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My American Decade at the Stark Truth

Robert Stark has just released his latest podcast in which we discussed all sorts of topics including My American Decade along with co-host “PillEater.”

Robert Stark is a journalist who specializes in interviewing various interesting figures from the Alt fringes. So you could I suppose view him as The Unz Review on podcasts.

Here are some of my previous episodes with him:

Some notes/highlights:

  • My thesis from American Decade that American society has been “Europeanizing” this past decade.
  • The fragmentation of the US political spectrum: “Clinton democrats, Sanders socialists, Rubio/Bush etablishment conservatives, Cruz Bible-bashers, and Trump nationalists.”
  • A big chunk of US income inequality (relative to Europe) disappears once you adjust for race.
  • My political views: “Fairly socially liberal (except for rejecting political correctness, and radical feminism), economically centrist, and closest to Rabbit’s AltLeft.” (The main reason I don’t overtly identify as Alt Left is that I am probably considerably to the right of most of them on economics).
  • The SJW problem – today’s campus Pink Guards will be future elites in 20-30 years.
  • The Bay Area and its remarkably high density of interesting people.
  • The first global warming models were constructed by the Swede Svante Arrhenius, who was also – in what will surely blow the minds of Kochservatives – a eugenicist.
  • Amtrak as a little-known national treasure of America.

This didn’t make it into the podcast due to time constraints, but we also had a little discussion about the ideas of Michael Hudson, an economist (and UR columnist) who criticizes the financialization of the US economy. I am not actually convinced the problem is especially acute in the US – according to the statistics I’ve looked at, the financial sector’s assets relative to GDP are higher in the EU than in the US, and twice as large in the UK. That said, it is surely a pretty big misallocation of cognitive resources at the global level. The people now eking out a few more percentage points in greater economic efficiency (=a couple of years of normal growth) could instead be designing nuclear powered spaceships.

 
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  1. If you are socially liberal and economically centrist, why do you think that you are alt-left. Cut the posturing and think seriously.

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  2. Spaceships are the mother of misallocated resources.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    That is probably not incorrect. Actually, I'd have rather said life extension research or intelligence augmentation, but then 5371 would have called me a faggot.
    , @Glossy
    It's a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you're not curious about that, something's wrong with you.

    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.

    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.
    , @Darin
    Spaceships are the mother of misallocated resources.

    Indeed. Give big thanks to whatever that killed science fiction and created fantasy/superhero/vampire/fairy tale genre for ending the manned space race and saving 100's of billions (to be wasted somewhere else, of course).
  3. @landlubber
    Spaceships are the mother of misallocated resources.

    That is probably not incorrect. Actually, I’d have rather said life extension research or intelligence augmentation, but then 5371 would have called me a faggot.

  4. intelligence augmentation

    As a guy who once worked in the manned space program, I can agree with this one. I would state it more generally as improved brain function. Even people with less potential would benefit from it.

  5. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    “That said, it is surely a pretty big misallocation of cognitive resources at the global level. The people now eking out a few more percentage points in greater economic efficiency (=a couple of years of normal growth) could instead be designing nuclear powered spaceships.”

    We are familiar with the moral hazard problem of a large financial sector. Banks too big to fail so the taxpayer subsidizes losses through bailouts when banks make mistakes too big to handle.

    But putting aside this problem, is a large financial sector inherently a misallocation of talent? Spaceships and any other large R&D projects require huge amounts of capital. Without an innovative financial sector providing lots of capital, there would not be such a thing as Silicon Valley. Lots of potential innovation centers wish they had the innovative financial sector behind Silicon Valley in their home country.

    • Replies: @5371
    With every use of the words "innovative", "creative", "disruptive", "game-changing" or variants thereof, a human utterance loses ten percent of its credibility.
  6. The size of financial sector assets is possibly the least important index of the ravages of financialisation. It’s about the ascendancy of shareholders over managers, short over long term shareholders and so on. That’s how elevated stock prices become the only goal of policy, and fraudulent statistics or concepts like “productivity” and “economic efficiency” are massaged while the actual economy goes to rack and ruin.

  7. @Anonymous
    "That said, it is surely a pretty big misallocation of cognitive resources at the global level. The people now eking out a few more percentage points in greater economic efficiency (=a couple of years of normal growth) could instead be designing nuclear powered spaceships."

    We are familiar with the moral hazard problem of a large financial sector. Banks too big to fail so the taxpayer subsidizes losses through bailouts when banks make mistakes too big to handle.

    But putting aside this problem, is a large financial sector inherently a misallocation of talent? Spaceships and any other large R&D projects require huge amounts of capital. Without an innovative financial sector providing lots of capital, there would not be such a thing as Silicon Valley. Lots of potential innovation centers wish they had the innovative financial sector behind Silicon Valley in their home country.

    With every use of the words “innovative”, “creative”, “disruptive”, “game-changing” or variants thereof, a human utterance loses ten percent of its credibility.

  8. @landlubber
    Spaceships are the mother of misallocated resources.

    It’s a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you’re not curious about that, something’s wrong with you.

    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.

    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.

    • Replies: @Darin
    It’s a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine. If you fear nuclear war, they way to be safe is to dig deep into earth, all the way into Earth's mantle and deeper. Hundred miles of rock is a barrier, 100 AU of nothing is nothing.


    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you’re not curious about that, something’s wrong with you.


    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.


    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.


    Name three.


    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.


    So would technology and materials developed for building several miles tall statue of Barack Obama.
  9. @landlubber
    Spaceships are the mother of misallocated resources.

    Spaceships are the mother of misallocated resources.

    Indeed. Give big thanks to whatever that killed science fiction and created fantasy/superhero/vampire/fairy tale genre for ending the manned space race and saving 100′s of billions (to be wasted somewhere else, of course).

  10. @Glossy
    It's a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you're not curious about that, something's wrong with you.

    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.

    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.

    It’s a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine. If you fear nuclear war, they way to be safe is to dig deep into earth, all the way into Earth’s mantle and deeper. Hundred miles of rock is a barrier, 100 AU of nothing is nothing.


    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you’re not curious about that, something’s wrong with you.

    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.


    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.

    Name three.


    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.

    So would technology and materials developed for building several miles tall statue of Barack Obama.

    • Replies: @Glossy
    Name three

    From the Wiki on asteroid mining:

    Based on known terrestrial reserves, and growing consumption in both developed and developing countries, key elements needed for modern industry and food production could be exhausted on Earth within 50–60 years.[2] These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper.[3] In response, it has been suggested that platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements from asteroids may be mined and sent to Earth for profit, used to build solar-power satellites and space habitats,[4][5] and water processed from ice to refuel orbiting propellant depots.[6][7][8]

    It goes on to say that heavy elements were pulled by gravity into the core of the Earth billions of years ago. The little of them that we have on the surface comes from asteroids that fell here later. As we exhaust that amount, asteroid mining will presumably become more economically attractive.
    , @Glossy
    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine.

    I don't know about that. Would it be that difficult to implement a planetary quarantine, shooting down anything that approaches from space?

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth. What if the climate alarmists are right?

    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.

    I agree.
  11. @Darin
    It’s a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine. If you fear nuclear war, they way to be safe is to dig deep into earth, all the way into Earth's mantle and deeper. Hundred miles of rock is a barrier, 100 AU of nothing is nothing.


    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you’re not curious about that, something’s wrong with you.


    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.


    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.


    Name three.


    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.


    So would technology and materials developed for building several miles tall statue of Barack Obama.

    Name three

    From the Wiki on asteroid mining:

    Based on known terrestrial reserves, and growing consumption in both developed and developing countries, key elements needed for modern industry and food production could be exhausted on Earth within 50–60 years.[2] These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper.[3] In response, it has been suggested that platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements from asteroids may be mined and sent to Earth for profit, used to build solar-power satellites and space habitats,[4][5] and water processed from ice to refuel orbiting propellant depots.[6][7][8]

    It goes on to say that heavy elements were pulled by gravity into the core of the Earth billions of years ago. The little of them that we have on the surface comes from asteroids that fell here later. As we exhaust that amount, asteroid mining will presumably become more economically attractive.

    • Replies: @Darin
    These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_the_chemical_elements

    phosphorus
    1000 ppm Earth's crust
    antimony
    0,2 ppm Earth's crust
    zinc
    75 ppm Earth's crust
    tin
    2,2 ppm Earth's crust
    lead
    14 ppm Earth's crust

    etc, etc.. Remember, knowledge and technology to dig , crush and separate rock already exists.

    I don’t know about that.

    What could be seen, could be killed. And there is no way to hide in space. NONE.

    http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardetect.php

    Would it be that difficult to implement a planetary quarantine, shooting down anything that approaches from space?

    You were talking about people in space fleeing from Earth, not attacking it.

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth.


    Me too, but no one where space settlement would be better hiding space than underground or underwater one.

    What if the climate alarmists are right?


    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/511016/a-cheap-and-easy-plan-to-stop-global-warming/
  12. @Darin
    It’s a bad idea for our species to have all of our eggs in one basket, the Earth. Lots of things can happen to the Earth, for example massive nuclear war. Space colonies would diversify our portfolio of livable spaces.

    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine. If you fear nuclear war, they way to be safe is to dig deep into earth, all the way into Earth's mantle and deeper. Hundred miles of rock is a barrier, 100 AU of nothing is nothing.


    There are underground oceans on several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. There could be life in there. If you’re not curious about that, something’s wrong with you.


    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.


    There are lots of economically-valuable minerals on other planets. A space elevator could provide relatively cheap access to them.


    Name three.


    Technology developed for space travel could be useful for other purposes.


    So would technology and materials developed for building several miles tall statue of Barack Obama.

    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine.

    I don’t know about that. Would it be that difficult to implement a planetary quarantine, shooting down anything that approaches from space?

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth. What if the climate alarmists are right?

    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.

    I agree.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth. What if the climate alarmists are right?
     
    It would be orders of magnitude easier to survive on a PETM-style Earth, or even Antarctica/the open ocean, than it would be on Mars, Venus, or any other known non-terrestrial environment.

    Incidentally, this is one of my hangups with Seveneves. Instead of expanding out the space station and betting on surviving on an asteroid, it would have been far more cost efficient to built underground bunkers instead.
  13. @Glossy
    Name three

    From the Wiki on asteroid mining:

    Based on known terrestrial reserves, and growing consumption in both developed and developing countries, key elements needed for modern industry and food production could be exhausted on Earth within 50–60 years.[2] These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper.[3] In response, it has been suggested that platinum, cobalt and other valuable elements from asteroids may be mined and sent to Earth for profit, used to build solar-power satellites and space habitats,[4][5] and water processed from ice to refuel orbiting propellant depots.[6][7][8]

    It goes on to say that heavy elements were pulled by gravity into the core of the Earth billions of years ago. The little of them that we have on the surface comes from asteroids that fell here later. As we exhaust that amount, asteroid mining will presumably become more economically attractive.

    These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_the_chemical_elements

    phosphorus
    1000 ppm Earth’s crust
    antimony
    0,2 ppm Earth’s crust
    zinc
    75 ppm Earth’s crust
    tin
    2,2 ppm Earth’s crust
    lead
    14 ppm Earth’s crust

    etc, etc.. Remember, knowledge and technology to dig , crush and separate rock already exists.

    I don’t know about that.

    What could be seen, could be killed. And there is no way to hide in space. NONE.

    http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardetect.php

    Would it be that difficult to implement a planetary quarantine, shooting down anything that approaches from space?

    You were talking about people in space fleeing from Earth, not attacking it.

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth.

    Me too, but no one where space settlement would be better hiding space than underground or underwater one.

    What if the climate alarmists are right?

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/511016/a-cheap-and-easy-plan-to-stop-global-warming/

    • Replies: @Glossy
    You were talking about people in space fleeing from Earth, not attacking it.

    Let's say 100 years after a Martian colony is established there is a nuclear Armageddon on Earth. Or someone on Earth creates a virus that wipes everyone out.

    Martian humans could survive this. Even if one of the warring parties from Earth tries to pull them into the conflict, the Martians could block themselves off, shooting down anything that tries to land on Mars.

    The more such colonies, the greater the chance of humanity surviving long-term.
  14. @Glossy
    Space colonies are the most vulnerable and indefensible structures you can imagine.

    I don't know about that. Would it be that difficult to implement a planetary quarantine, shooting down anything that approaches from space?

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth. What if the climate alarmists are right?

    Yes, i am curious, this is why i want to spend the limited resources for sending robotic submarine out there, and not to waste them on sending canned apes to Earth orbit.

    I agree.

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth. What if the climate alarmists are right?

    It would be orders of magnitude easier to survive on a PETM-style Earth, or even Antarctica/the open ocean, than it would be on Mars, Venus, or any other known non-terrestrial environment.

    Incidentally, this is one of my hangups with Seveneves. Instead of expanding out the space station and betting on surviving on an asteroid, it would have been far more cost efficient to built underground bunkers instead.

    • Replies: @Glossy
    It's hard to imagine people wanting to move underground for the hell of it or out of a romantic urge to explore. We'll only do it in response to a foreseeable danger. What about unforseeable dangers?

    It's easy to imagine people wanting to set up a Martian colony for romantic onwards-and-upwards reasons. And that could save their descendents from unforseeable dangers affecting the Earth.
  15. @Darin
    These include phosphorus, antimony, zinc, tin, lead, indium, silver, gold and copper.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abundance_of_the_chemical_elements

    phosphorus
    1000 ppm Earth's crust
    antimony
    0,2 ppm Earth's crust
    zinc
    75 ppm Earth's crust
    tin
    2,2 ppm Earth's crust
    lead
    14 ppm Earth's crust

    etc, etc.. Remember, knowledge and technology to dig , crush and separate rock already exists.

    I don’t know about that.

    What could be seen, could be killed. And there is no way to hide in space. NONE.

    http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewardetect.php

    Would it be that difficult to implement a planetary quarantine, shooting down anything that approaches from space?

    You were talking about people in space fleeing from Earth, not attacking it.

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth.


    Me too, but no one where space settlement would be better hiding space than underground or underwater one.

    What if the climate alarmists are right?


    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/511016/a-cheap-and-easy-plan-to-stop-global-warming/

    You were talking about people in space fleeing from Earth, not attacking it.

    Let’s say 100 years after a Martian colony is established there is a nuclear Armageddon on Earth. Or someone on Earth creates a virus that wipes everyone out.

    Martian humans could survive this. Even if one of the warring parties from Earth tries to pull them into the conflict, the Martians could block themselves off, shooting down anything that tries to land on Mars.

    The more such colonies, the greater the chance of humanity surviving long-term.

  16. @Anatoly Karlin

    And one can imagine lots of non-militay dangers to the Earth. What if the climate alarmists are right?
     
    It would be orders of magnitude easier to survive on a PETM-style Earth, or even Antarctica/the open ocean, than it would be on Mars, Venus, or any other known non-terrestrial environment.

    Incidentally, this is one of my hangups with Seveneves. Instead of expanding out the space station and betting on surviving on an asteroid, it would have been far more cost efficient to built underground bunkers instead.

    It’s hard to imagine people wanting to move underground for the hell of it or out of a romantic urge to explore. We’ll only do it in response to a foreseeable danger. What about unforseeable dangers?

    It’s easy to imagine people wanting to set up a Martian colony for romantic onwards-and-upwards reasons. And that could save their descendents from unforseeable dangers affecting the Earth.

    • Replies: @Darin
    Martian humans could survive this. Even if one of the warring parties from Earth tries to pull them into the conflict, the Martians could block themselves off, shooting down anything that tries to land on Mars.

    1/In world war of such magnitude that all humanity is destroyed, there will be no neutrals. If Martians belong to one party, they will be targeted by the other. If they try be neutral, they will be targeted by both (or more).

    2/ What make you think that humans and other Earth lifeforms can survive and thrive long term at 0.37 g?
    The only proposed experiment i know about
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Gravity_Biosatellite
    never went online.

    It’s hard to imagine people wanting to move underground for the hell of it or out of a romantic urge to explore.

    It is easy to imagine people digging downward out of fear and paranoia. Which is mindset more conductive for survival than romantic dreaming.

    It’s easy to imagine people wanting to set up a Martian colony for romantic onwards-and-upwards reasons.

    And its even easier to imagine them dying in not so romantic and uplifting way. This is why such people would not be let at spitting distance of any spacecraft.
  17. @Glossy
    It's hard to imagine people wanting to move underground for the hell of it or out of a romantic urge to explore. We'll only do it in response to a foreseeable danger. What about unforseeable dangers?

    It's easy to imagine people wanting to set up a Martian colony for romantic onwards-and-upwards reasons. And that could save their descendents from unforseeable dangers affecting the Earth.

    Martian humans could survive this. Even if one of the warring parties from Earth tries to pull them into the conflict, the Martians could block themselves off, shooting down anything that tries to land on Mars.

    1/In world war of such magnitude that all humanity is destroyed, there will be no neutrals. If Martians belong to one party, they will be targeted by the other. If they try be neutral, they will be targeted by both (or more).

    2/ What make you think that humans and other Earth lifeforms can survive and thrive long term at 0.37 g?
    The only proposed experiment i know about

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Gravity_Biosatellite

    never went online.

    It’s hard to imagine people wanting to move underground for the hell of it or out of a romantic urge to explore.

    It is easy to imagine people digging downward out of fear and paranoia. Which is mindset more conductive for survival than romantic dreaming.

    It’s easy to imagine people wanting to set up a Martian colony for romantic onwards-and-upwards reasons.

    And its even easier to imagine them dying in not so romantic and uplifting way. This is why such people would not be let at spitting distance of any spacecraft.

  18. I have never actually been in the United States but from my understanding of the statistics and such Boston is like the most Intellectual, High IQ, high GDP and etc… so why they praising San Fransisco so much as the best city?

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