Bitcoin, trade wars, nuclear war, off-grid living and Ted Kaczynski
I saw a post on here earlier asking if the trade war with China is good news for bitcoin.
Which got me thinking- would war be good news for bitcoin?
What about nuclear war?
Expected answer: cashing out your bitcoins would be the last of your problems during nuclear war.
Which I agree with. But I have a soft spot in my heart for off-grid lifestyles and an anti-tech revolution as imagined by Ted Kaczynski. His latest book released in 2016 I believe, Anti-Tech Revolution: Why & How (pdf is available free online) was a fascinating read, I read it front to back 3+ times in a row after first coming across it.
Kaczynaki takes a look at revolutions throughout history and the social sciences generally (which he rightfully observes is nowhere remotely like the hard sciences) in this book, and one thing he concludes is that human affairs are unpredictable and society cannot be designed and there will sooner or later be catastrophic failure of the industrial technological system we are living in.
You know what, how about I paste a snippet here for y’all to digest and share your thoughts about-
The Development ofa Society Can Never Be Subject to Rational Human Control
I. In specific contexts in which abundant empirical evidence is available, fairly reliable short-term prediction and control of a society's behavior may be possible. For example, economists can predict some ofthe immediate consequences for a modern industrial society of a rise or a fall in the interest rates. Hence, by raising or lowering interest rates they can manipulate such variables as the levels ofinflation and ofunemployment.3 Indirect consequences are harder to predict, and prediction of the conse quences of more elaborate financial manipulations is largely guesswork. That's why the economic policies ofthe U.S. government are subject to so much controversy: No one knows for certain what the consequences of those policies really are. Outside of contexts in which abundant empirical evidence is avail able, or when longer-term effects are at issue, successful prediction-and therefore successful management of a society's development-is far more difficult. In fact, failure is the norm.
• During the first half of the second century BC, sumptuary laws (laws intended to limit conspicuous consumption) were enacted in an effort to forestall the incipient decadence of Roman society. As is usual with sump tuary laws, these failed to have the desired effect, and the decay of Roman mores continued unchecked.4 By the early first century BC, Rome had become politically unstable. With the help ofsoldiers under his command, Lucius Cornelius Sulla seized control of the city, physically exterminated the opposition, and carried out a comprehensive program ofreform that was intended to restore stable government. But Sulla's intervention only made the situation worse, because he had killed offthe "defenders oflawful government" and had filled the Senate with unscrupulous men "whose tra dition was the opposite ofthat sense ofmission and public service that had animated the best of the aristocracy."5 Consequently the Roman political system continued to unravel, and by the middle of the first century BC Rome's traditional republican government was essentially defunct.
• In Italy during the 9th century AD certain kings promulgated laws intended to limit the oppression and exploitation of peasants by the aristocracy. "The laws proved futile, however, and aristocratic landowning and political dominance continued to grow."6
• Simon Bolivar was the principal leader ofthe revolutions through which Spain's American colonies achieved their independence. He had hoped and expected to establish stable and "enlightened" government throughout Spanish America, but he made so little progress toward that objective that he wrote in bitterness shortly before his death in 1830: "He who serves a revolution plows the sea." Bolivar went on to predict that Spanish America would "infallibly fall into the hands ofthe unrestrained multitude to pass afterward to those of. . . petty tyrants of all races and colors . . . [We will be] devoured by all crimes and extinguished by ferocity [so that] the Europeans will not deign to conquer us. . . ."7 Allowing for a good deal of exaggeration attributable to the emotion under which Bolivar wrote, this prediction held (roughly) true for a century and a half after his death. But notice that Bolivar did not arrive at this prediction until too late; and that it was a very general prediction that asserted nothing specific.
• In the United States during the late 19th century there were worker-housing projects sponsored by a number ofindividual philan thropists and housing reformers. Their objective was to show that efforts to improve the living conditions ofworkers could be combined with... profits of5 percent annually. ... Reformers believed that the model dwellings would set a stan dard that other landlords would be forced to meet. . . mostly because of the workings of competition. Unfortunately, this solution to the housing problem did not take hold. . . . The great mass ofurban work ers. . . were crowded into. . . tenements that operated solely for profit.8 It is not apparent that there has been any progress over the centuries in the capacity of humans to guide the development of their societies. Relatively recent (post-1950) efforts in this direction may seem superficially to be more sophisticated than those ofearlier times, but they do not appear to be more successful.
• The social reform programs ofthe mid-1960s in the United States, spearheaded by President Lyndon Johnson, revealed that beliefs about the causes and cures of such social problems as crime, drug abuse, poverty, and slums had little validity. For example, according to one disappointed reformer: Once upon a time we thought that ifwe could only get our problem families out of those dreadful slums, then papa would stop taking dope, mama would stop chasing around, and junior would stop car rying a knife. Well, we've got them in a nice new apartment with modern kitchens and a recreation center. And they're the same bunch of bastards they always were.9 This doesn't mean that all ofthe reform programs were total fail ures, but the general level of success was so low as to indicate that the reformers did not understand the workings of society well enough to know what should be done to solve the social problems that they addressed. Where they achieved some modest level of success they probably did so mainly through luck.
One could go on and on citing examples like the foregoing ones. One could also cite many examples ofefforts to control the development ofsocieties in which the immediate goals ofthe efforts have been achieved. But in such cases the longer-term consequences for society as a whole have not been what the reformers or revolutionaries have expected or desired.11
10 ANTI-TECH REVOLUTION • The legislation of the Athenian statesman Solon (6th century BC) was intended to abolish hektemorage (roughly equivalent to serfdom) in Attica while allowing the aristocracy to retain most of its wealth and privilege. In this respect the legislation was successful. But it also had unexpected consequences that Solon surely would not have approved. The liberationofthe"serfs"resultedinalaborshortagethatledtheAtheniansto purchase or capture numerous slaves from outside Attica, so that Athens was transformed into a slave society. Another indirect consequence of Solon's legislation was the Peisistratid "tyranny" (populist dictatorship) that ruled Athens during a substantial part of the 6th century BC.12 • Otto von Bismarck, one of the most brilliant statesmen in European history, had an impressive list ofsuccesses to his credit. Among other things: -He achieved the unification ofGermany in 1867-1871. -He engineered the Franco-Prussian war of1870-71, but his suc- cessful efforts for peace thereafter earned him the respect of European leaders. -He successfully promoted the industrialization of Germany. -By such means he won for the monarchy the support ofthe middle class. -Thus Bismarck achieved his most important objective: He pre vented (temporarily) the democratization of Germany. -Though Bismarckwas forced to resign in 1890, the political struc ture he had established for Germany lasted until 1918, when it was brought down by the German defeat in World War 1.13 Notwithstanding his remarkable successes Bismarck felt that he had failed, and in 1898 he died an embittered old man.14 Clearly, Germany was not going the way he had intended. Probably it was the resumption of Germany's slow drift toward democratization that angered him most. But his bitterness would have been deeper ifhe had foreseen the future. One can only speculate as to what the history ofGermany might have been after 1890 if Bismarck hadn't led the country up to that date, but it is certain that he did not succeed in putting Germany on a course leading to results ofwhich he would have approved; for Bismarck would have been horrified by the disastrous war of 1914-18, by Germany's defeat in it, and above all by the subsequent rise ofAdolfHitler. • In the United States, reformers' zeal led to the enactment in 1919 of"Prohibition" (prohibition ofthe manufacture, sale, or transportation
CHAPTER ONE: PART I 11 of alcoholic beverages) as a constitutional amendment. Prohibition was partly successful in achieving its immediate objective, for it did decrease the alcohol consumption of the "lower" classes and reduce the incidence of alcohol-related diseases and deaths; it moreover "eradicated the saloon." On the other hand, it provided criminal gangs with opportunities to make huge profits through the smuggling and/or the illicit manufacture of alcoholic drinks; thus Prohibition greatly promoted the growth of organized crime. In addition, it tended to corrupt otherwise respectable people who were tempted to purchase the illegal beverages. It became clear that Prohibition was a serious mistake, and it was repealed through another constitutional amendment in 1933.15 • The so-called "Green Revolution" of the latter part of the 20th century-the introduction of new farming technologies and of recently developed, highly productive varieties of grain-was supposed to allevi ate hunger in the Third World by providing more abundant harvests. It did indeed provide more abundant harvests. But: "[A]lthough the 'Green Revolution' seems to have been a success as far as the national total cereal production figures are concerned, a look at it from the perspective of communities and individual humans indicates that the problems have far outweighed the successes... ."16 In some parts of the world the conse quences of the Green Revolution have been nothing short of catastrophic. For example, in the Punjab (a region lying partly in India and partly in Pakistan), the Green Revolution has ruined "thousands of hectares of [for merly] productive land," and has led to severe lowering of the water table, contamination of the water with pesticides and fertilizers, numerous cases of cancer (probably due to the contaminated water), and many suicides. "'The green revolution has brought us only downfall,' says Jarnail Singh... . 'It ruined our soil, our environment, our water table. Used to be we had fairs in villages where people would come together and have fun. Now we gather in medical centers.' "17 From other parts of the world as well come reports of negative con sequences, of varying degrees of severity, that have followed the Green Revolution.These consequences include economic, behavioral, and medical effects in addition to environmental damage (e.g., desertification).18 • In 1953, U.S. President Eisenhower announced an "Atoms for Peace" program according to which the nations of the world were sup posed to pool nuclear information and materials under the auspices of an international agency. In 1957 the International Atomic Energy Agency
12 ANTI-TECH REVOLUTION was established to promote the peaceful uses of atomic energy, and in 1968 the United Nations General Assembly approved a "non-proliferation" treaty under which signatories agreed not to develop nuclear weapons and in return were given nuclear technology that they were supposed to use only for peaceful purposes.19The people involved in this effort should have known enough history to realize that nations generally abide by treaties only as long as they consider it in their own (usually short-term) interest to do so, which commonly is not very long. But apparently the assumption was that the nations receiving nuclear technology would be so grateful, and so happy cooperating in its peaceful application, that they would forever put aside the aspirations for power and the bitter rivalries that throughout history had led to the development of increasingly destructive weapons. This idea seems to have originated with scientists like Robert Oppenheimer and Niels Bohr who had helped to create the first atomic bomb.20 That physicists would come up with something so nai:ve was only to be expected, since specialists in the physical sciences almost always are grossly obtuse about human affairs. It seems surprising, however, that experienced politicians would act upon such an idea. But then, politicians often do things for propaganda purposes and not because they really believe in them. The "Atoms for Peace" idea worked fine-for a while. Some 140 nations signed the non-proliferation treaty in 1968 (others later),21 and nuclear technology was spread around the world. Iran, in the early 1970s, was one of the countries that received nuclear technology from the U.S.22 And the nations receiving such technology didn't t r y t o use i t t o develop nuclear weapons. Not immediately, anyway. Of course, we know what has happened since then. "[H]ard-nosed politicians and diplomats [e.g., Henry Kissinger]...argue that proliferation of nuclear weapons is fast approaching a 'tipping point' beyond which it will be impossible to check their spread." These "veterans of America's cold-war security establishment with impec cable credentials as believers in nuclear deterrence" now claim that such weapons "ha[ve] become a source of intolerable risk."23 And there is the inconvenient fact that the problem of safe disposal of radioactive waste from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy still has not been solved.24 The "Atoms for Peace"fiasco suggests that humans' capacity to con trol the development of their societies not only has failed to progress, but has actually retrogressed. Neither Solon nor Bismarck would have supported anything as stupid as "Atoms for Peace."
CHAPTER ONE: PART II 13 II. There are good reasons why humans' capacity to control the development of their societies has failed to progress. In order to control the development of a society you would have to be able to predict how the society would react to any given action you might take, and such predic tions have generally proven to be highly unreliable. Human societies are complex systems-technologically advanced societies are most decidedly complex-and prediction of the behavior of complex systems presents dif ficulties that are not contingent on the present state of our knowledge or our level of technological development. [U]nintended consequences [are] a well-known problem with the design and use of technology... . The cause of many [unintended con sequences] seems clear: The systems involved are complex, involving interaction among and feedback between many parts. Any changes to such a system will cascade in ways that are difficult to predict; this is especially true when human actions are involved.25 Problems in economics can give us some idea of how impossibly difficult it would be to predict or control the behavior of a system as com plex as that of a modern human society. It is convincingly argued that a modern economy can never be rationally planned to maximize efficiency, because the task of carrying out such planning would be too overwhelmingly complex.26 Calculation of a rational system of prices for the U.S. economy alone would require manipulation of a conservatively estimated 6xl013 (sixty trillion!) simultaneous equations.27 That takes into account only the economic factors involved in establishing prices and leaves out the innu merable psychological, sociological, political, etc., factors that continuously interact with the economy. Even if we make the wildly improbable assumption that the behav ior of our society could be predicted through the manipulation of, say, a million trillion simultaneous equations and that sufficient computing power to conduct such manipulation were available, collection of the data necessary for insertion of the appropriate numbers into the equations would be impracticable,28 especially since the data would have to meet impossibly high standards of precision if the predictions were expected to remain valid over any considerable interval of time. Edward Lorenz, a meteo rologist, was the first to call widespread attention to the fact that even the most minute inaccuracy in the data provided can totally invalidate a
14 ANTI-TECH REVOLUTION prediction about the behavior of a complex system. This fact came t o be called the "butterfly effect"because in 1972, at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Lorenz gave a talk that he titled "Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?"29 Lorenz's work is said to have been the inspiration for the development of what is called "chaos theory"30-the butterfly effect being an example of "chaotic" behavior. Chaotic behavior is not limited to complex systems; in fact, some surprisingly simple systems can behave chaotically.31 The Encyclopaedia Britannica illustrates this with a purely mathematical example. Let A and x0 be any two given numbers with 0
CHAPTER ONE: PART II 15 behavior of a macroscopic system requires data so precise that their accuracy can be disturbed by events at the subatomic level, then no reliable prediction is possible. Hence, for a chaotic physical system, there is a point beyond which the horizon of predictability can never be extended. Of course, the behavior of a human society is not in every respect chaotic; there are empirically observable historical trends that can last for centuries or millennia. But it is wildly improbable that a modern techno logical society could be free of all chaotic subsystems whose behavior is capable of affecting the society as a whole, so it is safe to assume that the development of a modern society is necessarily chaotic in at least some respects and therefore unpredictable. This doesn't mean that no predictions at all are possible. In reference to weather forecasting the Britannica writes: It is highly probable that atmospheric movements... are in a state of chaos. If so, there can be little hope of extending indefinitely the range of weather forecasting except in the most general terms. There are clearly certain features of climate, such as annual cycles of tem perature and rainfall, which are exempt from the ravages of chaos. Other large-scale processes may still allow long-range prediction, but the more detail one asks for in a forecast, the sooner it will lose its validity.34 Much the same can be said of the behavior of human society (though human society is far more complex even than the weather). In some con texts, reasonably reliable and specific short-term predictions can be made, as we noted above in reference to the relationship between interest rates, inflation, and unemployment. Long-term predictions of an imprecise and nonspecific character are often possible; we've already mentioned Bolivar's correct prediction of the failure of stable and "enlightened " government in Spanish America. (Here it is well to note that predictions that something will not work can generally be made with greater confidence than predic tions that something willwork.35) But reliable long-term predictions that are at all specific can seldom be made. There are exceptions. Moore's Law makes a specific prediction about the rate of growth of computing power, and as of 2012 the law has held true for some fifty years.36 But Moore's Law is not an inference derived from an understanding of society, it is simply a description of an empirically
16 ANTI-TECH REVOLUTION observed trend, and no one knows how long the trend will continue. The law may have predictable consequences for many areas of technology, but no one knows in any specific way how all this technology will interact with society as a whole. Though Moore's Law and other empirically observed trends may play a useful role in attempts to foresee the future, it remains true that any effort to understand the development of our society must (to borrow the Britannica's phrases) "remain a tentative process... with frequent recourse to observation and experiment... ." But just in case someone declines to assume that our society includes any important chaotic components, let's suppose for the sake of argument that the development of society could in principle be predicted through the solution of some stupendous system of simultaneous equations and that the necessary numerical data at the required level of precision could actually be collected. No one will claim that the computing power required to solve such a system of equations is currently available. But let's assume that the unimaginably vast computing power predicted by Ray Kurzweil37 will become a reality for some future society, and let's suppose that such a quantity of computing power would be capable of handling the enormous complexity ofthe present society and predicting its development over some substantial interval of time. It does not follow that a future society of that kind would have sufficient computing power to predict its own develop ment, for such a society necessarily would be incomparably more complex than the present one: The complexity of a society will grow right along with its computing power, because the society's computational devices are part of the society.
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The trend for specialty or organic tea such as green tea and herbal/fruit tea is witnessing an upsurge, whereas ordinary black tea market is stabilizing. Customers are more aware towards the health effects of their food, thus shifting towards organic products.
The global tea market is projected to reach at $67,751 million by 2023 from $46,392 million in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2017 to 2023. The black tea segment accounted for about half of the global market volume in 2016 according to the latest report published by Allied Market Research.
Tea is one of the most popular beverages, usually made via brewing or boiling of dried Camellia sinensis plant leaves. The two prominent types of tea include black tea, widely consumed in western nations, and green tea, common in Asian countries. Tea care & husbandry management comprises proper site selection and several carefully maintained steps, which include permanent source of water, proper shelter, free draining soil with pH ranging from 5 to 5.8, and stringent regulations towards the amount of pesticides applied on plantations. Presently, the commercial consumption of tea is increasing, thus bridging the gap between out-of-home tea and coffee consumption. China and India are the major tea producing countries consisting of key players in the global market. https://preview.redd.it/iyxifd0dlnz01.jpg?width=720&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=16e55daa3bcdd751c998cbfb9262542d3a6434c9
The growth of the global tea market is driven by the health benefits associated with consuming tea and rise in fitness concerns among people in different regions. The additional facts that support the growth of the market include increase in caf culture, rise in disposable income, change in tastes of people, and innovation of tea via introducing additional healthy ingredients. However, increase in cost of raw materials due to unpredictable weather, high cost of production, and increase in trend of coffee consumption are expected to hamper the growth of market during the forecast period. Rise in tea demand from health-conscious young population and frequent introduction of new flavors & variety are expected to provide numerous opportunities for expansion of the global tea market.
The hypermarkets/supermarkets segment was the leading distribution channel with most of the tea market share in 2016, growing with significant CAGR during the forecast period. This is attributed to the increase in business of retail sales in different regions and availability of large shelf space for maximum sales.
Tea consist of large number of bioactive compounds apart from flavonoids such as amino acids, caffeine, lignins, proteins, xanthines, and more. These maintain cardiovascular health, reduce cholesterol, check DNA damage, enhance metabolism, prevent cancer, promote neurological health, and more. In 2016, the black tea segment occupied major market, in terms of revenue, accounting for about one-third of the share. This trend is expected to be replaced by green tea during the forecast period, owing to its rise in consumption in different regions. The green tea segment accounted for second highest market share in 2016, and is expected to grow at a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific and Europe accounted for more than 80% share of the global tea market in 2016, owing to the large-scale consumption of tea and presence of different varieties.
Key Findings of the Tea Market:
Green tea segment is projected to witness the highest CAGR of 8.8% in revenue terms during the forecast period. Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the market in 2023, due to high growth of population and increase in demand for tea products. Supermarket/hypermarket segment occupied the largest market with maximum value share in 2016, and is expected to grow at the significant CAGR during the forecast period. China is the largest country in terms of demand and production of tea in the global tea market. Fruit/herbal tea is anticipated to witness the second highest growth rate, registering a CAGR of 7.1% from 2017 to 2023, in value terms.
In 2016, Asia-Pacific and North America collectively accounted for more than 80% of the tea market share, registering a lucrative CAGR, and are anticipated to retain their position in the global tea market in 2023. This is attributed to the significant growth of the food & beverage industries in China, India, & other developing economies; rise in health-conscious population, and increase in popularity of various tea types in both regions. Source
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