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Topics - quadz

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1
Politics / Inside a Public School Social Justice Factory
« on: February 03, 2018, 03:41:07 PM »
Inside a Public School Social Justice Factory
   http://www.weeklystandard.com/inside-a-public-school-social-justice-factory/article/2011402

Quote from: Katherine Kersten, The Weekly Standard
For decades, the public schools of Edina, Minnesota, were the gold standard among the state’s school districts. Edina is an upscale suburb of Minneapolis, but virtually overnight, its reputation has changed. Academic rigor is unraveling, high school reading and math test scores are sliding, and students increasingly fear bullying and persecution.

The shift began in 2013, when Edina school leaders adopted the “All for All” strategic plan—a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to “racial equity.”

“Equity” in this context does not mean “equality” or “fairness.” It means racial identity politics—an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting “white privilege.”

The Edina school district’s All for All plan mandated that henceforth “all teaching and learning experiences” would be viewed through the “lens of racial equity,” and that only “racially conscious” teachers and administrators should be hired. District leaders assured parents this would reduce Edina’s racial achievement gap, which they attributed to “barriers rooted in racial constructs and cultural misunderstandings.”

As a result, the school system’s obsession with “white privilege” now begins in kindergarten. At Edina’s Highlands Elementary School, for example, K-2 students participate in the Melanin Project. […]

Highlands Elementary’s new “racially conscious” elementary school principal runs a blog for the school’s community. On it, […] she recommended an A-B-C book for small children entitled A is for Activist. (Peruse the book and you find all sorts of solid-gold: “F is for Feminist,” “C is for…Creative Counter to Corporate Vultures,” and “T is for Trans.”)

At Edina High School, the equity agenda is the leading edge of a full-scale ideological reeducation campaign. A course description of an 11th-grade U.S. Literature and Composition course puts it this way: “By the end of the year, you will have . . . learned how to apply marxist [sic], feminist, post-colonial [and] psychoanalytical . . .lenses to literature.”

The primary vehicle in the indoctrination effort is a year-long English course—required of all 10th-graders—that centers, not on reading literature and enhancing writing skills, but on the politicized themes of “Colonization,” “Immigration” and “Social Constructions of Race, Class and Gender.”

One student characterized the course this way on the “Rate My Teachers” website: “This class should be renamed . . . ‘Why white males are bad, and how oppressive they are.’” […]

Increasingly, families who are serious about education are leaving the Edina schools. For example, Orlando Flores and his wife pulled their son—an academic superstar—out of Edina High School in his senior year to escape its hyper-political environment.

Flores, who fled a Marxist regime in Nicaragua as a child, had this to say: “Years ago, we fled Communism to escape indoctrination, absolutist thinking and restrictions on our freedom of speech. If we see these traits in our schools in America, we must speak out and oppose it.”

Flores says that when his son was at Edina High, teachers routinely pushed politicians and political positions they favored, shamed and browbeat students with dissenting views, and forced them to defend themselves against baseless allegations of racism. According to his son, he says, classroom discussions were often “one-sided indoctrination sessions,” and students feared their grades would be penalized if they spoke out.

[…] the boy asked to transfer to another English class. There, a student teacher informed the class they would not be reading classic books because “dead white men are boring,” according to Flores.
[…]
Like Edina students, the district’s faculty and staff must submit to racial equity re-education.

One such mandatory session for school bus drivers is illustrative. The widow of a bus driver who had been required to attend the training sent the entire 25-page instructional curriculum to Center of the American Experiment, where I am a senior policy fellow.

The training session was entitled “Edina School DIstrict Equity and Racial Justice Training: Moving from a Diversity to a Social Justice Lens.” In it, trainers instructed bus drivers that “dismantling white privilege” is “the core of our work as white folks,” and that working for the Edina schools requires “a major paradigm shift in the thinking of white people.” Drivers were exhorted to confess their racial guilt, and embrace the district’s “equity” ideology.

The result of all of this? […] Black students “on track for success” in reading decreased from 48.1 percent in 2014 to 44.9 percent in 2017. Math scores decreased from 49.6 percent proficiency in 2014 to 47.4 percent in 2017. Black students “on track for success” in math decreased from 51.4 percent in 2014 to 44.7 percent in 2017.

The drop was most notable at the high school level. Math scores for black students in 11th grade at Edina Senior High dropped from 31 percent proficiency in 2014 to 14.6 percent in 2017. In reading, scores for black students in 10th grade at Edina Senior High dropped from 51.7 percent proficiency in 2014 to 40 percent in 2017.

(continue to full article)

:ohlord:


2
Quake / Quake done 100% Quickest
« on: June 03, 2017, 06:50:32 PM »
"'Quake done 100% Quickest' is a run through all of Quake on Nightmare skill, going through the levels as fast as possible, killing every single monster and finding every single secret in every single map of Quake."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhzXKMqZBBc
<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ZhzXKMqZBBc/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZhzXKMqZBBc"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/ZhzXKMqZBBc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/ZhzXKMqZBBc</a>

Only takes them 9 minutes to get through the original shareware campaign maps.

:ubershock: :notworthy:



3
Science / "What is Technology Doing to Us?"
« on: April 30, 2017, 12:18:20 AM »
"What is Technology Doing to Us?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlPF9_1VIso
<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jlPF9_1VIso/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jlPF9_1VIso"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jlPF9_1VIso" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jlPF9_1VIso</a>

[talks about an insider perspective on competing armies of behavioral sociologists in a corporate arms race (to persuade us for every ounce of our available attention)]

:forceac:




4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6ef99T-IJE
<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/v6ef99T-IJE/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/v6ef99T-IJE"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/v6ef99T-IJE" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/v6ef99T-IJE</a>

This lecture really took off for me about 30 minutes in, around the point Prof. Krauss was explaining how Maxwell had calculated the rate of electromagnetic propagation, based on the both the measurement of the strength of two electric charges and the measurement of the strength of the force between two magnets; the speed of this propagation calculated by Maxwell being the speed of light!

A lot of good stuff. (Some audio issues early on eventually get ironed out.)



5
Politics / Cold War 2.0 ?
« on: October 13, 2016, 12:21:00 AM »
I've been following the writings & tweets of a couple National Security analysts [1] [2] for a little while. Over the past few months, and especially in the past week, there's been a marked increase in the number of alerts about potentially destabilizing actions Putin is taking.

http://observer.com/2016/10/putins-activation-of-iskander-m-ballistic-missile-is-a-message-to-obama/

Excerpts:

"It’s long been obvious that Vladimir Putin and his inner circle view Barack Obama with utter contempt. … As our president winds up his second term and prepares to move out of the White House, the Kremlin simply isn’t bothering to hide that contempt any longer, even in high-level diplomacy, where a modicum of tact is expected."

"The Kremlin has made it indelibly clear that it has no interest in further parley with Washington about Syria: 'We won, you lost, get over it.' … We gave Putin what he wanted in Syria—preserving his Assad client regime while demonstrating Russian resolve and power—and for that we have nobody to blame but ourselves. This has become deeply embarrassing as the Syrian nightmare has descended into war crimes and even genocide on a truly horrifying scale. For an administration that prided itself on its alleged humanitarianism, this is an appalling ending which the world will not soon forget. The Russians, of course, have acted like Russians, bombing and shelling haphazardly, adding impressively to the death toll among Syrian civilians."

"Russia has just sent more late-model anti-aircraft missiles to that country—an odd choice in weaponry given that the Islamic State, which the Kremlin boasts of fighting energetically while accusing Washington of collaborating with it, has no aircraft. Just in case anybody in the Pentagon missed that unsubtle move, Russia’s defense ministry this week bluntly stated that any effort by American airpower to change “facts on the ground” in Syria will be countered with live fire."

"Responding to rumors that the U.S. military wants enhanced airstrikes against the Assad regime, the Kremlin spokesman minced no words: “I would recommend our colleagues in Washington to carefully weigh possible consequences of the fulfillment of such plans.”"

"Ever an opportunist, Putin is simply running the table in the waning months of Obama’s presidency. The Kremlin may never see an American president this weak-willed again, so the Russians are making the most of this undeserved geostrategic gift while they still can. Signs of this aggressive opportunism are everywhere."

"Reports that the Russian navy has created a new strategic bomber division in the Far East to monitor and harass the Americans across the Pacific region … Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers, long-range carrier-killers, will be shadowing the U.S. Navy as far east as Hawaii, in a manner not seen since the 1980s."

"Obama has gone to great lengths to deny that we’re in Cold War 2.0, as I explained after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, but Putin isn’t playing along with that script. This week, his defense ministry announced that it’s considering re-opening military bases in Cuba and Vietnam. These were shuttered after the last Cold War, and any indications that the Kremlin wants them back, particularly in Cuba, conveniently close to Florida, likewise indicate where this is headed."

"… some of the Kremlin’s current military moves are deeply alarming and indicate a risk-taking mood in Russia’s leadership that ought to seriously worry NATO and the Pentagon. Things are getting scary in the tightly packed and jumpy Baltic Sea region, where Moscow is eagerly flexing its military muscle, seeming not to care what anybody thinks or feels about it."

"This week, however, Putin upped the ante by sending armed fighter jets to intimidate Helsinki and Tallinn. Yesterday, two Su-27 fighters of the Russian air force, called Flankers by NATO, overflew Finland. Their incursions were brief but, significantly, the Flankers were armed for combat. Then, early this morning, another Flanker violated Estonian airspace—fully armed and with its transponder turned off. This incident, the fifth violation of Estonian airspace by the Kremlin so far this year, is significant since that country belongs to NATO. None of the Baltic republics have their own fighter jets. That’s handled by a composite Alliance jet squadron. If the Russians keep sending armed jets over Estonia, the odds of a confrontation with NATO fighters rise dramatically."

"[This week's] biggest news, however, comes from Estonian reports that the Russian military is sending Iskander-M missiles to Kaliningrad on a civilian freighter. … The Iskander-M system, called SS-26 by NATO, is the replacement of the Scud missile of American Gulf War memory. It has a range of 300 miles and can carry either a conventional or a nuclear warhead. An Iskander-M based in Kaliningrad can strike targets deep in Poland and across the whole Baltic region. Make no mistake, this is primarily an offensive weapons system."

"There’s a reason that the Kremlin promised to not ship this missile system to Kaliningrad back in 2009, in exchange for President Obama’s scuppering of missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic. Activating an Iskander-M unit in Kaliningrad, west of the Baltic republics, is rightly seen as destabilizing by NATO’s whole eastern flank which, despite security promises by the White House, remains vulnerable to Russian attack. For Warsaw and several other NATO capitals, this move resembles a Baltic version of the Cuban Missile Crisis."


Related article:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/12/world-faces-cold-war-era-threat-levels-former-mi6-chief-sir-john-sawers


Related commentary, all this week:


https://twitter.com/akihheikkinen/status/785860526752591882

"Labor conflicts in Russia have doubled in 3 months; Primorye coal miners begun hunger strike. Clock is ticking for Putin. Even military has repeatedly failed to pay gas and electricity bills."


https://twitter.com/NoahSneider/status/785849032069550080

"Russia's pres admin telling gov officials w/kids studying abroad to bring them home"


https://twitter.com/XSovietNews/status/785830580856377345

"In Moscow local authorities collect money for bomb shelter constructing due to 'imminent threat of nuclear war with the West'."


https://twitter.com/Baltic_Defence/status/786206950857945089

"#RuNavy NORFLT launched another SLBM from Barents Sea … Third launch of a ballistic missile today!"


I get that a lot of this is saber-rattling, and I don't imagine Putin wants a war. But as was also pointed out:


https://twitter.com/20committee/status/785861243110363138

"Hitler invaded Poland in Sep 1939 because he knew the German economy was on the ropes and he had nothing left to lose."

"What would your best (educated) guess be John....is he just posturing & flexing or is a military action coming?"

"I think the former, which regrettably can lead to the latter."


Meanwhile, most of our news media is flooding the airwaves regurgitating inane trivia about one candidate or the other in the general election.


6
Greetings,

So, the hosting company where t4 was located has deleted the entire datacenter where the server was hosted.

Response to my inquiry: "That device was hosted in our LDJ data center. That datancenter[sic] got closed last week. Hence, all devices associated to it were deleted."

As far as I can tell, this was done with no advance warning. (They claim they sent an email beforehand, but I see no record of it anywhere, including spam folders. I've got plenty of emails from them around that time saying things like, "The network team has informed us that network connectivity has been restored." But nothing whatsoever about them pulling the plug.)

Anyway... At this time, I have no immediate plans to seek other hosting. (Frankly I'm looking for ways to save money, so while this was unexpected, the $48/mo savings is not entirely unwelcome.)


:exqueezeme:

7
0x1337c0de / 64K ought to be enough for anyone
« on: April 29, 2016, 08:43:40 PM »
Wow...

These are real-time video captures from a 64K executable: All graphics, sound, music are contained in the 64K exe.

These were part of a 64K demo category from a contest from earlier this year (March, 2016.)

I guess this has caught me slightly by surprise: I'm used to "Moore's Law" and the corresponding process shrinks yielding more transistors, more storage, etc.

But it hadn't occurred to me to think about how much more one could now get done in a 64K binary.


The following won 2nd place in the contest:

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/_SEGm2lUSY0/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_SEGm2lUSY0"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/_SEGm2lUSY0" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/_SEGm2lUSY0</a>


This was the 1st place entry:

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/JZ6ZzJeWgpY/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JZ6ZzJeWgpY"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/JZ6ZzJeWgpY" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/JZ6ZzJeWgpY</a>


Heavy use of procedural pixel shader techniques, etc., etc., but goddamn.

Packing that all into a 64K binary...  :headbang: :notworthy: :bananaw00t: :beer: :righteous: :notworthy:


:dohdohdoh:

8
vanilla / avoiding giant maps (unless lots of players)
« on: October 05, 2015, 02:33:08 AM »
Salutations,

Finally coded wallfly to observe the number of active players, :zzz:, and skip maps coded to be too large for the active player count.

 :rocketright: :ubershock: :rocketleft:

(still working on the same for mutant... got thru 200+ mutant maps today, something like 550+ still to go  :dohdohdoh: )

But anyway, if there are only a few 'active' players on the server, smaller maps will be used. (Similar logic now also affects the behavior of commands like `mymap random`. It will try to pick from maps suitable to the player count.)

'Active' players are determined by players who got a frag recently. (So if a server is full if spectators / idle players, they don't weigh into the decision. Just the players actually fragging.)

Anyway, might require some tweaking/tuning over time, but hopefully the server should be less likely to empty out due to scheduling maps whose vastness exceeds the player count. :dohdohdoh:


:frag:


9
Politics / This Week in Stupid
« on: August 09, 2015, 04:29:28 PM »
<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-TcIBJqlE_g/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-TcIBJqlE_g"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/-TcIBJqlE_g" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/-TcIBJqlE_g</a>

I've begun looking forward to these weekly vids from Sargon.

If one hasn't been following some of these topics (e.g. the scourge of identity politics, particularly infesting university campuses) then I suspect the sarcasm Sargon employs in his presentation might be mistaken by some as sincerity.

If you're in a hurry and would like a quick example of the sort of topic covered by these vids, try the segment at 18:00 about, &quot;TCU student&nbsp; punished for criticizing Islam, Baltimore riots.&quot;
"TCU student  punished for criticizing Islam, Baltimore riots."



10
Salutations!

The server that runs WallFly has been up for 1604 days since its last reboot, but it's developing errors with some of its RAM modules.

nexus kernel: [137102675.670956] EDAC MC0: UE row 3, channel-a= 2 channel-b= 3 labels "-": (Branch=1 DRAM-Bank=2 RDWR=Write RAS=12103 CAS=0 FATAL Err=0x4 (>Tmid Thermal event with intelligent throttling disabled))

nexus kernel: [138131887.882526] EDAC MC0: UE row 1, channel-a= 2 channel-b= 3 labels "-": (Branch=1 DRAM-Bank=3 RDWR=Write RAS=10635 CAS=0 FATAL Err=0x1 (Alert on non-redundant retry or fast reset timeout))

etc.

The server will be shut down for maintenance at about 3 AM CDT tomorrow morning (Sunday, May 24.)

Hopefully back up and running within an hour or so.


:dohdohdoh:



11
Quake / Per-map FPH stats
« on: March 08, 2015, 06:48:37 PM »
Finally wrote a parser to pull FPH stats from FFA server logs:

http://tastyspleen.net/quake/stats/frags-fph/


Currently these go back to 2008 (quirks in the logfile format prior to then require alternate parsing.)



12
Science / The AI Revolution: Superintelligence, Immortality, Extinction
« on: February 05, 2015, 02:20:36 AM »
Part 1: The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence

Part 2: The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction










For me, an interesting article overall.

(I suspect some physical limits relating to information processing, and impediments like the General Halting Problem (and perhaps the existence of NP-complete problems), may place some constraints on the rate of takeoff from AGI to ASI... And I also suspect the 'quality' of intelligence may not be able to be ratcheted up to the tremendous multipliers postulated in the article; -- I don't know what sort of law might govern that, but I'd be surprised if there didn't work out to be some sort of diminishing returns, where even a superintelligence accustomed to designing the next smarter version of itself might begin finding it increasingly difficult to make incremental gains. Nevertheless, I've little doubt there's room to be many times smarter than humans before hitting those sorts of limits, if they exist.)


:exqueezeme:

13
tastyspleen.net / Unplanned Server Outage - 21aug2014
« on: August 21, 2014, 10:59:38 PM »
Salutations,

Here's a synopsis of the unplanned server outage that occurred today.

At 1330 days of uptime, our primary server fragbait.tastyspleen.net crashed with a kernel panic in the Ethernet driver.

Subsequent attempts to reboot and/or power cycle the server were met with failures to bring up the network driver:

[    1.921773] e1000e: Intel(R) PRO/1000 Network Driver - 1.0.2-k2
[    1.921836] e1000e: Copyright (c) 1999-2008 Intel Corporation.
[    1.921945] e1000e 0000:04:00.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 18 (level, low) -> IRQ 18
[    1.922025] e1000e 0000:04:00.0: setting latency timer to 64
[    1.922140] e1000e 0000:04:00.0: irq 54 for MSI/MSI-X
[    2.172397] e1000e 0000:04:00.0: PCI INT A disabled
[    2.172467] e1000e: probe of 0000:04:00.0 failed with error -2
[    2.172552] e1000e 0000:04:00.1: PCI INT B -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
[    2.172629] e1000e 0000:04:00.1: setting latency timer to 64
[    2.172754] e1000e 0000:04:00.1: irq 54 for MSI/MSI-X
[    2.423008] e1000e 0000:04:00.1: PCI INT B disabled
[    2.423070] e1000e: probe of 0000:04:00.1 failed with error -2


After I opened a support ticket, I was able to watch the tech assigned by SoftLayer over the virtual KVM as he attempted to troubleshoot.

Sometimes when the tech would boot into a "rescue" kernel, the network driver would load. Sometimes after that when he booted back into the fragbait kernel the networking would still be OK--which is why we had a brief interval in the afternoon where the system was back up for awhile. However, on subsequent reboots the networking would go back to the error condition above.

The tech suggested updating the BIOS on the motherboard, but unfortunately this had no noticable effect on the problem.

The tech then continued running various diagnostic programs at occasional intervals, however the programs the tech was running depended on the Ethernet devices existing (but the devices did not exist, because the driver was unable to load, again related to the error above -- so these diagnostic tools were unable to run.)

So it was an interesting experience watching sometimes lengthy periods of inactivity punctuated by the running of another diagnostic tool which had no chance of working.

Eventually the problem was escalated to a higher tier tech who was aware of a rather bizarre problem with the particular motherboard on the fragbait server.

He was able to get the networking back up, and explained the issue as follows:

Quote
I am going to go ahead and put an account note on your account so that we can get this fixed in a faster fashion in the future.

There is a specific issue with the motherboard in this server. There is a trick of sorts that has to be performed as this motherboard can lose network access at times.

basically for the server fragbait2 which has the X7DBR-E we have to shutdown the machine, set the network interfaces to 0 then push the config to our switches.

Then wait a minute or two, then power back on the machine and then reset the speed of the interfaces back to the required speed which for this one is 1Gbps.

After that networking starts to work and is a documented issue for this board.

I did go ahead and add the notes for this server so hopefully any issues will be fixed in a quick manner.

So.... that's definitely an odd one. I'm glad somebody there knew a workaround. It will be interesting to see how long it lasts. (If it can last another 1330 days, I won't complain much. But who knows...)


:exqueezeme:

14
Politics / VICE Interviews with IS (The Islamic State) in Syria
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:52:36 PM »
(3 of 5 parts have been uploaded so far to youtube)

While watching Part 1, I found myself thinking: here is the brute medievalism straight out of Game of Thrones, only with modern weaponry. And that's before I'd gotten to the part with them displaying the heads of their enemies on spikes atop a fence in the city square.

Part 2 focuses on how children are being indoctrinated into jihadism.

Part 3 is a ride-along with the morality police. An amazing all-encompassing and oppressive totalitarianism -- at once both grandiose and petty. As Sam Harris put it, "These guys aren't the scariest thugs, just true believers--which is far scarier."

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bsCZzpmbEcs/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bsCZzpmbEcs"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/bsCZzpmbEcs" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/bsCZzpmbEcs</a>

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jzCAPJDAnQA/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jzCAPJDAnQA"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jzCAPJDAnQA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jzCAPJDAnQA</a>

<span data-s9e-mediaembed="youtube" style="display:inline-block;width:100%;max-width:640px"><span style="display:block;overflow:hidden;position:relative;padding-bottom:56.25%"><iframe allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" style="background:url(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jOaBNbdUbcA/hqdefault.jpg) 50% 50% / cover;border:0;height:100%;left:0;position:absolute;width:100%" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jOaBNbdUbcA"></iframe></span></span><br /><a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/jOaBNbdUbcA" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/jOaBNbdUbcA</a>


:yuck:

15
Politics / Ghost Cities: Gargantuan Chinese Real Estate Bubble
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:37:11 PM »
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-real-estate-bubble-lesley-stahl-60-minutes/  (12 minutes)

Bizarre: Upwards of 10 to 20 ghost cities are being constructed in China per year, full of high priced apartment complexes and vacant shopping centers--apartments which members of China's middle class have been purchasing as "investments", but which are too expensive for the poorer population to afford.

Apparently the government has been subsidizing or at least heavily encouraging continued development to keep the bubble from bursting so far--and since housing prices have continued to rise over the past decade or more, families who can afford them continue to view them as investments. A middle class family might own half a dozen different empty apartments in various new cities.

Yet the Chinese villagers being displaced by the millions to make way for these new high-rise cities subsist on something like $2 per day, thus have zero chance of being able to afford a $60,000 apartment in a complex that now sits where their village used to be.

Further, developers are taking out massive loans to build the next new city. So when the bubble does burst and families with all their savings locked up in half a dozen empty apartment buildings see the value of those holdings start to plummet, they'll be scrambling to sell, and developers will be stuck with partially finished new cities but suddenly no buyers for their newest batches of "investment" apartments.

Looks like it's on a path to make what happened here in 2008 look tiny by comparison.


:erhmmm:

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