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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Theory vs practice

It's not a good sign that every argument in support of the USA's continued global ascendancy is based on pure theory:
In a recently published book, Why Nations Fail, economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson characterize China’s ruling elites as “extractive”—parasitic and corrupt—and predict that Chinese economic growth will soon falter and decline, while America’s “inclusive” governing institutions have taken us from strength to strength. They argue that a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world. The glowing tributes this book has received from a vast array of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, including six Nobel laureates in economics, testifies to the widespread popularity of this optimistic message.
First, there is no ruling elite as extractive and parasitic, and few as observably corrupt, as the current US ruling elite.. Second, these theoretical strengths are mostly imaginary and based on the historical American posterity rather than actual US demographics. Consider the reality:
Over the last few years one of the most ambitious Chinese projects has been a plan to create the world’s largest and most advanced network of high-speed rail transport, an effort that absorbed a remarkable $200 billion of government investment. The result was the construction of over 6,000 miles of track, a total probably now greater than that of all the world’s other nations combined.

Meanwhile, America has no high-speed rail whatsoever, despite decades of debate and vast amounts of time and money spent on lobbying, hearings, political campaigns, planning efforts, and environmental-impact reports. China’s high-speed rail system may be far from perfect, but it actually exists, while America’s does not. Annual Chinese ridership now totals over 25 million trips per year.
Of course, the most significant development of the last decade is one that has gone almost entirely unnoticed by everyone, which is of course, the Chinese rejection of one faction of the US ruling elite's gracious offer to transfer the benefits of their wise and impartial guidance from the USA to China. It would appear the Chinese elite is content with their extant extractive abilities.

It increasingly appears that Ron Unz had it right back in 2012 when he cast his vote with Richard Lynn:
Richard Lynn, a prominent British scholar, has been correct in predicting for a decade or longer that the global dominance of the European-derived peoples is rapidly drawing to its end and within the foreseeable future the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands.
I don't know about you, but I, for one, hope that other dark meat tastes a lot better than it looks.

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130 Comments:

Blogger Jeff aka Orville April 28, 2020 1:24 PM  

Bat or dog?

Blogger Gettimothy April 28, 2020 1:25 PM  

Characterize China’s ruling elites as “extractive”—parasitic and corrupt—and predict that Chinese economic growth will soon falter and decline, while America’s “inclusive” governing institutions have taken us from strength to strength.

I spewed!






Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 28, 2020 1:33 PM  

"They argue that a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world."
Seems to have worked well for the US from 1920 to 2020. Or, if you ignore the "media" bit, since 1860.

Blogger [Redacted] April 28, 2020 2:05 PM  

>America's "inclusive" governing institutions.

Thank you Vox. I have not laughed that hard in months. There will be no torch passing of human progress and world leadership. China has never governed itself without massive bouts of corrupt mismanagement, insanity, and cannibalism. After a few decades of this farce, Christians will pick up the torch again even if they have to make a new one. How else could things turn out?

Blogger American Spartan April 28, 2020 2:05 PM  

Oh trust me, that tribute is glowing alright.

Leftists claiming “ a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world.“ is just too funny. It’s true they can’t and yet they push for the same things. The inverters on display.

Blogger Timmy3 April 28, 2020 2:11 PM  

What does high speed rail travel have anything to do with ascendancy? The US elite has been out of touch with Americans for decades while off shoring our manufacturing to China. The US population and development will never be like China. The Wuhan Virus is making mass transit seem outdated. China is already badly affected by its awful handling of the pandemic. This could be a blip or something more long lasting.

Blogger tublecane April 28, 2020 2:14 PM  

"Extractive?" They couldn't at least say exploitative? Or bloodsucking? Anything that doesn't make me feel lost in poli-sci textbook hell.

Lord, academics are tedious. I used to think they were just boring people--and likely they are--but now I figure it's strategic. "If I describe things as uninterestingly as possible, no one can stop my horrible ideas!"

"from strength to strength"

That's certainly how no one whatsoever would describe the American Experience since our last regime change (1933).

"the free media"

Hiveminds are totally free, because they don't need explicit instructions all the time.

"cannot long prosper in the modern world"

What is the modern world? Because China lasted for decades being run by a madman gangster who fed millions into the furnace in a gamble to make it a world power.

Which gamble paid off. And they're not so self-destructive now.

Blogger rumpole5 April 28, 2020 2:27 PM  

Re: "the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands." The dynamic system we enjoy now depends on the unique, lucky accident the created western European humans. Once the critical mass of these unique humans declines, human progress will slow to the crawl pace that existed before 1600 AD or so. If that happens, the most that we can hope for is that the eastern asians will keep humanity from falling back too much.

Blogger thethirdcoast April 28, 2020 2:28 PM  

Well, the expert US faction that wants to jump ship to China can't really pull the old, "Hello, my fellow Han people," trick, can they?

Blogger FrankNorman April 28, 2020 2:31 PM  

Richard Lynn, a prominent British scholar, has been correct in predicting for a decade or longer that the global dominance of the European-derived peoples is rapidly drawing to its end and within the foreseeable future the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands.

Let's hope not.
It seems to me that many who predict this actually desire it. And are trying to make it self-fulfilling.

Blogger qualitycontrol April 28, 2020 2:32 PM  

When people cite these ideas I always mention the fact that democratic Germany cannot even build an airport or a train station in the 21st century. Meanwhile in China, skyscrapers and other megaprojects are popping up on a daily basis.

I feel like a lot of these books are more or less a scam. Rich people pay economists a lot of money to write books that make rich people feel good about themselves.

Blogger Latigo3 April 28, 2020 2:36 PM  

We have seen this coming, yet one thing that is fascinating is the fascination with that all the brights have with high-speed rail. Oh know, the USA doesn't have one! Whoe cares! In California, our boondoggle high-speed rail is still somewhere is central California.

Blogger Tetro April 28, 2020 2:44 PM  

They're pushing the anti-China sentiment through the ranks of environmentalists as well. Overpopulation and meat-eaters are now to blame for humanity unlocking the dreaded Corona Virus by eating bats. Surprise, surprise, we're all guilty. Let's off ourselves. Or starve on a vegan diet. Otherwise, it's our fault for the existence of any new diseases.

Blogger Oswald April 28, 2020 2:46 PM  

It might even be a good time to pass the torch to China. Being the Super power puts a target on your back. Why not let the Chinese ascend just in time to catch the wrath of the world's suppressed peoples? We can reorganize in the meantime.

Blogger bramley April 28, 2020 2:50 PM  

Looking for investors in my new restaurant franchise 'Fat Drac's Burger Shack'. We source our meat from only the most select markets in Asia. Hoping to go global by 2021.

You'll love our signature sandwich the 'Big Drac'.

Blogger bramley April 28, 2020 2:51 PM  

We did consider 'Drac in the Box' as the name, but were worried about lawsuits.

Blogger rikjames.313 April 28, 2020 2:54 PM  

I agree with Vox's points. And (however?) what happens when the Han run out of new ideas and processes from the US to rip off? America is screwed because we sent all our machine tool industry to China, most of the data processing and handling to Bangalore, and our high end manufacturing to Germany. But at least Americans do some original science and products

Blogger Hammerli 280 April 28, 2020 3:12 PM  

We're watching the end of the American Unipolar Era...but anyone who thought THAT was going to last was taking recreational pharmaceuticals. History NEVER "ends".

Having said that, I don't see China taking over. They have too much institutional corruption to pull it off. And they are surrounded by natural enemies. One thing about the rise of Britain in Europe, the United States in North America (and later the world), was that neither had a serious enemy on their doorstep.

Blogger Silly but True April 28, 2020 3:23 PM  

@Snidely & Tublecane:
“...cannot long (*) prosper in the modern world.”

([*] note: length as measured by the geological time scale by eons.)

Blogger Latigo3 April 28, 2020 3:26 PM  

You know what is funny in all of this, is that you could see all of this coming in the Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury (hope it's not to far off topic). I showed it to my son the other day, because we were watching the propaganda flick Ip Man 4 and I told my son, let me show you who Bruce Lee really was. So we watched Fist of Fury, and there it was in the movie, the Chinese being called the sick man of Asia, being bullied in their own country by the cartoonish Japanese characters, it was pretty comical. Yet, you could see what they were striving for back then. None of this should be a surprise to anyone.
John C. Wright is correct, he talked about looking at a book with a new set of eyes as an adult. I saw it in Fist of Fury.

Blogger Canadian Warlord April 28, 2020 3:27 PM  

If China is the next global superpower;

1) Why did it need so much "Western (wall street)" investment to industrialize?

2) Why is it's economy so dependent on Western markets?

3) Where are it's giant troop commitments? Djibouti?

The United States inherited imperial possessions (Spain) and aspirations / struggles (England). China is dependent on the west for its technologies, its markets, its economic model (endless debt). It will not inherit anything or finish a global war, both of which the US did. There will be no Malsharr Plan to rebuild shattered bombed out continents, no ambition to airlift supplies in or help refugees.

I will grant that the future of warfare, moving from offensive strategic (nuclear) to defensive strategic (navy ships with rail guns, permanent energy weapon arrays), will immediately and forever end the need for bases and troops everywhere. China will adapt quicker to that reality, and perhaps deny the US a chunk of SE Asia. But it will not be inclined to have global reach, nor will their rise coincide with the closing window of the current age of armed combat.

China's rise we are seeing now - close internal travel, sending a dangerous virus worldwide. This trick didn't even work on the Filipinos, who closed their airports to China early on. This trick worked on the west. And with the exception of Canada, it can only be played once.

I'm not scared.

Blogger Guitar Man April 28, 2020 3:42 PM  

Understand that Face is most important in China. Hard to know how much is bullshit and how much is reality in China. I'm sure they built high speed rail. Yawn.

The sooner America unties it's relationship with China, the better.

Blogger urthshu April 28, 2020 3:48 PM  

High speed rail is probably the dumbest benchmark ever for the USA which of course is why it's continually thrown out as proof of some kind for American foot dragging. It just doesn't apply to us.

Blogger urthshu April 28, 2020 3:52 PM  

The other dumb assumption is that the world is necessarily going to be unipolar, one nation dominating the rest. Not necessarily. The more realistic path is to a multipolar world, IMO.

Blogger RobertT April 28, 2020 3:54 PM  

I'm a follower of Peter Ziehan. He's written three or four books ahd supported his expectations adequately for me to pay attention.

Blogger Akulkis April 28, 2020 4:04 PM  

""Extractive?" They couldn't at least say exploitative? Or bloodsucking? Anything that doesn't make me feel lost in poli-sci textbook hell."

Extractive indicates exactly WHICH type of exploitation that the higher-ups are perpetrating on the general public.

Blogger eclecticmn April 28, 2020 4:09 PM  

"Extractive, parasitic and corrupt."
It describes the financialization of the US economy.
I read three Michael Hudson books after VD's introduction.

Blogger Joe Smith April 28, 2020 4:22 PM  

It's a bit of an irony that conservicucks constantly claim the progressive left compares what they think of as real world capitalism right now to perfect ideal socialism--which is true--and then they turn around and do the same thing whenever someone criticizes America today. Whenever someone criticizes America as it works right now these retards point at pre-civil war liberties and tell us we're all crazy. Not that what they think matters in the end.

Blogger AbnEng April 28, 2020 4:29 PM  

Hammerli 280 -- The "no enemy on your doorstep" model might be called the Corbett / Mahan model. The Babylon / Persia / Rome model spins up by being surrounded by enemies but being amazingly competent (compared to the competition.) I wonder what a Christian unified Korea could do?

Blogger Cash April 28, 2020 4:42 PM  

I have o idea what is going to happen. Maybe China will rule the world or maybe they will fall flat on their face after Xi dies.

I wish them well.

I can't say the same about my fellow Americans who gleefully cheer the destruction of America. Sadly, many on the right have fallen into this position while rabidly defending China against any criticism.

Blogger pyrrhus April 28, 2020 4:50 PM  

Compare...
China has one party system, so does US despite a rogue billionaire President...
In China, looter elites have boundaries, can't be seen peddling poison baby formula, etc, and get executed for doing so...In US elites can do anything, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths from narcotics and other defective pharmaceuticals, or by promoting wars in 3d world, or by robbery of the taxpayers in the trillions..
China has borders and strictly controls Muslims and other deviant groups...US borders are a joke, and US gives them welfare, free medical and affirmative action...
US IQ sinking rapidly, China...nope...
One of these societies will crash long before the other....

Blogger Stilicho April 28, 2020 4:51 PM  

The pattern I see emerging is that Russia, China, and the US become regional superpowers: very difficult to defeat within their own regions (and not susceptible to being conquered because nukes)but not able to project power effectively into a rival region. Other countries will align more or less with one or more of the regional superpaowers with all the usual gamesmanship seen during the cold war, just more convoluted due to three poles instead of two. Economic warfare will be rampant. China will do whatever it can to prevent a US/Russia alliance while it expands in Asia (and tries the same in Africa). All three will try to destabilize the others to achieve comparative advantage. US is probably the most susceptible to such destabilization, but it could also ha ve the side effect of US (or components therof) seeking de facto alliance with Russia as counter to chinese power. China, of course, has its own massive economic problems which will hamper its expansion (economic and military), but should remain fairly cohesive.

Blogger Ingot9455 April 28, 2020 4:54 PM  

@18 Yes, the most optimum outcome for China is for the United States to be a little controlled province that they 'farm' ideas from. We generate it, they steal it, and live off the fat.

Of course, some ideas are simply not permitted.

Whether or not they will get there, or whether the golden goose has been fully cooked, who knows.

Blogger Cinco April 28, 2020 4:56 PM  

People routinely underestimate how long bad leadership with deep pockets can continue on for. I believe it’s some sort of fascination more with being “right” than it is an argument based on reason and evidence. I wonder how long the authors would have predicted that Ancient Egypt’s empire would have lasted for? Or if Egypt’s enslavement of the Israelites was going from strength to weakness...

There are a few good arguments against Chinese ascendancy; however, at the end of the day, one must be only be strongest dung beetle to reach the top of the pile.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 28, 2020 5:07 PM  

"“extractive”—parasitic and corrupt—and predict that Chinese economic growth will soon falter and decline, while America’s “inclusive” governing institutions have taken us from strength to strength."

Uh....

"They argue that a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world."

Wait just a second....

"he glowing tributes this book has received from a vast array of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, including six Nobel laureates in economics, testifies to the widespread popularity of this optimistic message."

But....

"economists"

Spoken: Retards. Although retards that have filled my irony quota for a long, long time.

"It would appear the Chinese elite is content with their extant extractive abilities."

The value of content people on the levers of power is hard to overstate.

"the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands."

Leadership quite possibly. Progress... sure, for what the Chinese consider progress, although to be fair stasis is preferable to "progress".

"I don't know about you, but I, for one, hope that other dark meat tastes a lot better than it looks."

I understand foodstock dog is decent. I'll eat insects before dirty skypuppies though.

Blogger JohnofAustria April 28, 2020 5:09 PM  

Yeah, that part is so insultingly incorrect I'm amazed at their gall.

It's a wonder the authors aren't tribesmen.

Blogger JohnofAustria April 28, 2020 5:10 PM  

I'm actually insulted at the temerity of their claim. We have none of those things anymore, and haven't for a while.

Blogger RedJack April 28, 2020 5:12 PM  

Academics, like military officers and government bureaucrats, live in a highly structured and privileged world.

They view reality through the lens of command and control, theory, and grand sweeping ideals. Reality is to messy

Blogger RedJack April 28, 2020 5:14 PM  

The US doesn't do original science. To risky to the stock price

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 28, 2020 5:18 PM  

Timmy3 wrote:What does high speed rail travel have anything to do with ascendancy?
The Yellow Peril can conceive a project and carry it out. We cannot.

The race to the moon was the last time the US had a grand vision that came to pass, rather than came to a sorry pass.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 28, 2020 5:23 PM  

thethirdcoast wrote:Well, the expert US faction that wants to jump ship to China can't really pull the old, "Hello, my fellow Han people," trick, can they?
Not without a nose job.

Blogger Eugenius BEar April 28, 2020 5:23 PM  

China doesn't have to rise in order to become the premier world power. All that is needed is for the US to fall.

We (in the US) take for granted that our economy of consumption is made possible in very large part due to dollar hegemony, backed by the largest fighting machine ever assembled on the face of the earth, and our subsequent ability to inflate the currency. When the dollar eventually assumes its worthlessness and consumerism subsides, is it not reasonable to assume that a nations wealth will become some function of actual labor?

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 28, 2020 5:32 PM  

"Why not let the Chinese ascend just in time to catch the wrath of the world's suppressed peoples? We can reorganize in the meantime."

Oh, no. Rather, China will ensure they're well and truly suppressed off the face of existence if they happen to bother it at all. Good riddance.

"look where richest people on earth want to live, that will be the dominant place for foreseeable future."

No, it will be the most exploitable place for the foreseeable future, because that's actually where the rich people want to live, right up until it stops being exploitable. The only wealthy people who don't operate that way are the ones who have stayed in one place for forever as far as historical record is concerned.

"China is obvious, it is so vast that it props up Canadian and Australian real estate not to mention other markets. China is rotten inside and those who make it there try to move away from it, again if they can."

Buying up land from other countries isn't what most historians would call a symptom of internal collapse. It's a symptom of the self-selected rejects still having enough leverage to buy land in other countries.

"China's rise we are seeing now - close internal travel, sending a dangerous virus worldwide."

Quarantine, cellularization, trends toward static state for a good long while. I don't think China is going to literally invade and occupy much of anywhere, they have enough trouble holding themselves together past a hundred years or so, but it will be felt.

"High speed rail is probably the dumbest benchmark ever for the USA"

It makes sense for longer-lived more high pop density countries. For us, it was strangled in the crib when its precursors became gov utilities. Possibly the most exemplary case of why that's a bad idea in US history. Mismanagement shit city, so that's why we get hammered for it even if it wouldn't be that big a deal for many or most of us. It's one of our own particular retardations.

"The more realistic path is to a multipolar world, IMO."

Concur.

Blogger Jim April 28, 2020 5:38 PM  

"Annual Chinese ridership now totals over 25 million trips per year."

So it has, by the author's statement, "a total probably now greater than that of all the world’s other nations combined," and its population of 1.39 billion only manages 25 million?

Yeah, someone was being "extractive" building that.

Blogger Doktor Jeep April 28, 2020 5:47 PM  

China-centric world offers no value to the "muh Holocaust" currency.
Wait until we see what they do to Africa. White colonialism will be seen as a golden age in comparison.

Blogger Hammerli 280 April 28, 2020 5:50 PM  

@29: Concur on Mahan/Corbett. If you think about it, most major powers have a large, hostile neighbor on their doorstep. England didn't, especially after the Union with Scotland. Nor does the United States.

If you're China, you've got Russia to the north and west, India to the southwest, Korea and Japan to the east. All sorts of people that don't really like you.

And a culture that doesn't handle creative destruction that well. American culture has always been one of turmoil and change. Chinese culture hasn't.

My big worry is that China is very reminiscent of Wilhelmine Germany...the Rising New Great Power, a bit late to the party, and with more than a touch of inferiority complex. They could start a major war just through inept diplomacy.

Blogger Balkan Yankee April 28, 2020 6:14 PM  

Our kakistocrcacy is better than their kakistocrcacy!

Blogger Daniel April 28, 2020 6:25 PM  

I don't know about you, but I, for one, hope that other dark meat tastes a lot better than it looks.

Boy, I have been misjudging China's designs on Africa altogether.

Blogger Meng Greenleaf April 28, 2020 7:04 PM  

With or without China, the USA appears to be in decline and the issue is primarily that the average American is less intellegent and has different (perhaps distorted) instincts, as compared with the founders of America.

Some of this must be due to the slow build up of mutational load as dysgenesis takes it's toll. But a much larger issue is the immigration into the USA people who have lower intellegence and/or different instincts, and when both are present there's that regression to the mean.

I was thinking about two things the other day:

(1) If the three pilars of Western Civilization are required to maintain a high culture (Western) and Civilization is dysgenic - how do we get out of this cycle? Or do we?

(2) Why wasn't there full support for repatriation during the founding of Liberia? It seems they instead thought they'd outbreed Africans into Europeans - but it didn't work. Actually, the opposite, outbreeding probably causes mental instability and other health issues.

China doesn't really have that much to do with the main problems that Americans (the few left) face.

Note: I suppose my conclusion was that historically, we war. That seems to be the means by which humans fix the sorts of problems raised in 1 & 2.

Blogger Bartolo April 28, 2020 7:25 PM  

Hello Voxday. Is there some article(s), yours or somebody else's, about the refusal by the Chinese of the "special people's" offer? I remember you mentioning it with regard to "Spengler" a while ago, and I would reLly like to know more about the subject. Thank you!

Blogger VFM #7634 April 28, 2020 7:32 PM  

Having said that, I don't see China taking over. They have too much institutional corruption to pull it off. And they are surrounded by natural enemies. One thing about the rise of Britain in Europe, the United States in North America (and later the world), was that neither had a serious enemy on their doorstep.

China is basically the France of East Asia.

Throughout the second millennium AD, France was the most populous and most powerful country in Europe, and the center of culture -- English uses French-derived words like the Japanese use kanji -- but it had the handicap of every other major country trying to make sure it didn't get too powerful. Most history buffs know about the Hapsburgs, or Germany in the early 20th century, but France was the Hapsburgs for a thousand years.

Trumpanomics has demonstrated that the United States still manages to be first when it doesn't let its parasitic Democrat / cuck elite run everything.

Blogger TwoDogs April 28, 2020 7:59 PM  

The darkies are about to find out, again, what it's like to live under the thumb of a colonizer who knows they are their inferiors and isn't afraid to say so.

Blogger VD April 28, 2020 8:17 PM  

High speed rail is probably the dumbest benchmark ever for the USA which of course is why it's continually thrown out as proof of some kind for American foot dragging. It just doesn't apply to us.

That's not only retarded, it completely misses the point. The point is that China can do what China wants to do. The USA cannot do what the USA wants to do.

Blogger Ken Prescott April 28, 2020 8:28 PM  

North America from the Rio Grande to the latitude of the Great Lakes has two huge advantages that won't go away any time soon:

1. Most of the continent has a temperate climate compared to most of Eurasia.
2. It has direct access to two of the three great ocean basins.
3. The continental interior is also the center of an excellent river system that enables cheap transport to most of the inhabitable region of the continent.

Whoever ends up in charge--and, like the Highlander, there can be only one--will be most of the way to being a global power without even trying, whether or not they wish to be.

Blogger Akulkis April 28, 2020 8:37 PM  

"High speed rail is probably the dumbest benchmark ever for the USA which of course is why it's continually thrown out as proof of some kind for American foot dragging. It just doesn't apply to us."

We just don't have the high population density that Western Europe, China, S. Korea, and Japn have.

There's only ONE line in all of the US that it would even make sense to upgrade to high speed rail: Boston-NYC-Philadelphia-Washington D.C.

No other line even has the POTENTIAL for enough traffic for it, and most local rail doesn't have good connections to both the nearest major airport AND to the local train station.

Light rail has a lot of advantages -- better fuel economy than vehicles running on pneumatic tires, generally enjoys freedom from street and highway congestion... but for long distance travel in the US, there just aren't enough customers. Although that may change as people have yet another reason to avoid airports and airplanes (not to mention increasingly uncomfortable seating plans).

Blogger Akulkis April 28, 2020 8:48 PM  

"The race to the moon was the last time the US had a grand vision that came to pass, rather than came to a sorry pass."

How are you communicating with the rest of us.

The internet is successful the entire world joined in.

A PC in every household has been so successful that most houses have more 32- and/or 64-bit CPU computers, most multi-core, than the number of cars in the household and even the number of beds.

The difference is, both of those came about in the private sector (although the internet's roots are in military "AFTER we suffer a nuclear first-strike attack" wired communications).

Blogger Hammerli 280 April 28, 2020 8:57 PM  

@51: Excellent analogy! Especially considering that China, like France, occupies the central geographic position. They are surrounded by envious and often unfriendly neighbors.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) April 28, 2020 9:13 PM  

11. qualitycontrol April 28, 2020 2:32 PM
Rich people pay economists a lot of money to write books that make rich people feel good about themselves.



not quite. try this:
"Rich people pay economists a lot of money to write books that advance false ideas which allow rich people to get away with their crimes".

such as advancing the idea that Debt has NO harmful effect on an economy, nor on the people enslaved by it.

or convincing that you "unlimited international free trade" is a Founding Principal of these United States
...
when the Constitution declares that the Federal Government is to be funded by Tariffs and Duties
...
and it was Marx who advocated for International Free Trade in 'The Communist Manifesto' - 1848.

that's right, International Free Trade advocates are Marxists.


41. Ominous Cowherd April 28, 2020 5:23 PM
Not without a nose job.



the need for slant eyes is at least as glaring.


42. Eugenius BEar April 28, 2020 5:23 PM
is it not reasonable to assume that a nations wealth will become some function of actual labor?



of actual PRODUCTION.

Labor is a basic input, Multipliers ( automation, production line efficiencies, precision, etc, compare digging a +10' deep trench with shovels and buckets compared to a track hoe ) are far more important to effective output. it is, in fact, the overt goal of Labor Unions to constrict and limit output.


46. Hammerli 280 April 28, 2020 5:50 PM
They could start a major war just through inept diplomacy.


*remembers Hillary's term as Sec State*


49. Meng Greenleaf April 28, 2020 7:04 PM
Why wasn't there full support for repatriation during the founding of Liberia?


most of the radical Abolitionist Reeeepublicans believed in some form of Muh Magic Negro.

and besides, how can you demonstrate your superior holiness if you don't have Negros available for you to adopt and scandalize your neighbors?


53. VD April 28, 2020 8:17 PM
The point is that China can do what China wants to do.


exactly. China shits 100s of billions down the hole building ghost cities that no one moves into.

America can hardly manage to maintain it's existing infrastructure.

even if the faggot Leftists didn't obstruct construction projects at every turn, it's doubtful we could afford a meaningful high speed rail project.

"25 million" is meaningless to them. they build entire cities with ZERO residents, they wouldn't much care if their new high speed rail carried ZERO passengers.

Blogger Ken Prescott April 28, 2020 9:13 PM  

What makes you think that the USA actually wants high-speed rail?

Blogger Crew April 28, 2020 9:28 PM  

It does seem that the Learned Elders of Wye have told their lapdogs in the #LyingMSM to attack China.

Blogger D. April 28, 2020 9:47 PM  

>Meanwhile, America has no high-speed rail whatsoever,<

Sure we do. Compare American freight train speeds vs Europe.

Blogger Kraemer April 28, 2020 9:57 PM  

It's gonna be a lot worse than it was under rulers who at least heard of Jesus Christ. Imagine like a labor camp the size of a continent

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 28, 2020 10:10 PM  

@56 Akulkis, an interstate highway system was a grand vision. The enormous dams were part of a grand vision.
The success of DARPA's internet is a happy accident, but it was hardly a grand vision.

Blogger Angantyr April 28, 2020 10:18 PM  

VD wrote:High speed rail is probably the dumbest benchmark ever for the USA which of course is why it's continually thrown out as proof of some kind for American foot dragging. It just doesn't apply to us.

That's not only retarded, it completely misses the point. The point is that China can do what China wants to do. The USA cannot do what the USA wants to do.


I agree about 90% with this. The only point I would bring up is the actual value of high speed rail. Scooting relatively small numbers of people is interesting, but perhaps not essential, especially with air travel being so readily available. Rail in the U.S., or more precisely, what's left of it, is optimized to move freight primarily, which it does pretty well. I am distressed at the number of rail lines that have been decommissioned, but we can still move an awful lot around, which is of greater utility than the novelty of high speed rail.

Of course, if we did have to build something truly essential, I share your doubts that it could be done in this late degenerate state that America is in. The world would have to change mightily indeed for that to occur.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia April 28, 2020 10:22 PM  

It increasingly appears that Ron Unz had it right back in 2012 when he cast his vote with Richard Lynn...that "world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands"

I have considerable respect for Ron, but his vote in this instance is irrelevant.

China is in deep trouble, despite whatever Thomas Friedmanesue envy one might for their gleaming high speed rail and modern airports.

They need to grow at 8% or more per year, and that wasn't happening even before Corona Chan. The official poverty figures in China say around 50 million Chinese live on less than $500 a year, and we know both of those figure are likely "misleading" or, as we like to say, lies. Even in "prosperous" cities like Wuhan the population uses common commodes on a regular basis, which are often just holes in the floor.

Meanwhile, their demography is heading in the wrong direction. And millions of males are never going to get laid. That's sure to cement allegiance to the regime.

Their major advances in technology have come mostly via theft and spying on the West, and that particular improvement vector was on its way out even before Corona Chan.

Companies are now going to decamp their manufacturing facilities from China to other South Asian countries or, domestically. Vast swaths of the work force are going to long for the day when they spent our after hour in the mentally fulfilling activity of assembling phone cases or popping in circuit boards. They won't be able to afford fresh bat soup.

They hog raising businesses -- a huge protein staple -- is a complete mess, on top of the fact that they have to import vast quantities of food. Russia was going to help them with their soybean needs. Um, OK.

To keep their export business alive, they have to manipulate their currency, which means that the productive people in the economy are opening unnumbered accounts in the Cayman Islands to preserve their wealth, rather than invest it in their own country.

Meanwhile, hundreds of billions have been sunk into the Belt and Road initiative and, aside from the fact that the population of China's putative allies in the effort are thinking twice about letting the Han get their mits on aspects of their national lives, it's effectively stalled and, of course, it's dependent on wonderfully advanced and stable powerhouses like Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

Finally, the collectivist mentality is all well and good for everyone to worry about their social credit score, but it doesn't exactly foster a bunch of economic risk taking.

OK, right, the USA is no great shakes at this point in its national narrative, for all the reasons well known and too numerous to mention.

But China? The winner? Doubtful.

Blogger brbrophy April 28, 2020 10:46 PM  

@57: China has been doing an excellent job of building relations with their neighbors with the belt and roads initiative. Besides that China has historically been the world's most advanced empire until the end of the Ming dynasty. The time China has spent not being the world's leading power is merely a hiccup in their history.

Blogger Nihil Dicit April 28, 2020 11:25 PM  

Congratulations are in order for these authors. They've invented a new logical fallacy, the Appeal to Popularity with Authority: "The glowing tributes this book has received from a vast array of America’s most prominent public intellectuals, including six Nobel laureates in economics". Sterling work my friends.


High speed rail is probably the dumbest benchmark ever for the USA which of course is why it's continually thrown out as proof of some kind for American foot dragging. It just doesn't apply to us.

So please to be providing the metric that makes the US look good.


@56 - There's one person to thank, and yet few know his name, mostly because he actively avoided the spotlight. His name is Claude Shannon.

Blogger JamesB.BKK April 28, 2020 11:25 PM  

If that happens, the most that we can hope for is that the eastern asians will keep humanity from falling back too much.

I have started a line of hybrids.

Blogger JamesB.BKK April 28, 2020 11:29 PM  

Is "BatDonald's" taken?

Blogger JamesB.BKK April 28, 2020 11:36 PM  

China's problems that will likely prevent its ascendancy: too many teachers hold back from their students so as not to be overtaken in knowledge, too many entrepreneurs do not fully train their staff so as not to create future competitors, and too many vendors relentlessly degrade their products until customers squeal, then restart. Also it's an old folks' home full of only children.

Blogger OvergrownHobbit April 28, 2020 11:53 PM  

Of interest, a guest post by BGE

https://accordingtohoyt.com/2020/04/28/the-chinese-matter-by-bge/quote

For my money, the only real advantage China has (an it IS real) is that Chinese people love their country, rather than despise it.

Blogger JamesB.BKK April 29, 2020 12:54 AM  

The race to the moon was the last time the US had a grand vision that came to pass, rather than came to a sorry pass.

It was pretty snazzy. Non-replicable? And that US cheese 60's landline to moon telephony was something else. I could barely get that kind of quality on a call to Cambodia last month.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 29, 2020 12:55 AM  

What America wants to do.
How about providing 500,000,000 guns, including over 150,000,000 AR15 rifles to their population, at prices such that virtually anyone that wants to have a gun can reasonably afford one?

Blogger JamesB.BKK April 29, 2020 1:00 AM  

We (in the US) take for granted that our economy of consumption is made possible

Or we are misinformed by economic ignorami. See https://www.academia.org/economist-mark-skousen-explains-gross-output/

Blogger Jim the Curmudgeon April 29, 2020 1:01 AM  

@59

"What makes you think that the USA actually wants high-speed rail?"

None of you people seem to grasp the point. There are various high speed rail initiatives in the USA that have achieved absolutely nothing because of incompetence, corruption, and infighting:

https://www.hoover.org/research/californias-bullet-train-fiasco-continues-20-billion-120-miles

Let's do basic math:

China spends 200 billion for 6000 miles of track, and actually gets high speed trains.

California spends 20 billion for 120 miles of track, and gets what? A line between the economic powerhouses of Bakersfield and Merced.

I think it was Peter Thiel who pointed out that he would love to pay high taxes in the 50s, when infrastructure projects were executed efficiently and adroitly. Oh look here:

"Bay Area transit advocates look in envy at the expansion of .... basically, any subway system in China–the fact is the rest of the world continues building transit much faster, and for less money than we do."

https://sf.streetsblog.org/2019/09/12/advocates-flummoxed-and-fuming-over-latest-central-subway-delays/

Blogger Snidely Whiplash April 29, 2020 1:48 AM  

Jim the Curmudgeon wrote:None of you people seem to grasp the point. There are various high speed rail initiatives in the USA that have achieved absolutely nothing because of incompetence, corruption, and infighting:
No, you fail to grasp the point.
America does not want a high speed rail network.
A very small faction, which is not noticeably American, demands a high-speed rail network.
The American government, which has lost all pretense of delivering what America wants, wants to capitulate to their demands.
Americans abandoned the rail system unanimously, except for some Asperger's types and nostalgia buffs, as soon as car ownership got within the reach of ordinary Americans, sometime in the late 1950s. High-speed rail could have competed then, but that opportunity was lost when reliable and affordable air travel became conveniently available.

Do not confuse government programs with what America wants.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 29, 2020 5:35 AM  

"America does not want a high speed rail network."

For many reasons, among them that of standard commuter rail being absolutely torpedoed by governmentalization/corruption. It's a chicken or egg problem at this point. Do we not have them because they're suboptimal, or have we not optimized for them because we didn't get them in a timely manner and the chance died? It's both now.

How about this for a metric, large scale infrastructure creation. Anyone know if the USA has built anything of similar scale in the last forty years?

Blogger Stilicho April 29, 2020 6:12 AM  

>The USA cannot do what the USA wants to do<

The USA cannot decide what the USA wants to do. It amounts to the same thing when something needful doesn't get done though. But it is helpful to identify the cause so that solutions (if only partial) can be found.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 6:19 AM  

"What makes you think that the USA actually wants high-speed rail?"

The only people who do are New Yorkers.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 6:22 AM  

"The success of DARPA's internet is a happy accident, but it was hardly a grand vision."

It wasn't DARPA's grand vision to have a nationwide computer network, but it damn well WAS the vision of a lot of computer people in the mid-1970s. Some in industry, and some in academia (particularly UC Berkeley and MIT). They were talking and writing about the idea all the time to anybody who would listen to or read it.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 6:32 AM  

"Of course, if we did have to build something truly essential, I share your doubts that it could be done in this late degenerate state that America is in. The world would have to change mightily indeed for that to occur."

It's been a long time coming.

As early as the 1950's, some were noting that it took more than 10x as long to build NY Laguardia as to build even the largest of the Pacific airbases during WW2, and that none of the construction in NY was hampered by snipers or air raids.

Even then, the finger was already being pointed at small-minded bureaucrats who think that they only way they can demonstrate having power is to introduce needless delays into beneficial construction projects.

It's not that we CAN'T build new nuclear power plants or oil refineries, its that these assholes refuse to let us do so. (Frankly, it would be VERY beneficial if we were allowed to build modern nuclear power plants -- the new designs are MUCH safer and inherently self-regulating to prevent the sorts of incidents like even little old Three Mile Island (which, contrary to media reports, was not a disaster, but instead, demonstrated that despite a stuck relay making a false indication on the status-light panel, the staff was able to recognize a problem AND SHUT THE PLANT DOWN SAFELY with zero deaths or injuries).

As I saw once on a bumper sticker in Maine around 1981:

Ted Kennedy 1
Three Mile Island 0
Go Nuclear!

Blogger rikjames.313 April 29, 2020 6:33 AM  

"Light rail has a lot of advantages -- better fuel economy than vehicles running on pneumatic tires, generally enjoys freedom from street and highway congestion... but for long distance travel in the US, there just aren't enough customers. Although that may change as people have yet another reason to avoid airports and airplanes (not to mention increasingly uncomfortable seating plans)."


Detroit paid billions of dollars in sewer money stolen from the suburbs to install a 3 mile light street rail system. Every Black pol and pastor got his cut. the rail and cars are brand new. The vision was a expansion of the small dining and party strip. All the supervisors and drivers are diverse.

They weren't getting the demand so they dropped the price to free. Turns out white women don't actually like getting raped and robbed. So they raised to price to real money, turns out no one wants to pay for a service that is always late and sporadic.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 6:43 AM  

"Besides that China has historically been the world's most advanced empire until the end of the Ming dynasty. The time China has spent not being the world's leading power is merely a hiccup in their history."

Since then, one tyrant after another had had anybody with so much as a single creative gene executed at the earliest opportunity for non-conformity.

Without creative people it is impossible to pull ahead of the other people who you have to steal all your ideas from.

Japan never did this. That's why little Japan, with only 10% of it's land even habitable(*) has raped China repeatedly.

* Fly over Japan sometime and compare what you see to flying over the Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountains are at least somewhat habitable, because you can build roads through them. Although grades may be steep at points, at least they are continuous.
In contrast, the mountains of Japan look as if someone dropped millions of 100+ thousand-ton blocks into huge piles making something more or less like a ridge.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 6:59 AM  

"There's one person to thank, and yet few know his name, mostly because he actively avoided the spotlight. His name is Claude Shannon."

Not a bad evaluation. But I would put more credit with John Postel.

Blogger Ora Tevzre April 29, 2020 7:06 AM  

It reminds me of an old jokes.

2 French intellectuals.

One says to the other, "That may work in practise, but does it work in theory!"

Blogger Bernard Korzeniewicz April 29, 2020 7:11 AM  

The HV rail trains (and the cheap Boeing 747s) were part of the political project, not economical one.
The effective and fast means of transport were deemed necessary by CCP to keep the East China immigrant workers "in touch" with their West China village communities.
Just google "the golden week" in China.

The monotonous trend of stealing any tech from the West or Russia as well as the unability to copy a Russian jet engine from the 1990s sugest to me that the ancient China culture survieved. It is realy sad.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 7:12 AM  

"For my money, the only real advantage China has (an it IS real) is that Chinese people love their country, rather than despise it."

I love my country, but I hate my government.
Even though I wear a government uniform, and could have retired from doing so more than 10 years ago.
I hate my government most especially for willingly and aggressively filling my country with barbarians.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 7:14 AM  

"I could barely get that kind of quality on a call to Cambodia last month."

The wonders of over-compression using lossy codecs.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 7:23 AM  

"None of you people seem to grasp the point. There are various high speed rail initiatives in the USA that have achieved absolutely nothing because of incompetence, corruption, and infighting:"

If normal Americans gave the slightest care about it, these projects would get done, because people would be complaining about it, leading to the press making a major issue out of it, leading to the worst offenders being shit-canned and replaced.

Since the American public DOESN'T care about high-speed rail (they don't even care about LOW-speed rail, because it's slower AND oftentimes more expensive than air travel).

Rail might be more popular if, say, AMTRACK didn't charge over $1000 to put your car on a automobile-carrier-car at the end of a train. EACH WAY. The freight carriers advertise that they can move a ton of freight at less than 1 penny per mile. At that rate, a ton can move from the west coast to the east coast (~3000 miles) for < $30.00. Amtrack charges over $1000 to move a passenger's 1~2 ton passenger vehicle only 1500 miles or less -- and that's even on the Chicago to New Orleans run, which is billiard-table FLAT.

Blogger Nihil Dicit April 29, 2020 7:47 AM  

@75 - The CA plan was moronic from the start. Who exactly is in desperate need to travel between LA and SF at high speed on a regular basis? Certainly not enough people to ever make it economically feasible.

And since they never even pretended to be able to build a tunnel or bridge that could safely carry this train, anyone needing to take the even more useless SF-Sacto route would have travel hundreds of miles out of their way, all the way around the Bay, to reach their destination.

By the way something, I bet them ChiCom supertrains was real effective in spreading the COVID all over the Middle Kingdom like they're pretending totally didn't happen.

Blogger Damelon Brinn April 29, 2020 7:55 AM  

High-speed rail in America is like the metric system or pro soccer: something that the educated class says we should want because the Europeans have it, so we shrug and let them skim off some wealth while playing with it. Giving in to them doesn't reflect well on us, but it's not an example of us trying to build something and failing.

Can America still build entire industries and do great things, despite the blessings of paper Americans at the top and bottom? I don't know. I hope we're about to find out.

Blogger VD April 29, 2020 8:04 AM  

What makes you think that the USA actually wants high-speed rail?

The billions of dollars being spent on it. Stop sperging about the verb "want". That's not the point, which is why it has been pointed out that you are missing it.

No, you fail to grasp the point.

Wrong, Snidely. You have completely missed the point. Don't sperg about America vs the US government. Whatever the metric, be it high-speed rail, bridges that don't collapse, new airports, new airplanes, or new destroyers, the USA observably cannot do large-scale industrial production the way it once could.

China, obviously, can.

Blogger Paul M April 29, 2020 8:36 AM  

thethirdcoast wrote:Well, the expert US faction that wants to jump ship to China can't really pull the old, "Hello, my fellow Han people," trick, can they?

Yes they can. Read the Book of Esther or Ruth to find out how it's done. Sending daughters to literally sneak into bed with rich older men.

Blogger Madmarisp April 29, 2020 9:05 AM  

Irrelevant. Only the left wants the rail in the US

Blogger Stilicho April 29, 2020 9:21 AM  

>The billions of dollars being spent on it. <

You are wrong. Billions are being spent on political payoffs to suppoters who return some of it to the pols. Much like various "green energy" scams.

>China, obviously, can<

With their usual dedication to quality control, utility, and survivability.

You are confusing ability and will. China has the will, but not the ability to do it well. America has the ability, but not the will. The question is whether America will correct its problem in time. China shows no such desire, being content with whatever advantage they derive from sheer numbers and hoping to be just good enough to get by.

Blogger Grandpa Lampshade April 29, 2020 9:23 AM  

Just wanted to say that I thought that the whole "gamma" thing came off a bit like "Anyone who doesn't agree with me = gamma"

I was wrong.

The patterns are like the "Well actually" meme; instead of simply pointing out where one could be incorrect about something, it always seems to be some form of semantics and always framed as a "gotcha" from a standpoint of superiority.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 29, 2020 9:24 AM  

AMTRACK is the rail equivalent of the Russian-American Company shortly before selling Seward his "Folly". Stuffed full of rent seeking political appointees who ensure it's a permanently blighted money pit by sucking up all the funds and doing nothing of worth. Once upon a time both of these things were productive, although admittedly RA was very productive under the early RAC, and I'm not sure AMTRACK was ever quite that worthy. Absolutely torpedoed by corruption.

Blogger rondolf April 29, 2020 9:34 AM  

"The USA cannot do what the USA wants to do."

That is not true. The leaders of this country wanted to bring us down to the level of the rest of the world, and succeeded spectacularly. Soon we will be the greatest third world power ever seen.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 29, 2020 10:13 AM  

furor kek tonicus ( what do you get if you make a honey bear Gen Sec of China? Winnie the Flu ) wrote:

41. Ominous Cowherd April 28, 2020 5:23 PM
Not without a nose job.


the need for slant eyes is at least as glaring.

Good one!
Akulkis wrote:It wasn't DARPA's grand vision to have a nationwide computer network, but it damn well WAS the vision of a lot of computer people in the mid-1970s.
Ah, didn't know that. Still, there is a huge difference in scale between tieing existing computer centers together through existing comms infrastructure, and connecting a continent with multilane paved roads, or providing an electric grid to a continent.

Blogger DonReynolds April 29, 2020 10:26 AM  

"They argue that a country governed as a one-party state, without the free media or checks and balances of our own democratic system, cannot long prosper in the modern world."

I am certainly not one of the "prominent intellectuals", but I have been an economist since 1977, having worked in the field and taught on the university level. There is nothing in economics that would enable any of these "modern" economists to make political value-laden conclusions. I expect this sort of dribble from political scientists, and sometimes historians and sociologists, but it is not a good field of speculation for economists. You could call it chewing gum for the eyes. WE have not seen so much of this sort of thing since Walt Whitman Rostow (and John Kenneth Galbraith and Thorstein Veblen), and you might do a quick search on what all that means.

To call the USA a democracy is worse than inaccurate, it is simply a lie... specifically Cold War political propaganda. There was a time when many of the countries of Europe had monarchies of one stripe or another and compared to that the USA certainly seemed more democratic, but that sort of thing died out with WWI.

It is going to be difficult to make any economic argument that "anarchy plus the constable" is better or more efficient than the more modern versions of monarchy, specifically corporate fascism and soviet communism. Certainly totalitarianism of any stripe is hard on American conceptions of freedom and liberty and free enterprise, but I would be hard pressed to say that these still exist today, even in the US.

Blogger Ken Prescott April 29, 2020 10:33 AM  

I'm not so sure they want actual rail, they want the idea of rail. They want to study it, they want the consulting contracts for it, they want CGI art of it...but they don't want actual construction, because that will be done by "those" people.

Blogger Storm Rhode April 29, 2020 10:58 AM  

If I recall, high speed rail in the US had to do with the North American Union boondoggle that had things in it like the trans Texas corridor etc... I remember rolling my eyes while reading about it and being flabbergasted when I met a low level peer connected into groups like the Rotary Club who talked about it being real and how they were working on it. If high speed rail had happened it would have been done on the altar of America's sovereignty, which has been greatly diminished over time. It might be part of the old Agenda 21 where they move lots of Americans to super cities and use high speed rail for the connected super cities. As it is now we don't have the population density of people without cars to make it useful beyond corrupt wastage.

At he risk of being impertinent, I was happily looking at the news infogalactic page. It could be adjusted to meet the need that Drudge used to address. Update it more often and it would not take much else. Find a sperg or two to assign it to and turn em loose. Does anyone know why the Drudge report went left?

Blogger freddie_mac April 29, 2020 11:00 AM  

@95 Stilicho

America has the ability, but not the will. The question is whether America will correct its problem in time.

Exactly. Look at all the delays for the Keystone Pipeline -- building it isn't the problem, delays are coming from regulatory red tape and grievance/nuisance suits.

Stefan Molyneux had a fairly recent video where he talked about how hyper-regulation was a significant factor in moving US manufacturing overseas.

Blogger RC April 29, 2020 11:13 AM  

@Ominous

Don't underestimate the engineering feat of building and then scaling the Internet infrastructure. I've been out of that business for a long time but I was right in the thick of it during the initial massive scale up. There were no network devices with the bandwidth capacities needed at the top levels of the intercompany interconnects. We ended up deploying systems in Sprint's nationwide backbone that had been designed for high speed internal datacenter connections years prior to buy time while Cisco got its act together, a complete kluge but it bought us the year Cisco needed while clearing out the entire worldwide inventory of Digital's GIGAswitch in a single day.

America's elite technologists and engineers remain the best of the best, a unique combination of smarts and willingness to absorb risk, but the competence of the supporting infrastructure required to bring their designs to fruition pales in comparison to America's heyday. Only the autodidactic reach their potential today.

Blogger John Rockwell April 29, 2020 12:32 PM  

rumpole5 wrote:Re: "the torch of human progress and world leadership will inevitably pass into Chinese hands." The dynamic system we enjoy now depends on the unique, lucky accident the created western European humans. Once the critical mass of these unique humans declines, human progress will slow to the crawl pace that existed before 1600 AD or so. If that happens, the most that we can hope for is that the eastern asians will keep humanity from falling back too much.

I prefer that we don't get so advanced that AI controlled Beast system is able to be sustained. It is a grace of God that technology slows to a crawl so that our free will is preserved.

Do you not want our modern Babel to fall apart rather than be microchipped and have your free will taken away?

Blogger John Rockwell April 29, 2020 12:33 PM  

rondolf wrote:"The USA cannot do what the USA wants to do."

That is not true. The leaders of this country wanted to bring us down to the level of the rest of the world, and succeeded spectacularly. Soon we will be the greatest third world power ever seen.


Its better that Globohomo be robbed of its power. So that the pollution that corrupts the world may be stemmed.

Blogger JamesB.BKK April 29, 2020 1:35 PM  

The Shanghai airport to Pudong maglev is super cool to ride. I think Siemens built it for a huge discount for demo and it's not a money maker but Chinese own and operate it. They downrated it I heard due to noise but it was max speed 431 kmh designed and operated, and smooth. It consumes a lot of power I assume. Maybe that's why they run it slower than design lately, It is also the case that Pudong is lovely. Stunning actually. Easy to say it is one of the nicest cities on Earth.

Blogger Ken Prescott April 29, 2020 1:50 PM  

"The billions of dollars being spent on it. Stop sperging about the verb "want". That's not the point, which is why it has been pointed out that you are missing it."

I'm not sperging out over the verb. I'm sperging out over what, exactly, is wanted. And the way to answer that question is to look at what gets produced.

High-speed rail wasn't produced. The idea of high-speed rail, with beautiful CGI imagery, and lots of reports, and analyses of the reports, and reports on the analyses of the reports, and PowerPoint slides by the terabyte--all THAT got produced.

Lots of "work" for The Right People. And no work for "those" uncouth deplorable people, so the pie didn't have to be shared with blue-collar roughnecks.

There was never going to be a train.

Then again, it was more of a Shelbyville kind of idea anyway.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 1:50 PM  

"They weren't getting the demand so they dropped the price to free. Turns out white women don't actually like getting raped and robbed. So they raised to price to real money, turns out no one wants to pay for a service that is always late and sporadic."

Yeah, the Q-Line (for those outside of Detroit -- Q for Quicken Loans) shouldn't have been built at street level. They should have put it above grade like Chicago's elevated rail system -- expansion would be MUCH easier, because all you have to do at ground level is drive I-beams into the ground, as opposed to completely shutting down the street for months at a time to tear it up, lay the rail, and then repave it.)

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 1:58 PM  

"Still, there is a huge difference in scale between tieing existing computer centers together through existing comms infrastructure, and connecting a continent with multilane paved roads, or providing an electric grid to a continent."

The building of the internet is the equivalent of building an entirely parallel power-grid, going to every single home... AND we have added wireless delivery, too (Tesla's dream for AC power.)

Blogger VD April 29, 2020 2:02 PM  

It could be adjusted to meet the need that Drudge used to address. Update it more often and it would not take much else. Find a sperg or two to assign it to and turn em loose.

Who is going to do that? We build the things to make it possible for us to have our own platforms. Unfortunately, most people only want the end result to happen by magic.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 2:07 PM  

"Does anyone know why the Drudge report went left?"

Matt Drudge sold both the name and the DNS registration to some European fellow fags.

As usual, the European left buys up our best mass media (The last major travesty of this sort was the sale of Scientific American to some Euro publisher. SA then immediately when All Anthropogenic Global Warming, All the Time.... and reduced the size of each issue by between 2/3 and 4/5, making little room for anything else. To keep from becoming a total laughingstock, they started printing a bunch of non-serialized issues, mostly on brain science and psychology. Most of which doesn't tell us anything we didn't know 50 years ago.

Blogger Akulkis April 29, 2020 2:11 PM  

" It consumes a lot of power I assume. Maybe that's why they run it slower than design lately,"

At anything above a crawl, most of your power is going into pushing air, not lifting the thing off the rails.

As a first order approximation, wind resistance increases as the square of your speed.
Cut your speed by 50% and you cut your power needs by 75%

Blogger Dan Karelian April 29, 2020 6:04 PM  

China's infrastructure projects, whether it be the ghost cities, transportation networks etc. are largely debt subsidized work for the labor force with no ROI in sight.
Part of the Africa strategy is to export the excess labor force offshore and keep them occupied with that black meat.

It remains to be seen if China can make the transition from a malinvestment economy to a more consumer based economy, as exports decline in the future, and their debt economy comes to an end.

It's not clear that China can escape the middle income trap. One might predict that given their average IQ that it is inevitable, but there is good reason to believe that the IQ estimates are heavily skewed by a large urban sampling bias, Shanghai in particular.
The actual IQ is probably closer to mid to low 90s, which if true would keep pulling them towards second world status more than anything else in the future.

China's centralized power dynamic allows it pull of these projects in much the same way that Stalin could execute internal forced migrations affecting millions of people and Ceausescu could order the massively wasteful construction of the Palace of the Parliament.
Main difference is that China had to steal the blueprints from other nations more so than the other examples. Ie. maglev tech from the Japanese.

Liberal democracies (nominally speaking) of the West can only dream of such a scale of co-ordination. I don't think that even Putin has enough political capital pooled in his position to overcome the factionalism and do such feats, however wasteful and destructive they might be in the end.

It's unlikely that there will be another superpower as such by the end of the century, only great powers. China might take the plurality share of global influence, but that depends on whether they can successfully keep the state in one piece after the inevitable civil unrest ensues.
It's less complicated with such homogeneity but it hasn't exactly stopped China from balkanizing in the past.

Blogger eclecticmn April 29, 2020 6:08 PM  

103. freddie_macApril 29, 2020 11:00 AM
Exactly. Look at all the delays for the Keystone Pipeline -- building it isn't the problem, delays are coming from regulatory red tape and grievance/nuisance suits.

Stefan Molyneux had a fairly recent video where he talked about how hyper-regulation was a significant factor in moving US manufacturing overseas.


Steve Jobs told Obama that Apple built its new glass plants in China because of govt regulation induced costs and delays, NOT labor costs.

Stillwater MN has an old lift bridge over the St. Croix River to WI. This caused traffic jams in the city, so another bridge one mile north of town was planned. Environmental lawsuits delayed the bridge building by 30 or 50 years, depending on how you count. It took an act of congress, signed by Obama, to exempt the new bridge from various laws.

The South Korea govt OKed COVID-19 tests one week after the first detection. The US govt FDA delayed by 6 weeks and then made things better by getting out of the way and doing nothing.

Blogger Thomas Howard April 29, 2020 7:57 PM  

The coming, defacto embargo is going to blow this prediction all to hell.

Blogger Dangeresque April 29, 2020 8:20 PM  

Simple reason America doesn't want high speed rail, or public transport of any other kind for that matter. When you get on that shiny new 600 mph bullet train, what's going to be sitting next to you?...

Diversity.

It could be a molecular transporter for all it's worth and I still wouldn't be caught dead on it.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) April 29, 2020 11:13 PM  

110. Akulkis April 29, 2020 1:58 PM
The building of the internet is the equivalent of building an entirely parallel power-grid, going to every single home.


gosh.

i'd be impressed by that if the telcos hadn't been built out in parallel to ELEC for over 70 years and if CATV hadn't been built out from the 1970s on.

the telcos were whining about having to upgrade their +50 year old copper ( as if that hadn't all been depreciated to zero before most of us were born ) to fiber, but that's just MBAs and Accountants not wanting to invest in actual production and service to the customer.

and you can still run a T1 / ISDN line over a copper pair if'n you really want too.

the only thing that was "built out" specifically for the interwebs was the upgrading of the backbones to multiplex fiber. telco copper and CATV coax cable modems could already handle the retail end just fine.

as can be seen by the fact that many people still are on copper or coax.

and even if you're not satisfied with anything less than fiber, that's just refitting of existing depreciated plant. pole lines, ROWs and conduit / manholes will pretty much all be reused.

not the wooden conduit, paper insulation and handbuilt brick manholes though ( as still existed in Crystal City / Arlington in 2000 ). pre-1920s actually is a bit too old.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 30, 2020 12:36 AM  

RC wrote:There were no network devices with the bandwidth capacities needed at the top levels of the intercompany interconnects. We ended up deploying systems in Sprint's nationwide backbone that had been designed for high speed internal datacenter connections years prior to buy time while Cisco got its act together, a complete kluge but it bought us the year Cisco needed while clearing out the entire worldwide inventory of Digital's GIGAswitch in a single day.
That was a cool project, but it was all a few engineers in a few labs. There wasn't any civil component.

The REA and the Interstate Highway System and the TVA and the big dams were physically huge, covered thousands of acres, dwarfed the old wonders of the world. I don't want to minimize the cool stuff the comms engineers did to transmit data, but the scale really is different.
furor kek tonicus ( what do you get if you make a honey bear Gen Sec of China? Winnie the Flu ) wrote:i'd be impressed by that if the telcos hadn't been built out in parallel to ELEC for over 70 years and if CATV hadn't been built out from the 1970s on.
Yes. The civil component was built out by the time the internet came along. Later the demand for porn justified upgrading the infrastructure, but that was just the beancounters reluctantly paying for upgrades that already penciled out.

Blogger SaltHarvest April 30, 2020 2:35 AM  

In some areas of the country you cannot get a laundromat converted into an apartment building in 5 years, despite frequent protestations of a housing shortage.

China can build wastefully because they can build. Any polity that can do likewise will gain on the US in its terminal political funk.

Blogger Akulkis April 30, 2020 9:05 AM  

"i'd be impressed by that if the telcos hadn't been built out in parallel to ELEC for over 70 years and if CATV hadn't been built out from the 1970s on.

the telcos were whining about having to upgrade their +50 year old copper ( as if that hadn't all been depreciated to zero before most of us were born ) to fiber, but that's just MBAs and Accountants not wanting to invest in actual production and service to the customer."

So in other words, a whole new parallel system (for signal delivery) was indeed set up, because the then-existing parallel system of signal delivery was deficient.

Blogger Akulkis April 30, 2020 9:07 AM  

"
and you can still run a T1 / ISDN line over a copper pair if'n you really want too.

the only thing that was "built out" specifically for the interwebs was the upgrading of the backbones to multiplex fiber. telco copper and CATV coax cable modems could already handle the retail end just fine."

It wouldn't be the copper pair that was hooked up to your home in 1980 or earlier, as that twisted pair was only guaranteed for 2 kHz of signal bandwidth.

Blogger Azure Amaranthine April 30, 2020 10:56 AM  

"I'm sperging out over what, exactly, is wanted. And the way to answer that question is to look at what gets produced."

BS. Lots of wanted things aren't produced.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd April 30, 2020 11:11 AM  

Akulkis wrote:It wouldn't be the copper pair that was hooked up to your home in 1980 or earlier, as that twisted pair was only guaranteed for 2 kHz of signal bandwidth.
9600 baud! Text scrolled faster than you could read!

Blogger Akulkis April 30, 2020 12:11 PM  

Bell 103 Standard Twisted Pair was only guaranteed to carry 300 baud.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) May 01, 2020 8:06 PM  

you actually think that pretending that 300 baud is the max bandwidth of a POTS line is an argument that's going to make you look good?

well get on with your bad self then.

i have noticed that you've abandoned the attempt to claim that multiple comm nets hadn't already been built out in parallel to power ...

Blogger Unknown May 02, 2020 2:34 AM  

The highspeed rail in china was designed by American engineering firm parsons brinkerhoff using german trains. Unless you are afraid to fly its kind of a waste of time to travel between cities that way. You are about as packed as an air liner too. And the train stations are NASTY. I know USA has A LOT of problems to overcome but why the endless cheerleading for USA to fail?

Blogger Akulkis May 02, 2020 6:23 PM  

"you actually think that pretending that 300 baud is the max bandwidth of a POTS line is an argument that's going to make you look good?"

You actually think you could push through 9600 baud through most of the POTS lines that were installed in the 1920's through 1950's? Hell, I was doing an install at an office, and the there were problems with modem communication speed. We found the building's telephone closet. The office was hooked into a terminal board that had 4 lines. It was a hunk of brass, 1-foot by 3 foot, with... 8 terminal posts with oversized nuts for tightening by hand. Original equipment -- sometime during or just after WW1.

With a typical Bell 103 line which had been installed in 1920, you'd be lucky to get 2400 baud through it if you weren't living in an urban area.

The Fax line didn't have a speed problem, because... when the customer had ordered that line, the phone company brought in a whole new line, with the connection made on a new, 25-pair punch-down block.

Yes, AT&T had upgraded their backbones over the years, including fiber in the late 1970's. But you still have to get through the last mile. And when the last mile is literally as old as the house you live in, with its 4-circuit fuse box, no, the internet as YOU think of it wasn't practical.

In the 70's, there was a UUCPnet (Unix-to-Unix copy), an informal network of various research universities, communicating with each other at 56k. But this required un-switched lines, modems which were ridiculously expensive at the time ( $ several hundred, when a Big Mac was still under a $1). And most sites only had one modem of this sort. Berkeley BSD Unix was still being distributed BY U.S. MAIL on reels of 9-track 1-inch* tape. That being said, the average family and the typical small business didn't have the sort of money to be bringing in un-switched 56k lines in 1980.

Talk to anybody in telecom, "the last mile" is the most expensive. Backbones -- a few-man crew laying a cable created or upgraded thousands of line at a time. On the connection to the house, or to the office, was generally one line at a time. Even today, when you get DSL brought in, it's still, comparatively, a lot of work for that guy to bring in the DSL from the nearest neighborhood switch, putting it up on the poles, and bringing it in to the building.

I've done my share of it in the army, with much shorter distances. It's a lot of work, even for a few hundred yards from various officer's and NCO's quarters to the switchboard at the CP, TOC, or commo desk.


* See every computer in movies from the 1950's through 1980's in which a computer "catches fire because it's given too difficult of a problem!@!!!1!!!eleventy!!!"


Stop bitching about things that your experience doesn't cover.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( no need to be racist, Ratchets can Karen better than anybody ) May 03, 2020 2:11 AM  

128. Akulkis May 02, 2020 6:23 PM
Stop bitching about things that your experience doesn't cover.



i already specifically pointed out that pre-1920s / circa WW1 was too old. so you're arguing in favor of a point i already made. i shall assume lack of attentiveness rather than comprehension.

and given 15 years of OSP records work, i think i damn well know that 1960s copper trunks out of the CO have no problem carrying 2400 / 9600 / 56k modem activity, nor do they have any problem carrying DSL and T1 lines, providing the proper end point equipment to utilize them.

yes, DSL and T1 requires repeaters. but they still work on the prior installed copper, which can be older than me.


the limiting factor was the ISP equipment sitting on the rack in the CO and the customer equipment ( modem ). once again, as i have already pointed out.



128. Akulkis May 02, 2020 6:23 PM
On the connection to the house, or to the office, was generally one line at a time.



yes, and the individual house drops ALREADY EXISTED.

internet wasn't any sort of a driving force in service expansion *for the retail market* until the mid-90s, prior to that everybody was on BBS boards. i still remember when the BBS's started crying because the telcos wanted to charge them business line rates ... now bandwidth cost is marginal.

and just about the time that the internet started driving service requirements, cell phones started killing land line service altogether.

there had never been a single year in the history of the United States that # of lines in use hadn't grown, not even the Great Depression. 80s and 90s was a massive explosion in demand for COPPER pair served POTS, with some homes having upwards of 5 pairs in service ( main number, computer line for cruising BBS or maybe AOL, fax, home office and a line for the daughter if you had a teenage girl ).

that changed circa 2000, and in 2002 the telecom industry shed 300,000 jobs. i know because, as a contractor, they cut all of our on-/off-prem jobs so they could start laying off company employees.

among others, i did OSP service records for both the Pentagon and CIA headquarters in Langley ( which was served by the Lewinsville CO ) ... it was always very strange to me that no one ever did a security clearance on anyone in the OSP department.

just so you know, i'm the man who sorted out the Tyson's Galleria fiber loop records disaster in the Lewinsville CO for Bell Atlantic. i was doing OSP records throughout the NORVA service area so it's not like i'm unaware of the age of the copper in use. also did 2 years in Sun Prairie WI ( GTE state HQ ) designing COPPER service lines for cell towers ... on 40 year old cables.

so your "300 baud" limit on copper pairs is absolute bullshit and we both know it.

Blogger GeronL May 03, 2020 4:04 AM  

Faster choo-choo trains. We don't care

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