Becoming Antifragile: Beyond "Sissy" Resilience | The Art of Manliness


While resilience is great, it may not be our best goal. In this post we look at Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, 'Antifragile.'
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Tue, 22 May 2018 11:54:59 -0400
America’s long-term challenge #3: destruction of the currency
On April 2, 1792, George Washington signed into law what’s commonly referred to as the Mint and Coinage Act. It was one of the first major pieces of legislation in the young country’s history… and it was an important one, because it formally created the United States dollar. Under the Act, the US dollar was defined as a particular amount of copper, silver, or gold. It wasn’t just a piece of paper. A $10 “eagle” coin, for example, was 16.04 grams of pure gold, whereas a 1 cent coin was 17.1 grams of copper. The ratios between gold, silver, and copper were all fixed back then. But if we apply […]
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Seems apropos in light of more school shootings since this went online.

Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Mon, 30 Apr 2018 12:13:14 -0400
Robert Whitaker: America's Prescription Drug Epidemic
Robert Whitaker: America's Prescription Drug Epidemic


The United States has one of the highest rates in the world of prescription drug use, especially for the psychiatric and anti-anxiety drug classes:
  • 1 in 6 Americans takes a psychiatric drug
  • Over a 130,000 U.S. toddlers, children between zero and five years of age, are prescribed addictive anti-anxiety drugs including the wildly-addictive and difficult to stop using benzodiazepines
  • A very high proportion of the school shootings in the U.S. were committed by young adults on such drugs.
The benefits of these drugs are marketed to us daily, but what about the downsides? What about the side effects? More importantly, do they even work?

Join the conversation »

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Interesting - I hadn't seen the shootings discussed from that angle before.
Richard WingerRichard Winger wrote the following post Sun, 20 May 2018 12:48:51 -0400
“The Conversation” Carries Clear and Interesting Article on Flaws in All Voting Systems, with a Proposed Solution
“The Conversation” is an on-line publication, since 2011, with content from the academic and research community. It has published this article about multi-candidate elections, by Mathematics Professor Christoph Borgers of Tufts. It shows theoretical flaws in standard elections, elections using … Continue reading →
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The Debian Project, among other organisations, use the Schulze method.
Aided by Palantir, the LAPD Uses Predictive Policing to Monitor Specific People and Neighborhoods

A new report details the Los Angeles Police Department's use of algorithms to identify "hot spots" and "chronic offenders" and target them for surveillance.
!Hubzilla Support Forum  Twice now in recent days, I have posted a message and had the message editor remain (with the message still in it) after the message had been posted. With only two incidents, I don't really have much more I can tell you, but maybe someone else has seen this happen. I'm guessing there is some connection to the new draft message saving feature.

I'm running 3.4 and using FF 60.0.1 under Windows 7.
yeah I got the same thing. Plus there is not "cancel" button.
Cancel was implemented sometime last week. The update should reach your site in due course.
I had to delete the content to make it go away (after confirming that what I was seeing below it was really a post and not a preview).

Fight Hate Speech with More Speech, Not Censorship: ACLU's Nadine Strossen
by ReasonTV on YouTube

Nadine Strossen, who served as the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, is the author of the new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, which lays out a compelling argument against policies that try to restrict what individuals are allowed to say. Attempts to legally prevent and criminalize hate speech, Strossen writes, typically end up being used against the very people and groups they are intended to protect. What's more, she says, the alleged harms caused by ugly speech are routinely overstated.

Strossen, a professor at New York Law School in Manhattan, sat down with Reason's Nick Gillespie to talk about her new book, why hyperpolarization in American politics makes free expression more difficult, and the best ways to counter bad, stupid, and hate-filled speech.
How Millennials today compare with their grandparents 50 years ago


The past five decades have seen large shifts in U.S. society and culture. See how Millennials today compare with their grandparents 50 years ago.
Cod and ‘Immune Broth’: California Tests Food as Medicine

A state-funded clinical trial will test whether nutritious daily meals for chronically ill people can improve health and reduce medical costs.
Economic Numbers Are Less Than Meet the Eye - Daily Reckoning

Investors can be forgiven for thinking they hit the trifecta last Friday.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment had dropped to 3.9%, the lowest in almost 20 years.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta reported that its widely followed GDP forecasting tool was showing projected growth for the second quarter of 2018 at 4%, exactly where Trump boosters like Larry Kudlow said it would be.

Finally, the Dow Jones industrial average rallied 332 points (1.39%), partly in response to the other good news. It was almost enough to make a trader sing, “Happy days are here again.”

Or not.

The fact is that this good news hides more than it reveals. A look behind the numbers discloses a sobering outlook for investors.
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Thu, 17 May 2018 12:20:41 -0400
America’s long-term challenge #2: the looming retirement crisis
Last week, the financial services giant Northwestern Mutual released new data showing that 1 in 3 Americans has less than $5,000 in retirement savings. It’s an unfortunately familiar story. And Northwestern Mutual’s data is entirely aligned with other research we’ve seen in the past, including our own. The Federal Reserve’s most recent Survey of Consumer Finances, for example, shows that the median bank balance among US consumers is just $2,900. And Bank of America’s annual report from last year showed that the average balance per HOUSEHOLD (i.e. -not- per person) was $12,870… which was actually LESS than the average account balance that Bank of America reported in 1997! On average, […]
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It is also worth mentioning that the Social Security trust fund (almost $3T) is invested in federal government debt. Every billion of trust fund that is used is a billion in federal debt that won't roll over and therefore a new buyer of that federal debt must be found (in addition to all the new debt constantly being created).
Reading a little more, it seems it won't stop completely in 2034, just be reduced to (current projections)  79%.

There might be a little something...
still a good idea to get our retirement ducks in a row..
Well, yeah, when the trust fund runs out, there will still be funds coming in from current workers to pay out to current retirees. There will be no more buffer to damp out the effects of demographic changes or economic changes that impact the tax revenue coming into the system. Maybe the myth that they are saving your tax payments for your future retirement will finally be busted.

It would be interesting to see a graph showing the year a dollar was paid into the system vs when it was paid out (assuming first in, first out). I just got this image of a big whirlpool drain with water pouring in the top and exiting the bottom. The volume of water in the container represents the trust fund.
You don't see this every day (at least I hope you don't)

Woman poops in Tim Hortons
by James Schilling on YouTube
Length: 0:41
Woman clearly needing to use the washroom was refused the washroom in a Langley Tim Horton’s unless she bought something first . She was apparently in no position for negotiation
How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real time

The digital privacy world was rocked late Thursday evening when The New York Times reported on Securus, a prison telecom company that has a service enabling law enforcement officers to locate most American cell phones within seconds. The company does this via a basic Web interface leveraging a location API—creating a way to effectively access a massive real-time database of cell-site records.
Thanks for sharing
New law: Kansas cops can't have sex during traffic stops

Gov. Jeff Colyer signs a law banning police from having sex with people they stop for traffic violations or investigate in criminal cases.
This is f* funny in so many ways. :-D
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Mon, 14 May 2018 11:21:54 -0400
Breaking down America’s worst long-term challenges: #1- Debt.
On October 22, 1981, the national debt in the United States crossed the $1 trillion threshold for the first time in history. It took nearly two centuries to reach that unfortunate milestone. And over that time the country had been through a revolution, civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, the nuclear arms race… plus dozens of other wars, financial panics, and economic crises. Today, the national debt stands at more than $21 trillion– a milestone hit roughly two months ago. This means that the government added $20 trillion to the national debt in the 37 years between October 22, 1981 and March 15, 2018. That’s an average of […]
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Mastodon got mentioned in the context of sex workers sites being shut down due to FOSTA-SESTA.

Free ThoughtsFree Thoughts wrote the following post Fri, 04 May 2018 00:15:08 -0400
What’s Facebook Done With My Data? (with Will Duffield)
What’s Facebook Done With My Data? (with Will Duffield)

Will Duffield joins us again to discuss Cambridge Analytica and the future of social media.
Rand Paul: Congress Moves to Give the President Unlimited War Powers

The Founders left the power to make war in the legislature on purpose and with good reason. They recognized that the executive branch is most prone to war. The Kaine/Corker AUMF would completely abdicate Congress’s power under Article I.

Handing war-making power from Congress to the executive branch is not an exercise in congressional power. It is the final and full abandonment of that power. It is wrong, it is unconstitutional, and it should be stopped.
Marx’s Defenders Should Explain Why His Ideas Never Actually Work | Kristian Niemietz


This week will mark the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. It will be an occasion for a deluge of articles repeating the well-worn cliché that even though Marx’s predictions ultimately did not materialize, his analysis of capitalism was nonetheless spot on, and remains hugely relevant today. (In fact, it’s already started.)

Those articles will contain plenty of awkward attempts to squeeze contemporary developments into a Marxist framework in order to make the case that the great man saw it all coming. There will be plenty of obscure Marx quotes on display, which, like Nostradamus quotes, will have the virtue of lending themselves to projection. Those articles will end with platitudes like “Marx still has a lot to teach us,” or “you cannot understand modern capitalism without understanding Marx.”

They will, of course, respect the unstated etiquette of any contemporary discussion of Marxism: that the outcomes of real-world attempts to implement them must never, ever, be held against Marx’s ideas.
China has been been adopting market-oriented policies for decades.

Chinese economic reform - Wikipedia

Economic reforms introducing market principles began in 1978 and were carried out in two stages. The first stage, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, involved the decollectivization of agriculture, the opening up of the country to foreign investment, and permission for entrepreneurs to start businesses. However, most industry remained state-owned. The second stage of reform, in the late 1980s and 1990s, involved the privatization and contracting out of much state-owned industry and the lifting of price controls, protectionist policies, and regulations, although state monopolies in sectors such as banking and petroleum remained. The private sector grew remarkably, accounting for as much as 70 percent of China's gross domestic product by 2005. From 1978 until 2013, unprecedented growth occurred, with the economy increasing by 9.5% a year.
Marx proposed communism as a way for wealthy capitalist societies to more fairly distribute that wealth, avoiding the creation of artificial but large pockets of poverty and the erosion of democracy in these societies - which capitalism does create, and communist inspired programs do help alleviate.

Communism was not supposed to end extreme poverty in poor, underdeveloped societies. Marx himself praised capitalism for dealing with that.

"Communist" China has drastically reduced poverty because it has understood this. China's market policies are paralleled by strong socialist "welfare state" programs. "Capitalist" Latin America has failed to achieve the same level of success, in good part because each time a government that understood this balance was elected, the local colonial elites resorted to the USA's self-interested propensity to support or directly intervene with "anti-communist" coups d'état.

Still, la nave va...
I will certainly be the first to admit that my education on the subject of communism is lacking. Being educated in the USA during the cold war may have something to do with that.

Maybe I can actually learn something this time around. Previous conversations devolved into flamefests when I tried to ask questions.

Several statements you make, @Alexandre Hannud Abdo imply a coexistence between capitalism and communism which, no surprise, goes against the 1970's USA school curricula I was taught. I was taught that in capitalist societies, things are privately owned and in communist systems things are owned by the state (as a proxy for all the people). Before I ask what I was going to ask, I suppose I should stop and ask if this is even correct in your view.
Peak ProsperityPeak Prosperity wrote the following post Fri, 11 May 2018 22:13:41 -0400
Time To Choose
Time To Choose


There’s a vast revolution underway. And it’s time to pick sides.

Your choice couldn't be more critically important. Quite possibly, the entire fate of the human species hangs in the balance.

It's time to decide: Will you be an agent of depletion or regeneration?

Join the conversation »

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30 Ways to Save Money + Eat Healthy on a Budget | Root + Revel

Eating organic can be expensive, but we've got 30 clever, easy ways to help you save money + eat healthy on a budget.