Monday, June 14, 2010

Around the House

My broadband account is running low again. Misty the cat comes to visit me every day now. She does not like being left alone when the ice is an inch thick in the garden. Misty is a talented bird hunter, but not too good at catching the genius mice. People are more reluctant to pick up hitchhikers these days, with the ski season about to begin. Of course, I will not be going skiing this year, or probably any other year. The winter jobs have all been taken, but I might be able to find a cafe or cleaning job if I move towns again soon. Then again, I am not as young as I once was, and people ask too many questions about where I've come from. My accent is such a mixed up antipodean one that I am a foreigner where ever I go, and besides, I cannot honestly call anywhere home.

The last few days have been sunny and still, for a nice change. Right on the winter cue, the dam is pumping high volumes and the power company doubled its prices. Luckily I still have a little mountain gear. The minimum wage is becoming quite unlivable here, but I would feel relatively rich if I actually had a job. For decades people have lectured me on what I should do to get ahead. Wow, look at the world they have created.

33 comments:

  1. I once read a brutal congratulation poem. 'Do you feel old, pain, worthless? Well in fact you have never been as old before' :)

    True.

    But also age is relative. I can feel your frustration.

    The world is beautiful for young people, rather rich, without any thought of someone else than themselves. How much money they earn. What they have achieved in material way.

    But take immaterial values and you are at once an odd person. What force a human to go against the stream? Passion? Conscience? Will?

    Money have no conscience. I once discussed with the nuclear industry, what they thought of coming generations. The answer surprised me. -Do you really bother about that? Let the grand-grand-grand-children solve that!

    The same can be read at Baez diary for june about oil business.

    Still money is only a piece of paper. But without that paperpiece is hard to be.

    World is surely a bit crazy.

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  2. Ulla mentiioned "Baez diary for june about oil business".

    Baez diary said "... June 10, 2010 ... Marcia McNutt, head of a group of scientists called the Flow Rate Technical Group, listed several estimates in the range of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels a day ... On Wednesday this pipe siphoned 15,800 barrels of oil to the surface ...".

    Bloomberg Business Week (by Mark Shenk on 14 June 2010) said: "... Crude oil rose above $75 a barrel ...".

    Edmonton Sun (by Erica Lepan on 12 June 2010) said: "... today’s prime rate ... very low (2.50 %) ...".

    Given those facts, FOLLOW THE MONEY:

    BP is capturing $75 x 15,000 x 365 = $400 million per year from its Gulf Disaster Well.

    Even if BP has to borrow money at prime (instead of getting a BIG COMPANY discount, the $400 million per year would give BP the capital amount of $400 / 0.025 = $16 billion.

    Of course, BP capture amount may average more over the coming year, and BP may quite likely get to borrow money at less than prime,
    so the quoted figure of a $20 billlion escrow (to be held by BP) for claims will really be net zero-cost to BP.

    As to the cost to BP of handling claims,
    baldwincountynow.com (by Curt Chapman on 13 June 2010) said: "... Alabama National Guardsmen ... are out in the field to assist residents and business owners who wish to file claims with BP ...
    Eligibility and determination of payment of a claim will still be made by BP. ...",
    so
    the taxpayers funding the National Guard (NOT BP) will pay the bill for the bureaucracy of filing and processing claims,
    and
    BP will not pay anything unless it wants to make a payment (possibly only paying a few high-visibility claims to get favorable PR).

    AND - since 15,000 barrels is about half of the 20,000-40,000 barrel flow rate,
    THE OIL SPILL WILL CONTINUE TO GROW,
    BUT
    THANKS TO OBAMA LOOKING OUT FOR HIS BIG MONEY FRIENDS
    (just as he did in the bank bailout
    and
    in funding the defense industry in the idiotic Afghan war)
    BP IS A WINNER AND THE PEOPLE (AND THE GULF ITSELF) ARE THE SCHMUCKS WHO TAKE THE LOSS.

    Tony

    PS - As to Afghanistan,
    DEBKAfile (on 13 June 2010) said: "... The Afghan War nears end with Pakistan-aided Taliban victory ...",
    so
    despite massive military expenditure in money, lives, and injuries, the USA is losing the war.

    PPS - As to another aspect of the USA military,
    the Guardian (by Chris McGreal on 1 June 2010) said: "... former US secretary of state, Colin Powell, said the military should step in because the crisis was now "beyond the capacity" of BP to stop. ...[but]... The US military ... chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Admiral Mike Mullen ...has ruled out taking charge of the operation to stem the flow of oil from the blown-out BP rig ...".
    THIS DECISION DESPITE THE FACT THAT RUSSIANS HAVE USED TACTICAL NUKES TO STOP RUNAWAY WELLS SEVERAL TIMES.
    telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com (by Charles W. Moore on 10 June 2010) said: "... the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) used nuclear weapons on five separate occasions between 1966 and 1981 to successfully cap blown-out gas and oil surface wells (there was also one attempt that failed) ... "Seafloor nuclear detonation is starting to sound surprisingly feasible and appropriate," University of Texas at Austin mechanical engineer Michael E. Webber is quoted observing, while Columbia University visiting scholar on nuclear policy and former naval officer Christopher Brownfield wrote in the Daily Beast: "We should have demolished this well with explosives over a month ago. And yet we watch in excruciating suspense while BP fumbles through plan after plan to recover its oil and cover its asset." ...".

    So, OBAMA HAS HAD AN OPTION TO CLOSE THE WELL SINCE IT FIRST BLEW OUT,
    BUT HAS NOT DONE SO (in my opinion)
    BECAUSE IT WOULD NOT BE AS PROFITABLE FOR HIS BIG COMPANY FRIEND BP AS IS DESCRIBED IN THE ABOVE FOLLOW-THE-MONEY SCENARIO.

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  3. Ojojoj, I didn't meant that much... but one question is why did they ever give permission to open up an oil 'hole' so deep that an accident was uncontollable. The only answer I can figure out is greedy profit, that forget everything else.

    You can also look at Tommasos blog. Or Mattis. Or in schools today (as a former teacher I can say this). Knowledge is not worth so much. To profit on other people are much more worth and valuable. Take the stock business. Profit and greediness everywhere.

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  4. REMEMBER THE RULE ... THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL BLOG. Just this once I will allow it, but further comments get deleted.

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  5. ... I mean comments regarding specific political parties or views ... not comments about criminal greed in general.

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  6. Wow, Ulla, is that your blog? Will you be writing in English mostly?

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  7. Yes and yes. Short enough :)

    I have made another blog in swedish and finnish :)

    Tonight when I could not sleep I thought that it is the whole economic system that ought to be altered. It should be just as much criminalized to have big profits as it is to have a negative result, because both means stealing from others.

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  8. Not just the economic system, Ulla. Everything.

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  9. Complete equal distribution of profits as a national policy was tried in Russia.

    Human society doesn't function well in a national socialist utopia: criminals (Stalin, Castro ...) become dictators. There is no motivation for inventors to go bankrupt if they fail and to make their wild dreams come true if they succeed. Capitalism is like competitive sport, you need to have winners and losers.

    Giving everyone the same handout would take away the motivation to endure the hell of competitive training for sports, and the same principle applies to the economy.

    Reagan was right to push Gorbachev for economic reform by bankrupting the militaristic Soviet economy (he gave permission for American technology to be sold to oil-producing arab states in return for a boosted oil output, slumping world oil prices at the time Russia was using its Siberian oil sales to buy grain that its decrepid communist farm sector could not supply).

    We need capitalism. You need capitalism. Can't you try to write a best-selling book about your adventures and how you became a female unorthodox maths PhD? To become a good role model you have to keep looking for new adventures. Don't kick capitalism.

    People sometimes achieve their best when they have the threat of a kick up the ass, as well as a promise of potential wealth.

    It's not individual wealth that's intrinsically immoral. It depends on:

    (1) how it was earned (how much exploitation of others? or more likely was the "exploitation" giving vital jobs to others in need of jobs????), and

    (2) how it is used. E.g. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite, killed close relatives and workers in careless lab explosions, callously supplied thousands of tons of explosive to both sides in the bloodbath of the Crimean War, but then left the profits for prizes for scientific research; as a result, his name isn't exactly symbolic of capitalist warmongering evil today.

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  10. Do you have any definite plans at all? Vague plans are notoriously impossible to implement, because you can't set a checklist and tick off steps. Now you have a PhD and a postdoc, the world is your oyster. You don't need to continue climbing the academic ladder anymore, especially if it has become greased.

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  11. To anonymous: i did not say the Russian model succeeded so well. But the princip may be good. Only humans should be changed :)

    Socialism means we, all of us. In Russia and other place are always someone trying to take too much place, and coorporation fails.

    What I had in mind was more like a lean economy, where a moderat profit would be ideal. This would minimize the hazards caused by money, because money is a very convinient trust in other people. Remember, it is only a trust, and when that fails also economy fails. The new economy would have to be more ethical and more moral too, otherwise it would fail.

    This means not a step back to 'bad old days', only a developement without mountains and walleys. A higher resistence must be built in. This follows the biology :)

    And it was not Reagan that did harm to Sovjet economy, it was Tjernobyl. People lost their trust (!) psycologically. It was Jeltsin that was the real inventor, a brave man.

    All economy is about psychology.

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  12. "People sometimes achieve their best when they have the threat of a kick up the ass, as well as a promise of potential wealth."

    You know very well this is a lie. It is only a slogan. What do people do when kicked in the ass. Forget ethical values. What is potential promises? Saying that IF you do not look at these bad circumstances, then MAYBE...

    For these lies people are ready to be traitors.

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  13. Anon. This point 2 makes me feel ill. Do you really mean that if the purpose is good, any tool is allowed?

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  14. KEA, look at this! Women are especially encouraged!!!!

    http://obleserlab.blogspot.com/2010/04/obleser-lab-is-materialising-were.html

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  15. Dear me, Anonymous. The 20th century is in the past. The problems of the 20th century are NOT an argument for the continuation of unprincipled exploitation and government. We have some things that we did not have in the 20th century. The internet gives people a power they never had before.

    You should not underestimate the potential of Big Sister to change the world. Us women do not think in terms of a 100 year change, but in terms of millenia. Good luck in understanding your grand children. You are going to need it.

    Now let me guess ... you've done reasonably well out of capitalism, so you think it is all OK. So I should have a plan? What exactly? You think the world is my oyster? I can assure you that NOBODY, in any industry, is offering me a job. You have not comprehended my situation, or my past, and I doubt that you ever will, by the sound of it. The only option the world is giving me at present is to lie down and wait to die. Perhaps you think I should apologise for not having killed myself yet? Anyway, you are welcome to post your opinions here.

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  16. ... even if they are nauseatingly stupid.

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  17. Sorry for being long, but I must tell this. I said to the nuclear industrial men: " Do not look down on the power of old aunts, they can do much". Well, we did, they had to go somewhere else.

    Look at Russia where grandmas is a real (terrible) factor. It is that women must understand to TAKE Their Rights, and that they have rigt to say no. The same right as men naturally have. Few women in a marriage can hold on her human right, not even me.

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  18. Ulla: capitalism works better than communism. Let's see now. The lessons of communism were 20th century so we ignore then because it's now the 21st century. Great idea. Maybe we should do the same with the 20th centrury lessons from the Nazis? Saying "history is history, therefore it is irrelevant to the world today" is a very big claim. You have to justify why specifically the lessons from a particular period no longer apply.

    I agree that the internet is a step away from capitalism because it reduces the power of the big media by allowing a certain amount of freedom of information from individuals to go uncensored. I don't advocate the means by which Nobel funded his prize by supplying explosive weapons for wars. I just point out that even in such cases some long term good has come from it, which can't really be said for communism.

    Marni: don't let sexism get you down or turn you into an excessively bitter person. Keep publishing new ideas, even if they are tentative.

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  19. To anon. You did not get that I did NOT speak in favour of communism, I talked for an capitalist LEAN economy. And don't talk of other irrelevant things. Although you are an US there is no need to be so blind.

    Lean economy is def 21st century. Nobody has ever tried to stop too big profits before. On ethical or moral grounds.

    How is overbig profits done? A profit of 30 - 40 -50%. Do you think it is POSSIBLE without payers. The payers are often victims. Look at BP. Who will pay?

    How could she write a book without money? Or should she do it on her exhausted free time, an hour here, another there. I have tried so I know it will be nothing worth reading. No flow. But I can only talk for myself.

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  20. Anonymous, as you are anonymous, you think you can come here and call me by my name and tell me what to do and not to be bitter? That is sexism at its best. The kind I see every day of my life. Stop telling me what to do and try showing women the RESPECT that they deserve.

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  21. Ulla, although you are correct that money is a serious obstacle to my doing anything at all, I have actually written most of a book. In fact, I have written several books in my lifetime. But they always end up in the garbage bin. The biggest problem is that nobody will publish it. Without the sanction of the professional physicists, I am just a crazy whiny crackpot bitch. Besides, the story won't sell. People don't want to read about really interesting women like me, because as experience has taught me well, they would prefer to believe that we do not exist.

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  22. Regarding your name (Marni) to Kea: the blog author name is on the top right "About me" section of the blog, while straight under the post (before the comments): "Posted by Kea". I'll respect your wish not to make any more suggestions

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  23. My name is on my blog? Gee, wow, I would never have noticed! (That's called sarcasm, by the way, just in case you persist in thinking I really am that stupid).

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  24. I'd like to know more about the genius mice.

    Also, socialism seems like a great idea in theory, but in practice it turns out that the humans in charge interpret "for the good of all" to mean that everyone else works to improve the situation of the people in charge. This should be at least hauntingly familiar because this is the way that most physics departments are run.

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  25. Carl, the genius mice are still, well, regular mice. And for the record ... since people like to jump to conclusions without reading what I said ... I am not a communist, a socialist, a capitalist, or any other 20th century whatever.

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  26. ... a wee mouse was visiting my garbage each night at 3am, without leaving a trace, and I only took the vague noises seriously when he accidentally fell against the plastic liner and made a big rustling sound. There seems to be a family living in the drains. I have managed to keep him out of my room for now, but only after I blocked off a number of devious entrances including small gaps under doors and gaps in pipework. I can't actually catch him, because he is very quick to run under large appliances, and by the time I move these he is gone. I don't like the idea of using traps at home, although they are a sensible measure against pests in our national parks.

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  27. Capitalism advocates usually forget far too easily that their precious has failed hard several times in recent history as well.

    "People sometimes achieve their best when they have the threat of a kick up the ass, as well as a promise of potential wealth."

    Sometimes? How many times is that exactly?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

    These scientific studies discussed in the above video seem to totally falsify this claim.

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  28. Yes, and what these arrogant, ill informed people fail to appreciate is that they are no longer respected. They think they have a power that they no longer have. And when they are sitting alone, crying or begging, in twenty years time ... people will only spit at them and let them starve.

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  29. Finnish politics, and mine :)
    http://zone-reflex.blogspot.com/2010/06/great-day.html

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  30. A fascinating video, Janne :)

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  31. Kea, about the mouse or mice, what about getting a cat?

    Also, thanks for the exception about BP in the Gulf.
    If you have any interest in my further ideas (mostly geological) about BP in the Gulf, they are in a pdf file of about 3.6 MB at
    http://www.valdostamuseum.org/hamsmith/BPGulf161718Jun2010.pdf

    Tony

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  32. Tony, getting a cat is completely out of the question. I will be moving again in a few weeks, I have nothing to feed it, and I don't know where I'll end up next.

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  33. The Chinese value cat protein. Tasty fried, with soy sauce and noodles. Just a survival tip. Don't bother thanking me for the recipe.

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