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electric cars are an expensive scam

friday, july 14th, 2023

The left likes to treat skeptics of electrical cars as if they were Luddites. Truth is, making an existing product less efficient but more expensive doesn’t really meet the definition of innovation.

Even the purported amenities and technological advances EV-makers like to brag about in their ads have been a regular feature of gas-powered vehicles going back generations. At best, EVs, if they fulfill their promise, are a lateral technology.  

If EVs were really an innovation, the state wouldn’t have to bribe and force companies to produce them.

Which is why there is no real “emerging market” for EVs in the United States as much as there’s an industrial policy in place that props up EVs with government purchases, propaganda, endless state subsidies, cronyism, taxpayer-backed loans, and edicts. The green “revolution” is an elite-driven, top-down technocratic project.

And it’s increasingly clear that the only reason giant rent-seeking carmakers are so heavily invested in EV development is that government is promising to artificially limit the production of gas-powered cars.

In March, Joe Biden signed an executive order to “set a target” for half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emission. California claims it is banning combustion engines in all new cars in about 10 years. So carmakers adopt business models to deal with these distorted incentives and contrived theoretical markets of the future.

In today’s real-world economy, though, Ford announced this week that it was firing at least 1,000 employees — many of them white-collar workers on the EV side. Ford projects it’s going to lose $3 billion on electric vehicles in 2023, bringing its EV losses to $5.1 billion over two years. In 2021, Ford reportedly lost $34,000 on every EV it made. This year it was losing more than $58,000 on every EV. In a normal world, Ford would be dramatically scaling back EV production, not expanding it. Remember that next time we need to bail out Detroit.

Then again, we’re already bailing them out, I suppose. Last week, the U.S. Energy Department lent Ford — again, a company that loses tens of thousands of dollars on every EV it sells another $9.2 billion in taxpayer dollars for a South Korean battery project. One imagines no sane bank would do it. The cost of EV batteries has gone up, not down, over the past few years.

Ford says these up-front losses are part of a “start-up mentality.” We’re still pretending EVs are a new idea rather than an inferior one. But scaremongering about climate and a misplaced romanticizing of “manufacturing” jobs have softened up the public for this kind of waste. In the statist’s utopian vision, highly paid union members will be grabbing their lunchpails and biking over to the local solar panel factory or EV production line and toiling there for the common good.

In the real world, there is Lordstown. In 2019, after GM — which also loses money on every EV sold — shut down a plant in Lordstown, Ohio, then-President Donald Trump made a big deal of publicly pressuring the auto giant to rectify the situation. So CEO Mary Barra lent Lordstown Motors, a new EV outfit, $40 million to retrofit the plant. Ohio also gave the company another $60 million.

You may remember the widespread glowing coverage of Lordstown. After Joe Biden signed his “Buy American” executive order, promising to replace the entire U.S. federal fleet with EVs, Lordstown’s stock shot up.

By the start of this year, Lordstown had manufactured 31 vehicles total. Six had been sold to actual consumers. (But to be fair, five would be recalled — following a recall of 19.) The stock was trading at barely a dollar. Tech-funding giant Foxconn was pulling its $170 million. And this week the company filed for bankruptcy.

Without massive state help, EVs are a niche market for rich virtue signalers. And, come to think of it, that’s sort of what they are now, even with the help. A recent University of California at Berkeley study found that 90 percent of tax credits for electric cars go to people in the top income strata. Most EVs are brought by high earners who like the look and feel of a Tesla. And that’s fine. I don’t want to stop anyone from owning the car they prefer. I just don’t want to help pay for it.

Really, why would a middle-class family shun a perfectly good gas-powered car that can be fueled (most of the time) cheaply and driven virtually any distance, in any environment, and any time of the year? We don’t need lithium. We have the most efficient, affordable, portable, and useful form of energy. We have centuries’ worth of it waiting in the ground.

Climate alarmists might believe EVs are necessary to save the planet. That’s fine. Using their standard, however, a bike is an innovation. Because even on their terms, the usefulness of EVs is highly debatable. Most of the energy that powers them is derived from fossil fuels. The manufacturing of an EV has a negligible positive benefit for the environment, if any.

And the fact is that if EVs were more efficient and saved us money, as enviros and politicians claim, consumers wouldn’t have to be compelled into using them and companies wouldn’t have to be bribed into producing them.

© 6.29.2023 by DAVID HARSANYI, "The Federalist".

A Day In The Life.

Up at 6a on Friday, I went thru my finger stick to check my BSL (Blood Sugar Level) and recorded it on my Diabetes 2 chart, made coffee, took two 50mg Tramadol and a 300mg Gabapentin for various pains, fired-up the Win-7 Pro x64 Pentium HP desktop to let 32 million lines of code load, had a couple smokes in the sauna bath garage, and checked the day's errands list.

It was already a very warm, very humid 72° morning -- 81° in the garage -- same as yesterday. An afternoon shower and maybe t-storms were forecast for today. I scanned the news and weather sites, and tuned into the. Same old news crap as yesterday. Natch. After tuning into the Chris Stigall Show LIVE, 6-9, I bailed on the garage, and went to the back patio; at least there's a slight breeze there. Hey, it's Summer in the MidAtlantic Region! Quit yer bitching!

I decided not to go to the nearby New Eastern Farmers' Market, just relax with Coffee & Croissants, all morning, after tuning-in the Chris Plante Show LIVE, from 9-12. I went outside to the back patio, and the weather station read 120°, with the morning sun reflecting off of the white siding, so I bailed from there, to the shady, but very hot garage, just to have a smoke. Wow, that place was hot with zero wind or a breeze. High for the day was 92°, with 65% humidity and a Heat Index of 112°, per AccuWeather's website..

"The July 4th Holiday Toll: 25 Holiday Mass Shootings: 25 Killed, 161 Injured, 0 MAGA Hats Recovered". Nice, huh? The feral, knuckle-dragging, ghetto rat boys are responsible for it all. Bounties should be put on all their heads, and be summarily shot. End of problem.

If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

I left for Dallastown at 12:30p, to pick-up/drop-off stuff at DeVono's Cleaners, and got smacked by a massive, fast moving t-storm, which turned the little town to 11p, for 10-15mins. I made it home by 1:30p, saw the delivery box of Filet Mignons and Ribeyes from Allen Bros Co, on my front porch bench. I opened the dry-ice-packed boxes and stored them in my old top loading 16cuft freezer, in the garage. After putting away the laundry, I had lunch, a pint of Strawberry Häagen Dazs Ice Cream, and took a nap, and just stayed inside for the rest of the day, except for a quick trip to Rite Aid, to get my Combivent Respimat emergency inhaler (mist, not powder). After dinner, t-storms threatened, but gave us no rain. I watched a couple of "Gold Rush" spin-offs: "Hoffman Family Gold" season premiere, and "Mine Rescue: Freddy & Juan", until 11:30p; then unplugged for the night.

Awake and up at 7:30a on Saturday, it was a milky-white overcast sky, humid, very warm 73°, no wind or breeze -- sounds all too familiar -- with a high forecast for today at 98°. Typical Summer here. I made coffee, had a smoke in the garage, fed the squirrels, and listened to some "CP Show" podcasts. I had a buttery Croissant for breakfast, plus lots of coffee. By 9:30, I could see some blue sky interspersed with the overcast clouds, moving north-to-south. And we had a decent breeze, to boot. I scanned the various news and weather sites, and checked the day's "list".

All of Florida is expected to be affected by the "Sahara Air Layer", along with southern swathes of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama, forecasters have warned. BFD. After 3mos of Canadian Wildfire smoke, bring it on, towelheads! Coming your way, Ben!

I had a couple errands to do, and got back around 2p, had lunch and a 2hr snooze on the LR couch. After 2 Sloppy Joes for dinner, I watched "Mystery of Skinwalker Ranch" episodes until 11, switched to "Gutfeld!" and bagged it at 11:30. Gutfeld! sucks; it's gotten worse, not better, or even stayed the same, as I remember. There's a F1 GP Rave from UK, on at 10a, so I'll be watching that, and an IMSA Race from Canada on at 12noon. Lights out.

Up at 6a on Sunday, another overcast, very humid and warm 74° -- just like the past 14+ days -- with *Fair Air Quality*, so I had a smoke in the hot garage while coffee brewed, fed the squirrels, and tried to fully wake-up. I tuned into some of last week's podcasts of the "Chris Stigall Show", and checked the weather and news sites. A massive t-storm was headed our way, from the Southwest, and according to AccuWeather.com, we're to get heavy t-storms all day, and tonite. The F-1 Silverstone Grand Prix is on at 10, so I wanted to get some breakfast and a shower, before that 2hr race.

The F-1 Silverstone British Grand Prix and the IMSA Prototype Sportscar World Endurance Championship (WEC) Race were both good, and I checked the weather radar maps; a serious t-storm rain was headed our way. It hit us around 2:30p, and dropped a good 2"+ on us. Then the lightening and thunder hit close to me. Wowzer! The street gutters and storm drains overflowed, at 1½", and it kept raining. No complaints! The massive stormfront is heading into the northeast, and someone 'upstream' is going to get some serious rain and flooding.

I had a 2hr snooze on the LR couch, made dinner and watched the evening's news. After a short bout of paperwork, and checking the coming week's schedule on my calendar, I watched some old, old episodes of History's "American Pickers", now into the 25th season starting next week, and bagged it at 11:30p.

Up at 6a, to a cooler 65°, very humid, overcast Monday morning; sadly, I'm getting used to not seeing the sun. I started coffee, had a smoke or two, and checked the weather and news sites. Tuning into the "Chris Stigall Show" for some news and Talk Radio, tomorrow is forecast to be very humid, and in the 90s, again. Summer's here. I only had one errand this morning, to DeVono's Cleaners in Dallastown, and Sherry was driving over at 1p, so we could go over to the cavernous York Galleria in my Jeep. So I planned to leave around 10a, and be back by 11. I left at 10a.

If you have a SmartyPants iPhone, and use My Stream Photo to store your photo albums on their "cloud", you need to read this.

Sure enough, New York State and Vermont are getting hammered by floods, from yesterday's massive storms. Look at this video! I'm glad we only got what we got -- an easy 2"+ -- and sorry that they caught the brunt of that storm. We're still under a Flood Watch, as most of the East Coast is. Clear sailing ahead, so to speak.

Sherry and I walked for over an hour, and came back to my place, to rest a little, and talk. We had a great time, as always. By 5:30p, it was time for her to leave, and we had plans for Friday afternoon. I had dinner, did some paperwork and watched TV until 11:30p. Lights out.

Awake and up at 5:30a on Tuesday, I started coffee, had a couple of Marlboros in the open garage, scanned the weather and news on my desktop in the office-sunroom. It was a cool 63°, clear morning, with the ubiquitous overcast sky. I tuned into the "Chris Stigall Show", and later the wonderful JoAnne arrived at 8:30a, to clean my condo. She did a very good job, as usual, and was done by 11:30. I had my shopping list done for Weis Market, done and left at 12:15p, after the "CP Show".

Once again, I got more than I needed and paid more than I expected -- never go food shopping on an empty stomach -- so it is what it is. Yep, I broke one of my own cardinal rules. I managed to get all of it put away, despite overflowing freezers and having to pitch some older foods. I tried to take a nap, but couldn't sleep, as it was too bright. After dinner, I finished-up some niggling paperwork, watched TV until 11p, and quit for the night.

Up at 7a on Wednesday, a sunny, 68°, windless, semi-blue sky morning, I made coffee, took my usual morning pain pills, and relaxed while scanning the weather and news websites. I have Brown's Glass Co coming between 10-11, to look at a possible small leak in one of the three 4ft x 9ft glass windows, in my office-sunroom. And another *Code Orange Poor Air Quality Warning* on all weather-related websites. I held-off on breakfast, until the pain pills took effect, and did a few minor chores until the glass tech arrived.

Two techs from Brown's Glass arrived at 10, worked an hour re-caulking the three massive 4ft x 9ft office-sunroom windows, I tipped them nicely, and they left. After cleaning the inside of the left window, I got back to the "CP Show" and had an Allen Bros 10oz Angus Filet Mignon for lunch, w/ Potato Salad a freshly-quartered Tomato and Red Seedless Grapes. Temps on the back patio, now in full sun, were hitting 120°, and it quickly became unusable, until later in the afternoon. I fell asleep on the LR couch, until 4p, and the back patio had cooled considerably.

I skipped dinner, as I was still full from lunch, watched recent episodes of "American Pickers", and their 24th season premiere at 9p. By 11, my eyes were glazing over, and I unplugged.

Up at 7a on Thursday, a cloudy, overcast, 76° with zero wind or breeze. Forecast to hit 97° today, it'll be ugly. Soon enough, the sun broke thru the clouds, and temps were up to 88°. I had a couple smokes with coffee, on the back patio, tuned into the "CP Show" and scanned the news sites. I had an errand to do, over at the newly-rebuilt convenience store, of 40yrs. What an amazing transformation. Except for today's 1:30p therapeutic massage trip, I'm staying inside to avoid this heat/humidity. At 11:30a, it was almost 90°

Well, the considerable combined "weight" of the corrupt US Secret Service and US DoJ's FBI <>u>can't determine where the ½oz (called an "eightball") baggie of Cocaine Hydrochloride, came from. So they're "closing the investigation", even though they definitely KNOW who the perp is. No fingerprints or 24/7 cameras' recordings? Calling "Sgt Schultz"! Natch, especially when Hunter Biden is involved.

High for the day was 93° -- nothing compared to the Southwest and West -- and yet we struggled with it. Be comforted that q100x more people die in cold, than in heat. My back patio was 115°, with a breeze, while the garage was only 87°, with no breeze. I had paperwork to finish-up, and by 7p, temps had dropped to 87°, so I could go back out on to other the patio, for some smokes. Sis stopped by with food for Wegman's in Lancaster. The 1hr nap on the LR couch did little good. I skipped dinner, full from Wegman's food, and watched the news, and a few favorite old programs. By 11p, I'd had enough TV and unplugged for the night.

Tomorrow starts a new week here in the "Journal", and with the exception of a 'horticulture consulting job' in Southern York County, it's a clear week for me. In fact, the next two weeks are clear. I like that.

Australians Are Warned To Make Bookings If They Want To Make Cash Withdrawals As Banks Go Digital.

ANZ and NAB have announced they were no longer permitting cash withdrawals over the counter at some of their outlets as more banking is done online than with cash.

The move comes after Queensland woman Taryn Comptyn was unable to withdraw cash from her local bank branch and ended up closing her account in a now-viral TikTok clip.

'They really did emphasise the need to call ahead if you're going to take out significant amounts of money,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'If you're taking out amounts that are over $10,000, it's worth calling ahead to make sure that they have the money available in that branch.

'When you're talking about buying and selling secondhand items, there's so many scammers out there trying to rip you off with the latest pay ID scam, a lot of people on Facebook Marketplace say, "No PayID".'

Canstar group executive financial services Steve Mickenbecker said holding large amounts of cash in a branch posed a security risk as more banks went digital.

'It's not surprising that they are holding a lot less cash – it's a security risk and dead money sitting in a vault somewhere,' he told The Australian.

In her TikTok video, Ms Comptyn went to her ANZ branch to withdraw $3,500 to pay for renovations but did not have her ATM card handy.

'I thought "that's fine" I will just go to the teller',' she said in the clip.

'The teller proceeds to tell me they don't have cash in the bank anymore, that you can only get it out through the ATM but she said "don't worry I'll set you a card up so you can just tap it in place of your card".'

However, when Ms Comptyn tried her temporary card at the ATM it repeatedly flashed up an error message.

The ANZ first announced back in March that some of its outlets in Victoria would longer dispense cash.

The bank did not disclose which branches would be affected and insists only a 'small number' would be involved.

ANZ said that only eight per cent of its customers use branches to access their money, with the vast majority having switched to internet banking.

However, critics warned the move to cashless banks could cause significant harm to older people and those with disabilities who still rely on branches and physical cash.

The number of bank branches in Australia has fallen by about 30 per cent in the past five years.

And ATMs have decreased even more, with figures showing that they have fallen from a high of 14,000 in 2017 to around 6,000 as of last year.

The Reserve Bank estimated just 13 per cent of transactions in late 2022 were in cash, a halving in just three years since the start of the Covid pandemic.


I've been saying it for years. Welcome to the fascist state of America.

© 6.06.2023 by Jesse Hyland & David Southwell, "Daily Mail"


Insane California Green Energy Rules Could Wreck Trucking Industry.

Green regulations forcing trucking industry to use vastly inferior electric vehicles.

Without truckers, America would grind to a halt. There’s no doubt about it. Truckers work a demanding job delivering our food, clothes and other necessities. But rather than support our hard-working men and women behind the wheel, President Joe Biden continues to empty their wallets and force them to drive electric trucks for his radical climate-change agenda.

Well, we are pushing back. The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California have no right or legal justification to force truckers to follow their radical climate-change policies. That’s why I, along with 18 other state attorneys general, are taking Biden to court. States are forced to comply with California’s zero-emissions standards to compete in the market. This incentivizes truck manufacturing companies to spike prices for gas and diesel vehicles so that Americans won’t buy them.

Iowa's trucking industry employs about?100,000?Iowans. That is nearly?one in 13?of our state’s workers. Meanwhile, Biden’s illegal truck ban puts the whole industry at risk. The Biden administration has set us on track to devastate the nation’s biofuels industry, hike prices for businesses and truckers, and designate California as a leading decision-maker in the trucking industry.

In March, the Biden administration’s EPA violated the Constitution by granting California a waiver to issue its own set of truck emissions standards. Those radical standards go further than the regulations set for the rest of the country and effectively ban the sale of gas or diesel trucks.

California’s truck ban requires that about?55%?of delivery vans and small trucks,?75%?of buses and larger trucks, and?40%?of tractor-trailers and other big rigs be fully electric by 2035. By 2045,?gas and diesel trucks will be outright banned?from being sold in California.?

But it gets much worse. Due to the Biden administration’s waiver, it is likely that these rules will impact not just California, but America in its entirety. Since California has such a large economy – the fifth largest in the world – its radical climate-change agenda influences the entire trucking industry.

States are forced to comply with California’s zero-emissions standards to compete in the market. This?incentivizes truck manufacturing companies to spike prices for gas and diesel vehicles so that Americans won’t buy them.

Eight other states have already adopted California’s sweeping truck ban, including?Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. Connecticut, Maine and North Carolina are following in their footsteps.

Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution does it say that California gets to make the rules for the rest of the country. On the contrary, the Constitution requires equal sovereignty among the states, meaning that one state does not get special treatment to set the standards for everyone else.

In fact, the Clean Air Act provision used to justify the EPA’s waiver is unconstitutional precisely because it violates the equal sovereignty principle. The EPA’s waiver also triggers the major-questions doctrine, a legal principle that means big regulations need to go through Congress, rather than unelected bureaucrats.

And make no mistake, with California’s truck ban, rural America will be left in the dust. Charging stations are scarce in the countryside. Considering electric trucks have significantly shorter range than gas or diesel trucks, traveling an average of about?870 to 1,050? fewer miles?between fueling, supply chain nightmares lie ahead.?

Despite being?two to three times more expensive, electric trucks are also less efficient. Rather than 15 minutes to fill up, electric trucks take 10 hours to fully charge. And if we have learned anything from California’s rolling blackouts, it’s that our power grid isn’t ready to support the sharp influx of electric vehicles. The issues are endless.

The harsh reality for the trucking industry – which already faces increased operations costs, rising fuel prices and a shortage of drivers – is that it will be forced to cut jobs and make other challenging decisions as a result of the expensive regulations that threaten to put truckers out of business altogether.?

As attorneys general, we aren’t going to take a backseat as the Biden administration and California attempt to impose their radical climate agenda and regulate truckers out of business. It’s time to hit the brakes on the California truck ban, and our lawsuit will do just that.

© 7.07.2023 by Brenna Bird, AG-IA, "Fox News Opinion".

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The Facts.

Technical topics, of any sort at all, are generally subject to serious distortion when they hit the level of public discussion. There are many reasons for this – ideology, click-lust, and the sheer inability of the average journo school grad to adequately wrap his head around whatever concept is under consideration.

There’s no end of examples: Just think of the garbage written about global warming or COVID.

The latest of these topics is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Commentary on AI has exploded across the media sphere since the release of ChatGPT, an AI app purportedly capable of learning how to produce prose in any style at request. The consensus, to quote a style not yet mastered by ChatGPT, is almost uniformly “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The media uproar has been characterized by two approaches -- the first (and most common) is complete lack of understanding of the technology. The second is an impression of the topic derived from movies, largely HAL 9000 and Skynet (an older generation would add Colossus). These AI entities are uniformly insane, malevolent, or both (though not to the level of the one envisioned in Harlan Ellison’s “I Have no Mouth, and I Must Scream” which is so overcome by existential loathing that it destroys all humanity except for five individuals, whom it then sets out to torture for all eternity). For some reason, nobody ever suggests the AI Samantha in the superb film Her, who is cheerful, helpful, and even loving. That says more about human nature than it does Artificial Intelligence.

Artificial Intelligence was introduced by Alan Turing in his 1950 paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence.” Turing had first proposed computers in the 1930s and then played a role in building the earliest working models for the British codebreakers at Bletchley Park.  In this paper he suggested something that came to be called the Turing Test, intended to answer the question as to whether an AI should be treated as a self-aware entity – as another person. Turing’s argument is that if you converse with an AI – ask it questions and receive answers – and cannot decide whether you are interacting with a human person or a machine, you must consider it to be an intelligent, self-aware entity. (The Turing Test has been philosophically challenged since them, while at the same time being subject to cheating by some AI researchers, who have pulled tricks such as personifying the AI as a twelve-year-old or a foreigner who speaks English as a second language.)

Turing’s speculations fell on fertile ground. While the original Bletchley Park “bombes” (so-called due to the ticking noise they made while calculating) had been shut down after the war, more advanced computers such as UNIVAC were being designed and built during the early 50s. They were greeted with wild speculation along with musing on what it all meant for the fate of humanity. Conclusions were largely unanimous: “thinking machines” would soon outdo mere humans, who would then be either destroyed or shoved aside to go quietly extinct. 

Eighty years on, little has changed. The debate continues on the same shallow, uninformed level while we eagerly await for AM or HAL to appear and start torturing or murdering us.

So what is the problem here? First and above all, when we speak of AI in the 21st century, we’re discussing two distinct and separate types as if they were one and the same thing. These are what I call “App AI,” which includes ChatGPT and the numerous AI art apps making the rounds, and “General Intelligence AI,” the movie-style HALs and Skynets capable of taking over everything and doing what they damn well please.

Up until now, all that we’ve seen are App AIs. These are software, generally operating on neural nets, devoted to one particular task – text creation or artwork – that feature algorithms capable of modifying the responses of the program as it “learns” more about the task. AI learning is accomplished through “supervised learning,” in which mere humans set the parameters and goals, oversee the process, and examine and judge the results.  Until now this human interaction has proven strictly necessary -- “unsupervised learning,” when it has been attempted, usually goes off the rails pretty quickly. The App AI’s single task comprises their entire universe and they can’t simply take what they’ve learned and apply it to other fields. As Erik J. Larson puts it in The Myth of Artificial Intelligence (which should be read by anybody with an interest in the topic), “…chess-playing systems don’t play the more complex game of Go. Go systems don’t even play chess.” So no such AI is ever going to quit sampling internet imagery and try to take over the Pentagon. (This also applies to the guy who claimed, a couple weeks back, that ChatGPT is already “running the financial system.”)

There’s been a lot of speculation recently as to whether these systems will supplant humans working in particular fields. The answer is no -- not yet, and probably not ever. A few weeks ago, Monica Showalter, esteemed by all AT readers, ran a Turing Test of sorts on ChatGPT. She entered the prompt “Write a piece on the future of the airline industry in the style of Thomas Lifson.” What she got was a bland, gassy, ill-written piece filled with clichés, non-sequiturs, and outright errors, none of which, I can state with authority, has ever been characteristic of Thomas’s writing.  It’ll be a long time before ChatGPT takes the reins here at AT.

But couldn’t an App AI conceivably learn enough, experience enough, and develop enough to stretch its electronic tentacles into fields that it was never intended for?

That brings us to General Intelligence AI, the realm of HAL and Samantha, the Holy Grail of AI research, and what Stephan Hawking and Elon Musk have both warned us against.

But couldn’t an App AI conceivably learn enough, experience enough, and develop enough to stretch its electronic tentacles into fields that it was never intended for?

That brings us to General Intelligence AI, the realm of HAL and Samantha, the Holy Grail of AI research, and what Stephan Hawking and Elon Musk have both warned us against.

Turing had originally dismissed notions of machine intelligence due to the fact that machines lacked intuition – the human facility that enables us to skip step-by-step procedures and go immediately to the heart of a problem. There exists no way to quantify intuition – along with other related human capabilities such as imagination. Though Turing ignored this factor in his 1950 paper, it remains true today. There is no means of breaking down intuition, imagination, or simple common sense to make them programmable.

One of the shocking developments in AI research late in the last century was the revelation that machines can’t deal with the everyday. A program could play chess, model the interior of an M-class star, or plot a rocket trajectory with ease, but ask it to pilot a robot down a hall and it will immediately run into a wall and suffer a complete breakdown. This is something that Elon himself has encountered with his “self-driving” cars.

The statistical techniques that AI programs utilize – rifling through thousands, millions, or conceivably billions of possible solutions before they select the most probable – simply cannot replace the human attributes we all take for granted.

We don’t actually know what “intuition” or “common sense” are, which means that we don’t know what thinking is. And if that’s the case, how can we hope to duplicate it? It took something on the order of three-and-a-half million years for intelligence to develop in human beings. Nobody, however adept, will replicate that in a handful of years.

We are likely to find that conscious intelligence is an emergent property arising from elements we can now scarcely conceptualize, much less understand. And if we can’t understand it, it’s unlikely that we will be able to transfer it to silicon chips.

So Skynet is not going to be stomping on our skulls just yet. Which doesn’t mean that people will stop working on General Intelligence AI. That’s no bad thing – such research will teach us a lot about ourselves, possibly including things we’d rather not know. And if by some wild chance such an effort was successful, we’d still have little reason to worry. As Elon has pointed out, such an entity would be isolated in a research facility and dependent on extraordinarily complex and sensitive hardware. Any change in the system, such as a malfunction or brownout, would be likely to shut the whole thing down. (Which raises other questions: are we morally justified in creating an intelligent entity that will inevitably succumb to malfunctions? I would say “no.”)

As for App AI, it is simply a new kind of tool, and Sapiens does well with tools. It will continue to improve, providing us with more capabilities and potential. At the moment, App AI is at about at the same level as home computing was in the early 80s, when it was limited to trivia such as primitive games. The prospects are enormous.

But ChatGPT will not take over and force everyone to read its stuff eighteen hours a day. Nor will AIs put everybody out of work, something that has been predicted since Kurt Vonnegut published Player Piano in 1952. Since the 1970s, it has been clear that infotech actually creates jobs by expanding existing industries and establishing new ones. We have no reason to think that AI will be any different.

AI will also provide us with a new armory of digital defenses against the current efforts by the WEF, the tech giants, and the elites to force technofeudalism on us. And that, playmates, will be something worth having.

© 7.11.2023 by J.R. Dunn, "American Thinker".

An Infinite Number Of Days To Flatten The CO2 Curve.

When three years ago we were told that if we stayed inside for 15 days we could flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, there was no real effort to respond with civil disobedience. It was a profound mistake, one we paid dearly for and will again, if we don’t stand up to the tyranny.

Yes, we know it was President Donald Trump who issued in March 2020 a set of guidelines that called for 15 days to slow the spread by limiting our travel and staying away from social settings. At the end of March, under more pressure from “experts” he should have fired, he extended the guidelines for another month.

Trump eventually, though tacitly, acknowledged that he made a mistake, when during the summer he said, to great caterwauling from the “closers” on the left, that it was “important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path forward and would ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent.”

It was an admission no single Democrat ever made. Indeed, the Democrats wanted the lockdowns to be open-ended. They not only enjoyed taking captive society and commerce in the way that true authoritarians amuse themselves by being in control of others, they took notes so that the next time they will be able to more easily bump restrictions to the next level.

And when might that be? Impossible to say. All we can know is that attempts will be made.

In what other way can we read proposals such as the ??“climate emergency” initiative referred to by Joseph Goffman, who holds an appointed position at the Environmental Protection Agency? How would the government deal with a climate emergency outside of placing limits on our movements as a free people?

Another sign that we are being softened up to take whatever punishment the political left decides to mete out was last week’s maniacal media coverage of “the hottest day ever.” CNN vomited out nonsense about “record-break global temperatures” that were likely the “highest in ‘at least 100,000 years.’” The Washington Post screeched that “Earth is at its hottest in thousands of years,” and proclaimed that “??climate denialism” has been “burnt to a crisp.”

It was all meant to stir up fear and continue the conditioning of the West for the next round of policy shackles.

We regret that it will have its intended effect on many, even though, as our friend Steve Milloy from junkscience.com wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “the notion of ‘average global temperature’ is meaningless.”

“Average global temperature is a concept invented by and for the global-warming hypothesis. It is more a political concept than a scientific one. The Earth and its atmosphere is large and diverse, and no place is meaningfully average,” says Milloy.

He also pointed out the that temperature data “are imprecise,” with an estimated 96% of U.S. temperature stations producing corrupted data, and “about 92% of them reportedly have a margin of error of a full degree Celsius, or nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Our suspicions of a future under a climate boot have also been confirmed by other developments, such as: the influential World Economic Forum treating the pandemic lockdowns as a model for climate lockdowns and, according to PJ Media, eliminate private automobile ownership; zero chance of reparations for the hundreds of millions who suffered because of of COVID lockdowns; the Red Cross insisting that the world should respond to climate change with the same urgency it showed in addressing the coronavirus outbreak; Bill Gates ominously saying that “if we learn the lessons of COVID-19, we can approach climate change more informed about the consequences of inaction”; and the almost unthinkable possibility that the pandemic was a manufactured crisis.

But violating our freedom to live our lives as we please is only part of the entire repression package that the left is building. Our communications are already being censored while the government misinforms and disinforms just as it did before, during and now after the pandemic. Skeptics will be called “climate deniers,” from which there is a straight line to being labeled “domestic terrorists” by a Justice Department pursuing politics rather than the justice it is supposed to uphold.

What we should have learned from the COVID lockdowns is that tolerating petty tyranny leads to absolute tyranny. We’re not there yet, but we’re well on the road to it and it has been paved with malicious intent.

© 7.11.2023 by I & I Editorial Board, "Issues & Insights".

Targeted for Tyranny: We’re All Suspects Under the Government’s Precrime Program.

“There is now the capacity to make tyranny total in America.”― James Bamford, journalist

We’re all being targeted now.

We’re all guilty until proven innocent now.

And thanks to the 24/7 surveillance being carried out by the government’s spy network of fusion centers, we are all now sitting ducks, just waiting to be tagged, flagged, targeted, monitored, manipulated, investigated, interrogated, heckled and generally harassed by agents of the American police state.

Although these precrime programs are popping up all across the country, in small towns and big cities, they are not making us any safer but they are endangering individual freedoms.

Nationwide, there are upwards of 123 real-time crime centers (a.k.a. fusion centers), which allow local police agencies to upload and share massive amounts of surveillance data and intelligence with state and federal agencies culled from surveillance cameras, facial recognition technology, gunshot sensors, social media monitoring, drones and body cameras, and artificial intelligence-driven predictive policing algorithms.

These data fusion centers, which effectively create an electronic prison—a digital police state—from which there is no escape, are being built in partnership with big tech companies such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon, which helped to fuel the rise of police militarization and domestic surveillance.

While these latest expansions of the surveillance state are part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to combat domestic extremism through the creation of a “precrime” crime prevention agency, they have long been a pivotal part of the government’s plans for total control and dominion.

Yet this crime prevention campaign is not so much about making America safer as it is about ensuring that the government has the wherewithal to muzzle anti-government discontent, penalize anyone expressing anti-government sentiments, and preemptively nip in the bud any attempts by the populace to challenge the government’s authority or question its propaganda.

As J.D. Tuccille writes for Reason, “[A]t a time when government officials rage against ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’ that is often just disagreement with whatever opinions are currently popular among the political class, fusion centers frequently scrutinize peaceful dissenting speech.”

Indeed, while the Biden Administration was recently dealt a legal blow over its attempts to urge social media companies to do more to combat so-called dis- and mis-information, these fusion centers are the unacknowledged powerhouses behind the government’s campaign to censors and retaliate against those who vocalize their disagreement and discontent with government policies.

Already, the powers-that-be are mobilizing to ensure that fusion centers have the ability to monitor and lockdown sectors of a community at a moment’s notice.

For instance, a 42,000-square-foot behemoth of a fusion center in downtown Washington is reportedly designed to “better prepare law enforcement for the next public health emergency or Jan. 6-style attack.” According to an agency spokeswoman, “Screens covering the walls of the new facility will show surveillance cameras around the city as well as social media accounts that may be monitored for threatening speech.”

It’s like a scene straight out of Steven Spielberg’s dystopian film Minority Report, set in 2054, where police agencies harvest intelligence from widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining, precognitive technology, and neighborhood and family snitch programs in order to capture would-be criminals before they can do any damage.

Incredibly, as the various nascent technologies employed and shared by the government and corporations alike—facial recognition, iris scanners, massive databases, behavior prediction software, and so on—are incorporated into a complex, interwoven cyber network aimed at tracking our movements, predicting our thoughts and controlling our behavior, the dystopian visions of past writers is fast becoming our reality.

Our world is now characterized by widespread surveillance, behavior prediction technologies, data mining, fusion centers, driverless cars, voice-controlled homes, facial recognition systems, cybugs and drones, and predictive policing (pre-crime) aimed at capturing would-be criminals before they can do any damage.

What once seemed futuristic no longer occupies the realm of science fiction.

The American police state’s take on the dystopian terrors foreshadowed by George Orwell, Aldous Huxley and Phillip K. Dick have all been rolled up into one oppressive pre-crime and pre-thought crime package.

In this way, the novel 1984 has become an operation manual for an omnipresent, modern-day surveillance state in which ordinary Americans find themselves labeled domestic extremists for engaging in lawful behavior that triggers the government’s precrime sensors.

The technocrats who run the surveillance state don’t even have to break a sweat while monitoring what you say, what you read, what you write, where you go, how much you spend, whom you support, and with whom you communicate and then classifying you as a danger.

Computers now do the tedious work of trolling social media, the internet, text messages and phone calls for potentially anti-government remarks, all of which is carefully recorded, documented, and stored to be used against you someday at a time and place of the government’s choosing.

In this way, with the help of automated eyes and ears, a growing arsenal of high-tech software, hardware and techniques, government propaganda urging Americans to turn into spies and snitches, as well as social media and behavior sensing software, government agents are spinning a sticky spider-web of threat assessments, behavioral sensing warnings, flagged “words,” and “suspicious” activity reports aimed at snaring potential enemies of the state.

It’s also a setup ripe for abuse.

For instance, an investigative report by the Brennan Center found that “Over the last two decades, leaked materials have shown fusion centers tracking protestors and casting peaceful activities as potential threats. Their targets have included racial justice and environmental advocates, right-wing activists, and third-party political candidates.”

One fusion center in Maine was found to have been “illegally collecting and sharing information about Maine residents who weren’t suspected of criminal activity. They included gun purchasers, people protesting the construction of a new power transmission line, the employees of a peacebuilding summer camp for teenagers, and even people who travelled to New York City frequently.”

In one Florida county, police have been using their precrime program to generate “lists of people it considers likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, unspecified intelligence and arbitrary decisions by police analysts.” Then, according to the Tampa Bay Times, deputies are deployed “to find and interrogate anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime. They swarm homes in the middle of the night, waking families and embarrassing people in front of their neighbors. They write tickets for missing mailbox numbers and overgrown grass, saddling residents with court dates and fines. They come again and again, making arrests for any reason they can.”

The goal? “Make their lives miserable until they move or sue.”

This is how the government is turning a nation of citizens into suspects and would-be criminals.

This transformation is being driven by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency notorious for militarizing the police and SWAT teams; spying on activists, dissidents and veterans; stockpiling ammunition; distributing license plate readers; contracting to build detention camps; tracking cell-phones with Stingray devices; carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities; using the TSA as an advance guard; conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners; carrying out soft target checkpoints; directing government workers to spy on Americans; conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers; carrying out Constitution-free border control searches; funding city-wide surveillance cameras; and utilizing drones and other spybots.

Twenty years after being formed in the wake of 9/11, the DHS is a massive, costly, power-hungry bureaucracy working hard to ensure that the government is all-seeing, all-knowing and all-powerful.

Yet here’s the thing: you don’t have to do anything illegal or challenge the government’s authority in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal.

In fact, all you need to do is use certain trigger words, surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, drive a car, stay at a hotel, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious to a neighbor, question government authority, or generally live in the United States.

The following activities are guaranteed to get you censored, surveilled, eventually placed on a government watch list, possibly detained and potentially killed.

Use harmless trigger words like cloud, pork and pirates. Use a cell phone. Drive a car. Attend a political rally. Express yourself on social media. Serve in the military. Disagree with a law enforcement official. Call in sick to work. Limp or stutter. Appear confused or nervous, fidget, whistle or smell bad. Allow yourself to be seen in public waving a toy gun or anything remotely resembling a gun, such as a water nozzle or a remote control or a walking cane, for instance. Stare at a police officer. Appear to be pro-gun, pro-freedom or anti-government. Attend a public school. Speak truth to power.

It’s just a matter of time before you find yourself wrongly accused, investigated and confronted by police based on a data-driven algorithm or risk assessment culled together by a computer program run by artificial intelligence.

Before long, every household in America will be flagged as a threat and assigned a threat score.

Without having ever knowingly committed a crime or been convicted of one, you and your fellow citizens have likely been assessed for behaviors the government might consider devious, dangerous or concerning; assigned a threat score based on your associations, activities and viewpoints; and catalogued in a government database according to how you should be approached by police and other government agencies based on your particular threat level.

Combine predictive policing with surveillance, overcriminalization and precrime programs, then add in militarized police trained to shoot first and ask questions later, and as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, you’ll be lucky to escape with your life.

If you’re not scared yet, you should be.

© 7.12.2023 by John & Nisha Whitehead, "The Rutherford Institute".

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