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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Some Geo-Politics, Apple Install Media, R, Ableton Push 2, and More

- when you look at the world from different perspectives it can seem as though a very different world exists out there at times. Things just sound crazy...
Yuri Bezmenov: Psychological Warfare Subversion & Control of Western Society (Complete)
KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov's warning to America
- the worse part of this is that since certain behaviour can sometimes only be defeated by equally abhorent behaviour it's a race down to the bottom. If you want to understand how these people think, don't think like a normal person. Think like the most crazed, power hungry person in the world and perhaps you'll understand how far people have to go behind the scenes
- recently, I thought it would be somewhat interesting to look at things in so called 'evil states' (Russia, China, Iran, etc...) and wanted to compare how they stacked up against so called 'good states' (US, UK, Australia, etc...). In quite a few areas things are actually quite competitive
- similar unemployment rates. Better in China and Russia than in the West
- prior to sanctions extremely strong growth in Russia and we know that growth in recent history in China has been extremely strong when compared to the West
- taxation as percentage of GDP lower but that is likely lower level of socialised services such as healthcare, welfare, etc...
- usual suspects are up there but the West is generally well up there (particularly those countries that are having economic difficulties in the Eurozone) as well. Results can vary drastically but I'm guessing that's because different people are using different measures for what amounts to crime and corruption. Asian countries generaly doing well. One thing I've found is that in general if life is too difficult for the populace in general people will evade resort to crime, loan sharks, etc... without it they can't survive. The irony is that the rest of society has to pay by paying higher taxes leading to very odd national GDP figures. For instance, I remember it once being said that the South of Italy was essentially a different state that was based on crime and corruption. Fix it and Italy's GDP rockets upwards. There is so much terrorist/criminal money in the US that if you were to remove it all the economy would collapse. The reason why sanctioned countries like Iran and North Korea are able to continue to survive is also for this particular reason...
- a lot of countries having a difficult time getting the best out of their people. Western countries generally middling to upper end of things... Russia and China doing okay but probably down the rankings due to their lopsided economies (which they are still trying to fix)
- this was one of the surprising things for me. There are heaps of alternative media choices in Russia, China, etc.. and the West but it's likely that they may be 'consolidated' into centralised points of power and distribution (for any number of reasons whether for financial or reasons of social control, etc...). Leeway in freedom of speech can vary drastically though and there is actually some attempt to control things (mildly) in the West. There are generally crackdowns in China and Russia against those that may cause 'social unrest'. One thing I've found funny though is that there are a lot of people who are generally seeking alternative news channels now
- this is one are where you will definitely find some surprises. Western countries are generally middling. Some very odd ones up there though in terms of hours worked per week and GDP per unit hour (this comes back to the value versus price problem that I've looked at from time to time on this blog). Who would have thought that Mexicans, Chileans, Russians, and Greeks were so hard working (missing data here)? Western countries generally middling... I think the main reason why the West has managed to steal such a massive leap is that they've managed to harness the low costs of the other countries and have made use of the disparity between 'perceieved value' versus 'actual value' (what's the difference between some low end and other high end electronics. Often very little but the price differential is huge)
- social stability enabled/achieved via more subtle measures in the West when compared to the China/Russia. Certain things often control behaviour
and wealth distribution (conciously or not). For instance, people don't die at work (they die of over-eating of cheap fast food, smoking addictive cigarettes, etc...), population growth is controlled via culture (the West is highly individualistic which means that people care more about themselves then having the chance of having a family), monopolies and wealth distribution is controlled more subtly (in China/Russia things are controlled largely by the state but in the West most of the time the only way things can be controlled is via legislation), entertainment culture helps to control wage costs (if everyone worked hard where would the wage differential be to exploit to create outsized profits?), etc...
- as discussed previously wealth distribution is fairly similar (if not better) in China/Russia as opposed to the US and GDP is solid...
- at the end of the day I think things wouldn't be much different for the 'average joe' in China/Russia versus the West. If you stick out a bit you're in a lot of trouble though...
- the US business philosophy of 'going big or going home' makes much more sense to me now. It's critical for them to have external mechanisms to control costs to create prosperity. Ideally, these costs are external to their country (currency fluctuations, low wages, illegal immigration, trade agreements, etc...) That way, they can keep people happy within their own country. If not, the disparities in their system grows wider and you end up with unequal wealth distribution. With them you can keep people internally happy but but not as much for those external (look at working conditions in countries where outsourcing is done. Almost slave like at times...)
- the US also controls certain monopolistic areas. For instace, defense (look at the JSF project where most Allied countries only have that single option). That means they're not subject to 'free market' conditions and don't necessarily have to compete on price/profit margin
- at the end of the day many social systems (democracies, socialists, communists, etc...) suffer from the issue of 'hierarchy'. Have someone foolish at the top and you're in a lot of trouble.
- the flaw with most social systems out there is that it makes the assumption that a central 'ruler' knows best. The irony is that it may be the case that only those who understand the current circumstances knows the best possible course of action, the best possible means of assuring that they can be happy
- the greatest difficulty of the current US administration is that it feels as though they don't know how to deal with China and Russia. The irony is that I'd be in the same place in dealing with the current US adminstration as well. The problem is that you don't know how far you can push without behind pushed back. Moreover, the response comes back is too weak or can be used as anti-West propaganda. Under the current administration people have admitted that they have attempted to go after 'easy wins' while neglecting or only half-heartedly dealing with the bigger issues that face them. They need to re-think the way they deal with things and re-mold the approach so that it is both effective as well as targeted. They're just setting things up for another new type of 'Cold War' or else a very clumsy minor conflict (not necessarily military)
- need to be smarter than this. Don't make it a game of religion. If you make it about religion they can turn around and spout things about 'propaganda'. Need to start the process of friendship as early as possible to reduce the chances of 'converting someone' more difficult. They need to look at radicalisation, terrorism, crime as simply a strange way of life. If sometime tries to turn them they will be more resistent. As for the rest, find the most efficient, least complex way out. Deal with the issue but don't make it easier to turn others against you
- the beauty of nature versus human financial abstraction is that everyone/thing has a value. Everything has a place within the ecosystem. Human abstractions such as 'pricing' actually make certain things that are impossible in nature possible. For instance, 'hoarding'. An animal can only grow to a certain size generally. With these limits it ensures that everyone has to continue to play their part with the overall ecosystem
- interesting way of measuring productivity is watching what the most efficient world (or country) in their industry and what other similar, groups do (normalised after removing question of currency and other localised variables, trade tarrifs, taxes, etc...). I wonder how much the average disparity really is?

- install media has to be purchased from the App Store now. Easier just to download and stick it on a USB flash drive

- have been looking for some documentation on R which is 'readable' (read like a book as opposed to a reference title). Turns out the included documentation (in the installed documentation) may be best

- doesn't look like too much of a change between Push 1 and Push 2 to be honest. I think the main difference is in the software

- sometimes you just want the desktop version on your phone/tablet as you may be missing some functionality

Some interesting quotes from world media of late:

- As President Rousseff contemplates her next move, she might do well to remember the words of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant: “When wars do come, they fall upon the many, the producing class, who are the sufferers.” The Brazilian President is in a fight for her political survival, but that struggle may leave the country dangerously adrift, with the real pain being felt by the Brazilian people. The country needs stronger and more transparent institutions and good people to lead them. Painful though it may be, Brazil is cleaning house. Dealing with the short-term pain, however, is not easy and Rousseff’s presidency – what is left of it – will be volatile both in the political and economic sense. Seat belts are not optional.
- All pudgy dictator Kim Jong-un needs to do is play hard to get, routinely denounce America, and presto — he’s assured of victory. In exchange for vague promises, which nobody expects him to keep, he’ll get to keep his nukes and free American food to feed his starving country.

The Iran and Cuba surrenders also point to another likely outcome. Both reportedly now have military advisers and fighters in Syria, joining with Russia to defeat our allies among the Syrian rebels.

The Obama appeasement disaster would be complete if North Korean troops join the Russian axis. And why wouldn’t they? Vladimir Putin is a better friend and worse enemy.
- Washington is already at war with ISIL—not only as a matter of formal policy but also in the ongoing bombing campaign underway in Iraq and Syria today. ISIL has already demonstrated its lack of restraint in its dealings with the United States in the 2014 beheadings of American hostages within its reach. Its social-media outlets are already trying to encourage lone-wolf attacks against the United States and its civilian population today. ISIL is currently encouraged by a sense of sanctuary and a sense of military momentum. Making Western attacks against ISIL more effective seems just as likely to put the group on the defensive as to occasion new attacks. In acting more aggressively to stabilize Syria and defeat ISIL, the Obama administration would not be plunging America into a new conflict. Instead, it would be recognizing that it is already engaged in one.
- KARL MARX once described a situation where the weapon of criticism gives way to criticism by weapon. It’s a remark that captures the latest round of tensions between the West and Russia quite well. Are we witnessing a collision between two different systems of values—or one between two different interpretations of a common system of values?
- Minerals are the Taliban's second-biggest income source after narcotics, a United Nations Security Council committee wrote in a February report. The funds have helped sustain the Taliban as it battles for control of the government. In the past month, the group briefly captured the northern city of Kunduz, the first time it's taken a provincial capital since the US invasion in 2001.
- There’s data which showcases France’s “rogue” status. In the last five years, France has consistently lost more than 100 days of work a year through strikes for every 1,000 employees. For Germany, it is a fraction of that, at just under four days for 1,000 workers. While in the UK, 19 days lost for 1,000 workers in 2009 – comes above Germany but still nowhere near France. There are few people feeling confident about France’s economic future. Compounded by their 35-hour working week, France’s left-wing policy is coming through great security as their economy continues to unperformed.
- How can hungry men care about whether a rhino or an elephant is killed? You are talking about somebody who has no job, who sleeps on an empty stomach. Do you really think he has time to think about what is happening in the jungle? Prince Harry has everything. Most people here don't.

A man who has no shelter, no food, his focus is only on what he can get to eat.
- Confucianism based government is self checking.

Power checking is more or less a Western problem because its history of theocracy. The Chinese people know that the government is responsible for the well being of the governments thousands of years ago.

In contrast, bad government in the West was, for a long time, seen as God's response to the people's iniquity. Bad governments were sent by God to punish the people.
- In 2011, after the Arab Spring revolutions, China sent emissaries to northern Africa to learn from the mistakes the region’s dictators had made. Apparently the emissaries came back relieved, convinced that China would never be vulnerable to such upheavals because, unlike the Arab dictators, its presidents are replaced every 10 years or so.

This is not to say China’s power structure is never inept or over-assertive. It certainly can miscalculate. Relations with the US follow an irregular pattern, depending on circumstances. China at one point began speaking less aggressively over its territorial claims in the South China Sea because it saw this was driving neighbouring countries closer to the US, not further away.

The key point is that Europeans must think more strategically in their dealings with China. For all the talk about “win-win” situations, when separate national agreements are made with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) or on nuclear power stations, European states’ disorderly moves hand China easy opportunities to play divide and rul
- A decade ago, the focus of the Valdai Discussion Club, in the post-9/11 honeymoon that characterized U.S.-Russia relations, was to improve the quality of dialogue between Washington and Moscow. As relations between the two countries have soured, the Valdai group has widened its target audience, increasingly bringing not only more Europeans but civil society representatives of the rising powers of the south and east, especially from China, India and Brazil. So too has the audience shifted for the remarks delivered to the forum by senior Russian officials—including Vladimir Putin.

Indeed, this year’s Valdai offers a prime example of the change in tone. No longer is the emphasis on deepening and solidifying a U.S.-Russia partnership and overcoming remaining Cold War-era hangups that precluded a closer relationship. Now, the Kremlin wants to make its case to the larger world why resisting American dominance of the international system is justified. No longer is Russia seeking to win over American hearts and minds; it is a more global audience that Moscow is trying to reach and convince that Washington under the Obama administration—and most likely under any conceivable successor president—is unreliable and untrustworthy. (A related message is that Washington is also unsuccessful in its efforts; Putin’s chief of staff Sergei Ivanov, in related remarks, declared that U.S. efforts to isolate Russia have been a failure.)
- "Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that Russia's economy is "withering," and suggested the trend will force the country to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of national-security issues, including loosening its grip on former Soviet republics and shrinking its vast nuclear arsenal."
- I studied aeronautical maintenance. Any person with basic grasp of aerodynamics would know that given that since F-22s air intakes aren't of variable design (where there is a body in front of the intake like a cone or a wedge or blade) which creates a mach shockwave when planes goes supersonic. And the faster supersonic the more pointy the mach cone is. And when supersonic and/or turbulent air enters the intake it can and does lead to compressor stall. Thus although F-22s airframe may survive Mach-2.5 for short duration, its limited to speed below Mach-2.1. Just like F-16. Want to see what high-speed aircrafts engine intakes look like? Check out SR-71 and MiG-25/31. The angle at which the intake is "cut" is sharp on MiGs while SR-71s have a big cone that is far ahead of intake itself for the very reason I described. F-22 couldn't be that sharp or have round intakes with a cone for stealths sake so as to not increase the amount of directions in which impinging radar waves bounce to.Z

Top Secret information? LOOOL!!! Good luck classifying the laws of physics, aerodynamics and mathematics. As far as the fact that its classified by Pentagon goes - I couldn't care less. I don't live in USA and actually want F-22 to have same thing happen to it as to F-117 over Serbia, including pilot surviving to tell the tale.
- NSA agents aren't concerned about being caught. That's partly because they work for such a powerful agency, but also because they don't leave behind any evidence that would hold up in court. And if there is no evidence of wrongdoing, there can be no legal penalty, no parliamentary control of intelligence agencies and no international agreement. Thus far, very little is known about the risks and side-effects inherent in these new D weapons and there is almost no government regulation.

Edward Snowden has revealed how intelligence agencies around the world, led by the NSA, are doing their best to ensure a legal vacuum in the Internet. In a recent interview with the US public broadcaster PBS, the whistleblower voiced his concerns that "defense is becoming less of a priority than offense."

Snowden finds that concerning. "What we need to do," he said, "is we need to create new international standards of behavior."
- “We—the U.S. [Department of Defense]—haven’t been pursuing appropriate methods to counter EA [electronic attack] for years,” a senior Air Force official with extensive experience on the F-22 told The Daily Beast. “So, while we are stealthy, we will have a hard time working our way through the EA to target [an enemy aircraft such as a Russian-built Sukhoi] Su-35s and our missiles will have a hard time killing them.”

- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services

Quick Beef Stew Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/11/chinese-style-congee-jook-recipe...