Thursday, April 23, 2020

Natural Intelligence

Intelligently Engaged,

​ ​Though the May 2019 NSCAI document was authored nearly a year ago, the coronavirus crisis has resulted in the implementation of many of the changes and the removal of many of the “structural” obstacles that the commission argued needed to be drastically altered in order to ensure a technological advantage over China in the field of AI. The aforementioned move away from cash, which is taking place not just in the U.S. but internationally, is just one example of many.​ 
 ​For instance, earlier this week CNN reported that grocery stores are now considering banning in-person shopping and that the U.S. Department of Labor has recommended that retailers nationwide start “‘using a drive-through window or offering curbside pick-up’ to protect workers for exposure to coronavirus.” In addition, last week, the state of Florida approved an online-purchase plan for low income families using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Other reports have argued that social distancing inside grocery stores is ineffective and endangering people’s lives. As previously mentioned, the May 2019 NSCAI document argues that moving away from in-person shopping is necessary to mitigate China’s “adoption advantage” and also argued that “when buying online is literally the only way to get what you want, consumers go online.”...
 It is indeed striking how the coronavirus crisis has seemingly fulfilled the NSCAI’s entire wishlist and removed many of the obstacles to the mass adoption of AI technologies in the United States. Like major crises of the past, the national security state appears to be using the chaos and fear to promote and implement initiatives that would be normally rejected by Americans and, if history is any indicator, these new changes will remain long after the coronavirus crisis fades from the news cycle. It is essential that these so-called “solutions” be recognized for what they are and that we consider what type of world they will end up creating – an authoritarian technocracy. We ignore the rapid advance of these NSCAI-promoted initiatives and the phasing out of so-called “legacy systems” (and with them, many long-cherished freedoms) at our own peril.  

 Michael Snyder asks if the second wave of coronavirus infections is already here. 
"Here" can be local, national or global. With 2-3% of global population showing antibodies, this family of viruses has a completely open world of hosts to infect. This is gonna' take awhile. 
The estimate of another 18 months remains pretty reasonable, maybe a little more. 
The wave function can be modulated by isolation protocols, massive testing and treating, maybe a vaccine some day, but there has never been a workable coronavirus vaccine in 19 years of trying. (It always kills too many lab rats.)

Eastern Virginia Medical School has this flow sheet of protocols for treating COVID, which is the best I have seen, and clearly designed to help doctors help patients, instead of obstructing medical diagnosis and treatment, as we see the CDC and WHO doing. 
"Captured agencies", those seem to be, trying to keep things bad for Gilead to get remdesivir to market, or get all the new AI-police-state protocols in place. 
What is their intention?. Thanks for this link, Sharad.

Thought Police tighten up:
YouTube sides with World Health Organization on coronavirus
YouTube says it will take down any videos that contradict what the World Health Organization says about the coronavirus.  

History might be rhyming again, a century later. Gilad Atzmon said that the "Spanish Flu" started in china, which was completely new to me, but it looks like it really may have started there in winter 2017, and was likely carried to Canada and the UK by massive contingents of Chinese laborers from Northern China, where "Winter Illness" had been killing so many people. From Canada, it spread to the US, and was further carried to Europe by American, Canadian and British troop movements. When the "Spanish Flu" finally got to China, the deaths were far fewer (likely the "third-wave" for China, by that time).

The timeline for American  deaths is starting to get pushed back farther with autopsy tissue analysis. This was a bad winter for deaths, and there was not a novel-coronavirus test in November/December, when one of my patients almost died in a teaching hospital, with "coronavirus". That was just an obscure-but-interesting finding in Austin, in December 2019.

Science Magazine has a good tutorial on how and where novel-coronavirus marches through your body, and what it does when it camps in your organs. Ilargi, at the Automatic Earth, found this article, and so many of the others I have used in this pandemic. Good blog.
Small Business Firings Are About to Start, also from The Automatic Earth. 
Small businesses got head-faked with the promise of relief loans that would get forgiven if they kept employees on payroll. Only inside dealing corporations seem to have gotten that money, and before you could say "Jack Robinson". 
It's gone. Here comes the wave of firings and closings. 
Those actual small business people average about as much money as school teachers. 

Taleb lived through the Lebanese civil war. He wants an antifrgile world, stable at each level, not subject to global systemic collapse, like we are about to experience.
​ ​Anyone who has read the Federalist Papers can see what he’s getting at. The “separation of powers” is hardly the most efficient form of government; getting something done entails a complex, time-consuming process of building consensus among distributed centers of authority. But James Madison understood that tyranny—however distant it was from the minds of likely Presidents in his own generation—is so calamitous to a republic, and so incipient in the human condition, that it must be structurally mitigated. For Taleb, an antifragile country would encourage the distribution of power among smaller, more local, experimental, and self-sufficient entities—in short, build a system that could survive random stresses, rather than break under any particular one.​..
 We should discourage the concentration of power in big corporations, “including a severe restriction of lobbying,” Taleb told me. “When one per cent of the people have fifty per cent of the income, that is a fat tail.” Companies shouldn’t be able to make money from monopoly power, “from rent-seeking”—using that power not to build something but to extract an ever-larger part of the surplus. There should be an expansion of the powers of state and even county governments, where there is “bottom-up” control and accountability.  

Yes, the elite global rent-collecting-bankers-and-"investors" need to lose all of their claims to rent payment from all of the rest of us. That is what is fair in this reset. Ben Hunt righteously mocks their PR Spokespersons.
​ ​“I think we all agree with you that more money for Main Street is needed. But maybe not in spite of the money to all of these companies and whatever that make up the economy, as well. More money is needed everywhere, perhaps.
​ ​Why does anybody deserve to get wiped out from a crisis created like this? It’s like a natural disaster! Why does anyone deserve to be wiped out? Wouldn’t that be immoral itself?”
​ ​“Mr. Clarida also dismissed a question about whether the central bank had created a “moral hazard” that encouraged risky investor behavior when the Fed moved quickly to backstop swaths of credit markets.
​ ​“This is entirely an exogenous event,” said Mr. Clarida, noting how the virus—not private-sector behavior—had forced widespread business closures and revenue losses.”
I, for one, am delighted to learn of the “Through No Fault of Their Own” exemption to stock market risk. 

How could oil cost -$40 per barrel on Monday? Thanks, Eleni. (Uh, could this happen in other places?)
How is this possible?
This is possible because of derivatives: financial instruments that trade in opaque markets, with little oversight, and which regulators, including Congress, have permitted to become a systemic problem.
In its simplest rendering, yesterday oil traders who owned oil derivatives realized that if they continued to hold these derivatives, they (the traders) would have to actually take delivery on the physical oil they owned. We’re talking thousands and thousands of oil barrels being delivered.
The traders don’t want the actual physical oil. They simply want to be able to trade oil prices. So, they dumped their derivatives at any price… including PAYING someone to take the derivatives off of their hands.

​This time IS "different":
 It makes no sense to try to sustain demand at earlier levels at a time when production can’t keep up, since it is not yet safe — and won’t be safe for some time — for people to return to work. The time for demand stimulus is later. The task for now is income maintenance — targeting public support at the unemployed so that parents can feed their children. Third, this crisis will be most acute in low-income countries. These countries have weak health systems. They are being hit by weak commodity prices, falling remittances, capital flight, a shortage of trade credit and collapsing currencies all at once.  

Silver Linings start to pop up:
“We’re screwed, just like everyone else in the world.” A spokesman for Peru’s anti-drugs agency said it may funnel more development aid to hard-hit areas. 
​ ​The coronavirus outbreak has upended industries across the globe. The international narcotics trade has not been spared. From the cartel badlands along the U.S.-Mexico border and verdant coca fields of the Andes, to street dealers in London and Paris, traffickers are grappling with many of the same woes as legitimate businesses...

​Your defense in times of drastic change is food security, water and fuel security, for you and your clan.​
​Field Of Opportunity, Neil Young ... "It's plowing time again"​



  1. Lots of "revised" mis-information out there. Seems to be a coordinated strategy to blame ALL pandemics on China. My research shows the 1918 Flu pandemic started in Fort Riley, Kansas. From the US Army:

    Best wishes...

    1. Yes, there's lots of misinformation, but this 2017 story predates it. I had also thought that the 1918 flu first vaulted to prominence among Americans training for WW-1, but this analysis really seems sound. Of course, the stories about where the flu became prominent must still make assumptions about it's actual origin.
      This story seems to be plausible as an origin, and does not really change the better-established timeline after the doughboys got infected. The links to the British Empire and the secretive movement of nearly-enslaved Chinese laborers are historically interesting.
      The secretiveness of this vast movement of laborers in closed trains and camps across Canada, due to anti immigrant sentiment during the war, is also interesting.
      It's a good read. Try it out. It's not quite what you seem to think.