Thursday, October 27, 2011

Markup is a Bitch

At the end of 2009, it was estimated that all the gold ever mined totaled 165,000 tonnes. This can be represented by a cube with an edge length of about 20.28 meters. At $1,600 per ounce, 165,000 tons of gold would have a value of $8.8 trillion.

The average gold mining and extraction costs were about US$317/oz in 2007, but these can vary widely depending on mining type and ore quality; global mine production amounted to 2,471.1 tonnes.


Incidentally, silver comes out of the ground for under $7 an ounce.


Silver Price
Figure 1-3. compares the World silver extraction rate with the silver price in $ per troy ounces.

Figure 1-3. World silver extraction rate in 10^6 troy ounces per year compared to silver price in $ per troy ounce.

I see no obvious correlation between the extraction rate and the price.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Important enough to my dissertation to post here

  • Seems to me, the fly in Rifkin's ointment, is he still seems to be relying upon that whole extractive network to get him where he wants to be. Hydrogen  and the internet to manage it, all well and good, but, uh, you still need exotic metals and rare earths for all that shit. Aside from that island up in Sweden for some of rare earths, it looks like they need Africa, Asia, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Australia, etc. etc. to sustain their green utopia. Not that he can't expand his vision globally, but, he's ending using carbon a lot, LOT longer than he thinks he is.

    Call me a cynical optimist... and I am... I wish anyone well who wants to try it. I just want them to look at that giant smoke and oil slick snail track you make to get there.

  • and there it is, BAM!!! cold, hard, and right smack between the eyes...,

  • Yes my sensei, but you forget that everything else is just conversation.
    Let me Cliff Notes MY entire thesis. The US is the world's largest exporter of:

    1) food
    2) weapons

    EVERYTHING else is just conversation. You may not like the reflection in the mirror, but the collapse will be relatively gentle for you and yours. As an extremely HARD realist, I expect and hope you will take comfort in that brutal fact.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And now a word from our host...

So, most of my readership is new (helllloooo Subrealism fans) or nonexistant.

But, I have decided, after several months of consideration and an unreasonable amount of whisky, to drive four hours to see my boss tomorrow and resign my position, striking out on my own.

So I guess what I'm saying, is: pray for me, wish me well, curse me, or hope I fail, but at least throw some psychic energy, or cold hard logic (whatever floats your boat) at it. I want to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

This is the last I'll mention it, so anyway. There you go.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cash is a Peasant

Down in Louisiana, a recently passed law completely outlaws the use of cash in transactions for secondhand goods. When I read the story, I thought it was so crazy that it had to be a misunderstanding. I looked up the bill, and the original version of the bill actually does not have this clause.

Instead, it requires that anyone selling secondhand goods make a detailed recording of any cash transaction. But somewhere along the way, that bill was amended, and the final version (embedded below) does, in fact, appear to ban cash transactions:

    A secondhand dealer shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property. Payment shall be made in the form of check, electronic transfers, or money order issued to the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property and made payable to the name and address of the seller. All payments made by check, electronic transfers, or money order shall be reported separately in the daily reports required by R.S. 37:1866.

I do wonder if that's even legal. Our cash clearly says that "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." While businesses may have the right to refuse cash, can a government outlaw the use of cash? That seems pretty extreme.

The state representative behind the bill, Rickey Hardy, seems to think it's no big deal, admitting that this is purely to make life easier for law enforcement in response to criminals who steal stuff and then sell it off


Sunday, October 23, 2011

The science of Scotch

...And so we have a teenage spirit, grown up from its babyish beginnings in a warm bath. What our 12th century monks did not know is that uisge beatha is not the end game. Place the young spirit in a wooden womb and something really comes to life. After three years or more in an oak cask, the water of life is reborn.

“We do not know exactly what happens in the cask, it is still a mystery that science is yet to fully understand,” says Professor Paul Hughes, Director of the International Centre for Brewing & Distilling, Edinburgh. What the Centre’s scientists do know is that chemical compounds in the oak enrich and transform the spirit.

Tannin, which makes tea brown, gives whisky its golden glow. Oak lactones also mingle in, giving a hint of sweet coconut. The carbon lining of charred whisky helps to release vanillin from the oak. The active carbon filters out undesirable substances like sulphur that cause an eggy taste. Gaps and pores in the cask’s wood let in air. Gently, gently, this air oxidises the alcohols, breathing new life into the spirit. Ethanol reacts with acids during this maturation process, giving rise to zesty esters – more commonly found in pear drops.

The final result is an aged concoction so loved worldwide that in 2010 Scotland’s whisky exports earned the UK £109 a second. That’s a staggering 1060 million bottles sold. And while the chemistry of whisky-making stops at bottling, the science is far from over. Whisky is made for tasting, not examination under the spectrometer. The human brain is possibly the most remarkable detector of all.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Do you have 7 minutes?

Since you have high-speed internet, I'm guessing you do. Revolutions always start with the richest members of any society. That's you.

Further reading.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy Maui, but not until next year...

An internal New York Police Department review has found a senior police officer violated NYPD guidelines when he used pepper spray on Occupy Wall Street protesters last month, ABC confirmed.

According to a person with knowledge of the investigation, Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna faces discipline of a loss of 10 vacation days as a result of the incident on Sept. 24.

According to officials, after the demonstrators left their base in Zuccotti Park and spilled over into the streets, blocking traffic, Bologna approached a group already corralled by police and sprayed the group with pepper spray.

I get 10 vacation days a year in toto. And I'm quite upper-middle class.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ready for Tomorrow

First Things First

Before you begin to prepare, pray. As a Christian, I put my trust in God's guidance, providence, and protection. You can and should do the same...

...Other important items for your food storage:
- Canning lids and rings—buy plenty of extras for barter.
- Sulfur for drying fruit.
- Vinegar-Buy a couple of cases of one-gallon bottles.
- Spices....

...Chem/Nuke Defense List
Dosimeter and rate meter, and charger, radiac meter (hand held Geiger counter), rolls of sheet plastic (for isolating airflow to air filter inlets and for covering window frames in the event that windows are broken due to blast effects), duct tape, HEPA filters (ands spares) for your shelter. Potassium iodate (KI) tablets to prevent thyroid damage.(See my recent post on that subject.) Outdoor shower rig for just outside your shelter entrance....

...Hunting/Fishing/Trapping List
...Night vision gear, spares, maintenance, and battery charging
Salt. Post-TEOTWAWKI, don’t “go hunting.” That would be a waste of effort. Have the game come to you. Buy 20 or more salt blocks. They will also make very valuable barter items....

...Security-Firearms List
Guns, ammunition, web gear, eye and ear protection, cleaning equipment, carrying cases, scopes, magazines, spare parts, gunsmithing tools, targets and target frames, et cetera. Each rifle and pistol should have at least six top quality (original military contract or original manufacturer) full capacity spare magazines. Note: Considerable detail on firearms and optics selection, training, use, and logistic support are covered in the SurvivalBlog archives and FAQs....

...Barter and Charity List
For your barter list, acquire primarily items that are durable, non-perishable, and either in small packages or that are easily divisible....ammo will be worth nearly its weight in silver. ...Two cycle engine oil (for chain saw gas mixing. Gas may still be available after a collapse, but two-cycle oil will probably be like liquid gold!)
Gas stabilizer.
Diesel antibacterial additive.
50-pound sacks of lime (for outhouses).
1 oz. bottles of military rifle bore cleaner and Break Free (or similar) lubricant....

Emphasis His.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


In 954, Seborga's territory was ceded by the counts of Ventimiglia to the monks of Lerino, when the Cistercian monastery was founded. In 1079 its abbots were also made Princes of the Holy Roman Empire, temporally in chief of the principality of Seborga.

On 20 January 1729, however, it was annexed to the Savoy dynasty's Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. Since then it has never been recognized by any state or admitted to an international organisation...

... Law enforcement, public health, telecommunications, school services and all other public services are provided as in the rest of Italy. Seborgans regularly pay taxes, participate in the Italian administrative life, and vote in local and national (Italian) elections

I suppose if you pay taxes, vote, and submit to police and military dominion you can start your own nation too.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Final Frontier, or, Astronomical Au

It’s become quite popular to talk about the price of gold . . . in blogs, the press, at dinner parties.  The latest topic of debate is not about the price of gold as a commodity, but about gold as the one and only king money.  The basic argument is that 5,000 years of tradition will overwhelm the tyranny of modern government and the fiat printing press.  The barbaric relic will defeat socialism, fascism, Obama-ism,  and restore liberty to the world, after a terrible economic collapse in which gold-owning visionaries become fabulously wealthy.

Perhaps they are correct—or perhaps not.  I don’t know what will happen in 10 years.  However, unless civilization utterly collapses (which is what gold hoarders seem to want), the gold bubble will collapse.  And I don’t mean the 10 year “bubble” . . . I mean the 5,000 year bubble.