As Ben Vi correctly observes, the global oil glut is incredibly real and has been increasingly so for the past year-plus, which really makes me wonder what effect this price crashii will have on this oil-vested little province of mine as the fountain of easy cash from the Athabasca oil sands slows from a torrent to a trickle and highly leveraged and overly speculative firms continue to lay off uneconomical staff.iii Other, that is, than supply increasingly affordable and increasingly desperate labour for cash / room+board, conveniently side-stepping the the temporarilyiv draconian minimum wage “laws,” which currently stand at $11.20 per hourv and are set to rise to $15.00 within 3 years, only further exacerbating the employee glut. An employee glut, it’s worth noting, that disproportionately disadvantages visible minorities, particularly as they’re more likely to be less well-trained (i.e. “foreign trained,” or worse, “affirmative action trained”) and have less domestic work experience.vi
But the matter isn’t even as simple as Economics 101, nor even as straight-forward as adopting better public policy from some even newer and even more “independent” think tank – to wit :
mircea_popescu: Re : the oil discussion : the matter is very complex, notwithstanding how important it is. And yes, broadly speaking it’s correct to say that the trend is to move “technical basis” of price away from “marginal cost of new capacity” to “operating cost of extant capacity”. The reason for this however I propose is not by a longshot policy, but purely existential (in simple terms, we, ie. the world, ie. white peoplevii are moving away from a “frontier” worldview and toward a “cargo cult” / scavenger worldview. Consequently the notion that new things can be made is being gradually abandoned. No present capital / intent of future investment / financial policy setting etc. has any bearing or impact on this, as it’s purely a cultural matter.viii
pete_dushenski I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d appreciate and benefit from an expansion of this point. For myself, particularly the “cargo cult” element is one that’s not immediately apparent. I see the future as fundamentally subtractive – that is, wiping off the shit in the eyes of physical and digital environments, curating only for the useful and productive aspects, which’d certainly be the “scavenger” element. Are those unable to effectively scavenge reduced to cargo cultism ? Is that the divide going forward ? Was the divide ever any other way ? (Answers own latter question with “Yes, aeons ago.”)
mircea_popescu: Take someone like TLP’s favourites : Randi Zuckerberg / Sheryl Sandberg. Looky here : http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/images/leanin.jpg. These are some women that are doing no work, but going through THE MOTIONS of doing work. It is, to them, the reality of the daytime TV drama. The scholarly term for this is, “cargo cult”. It used to be “fake it till you make it”, which is how this always starts. Now there’s nothing to make, on account of everyone doing the same faking. Nothing is immune from this brain rot, but the capital investment requirements provide protection.
pete_dushenski: In other words, there’s no there there.
mircea_popescu: Which is why the derpage started in “design” and “PR”. By now oil is falling, and oil is really the highest capital investment industry out there.
pete_dushenski: Other than asteroid mining.ix
mircea_popescu: That is not a thing. The problem with cargo cultism being, of course, that the only thing it produces is frustration. (If it fails, necessarily, but also if it succeeds. Especially if it succeeds.) That frustration, being on a social rather than individual scale, and coherent, will find the usual debouchees. At first, the failure is going to be the fault “of racists”, like you see in Missouri.x Like “foreign agencies” in early Soviet times. Then it’s going to be the blacks. Immutably.
pete_dushenski: What about Mexicans ? Or is it “Blacks because Obama.”xi
mircea_popescu: There was a minority of French in Germany in 1930, you never heard anything about those. The blacks have nowhere to go. Besides, you don’t see Tumblrs dedicated to “Mexicans fucked my wife.”
So again (again!) it all boils down to culture, and since culture is fundamentally war – and since our weapons of mass destruction are based on strong encryption in the digital space, meaning we need physical transportation and over-confident nobodies purely for amusement and nothing more – whether still-living or long-since-dead, the future for black organics looks awfully bleak.
We just don’t really need them as badly as they need us.
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Oil Tanker Backlog in U.S. Gulf Seen as New Symbol of Glut :
I also just finished listening to the episode of Ritholtz’ Masters in Business podcast with Gary Shilling, wherein (among other things) Shilling predicts that we’re headed into a new world of oil production with a price bottom per barrel somewhere in the ~20/30 USD range. His reasoning being that’s the marginal cost of operating the extant infrastructure, and that if the commodity wars between the OPEC cartel and the rest of the world continue, that producers will fall back away from the floor that is currently the cost required to pay for new infrastructure, and simply rely on what they have in the field.
The oil glut is reeeeeal!
via the succinctly titled Links 2015-11-15 Sun: PumPum, evidence of an oil glut, garbage text generators, “information security”, constraint-solving and pattern matching in Common Lisp, and a roboticized freight terminal! [↩]
- Crude is USD$ 41.00 at the moment. [↩]
- The commercial vacancy rate in downtown Calgary is currently 16% with 3.8 mn sq ft of space coming on-line in the next 36 months. So we haven’t even seen the beginning of this buyer’s market. [↩]
- I say “temporarily” because Alberta voted overwhelmingly Conservative* in the recent Federal election and the conservative-to-a-fault Wildrose Party is already neck-in-neck with the NDP majority currently in the Legislature in the polls. No one could’ve predicted, you say ? O ye of little memory. From just six months ago :
The truth of the matter is that 99.9% of Alberta’s bureaucracy isn’t moving an inch, “the people” are expecting change tout suite and will be very fussy when (not if) they don’t get it, the NDP’s new MLAs are awfully inexperienced and will be susceptible to far grosser mismanagement than the forged-by-fire PCs, and the NDP actually ran on a pretty centrist platform that wasn’t markedly different from what was currently being offered no matter how different the colour of its clothes may appear.
My assessment of the situation, as someone who’s no longer idealistic nor naive enough to show up at the polls, is that little will change. I honestly don’t think the NDP will make that much of a difference to this province. If anything, they’re being set-up to fail so that Albertans will come crawling back to some flavour of conservativism, maybe the Wildrose Party of Alberta, after a few years of mismanagement.
Observers can reasonably expect some old PC Party names to reappear under the Wildrose banner come the next election. Their experience and familiarity will be too hard for voters to pass up after another 3.5 years of this nonsense.
*Albeit in the moronically American sense of the term – which is to say, not in the proper and classical sense that would yield monarchy and aristocracy as suitable solutions. [↩]
- CAD$ 11.20 = USD$ 8.39 = 0.025 BTC as of this writing. [↩]
- This, for the record, is the opposite of the meta solution to the metatard problem. The opposite goddamit ! Let the poor Syrian/African/ISIS men in the door already. The sooner they come in and trample over the frauds with Masterses in Neuroeconomics, the better for everyone. [↩]
- ie. The Most Serene Republic. [↩]
- Quite so. Personally, the only new things I buy with any regularity and have any interest in buying going forward are food from the local farmer’s markets and grocery stores, airplane tickets, and the odd item of clothing (but I even buy used clothing sometimes!). The rest of it : the computers, the cell phones, the apartments, the cars, the books, hell, even the kid’s toys are all purchased used. Because that’s what hyenas do and fuck your “new ideas” and your “social sciences” with their “proven to make you 13% better looking, 6% moar efficient, and your kid 9 IQ points smarter.” Eg.
Sophie the Giraffe, full of discoveries and activities to awaken baby’s senses. Sight: The dark and contrasting spots all over Sophie the Giraffe’s body provide visual stimulation and make her easily recognizable to baby. She soon becomes a familiar and reassuring object. Hearing: Her squeaker keeps baby amused and stimulates his hearings. Taste: Sophie the Giraffe is very flexible and has lots of parts for baby to chew like ears, horns, legs. She is perfect for soothing baby’s sore gum when teething and is completely safe. Made of 100% natural rubber and food paint. Touch: Sophie the Giraffe is perfect for baby’s small hands. She is very light and her long legs and neck are easy for baby to grip. She is very soft to touch, stimulating soothing physiological and emotional responses. Smell: The singular scent of natural rubber makes Sophie the Giraffe very special and easy for your child to identify. Sophie is Phthalates and BPA free.
You can keep it. The scammy lot of it. And no, you don’t have something to say on the matter. Motherfucking soothing emotional responses, I swear… [↩]
- ‘Twas tongue-in-cheek, for my part, which should be obvious unless you so happen to take derps like Peter Diamandis at face value. Next time, I’ll stick my tongue out just so that there’s no confusion :P [↩]
- Apparently, University of Missouri students “saw KKK members on campus” recently. Except they didn’t actually and decided to make the whole story up, just like those Duke broads fantasised about being raped by the lacrosse team and decided to broadcast their delusions to the public forum. Same cause, same effect, same faux moral outrage by said public forum, and the the corralled frenzy of “activity” by the same
prison guardsTV pundits whether elected or otherwise. And, of course, the exact same stupidity over which the accusers WILL hang.
La nature, c’est juste comme ça. And you can only keep reality at the gates for so long until it comes bursting through your defenses in a violent blaze of consensual rape and glorious pillaging. Just ask history. [↩]
- Barrack “No one could’ve predicted” Obama is doing neither his country nor his African countrymen any favours whatsoever. His atrocious health care scam, his continued incompetence in the Middle East, and his inability to contain or contest either Russia or China are a stain on an already shit-covered record.
But that’s what you get when you let kids hurr durr their way onto the Harvard Law Review through your hairbrained “affirmative action” policy. How about you select the best candidates next time ? Ya fuckin racist apologist bastards. [↩]