American Elephants


China’s Future and Current Megaprojects by The Elephant's Child

China has more than 400 companies making inexpensive tiny electric cars called LSEVs for Low Speed Electric Vehicles. The price starts at about $1,000. U.S.
Not exactly for long road trips, I guess, but interesting for around town.

I ran into this while looking at the tiny electric cars. China seems to be going all out to modernize and make the most of technology in every way. I’m not sure what the time span for all this to be built is. When we start talking about a big “Infrastructure” project here at home, it becomes a very big deal, and
everything seems to cost too much.

How are the Chinese managing to pay for all of this? We know they do a lot of stealing technology and plans, but they clearly have fine architects and builders and technology people.

This was originally published on February 9, 2016, so it’s nearly three years old, but fascinating.  China is a very centrally controlled country. People are tracked wherever they go, and earn points (or lose them depending on their actions), if you lose too many cooperative good points, you can’t travel or enjoy many ordinary privileges.

Do click on the link just above. When people start talking about “control” we need to understand fully what is meant by the word and the urge. I find it extremely scary.

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Tucker Carlson Exposes Google: Is Anyone Surprised? by The Elephant's Child

At National Review, there is a book review of “Life after Google” The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, by George Gilder.

In the shadow of Mount Hood in Washington State, six miles west of the dam in the Columbia River that holds back the Dalles (rhymes with “pals”) rapids, Google maintains its main data center. Three glass-walled warehouses, each one 10 million cubic feet, contain 75,000 computer servers linked together by thousands of fiber-optic cables, all crammed together as tightly as possible to reduce any signal delays. High-security gates and fences keep out unwanted visitors, while ad­vanced millimeter-wave body scanners examine every person, employee, and visitor entering the building.

This is the heart of the Google empire, which today is worth almost $800 billion (the valuation of Google’s holding company, Alphabet), putting it only a couple of hundred billion dollars behind Apple Inc. and Amazon. As George Gilder notes in his new book, “empire” is a fitting word to describe Google. The size and reach of the company is unprecedented in the history of computing. Its ability to process an ever-growing database consisting of thousands of petabytes (“peta” meaning 1 quadrillion, or a million billion) and handle 1.5 trillion searches every year means that it powers large sections of the U.S. economy. It also shapes our culture and mindsetand increasingly our political system. Yet Google itself, Gilder argues, isn’t best understood as a business at all. It’s a utopian cult, powered not by technology but by a philosophyone could even say a theologythat is about to meet its nemesis.

Gilder, a cofounder of the Discovery Institute in Seattle, has a long record of debunking conventional notions about how the world works. His groundbreaking book Wealth and Poverty (1981) debunked the idea that capitalism is driven by greed; Men and Marriage (1986) overturned the notion that chasing down so-called deadbeat dads was good social policy. His book on the microchip revolution, Microcosm (1990), made Moore’s Lawthat the output of advanced digital technologies such as microchips will double every 18 monthsa household term.

In his new book, it’s Bell’s Law that gets the center spread. Named after Digital Equipment Corporation engineer Gordon Bell, Bell’s Law states that every decade a hundredfold drop in the price of processing power creates a new computer architecture. This is what is happening now, Gilder argues: A new architecture for handling data and information is taking shape that will shake the Google empire to its foundations.



Democrats Want Control, But What Do They Mean By Control? by The Elephant's Child

google_2015_logo_detailFrom the Washington Free Beacon, Sept. 13, 2018:

Former Google research scientist Jack Poulson has resigned from the company over its decision to move forward with a censored search engine approved by the Chinese government for use in the country.

Poulson quit after he raised concerns with his supervisors about Google’s secret project to release a censored search app in China, ultimately determining the company was willing to “capitulate” to China, the Intercept reported.  …

“I view our intent to capitulate to censorship and surveillance demands in exchange for access to the Chinese market as a forfeiture of our values and governmental negotiating position across the globe,” he wrote. “There is an all-too-real possibility that other nations will attempt to leverage our actions in China in order to demand our compliance with their security demands.”

Poulson said around five people have resigned for the same reason. When the project, codenamed Dragonfly, was reported in the press, he was one of many both inside and outside the company demanding answers from the tech giant. Not only did they fail to answer him, Google executives even refused to show up to a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing and answer questions about their activity in China.

From Foreign Policy: “48 Ways to Get Sent to a Chinese Concentration Camp: Something terrible is happening in Xinjiang”

From Daily Wire.com:Google Built China a Prototype Search Engine That allows Government to Spy On Citizen’s Search Queries”

From Reuters: Chinese Official says China is educating, not mistreating. Muslims”

From The Wall Street Journal: By Walter Russell Mead: “Imperialism Will Be Dangerous for China:“Beijing risks blowback as it exports surplus economic capacity to Africa and Asia.

From ABC.net.au: “Leave no dark corner” China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over it’s 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring privileges—for others, punishment.

Do read the whole thing, particularly the last piece just above. Note the facial recognition. Democrats here at home want control. Just what do they mean by control?

What is it that George Soros wants, that he is so ready to plow in big money to influence? Nancy Pelosi has already been somewhat clear in declaring that they will immediately end the tax cuts that have created such a booming economy, because they only(in spite of vast evidence to the contrary), went to the very rich. But it is also rumored that Democrats are determined to get rid of Pelosi as a potential Speaker, once again.

We were taken aback at the crazy Democratic reaction to the election of President Trump – calling it Trump Derangement Syndrome – almost as if it was all a big joke. It isn’t. Someone, and I forget who, explained that the Democrats were terrified when the Tea Party movement broke out. Republicans weren’t supposed to protest, be activists, Democrats depended on their polite objections, not actual confrontation. We might keep that in mind.



The Creepy Line — The Movie by The Elephant's Child

The Creepy Line is a documentary that reveals the stunning degree to which society is manipulated by Google and Facebook and YouTube, and blows the lid off the remarkably subtle –hence powerful– manner in which they do it.

The Creepy Line is a title taken from the words of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, when during a 2010 interview he explained Google’s code of conduct: “The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

However, as Dr. Robert Epstein explains in the film, “Google crosses the creepy line every day.” Containing interviews with Jordan B. Peterson, Peter Schweizer, and others, The Creepy Line offers an explosive look at the meddling and intervening done by Google and Facebook on their supposedly “neutral platforms.” The Creepy Line takes the conversation about data privacy and control further than ever before by examining what Google and Facebook do once they control a user’s data. Offering first-hand accounts, scientific experiments and detailed analysis, The Creepy Line examines what is at risk when these two tech titans have free reign to utilize the public’s most private and personal data.



Freedom Isn’t Free, We Have to Keep Working On It! by The Elephant's Child

Thinking about Google and their algorithms. They are supposedly designed to search my traffic and searches on their website so they can sell the information about my interests to advertisers so the advertisers can target me with ads that I am most likely to respond to. Have I got that straight?

If so, they’re doing a #*!#€∂ poor job of it.  I have never seen an ad online that I have responded to. Oddly enough, I would be happy to tell them regularly what advertising would interest me. For free. Advertisers who want to buy information on people who have no interest in their products are free to waste their money.

They could just ask me once or twice a month. How about you? Hunting season, Back to school, upcoming wedding, redecorating, football fan, thinking about a new car, the possibilities are endless. Amazon has made shopping easy for those short of time, and damaged local retailers in the process. But it is inevitable. Those who offer what we want and the least troublesome way to get it, will get our business.

What I’m suggesting is that Google et all don’t have to play dirty—they have deliberately chosen to be sneaky about stealing your privacy and your information, and controlling your ideas, without even considering the possibility of doing it honestly. Free business idea here.

A Google research scientist has quit in response to Google’s secret agreement to move forward with creating a censored search engine approved by the Communist Chinese government for use in China. If you did not read my post on the Chinese government, here is the link. After the videos of Google weekly meetings despairing the election of Donald Trump, and suggesting that they would do whatever it takes to ensure that doesn’t happen again or succeed, it should be quite clear that if they are willing to build a highly censored search engine for Communist China’s control of their people, Democrats whose only goal is control are next. And Europe will be next. Apparently Google can influence and determine elections, and remember that You Tube is part of Google. Prager University is having more of their freedom-oriented videos censored by YouTube.

Republicans are, by nature, inclined to be suspicious of government regulation.  The Obama administration gave us a big dose of that, because the Democrats are, by nature, inclined to want to control whatever annoys them, and they hate Trump’s booming economy, lifting everyone. Nancy Pelosi has said quite specifically that the first thing the Democrat House will do when they get back in control is to dump the tax cuts and get taxes back to where they belong so that Democrats have lots of tax money with which to buy votes. She is sure that all the tax cuts go only to the very rich. Yet the reports from the economy are that average workers have had a better pay increase than CEOs.

Freedom is always under attack from the controllers, and always has to be fought for, hopefully just at the polls. Our Constitution has done our Founders’ best in trying to limit what the government can do, for as we have just seen in the last 8 years—there’s always somebody that thinks they know better, and can fix things. That’s why we try to elect originalists to the Supreme Court, who understand limited government, and why Democrats fight that so hard.



We Need to Take the Idea of “Control” A Lot More Seriously by The Elephant's Child

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The news is, at best, as disturbing as could be imagined, but it takes a lot of reading to understand the developments. Let’s start with China. President Xi Jinping is not merely an authoritarian leader. He evidently believes that the Party must have absolute and complete control over society, and he must have absolute and complete control over the Party. China returns once more to totalitarianism.

“By 2020, Chinese officials plan to have about 626 million surveillance cameras  operating throughout the country. The cameras will, among other things, feed information into a national “social credit system.

That system, when it is in place in perhaps two years, will assign to every person in China a constantly updated score based on observed behaviors. For example, an instance of jaywalking, caught by one of those cameras, will result in a reduction in score.

Although officials might hope to reduce jaywalking, they seem to have far more sinister ambitions, such as ensuring conformity to Communist Party political demands. In short, the government looks as if it is determined to create what the Economist called “the world’s first digital totalitarian state.”

That social credit system, once perfected, will surely be extended to foreign companies and individuals.

A journalist named Liu Hu was prevented from taking a flight because he had a low score. According to the Global Times (a communist controlled paper) by the end of April 2018, authorities had blocked individuals from taking 1.4 million flights and 4,25 million high-speed train trips. Liu said “I can’t buy property. My child can’t go to a private school” You are being controlled by the list all the time.

Chinese leaders have long been interested in making defiance virtually impossible. With the the capabilities they are developing it would seem that absolute control is in the works.

Americans who have studied up on Communism as practiced in Russia, the eastern European nations, and Castro’s Cuba, and now Venezuela, find our own Democrat party’s fight to be in control of our country and our Politics off-putting. But this kind of control is far beyond anything that we even could imagine. Do Read the Whole Thing. It’s not that long.



The Puzzlement of Trading With China by The Elephant's Child

You have probably noticed that I favor columns from Victor Davis Hanson, among others. I think he is an important voice today. Yesterday was no exception with “Trump on the Ground”— which is a comment on contemporary California. Dr. Hansen is currently in Hillsdale for a teaching assignment for some lucky kids at Hillsdale College. Does Trump Get Deserved Credit? he asks. Not necessarily since it wars with the paradox that Trump is now seen by many as useful, but not as presidential. When one is doing well, he has the luxury of dreaming that it might be better to do poorly under a so-called presidential leader. (Do read the whole thing)

Abroad, for all the hatred of Donald Trump, there is a quiet, though usually repressed, recognition that the United States is doing what it long should have been doing—leading the world to an economic recovery, despite Trump’s trash-talking tariffs, and going to the mat with China. Critics concede that China is culpable of all sorts of trade violations. They add in the past that nothing much worked to persuade them to follow the global norms of currency, labor, environmental, and safety regulations, as well as copyright and patent laws. And while they abhor tariffs, they nonetheless have no ideas otherwise how to nudge China to follow the rules of global citizenship.

“The Obama years may have allowed China to infringe on American global power, but under Trump. this tide is turning. As governments around the world watch China’s expanding reach with resignation, the president has signed into law a bill promising to restrict foreign investment in the U.S. Under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, the U.S. government has added a powerful tool to block other countries—namely China—from buying up or funneling money into US companies. This is directly protecting vital strategic assets and know-how.”

In 2015 and 16, Beijing’s corporations went on an overseas acquisitions spree that concluded with multibillion dollar deals throughout the U.S., while the Obama administration stood idly by. U.S. intelligence  has long classified Chinese firms as security risks, raising concerns that China is able to access technologies underpinning American military might and economic power. Now the new investment law and the new National Defense Authorization Act prohibits U.S. government agencies from using telecommunications and surveillance products from Chinese technology firms like ZTE and Hyawei, their voices are now codified into U.S. law.

America has been a major destination for Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last decade, and the largest target of Chinese capital flows since 2005. But even if Chinese President Xi tirelessly touts the supposed benign nature of investments, don’t be fooled: such investments are a favorite, and more surreptitious, weapon in the Chinese arsenal than the military – a weapon China is employing freely given the country cannot compete with U.S. military might in terms of capabilities and global force projection.

China is clearly trying to undermine America’s global power status through money rather than military might. Beijing’s pockets seem deep. Trump must draw some red lines abroad when it comes to Chinese investments. The consequences of Obama’s years of neglect will give China more of an advantage.

 




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