WTF is wrong with insurers, part 541679

I’ve been asking this question since ZIRP started in 2009.

Insurers and pension funds are required to stick with dependable interest-bearing investments. When ZIRP started, anyone could see that insurers and pension funds would either collapse or force the banks to retract the terrible decision. But insurers didn’t lobby for changes in their restrictions, and didn’t lobby the central banks to resume interest.

WHY? Predicting the risk of a financial decision is the EXACT FUCKING JOB DESCRIPTION of an actuary. Insurers and pensions had huge resources and huge lobbying forces. Why didn’t they use them?

Now Gerard reports on a new facet of the same idiocy. Insurers can’t see the BLATANTLY OBVIOUS FRAUD of the entire bitcoin swindle. Even when the Sucker Filter slaps them in the face, they don’t recognize it.

But in Canada, there’s been less critical coverage scrutinizing these decisions from pension funds and plans. In October 2021, one of Quebec’s largest pension funds — the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Québec — invested $150 million into the crypto-lending company called the Celsius Network — which may now be facing bankruptcy.

That same month, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) announced its investment in FTX Trading Ltd, supplying at least $50 million into a meme-inspired fundraising round — raising $420.69 million from 69 investors. FTX hasn’t crashed like Celsius Network just yet, but the investment is putting teacher pensions in danger.

JESUS CHRIST. DO YOU SEE THOSE NUMBERS?

420. 69. 420. 69. 420. 69.


DO THOSE NUMBERS SUGGEST ANYTHING TO YOUR VACANT NONEXISTENT BRAINS?

These swindles are not technical or electronic. They’re not like Theranos, a semi-swindle** which could only be recognized by experts in the rare skill of blood testing. These rackets are entirely within the financial realm. Insurers are accustomed to writing complex contracts for the complex needs of big clients. Insurers analyze and reject fraudulent claims, and warn clients about known frauds. They know all the tricks, and often use the tricks. No excuse at all for failing to spot these finance-based frauds.

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** Theranos developed a real machine which performed a few tests accurately. A less grandiose founder could have turned the real machine into a small and profitable business. No fraud at all. But Holmes wasn’t content with small profitable reality, and wouldn’t listen to the engineers who tried to slow her down.

It’s just QC

Chart from the latest Gallup poll:

This is a good sign of sanity on the human side. Most people understand who’s human and who’s demon. There’s some predictable R/D difference on media, since media is part of DNC. But even Ds are mostly negative (30% confidence) on newspapers and TV.

Last week I was puzzling over a similar Pew poll which also included the attitudes of media demons toward the humans they kill. Media demons UNDERSTAND that humans hate and distrust them, but continue to do the things that make them hated.

Between last week and today, the return of ballgags gave me a booster shot of Machiavellian realism. Now I can see (again) the obvious fact which I saw in 2020.

DEMONS WANT TO BE DISTRUSTED AND HATED. Demons create chaos and torture and destruction and death. Hatred and distrust are QUALITY CONTROL VARIABLES for demon products.

If the human victims trust the monsters, it means that the monsters aren’t trying hard enough.

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Incidentally, the universal respect and trust for small business illustrates the major economic variable. Profit vs Share Value. Small businesses operate on profit. All the other groups in the list get their money from the stock market or the government. Profit forces an organization to treat its customers decently and maintain trust. Share value REQUIRES an organization to kill all employees and customers.

Churches, which are around the middle of the graph, show the same distinction on a more refined scale. Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, which are trusted by their members, rely solely on member contributions. Profit motive. The older ‘mainline’ churches, which are distrusted, rely mainly on endowments. Endowments are hedge funds. The ‘mainline’ churches don’t need money from their customers, so they don’t need or want customers.

More on the two pies

Continuing from here, on the economic similarity and political distinction between the tech IPOs (unicorns) and the bitcoin world.

There’s another similarity, less obvious but possibly more important. Both of these Innovative Disruptions depend on massive quantities of cheap energy. In other words they depend on COAL.

Bitcoin is being starved from two sources. The loss of free central bank counterfeit removed the sucker source. Inflation of energy prices resulting from our idiotic sanctions and wars is making the “mining” process unprofitable. Bitcoin requires constant growth through the “mining” process, with factory-size server farms churning out meaningless math to create the increasingly rare “magic numbers”.

The cheapest countries have already kicked out the “miners”, and now the non-cheap energy is getting even more expensive. Many “miners” are holding onto their newly generated “magic numbers” instead of selling them into the system, because selling isn’t profitable. When the price drops to the point where all “miners” stop selling, the whole setup will grind to a halt. The whales undoubtedly know the threshold, so they are pumping the suckers harder and harder to keep the price above the threshold while the whales pull out their real money “cleanly”.

THEY KNOW IT’S A HOAX BECAUSE THEY MADE THE HOAX.

Fuck verified

A few days ago I noticed “ballgags encouraged” in the store, and a verbal announcement in the bus. At that time I didn’t see any official mentions on media or websites. Now it’s verified.

Via KXLY:

People in six Washington counties should begin wearing strangulation devices indoors in public and on public transportation again, according to recommendations from the federal Central Death Command (CDC).

(I fixed some typos in the original.)

Still nothing in other media or official city or bus system website.

FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK.

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These “encouraged” periods are useful in a scientific sense, revealing an important variable. You can tell at a glance who’s demon and who’s human.

At the start of the holocaust in March 2020, two groups instantly and voluntarily self-strangled. Haldol schizies and young fashionable status seekers (courtiers).

At the torturer’s pause in March of this year, the courtiers were the last to resume breathing. They finally opened up about two weeks ago, so it was time for Superdemon Inslee to STOMP AND KILL again. Now that we’re back in the “encouraged” stage for a few days, the same divide has appeared. Young courtiers instantly resumed their black status signal, and oldsters are still breathing. At the moment the dividing line seems to be around age 30.

Neighborhood puzzle

A week ago I heard an odd noise around 5AM. Sounded sort of like a skateboard but not quite. I peeked out the window. It was a young man pulling an office chair down the street. I could see a piece of paper on the chair.

AHA! I’ve done the same thing a few times. After a garage sale, there’s always some unsold furniture tagged as FREE. I’ve carried a computer or pulled a chair from such leftovers.

BUT! Every day since then, the same young man has pulled the same chair in the same direction at the same time. He’s not leaning on it, not using it for a walking aid. He’s just  pulling it.

I guess it beats walking.

More Xirn Xibbles

Kirn is making a strong point here, but I can still find a way to quibble!

Note to my bumptious unorthodox younger friends: Lots of tricky “honey pots” on this site right now meant to draw you by degrees into anti-whomever grunting neo-primitivism so you can go on a big list to be used against you later, quite possibly. Stay at the other end of the bar!

Other end of the bar is PRECISE and POWERFUL, but the proper word is honeytrap, not honeypot.

I dealt with this semantic fussiness in 2019.

= = = = = START REPRINT:

Honeypot for honeytrap.

Example 1:

Mike Flynn’s Alleged Honeypot Slams Russiagate ‘Spy’ Stefan Halper And Journos Who Covered For Him

Example 2:

Whatever the truths of the matter, it certainly looks like the intelligence community was all over the Trump campaign like flies on shit, and if the Papadopoulos interview and book are correct, not merely doing “counter-intelligence,” but setting up honeypots, coat-trailing, installing moles, etc.

Clarifying the difference:

This is a honeypot.

This is a honeytrap.

= = = = = END REPRINT.

Honeytraps aren’t always sexy, but they are always attractive or impressive or charismatic in some way.

The original and literal honeytrap is a snapdragon. The term was extended metaphorically to human ‘honeys’ who call you ‘honey’ and then bop you upside the head to knock you down into the sticky stuff.

When you start smelling the sticky stuff, get the fuck out. Don’t be there.

Two pies on the menu

Speaking of Tau, here’s a half-baked thought.

Bitcoin and tech unicorn IPOs are opposite political sides of the same economic bubble. Both are aimed at the same demographic group of suckers, young white males.

The economic pied-piper is identical for both styles of pie. Standard bubble technique, practiced for 400 years.

1. Central banks blow up a bubble with air-money.

2. Influencers pull in suckers who invest their life savings and more, going into lifetime debt.

3. Central banks pop the bubble, leaving all the money in the hands of Goldman and JPMorgan. The indebtedness stays with the suckers, and the money itself stays with Morgan. Borrowing without debt.

The political pied-pipers for these two sub-bubbles are opposite. Since the 1880 founding of Deepstate, some bubbles (not all) have adopted a political side. Deepstate uses a bubble to attract alienated young males of a specific flavor. As they sacrifice their money and labor, Deepstate publicly marks them with the bubble brand. When the bubble collapses, their failure is publicly shamed.

Suckers for tech unicorns are fashionable believers in all Deepstate orthodoxies. Tesla fans are environmentalists and “virus” muzzlers and cultural Wokists. Their failure will not be shamed. They will be poor, but their orthodoxy will enable them to stay on the status ladder. They might even get a bailout.

Suckers for bitcoin have been carefully cultivated. Bitcoin cult leaders are REALISTS on all other topics. Now that bitcoin has been popped, REALISTS can be held up to public ridicule as impoverished fools.

The ultimate website for Scrip

For many years I’ve been trying to make the point that bitcoin is the EXACT OPPOSITE of decentralized. When all transactions are made and recorded on ONE SINGLE LEDGER, and the ONE SINGLE LEDGER is contained inside NSA’s web, you are ultimately and infinitely centralized in the worst possible way.

Ordinary currency is naturally decentralized. When you pay with paper rectangles, the transaction isn’t automatically tracked. The business will generally track the payment as a number in its own bookkeeping system, but the rectangle itself is immediately mixed in with the other rectangles and circles in the cash register.

The best decentralized money is scrip or hawala. Scrip is locally created physical tokens, usually in the form of preprinted and predenominated checks. Hawala, or in western terms ‘running a tab’, is a non-physical currency that depends on real trust between the customer and the business. Both parties know the debits and credits, and the net balance at the end of the year is settled with official currency or other acceptable value. [The tab system works best in a setup like a farm coop where the farmer sells wheat and buys fertilizer and gasoline. In those two-way arrangements, the annual net balance can be relatively small.]

When I was focusing on scrip a few years ago I didn’t notice the BEST scrip website. I just noticed it this week. DepressionScrip.com has a huge collection of 1933 scrip, plus smaller sets from the 1907 panic and similar situations.

The examples I had seen earlier were missing one key ingredient for a proper currency or exchange system. They didn’t have any internal provision for transaction fees. Ordinary checking accounts and debit cards always charge a fixed percentage of each transaction. Hawala and similar disconnected systems always include a fixed percentage. This is sensible and neither regressive nor progressive.  Each customer pays in proportion to his ability.

The fake “currencies” of bitcoin charge a huge FLAT fee, non-proportional, that depends solely on the whims of the provider.  The fee appears to be around $30 on average, but can soar to $20k without warning. This is HUGELY regressive, penalizing the poor and barely bothering the rich.

DepressionScrip includes many ways of charging a transaction fee.

Some were punched like bus passes or school lunch tickets. San Francisco 1907.

Some had spaces for signed endorsements. Atchison front Atchison back

Others had spaces for stamps with a specific value, which was typically two cents. Iowa front Iowa back.

Many of the currencies were self-liquidating, which is an unknown concept now outside of banking circles. As the check was passed between merchants and customers, each transaction used up the remaining value. When all the spots were stamped or punched, the currency was discarded. This Wichita check defined the concept in its name. Wichita front Wichita back.

I had heard the word only once before, in one of the promos for Frank Edwards’s short radio features. Edwards mentioned that the stations could sell his books as a “self-liquidating premium”.

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More on self-liquidating premiums from Broadcasting Mag June 1950. The phrase was apparently a brief fad.

One example of these forcing methods that induce women to use a different brand of a product is the Blarney Stone Charm Bracelet. With this particular self-liquidating premium, over 408,000 housewives sent in a quarter with a label of the product advertised. I sent a man to Blarney Castle, Ireland, to get this Blarney stone, had it chipped up and made a part of a bracelet. My client was able to send them out to housewives for 25 cents each, which made it as we say “self-liquidating.”

A survey showed that half of the bracelet takers switched to the product permanently, so it was not only self-liquidating but profitable in the long run.

Here’s a longer version of the story. Adman Duane Jones invented the technique in 1935, and the product was Bab-O floor soap.  The Blarney stone was actually from the Blarney area of Ireland, but not actually from the castle.  (So it was self-Blarneying Blarney!)  The campaign ultimately boosted Bab-O annual sales from 600k to 5 million. No picture of the bracelet in the article, but it must have been good enough!

Compare this with the virtual “gems” in the videogame, which cost thousands of dollars to “possess” in a totally abstract and non-wearable way.

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Fussy footnote: I think I misunderstood the self-liquidating scrip, but won’t correct it until I’m sure that I grasp the idea!

Reprint on pure math

The two ‘missed points’ in previous item combine neatly to inspire  a reprint from last year.

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Normal people correctly associate heft with value. This makes sense in most real products. A car or house built with thicker materials and bigger beams WILL last longer, and WILL be more resistant to rust and rot and fire.

The correlation continued in analog electronics and mechanical appliances. Heavier chassis, bigger transformers, larger shafts, more shielding. All contribute to better performance, longer life, better cooling, and less unwanted noise and vibration.

A contrary movement started in the 1880s with minimalist art, which has expanded into all areas of products and food.

Rich assholes want less heft and less material. The movement penetrated ordinary life around 1950 with Loewy, bikinis and martinis.

Loewy’s slogan was “Weight is the enemy.” Bikinis gained value as they lost material and became more like dental floss. Martinis were allegedly best when the vermouth was reduced to exactly one molecule.

Nouvelle cuisine reduces food to a random splash of dots on a plate.

Now rich assholes buy only supersuperabstract 10th derivatives of reality like NFTs, which are a weightless digital package representing some kind of art, gaining “value” by a meaningless association with Holy Bitcoin.

The Dow absolutely HATES real material. No products, no factories, no employees, no customers, and above all NO STORAGE OR STABILITY. Only PURE MATH has Share Value.

As a formula:

Real value varies linearly with heft, up to an asymptotic limit where the heft becomes impractical for its purpose. Tanh as always.

Asshole value is the reciprocal of real value. As real heft goes to zero, asshole value increases (as always) exponentially.

Two missed AI points

Not hugely important, but I’ve started this tradition and might as well maintain it.

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Marks at MindMatters has a long podcast on the latest proposals and projects using AI. There are two notable missed points:

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National Football League is holding a competition to develop AI to track all the helmets in a game, in order to monitor collisions. AI is blatantly unnecessary. If you have a simple accelerometer IN each helmet with a transmitter on its own frequency, you don’t need AI. Just record all the signals and graph them. When player 4 and player 17 register a collision at the same millisecond, you know what happened. This could have been done in 1957 with discrete transistors.** The correct solution is so ancient and obvious that I’m pretty sure NFL is really aiming for some secondary purpose.

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SOME influencers have an eternal utopian faith that true human intelligence is possible with computers. Marks thinks these are “keyboard engineers” who are good at coding but not good at theory. Nope, EXACTLY BACKWARDS. Long experience with actual programming teaches you the weakness of the program and the strength of your initial assumptions.

Faith in utopia is THEORETICAL THINKING BY FUCKING DEFINITION. In any field of endeavor, real butchers and bakers and candlestickmakers know the limits of their skills and the limits of their materials. Bureaucrats and venture capitalists DON’T know the limits of the material world. VCs only know pure math, which has no limits. When a VC takes over a bakery, the VC demands a 900-mile-high cake to celebrate the infinite godlike perfection of the VC. The baker tries in vain to persuade the VC that this is physically impossible. When he goes ahead on the project and fails dismally, the VC fires the baker and starts over without learning anything. VCs and theorists and bureaucrats and grantors are delusional wackos.

EXPERIENCE SURVIVES. THEORY KILLS.

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**The receiving part of the system could have been tubes, but the sending parts wouldn’t have worked with tubes. Partly because of size and batteries, mostly because tubes have delicate internal parts that alter the tube’s amplifying characteristics when banged. With clever design these microphonics could have been made to serve as the acceleration sensor itself, but the whole setup would be much more reliable with transistors.

Giant waste of talent

There’s an interesting desistance movement in videogaming. Influencers are ganging up on game companies that specialize in addictive gambling with REAL MONEY.

At the moment the worst offender is Diablo Immortal. The influencers, who have been playing the game intensively, have figured out all the super-complex steps needed to … win? Well, it’s not really winning, it’s just “equipping your character completely”. I have no idea what this means, but it’s apparently the goal. Or rather it’s part of the goal, because you also need to equip all the other characters completely.

The path to complete equipment includes an unbelievably complex pile of layers, each with different names and mathematical functions. There are Gems and Legendary Gems and stars on the gems and resonances on the stars and more stars that open up when you resonate each star…

This is explicitly gambling, not work, because every one of these fake achievements is governed by random numbers. So you can’t know in advance how much real  money you need to insert in the 5489th slot of the machine to reach the point where you may be eligible to put real money in the 5490th slot of the machine.

YongYea sums up the calcs, and concludes that if you’re unlucky at each step you’ll need HALF A MILLION DOLLARS OF REAL MONEY to equip one character.

The information campaign is working, because the number of players is dropping off quickly, and some servers are no longer carrying the game.

Unlike the Reddit short squeeze campaigns, which were actually orchestrated by one Wall Street fuckhead to maximize his own wealth, this is a simple boycott, and it’s having an effect.

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Bigger point: THIS IS A TRAGIC WASTE OF HUMAN SKILL.

Similar levels of mathy complexity are involved in many REAL jobs, now offshored or eliminated by tech or shut down by the “virus”.  Cooking, sewing, farming, printing, tool-and-die making, car repair, TV repair, all involve layers of semi-mathy knowledge, and all produce REAL RESULTS in return for REAL WAGES.

Gambling produces nothing but debt and sorrow.

These gamblers have tremendous untapped talents, which formerly helped to keep a real civilization going. They served real human needs and RECEIVED real money in return for using their talents. Now they’re using their talents to LOSE MONEY and enrich the owner of the game company.

Good old CIA-sponsored “resistance”

Checking the latest uploads at American Radio Library, tried a 1966 issue of Downbeat, the jazz magazine. Might be some pretty ’60s girls or some interesting old tech. No pretty girls; jazzMEN were all MEN. No interesting tech; jazzMEN didn’t go for electronics.

Instead, some insights into the Deepstate-sponsored “rebellion” of jazz.

I’d already noted that CIA was an active spreader of jazz as part of its long-term psychopath campaign to impose total chaos and war everywhere. The Wikileaks archive of CIA docs from the ’70s is full of CIA and State Dept sponsorship of specific “progressive” jazz groups, including college jazz bands. “Progressive” jazz, like “modern” “classical”, is random squeaks and honks and booms.

First, from the letters column:

I have been a steady reader of DownBeat for the last 10 years, and during this period 1 have read many excellent articles on jazz concerts and festivals. However, after reading the report of Willis Conover on the Prague jazz festival and jazz in eastern Europe, I can say that it is, without doubt, the best documentary on a big jazz event I have ever read. I would like to express the thanks of Hungarians to Conover for his nice comments on our jazz life.

I congratulate Willis Conover for his two lively and interesting articles on the International Festival of Jazz. Both articles gave a true, on-the-spot account as well of jazz activity in Prague, Warsaw, and Budapest.

Conover of VOA was a major part of our chaos superspreader campaign. Hungarian jazz fans loved what he did, and helped us to destroy their civilization.

Then the horribly familiar process of blaming Russia for OUR crimes:

When he was first approached about it some six months ago, bandleader Woody Herman was not too enthusiastic about the idea . . . but at the urging of the U.S. State Department, he finally agreed to take his Herd on a tour of Eastern European countries that would include several engagements in Russia. Now, however, it looks as though Herman’s trepidation was well founded. As a result of the death of Newcomb Mott, whose trial, imprisonment, and supposed suicide on a Soviet prison train followed his illegal entry into Russia last September, the State Department issued a warning to American tourists of the inadvisability of travel in the Soviet Union.

Note that Mott was imprisoned after ILLEGALLY ENTERING Russia. See hikers. We send spies to invade other countries, then make war against the countries after they “unfairly” catch our “innocent” spies.

The warning pointed out that Russian attitudes toward, and treatment of, American tourists were “colored by the tone of political relations between the two countries,” now strained because of the Viet Nam war.

Russia didn’t start the Vietnam war. China started the revolution in Vietnam, and we decided to defend our incompetent proxy regime against CHINA. Russia had very little connection with the war.

Then from the editorials, a plea for MORE government sponsorship!

For the first time since the depression, the federal government is systematically,
actively subsidizing the arts. Through the National Aris Endowment, grants are being distributed to drama companies, writers, and eventually lo dancers, painters, symphony orchestras, and such. The new federal subsidizers also will provide grants that will enable colleges and universities to have more writers in residence, teachers in residence, painters in residence. Why not combos in residence? And elder jazz statesmen in residence?

Sure enough, CIA took up Downbeat’s suggestion. Or more likely Downbeat was helping to boost CIA’s idea among the jazzMEN.

Allocation, allocation, allocation

One of the programs in my bedtime playlist featured Bing singing Kokomo Indiana. Got me thinking about songs and cities and states.

There were two other popular Indiana songs, Gary and Back Home. Gary and Kokomo are novelty songs, mainly having fun with the syllables, not intended as a tribute. Back Home was a proper tribute, and it was used as a theme song for a program with an Indiana host.

The best and most popular state song is unquestionably Oklahoma.

Constants and variables: You expect songwriters to write about their own location, and unsurprisingly NYC is well represented. Big cities in general are well represented, which makes sense.  Most listeners are in the populated places by definition.

Oklahoma and Indiana are alien to songwriters, yet they are overrepresented.

Key: The songiest locations have four syllables, preferably -.-. like C in Morse.

Indiana, Oklahoma, California, San Francisco, Chattanooga,  Kansas City. The most famous New York song is actually about New York New York.

Later: I was puzzling over the odd exception of Los Angeles. Four syllables AND the center of the music industry after 1940, but absolutely no LA songs. A few Hollywoods, but no LA. Then I realized: During the era when city and state songs were being written, LOW ZANGLISS was a three-syllable city! The four-syllable version didn’t take over completely until 1955.