fall to attack the grubs while i pick the little buggers off by hand – watching the bats in the early evening and catching a sphinx moth as it comes to a flower as i sit on the deck – the way the author ends his piece is the way i try to spend my days and feel very very lucky to have that opportunity – will check out some of the links he has in the article – my daughter made an offhand and indirect comment that implied she was considering having a child at 32 and i have been wondering how to approach that with her and her husband, as if it’s any of my business but it is a subject we have broached previously – one of the books i’m reading right now is Bradbury’s “The Illustrated Man” and just hit the story “The Last Night of the World” after a nightmare of Hieronymus Bosch magnitude – so many of the folks that post are very intelligent and informed about current events and the forces that drive them and it is deeply appreciated too – at times it almost feels like doomscrolling to read the threads but usually it is mitigated by dark gallow-esque humor – have felt for quite some time that human beings are the alpha pathogen on this earth – but it comes back to, and i’ve mentioned it before, George Carlin’s point that we aren’t going to save the world and the world will shake us off like a bad case of the fleas – so i will continue to read the links and threads of comments and be happy that this commentariat exists and when it gets too much go out and commune with my orchard and play with my pooch and find happiness where i can and live a life of integrity trying to follow the golden rule wherever possible – i’m a long way from driving in a car with Ayub Afridi to a go-down in the dessert in Pakistan watching trucks that look like they belong in a carnival someplace and burka-clothed women at the side of the road looking on as we pass – it has been a strange trip so far on the one way road of life – a special thank you to Yves for this blog and hope you get your communication problem cleared up one way or another, i’m a closet luddite so of no help – a heartfelt thank you to all, you make understanding this world a bit easier and a little less lonely – jb

      1. mrsyk

        This comment, thank you jb. I too take refuge in the garden, among the fruit trees, and among the many trees on the watershed which have grown so big and lovely over my 35 years here. Deep into the evenings, over a whiskey and a smoke I whisper to them my laments, my heartache at their own short futures. From time to time I hear them whisper back “don’t be down, you’re coming with us”.
        And yes yes yes, Yves (and Lambert), thanks for cultivating my mind. The people who populate these pages are rather special..

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          i prefer cognac – and the wind whispers while the creek nearby slips secrets into my ears – and don’t count future while you have the present – there’s a lot more life out there besides us sorry humans – i thank every other life form around me for their company and the wisdom they provide – jb

  24. Mikel

    “Customers want instant gratification. Workers say it’s pushing them to the brink” Associated Press

    “…Jeffrey Palmerino, a full-time UPS driver near Albany, New York, said forced overtime emerged as a top issue during the pandemic as drivers coped with a crush of orders on par with the holiday season. Drivers never knew what time they would get home or if they could count on two days off each week, while 14-hour days in trucks without air conditioning became the norm.

    “It was basically like Christmas on steroids for two straight years. A lot of us were forced to work six days a week, and that is not any way to live your life,” said Palmerino, a Teamsters shop steward…”

    Well, now it’s up to the top 20% or so of earners to sustain that type of economy because that kind of savings is long gone for most. Not every state kept unemployment benefits adjusted higher for as long as others and Joe B. still owes us about $600, right?
    I wonder if there are still people on hold with their state unemployment agency that never got through to a rep during the pandemic?

    And I think the actors and writers went along with alot of concessions because of the hype that streaming was this “new model.” Everyday streaming services look more like the “old model.”

    1. Pat

      The last writers strike was largely about streaming, particularly their residuals. The AMPTP and the DGA reached an agreement which rejected all of the writers’ research. The writers tried telling them that residuals would largely disappear using the producer’s preferred method (and that DVDs were going to be history, but… Nobody liked the strike, and SAG trusted that the DGAs model was adequate so they accepted what the studio offered. Streaming production wasn’t a thing then. The deals for them have lower minimums and relaxed rules but largely follow the DGA model from the majors contract just with lower numbers.
      The Producers and Directors tried it again this time but for once history was remembered.

      1. Mikel

        Now that the #DGA has a deal, in part due to the leverage from the #WGAStrike, it would be classy if some of their members showed up on our picket lines with signage in support of their sister unions getting a fair deal. #WGAStrong 1/3
        — James C. Oliver (@JamesOliverInLA) June 4, 2023

        Some other interesting info there about this year’s negotiating with all three unions.

  25. Mikel

    “Autoenshittification: How the computer killed capitalism”

    “…Google’s Web Environment Integrity, which will leverage Google’s dominance over browsers to allow websites to block users who run ad-blockers…”

    For television (and it’s all still watching audio/visual content on a monitor delivered from some type of server), that’s the revolution: the advertising that one can not escape, the advertising that tracks the viewer and not the viewers of a show. Corps don’t want to advertise at a location or show you may go to. They want to advertise to you WHEREVER you go.

    For all the complaints about bundling on Cable ( and don’t think for a second that isn’t coming to streaming eventually!!), there was “the box” in YOUR home. Even with its restricts, that was to much control for you for them to handle. Fast forwarding through commercials? Sacrilege!

    And this is the economy of mergers, buy outs, and monopolies, so I fully expect a future of television (and, again, it is all STILL television) that is more in line with the past with it’s 3 or 4 networks.

    That won’t be free this time.
    Gotcha, suckers…

  26. Wukchumni

    UFC 86

    The last First Son versus the present First Son

    2 Presidential progeny go into the octagon, really only of any note because of who their fathers are, otherwise you couldn’t care less.

    Donald Jr. likes to think of himself as his own concealed weapon, while Hunter does not consent to a search.

    Late addition to the card… Donald & Joe jump in when their sons tap out in true tag team competition for all the marbles.

    $59.95 PPV
    $49.95 PPV HD

  27. ThirtyOne


    “This July has seen the highest temperatures ever recorded in Europe and worldwide. It is not an exceptional event but part of a trend. Take a look at the graph above; there is no other way to define it than scary. If the trend of the past 10 years is maintained, then the average summer temperature in Europe will keep rising by about 0.14 °C every year. It means one more degree by 2030 and three additional degrees by 2050. And it could be much worse: the authors of the paper interpreted the growth as linear, but these complex systems tend to go exponentially.”

    1. eg

      What little value sovereign ratings have is for comparison across nations, NOT against whatever imaginary “standard” they are measured against.

      1. Willow

        It potentially will have a huge impact for Japanese (& possibly other) pension funds which are constrained to a set percentage of AAA rated assets as rated by a minimum two of the three agencies.

  28. Monosynapsis

    “Now if someone can advise on how to increase both heat and cold tolerance, please pipe up!”

    In one word: Sauna.

    But it needs to be done correctly (alternating between extreme heat and cold). Sauna owners probably knowthis.

    Here’s how you can do it without a Sauna:

    you need a bathtub and a cold shower(garden hose).
    1. get into the tub whith a comfortable warmth.
    2. slowly increase the heat by feeding in more hot water whilst soaking in it. Thers a point at which the heat becomes uncomfortable. Thats your sweet spot. Soak until your body tells you to get the heck out.
    3. immediately go stand under a as cold as possible shower. Dont mind the gasping effect,thats your body being afraid (falling into cold water in natureis life threatening) and this reflex will recede after a few times. Stay there for a few minutes, preferably until you start to shiver slightly.
    4.sit and relax until you feel ‘ normal’. Drink some water ( not out of the fridge!).
    5. go back to 1. one more time but skip the cold shower, just lukewarm the last time as your heatcontrolsystem in the body will be exhausted and you would stay cold.

    WARNING!!!!! This procedure is for healthy people regarding the cardiovascular system. Anybody with a heart condition should abstain!!!

    Do this evryday for a week. Monitor the bathtub temp with a thermometer. Time the lenght you can sweat in the tub and see it increase over the days.

    Go slow in the beginning! Listen to your body!

    Be prepared for some dizzyness under or right after the cold shower. This is actually a good sign ( vasocapillar constriction). After a week or so and if healthy the amount of heat and cold would be much higher to the point of experiencing an endorphine rush under the cold shower. Your now in the ‘workout’ zone where this becomes a sport.

    The benefit( I do this with a Homesauna since decades): I work comfortably outside in a tshirt for short amounts of time winter and cycle long distances during heatwaves in summer whilst everybody stays home. So does my wife. Many other health benefits as well. This procedure is the latest craze amongst professional athletes btw.

    A final warning: there are a few pple who cannot sweat( or barely so): go soft on this!

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