I’m having persistent health issues that look increasingly like spring allergy, and the fact that all kinds of plants are blossoming at the moment, and I’m literally drowning in allergens, is making this diagnosis very likely. This doesn’t exclude the possibility that I’m also having a low-level viral infection that’s messing with my immune system: it happened last year and the symptoms were similar, but this year, so far so good – the symptoms are mild. Regardless, I’m not feeling well, and the combination of factors also resulted in sudden weight gain in the last month, coinciding precisely with the health issues, namely high level of cortisol in my system.

Due to all this, I decided to take a spring vacations and go to Hvar, where such issues usually either improve or disappear completely after a while.

Why gold prices are falling

Long version:

There’s somewhere around 200x more “paper gold” in circulation than there is actual metal in the vaults supposedly backing it up. This is politely called “rehypotecation“, and less politely it’s called “fraud”. Basically, they are selling the same gold bar 200 times and counting on the fact that almost nobody demands physical delivery. Now, the BIS apparently demands that the holders of gold as a tier 1 security under Basel III demonstrate that they actually hold physical gold in the quantities they are reporting on paper, and the deadline for that appears to be 28.6.2021. This means that some of the major players, who previously used to defraud people massively by playing with paper, are in a situation where the music will stop playing, in a game of musical chairs, so they are now dumping all that paper gold (read: fraudulent garbage that is about to be exposed) in order not to get caught, and since the market treats those forgeries as if they are physical metal, the price of both is connected, so selling off immense amounts of paper lowers the price of both. At the same time, the demand for physical metal is enormous and everything that appears on the market is immediately lapped up. When the paper positions unwind, and all the thieves manage to cover their naked butts, the price of gold, now fully physical, will likely explode to cover the same volume of money that was previously the valuation of all the “paper gold” forgeries in circulation, basically expanding to 200x or so compared to where it is today, because the “paper gold” was artificially introduced to satiate demand without allowing the price of metal to rise accordingly.

Short versions: hold and buy now while it’s cheap, and if it drops more, buy more. Think of it as Bitcoin at $300, a few years ago.

On central planning

(from the forum)

I want to add a comment, on the topic of free market vs. central planning.

America will criticise China’s “communist central planning” as if it were a universally bad thing, but having in mind what they recently had in Texas, where they had a free market approach to generating electricity which resulted in:

  • major power losses
  • infrastructure breakdown due to lack of cold weather proofing of the equipment
  • people being charged extreme amounts per kWh because much less electricity was produced and so the “free market” raised the price of the now scarce resource.

Also, we had a similar example in Zagreb, where the communist urbanistic planning ended with national independence, and after that the “free market” determined what will be built, and the result is an urbanistic disaster. Lots of new buildings were made, in areas with poor infrastructure, and then this developed multiple chokepoints – sewage system overloads, road capacity overloads, telecom infrastructure overload, and everything looks more like a concrete favela, than the “elite urban villas” that were advertised for inflated prices. Basically, free market created a clusterfuck.

There are places where you want a free market, but then again, there are places where you want the state to handle things. For instance, producing essential medications should absolutely be state-controlled, because free market will not create cures for diseases, because that’s not profitable. It will create addictive “treatments” that will force you to keep buying medications. This is why I have zero confidence in Western medicine – it’s been creating “treatments” instead of cures as a matter of principle for the last who knows how many decades, to the point where it’s so much a matter of strategy now, they don’t even know how to think in other terms.

Also, the military industry. The Russian way of designing weapons is absolutely superior to the American one, because the state dictates everything and controls the main parts of the process, which is inventing the new technologies and manufacturing, and the design bureaus basically offer competing designs and can’t dictate the prices. As a result, Russia can produce better weapons for a fraction of the cost, because the state dictates the terms and the goals, which are to produce the best weapons for the least amount of money, unlike America, where the huge corporations dictate the price, and the state is reduced to defining the desired performance and inspecting quality, and the goal of the entire process is for the companies to milk the state for as much money as possible while still delivering the minimum design spec. Also, the American military tech is intentionally designed to have enormous cost of maintenance, because that’s how the corporations keep milking the state, while the Russian tech is designed to be robust and cheap to maintain, because the government designs it that way, because it knows it’s going to have to pay for it in the long run.

I know I usually sound like a free market fundamentalist, but that’s usually because I’m arguing with positions that don’t understand the principles and advantages of the free market, which are very real, but the free market is not something that will produce an optimal result. It’s like biological evolution – it can produce many things, but it’s limited to iterating within the constraints of natural selection. It will not produce anything near what an intelligent consciousness can produce, in terms of technology. For instance, biology can’t use nuclear energy for power, enter orbit, or make a rotating joint necessary for making motors, wheels or propellers. If free market is a good approximation of biological evolution, strategic central planning is human consciousness applied to a problem, and it’s capable of both fucking up immensely because it doesn’t have the punishing feedback of free market economy, and also of anticipating and solving problems far ahead into the future, which the free market can’t do. For instance, from the position of free market it’s profitable to keep people hooked on some drug and leech them for money. That’s why dealing drugs is such a profitable business model. It’s only because of the state’s central planning that it is decided that it is a very bad thing for the population to be hooked on drugs, and the laws are introduced to prohibit the practice, regardless of the short-term profitability. An example of what happens when entire countries are hooked on drugs is the opium crisis of China and the problem Russia traditionally has with alcohol. But of course, from the free market perspective, selling drugs is profitable as fuck.

And let’s not kid ourselves – the Western market is also controlled and regulated. It’s profitable to just dump toxic waste somewhere, so there’s a law against that, that performs the function of central control and planning. It’s profitable to deceive people and steal their money, so there are laws that punish such behaviour, because someone decided it’s better for the society as a whole. It’s profitable to create a monopoly or a cartel and exploit everybody, so there are laws that punish that, because this isn’t beneficial for the society as a whole. So it’s just a matter of degree and method, not of principle.

Useless technologies

Maybe I’m getting old, but as someone who’s been living on the bleeding edge of technology since 1984 or so, and early-adopting all kinds of gadgets, there are increasingly more things that leave me indifferent, or I actually find them annoying. Let me cite some examples.

  • Smart watches. I saw how they work, said “meh”, never got one. Instead, I use a very classic mechanical watch. It is a very elegant piece of technology that is powered by hand motions, is easily serviceable and lasts for a very, very long time. Also, it isn’t landfill fodder.
  • Social media. Strictly speaking not a gadget or a tech artifact, but I see the entire phenomenon as extremely worrisome, and it does kind of function as the spirit behind lots of gadgets. My main problems with social media are that they are corporate-owned, and as such have a chokepoint of censorship, where a political group can take control of the company, which is relatively easy, and then basically control behavior of billions. Also, they promote groupthink and mobbing, and, by definition, reduce people to very simplified patterns of thought and emotion. Absolutely none of that is a good thing. I certainly don’t object to people communicating online, and it is definitely possible to create very constructive forums, but the general trend is that Facebook, Google, Twitter and others are implementing political censorship and reducing the level of human mental diversity and complexity.
  • Virtual/hybrid reality devices. The only place where I can see use for them are driving/flight simulators. For everything else, they are just a great way of getting motion sickness.
  • Mobile apps that are essentially just single-website browsers. Just use the web browser to go to that site and there’s your “app”. Pointless. Also, dedicated media library apps. A better version of this is called a file system and a media player.
  • Appliances with Li-ion batteries built in, with no apparent thought given to servicing or replacement of the battery, which shows that the device’s useful life is obviously limited by that of the battery. It’s an obvious example of wastefulness and planned obsolescence. I’m talking about electric shavers, vacuum cleaners, toothbrushes, smartwatches, digital styluses, earphones/headphones, phones, tablets, laptops etc. It’s not that I object to things not being tethered to a wall with a power cord, but just make batteries that are standard, modular and easy to replace and recycle, thank you.
  • Electric cars, but shortage of electricity. It’s not that we don’t have designs for safe and efficient nuclear power plants. Thorium-molten-salt technology that uses liquid nuclear fuel not only is safe (it’s trivially easy to make it fail in a safe manner without causing meltdowns), it also uses radioactive waste from our solid-fuel plants as fuel, basically transmuting everything into either fissile or inert form. The technology is absolutely awesome, but you don’t hear the “eco” leftists talking about it, because all they care for is stupid and toxic shit such as the windmills and solar panels. It’s all weak, inefficient and unreliable garbage. The only things that are actually great are geothermal and nuclear plants, and you can define geothermal plants as nuclear plants using unconcentrated nuclear fuel in-situ, because the Earth heat is nuclear in origin. Electric cars are not “clean”, they are toxic garbage, and they don’t use a “clean” or “abundant” resource, because electricity can be both dirty and scarce, and, thanks to the leftists, it is increasingly more so. Power the entire civilization with liquid fuel fission reactors, and power the cars with modern isotope sources instead of those huge, heavy and fragile Li-ion batteries, and then we can talk about electric cars. Safety-wise, I would rather have a nuclear reactor than a Li-ion battery in my car, and as for the solar panels and windmills, has anyone given any thought to their lifespan, recycling requirements and ecological impact? Thought so.
  • Hipster tech. Here I’m thinking about film cameras that intentionally produce inferior pictures because it’s “retro”, or using vinyl records mastered from digital sources because it’s “analog”. That’s just affectation.
  • Podcasts and video. I don’t object to those as such, but when a guy online makes a video in which he basically shows stock footage and reads from a script, it might as well be an article in textual form. Reading is a thing.
  • Nuclear fusion. Stop trying to make that work, it works only when gravity provides containment for free, i.e. in the stars, but when you have to create containment yourself, it’s extremely expensive which makes the whole idea ineffective, dirty, cumbersome and fragile. It’s also not “clean”, it produces as much radiation as nuclear fission, it’s just that the nuclear fuel is gaseous, and not solid or liquid. Liquid nuclear fuel used for fission solves all the problems of solid-fuel fission reactors, and remove all the complexity, difficulty and cost associated with fusion.

Basically, I find it annoying when people who discard a technology that consumes nuclear waste to produce clean electricity, in favor of technology that consumes rare elements to produce chemical waste and dirty electricity, have some incredible urge to lecture everybody about environmental impact. Also, I find it annoying when people who can’t write a web application to save their lives think they are tech savvy because they have all the social media apps on their phones. Also, I find it annoying when people who virtue signal online about the evils of “capitalism” and “consumerism” prefer to buy a locked-in unserviceable device because it’s “more elegant”, and they also bully people who still use an older device because they are “poor”. Also, they use hipster tech, but ridicule “boomers”, without actually knowing what a “boomer” is, only that it’s someone older than they are, with an assumption that they are the smartest generation because they have smartphones and stuff. But the old guys who made them their fucking smartphones, they are stupid and “out of touch with the modern things”.

It is also my impression that we are witnessing a historically unique phenomenon where the younger generations are significantly less tech-savvy than the ones before them. Basically, the WW2 generation went to the Moon, the baby-boomers invented IT, my generation invented all the IT infrastructure that runs on top of that, and the younger generations basically just use it all to exchange memes online. Basically, the level of intellectual degradation is visible from the prevalence of conspiracy theories that cast doubt on the existence of all kinds of things that were obvious to the generations before. I’ve seen all kinds of nonsense – Moon landings aren’t real, space tech isn’t real, Earth is flat, nuclear weapons aren’t real.

All I can say to this is, idiocracy is real.

Why people fall

The topic of the previous article started me on a line of thought which basically goes like this: “what is the fatal flaw of those people who profess salvation and what not, and secretly manifest all signs of spiritual fall, and how to avoid it”.

I think they assume that they must appear to be outwardly perfect, which creates a dichotomy of a perfect outward façade meant for the public, and their normal private condition, which they well know to be far from the ideal. As this dichotomy persists, they basically give themselves license to go incrementally more beyond the pale, because, from their perspective, it hardly matters – they are far from the ideal façade anyways, so it doesn’t matter whether they are off by an inch or by a mile. They are either doomed regardless, or saved regardless, depending on God’s point of view. Basically, they masturbate in secrecy anyways, which neither their Church nor scripture approve of, so they might as well have someone else do it for them.

From the perspective of their religion, that makes some kind of sense. From my perspective, the problem starts with separation of one’s consciousness from God, with the result of spiritual emptiness, which then manifests as many things – from desire for material things and pleasures, to actually sinful actions, such as treating other souls poorly, as if they were mere things. As you can see, my definition of sin is more abstract than the Christian one – I don’t see sin as something that is on a list of forbidden actions. I see sin as a state where your consciousness is not in God and of God, and this condition doesn’t make you experience agony. I see sin as willful defiance of God, and contempt/hatred for both God, and beings who love him. Basically, I see atheism and anti-theism as sin, and I see murder, rape, robbery, deception and other evil physical actions as manifestations of this inner spiritual state of sin. Sin is the state of apostasy from God.

The problem with those Christians is therefore that their religion has such impractically harsh definition of sin, that they basically can’t function as normal human beings without feeling that their religion condemns their actions, and they also feel that they have to keep up the outwardly charade for the sake of others, whose faith, they feel, will crumble if they knew how weak their leader actually is. And the more they outwardly condemn all sin, inwardly they drown in the feeling that they are fundamentally and irredeemably sinful, and even if God could somehow understand and forgive, their followers can’t and won’t, because the position of scripture is clear in condemnation of their actions.

The solution is that sin needs to be understood in a more abstract, fundamental way, so that people can focus on what matters, which is their personal relationship with God, and less on things that don’t matter, which is whether you allowed yourself to experience some innocent pleasure that didn’t hurt anyone. This doesn’t mean “tolerance for sin”, as some Christians would say. No, it means you need to stop being such bloody Pharisees, “who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel”. Focus on the important things, such as treating others the way you would treat God himself, and being forever in God. Stop annoying both yourselves and others with silly nonsense. If that made any sense, the early Church would not cease with the practice of imposing all those Jewish “laws” on the pagan-to-Christian converts. As St. Peter wisely stated, “Now then, why do you test God by placing on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe it is through the grace of the Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

What I want to say is, that by widening the spectrum of what is considered a sin, you think you are being moral and obedient to God, and what you are actually doing is falling into the trap of the Pharisees who even chastised Jesus and his disciples, thinking themselves more pure and lawful. Also, by broadening the definition of sin, you make it all but inevitable for one to consider oneself sinful, and from that point it’s a slippery slope, where it’s easy to cross the line into actions that are sin proper. Stop making both your lives and the lives of others more difficult without good reason, and instead focus your attention on that which is most important, and that is the presence of God within your soul.

There is another thing that I think is important; one of the reason why people fall into sin. You see, they see themselves as irrelevant and worthless, and they think their actions don’t matter one way or another. They think they are weak, powerless, worthless, small and inconsequential. As a result, they act like a child who takes his father’s gun, thinking it a toy, and kills his sibling. If a child truly understood the actual power it has in its hands, that would not have happened. It is only because they don’t understand what they wield, that makes it truly dangerous. In a similar manner, I’ve seen people condemn both themselves and others, thinking that their words and actions don’t matter, that seducing others away from salvation is merely an intellectual game. It’s like throwing rocks on a live land mine, or picking up a cobra thinking it’s a piece of rope. If people only knew how powerful their actions can be, and how much everything they do matters, they would tread very lightly through life.