Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Source: "All washed up: The haunting pictures of an abandoned water park reclaimed by nature (including crocodiles)"--Daily Mail. Photos and an article about the Ho Thuy Tien water park in Vietnam. Construction was abandoned in 2004, according to the article. More photos at the link.
    Compared to its Middle Eastern neighbors, Iran has made impressive strides in space technology in the past few years, putting the first satellite into orbit in February 2009; has emerged as a cyber power on the level of China or Russia; and has achieved significant advances in military hardware production, including sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles, main battle tanks, and medium and long-range ballistic missiles. The Iranian defense industry is making gradual inroads into global armament markets, with Iraq, Syria and Lebanon already receiving regular arms shipments to fight Islamic State and other rebel forces. The Iranian state is capable of projecting force in the Gulf and the Levant, and has often challenged the United States—successfully or not—to stay out of the Gulf region, showing a high degree of foreign-policy independence.
      Furthermore, traditional elements of Iranian power, such as its strategic location with unfettered access to the Indian Ocean and considerable control over the Strait of Hormuz in the southern entrance of the Persian Gulf, through which one-third of the world’s seaborne oil shipments passes; its long shorelines on the Caspian Sea, connecting Tehran to the Central Asian states and Russia; a large and educated population; huge reserves of oil and gas; and an expanding industrial base contributing to nearly 40 percent of GDP, despite Western sanctions—all these buttress Iran’s bid for a major power role in the Middle East.
      • The Decline of the West:
      • The Obama administration orders all public schools to allow "transgender" students to use restrooms corresponding to their "gender identity." Letter (PDF) located here.
      • "Britain ‘sleepwalking to catastrophe’ over race: Trevor Phillips"--The Telegraph. The article begins: "Britain risks 'flames' of racial and religious conflict because of a 'liberal self-delusion' over the impact of mass immigration, the former head of the equality watchdog [the  Equality and Human Rights Commission] Trevor Phillips claims today."
      Recent agent-based computer simulations suggest that ethnocentrism, often thought to rely on complex social cognition and learning, may have arisen through biological evolution. From a random start, ethnocentric strategies dominate other possible strategies (selfish, traitorous, and humanitarian) based on cooperation or non-cooperation with in-group and out-group agents. Here we show that ethnocentrism eventually overcomes its closest competitor, humanitarianism, by exploiting humanitarian cooperation across group boundaries as world population saturates. Selfish and traitorous strategies are self-limiting because such agents do not cooperate with agents sharing the same genes. Traitorous strategies fare even worse than selfish ones because traitors are exploited by ethnocentrics across group boundaries in the same manner as humanitarians are, via unreciprocated cooperation. By tracking evolution across time, we find individual differences between evolving worlds in terms of early humanitarian competition with ethnocentrism, including early stages of humanitarian dominance. Our evidence indicates that such variation, in terms of differences between humanitarian and ethnocentric agents, is normally distributed and due to early, rather than later, stochastic differences in immigrant strategies. 
      • "FBI Tells Police To Hide Phone Tracking"--Vocativ. Police are instructed to conceal use of stingray devices, and use other evidence to build a parallel case against a suspect, i.e., "parallel construction."
      • "The Phrase of the Day"--The Silicon Graybeard. The word is "Hypertrophy"--as in uncontrolled growth. The author writes: "When you can show that since 2007 trade in physical goods and services increased 36 % while currency trading increased 160 %, it's easy to see which sector is making money.  The Too Big to Fail Banks are at the heart of this, making their 'arbitrage and leverage' fees on every one of these trades." Read the whole thing--this is important to understand.


      1. Millennials more open to idea of slavery reparations. Hey, I'm for reparations too, if those reparations are tied to renunciation of United States citizenship and a one-way ticket to Africa for the reparations recipient. And, any means-tested welfare payments the recipient has received during their life, along with any incarceration costs, should be deducted from the reparations payment.

        If nothing else is learned from the Era of Obama, it should be that the race baiters and the civil rights establishment are never satisfied. Reparation payments will only fuel more demands.

        1. Vox Day has stated that the United States lacks the social cohesion necessary to continue as a single nation, but our choice now is whether dissolution will be peaceful or violent. Welfare and other concessions to identity politics is just the modern equivalent of paying off the barbarian hordes so they don't raid and pillage. As you note, such payments are temporary fixes. The question is when the payments become too expensive to afford.