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kleinbl00  ·  2 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 2021: the year the West invents the Ekranoplan

I think the fact that hovercraft and the Concorde ate shit about the same time is directly related to the thunderous amounts of energy both consumed.

Humans can produce about 1/10th of a horsepower indefinitely. Nobody really thinks about this but the fact of the matter is, we're good for about 75 watts. You, normal human, lack the physical fitness to keep your Macbook Pro charged. In order to charge up your Chevy Volt to the point where it could go 100 miles, you would have to pedal a stationary bike for 42 hours (assuming that stationary bike was 98% efficient). On a non-stationary bike I could do 11mph all day long - If we both started pedalling I would be there for 33 hours before you turned the key.

Fast... costs. The SR-71, with two humans at cruise, consumed twice as much energy as the Queen Mary, a 12-deck, 2100 passenger 77,000 long ton transoceanic passenger liner. I've got the sales dept's advertising costs for the failed Boeing 2707 and they are staggering.

The MV Walla Walla requires 11,500 HP to transport 2000 passengers and 188 vehicles at 18 knots. The Victoria Clipper III requires 3200 HP to transport 250 passengers and zero cars at 25 knots. There are no car ferries between Seattle and Victoria anymore because they're too damn expensive.

The "Regent Seaglider" is a cartoon at this point. Kenmore Air flies deHavilland Beavers - they require 450HP to haul six people at 137 knots. You could halve that in ground effect, and probably halve it again because of modern design - you're at 20HP per person.

The big dumb car ferry has you beat by a factor of five before we consider the fact that it's also hauling your damn car.

kleinbl00  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says


This has been added to my forever lexicon

kleinbl00  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says

Just sent this to all staff

    There will come a time when the masks come off. I recommend everyone consider for themselves, individually, what milestones would make you personally comfortable with seeing an unmasked patient, and what would make you personally comfortable not wearing a mask yourself. We value everyone's health and safety, but we also value a return to normalcy and we need to be cognizant of the point where the mask ceases to be safety equipment and becomes a teddy bear. Is it case counts? Is it percentage vaccinated? We've had it easy so far because the enforceable bare minimum was adequate to our needs. The enforceable bare minimum is now "nothing" so whatever our "something" is we need to be able to justify it, and we need to be ready to let go of it when we can't anymore.
kleinbl00  ·  4 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says

I think it's a tacit acknowledgement that everyone who wants a vaccine has a vaccine and everyone who doesn't won't so either we wear masks forever or we change the calculus.

I mean, the Republicans have been saying for over a year they'd rather have mass death than economic hardship so fuckin' take 'em at their word.

kleinbl00  ·  5 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says

    In case anyone is asking, Yes, Jay Inslee announced yesterday "fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks unless they're in crowded indoor settings like schools, buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters." He also said that business can continue to require masks if they choose. We will be continuing to require masks at this time and I wanted you all to hear the exact language that was announced. We also can say that we are a (relatively) crowded indoor setting with vulnerable populations and therefore we will continue to require masks.

Note that we have a burn unit-grade HVAC system and our staff is fully vaccinated, but we also have two Brazilian employees who are not at all ready to deal with maskless clients at the moment.

kleinbl00  ·  17 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks Indoors And Outdoors, CDC Says

tinfoil hat time?

If you're halfway vaccinated, this is enough to scare you into being all the way vaccinated.

If you were on the fence? This pushes you off the fence one way or the other.

If you're vaccinated? You're fine.

If you're not vaccinated? You're most likely in the age group that experiences mild symptoms. And if you're not, you're sick now. And all your friends see it. And the places that are not prepared for this are about to show their asses and everyone gets to go "whoa holy shit vaccines work."

I think this is the United States public health apparatus going "we double dog dare you." 'cuz let's be honest: if you haven't gotten vaccinated by now, it's probably a choice. And if you have gotten vaccinated by now, you are 100% protected from severe COVID.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tesla Makes More Money Trading Bitcoin Than Selling Cars

The year Aston Martin went public they were turning $70 in profit per car, or between a quarter and a fifth what Apple profits per iPad. This is one of the reasons equities have become so nihilistic: there's no fucking point at looking at the fundamentals because hedge funds and august Wall Street firms have been YOLOing their stimmies since Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tesla Makes More Money Trading Bitcoin Than Selling Cars

    I'm not goin got sully Hubski with a Tesla hate-rant

Please reconsider.

    The Bitcoin trading thing is pretty funny though, given Elon's bullshit-laden climate change focus.

The institutionals have been pivoting heavily to ETH. You can make a fundamental use case, and you can use phrases like "authentication" and "DeFi" which nobody understands but knows they should be impressed by, and then you can point to NBA Top Shot and nobody even knows enough to argue that it runs on Flow not Ethereum.

For about three weeks now total market flows for ETH have been half again Bitcoin's. And it's a steady thing. When dumb things like Dogecoin bumps aren't happening ETH is the top traded cryptocurrency across the top three or four exchanges, and the top traded cryptocurrency, period.

Ethereum is also pointing towards exactly the characteristics Musk called out:

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In Liz Cheney vs. Donald Trump, Guess Who Won

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: In Liz Cheney vs. Donald Trump, Guess Who Won

    n the first two years of Trump's presidency, Cheney supported Trump's position on 95.8% of her votes. In the last two years, Cheney supported Trump's position 92.8% of the time. That's a higher level of support than Trump received over the same time period from Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), who Trump later selected as his Chief of Staff.

    Cheney was viewed as a rising star and was elected chair of the House Republican Conference, the third-highest leadership position in the House Republican Caucus, in 2018. She embraced Trump's rhetorical style, trashing the Democratic Party with a stream of invective. "They’ve become the party of anti-Semitism; they’ve become the party of infanticide; they’ve become the party of socialism," Cheney said in 2019 interview on Meet The Press.

I know you know the source of that.

There's this naive idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend but get a grip, dawg. All Cheneys are chaotic evil. If you didn't tap out in 2016, and if you aren't frickin' to the left of Romney by now, the blood is on your hands.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

It'll be whoever is least likely to sue and win.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

They can always pivot to something easier/stupider/cheaper/whatever.

    Yeah, they could hire someone else to do the writing I do, but then they'd need at least three tech people, two people from the Installations/Training teams, a lead salesperson/account manager, and sales administrator to do every one of the projects I work on.

To do it right, yeah. You can do it wrong for a long time before people catch on. 'nuther Playnetwork story:

We'd sold Jack in the Box on our ability to execute "Jack TV" - whereby there were video monitors that played inane bullshit during the lunch and dinner rush. But they only had about 20 minutes worth of inane bullshit and they'd discovered that they couldn't afford to lock down the bullshit effectively enough to keep Jack in the Box employees from unplugging the DVD player after about four hours of inane bullshit. So our video sales flak - I had to clean up a lot of his bullshit - pitched all this stuff on the basis that the audio would magically switch from the bullshit DVD player to our bullshit music player on a schedule without the first clue how to do this.

You did this with a dayparting DVD player, which cost a mere $1800 at the time. Then you ran it through an amp with a contact closure control, which cost a mere $400. Museum kiosks do this all the time, it's just nobody had thought to ask the engineering department before putting together a bid. As a consequence there was $300 for the DVD player and amp.

- But it was six months between signing the contract and having to do anything.

So now it lands on my desk and the project manager decides to just... you know, shine on the fact that we didn't do the dayparting.

- It took three months for Jack in the Box Corporate to bother complaining.

So now there are 25 Jack in the Boxes stretched across Texas with employees in open rebellion because who wants to listen to 18 minutes of Jack in the Box commercials all day long. Which means a truck roll to "fix" everything which meant a $400 amplifier had to go in along with a $30 digital thermostat I'd tortured into working, written up the instructions on, gotten forged into our inventory system as a "McGyver 1000" with a vendor of "Home Depot" and "deployed" to these toothless yokels living in a motorhome.

- Because the engineering overage came out of the project manager's monthly profit/loss statement so she went as cheap as she possibly could.

- But the sales guy didn't care because we'd crossed the fiscal year so the project profits weren't going to be actualized for another ten months.

So the project manager is so stoked at how adequately these toothless yokels executed their "string lamp cord between a thermostat timer and a contact closure control" contract, on top of their "why bother hooking up three component cables when one composite cable sort of works" work ethic that she no-shit offered them the contract for Washington and Oregon, too. Ye Olde MacGyver 1000 has now bought every Home Depot in a 100-mile radius out of thermostat timers; I had gophers smurfing them from Cle Elum to Silverdale. I switch over to a connector that's harder to fuck up but requires special pliers; the contractor legit steals them to sell to other contractors and uses Monoprice bullshit on my bid (I see this because they literally come by the office so I can show them how to terminate cable). But it's been a year by now and nobody has been punished for their tomfoolery. I'm spending a good 20 hours a week supporting a project that would be over and done with if it were bid properly. But everyone is totally stoked -

- until one of the contractors I like from my real world back where low voltage guys are bonded and insured

- gets breakfast at Jack In The Box, sees the toothless yokels and asks them where they're from

- finds out they're from Texas and didn't even know they needed a license in WA

- complains to the county, who complains to the state

- Who shuts down ALL construction at ALL Jack in the Boxes in the middle of their brand refresh to find out what sort of shenanigans is going on.

Somehow the project manager tries to pin this on me. I show everyone the email where I said we needed new contractors. Jack in the Box drops us like a hot rock - but it's been a year with no consequences.

And the sales guy isn't fired for another thirteen months, when an entire fiscal year's worth of nonsense becomes clear.

kleinbl00  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Ultimate Guide to Inflation

"Hello, there. I'm Lyn Alden. You might know me from my various appearances on Twitter, on the podcasts of Twitter people, in my responses to Twitter people and my appearances in podcasts about my appearances on podcasts about appearances. Allow me to turn 'your buying power goes down' into ten thousand words."

You know how any technical writing or creative writing manual will say "Don't start by citing the dictionary?" They do this because it's immediately obvious that you don't quite know what to say, you lack the strength of your convictions to simply say what you think you should say, and you have a wordcount you're trying to hit. It's like how Twitter wonks will try to talk to the normies and light right into M1 and M2 money supply but skip right over fractional reserve banking.

Look here's a news flash: inflation didn't exist until the adoption of gold standards. Piketty spends a full chapter on this, pointing out that pretty much until the dawn of the 20th century authors went ahead and put prices in their books because they never changed. If you look at old records the gold-to-whoozit ratio basically doesn't change. So whenever you see an economist proclaiming this, that or the other, know they're talking about like three data points and attempting to draw a curve:

    Whenever the balance of power favors the wealthy, due to some combination of offshoring, automation, and the political environment, then monetary inflation is more likely to translate into asset price inflation.

But ultimately, what are we left with?

    My base case going forward continues to be that with the combination of sizable broad money supply growth, along with public opinion pushing the pendulum back away from globalization, consumer price inflation is likely to be higher in the 2020s decade than in the 2010s decade.


I'm sorry, I'm in a shitty mood. And the tendency of "economists" to wrap themselves in jargon and verbosity in order to wow the rubes has always gotten sand in my shorts. To your observations:

    - Could inflation currently be being softened by some sort of overall productivity increase?

Inflation could be softened by raising taxes, raising interest rates and otherwise making people have less money to spend. There are only so many widgets that people need. If it takes four guys to make a toaster yesterday but only one guy to make a toaster today, people aren't going to run out and buy four toasters even if you slash prices 75%.

    - Moderate inflation actually helps the lower 50% of people because they have more debt and less assets.

Inflation punishes savers. It is the number one solution for eliminating sovereign debt. Can't pay your pension benefits? Inflation is your friend. Can't pay your social security obligations? Inflation is your friend. Can't pay your mortgage? Inflation is your friend. Here's the thing, though: 60% of student loan debt is owned by the top 40%. Mortgage debt is even less fair. Meanwhile wages tend to trail inflation, not lead them and the bottom half of the income brackets are most assuredly labor, not capital so no, in general inflation is not their friend.

Poof. You own a McDonald's franchise. You've got 20 employees per shift. Four of those are cashiers who you pay $9 an hour. Suddenly a wild COVID appears! Those $9/hr cashiers have discovered that they can make $7 an hour sitting at home, also that McDonald's sucks. To get them back will cost you $11 an hour - they want to make as much as the fry cooks. The fry cooks, for purposes of the discussion, are fine.

You're open 18 hours a day. Could be 24, but let's say 18. Each cashier is going to be an additional $36 per day on the face of it. That's $250 a week, $1000 a month, $12k a year. So. You gonna hire those $9 cashiers or are you gonna buy a $5k kiosk with a 3% business loan that lets you amortize the cost against your taxes for the next 24 months? And do please keep in mind that for every $1 you pay your employees you're paying 50 cents in taxes and overhead. Each cashiering position is costing you $110k a year across three shifts - more if night and swing are paid better - and you can kick that shit to the curb with a capital investment.

Inflation helps the little guy how again?

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

    Perversely, it also protects me, since there are now 10 other people in the company doing small parts of my job, who all need to be in tune with me and my work and rely on me to make sure they meet their goals that are pinned to what I do.

Don't believe that for a minute.

I was doing 90 hours a week for PlayNetwork. In one 48-hour period I had a meeting in DC, a meeting in Dallas, a meeting in Laguna Beach and a meeting in Las Vegas (Dallas was chosen because it was the airport we could all book connections through on our way to other meetings). I saw an agenda for an executive board-level meeting that had "the kleinbl00 problem" on it at about item number seven. An efficiency expert followed me around for two weeks asking how I knew to do this, that and the other; about the eighth time I answered "folklore" she burst into tears.

I didn't understand until a week later when my CAD monitors were suddenly boxed up and shipped off to a job. Two days later they let me know they were laying me off. They made me organize my own going-away party, and then nobody came.

They lost $23m worth of contracts within six weeks.

Now - they'd probably made the decision that given the choice between the care and feeding of marquee projects like the ones I did and the care and feeding of two-speaker Starbucks hang'n'bang installs, they'd rather stick to the stuff they could pay any schlub to do. So "exiting" the market that they had hired me to build was probably a conscious decision. There certainly weren't enough people around capable of doing what I did - I'd seen the applications and of the 150 resumes, the only one that was a "maybe" was a guy I knew as a friend of a friend and that friend went "naah you don't want to give that guy any money to do anything he's an incompetent liar." The company definitely bit off more than they could chew, hired me to help munch, discovered that they needed four of me and then discovered that four of me were not available within five states of searching.

But I was still out of a job.

I would like to report the company ate shit not long after. But the fact of the matter is, they zombied on for another ten years, purchased by increasingly incompetent conglomerates until finally they were the ass-end of a licensing deal with Apple.

When I look 'em up on LinkedIn i still see a lot of names I recognize even now.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tech giants join call for funding U.S. chip production
kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

    Beyond that whole debacle, it's disturbingly cheaper to buy a condo than to rent a place, so I'm toying with that. Life is stupid expensive. Not a fan. Any smart people got advice on red flags to watch for in that process?

Yeah literally everything

- the amount of training to become a real estate agent is less than the amount of training to become an aesthetician. I think hair stylists have more ethics videos to watch, tho

- there is nothing preventing a real estate agent from practicing their best creative writing and then adding "buyer to confirm" to cover their magical beanstalk ideas

- the mortgage market is in flux, FNMA/FNMC are still partly under forbearance and the nation's eviction status is all over the place and subject to extensive and ongoing litigation

- inflation is something feared by literally everyone except the people responsible for addressing inflation

- timber futures are through the roof in part because our stock market is fully nihilist but also in part because Canada has been eaten by wood borer beetles

- Biden is trying to blow up 1031 exchanges which, fundamentally, means that right now you can buy an apartment building for $1m, sell it for $2m, then buy a $2m apartment building and pay zero taxes. Biden thinks that actually, anyone rich enough to do that shit should probably pay 43% capital gains tax which as you might imagine has the potential to upend multifamily in ways we haven't seen since the Tenement Act of 1901.

Fer real, dawg. EVERYTHING about real estate is up for renegotiation right now. Maybe you catch a rising star? Maybe you catch a knife. I honestly have no idea how this plays out because on the one hand the Republicans are busy pillorying Liz Cheney for saying mean things about Trump while Biden is busy going "here's $50 a month for your internet for everyone making under $200k a year".

Shit is bananas. Stay frosty.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 12, 2021

    She is about to have a reckoning with her management, as to why her team of 7 is now down to 3, and key - possibly irreplaceable - skills have been allowed to walk out the door, and nobody has been cross-trained to fill in the gap.

I dunno, man, sometimes it's the culture. Nice people who are powerless to prevent catastrophe often end up at terrible organizations because they shine compared to everyone else. It's a land of the blind situation - a manager who would be "barely competent" at any healthy organization becomes "top talent" at the places no schlub with half a resume would settle for.

Have a friend who worked for a name everyone here would recognize. She was mid-level management. She bailed because she was pretty well convinced that the organization would end up on the national news. Six months after she was gone there was a Propublica investigation. And there were plenty of nice people there.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Nuclear reactions are smoldering again at Chernobyl

Interesting. I hadn't heard that. It wouldn't be unique, unfortunately.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Credit-Card Debt Keeps Falling. Banks Are On Edge.

Actually neither did I! I know most of the characters in the Simpsons are named after streets and neighborhoods in Portland Oregon but beyond that I know nothing.

kleinbl00  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Tech giants join call for funding U.S. chip production

I'm... coming around on China. I mean... they failed to successfully invade Burma. they failed to successfully invade Vietnam. Yeah China has definitely expanded a great deal since 1979 but... they're still China. They display outward contempt to every border state. Their OBOR dealings have largely been regarded as punitive by everyone. Their navy is built around a Soviet-era Kuznetsov-class ski jump carrier.

It doesn't take much to stymie a big navy. I think China's navy is a jobs program intended to intimidate, not dominate. Get a lot of ships out there, run a lot of drills, build a lot of bases, sure. I mean that was the basic Soviet playbook - if you look impressive enough you never have to prove it. The minute shit gets kinetic, though, you have a lot to lose.

How much face does China lose if they take a flyer at Taiwan and don't absolutely dominate? How complicated does their foreign policy become? How quickly does their new millennium become their old millennium?

You might be too young to remember this but Iraq had the fourth largest army in the world back in '90. Desert Shield was the dreaded, dreadful pause before we embarked on another Vietnam or worse; casualties could have been in the tens of thousands because of all the WMD and the Elite Republican Guard but we put up our yellow ribbons and supported the troops and we went from first shot to ceasefire in one hundred hours.

Popular memory insists that the Japanese were a fearsome strategic threat during WWII. The reality of the situation is they successfully ambushed the allies in December and were fighting a war of attrition by the following June. If the Japanese hadn't boxed themselves into a totalitarian death cult domestically the Pacific theater would have been over at Midway. As it was, US forces ended up fighting a war of near-extermination.

I think the Chinese would have to be truly foolhardy to start a shooting war with someone who can credibly fight back. Trade rocks across Ladakh? Sure. But I think they know their narrative falls apart the minute they launch Silkworms.

Speaking of Silkworms

    The Silkworm was developed at the Institute of Mechanics under Qian Xuesen, a Chinese scientist who did his graduate studies at MIT and Caltech, before being deported by the United States in 1955 after being suspected of Communist ties. A book about this scientist's life was written by Iris Chang, entitled Thread of the Silkworm.