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    Microsoft HoloLens
    14 comments 15 comments Vitaliy_KiselevJanuary 21Last reply - January 23 by Tron Subscribe to this blog
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    Survivorship Bias
    • You must remind yourself that when you start to pick apart winners and losers, successes and failures, the living and dead, that by paying attention to one side of that equation you are always neglecting the other. If you are thinking about opening a restaurant because there are so many successful restaurants in your hometown, you are ignoring the fact that only successful restaurants survive to become examples. Maybe on average 90 percent of restaurants in your city fail in the first year. You can’t see all those failures because when they fail they also disappear from view. As Nassim Taleb writes in his book The Black Swan, “The cemetery of failed restaurants is very silent.” Of course the few that don’t fail in that deadly of an environment are wildly successful because only the very best and the very lucky can survive. All you are left with are super successes, and looking at them day after day you might think it’s a great business to get into when you are actually seeing evidence that you should avoid it.

    10 comments 11 comments Vitaliy_KiselevJanuary 16Last reply - January 18 by onion Subscribe to this blog
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    Unmanageable complexity: Solutions and idiots
    • Last year many people who even have very vague understanding of economics started to feel that something is wrong.

      Next normal step is to look for problems (and find that it is plenty of them) and suitable solutions (and you can find only few sane ones).

      Most frequent idea (present in US and other large countries) - we need to build autonomous system, rebuild all local manufacturing, start doing most thing inside country, reduce dependencies. Sounds quite sane and has good logic behind.

      Yet, such system has huge issues. You just can't do it after you passed peak of fossil fuels (per capita and, now, also absolute). As such process will require sharp and significant drop of life level (you will get energy from people and use it for manufacturing building and later functioning), transition to much worse, hard jobs (in people eyes). Another problem is that most of modern factories require few people to work on them, so while you will have some jobs coming locally, they will be limited.

      Idea could be good, if implemented in the best years, well ahead of issues and coupled with really good population control and education systems.

      Next idea - we need to return to free market abstraction (Austrian economical school guys like it) and small free agents. Problem with free market is that it has big corresponding costs. In other words, frequently it can be very ineffective. It sounds very good to start eating organic food, make very small farms and close big food factories. But. Such approach in most cases also leads to less effective energy and resources use.

      If you have low population density, big amount of cheap available resources and vast amount of land - free market can be very effective thing, as it behave like liquid filling every hole, looking at every basic need. As time passes free market starts to just burn resources and energy, making artificial needs. With start of energy and resources issues free market becomes enemy of itself, it starts to collapse (and you can do many things to save it, but it won't work). With limited resources you need only limited amount of manufacturers with most efficient logistics, you need only one shop located properly and running efficiently. Further you can see increase of very small agents, but not because of any progress or solution, but at it can be only available survival strategy for many people.

      All and every economic book widely known now had been written on the left part of the energy and resources chart, on the rise part. Situation on the right part will be different, and this is where we are heading now. At full speed.

    20 comments 21 comments Vitaliy_KiselevJanuary 15Last reply - January 22 by brianl Subscribe to this blog
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    The End of Endless Growth
    • image

      Declining returns are a consequence of the “the interaction between limitations of a biophysical nature (the exhaustion of resources, global warming, etc.) and the increasing complexity of social structures (bureaucratisation, the reduction in the productivity of innovation and in the educational, health and productive systems, etc.).”

      Civilization is thus undergoing a huge, momentous phase shift as the current form of global predatory capitalism crumbles beneath the weight of its own mounting unsustainability.

      The economic crisis is therefore not just about debt, or deregulation, or market volatility or whatever. Fundamentally, the crisis is due to the global economy’s ongoing breaching of the limits of the biosphere. Ironically, as Bonauiti points out, after a certain point as material accumulation measured by GDP continues, well-being and happiness have not only stopped growing, they are now also in decline as depression and other psychological ailments are accelerating — a phenomenon that mainstream economists are at a loss to explain.

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    As usual
    • David Cameron, is calling for new surveillance powers in the wake of the recent shootings in Paris. Speaking at a public event in the UK this morning, Cameron outlined the government’s stance on secure communications that can’t be read by police or government agencies. "In our country, do we want to allow a means of communication between people which […] we cannot read?" he asked, comparing letters and phone conversations to encrypted communications used online, adding that "we must not" allow a means of communication where individuals can communicate in secret over the internet.

      Well. It is interesting how criminals protect themselves from people under false pretense that they protect people from criminals.

    11 comments 12 comments Vitaliy_KiselevJanuary 12Last reply - January 14 by kurth Subscribe to this blog
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