Sunday, 28 August 2016

10:34 – More kit stuff today. The warm weather is back. Highs are only in the low 80’s F, but the heat chill is up in the low 90’s. Lows are down in the 50’s, which means autumn weather isn’t far away.

Exponential figures are interesting. The other day, someone emailed to ask what I thought the probability was of something really bad happening. I told him I thought the probability was on the very close order of 0.9999 that nothing really bad would happen tomorrow, or any given day. One chance in 10,000 in other words, or a 0.0001 probability per day.

The problem is obvious when you extend that. If the probability is 0.9999 that nothing bad will happen in a day, that means the probability that nothing bad will happen in a year is (0.9999)^365, or just over 0.964. In other words, there’s about a 3.5% chance of something really bad happening in the next year. Extend that out to three years and you have (0.9999)^1095, or about .896. In other words, there’s about a 10.4% chance of something really bad happening in the next three years. Of course, all of that depends on the initial estimate. If the probability is instead 0.99999, one chance in a hundred thousand per day, the exponential figures are much lower. But if it’s instead 0.999, one chance in a thousand, they’re much, much higher.

Based on history, I think it’s ridiculously optimistic to assume 0.99999. Assuming 0.999 may be pessimistic, but not by much. For example, our planet is hit by a Carrington-class CME on average once every 100 years. The last time that happened was in 1859, so we’re well overdue. In 2012, we narrowly avoided being struck by a catastrophic CME. NASA estimated at the time that there was a 12% chance we’d be struck by such a CME before 2022. If their estimate is accurate, that’s a 1.2% chance of a catastrophic CME per year. Then we have an EMP attack, or hackers destroying our electric distribution network. It’s difficult to estimate the probability of that happening, but it must surely be at least as likely as the CME, and would, if anything, be more catastrophic than the CME. Then we have a lethal pandemic, which historically occurs about every 100 years. It’s been just about 100 years since the last one, the Spanish Flu of 1918. With modern air travel, the next pandemic is likely to spread planet-wide in a matter of days, something they didn’t have to deal with in 1918. And those are just the most serious threats. Among them, they make my 0.9999 estimate seem reasonable, or even too optimistic.

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57 Responses to Sunday, 28 August 2016

  1. Dave Hardy says:

    CME, EMP, or pandemic. Earthquakes. Major hurricanes. Extensive drought and wildfires.

    Throw in house-of-cards economy.

    And possible much bigger terrorist attack/s.

    Sunny and warm again today; off to airport shortly.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I just told Barbara I’m wondering what’s going on in Europe, with the German and now Czech governments telling citizens to store 10 days’ food and be prepared for a “worst case scenario”.

  3. nick says:

    They know the banks are out of money?


  4. nick says:

    They subscribe to the Tet Offensive theory regarding islamic invasion?


  5. MrAtoz says:

    Trump makes comment on murder of Dwayne Wade’s cousin.
    MSM: tRump is cruel, inhumane.
    SJW and Libturdians: KILL WHITEY!
    Two Black men are arrested for the murder.
    MSM: Zzz. Zzz. Crickets.
    SJW and Libturdians: KILL WHITEY!

  6. SteveF says:

    But, MrAtoz, what is the all-important Black Lives Matter take on these events?

  7. nick says:

    Both of whom have a history of “gun crime”. Both of course have a history of “gang crime.”

    “Both are repeat gun offenders, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson confirmed, and both were out on parole at the time of the killing.

    Speaking about Darwin, Johnson said he is a six-time weapon offender who was jailed in 2013 for six years for another gun crime but released on parole in February.

    Read more:

    No social commentary on the nature of a society where shooting someone who “made eye contact” and who they “believed [to be] armed, knew he was from a different area and objected to him being on their turf” is commonplace and expected.

    And the kicker? “Meanwhile Derren had been released early after a vehicle theft charge and was wearing an electronic tag when Aldridge was shot.

    Johnson said the tag was turned off at the time of the murder under city regulations that allow criminals a certain number of ‘free hours’ each day.

    These are the guys who are gonna be jackin’ your car when SHTF. These are the guys who are gonna be kickin’ your door when SHTF.

    Get ready.


  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I don’t think we have any of those around here.

  9. MrAtoz says:

    allow criminals a certain number of ‘free hours’ each day.”

    If Obola had sons…

  10. dkreck says:

    That’s it! Get serious about guns. But weren’t the murdered nuns down in Mississippi stabbed to death?

  11. nick says:

    You don’t have many of ANYONE right there!

    From your previous post:

    As it turns out, although we have the Sparta zipcode, our new house isn’t actually in Sparta. We’re a couple miles outside the town limits, in an unincorporated community called Glade Valley. According to Wikipedia:

    Glade Valley’s Zip Code Tabulation Area (Zip Code 28627) has a population of 1,405 as of the 2000 census. The population is 49.5% male and 50.5% female. About 96.4% of the population is white, 0.7% African-American, 0.5% American Indian, 0.3% Asian, 2.6% Hispanic, and 1.5% of some other race. 0.6% of people are two or more races. There are no native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders.

    The median household income is $29,679 with 17.8% of the population living below the poverty line.

    Although 1 in 6 below the poverty line is a bit worrying….

    Looking at the racial dot map, there aren’t many folks around you. Of course you are off the beaten path too, and off the interstate.

    It’s certainly not terrain I’d want to walk across, but the main roads might funnel any migrant hordes. Stone Mountain or the Cherokee forest might attract the ‘I’ll just hide in the woods’ crowd (don’t any of these losers have families? Where are they gonna hide with toddlers or granny?)

    but all in all it looks like a good place to ride out a collapse.


  12. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Our main roads are curvy, hilly mountain two-lanes. There’s a scary four-mile stretch of 8% grade between Stone Mountain SP and the top of the mountain, which is eight miles or so south of us.

  13. Dave Hardy says:

    And my main concern here for us is the proximity of the interstate, about four miles, and the rail line, about two. I worry fah less about Moh-ree-all’s huge pop (2 million in the city proper; twice that surrounding) than I would about whichever goblins make it up here from the cities in the Northeast Megalopolis. And I worry about THEM less than I do about our own underclass orcs in this AO, and right here in this village, some of them, apparently. Not to mention the Dogpatch trailer park shit-hole down in a bog area near the lake shore about two miles north of here.

    THOSE are the muffs who will try kicking in our door or jacking us from our vehicles, white trash scumbags. The same assholes who tool up and down the lake road and the road into the city at all hours revving their loud-ass truck engines and motorcycles and scrubbing out. Plenty of money for vehicles, booze, dope and ciggies but they live in absolute hovels.

  14. nick says:

    Ok this week in prepping:

    Went to a bunch of sales, didn’t buy anything.

    Had a bunch of suspension work done on my truck. It would be our primary bug out vehicle, so I’ve neglected it too long. Tires, brakes, shocks, alignment, front end parts, and oil change. Should be good for a another 50k at least.

    Been selling stuff on ebay, raising money and clearing space. decided to double down on that and grab the money while people are still spending. Had a chat with one of my favorite estate sellers, and she moaned that her sales were way down due to all the layoffs in the oil and gas sector. She knows several formerly independent dealers that have had to go to work for others lately. She also mentioned that she doesn’t like doing high end sales anymore since no one has money to buy. She makes a ton more money grinding away with smalls selling middle class estates to middle class buyers. Anecdotal but one more point….

    Working today on the yard. Need to start thinking about getting the raised beds ready for fall planting. Need to build several more of my ‘window sill box’ planters for the fence. They work great for radishes, turnips, and beats. The sun is good along the fence so I need to use it and maximize my planted area.

    Still getting carrots. Grape vines are growing like weeds. Collards are doing well (from LAST fall’s planting.) Peppers are fruiting. Oak trees are growing (long term money making scheme). Limes have all come in, so I’m harvesting… No peaches this year. Squirrels are wiping out my pecan crop. They throw down the green nuts too early. I picked up 10 gallons last week, and so far 10 gallons this week with another 10 to go.

    Security. Talked to my new neighbor about a fence between my house and the edge of his driveway. Then he’ll put in an automatic gate across the drive and that will enclose my side area with my AC condenser, one raised bed and a couple of fruit trees. I’m glad to get that stuff behind cover. We’ll see if he’s going to actually do it. He wants to close in the driveway so his kids can play so he’s got the incentive, and it’s a lot cheaper than doing a property line fence between my lot and his. It’s a lot nicer to have the open space too.

    It was a bit cooler last night for the first time in months. Soon I’ll be able to get in the attic and get the new cameras up. I’ll be running some antenna cable too while I’m up there.

    I need to get the pad and connections prepped for my whole house gennie. That should take some work…

    Lots of projects. I’m gonna have to start picking up the pace after my last couple of months of lassitude. I’ll count them as a much needed break and get back to it.

    Weather. We were under a flash flood warning again yesterday. The storm missed me but that’s probably why the temps were down. Got a tropical depression headed into the Gulf this week. One model shows it possibly developing into a hurricane, but that seems unlikely. Most of the models have it hooking north and back east across the Florida panhandle and back out to the Atlantic. Still, one has it hitting Houston. Sucks for FL.

    Gotta get back to work, that grass ain’t gonna cut itself….


  15. Dave Hardy says:

    From a heads-up I got from Jerry Pournelle today:

    Man, am I glad our kids at least didn’t have to do their publik skool sentences in that shit-hole environment. And given the decades back, we would have home-schooled them, as my so-called IT career has mostly been a shambles anyway and I could have stayed home and worked part-time nights or something. But they’ve turned out OK, better than me at the same age, anyway.

    That’s not a school system out there; that’s a minimum-security lockup, with half the inmates being mental cases of some kind and doped up, and including gangbangers, I’m sure. But they get friggin’ iPads and Chromebooks and zillions of taxpayer dollars for not much at all. Sounds very familiar to many of us who witnessed the trillions spent on the other underclass since the 1960s, also for nothing.

    Jerry was worried that his comment in the email could be offensive; hell no; it wasn’t offensive ENOUGH. When will we shut down this gigantic monstrosity?

  16. H. Combs says:

    Prepper fever got the better of me today. I have food for 6 – 8 months, 7000+ rounds of ammo for my firearms, stored water and family size filter but no serious backup power. I have been fretting over power down scenarios from local outages to the New Madrid letting go (we live just outside Memphis). I want a whole house, 15KW, unit that runs on propane or natural gas. But I don’t have the budget for that. So I figured it’s better to have something than nothing so I started looking for 5 – 6KW units in the $400 range. Then I stumbled on a 7000/9000w Champion Power Dual Fuel Generator – REFURBISHED for $499. This is about half what Walmart or Target sell these new for. I had never heard of Champion but they are in the top five of portable generator reviews. So I took a flyer and ordered it. When it gets in I will play with it and post a review. BTW: our longest power outage in this house in 8 years has been about 48 hours. Our neighborhood power lines are run underground.

  17. Dave says:

    I am thinking of buying either a Honda EU2000 or EU3000 inverter generator. They seem to be much quieter. I am as we speak measuring how much load I really need. I’m tempted to buy one of the cheaper brands of inverter generators, after alll I could buy two units for the price of one Honda. But I figure quality is the most important trait in a generator. Quiet and low fuel consumption are two reasons why I want an inverter generator rather than something else.

  18. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Do you need 240VAC?

  19. nick says:

    That honda is the recognized go to gennie for low wattage use. It is super quiet.

    Similar models from other manfs are significantly louder according to the interwebs. There are a couple of good youtube videos that compare them.

    If you need 240v then buy 2 and connect them with the sync cable. (take 2, they’re small!)


  20. lynn says:

    Cool ! I just got accused of taking money for my lame SF book reviews on usenet. Specifically, news://rec.arts.sf.written . I am impressed ! Here is the posting:

    BTW, the bibliophiles have determined that SF now stands for Speculative Fiction, not Science Fiction and Fantasy.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I think they have a 5K or 6K unit that outputs 240VAC.

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:
  23. SteveF says:

    Usenet is still a thing? If someone’s paying you for favorable reviews, wouldn’t it make sense to have you put them somewhere with a readership at least in the double digits? What’s their next bad investment, newspaper advertisements?

  24. nick says:

    There’s usenet that isn’t pedo porn?


  25. SteveF says:

    Hey, now. Some of my best friends are pedos. Well, if I had best friends. Or if I had any friends.

    Wow. Talk about a smack in the ol’ self-esteem: even pedos don’t want to be friends with me. Pardon me while I go re-evaluate my life.

  26. nick says:

    Read the .edu article and it matches up pretty well with what my buddy describes. He worked in Inglewood (Compton) for years in the classroom and now as an administrator. Half his students would fail a test (given on a projection screen) that had the answers written across from the questions on the blackboard. He had one kid that would run around biting students, and then pull his bookbag over his head and sleep.

    He taught a magnet program, so was supposed to be getting the ‘good’ kids.

    Couldn’t use his lab to teach science class because the elevator didn’t work and he had one wheelchair bound student. Even though her parents volunteered to carry her up the stairs every class so that the rest of the students wouldn’t suffer the lack of a lab, the district said no. Lab science at a science magnet, with no lab.

    He couldn’t use the laptops he was given as he was PERSONALLY responsible for them and they would go missing the instant he handed them out. And they were only available thru a special catalog, at more than double the price from Dell, each one loaded to the max with options and accessories. $5000 each when a really good lappy was $2000.

    Of course, any criticism of lil Pooky got him charged with racism and had angry parents trying to get him fired. Oddly, criticism of lil Trang got Trang extra homework to take home, and maybe a beating for Trang. Trang’s parents understood the value of learning.

    Girls in his class were constantly coming on to him, trying for better grades. Fortunately he didn’t swing that way…

    A former girlfriend working in LA Unified reported more of the same but also the Kafka-esk reality of working within the beast, from the dealing with the admin side.

    It’s a system that was designed to provide docile workers for unchanging industrial and factory jobs. Even if it worked as planned, the requirements for success have changed and what the schools should be training for has changed. Unfortunately, what they are currently training for is prison. They use the language of prison, they treat the kids like prisoners, and the kids ACT like prisoners.

    It’s F’ed up.


  27. Dave Hardy says:

    “Pardon me while I go re-evaluate my life.”

    Naw, fuck that. I don’t have any friends, either. They’re all either retired, moved far away or are deceased. And since I got remarried, I have no other life. I was asked about friends at my recent VA disability filing evaluation and told her I ain’t got nobody no mo. Not even any pedos. Or Democrats.

    “They use the language of prison, they treat the kids like prisoners, and the kids ACT like prisoners.”

    Exactly. What I said above: it’s a minimum-security lockdown. Keeping any possible kind of order while inculcating and indoctrinating via neo-Marxist ideologies.

    Trang will eventually rise to overseer-level for the rest of the dullards and disturbed; his ethnic counterparts in other systems will go higher and eventually eat our lunch here. But one wonders how they will respond to the ongoing Hispanic and musloid invasions and the future SHTF scenarios. With any luck, like those Korean storekeepers on their roofs with rifles during the Rodney King riots.

  28. Rick H says:

    @H. Combs:

    I picked up a Champion #40023 (7000/6000W) gas model for $400 from a neighbor – they bought it and used it once and wasn’t big enough for their needs. Works quite well, not too loud (about a typical lawnmower-loud).

    Used it once last winter for a wind-related outage (about 5 hours); just used extension cords to power the fridge and freezer. Had a couple LED lanterns that supplied enough light, plus, of course, FLASHLIGHTS. Haven’t done the transfer switch to connect to the breaker box yet.

    Have run it a couple times since then to ensure all is well (changed the oil when I got it). Battery start, so starts up fast (after I remember to turn on the fuel valve…).

    Have thought about connecting it to the DirecTV reciever and LED screen, so I can watch TV during the next blackout. Need to check out my power conditioning boxes before I connect those.

  29. Mr K says:

    Don’t worry Mr Steve, you are amongst friends here.. (I think).. lol

    Started a small extension to the garage. This will enable me to fit both cars and free up some space for LTFS.
    Cold day today, 17C (63F) in the land of sand. But at least the sun is shining..

  30. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “Cool ! I just got accused of taking money for my lame SF book reviews on usenet. ”

    People still use Usenet?

  31. Miles_Teg says:

    nick wrote:

    “…the elevator didn’t work…”

    The most technologically advanced state in the most technologically advanced nation can’t fix an elevator?

  32. Miles_Teg says:

    Dave Hardy wrote:

    ” I was asked about friends at my recent VA disability filing evaluation and told her I ain’t got nobody no mo.”

    You’ve got us… 🙂

  33. Dave says:

    Although 1 in 6 below the poverty line is a bit worrying….

    The poverty line is a bit deceptive. My mother’s income was insufficient to cover the bill for her assisted living facility, and was in fact “below the poverty line.” She had enough money in the bank to cover the difference indefinitely… Was she living in poverty?

    Also the cost of living varies widely depending on where you live. Rural West Virginia has a lower cost of living than Washington, DC for example.

  34. Miles_Teg says:

    Mum’s pension after my father died was pretty low, about 1/6th my salary. But she lived quite well, no signs of poverty or financial stress.

  35. Miles_Teg says:

    How did the auto industry bailout end up over there? A liberal Democrat friend in Florida has been praising Obama for saving it. I told him they should have allowed the dinosaurs to fail and re-incorporate in the right-to-work South.

    He hasn’t reacted yet.

  36. nick says:

    Pretty sure the government and the labor union still own GM. Pretty sure the stock and bond holders they stole if from have not been made whole.


  37. H. Combs says:

    Government poverty line is a joke.
    When we lived in North Arkansas most of the people we knew were below that poverty line yet no one was poor or did without. Many had gardens, raised rabbits or chickens, and had low paying Jobs to give them the cash they needed for other stuff.

  38. brad says:

    Poverty is pretty variable. People living in rural areas need less money. Some people have little income, but plenty of savings. Others have family members who chip in cash that doesn’t get reported as income.

    On the other hand, there are too many people who are officially poor, but somehow swing fancy cars, 60″ televisions, and the newest iPhones. They have money for all that, because they buy their piles of junk food on EBT cards.

    Somewhere between those two extremes, there are people who really do need some help. How the heck are you supposed to find them? Government doesn’t even try – it just pours money out of a giant watering can, hoping to catch the few people that actually need it.

    I came across Franklin’s quote again today: “I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

  39. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Ayup, but that ignores the crucial fact that the Democrats want to keep the poor poor because the poor are their major clients. In fact, they do everything possible to produce more poor people, and they’re pretty damned good at doing that.

  40. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The best thing we could do to reduce poverty is prohibit anyone receiving government money from voting.

  41. Dave Hardy says:

    And that would include everyone who works FOR government, lol. With one stroke, a neutered Congress and SCOTUS! Since they either do nothing anyway or they find ways to hurt us.

  42. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes, I would prohibit anyone from voting who receives government money other than Social Security and Medicare, which they paid for. And perhaps military retirees.

  43. MrAtoz says:

    And perhaps military retirees.

    Thank you kind sir.

  44. MrAtoz says:

    Don’t worry Mr Steve, you are amongst friends here.. (I think).. lol

    I can’t be friends with My Lord.

  45. Dave Hardy says:

    “…And perhaps military retirees.”

    And maybe disabled war vets who ain’t no use to the war machine anymore.

  46. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Thank you kind sir.”

    Well, I’d probably not allow military retirees to vote, either. Not that it makes mucg difference, seeing as how SS retirees are going to get screwed big-time as well. And I certainly wouldn’t allow people who work for the government to vote as long as they’re drawing a government paycheck.

  47. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, we could probably fix most of the nation’s problems simply by re-instituting a reasonable poll tax, say $500 for those who want to vote in federal elections, $250 for state elections, and $100 for county/city elections.

  48. Dave Hardy says:

    I’ll pay the Franklin for the local elections and that’s it. But watch the thieves and con artists scam this system, too.

    I only plan on drawing my piddly SS for a short while longer anyway, and ditto any VA disability payments, ’cause they all gon be gone like a cool breeze in a few years, at most. Technically it’s gone already and we’re not just a measly $20 trillion in debt but ten times that.

    There is NO coming back from this.

  49. MrAtoz says:

    Or, perhaps, only those who serve in the military and get an Honorable Discharge can vote.

  50. JimL says:

    I’m with Atoz.

    It worked in Starship Troopers!

  51. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The military ain’t what it used to be. A lot of undesirables join and get out with HD’s but aren’t people I’d want voting. They treat military service as just another welfare program.

  52. lynn says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “Cool ! I just got accused of taking money for my lame SF book reviews on usenet. ”

    People still use Usenet?

    I think that there is about 20 people per group. Except for alt.kooks.kooks.kooks. There are hundreds there. Or maybe it is one person posting hundreds of times per day.

  53. MrAtoz says:

    How about you have to serve a minimum of twenty with an HD?

  54. JimL says:

    rules me out. Nevermind.

  55. Ray Thompson says:

    The poverty line is a bit deceptive

    My current income, about $15K a year, is well below the poverty line. Mostly because I just quit work and only have a couple of part time jobs for something to do (church media and substitute at the school). Yet I am going to do OK, not live the affluent life, but OK. Planned that way. Did without a lot along the way so that I would have some savings to use after working.

    I wonder if I can apply for food stamps and utility assistance? May have to look into that.

    I would prohibit anyone from voting who receives government money

    That would exclude me who receives VA disability benefits. Something I feel that I earned, not a hand out.

  56. lynn says:

    That would exclude me who receives VA disability benefits. Something I feel that I earned, not a hand out.

    My father-in-law earned those VA disability benefits also. The Army forced him to take a medical discharge when he was 37 due to his two broken backs from carrying guys in and out of the x-ray machine with no help. Sometimes he even had to help them pose while he was taking the x-ray. Bad stuff. He is getting $3,100 ??? per month disability pay plus his drugs paid for. He in turn pays for his nursing home of $5,300 ??? per month.

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