Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Coming Energy Revolution c/o Gas-Cooled SMRs

Small modular nuclear reactors will have a revolutionary effect on the future of electrical power generation. But a particular type of small modular reactor -- the gas-cooled reactor -- is destined to revolutionise all aspects of future energy and fuels.
First, let's look at small modular nuclear reactors:
SMRs have a number of advantages over conventional reactors. For one thing, SMRs are cheaper to construct and run. This makes them very attractive to poorer, energy-starved countries; small, growing communities that don't require a full-scale plant; and remote locations such as mines or desalination plants. Part of the reason for this is simply that the reactors are smaller. Another is that, not needing to be custom designed in each case, the reactors can standardized and some types built in factories that are able to employ economies of scale. The factory-built aspect is also important because a factory is more efficient than on-site construction by as much as eight to one in terms of building time. Factory construction also allows SMRs to be built, delivered to the site, and then returned to the factory for dismantling at the end of their service lives - eliminating a major problem with old conventional reactors, i.e. how to dispose of them.

SMRs also enjoy a good deal of design flexibility. Conventional reactors are usually cooled by water - a great deal of water - which means that the reactors need to be situated near rivers or coastlines. SMRs, on the other hand, can be cooled by air, gas, low-melting point metals or salt. This means that SMRs can be placed in remote, inland areas where it isn't possible to site conventional reactors. _David Szondy
It is easy to see why the scalable nature of SMRs allows them to fit a wide variety of energy markets. Better economies of scale and increased reliability are possible from precise factory controlled construction. But why do gas-cooled SMRs, in particular, promise such a revolutionary impact on the future of energy and fuels?

It comes down to the high quality, high temperature process heat that gas-cooled reactors provide. Here are some of the things that high quality process heat can do:
  1. Unlock the trillions of barrels oil equivalent in oil sands (PDF)
  2. Unlock the trillions of barrels oil equivalent in coal to liquids and gas to liquids (PDF)
  3. Unlock the trillions of barrels oil equivalent in oil shale kerogens 
  4. Provide abundant industrial process heat for production of fertilisers, refining fuels, making plastics, etc 
  5. Split CO2 into CO to use as a hydrogen carrier 
  6. Overturn conventional fears of EROEI and Peak Oil 
Brian Wang has also taken a look at this topic

One particular gas cooled modular reactor has been selected by the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Industry Alliance as the best design for the category:
The Alliance said that it had selected an unspecified Areva reactor concept, presumably based on the Antares design, "as the optimum design." It said, "The Areva HTGR technology's capability and modular design would support a broad range of market sectors, providing highly-efficient energy to industries such as electrical power generation, petrochemicals, non-conventional oil recovery and synthetic fuel production." Areva, it said, "has the technical and design capabilities to develop a HTGR for the process heat co-generation and generation markets."

It added that "additional investors are being pursued to fully capitalize a venture in order to build an initial fleet of HTGR plants for industry." The Alliance noted, "Deploying next generation nuclear technology is a critical step in solving the long-term needs for secure sources of energy, conserving fossil fuels and slowing the growth of greenhouse gas emissions. Clean, safe nuclear energy from HTGR would increase US energy independence and extend the life of domestic oil and natural gas resources." _WorldNuclearNews
More here

Perhaps a stimulus from the private sector will help to spur the revolution that the US federal government under Obama appears to be resisting with all its might. Regardless, it is critical for a wide range of intelligent people within various industries and sectors of the economy to understand the importance of this potential qualitative transition in possibilities for production of future energies and fuels.

Nuclear energy systems that utilise efficient fuel burn and recycling (with combined Gen III and Gen IV + reactor synergies) offer thousands of years of electrical power and optimised fuels production. Only rational nuclear energy possesses the energy density and massive fuel supplies to allow humans to transcend fears of energy scarcity in order to move into a future of relative abundance.

Previously published on Al Fin and Al Fin Energy


Friday, February 24, 2012

Breast Implants: 1,000 Euro; Boom in Bar Business: Priceless!

Laura Maggi has been running Le Cafe in Bagnolo, Italy, for eight years. But it wasn't until she invested in breast implants and a more revealing wardrobe, that her business began to truly take off.
Le Cafe's Laura Maggi courtesy Daily Mail

After eight years running a bar, Laura Maggi suddenly found men beating a path to her door. Not for the quality of her coffee and aperitifs, but because she had started appearing for work in highly revealing outfits.

Hundreds of male customers flocked there day and night, leaving their cars double parked in the surrounding streets.

Congestion became such a problem that the lady mayor announced she was considering an emergency bylaw to limit traffic in the area. _DailyMail
In fact, the Mayor forbid her husband from visiting Le Cafe, and several other wives of the village followed suit. But what are the women actually complaining about?

For a cost of between 1,000 Euros and 2,500 Euros, any woman can obtain a reasonable approximation of Laura's breasts. Revealing clothing is easily come by. Learning to think of one's self as sexy, and acting the part, may be the most difficult accomplishment for most modern, feminist-indoctrinated women, however. In many ways, large numbers of women may have forgotten how to act like women. If so, that could be an expensive lapse of memory for some, and a huge windfall of profits for Laura Maggi!

Cross-posted to Al Fin, You Sexy Thing!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Thorium vs. Uranium: Global Energy Futures

Thorium is approximately three times as abundant as uranium in the earth’s crust, reflecting the fact that thorium has a longer half-life. In addition, thorium generally is present in higher concentrations (2-10%) by weight than uranium (0.1-1%) in their respective ores, making thorium retrieval much less expensive and less environmentally damaging per unit of energy extracted. Countries with significant thorium mineral deposits include: Australia, India, Brazil, USA, Canada, China, Russia, Norway, Turkey, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, South Africa, and Malaysia.

Naturally occurring thorium has one isotope- thorium-232. In the DBI reactor, the initial start up fuel mix is a combination of thorium and uranium-235. The uranium acts as the “seed” source of neutrons needed to achieve criticality for the first reactor. This combination of fuels decreases the time and capital required to start the thorium fuel breeding cycle. As the DBI reactor design begins producing electricity, Uranium-233, bred from the Thorium-232, increased core reactivity and power output. Over time, the original uranium-235 is burned up and subsequently the reactor is fuelled only with Thorium-232. Over the life of the DBI reactor design (approx. 60 years), about 3% of the original load mass (thorium only) will be added every 18 months. Depending upon operational choices available with the DBI designs, no or very little additional uranium will be needed. _DBI
The thorium cycle is far more efficient and simpler than the uranium cycle. So besides the fact that significantly more thorium reserves are present than uranium, it is possible to extract far more of the potential energy from the thorium -- with much less effort -- than from uranium.
Thorium is well distributed globally, providing an ample supply for industrial and emerging nations well into the future.

More information on the future of thorium energy:  Flibe

Labels: ,

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Adventures in Zombie-Proofed Homes: The Oil Silo

The Oil Silo Home, designed by in Berlin, recycles oil silos by transforming them into affordable [zombie-proof -- ed.] houses!

An oil silo is a storage container for compressed liquefied petroleum gas. There are approximately 49,000 oil silos in over 660 oil refineries worldwide! As the [zombie - ed.] population increases at an exponential rate, oil discovery decreases at an exponential rate. Soon all existing oil silos will be [needed for zombie-proof housing -- ed.].

The Oil Silo Home is a 100% self-supporting housing solution for the [zombie infested - ed.] world. It’s highly structurally stable, waterproof, efficient to assemble and disassemble, and has the capacity for prefabrication and mass production.
The oil silo home is supported above ground by strong steel pillars. It is acessible by a stairway which can be retracted in case of zombie sightings.
This cutaway view reveals internal space options. One can also see the rooftop defensive position, which allows household snipers optimal views of the surrounding free-fire zones.
Depending upon the climate zone, a variety of modular external sheathings are available, in a wide array of bullet-proofing and fire resistance. While zombies are not able to use firearms or sophisticated weaponry, untransformed humans certainly can. Zombies may be the greatest concern for survival, but human rivalries will still remain, occasionally turning violent.
This image demonstrates one possible means of re-constructing an oil silo into a relatively zombie-proofed house (click for full size). It is recommended that homeowners allow Al Fin zombie-proofers to customise the final residence, for optimal safety.
Oil silos can be converted into multiple unit housing, for extended families and for cooperative, non-family alliances. It is recommended that the most expendable and least trustworthy members of the group be housed in the lower-most unit.
Oil silos can be converted in such a way as to allow optimal natural lighting, as pictured above. Likewise, they can be converted for hilltop placement with partial or complete earth coverage -- for both disguise and weather protection in severe climate locations.

In the age of zombies, the need for secure shelter has never been more acute. Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Elevating Japanese Villages to Safeguard from Zombie Attack

Japan suffered a massive devastation from recent earthquakes and tsunamis. These natural disasters highlight some of the dangers of living at ground level. Even worse than these disasters, however, is the threat of zombie attack -- which can occur far from shorelines.
Tōhoku Sky Village is not just an architect's flight of fancy: one municipality in the affected region is making moves towards building one in its locality and others could follow.
Most islands will be used for residential purposes, with between 100 and 500 houses and apartments. Fuel stations, waste disposal and storage facilities, and car parks are on lower floors. Commercial islands, meanwhile, will house factories and processing facilities for industries such as fisheries and agriculture. As well as lifting residents high above the destructive power of [zombies - ed.], the design comes with a number of safety features. A reinforced gate at the back of each island automatically closes after a [zombie] warning, while steps up the sides let people climb to safety. _New Scientist
The best power source for these fortress villages would be off-grid small modular reactors, in deep underground vaults, reinforced by concrete and re-bar.
Each three-storey island would offer 90,000 square metres of usable space and be bolted deep into the bedrock via vast steel pillars. The exterior walls are made of 50-centimetre-thick reinforced concrete, while utility spaces on the bottom floor are compartmentalised in a radial formation for even stress distribution - rather like the spokes in a bicycle wheel. _NS
High voltage conductors will be used to line the steep, high outer walls of the anti-zombie fortresses, capable of frying any zombie invaders to a deep black crisp. When zombies are crisped in this manner, other zombies lose their natural aversion to eating them. Oddly enough, when zombies consume other zombies as a zombie crisp, they tend to sleep for hours or days on end, allowing for safe & easy dispatch and disposal by special squads of villagers known as zlayer zquads.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Assassination Micro-Bots Mass--Produced at Harvard

Devised by engineers at Harvard, an ingenious method for rapid fabrication of micro-bots heralds in a brave new day in mass produced micro assassins.
In prototypes, 18 layers of carbon fiber, Kapton (a plastic film), titanium, brass, ceramic, and adhesive sheets have been laminated together in a complex, laser-cut design. The structure incorporates flexible hinges that allow the three-dimensional product—just 2.4 millimeters tall—to assemble in one movement, like a pop-up book.

The entire product is approximately the size of a U.S. quarter, and dozens of these microrobots could be fabricated in parallel on a single sheet. _Physorg
Sreetharan, Whitney, and their colleagues in the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory at SEAS have been working for years to build bio-inspired, bee-sized robots that can fly and behave autonomously as a colony. Appropriate materials, hardware, control systems, and fabrication techniques did not exist prior to the RoboBees project, so each must be invented, developed, and integrated by a diverse team of researchers. _Physorg
Thanks to the new mass-production techniques devised by Harvard engineers, millions of micro-assassin bots can be produced in one production run. Programming the bot for its specific mission requires only a few minutes, and can be performed over a wireless network, using appropriate security protocols.
Harvard engineers say that they will soon be able to reduce the size of the killer bots to the point that they are no longer visible via the naked eye. Of course, invisibility of a sort is already achievable using other stealth tools recently devised across town at MIT.

MIT and Harvard have reportedly allied themselves in a microbot assassin war against Yale and Stanford. But before risking it all in total micro-war, the engineers are rumoured to be testing their killer bots via covert operations in Iran and North Korea.
According to one of the lead engineers on the project, the bots are almost indistinguishable from an insect or arthropod. Some of the bots have been designed to mimic small minnows and worms.

There is some speculation that the minnow bots and worm bots are meant to work their way up through the fish food chain until they have taken over the brains of sharks and barracuda. These borg-controlled fast swimming fish can then be used to carry high explosives into enemy naval installations, for either coordinated or stand-alone attacks.

It is clear that the intrepid engineers of Harvard have taken the concept of stealth assassins to an entirely new level. It will be interesting to watch and see how this concept develops.

All images via Concept Art


Thursday, February 09, 2012

A Dynamic View of Continental Movements, and the Birth and Death of Oceans and Seas

500 Million Years of Continental Rearrangement

Oil and gas are generally formed under seabeds, when organic matter is covered with sediment, deprived of oxygen, and exposed to heat and pressure over long time periods. The video above presents one scientific theory of how continents move about, forming new seas and destroying others.

Confined seas that are fed a rich diet of sediments and nutrients are the best oil formers -- in other words, those that are fed by large, seasonably variable rivers. Of course, rivers will necessarily be birthed, change their courses, and die over geologic timespans -- just like seas.

That is why mental prospectors of ancient oil-forming seabeds must visualise the movement of the continents, the mountains, the rivers, the seas, over time.
Supercontinent Formation
In a paper published Feb. 9 in the journal Nature, Yale researchers introduce a process called orthoversion, in which each succeeding supercontinent forms 90 degrees from the geographic center of its ancient predecessor. Under the theory, the present-day Arctic Ocean and Caribbean Sea will vanish as North and South America fuse during a mutual northward migration that leads to a collision with Europe and Asia.

“After those water bodies close, we’re on our way to the next supercontinent,” said Ross N. Mitchell, the Yale doctoral student who is the paper’s first author. “You’d have the Americas meeting Eurasia practically at the North Pole.” _Physorg
Oil & gas are renewable resources -- but on a long timescale. Humans have barely begun to discover all the hydrocarbon resources which they will ultimately be able to economically exploit.

Plan ahead so as to ride out the waves and chop that are certain to come along the way.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Riot Control: Shock, Awe, and Ow! at 100 Yards

One special SRT projectile under development called ShockRounds™ contains a liquefied compressed gas and activates a high-powered “shock wave” that expands rapidly upon impact and attacks three of the five human senses, disabling the assailant The general rule is that one unit volume of liquefied compressed gas will expand to approximately 800 unit volumes of gas at standard temperature and pressure.

...These MMS (micro-mechanical system) controlled devices act as accelerometers and sense when the round is fired and when it makes contact with its target. It then activates the payload in a millisecond before the round can penetrate the body. _SmartRounds
Nearly instantly, the munition deploys its payload: a liquified, compressed gas that delivers, in Verini’s words, “a shockwave to the system.” For one thing, the compressed gas makes a jarring noise as it exits the bullet. Plus, it’s been formulated to flash brightly and obscure a target’s vision. And, of course, the bullet itself is designed to hurt.

Ouch, yes. But there is some good news for potential targets of the ShockRound’s scourge. Because the munitions can detect when they reach their target, and then shift gears to quickly deploy their payload, there’s significantly less risk of skin penetration — no matter the range. So if the tech works, it’d be a major step toward turning less-lethal weapons into legitimately non-lethal ones.

Now that the Verini’s company has debuted ShockRounds, it’s planning to develop several more munitions with different kinds of debilitating payload combinations. Ideas, of which they’ve already got “around 10,” include combos of chemical irritants, expanding foam, gel and even explosives. _Wired
You can see that these non-lethal rounds would be less than worthless when faced with a massed zombie attack. But ordinary humans can behave much like crazed zombies under certain circumstances, and in general it is easier to deal with the aftermath of a massed civilian human attack if you minimise the death and serious injury count.

More on non-lethal weapons of DARPA:
The U.S. Army is deploying an all-in-one package of nonlethal devices that covers everything from checkpoint control to riot control.
The four modules include: the checkpoint module, crowd control and detainee ops module, convoy module, and dismounted module that includes various non-lethal items troops can use during dismounted patrols.
The kits are put into large, weatherproof containers, and include everything from high-intensity lights to loud speakers. The checkpoint tools, for example, includes "equipment to establish and operate hasty and deliberate checkpoints." That means tire spikes and capture nets.

Other nonlethal sets have been fielded in the past, but the NLCS "includes items not found in the previous sets, such as tasers, Phraselators, Vehicle Lightweight Arresting Devices and Ex-Spray, which allows soldiers to detect explosive residue." _Wired
But the ultimate in non-lethal weaponry is mind control. The ability to either shut down the brains of your target, to overwhelm the autonomy of the target's thinking processes, or to totally take over the target's thinking -- those are the goals. Here is an example of one such approach, "The Voice of God:"
Among those discussed are weapons that could disrupt the brain, as well as my longtime obsession, the "Voice of God" device, which creates voices in people’s heads. As the report notes, "Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. It may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard ‘voices within one’s head.’" _Wired
This is just the beginning.

Probability for large scale civil disorder in the near to medium future is quite high in nations from Russia to China to Iran to France to the US. If regimes resort to lethal force against large crowds, the blowback can be severe enough to knock those regimes out of power. Non-lethal suppression is much safer for everyone concerned -- as long as zombies are not involved.

And what nascent dictator could deny the secret wish to be able to control the thoughts and actions of targeted individuals or groups? No, the temptation is too great to resist, even for leaders as pure and selfless as US President Obama.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. And don't forget your Faraday cage head wear.


Oil of Ancient and Future Seas: Mental Prospecting of Rich, Forgotten Oil Deposits

River Basins

Most crude oil comes from ancient marine organisms which bloomed, died, sank, and were covered by sediment to transform under conditions of heat and pressure into petroleum. The organisms required sunshine, CO2, and nutrients -- plus sedimentary cover. These conditions were best met in tropical and semi-tropical seas which received nutrient-rich outflows from either rivers or rich sea currents and upwellings.

But rivers supply both nutrients and sediment, so it makes sense to look to areas which were offshore from ancient river deltas. Above, you can see the main rivers of the modern world.

But the continents of the Earth were not always in their current relationship to each other. 250 mya the continents were situated close together in a formation now referred to as Pangaea. The geology of the landmasses of that time were somewhat different, meaning that different rivers flowed into different seas.

500 mya the continents were in a somewhat different configuration, providing optimal oil-forming conditions over a different area of the world's crust. And so on, back through the eons...
This movement of the continents in relation to each other is caused by plate tectonics, a dynamic phenomenon which is largely controlled by actions at the bottom of the seas.

The graphic above is meant to illustrate possible sites for "abiotic oil" deposits, but if you look carefully at the oceans, you can find seafloor ridges which are ground zero for the motion of the continents. New seafloor -- as molten lava which cools and solidifies in contact with seawater -- is pushed upward from beneath the ocean crust, causing a spreading of the ocean crust outward. Eventually the ocean crust is pushed into contact with thicker continental crust, where it subducts -- dives downward into the mantle. This subduction is associated with volcano formation, and other geologic changes, such as slow movement of the continental plates.

This "dance of the continents" is likely to bring the land masses together again in the future, over and over again in different formations. This is important in relation to where very old oil deposits are likely to be found, and where large future deposits of oil are likely to be formed in their turn.

For example, why is oil often found in deserts and arctic wastes?
Oil and gas result mostly from the rapid burial of dead microorganisms in environments where oxygen is so scarce that they do not decompose. This lack of oxygen enables them to maintain their hydrogen-carbon bonds, a necessary ingredient for the production of oil and gas. Newly developing ocean basins, formed by plate tectonics and continental rifting, provide just the right conditions for rapid burial in anoxic waters. Rivers rapidly fill these basins with sediments carrying abundant organic remains. Because the basins have constricted water circulation, they also have lower oxygen levels than the open ocean. For instance, the Gulf of California, an ocean basin in development, is making new oil and gas in real time today. The Gulf of Mexico is also a great example of new oil and gas formation in a restricted circulation environment (see image at right above).

The same plate tectonics that provides the locations and conditions for anoxic burial is also responsible for the geologic paths that these sedimentary basins subsequently take. Continental drift, subduction and collision with other continents provide the movement from swamps, river deltas and mild climates--where most organics are deposited--to the poles and deserts, where they have ended up today by coincidence. In fact, the Libyan Sahara Desert contains unmistakable glacial scars and Antarctica has extensive coal deposits--and very likely abundant oil and gas--that establish that their plates were once at the other ends of the earth (see image at right). _SciAm
Similar detective work may lead prospectors to rich petroleum deposits lying between Norway, Iceland, and Greenland. By the same logic applied to more recent timelines, oil and gas in the South China Sea is likely to be discovered.

As the SciAm article above explains, when a river flows into a limited basin -- such as the Gulf of Mexico -- oil and gas formation are most likely to occur due to rapid sedimentation. But thanks to plate tectonics and shifting continents and river-beds, many areas where rivers once flowed into limited basins have become something completely different, today.

It is no challenge to find oil where crude is already seeping to the surface. That was the case in the early days of oil discovery in the US, the Persian Gulf, and Central Asia. But to find the oil of ancient seas -- that is a challenge. Particularly since that is where most of the world's oil awaits.

Previously published on Al Fin, the Next Level


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

How to Trigger a Global Ice Age, and Kill Billions and Billions of People

The secret to killing billions and billions of people without being too obvious about it, is to make it difficult or impossible to grow enough food to feed them. Geological history demonstrates that the best way of doing this -- short of a global thermonuclear war -- is by triggering a global ice age. If winters are too long and summers are too short and cold, crops cannot be grown, and livestock will starve. Without enough food, billions of people will die, until there are only enough people to match the dwindling food supplies.
Who would want to do such a thing? Well, no one will actually come out and admit to planning a great global human dieoff. But there are some people who are playing with the idea of significantly cutting back on Earth's solar allotment, in the name of mitigating "climate change." But since Earth's climate is always changing no matter what humans do, why would a warmer planet -- with longer growing seasons and more food -- be worse than a cooling planet, with less food and shorter growing seasons?

One of the backers of the new "geoengineers" is Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame. Mr. Gates feels strongly about "climate change," strongly enough to help finance a planetary geoengineering scheme to reduce solar input to the planet.
As well as Gates, other wealthy individuals including Sir Richard Branson, tar sands magnate Murray Edwards and the co-founder of Skype, Niklas Zennström, have funded a series of official reports into future use of the technology. Branson, who has frequently called for geoengineering to combat climate change, helped fund the Royal Society's inquiry into solar radiation management last year through his Carbon War Room charity. It is not known how much he contributed.

Professors David Keith, of Harvard University, and Ken Caldeira of Stanford, are the world's two leading advocates of major research into geoengineering the upper atmosphere to provide earth with a reflective shield. They have so far received over $4.6m from Gates to run the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (Ficer). Nearly half Ficer's money, which comes directly from Gates's personal funds, has so far been used for their own research, but the rest is disbursed by them to fund the work of other advocates of large-scale interventions.

According to statements of financial interests, Keith receives an undisclosed sum from Bill Gates each year, and is the president and majority owner of the geoengineering company Carbon Engineering, in which both Gates and Edwards have major stakes – believed to be together worth over $10m. _Guardian

Another Geoengineering Scheme

Big money backers of geoengineering schemes hide behind the IPCC and the "scientific consensus" which supposedly backs the theories and computer models of "climate change." But after ClimageGate, and some other huge public embarassments hitting the orthodoxy of climate hysteria, it rather looks as if these wealthy climate barons are either not keeping up with the evidence, or they have other hidden motives behind their actions.
Bill Gates is already involved with a super-wealthy cabal of individuals working to limit overpopulation. When combined with his interest in altering the global climate, his concerns over the level of human populations of Earth could well be seen in something other than a completely innocent light.

Do Al Fin analysts think that Gates is intentionally setting the planet Earth onto a path toward a great human dieoff? Of course not. Most of the recipients of Mr. and Mrs. Gates' charities are entirely uncontroversial and untainted by any quasi-genocidal stain. But a person of Mr. Gates' stature should be very clear about the causes which he supports, without having to hide behind a faux consensus of phony fantasists such as certain IPCC controlling climate grifters.
It would take a very small ongoing reduction of incoming solar radiation to spin the planet's climate in a cooling direction. When combined with natural feedbacks and other pertinent factors which climatologists refuse to consider in their expensive models, the downward spin of temperatures could quickly reach the point where growing seasons and food supplies are adversely affected.

A human dieoff from lack of food is probably not something that Mr. Gates or Mr. Branson want to be associated with, after the fact. Because while either gentleman could certainly afford to live anywhere on the planet they wished, after the onset of a global ice age, it is unlikely that they could live in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed, in the absence of any other people. And for people who are even partially guilty of such a massive crime against humanity as the triggering of a great human dieoff by ice age, living among strangers is never entirely safe.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 06, 2012

Emerging Idiocracy on Planet Earth: Engage Anti-Zombie Precautions

Decades of genetics research have shown...that people are born with different hereditary potentials for intelligence and that these genetic endowments are responsible for much of the variation in mental ability among individuals
. Last spring an international team of scientists headed by Robert Plomin of the Institute of Psychiatry in London announced the discovery of the first gene linked to intelligence. Of course, genes have their effects only in interaction with environments, partly by enhancing an individual's exposure or sensitivity to formative experiences. Differences in general intelligence, whether measured as IQ or, more accurately, as g are both genetic and environmental in origin--just as are all other psychological traits and attitudes studied so far, including personality, vocational interests and societal attitudes. This is old news among the experts. The experts have, however, been startled by more recent discoveries.

One is that the heritability of IQ rises with age--that is to say, the extent to which genetics accounts for differences in IQ among individuals increases as people get older. Studies comparing identical and fraternal twins, published in the past decade by a group led by Thomas J. Bouchard, Jr., of the University of Minnesota and other scholars, show that about 40 percent of IQ differences among preschoolers stems from genetic differences but that heritability rises to 60 percent by adolescence and to 80 percent by late adulthood. With age, differences among individuals in their developed intelligence come to mirror more closely their genetic differences. It appears that the effects of environment on intelligence fade rather than grow with time. In hindsight, perhaps this should have come as no surprise. Young children have the circumstances of their lives imposed on them by parents, schools and other agents of society, but as people get older they become more independent and tend to seek out the life niches that are most congenial to their genetic proclivities.

A second big surprise for intelligence experts was the discovery that environments shared by siblings have little to do with IQ. Many people still mistakenly believe that social, psychological and economic differences among families create lasting and marked differences in IQ. Behavioral geneticists refer to such environmental effects as "shared" because they are common to siblings who grow up together. Research has shown that although shared environments do have a modest influence on IQ in childhood, their effects dissipate by adolescence. The IQs of adopted children, for example, lose all resemblance to those of their adoptive family members and become more like the IQs of the biological parents they have never known. Such findings suggest that siblings either do not share influential aspects of the rearing environment or do not experience them in the same way. Much behavioral genetics research currently focuses on the still mysterious processes by which environments make members of a household less alike. _Linda Gottfredson
The general finding after over 100 years of studying intelligence and genetics, is that IQ is heritable over the lifetime to between 50% and 80%. Heritability of IQ tends to be lower in low socioeconomic groups and in very young children. As a person ages, the genes tend to influence intelligence more.

The table below is a guessing game, where you are to fill in the "country" which matches the continent and the IQ score. The table of national IQs below, should assist you in this task. Notice that African nations are not included in the game, since the national IQ scores in the game do not go below 92.
Continent/RegionCountryAverage IQ
Asia 106
Asia 105
North America99
Continent/RegionCountryAverage IQ
North America98
South America96
Middle East95
Middle East94
Middle East94
South America93
Name the Country

A more complete table of national IQ scores from Lynn and Vanhanen summarized by Steve Sailer
This graphic displays a simplified bell curve distribution overlap for 4 generalised human population groupings.
This graphic provides a general idea as to realistic occupational expectations for individuals whose valid IQ scores fall within a particular range of values.
This simplified time projection from the Fourmilab website: Global IQ 1950-2050, looks at the change in average "global IQ" over time, due to differential birthrates among distinct breeding groups, possessing different IQ.
Total fertility rates by country (via the EvoandProud anthropology site). By comparing the TFRs and national IQs, one can estimate the general trend for global IQ, as a falsifiable hypothesis.

What about the "Flynn Effect?" Unfortunately, the multiple and poorly defined underlying mechanisms behind the "Flynn Effect" are not strong enough to overcome the compounding magic of differential birthrates combined with heritability of IQ.
This graphic allows you to visually compare homicide rates with both total fertility rates and national IQ. Keeping in mind the heritability of IQ, this triple juxtaposition allows for some simple falsifiable predictions as to the future of both particular nations, and of the nations which are emigration targets for the excess from low IQ, high crime, high fertility populations.

Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

More: Here is an extremely optimistic look at the future of commodities, energy resources, and food. The human ingenuity of "the smart fraction" has been pushing back against the forces of depletion -- just as Julian Simon said they would do.

It is crucial to look at as many sides to the story as one can. Nothing in real life is as simple as it seems.

Previously published on Al Fin blog

Persons of low IQ have a tendency to commit crimes of both violent and non-violent nature, and to become dependent upon the public purse. As the numbers of low IQ persons grow, the quality of elected officials will tend to decline sharply (the Idiocracy). As more and more cities of the first world come to resemble Detroit, Port-au-Prince, and Ciudad Juarez, the violence and poverty will drive more intelligent persons into gated enclaves and other more protected areas.

Eventually, shadow governments will emerge, with alternative law enforcement and defense forces, and alternative economies. Civil wars are inevitable, if only as a means of last resort self-preservation.

Choose your location and your neighbors wisely, and always have an escape plan prepared. Escaping a zombie horde is similar in many ways to escaping an Idiocracy. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

Labels: , , , ,

Newer Posts Older Posts