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August 28, 2021

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“We’re finally at a point thanks to the efforts of all Canadians who’ve stayed at home, got tested, got vaccinated, where we can see our loved ones, our friends and our families again,” Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole said in Ottawa. [Emphasis added]
Oh for an American conservative party leader who would say things like this!

California Dreamin (updated)

All the leaveshills are brown
And the sky is gray (from smoke)
I've been for a walk
On a winter'ssummer's day
I'd be safe and warm (as opposed to blazing hot)
If I was in L.A (and it was 1966 again)
California dreamin'
On such a winter'ssummer's day
An appropriate theme for next month's election.

Don't know if this will get us back talking about economics and GDP again, but I ran across this article and thought it was worth dropping in the mix - Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics. It's a new concept to me and one I need to read more about.

https://time.com/5930093/amsterdam-doughnut-economics/

Almost two decades after she left university, as the world was reeling from the 2008 financial crash, Raworth struck upon an alternative to the economics she had been taught. She had gone to work in the charity sector and in 2010, sitting in the open-plan office of the antipoverty nonprofit Oxfam in Oxford, she came across a diagram. A group of scientists studying the conditions that make life on earth possible had identified nine “planetary boundaries” that would threaten humans’ ability to survive if crossed, like the acidification of the oceans. Inside these boundaries, a circle colored in green showed the safe place for humans.

But if there’s an ecological overshoot for the planet, she thought, there’s also the opposite: shortfalls creating deprivation for humanity. “Kids not in school, not getting decent health care, people facing famine in the Sahel,” she says. “And so I drew a circle within their circle, and it looked like a doughnut.”

I suspect there may be others here who are already familiar and have some thoughts about this model. If so, I'm interested.

Another interesting concept here.

"Instead of equating a growing GDP with a successful society, our goal should be to fit all of human life into what Raworth calls the “sweet spot” between the “social foundation,” where everyone has what they need to live a good life, and the “environmental ceiling.” By and large, people in rich countries are living above the environmental ceiling. Those in poorer countries often fall below the social foundation. The space in between: that’s the doughnut."

One criticism of the concept is, what if the “social foundation” is bigger than the “environmental ceiling.”

One criticism of the concept is, what if the “social foundation” is bigger than the “environmental ceiling.”

Then the parameters of "where everyone has what they need to live a good life" would need to be looked at....all other things being equal...which they rarely are.

The free market ethos mandates not giving a shit about "everyone" and ignoring, in an act of socially sanctioned and institutional criminal negligence, the environmental ceiling. No donuts for you, Donny.

One criticism of the concept is, what if the “social foundation” is bigger than the “environmental ceiling.”

That's not a criticism. That either a question to be tested in practice, or a set of assumptions disguised as a question, framed as an objection to trying a new approach (even as the old one is threatening our world).

Do you think that the doughnut economy is something worth trying? Do you think our current environmental straits warrant some reformative effort to head off the disaster? Or do you think that everything will right itself if only we surrender ourselves to the invisible hand?

Instead of equating a growing GDP with a successful society, our goal should be to fit all of human life into what Raworth calls the “sweet spot” between the “social foundation,” where everyone has what they need to live a good life, and the “environmental ceiling.”

I'll just note that the feasibility of doing this is much higher if there's only a billion humans, than if there's approaching eight billion.

Michael Cain, agreed.

Do you think that the doughnut economy is something worth trying?

I think it's largely a non-starter. It'll be a luxury pastime for wealthy localities and countries. Some localities might get some net benefit from it.

But it's too dependent on politicians and bureaucrats doing things that they're not always inclined to do. And, even if they're inclined, they'll never have enough information in a timely manner to make the decisions needed to make it work well.


As to my previous comment, from a friendly critic of the theory.

"The author calls this the Social Foundation, providing in: sufficient food, clean water, and decent sanitation, access to energy and clean cooking facilities, access to education and to healthcare, decent housing, a minimum income, and decent work and access to networks of information and social support. Furthermore, it calls for achieving these with gender equality, social equity, political voice, and peace and justice (page 45).

This is the inner circle of the Doughnut. Then, there is some “wiggle room” in providing more within planetary boundaries, before we would go into “overshoot”, taking too much from the planet. This is the outer circle of the Doughnut.

But how does the author know if we can actually provide in all these basic human needs within planetary boundaries and have this wiggle room left?

Maybe the stuff needed for the Social Foundation already causes overshoot and the inner circle should actually be outside the outer circle?

For example, do we have sufficient materials to make things that will provide a basic provision of energy to all on the planet, forever?"
The Invisible Hole in Doughnut Economics

One criticism of the concept is, what if the “social foundation” is bigger than the “environmental ceiling.”

No, all that says is that the number of people for whom you want to achieve the "social foundation" is larger than the planet can support. Which is just another way of saying that we need to reduce the total population.

Happily, there is a (relatively) simple, and non-coercive, way to do that. Experience in multiple places shows that, as women's education levels rise, and where contraception is available to them, the average fertility rate drops below 2.0. Even when the government is encouraging them to have more children. Cf Japan and China currently.

Over time, that reduced fertility rate means that the population will drop. How much, and how fast, depends on a number of factors. Including whether there is propaganda (to be blunt) which talks up the merits of having fewer children, rather than trying to encourage more. But even without that, the numbers will go down, just more slowly.

For example, do we have sufficient materials to make things that will provide a basic provision of energy to all on the planet, forever?

Hey look, that same hole is in capitalism, and the data seems to indicate that it fails at this task.

Not a productive or helpful question to ask. The questions should be which one gives the most people the most runway before those negative externalities crash down on us all?

It's that whole "flattening the curve" thing that we are manifestly not doing well with, despite all the evidence that we have to flatten some curves for the sake of survival.

For example, do we have sufficient materials to make things that will provide a basic provision of energy to all on the planet, forever?

Generally no, absent fusion, but there are areas that would be okay. (Note that it is probably better to say "electricity" rather than "energy".) The US Western Interconnect can probably make it on renewables unless the population gets too big. The region has resource diversity: hydro, wind, solar, a bit of geothermal. The region has geographic diversity: wind downslopes from the Cascades, Sierras, Rockies, and assorted gorges; solar from the deep desert Southwest up into Colorado/Wyoming (at least seasonally). Pumped hydro storage. Northern Europe on a wind/hydro basis. I'm sure there are more, but my interests tend to be parochial.

Isn't the term "Canuck" considered at least somewhat insulting?

Of course, they could call USians "Yanks", which is a synonym for "Jerks", which at least has the advantage of accuracy.

Southerners: don't be jerks, if you don't want to be called a 'yank'.

For example, do we have sufficient materials to make things that will provide a basic provision of energy to all on the planet, forever?

Hypothetically, at least, fast neutron fission would be good for some thousands of years. Very high burn up rate for the long-lived wastes. Short-lived stuff into containers for deep salt domes, perhaps even deep ocean subduction zones. We don't have extraction of fuel from seawater yet, but nanomaterials are making it look much more feasible.

Snarki, not sure. I see it adopted by Canadians here, who definitely don't want to be called Americans. That would really be insulting...

Haven't heard about any movement to rename the Vancouver NHL team.

But there are some terms, perhaps Canucks is one, which is fine when used by members of the group in reference to themselves. But seriously resented when used by others.

As someone who grew up in Wisconsin, might I suggest "Our Silent Enemies to Da Nort Dere, Hey?." It's more polite than "The Shantyless Icefishers" or "Labattstards."

Canada: the place where 18 year olds could drive to buy cases of Molson Brador to bring back for the dorm.

An intrusion of beauty into our Open Thread.
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap210831.html

On another open post tangent, granddaughter #1 and I spent an hour yesterday afternoon greasing our bicycle pedals. To be honest, if you had asked me a half-century ago, what will you do on a random Monday afternoon when you're 67, "grease bicycle pedals with a granddaughter" would not have shown up on the list.

Was this the cackler? And half a century ago, you might not have known how strangely rewarding such mutual activity could be!

Indeed, the cackler. The internet's memory is peculiar -- there may come a time down the road when she discovers that in a small corner, she's anonymously known as "the cackler."

My son played one of those first-person shooter team games under the moniker "Roscoe the Midget" as a teenager. He fairly recently described being at a gathering (of fully vaccinated PhD climatologist types) and mentioned it to someone. A person behind him was abruptly, "Wait! You were Roscoe the Midget? We hated going up against your team. You did all those weird tactics, and they all worked."

Spoke to my 92-year old mother who lives in Tallahassee. She fell at home on Sunday, fortunately just banged up, nothing broken. The ambulance took her to a satellite ER because the main hospital was full. Three elementary school children have died from Covid, including a 5-year old.

Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee. Not to mention Florida. All with their hospitals overflowing from anti-vaxx covid victimssufferers. And their children. And now, it's hurricane season. Not sure how they are going to cope with victims of those, on top of the other.

Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee. Not to mention Florida. All with their hospitals overflowing from anti-vaxx covid victimssufferers. And their children.

All are states with certificate-of-need laws.

"Certificate-of-need (CON) laws require healthcare providers to seek permission from state regulators before they offer new services, expand facilities, or invest in technology. Researchers find that these laws tend to restrict access to healthcare, make services more expensive, and undermine the quality of care."
The State of Certificate-Of-Need Laws in 2020

Interesting observation, though the CON laws seem to be pretty widespread rather than just a southern thing.

It's also interesting that this was an innovation during the 70's and the Nixon administration. This is a timeline, centered around developments in North Carolina but with key national points
https://www.carolinajournal.com/news-article/scandal-and-corruption-a-history-of-certificate-of-need-laws/

I didn't realize that CON laws were what did in Edwards and Blagojevich.

Here's a link with links to state analyses
https://spn.org/blog/certificate-of-need-laws/

Oh, NOW they want to play fair:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/conservatives-for-the-fairness-doctrine/

“This is what I think people really miss — traditional conservative thought has always understood that business doesn’t exist as an end unto itself,” says Rachel Bovard, the senior director of policy for the Conservative Partnership Institute. “The market reflects the policies we set for it. And in our common law tradition, going back hundreds of years, we’ve always relied on our public policy to make decisions surrounding technologies that began to change the parameters of the social order. We have centuries of accumulated wisdom about how to solve this problem.”

counterpoint: traditional conservative thought is irrelevant, it has no seat at the table.

One criticism of the concept is, what if the “social foundation” is bigger than the “environmental ceiling.”

that's not a criticism of the concept, it's a question about the reality of the situation.

it's a question with an easy answer: if the planet won't support everyone having a rudimentary quality of life baseline, then we're more or less fncked. or at least some billions of us are, where the billions who are more or less screwed mostly live in countries other than the first world.

the only relevant question about the donut thing is whether it would make things better, or not.

which raises the question of "better for who". and that is where the rubber meets the road.

But it's too dependent on politicians and bureaucrats doing things that they're not always inclined to do.

you have the cart before the horse.

it's dependent on whether people are willing to accept limits on what they can have.

are people willing to change their lives in ways that will reduce their impact on the world? if they are, politicians and bureaucrats will enable that.

if not, then not.

my thought about all of this is that (a) the number of people who are willing to give stuff up in order to stay within the planet's carrying capacity is not anywhere near close enough to make the required changes happen, and therefore (b) choices will be made for us, by the inherent limitations of the planet we live on.

the good and ill effects of letting the chips fall where they may will not be distributed equally across the world or across humanity. and that is going to create a universe of other problems.

It's going to be fascinating and instructive when decent armed Texans, among other citizens in red states, find out their conservative subhuman enemies gave them the means to violently counter in self-defense restrictive election-stealing voting laws and absurdly restrictive abortion rules, even to the point of permitting private citizens to sue their fellow citizens for merely driving (no doubt another occasion to be arrested for driving while black) a woman to an abortion consultation after a mere six-week gestation period, which the fascist big gummint vermin conservative U.S. Supreme Court allowed to stand, and now I expect will allow those driving to abortion appointments and to the shuttered polls and locked ballot drop-off boxes to exercise their franchises in order to at all times, in all jurisdictions, carry the deadly means to fuck back against their overlords.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/10/responsible-gun-ownership-is-a-lie/619811/

The malignant conservative movement arms us, then fucks us, then arms us some more, and then fucks us, and then arms us again and everywhere and then fucks us again, even trying to genocidally murder us yet again with their pandemic spreading love of death by Covid-19 and attempting the violent overthrow of my government THEY don't approve of.

This seems to be, in the contemporary politically correct language of the social sciences, an obsessive/compulsive sociopathic pattern of self-destructive behavior on the part of stinking, filthy, subhuman republicans, which can only lead to unforeseen consequences, but, on the upside, even further bottom line profits for the funeral and cemetery industry (which, thank Gob, are not constrained by certificate-of-need laws) in these here United States of Conservative Dogshit.

Keep it up. Gimme those guns and then fuck with me.

Please.

Death by self-administered veterinary deworming, while rather bracing to behold when practiced by jagoff fake-Christian assholes, who would prefer to leave their family-friendly children parent-less merely to make a deadly point, is simply too gradual a method of dispensing with our internal enemies, especially when the same low-quality humorless clowns have provided us with more efficient methods of assisting their murder/suicides.

I mean, what are conservatives going to do when deadly force is pointed directly at them at every turn, call the government collect?

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/hit-and-run-ag-ticketed-for-speeding-while-awaiting-trial-for-fatal-crash

Road side abortions of living adults, to filthy Republicans, is just another name for a perverted constitutional freedom fetish.

In some jurisdictions, on any Monday, I can't force a Catholic Hospital to abort a non-viable fetus.

But on any Tuesday, I can force a Catholic Hospital to inject a pregnant woman with a veterinary deworming drug to counter Covid-19 symptoms, which the woman, and her fetus, potentially, contracted at the hospital on Monday from a nurse practitioner who can't be forced to wear a mask or be vaccinated.

Guns ... and seeping, infected multiple gunshot wounds are of course permitted in all hospitals.

It's going to be fascinating and instructive when decent armed Texans, among other citizens in red states, find out their conservative subhuman enemies gave them the means to violently counter in self-defense restrictive election-stealing voting laws and absurdly restrictive abortion rules, even to the point of permitting private citizens to sue their fellow citizens for merely driving (no doubt another occasion to be arrested for driving while black) a woman to an abortion consultation after a mere six-week gestation period, which the fascist big gummint vermin conservative U.S. Supreme Court allowed to stand, and now I expect will allow those driving to abortion appointments and to the shuttered polls and locked ballot drop-off boxes to exercise their franchises in order to at all times, in all jurisdictions, carry the deadly means to fuck back against their overlords.
(Definitely the longest run-on sentence I have encountered in a very long time!)

What will really be fascinating and instructive is when some of those restrictive laws (already on the books) get turned back against the authors.

To take just one example, suppose private citizens** started taking Republican legislators in Texas to court for "aiding or abetting" an abortion. Over and over and over again Regardless, of course, of whether there was any evidence of them doing so. The law being written the way it is, there doesn't seem to be any penalty for doing so without evidence to back it up. And who knows, an occasional jury might return a guilty verdict regardless.

** And note, they don't even have to be Texans.

Well, as a follow-on to the begettings in the Book of Matthew, run-on sentences are still legal in the great state of Texas, even though the former could use a semi-colonoscopy.

I'm going to sue all onanistic conservatives in Texas, at ten grand a head, for masturbating into the horse trough in front of the no-tell motel as they go about their daily fundamentalist gangbang circle jerks.

I look forward to the first class action suit, consolidating suits brought by thousands of nosey crucifixion-loving conservative Texans against a lone driver of an innocent cramping pregnant woman to an abortion consultation by some c8nty opportunistic right wing fake Christian law firm in Texas.

That driver will need the full automatic military grade weaponry to dismiss the suit and the plaintiffs.

Thou shalt threaten to kill any post-born fetus in Texas who resists conservative fascist rules:

https://www.texastribune.org/2019/04/11/texas-lawmaker-abortion-bill-leach-tinderholt-safety-concern/

I hope this post-born fetus is arming herself and surrounding herself with armed killers to fend off Texan Christians threatening her murder.

I'll bet Abbott and vermin are making sure there won't be a polling place within a thousand miles of her home in 2022.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/02/texas-valedictorian-graduation-speech-abortion-ban?traffic_source=Connatix

Joe Biden: Please begin airlifting female Texans out of the state before the Texan Taliban and ISIS-T take over the airports.

What better way to achieve the long-term conservative and libertarian subhuman goal of eliminating public education than to enable the attrition by murder of school teachers.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/9/1/2049479/-Texas-school-district-closes-after-second-teacher-dies-from-COVID-19-in-one-week

Cuts down on those commie union dues too.

Calling McKinneyTexas. Is there a McKinneyTexas in the house? We need someone to defend the Texas Taliban around here.

Not implying that McKinney himself shares the goals and ideology of the Lone Star Mullahs. Lawyers can defend reprehensible clients without doing that.

--TP

Let's welcome FOX's and the Republican Party's new mascot, to be inhaled like a line of high-shelf Columbian coke by Tucker Carlson and his guests on a two-hour special next week:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/01/who-monitoring-new-coronavirus-variant-named-mu

Texas Governor Abbott will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the entry of the new variant into his state, but only if it is introduced by a maskless, vax-denying, gun-toting Republican into the schools and hospitals, NOT by those filthy, diseased furriners, including New Yorkers.

They pray the new variant will sidestep our vaccines and other preventative measures to prove that Death is an American Christian conservative's finest achievement, not to mention the fastest marketing ploy for filling those fake church collection plates, especially if the rest of us are laid to rest next to them in their putrefying mass graves, where high malign, but so deeply felt principles go to rot.

The next preventative measure to be introduced and become all the rage by conservatives and their supplement-loving aggrandizing brethren is self-immolation by pouring jet fuel over their persons on a busy street or on an airplane and lighting up a Camel unfiltered, and then shooting anyone who attempts to put out the flames.

That'll be enough outta me, as I need to take my high horse in for his weekly deworming drench.

First run-on sentences, then misspelling "Colombian." Tsk, tsk.

On the grease front, the original motivation for the exercise was that my bike had picked up a little tick or sometimes tick-tick noise every time the cranks went around. Always in the same position. Chainrings looked good and weren't touching anything. So, probably dry/worn bearings in either the pedals or the crankset.

I dislike taking apart the bottom bracket stuff, so lubed everything accessible on the pedals first. I am pleased that for 20 miles this morning -- by myself, the granddaughter was in school -- no ticks. Declare victory!

OTOH the air quality sucked. Not the 400+ measurements at some California sites, but fine particulates and ozone both well up.

OTOH the air quality sucked. Not the 400+ measurements at some California sites, but fine particulates and ozone both well up.

And it's only going to get worse. We are still only on the leading edge of prime fire season. And we've got two huge fires going strong here in California. Of the two biggest, is over 775,000 acres and about 50% contained. The next largest, and currently the top news story, is 200,000 acres and maybe 20% contained -- and growing fast. Combined, we're talking about an area, just from these two, the size of the entire state of Rhode Island!

And we've got a good month and half, maybe more, of prime time to go. Quality air, brought to you by California. But not just us. Oregon, for example, has a 400,000 acre fire going.

I only hope that we continue to have a not-fire season. This climatic variability is making me worry about that.

(Definitely the longest run-on sentence I have encountered in a very long time!)

the count is heading into "Autumn of the Patriarch" territory!!

:)

We have avoided any big fires locally so far. But, and it's a big but, the federal EPA makes no allowance for forest fires and our air quality has been so consistently bad last year and this year that we are sure to get hammered for non-compliance.

We've only had one big monsoon flash flood locally (not the same storms that put I-70 in the national news). The water in the Poudre River is running relatively clear again, but it's very hard to tell because of the amount of black ash and gunk lining the river bed, even at the point I usually start my rides fifteen miles downstream from the burn scar. I rode by one of the railroad trestles in the center of town today that has been out-of-service since the flash flood. In use again, but there's a bunch of new steel welded in place.

I've written it elsewhere, but in six weeks, no one in the US West is going to care a bit about Afghanistan. It will all be, what is the administration doing or proposing to do about fire and water?

Not fiddling while my state burns, but I have rewired my electric guitar with new pickups and am starting to build a guitar effects pedal. (Boost/overdrive pedal from a kit - enclosure is drilled, there's a PCB, and all the components are there, but all the wiring and soldering is up to me). Have a second, more complex kit waiting in the wings under the assumption that I'll get the first one working and still want to build another. We'll see how that goes.

I'm thinking of it as a jigsaw puzzle with very small pieces and a side order of molten metal.

building a pedal from a kit sounds like fun. i looked into build a kit amp last year, but got scared away by the high voltages.

which pedal are you making?

back in 94 or so, when i was young enough to not know better, i built a pedal from a circuit diagram i found. i know almost nothing about circuitry, but i tracked down the components and a breadboard and soldered it all up. it was a simple hard-clipping fuzz, and whew, it sucked!

I really want to repair an broken apple cinema hd display, I think the only thing wrong with it is SMC capacitor, so I would really like to fix it, but I don't have any of the right tools here, so I'd probably have to buy them all, I did this stuff in college, but it didn't follow me over here. decisions decisions.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/heeding-steve-bannons-call-election-deniers-organize-to-seize-control-of-the-gop-and-reshape-americas-elections

'“They’re not going to be welcomed with open arms,” Bannon said, addressing the altercations on an April podcast. “But hey, was it nasty at Lexington?” he said, citing the opening battle of the American Revolution. “Was it nasty at Concord? Was it nasty at Bunker Hill?'"'

Those were dainty cakewalks across lily pads, Bannon, compared to the savage, furious violence that will wipe you and the Republican Party off the face of the Earth.

Like I wrote the other day, conservative subhumans pass out the weapons and ammo, and then they fuck you and expect obeisance:

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=texas+also+passed++law+that+abolishes+all+restrictions+on+carrying+weaoons

It's obvious the fascist vermin republican party in Texas expects public demonstrations by women, the poor, and those groups whose voting franchises have been wiped off the books and are now fully arming their scum base to kill all comers.

Conservative citizen murderers to go with conservative dog shit citizen filth extorting pregnant women at $10,000 a pop.

All of us can play that fucking game.

They are going to kill and their genocidal impulses will spread across the country faster than the Taliban can commandeer an airport.

Waiting for the dumb shits to volunteer to die from Covid-19 and abandon their children in favor of oblivion to make some fucked up point about their perverted principles is not a plan of action.

Voting is out too as Bannon and company install their scum to make a bonfire of ballots with Democratic names checked.

I would really like to fix it, but I don't have any of the right tools here, so I'd probably have to buy them all

Yep. In addition to the various parts and components, I've had to pick up a decent soldering station, some solder removers, wire strippers, and a multimeter. Nothing I haven't used before, but a) not enough to have much skill to rekindle and b) not in the last 25 years.

Worth it for three projects, and handy thereafter, but not a good cost/benefit ratio for a one-off.

And I had to unsolder and rewire my guitar twice because the first attempt did not function properly - had the three-way switch installed backwards. My soldering improved a lot between the first and the second attempts.

I bought a horse yesterday and named him Joe Rogan.

He came down with worms this morning, so I shot him to put him and me out of our separate miseries.

Now all the kids want to be dewormed AND shot.

Tourism ain't what it used to be:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/9/2/2049859/-Prosecutors-say-footage-shows-roughly-1-000-assaults-on-police-during-Jan-6-insurrection

The staff at The Onion have their hands full these days, so it's good to see other folks stepping in to help out.

https://balkin.blogspot.com/2021/09/facebook-announces-formation-of-supreme.html

Tough times for The Onion. It's hard to do parody and sarcasm when so many of the obvious targets are so deeply into (unconscious) self-parody.

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