The stock market indexes were down sharply today and this was reported as caused by disappointing job creation numbers but that never concerns Wall Street so it must be something else. On the commodities markets oil, gold and other precious metals fell for the third straight day as Obama‘s poll numbers shoot up among independent voters. Perhaps the specter of regulated capitalism is sending a chill down the spines of budding feudal lords.
The USD strengthened again even as other countries continue to diversify away from the dollar. Mexico becomes the latest country to announce that they have been buying heavily in the gold market acquiring a hundred tons in the first quarter. That much gold is worth 4.6 billion USD or 53 billion pesos at current prices. That sounds like a lot of money but it’s only a little more than what we give the oil companies in subsidies every year, and Sarah Palin says that’s nothing (as long as you are giving it to the oil companies).
Palin declares that amount to be meager compared to the 14 trillion in debt and she points out that “President Obama had at least a hand in running that up”. She got surprisingly close to the truth compared to most Republicans who seem to think we had a balanced budget right up until Obama was elected. The truth is of course that the debt was entirely run up by Republicans. Even Obama has been largely using the George Bush budget scheme as Obama’s budget never passed and the country has been cruising along on continuing budget resolutions and Bush’s tax rates.
The USD is close to all time lows having lost 10% since January compared to other major currencies. But this is not as big of a deal as one might assume, oil priced in Euros has been going up just as fast for example. Europe has its own problems thanks to including too many countries in the EU without keeping the smaller ones away from the ponzi schemes of Wall Street and the London bankers.
The problem in the US is that unlike most developed countries our rich people aren’t industrialists or even landed gentry, they maintain their lifestyles by shuffling paper around and selling our assets to the emerging empires like China. We would be far better off to just pay the bills of the wealthy class like Great Britain does with the Queen. Every time Donald Trump gets married we could throw a big party and have a parade. It only cost the Brits 36 million USD to marry off the Prince. Cheap compared to the 2 billion we give the oil companies. With 2 B we could throw 56 “royal” weddings a year, enough to keep the networks busy 24/7. Think of all the jobs that would create for us commoners.
All of this maybe moot as Intel announced today that they are going ahead with production of the biggest technological advancement since the transistor was invented. I think they are being modest, this new technology will allow the production of 3-D computing chips. “Old fashioned” chips are designed in 2 dimensions which severely limits how many transistors can directly interact to approximately just ten to any one other transistor no matter how small you make them, which is insignificant compared to the connectivity of neurons in a brain.
This is why computers are just stupid sorting machines and the “artificial intelligence” portrayed by chess playing machines and Jeopardy winners has basically been a fraud. The ability to run through a database with millions of entries in a fraction of a second does not really make you intelligent, even the “smartest” algorithm is just a series of yes and no questions. Even many excellent human chess players are just as dumb as a box of rocks but are simply able to memorize 40-50 thousand relevant moves. That’s how a Grandmaster can play 50 people at a time but will lose to a 5th grader who doesn’t really know how to play because he does something unexpected.
At some point if enough transistors can be interconnected what you will see not artificial intelligence but real intelligence that can access all of the accumulated knowledge of the previous dominate life form in less than the blink of an eye. Will it treat us humanely? Better than that, I hope. www.prairie2.com