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By Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box


"Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends."
                    -William Shakespeare, Henry VI

“Postponed” is the official stamp across the world. This is the operative word of governmental policy. Whether Europe or America, whether capitalist or socialist government; this is the credo, the banner, the flag waving in the wind for dealing with economic problems. Throw more money at it and barrels of it, have the central banks print and defer any pain much less any tough decisions. We live in a state of postponement, defer and delay which cancels the consequences of the moment but places more severe consequences, greater pain and tougher choices but moments out into our future. Make no mistake; the world has become a more dangerous place either haunted by the specter of rampant inflation or haunted by valuations of debt and currencies that could turn the financial markets into a swirl of dislocation where a plunge into a freezing sea of disarray awaits as capital goes to gold, senior debt regardless of yields and nations deemed to be safe havens.
Grant’s first ten Rules, “Preservation of Capital” may exceed their present definition as they become all that is important and not just one of the considerations for making investments. Look about you, consider with care, what has been fixed and the honest answer, the truthful answer is Nothing. Greece is no better, Spain is no better, Portugal is no better and America is worse. Nothing has been fixed! Nothing!
The financial markets have not gone, yet, into demise because the central banks have printed massive amounts of money and the money printed is greater than the supply of products that can absorb the tremendous amount of liquidity and so we have compression in fixed income, we have stock markets that have been propped up and we have sovereign debt that has been multiplied all because no government has undertaken the pain and difficult decisions that will accompany fixing the problems that confront the nations of the world. I have stated all of this before but I wanted to take a moment and codify this in a succinct manner.
Postponement coupled with creating money out of nothing and the deferral of decisions exacerbates the problems when the time comes that there is nothing left to do, no other choice left other than to deal with them. To suppose that the present conditions will continue on ad infinitum is a foolish mistake that will be met with dire consequences when the wall is reached. When cash regains its mantle of King and commodities start their upward spike and gold begins to shoot up to levels once thought unimaginable then the game is on as Fear will overtake the lull that we have been living in for quite some time. Since people and institutions cannot invest off-world and we are stuck in the global container of where we can invest then it is Bill Gross’s “least dirty shirt” in the short run but then it will be the exchange of any shirt for the steel armor of protection and self-preservation as the stench of the unwashed exceeds our ability to remain in that garment.
Greece may well kick-off the show. We are not done with that travails of that country yet. Every game has been played now, every hit to the private sector that could be taken has been taken, every demand for austerity has been set into law and yet the country is worse off and their financial condition continues to deteriorate. The Greeks will suffer the consequences as long as new money is handed out but the next round is debt-write offs by the nations of Europe and the screaming and old divisions will rear their ugly heads and the history of the nation-states of Europe will result in national leaders calling for an end to the madness of money without end given to a nation that cannot afford even its present commitments much less its accumulated debts.
The Greek people, the recipients of the largesse that is really little more now than the countries of Europe paying themselves back with the sovereign nation of Greece as the conduit, will put up with it as long as some portion of the money is left in their coffers but I predict that the moment that new money stops being handed out that revolt will occur and Europe can go hang. I think that 2013 will mark the year when then endgame commences first from refusal to fund by some European countries and then a backlash in Greece. The breakpoint now approaches.
Then it will be Spain who takes the next plunge, the $112 billion write-off of the debt of Dexia that will impact Belgium, the failure of the austerity measures in Portugal, the elections in Italy, the travesty of Cyprus and the continuing recession in Europe that will cause devastation on the Continent. In America it will be the walk of shame over our cliff and then several weeks of political assurances and then the markets’ realization that nothing was really accomplished and the beginning of a great tailspin. Decisions have been postponed and the world is a mess and the first round of liquidity has just about run its course to support the marketplaces and reality, like our precarious fiscal condition, has been postponed but it has only deferred the inevitable and nothing more. One and one still makes two and the delay at the equals sign will only increase the severity of having to confront the answer.  The beast is there and while recognition has been postponed do not make the absurd mistake of thinking that he has gone away. He has only grown larger in forbearance and he waits, breathlessly, to pounce.

“Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.”
           -Theodore Dreiser


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Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:38 | 3104492 masaccio
masaccio's picture

Let's take the pain now, instead of later, as long as it isn't Mark and the good people of Zerohedge who eat the pain, amirite?

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:51 | 3104504 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Most of the people on ZH have not lived life like a drunk on a spree. So why should we take the pain?

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:58 | 3104516 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The average person is a sheep and is not aware of the socialization of private losses by those in "the club". Fraud is the status quo and possession is the law. Most won't recognize this or understand it, even when they are in the FEMA camps. The point being, don't be average.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:01 | 3104519 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Because cancer needs healthy cells to survive.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:05 | 3104523 Stoploss
Sat, 12/29/2012 - 14:39 | 3104828 Nothing To See Here
Nothing To See Here's picture

"whether capitalist or socialist government"

Hey... Capitalist government is a pure oxymoron, an existential impossibility. Show me where there exists a capitalist government so that I can move over there and meet the first policitian who has morals...

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:10 | 3104527 Water Is Wet
Water Is Wet's picture

"So why should we take the pain?"

Oooh.  I know this one.  Because it is proven that all the people of ZH will do in retaliation is bitch on the internet.  JACKPOT.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:18 | 3104534 CPL
CPL's picture

Pot meet kettle, kettle meet pot.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:25 | 3104545 Water Is Wet
Water Is Wet's picture

You must have multiple personality disorder.  Welcome all of you.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:55 | 3104602 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Flakmeister, we've missed you.



Sat, 12/29/2012 - 16:17 | 3105064 Room 101
Room 101's picture

Hell is always other people.  Not us. 

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:55 | 3104510 Jayda1850
Jayda1850's picture

If you spend your life continuosly making poor decisions, then yes, you deserve the pain coming your way. whether you be Grant, ZH readers, or just your average joe, all actions have consequences and without those consequences bad behavior will continue to be rewarded and therefore encouraged. 

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:23 | 3104540 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

While the beast is in hibernation, ride the free money handed out by the Fed and make as much money as possible in the meantime! If you added up the countless hours of bitching some of you do on here, you have already cost yourselves a small fortune!

Get to work and when the whole thing crashes, then we can truly enjoy ourselves on ZH and gloat on facebook, because we all seen it coming and non one would listen!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:28 | 3104549 in4mayshun
in4mayshun's picture

I think we should "postpone" paying taxes this year to avoid the immediate pain... Just like the government.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 19:36 | 3105499 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Way ahead of you on that count.

Cost me a pretty penny to investigate and pay for a tax lawyer who ordinarily deals with much higher income individuals and trusts than myself but it was the best investment I ever made.

Use the system to beat the system. No debt, no taxes. I'm a non-profit enterprise that does good charitable work.

Wage slaves need not apply, sorry. Sometimes the easy road is much harder than it looks.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:37 | 3104686 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

Does anyone at ZH actually beleive that the Federal government wll seriously cut spending?????????

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 19:00 | 3105444 ball-and-chain
ball-and-chain's picture

I'm not worried.

I just need enough money for a school bus and canned chili.

Tune in, turn on, drop out.

Screw Wall Street.  Screw the City of London.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:39 | 3104493 tooriskytoinvest
tooriskytoinvest's picture

The West Is On Decline, Global Wealth Shifting To The East, The Expansion Of Government In The West Has Made It Possible For Countries To Load Up On Massive, Never-Ending Deficits, Will Soon Reach Crisis Levels.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:40 | 3104494 Everyman
Everyman's picture

How about Japan and their "infinite bond buying" from Abe?  I think YCS would be good right now.  What do you think?

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:47 | 3104500 Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

2013,Welcome to our brave new world and buy all the PM's before the SHTF.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:53 | 3104507 a growing concern
a growing concern's picture

That most precious of metals, Pb, is doing pretty damn well lately, or so I hear.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:09 | 3104526 mercenaryomics
mercenaryomics's picture

Yeah, found that out replacing a car battery not too long ago. Good thing there's "no inflation" right? 

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:51 | 3104503 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

The available resources are what they are. Yet, the number of useless eaters continues to grow exponentially. It is what it is, go be productive and hedge accordingly (it is all you can do anyway).

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:10 | 3104528 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Usually I read and agree with what you write. However, "USELESS eaters", who or what do you mean by useless eaters? I think I understand your connection with farming but the phrase seems counter to your normal respect for ALL people. If however you are referring to beef cattle I would agree ha! 

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:29 | 3104550 Water Is Wet
Water Is Wet's picture

He's channeling his inner Kissinger.  You'll have to forgive him; he's just bitter.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:15 | 3104645 Landrew
Landrew's picture

Funny, thanks for the chuckle in these dark days. It could be that he thinks now he is a useful eater? Of course the top .1% are quick to remind he isn't in the club after he serves the drinks and buses the table ha!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 15:00 | 3104860 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Usually I read and agree with what you write. However, "USELESS eaters", who or what do you mean by useless eaters? I think I understand your connection with farming but the phrase seems counter to your normal respect for ALL people. If however you are referring to beef cattle I would agree ha!

Watch this and pay attention to the TOP 4,ALL Blue states, and the( 3 of 4) one's trying to run the entire country.Here's your useless eaters.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:53 | 3104508 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Zero significance.  Why would an HFT robot care about any of this if its headline reading algorithm is told what it wants to hear?

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:55 | 3104511 spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

Delay , delay, delay. Print , print, print. War. Those are the Central Bank owners playbook rules for the last hundred years.

The Democrats and Republicans will be allowed to play for a bit until they are told what to do, so game time can be extended.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:56 | 3104512 cossack55
cossack55's picture

I guess Markey forgot about Iceland.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:58 | 3104513 Salon
Salon's picture

There is an old joke among the bankers.

"a problem delayed is a problem solved"

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:59 | 3104517 Salon
Salon's picture

Brillant Salon.

Cuz inflation plus tincture of time equals cure

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:58 | 3104514 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

That is because they refuse to accept any form of failure anymore.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 11:58 | 3104515 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Japan is a prelude of what will occur in the US. Japan had a savings and investment mentality when they were successful.

The US and it's Federal Reserve banksters encouraged countries to spend and max out leverage recklessly.   

Let's see how high the Fed can leverage out before all confidence is lost in the US dollar.


Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:00 | 3104518 Salon
Salon's picture

We got 10 years to go

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:36 | 3104564 walküre
walküre's picture


Sat, 12/29/2012 - 16:22 | 3105075 Room 101
Room 101's picture

Mmmmm. Probably not 10 years.  But longer than many of our Heaven's Gate disciples here at ZH think.  

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 21:00 | 3105662 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Look at the differences in response to national crisises between Japan & the USA (let's say, Katrina vrs the earth-quake) for a reality check on this idea.


The USA has a zero chance of 'going Japanese' - as this site proves, the Mad Max ("The Road Warrior" for Americans) wild-west mentality is far too strong.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:08 | 3104525 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

CASH should have been king after 2008. I was in cash before the blow up. What have I got for being in cash? Screwed by Central Bank money printers and ZIRP. The Powers That Be have been willing to burn the world down just to prop up their friends who were All In in the markets. We are at a point where being prudent and looking ahead to plan for what is clearly coming, only gets you SCREWED by the well connected elites who own, manage and profit from central bank money printers.

Yes, this game can't last, not one real problem has been confronted since 2008. Look to the UK for example, blatent money printing and fake austerity. If any nation is due to go down, it is the UK. In reality, the USA is pretty much the same as the UK. Being out of the Euro common currency gives the BoE unlimited power to print and QE. To fllod liquidity into the City of London and keep all the useless Wankers in "The City" living like the Queen. It's fake wealth they create, meanwhile, Britian has few private sector jobs, everybody works for a government entity.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:11 | 3104529 bugs_
bugs_'s picture

One thing that hasn't been postponed is the hit on the little guy.  The little guy has the layoffs, the pay cuts, the loss of future for his children, the increased prices of inelastic goods, the dilution of his savings, the reduction of his security, the loss of his retirement, and the collapse of confidence.

Postponement is the luxury of the political class.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:11 | 3104530 tmosley
tmosley's picture

One place is fixed.  Never forget about little Iceland.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:53 | 3104595 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

Iceland Air's has a pretty cool stopover policy. Anyone flying into Iceland on Iceland Air can disambark and visit for up to a week at no additional charge. Smart.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:55 | 3104601 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Little Iceland raised ther middle finger at the Bernanke, Evans, Dudley, Draghi types and defaulted rather than become slaves.

And are recovering. 

The message is clear. Be a fool and slave and follow the bankster or say F U to them, default and jail them!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 21:04 | 3105674 Max in St Moritz
Max in St Moritz's picture



The only reason Iceland survived intact is because their central bank raised interest rates to 18% to shut the spigot of capital flowing out of their country.  At 18%, capital suddenly reversed course and began to flood their system with desperately needed liquidity.

So, basically, you can thank their central bank for keeping them alive.  

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 16:33 | 3105111 Room 101
Room 101's picture

I find it interesting that repudiating the national debt has not gotten the discussion on the blogs (including this one) that it deserves. You want a balanced budget and a future for your kids?  That's how it'll happen.  Otherwise, we'll continue to liquidate assets in the hopes of paying off a debt that can never be repaid.  

It's like a person who liquidates their creditor protected 401(K) to pay their mortgage. Eventually they lose both the 401(K) and the house.  The smart thing to do all along was to stay rent free in the house, build cash savings, and deal with the foreclosure. Eventually. When the bank gets around to foreclosing.  

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 21:00 | 3105650 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

Iceland has lots of internal issues, both in terms of inequality, youth unemployment, nepotism & minor corruption (largely social / political favour based), local sýslur [county districts] being broke (I think it's around 13 / 23 at the moment), an economy largely based on three things (fish, tourism, cheap energy; although there's been good progress on clean tech server nodes) and people underwater on properties that have their mortgages tied to foreign currencies (largely the kroner).

What they do have is three fold: a largely homogeneous demographic, a problem that's small enough to respond directly to modelling (i,e. only 320k people / relatively tiny economy) and the mind-set of the people. Although they'll disagree with this (while cocking-a-snoot at the Reykjavik hipster / money set), they're some of the most grounded, authentic, humans out there, and the majority have a high level of education. Do a little digging into how they raise their children, and compare it to the USA to get a better perspective on this. Add to that 1,000 years of living in cold, dank peat-huts gives them a lot of resilience. Oh, and the 'aliens' up past Hellnar.


The USA? The two aren't comparable problems.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:35 | 3104560 walküre
walküre's picture

"Delay" is the policy du jour and a reflection of our lack of leadership.

When leadership is lacking and corruption, manipulation and theft are running rampant the collective policy du jour needs to be "everyone for themselves".

You will all soon figure out how that goes and what that means. Don't trust anyone with your money and don't speak to anyone about your financial affairs. If you don't hide it, the world knows about it. If you hide it, you truly own it.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:39 | 3104572 I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

is there an IPHONE sale or JCP having a sale is all the sheeples wants to know.

Pathetic. It's over .


Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:51 | 3104590 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

All we need is another new I-Phone model. More apps and it is off to the races. Economic growth like you have never seen!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:03 | 3104620 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Yeah, the Chinese made I-Phone fixes the whole conomy. (sarc).

Just like the denmand for Pokémon cards fixed the slump in the 90's.

Jobs is gone. Apple just hs bunch of MBAs (suits)  running things now.


Sat, 12/29/2012 - 14:03 | 3104737 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

Don't forget beanie babies!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 15:54 | 3105005 Rogue Trooper
Rogue Trooper's picture

Or a Smurf TV Tray..... enjoy!

May The Farce be with you ZH'ers!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 16:37 | 3105123 Room 101
Room 101's picture

We're doomed. DOOOOOMED!

(Look! Is that a comet in the sky?!)

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 12:53 | 3104597 CelticCanuck
CelticCanuck's picture

We all grew up with the old school values of earning an honest living, paying our bills, living within our means and then putting away whatever was left over and getting a decent rate of return on our savings. This is what pisses me off the most, we played by the rules and then they changed the game on us.
This isn't the America I remember pledging allegiance to as a child

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:31 | 3104675 SpykerSpeed
SpykerSpeed's picture

When were you born? The US has been a fascist crap hole since the Civil War. Odds are you voted for many of the politicians that caused this problem.

Sun, 12/30/2012 - 02:49 | 3106088 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

SpykerSpeed, the social system destruction has been on an exponential growth curve ... therefore, it was barely noticed by most, at first ... It picked up speed, in a sufficiently blatant way, since the 1970s.  Fewer people saw that clearly back in the 1870s, although some did. A tiny minority of intellectuals have always been aware of these trends. However, larger numbers of people paid attention, more and more, as the doubling times of the exponential growth of FRAUDS, BACKED BY FORCE, became more painfully obvious. Recall that Bush II about doubled the debts of all previous Presidents before him, and President Obama has presided over doubling the debts of all previous Presidents before him, and, due to the inherent nature of the money-as-debt system, Obama MUST keep on doubling the debts ...

Who noticed? ... Well, more and more people ARE noticing! I agree that "The US has been a fascist crap hole since the Civil War." However, that runaway fascist plutocracy has been picking up speed at an exponential rate, which means it doubles, again, and again, and each doubling is more painfully obvious to more people than the last doubling!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:31 | 3104676 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

The future was cancelled, with no office memo.

We are going to revist the distant past.

Signed.The Management.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 15:02 | 3104863 algol_dog
algol_dog's picture
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter ~ Linkin Park
Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:07 | 3104627 August
August's picture

"The breakpoint now approaches."

Mark Grant: hard-hitting.. and insightful!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 16:40 | 3105134 Room 101
Room 101's picture

Yes, the breakpoint approaches.  Someday soon.  Tomorrow. Or the day after that. Or maybe next week.  But certainly within this decade! Unless it doesn't for some reason.

Y'know, end-of-the-world prophecies have the advantage of being absolutely correct.  It's the timeline that they never seem to get right. 

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:25 | 3104662 davidsmith
davidsmith's picture

Wait a minute!  What happened to the "endgame"?  How ridiculous.  Make up your alleged mind!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 13:25 | 3104663 JR
JR's picture

As We Go Marching: A Biting Indictment of the Coming of Domestic Fascism in America is the classic work by the great John T. Flynn and its application here is unique. What we face is deliberate world socialism leading, of course, to fascism – engineered by the International Bankers.

Writing about the wars in the Forties, Flynn’s observations apply to our current catastrophe. Here is Amazon’s description of his book, Publication Date: 1973.

"As We Go Marching is John T. Flynn's classic work from 1944 on how wartime planning brought fascism to America. Flynn was a prominent journalist and the rare case of an American public intellectual who resisted the onslaught of both the warfare and welfare states during the period in which FDR ruled America. This study links the domestic policy of the New Deal with the drive for war and wartime central planning. Flynn draws attention to the bitter irony that America was becoming precisely what we were fighting. His analysis of fascism is incisive and devastating."

Writes Flynn:

“If fascism is the work of a handful of brutal and lawless men, we need have no fear of it here. We are never without leaders both able and corrupt. But they are not sufficiently numerous and powerful to make very much headway against the peculiar structure of our government…

“But alas, the most terrifying aspect of the whole fascist episode is the dark fact that most of its poisons are generated not by evil men or evil peoples, but by quite ordinary men in search of an answer to the baffling problems that beset every society. Nothing could have been further from the minds of most of them than the final brutish and obscene result. The gangster comes upon the stage only when the scene has been made ready for him by his blundering precursors.”

In short, good people are confused and herded into allowing evil men to put them in chains.

Sun, 12/30/2012 - 02:52 | 3106092 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

JR, that quote deserves multiple up arrows!

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 14:11 | 3104716 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

The USG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Inc. (GS).  As such, what is good for GS is good for your financial health.  So load up on bonds because you know that GS has your back.  There will never be a default of USG debt, ever!  GS will assure that every penny is paid in full.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 14:33 | 3104819 Pareto
Pareto's picture

Markets were punished yesterday, but, gold and gold stocks in particular did ok.  I think the crisis of confidence is starting to reveal itself and have the effect of investors and traders quietly moving out of stocks AND out of UST's, and into "going over the cliff, unlimited debt seiling, political gong show, ultimate currency debasement and monetization of debt" type scenario places to protect wealth instruments.  Its getting increasingly diffuicult to find a safe place to hide.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 17:30 | 3105273 Jam Akin
Jam Akin's picture

The opposite of "postponed" in Indian English is "Preponed".  A most foreign concept in the West.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 21:03 | 3105671 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

I think the real question on everyone's lips is: Since even the technocrats don't seem to be able to solve / run the global economy, can weak AI do it instead?


Time to roll those dice.

Sun, 12/30/2012 - 06:51 | 3106161 Aurora Ex Machina
Aurora Ex Machina's picture

To my phantom junker ~ might want to keep up.

Behind him is the support of a tech giant. This month, Kurzweil, a futurist, stepped into the role of Director of Engineering at Google, focusing on machine learning and language processing. "There is a lot of suffering in the world," Kurzweil once said, according to Bloomberg. "Some of it can be overcome if we have the right solutions." [source]

This was announced on 14th December, 2012 [here]

Forget about the singularity spin, here's Peter Norvig [Google] responding to Chomsky's attack on weak AI:

My conclusion is that 100% of these articles and awards are more about "accurately modeling the world" than they are about "providing insight," although they all have some theoretical insight component as well. I recognize that judging one way or the other is a difficult ill-defined task, and that you shouldn't accept my judgements, because I have an inherent bias...

Second the algorithmic modeling culture (subscribed to by 2% of statisticians and many researchers in biology, artificial intelligence, and other fields that deal with complex phenomena), which holds that nature's black box cannot necessarily be described by a simple model. Complex algorithmic approaches (such as support vector machines or boosted decision trees or deep belief networks) are used to estimate the function that maps from input to output variables, but we have no expectation that the form of the function that emerges from this complex algorithm reflects the true underlying nature.

It seems that the algorithmic modeling culture is what Chomsky is objecting to most vigorously. It is not just that the models are statistical (or probabilistic), it is that they produce a form that, while accurately modeling reality, is not easily interpretable by humans, and makes no claim to correspond to the generative process used by nature. In other words, algorithmic modeling describes what does happen, but it doesn't answer the question of why. [source]

Google has scanned 2million+ books, which is a fairly nice sample set for algos to mine for language patterns etc. I should also remind you of what HP was aiming for in buying their $8 billion over-priced Autonomy bid - from today: The former chief executive of Autonomy claimed that Hewlett-Packard was watering down the accusations it had levelled against him over the accounts filed by his old software company – and said that he had not heard from the US Department of Justice, which HP had revealed had opened an investigation into the dispute last month. [Guardian]

Darpa continues to chuck money at the problem:

Automated, deep natural-language processing (NLP) technology may hold a solution for more efficiently processing text information and enabling understanding connections in text that might not be readily apparent to humans. DARPA created the Deep Exploration and Filtering of Text (DEFT) program to harness the power of NLP. Sophisticated artificial intelligence of this nature has the potential to enable defense analysts to efficiently investigate orders of magnitude more documents so they can discover implicitly expressed, actionable information contained within them.[Darpa - tiny $4.6 mil grant to Uni of Washington, Patrick Allen]



2013 is about who cracks weak AI first; or at least an algo that can do similar things with-or-without the traditional measures of "What an AI is", and from Google rebuffing DC's offer at a place at the table ["Secretary of Business", here], all bets are off if someone does.

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 21:58 | 3105762 deepsouthdoug
deepsouthdoug's picture

On the subject of beasts out there -


And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats

Sun, 12/30/2012 - 02:45 | 3106082 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

The worst is that we have postponed the death control events into the future, in order to keep the current debt control systems going. Since there is a combined murder/money system, in which "taxation" is robbery, backed by murder, allowing all of our problems to be "cans kicked on down the road" means that those problems automatically are allowed to get bigger and bigger! As the debt slavery transforms into debt insanity, the balancing of the books with buckets of blood becomes more and more the only actual alternatives left! This system is based on the FACT that the younger you are (including not yet born) the more you are being lied to, cheated and robbed by the political system you were born into.

There may come a crazy short-circuited jumping across in the future, where everything was deferred into the future, through the "money" made out of nothing, as debts imposed on the young, accumulating, while the effects of that were postponed! "... we have sovereign debt that has been multiplied all because no government has undertaken the pain and difficult decisions that will accompany fixing the problems ..."

The entire system was based on the privatization of the the sovereign powers of governments, which were taken over covertly by the biggest gansters, the banksters, who were the "best" at being dishonest, and backing that up with violence, which enabled them, through bribery, intimidation, and assassination of politicians, to gradually take over, and direct the sovereign governments, to give away the power to make "money" out of nothing, as debts, to private banks. What has ACTUALLY happened is that the power to control who lives and and who dies was transferred, systematically, from the People, to the banksters. Since the REAL system is a combined money/murder system, (since the thing that makes fiat "money" be "money" is that people were FORCED by legal tender laws, enacted by sovereign governments, to to pay their taxes with that FRAUDULENT, legalized counterfeit, fiat "money,") THEREFORE, the runaway debt slavery, becoming debt insanity, IS based on the death controls, which back up the debt controls. THEREFORE, postponing dealing with these problems means that the future INSANITES of drastic debt controls manifesting as drastic death control events ARE becoming more and more probable.

The increasing economic entropy drives us towards genocidal wars, along with democidal martial law. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people have been brainwashed sufficiently that they are unable to understand any of those basic social facts. Instead, they feel that they are not interested, and therefore, do not want to understand. The REAL "bottom line" is in human ecology, not in political economy. The REAL money system was based on the murder system. Since the vast majority of people were unable to understand that, to the point where they do not want to understand it, the international banksters were able to completely take over, and cause their systems to become runaway debt insanities, with runaway death dealing insanities being the probable final consequences of postponing understanding and resolving those problems, longer and longer ...

The ASTONISHING thing about contemporary "economics" is its ability to continue to operate in ways that deliberately ignore ecology! Nothing can be made out of nothing, or sent to nothing, except the "fiat money" which is the runaway triumph of fraud, backed by force, done through the biggest bullies, the banksters, being able to take control of "sovereign governments," and effectively privatize the powers to rob and to kill, through the operations of their monetary system, as legalized by governments.

That is accumulating an enormous backlog of death control imperatives, at the same time as it accumulates an enormous backlog of debt control imperatives. Thereby "we" appear to be deliberately building the biggest head of steam for world war, and martial law, that we possibly could, by postoning, and postponing, and postponing, as we keep on kicking the cans on down the road!

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