A Grand Puzzlement

There are certain things that I just don’t “get”. No matter how hard I try and wrap my mind around the topic, it just stubbornly refuses to engage, sitting in a little sullen lump in the corner and obstinately saying “No.” Because of this, the higher mathematic fields have always been closed to me, either through natural disinclination or having been traumatized in getting blind-sided by the New Math in the third grade. Wisely, I stuck to the simpler, practical methods to do with numbers, and left esoteric maths to those who had a bent for them. I have other talents.

That being admitted and perhaps in relation to such an inability, I could never quite grasp the method and appeal of bitcoin.

Read more

Advanced Incompetence

The grim and cynical judgment is that advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from deliberate malice. I am certain that grimmer and more cynical commenters than me have long since concluded that the advanced and mind-boggling incompetence of the Biden Administration is indeed indistinguishable from deliberate malice, at least as far as results are concerned. The staggering increase in the price of gas at the pump is the one thing that almost everyone, save the impossibly-out-of-sight-rich are feeling. When the price leapfrogs twenty cents a gallon from one day to the next, it excites notice from ordinary people, who need to drive to the jobs that they still have. And what is the barely sentient vegetable in the White House, or the individuals who are manipulating his strings doing about all that? Essentially nothing, save lip service and pointless gestures.

They want gas prices to go sky-high. No, that’s the take-away. In their fantasy-world, having the price at the pump be equivalent to prices at European pumps will move us all gently, painlessly, and inexorably towards driving electric cars, (and living in high-rise prole cubes in big cities, and eating protein derived from bugs) never mind that the tech and infrastructure to support that kind of thing isn’t even remotely possible, now or ever.

Nope – the Biden administration wants us unbiddable red-state, fly-over proles to suffer, to grind us all into the dirt. They want this, they are panting for it, orgasmically. Mostly because we don’t and won’t do what they order us to do, and so we must be punished for disobedience.

Read more

Life in a Realm of Scarce and Expensive Energy

In one of the Hornblower novels, set in the early 1800s, the protagonist is staying in a hotel. Thinking about the bill he is going to have to pay on checking out, he realizes that there is going to be a significant item for ‘light’…ie, candles.  I believe this is historically accurate–candles were expensive enough that they could not just be given away free with the room.

Whereas for most of the last 100 years in America, you could just turn on the lights in your hotel room without worrying about what the added charge on your bill was going to be.  And–much more significantly in terms of energy use–you could adjust the heater or air conditioner to suite your temperature preference, again without worrying about added charges.

With the unrealistic energy plans of the Biden administration and of most European governments, such luxuries may soon be a thing of the past.  I doubt that you will actually have to pay extra for keeping the lights on, but it’s entirely possible that you may have to pay extra if you want it cooler than, say, 78 degrees in summer or warmer than 64 degrees in winter–perhaps with those thresholds adjusted according to the balance of total grid power demand and availability, so that an extreme air-conditioning surcharge kicks in at 88 degrees on an especially hot and windless day.

And not just in hotels. It’s likely that stores, restaurants, etc will get significantly cooler in winter and warmer in summer.  And unless you can afford to not worry about your electricity bill very much, you will likely have to adjust your home temperatures to fit the current supply/demand profile on the grid–indeed, in some jurisdictions, it may be prohibited to violate the required limits no matter how much you are willing to pay.  (With likely exceptions for certain ‘public servants’.)

Above and beyond the impact on individual citizens and families, you can expect that many kinds of energy-dependent businesses, especially manufacturing businesses, will become increasingly uncompetitive in the US.  Again, there will likely be an exception for certain politically-well-connected businesses. But overall, expensive US energy will likely drive a new wave of offshoring.

And I haven’t even talked about transportation.

The above is not carved in stone, of course, there is still a good chance to escape it, as people begin to perceive (from experience) the realities behind all the idealistic talk, theories, and harangues.  But it will be a close-run thing.

An Interesting Startup

Here’s a company, Hadrian, which is planning to build a series of factories for manufacturing of precision metal components.  Their first factory is in Hawthorne, CA, and they’re building the next one nearby in Torrance.

One of the lead investors in Hadrian is the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.  The A-H partner responsible for this deal, Katherine Boyle, writes about the company, the opportunity, and why she considers it a promising investment.

Hadrian is hiring, if anyone’s interested.

Also, a thoughtful piece from Ms Boyle on the need for America to get serious.

Alternative Structure

I did note this story on Axios, which was discussed scathingly and at length on Ace of Spades; that the Lefty Progs have belatedly realized that, yes indeedy, us social and political conservatives are building our alternate establishments, in media, money-management, retail, and everywhere else. Welcome to the party, pal… It goes without saying that the Lefty Progs disapprove, most indignantly. I noted the split a little more than a year ago, in this post.

We’re already at the split. We read different books, watch different movies and television shows – those of us who still watch movies and television – follow different celebrities, earn a living in different ways, educate our children differently. We honor different things, different heroes and heroines, have wildly different aspirations and hopes for the future. We are already split.

Read more