News & Politics

Signal to Noise With Richard Fernandez

Signal to Noise With Richard Fernandez

Rather than using social media as a notebook, it seemed better to establish a separate optionally accessible site: Signal to Noise. The benefit of a members-only site is it reduces trolling. The Belmont Club will remain open and free, as usual. To keep the length manageable, I will start a new notebook every week or so. Sign up here to become a VIP member.

Left-wing was formerly the ‘Party of Youth’

Biden loses young voters who fear they have no future. “America’s young adults are unhappy, discouraged and anxious about the state of the nation – and are souring on President Joe Biden and other political leaders amid their dismay, a poll by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics finds.” — US News

China aging fast, has record low birthrate — Bloomberg

Bound to happen when your concept of ‘new’ is the New Deal

Russians mass on Ukraine border

Biden admin hurls warnings as threat looks real. NBC

Biden folds on Russian Nordstream pipeline as Putin rattles saber

Merry Christmas

Boarded-up storefronts and armed guards greet holiday shoppers in San Francisco’s Union Square in wake of mass robberies

Ho ho ho


Programming with biological elements

Now scientists at the University of Vermont, Tufts University, and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University have discovered an entirely new form of biological reproduction—and applied their discovery to create the first-ever, self-replicating living robots.

The same team that built the first living robots (“Xenobots,” assembled from frog cells—reported in 2020) has discovered that these computer-designed and hand-assembled organisms can swim out into their tiny dish, find single cells, gather hundreds of them together, and assemble “baby” Xenobots inside their Pac-Man-shaped “mouth”—that, a few days later, become new Xenobots that look and move just like themselves. …

“We are working to understand this property: replication. The world and technologies are rapidly changing. It’s important, for society as a whole, that we study and understand how this works,” says Bongard. These millimeter-sized living machines, entirely contained in a laboratory, easily extinguished, and vetted by federal, state and institutional ethics experts, “are not what keep me awake at night. What presents risk is the next pandemic; accelerating ecosystem damage from pollution; intensifying threats from climate change,” says UVM’s Bongard. “This is an ideal system in which to study self-replicating systems. We have a moral imperative to understand the conditions under which we can control it, direct it, douse it, exaggerate it.”

“We’ve discovered that there is this previously unknown space within organisms, or living systems, and it’s a vast space,” says Bongard. “How do we then go about exploring that space? We found Xenobots that walk. We found Xenobots that swim. And now, in this study, we’ve found Xenobots that kinematically replicate. What else is out there?”

Or, as the scientists write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science study: “life harbors surprising behaviors just below the surface, waiting to be uncovered.”

Harvard Wyss Institute

There’s information in living organisms no one ever suspected.

The doctors owe him another amputation for free

Austria: Doctor fined for amputating wrong leg of patient — BBC

The stash theory of economics

U.N. pushes cash handouts to avert mass poverty in Afghanistan. Ultimately all they know how to do

The world’s not going back to normal

We’re definitely in Cold War 2. Can we avoid WW3?

  • Putin warned NATO that deploying troops or advanced missiles to Ukraine would cross a “red line.”
  • The Russian leader said Moscow would be forced to take action while boasting about Russia’s hypersonic missiles.
  • Hypersonic missiles are designed to be virtually unstoppable, and can fly at least five times the speed of sound.

Taiwan is existential to Japan — CNN “Japan and the United States could not stand by if China attacked Taiwan, and Beijing needs to understand this, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday.”

Hunter spreads international goodwill and understanding

A new book, Laptop from Hell, claims that Hunter Biden helped expand Chinese influence in America for $10 million a year and an $80,000 diamond — Daily Mail

The media’s over “2 weeks to flatten the curve” meme

Fauci says beware omicron — CBS

The ‘boy in the bubble’ trap. “Nov 28 (Reuters) – China could face more than 630,000 COVID-19 infections a day if it dropped its zero-tolerance policies by lifting travel curbs, according to a study by Peking University mathematicians.” — Reuters

Trump. “Fauci would support a 9/11-style commission to study the US response to COVID” — NY Post

When your house is alive

3D-printed ‘living ink’ could lead to self-repairing buildings. The ink could even produce itself. “The team genetically engineered cells for E. Coli and other microbes to create living nanofibers, bundled those fibers and added other materials to produce an ink you could use in a standard 3D printer.” — Engadget

But govt infrastructure acts dead. “Years of Delays, Billions in Overruns: The Dismal History of Big Infrastructure” — NYT “Concerns over Native Hawaiian burial grounds stalled early construction, then problems with welding and cracks in the tracks appeared. Earlier this year, engineers realized that in some sections, the wheels were a half-inch narrower than the rails.”

Australia must prepare for possible naval war

Australia Needs Asymmetric Capabilities to Counter China in Indo-Pacific, Former Australian Official Says. “He added it was “not unrealistic to have a conflict” over self-governing Taiwan in five or six years and any war there would not be confined to the island. China regards the island as a province and has been escalating tensions over its future to include threats of invasion.” — USNI

AUKUS requires rapid expansion of autonomous undersea warfare systems — Australian“The three states could work together to introduce large, advanced UUVs that can operate independently of crewed submarines, in a “crewed-autonomous teaming” approach – an underwater equivalent to the Boeing Loyal Wingman platform in the air – much sooner than currently envisaged in Australian defence planning in the RAS-AI 2040 strategy.”

Artificial intelligence

UNESCO lays down AI guidelines

What Will the Effect of Europe’s AI Law Be on Tech Companies?  “According to the story by VentureBeat, any company that has a software product that is considered ‘high risk’ will now be required to have a Conformité Européenne badge in order for them to enter the market.” — Tech Times

In retreat across the board

As Crisis in Ethiopia Unfolds, Biden Admin Prepares for a Second Afghanistan type evacuation.

US-Ethiopian relations. “Ethiopia is an important country to the United States in the Global War on Terrorism. The Pentagon needs Ethiopia and its intelligence service to counter the influence of Al-Qaeda fighters in the neighboring Somalia. The CIA allegedly used Ethiopia as a base for black sites to secretly interrogate undeclared prisoners in the Global War on Terrorism”

Secret Chinese Port Project in Persian Gulf Rattles U.S. Relations With U.A.E.

At what point does it become more than bad luck?

He chose poorly

Biden drank from a stimulus cup expecting eternal political life and find his administration aging rapidly instead. “… even some left-leaning economists such as the former Obama administration officials Lawrence H. Summers and Jason Furman, have blamed the rapid price increases across the economy on the aid package that Mr. Biden signed in the spring.” — NYT

But Biden blames the virus and will focus on fighting that.

OPEC may have little reserve capacity so Biden’s war on producer may backfire — The key reason lies in the diminishing spare capacity of OPEC+ to pump oil, concentrated in just a few major producers in the Middle East. The OPEC+ group as a whole has been struggling with pumping to its overall quota for months as African OPEC members have been significantly underperforming because of a lack of spare capacity and investments.”

Another failure of the “stash theory of economics”, the progressive idea there’s always more ‘stuff’ — uncollected taxes, hidden wealth, hoarded oil — that can always be obtained by mandate. There are politicians who sincerely believe all economic problems can be fixed by redistribution. It’s simply a matter of finding the ‘stash’ for the deserving, which somehow always includes  your followers. It never occurs that economics is the science of scarcity.

The Communist apostate is someone who realizes there is no Stash.