Discussions

We can get more oil from OPEC and domestic production but that won’t get up and running for some time (like in 2023). There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of spare capacity that can come online right now. The 1 million bbl/day release from the SPR can help somewhat while production gradually increases, but I tend to agree we should only use the SPR in dire emergencies rather than to ameliorate annoyingly high gas prices. The reasons for the price drop are: Demand destruction caused by inflation, especially in non-dollar currencies. Russia’s production has been smoother than expected even as we approach the December 5, 2022 deadline for the UK and EU to stop using Russian oil. Russia seems like it will keep trying to sell to willing buyers rather than retaliate against sanctions with production cuts, though I don’t have a crystal ball or Bene Gesserit prescience powers. More oil investors expect a recession. Raising interest rates creates a “strong dollar” environment, which lowers the cost of crude oil in dollars but makes it more expensive in every other currency. Domestic gasoline (petrol) consumption has been lower in 2022Q2 than all of 2021. It’s not all bad news because some of the decrease is linked to better vehicle fuel efficiency. The SPR and modest production increases are enough to influence prices in a tight market. I don’t think we’re at the End of the World or the Peak Oil “doomer” scenario just yet, but it might be a good idea to practically and psychologically prepare yourself for a possible future when $4-6 gas/petrol was the “good old days.”

Using a condom is a good idea because of highly speculative initial data, but it shouldn’t color your initial impression of how monkeypox spreads because we don’t really know enough about that yet. It looks like the spread is still consistent with it being primarily airborne, which would also explain a superspreader event involving people having sex. It isn’t that people oppose doing something about COVID. It’s that they were initially told you just need to wash your hands and cough into your elbow. People have a cognitive bias in favor of advice from authority figures that does not change. If advice changes, people think of it as “flip-flopping” and lose trust in institutions. You have to emphasize uncertainty and caution from the beginning. Even if it isn’t realistic for the government to get as much buy-in from the population as it did in March and April 2020, there are still options it can use to respond to both monkeypox and COVID (without Congress necessarily authorizing spending): Actually improve CDC messaging, including to vaccine hesitant people rather than treating vaccine skeptics like political enemies. The CDC could say it will back up local public health authorities who choose to issue requirements that are stricter than CDC requirements. Develop plans to help both people vulnerable to infection and people who want to avoid infection or exposure. Most people are tired because politics is so polarized. A way to reach people might be to, for example, get people together who are “ideologically diverse” but agree we should do something to respond to disease threats and improve public health systems. Polarization is created by the focus on a winner-take-all perception of elections since the 1992 election and politicians turning everything into a wedge issue. It isn’t created by “fatigue” over pandemic restrictions or crises.

I would add some observations to what people are talking about right now (covering multiple prepping-related economic/social/political issues going on right now): Focus on what you can control. If you can’t do that right now, “rational insanity” is better than “irrational insanity.” Put another way, yes, you can maintain a positive outlook grounded in objective reality even if you fear the worst will happen you you. That’s what Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese did (hey, Ho Chi Minh was inspired by the American Revolution and I recommended a Dave Ramsey video and he’s someone else I strongly disagree with, plus “study your enemy and take what’s good” goes back a long way). I don’t personally agree with Emerican on his politics, but I don’t know of a better video on prepping for catastrophe with a rational positive outlook versus becoming a “doomer.” Stick to sources of information that are generally accurate and honest about uncertainty even if they’re biased or inaccurate on some issues (I don’t want to take a stance on social issues or social/religious conservatism here, but it isn’t exactly a surprise when someone says something he’s said over and over and over [and over] again before). Yes, we’re strangers in a strange land and can’t predict the future. The future was always uncertain, you just might have been realizing that it was always uncertain over the past few months or right now. Take bad news as a “slap” that wakes you up rather than a kick that puts you down. Again, there’s benefits.gov if you need extra help with basic needs right now and might qualify for unemployment insurance or other programs. There might also be prepping-related social enterprises in your area that can help you with food assistance, getting seeds, or starting a food garden. Prepare for civil unrest. If you go to church (regardless of your opinions or the church’s opinions), it might be a good idea for the church to take safety measures over the next few weeks, even if that means switching to livestream. Consider safety issues especially if you go to a Catholic church or a “Catholic-like” church (e.g., Episcopalian), since some people could associate the church with a particular viewpoint even if you don’t agree with that viewpoint (or every aspect of it). On a more explicit note (for worriers), I think the chance is close to 0 that SCOTUS will intentionally cause an economic disaster anytime within the next few years (like, say, abolishing the federal government or declaring paper money unconstitutional) unless stuff quickly gets really really bad. Justice Barrett and scholar John Copeland Nagle wrote an article in 2016 saying that no justice in her right mind would reconsider precedents involving topics such as the Social Security Administration, paper money, the state of West Virginia, or whether the Fourteenth Amendment was properly ratified.

The Ruger Mini-14 has the same features as an AR-15, including support for large magazines, but doesn’t look as much like a military-style gun designed to kill people. It wasn’t banned in the 1994-2004 federal ban, but someone who’s psychologically disturbed and wants to kill people (and has crappy 1990s Internet) might not know that it’s just as good as an AR-15. The ban probably also had an economic effect because gun manufacturers couldn’t easily repurpose AR-15’s sold to the police so they can sell them to civilians. Most shooting deaths occur in incidents involving 1-2 people, so we wouldn’t expect magazine capacity to matter that much. Most pistols are semiautomatic and are good at killing people quickly. Countries like Japan, Singapore, and Australia ban pretty much all guns and have very low annual shooting deaths. For what it’s worth, most informed gun control supporters wanted to ban sale of all semiautomatic rifles unless the rifles were used for hunting. That wasn’t politically feasible in 1994 because it would mean all hunting rifles would have to be federally registered and everyone who owns a hunting rifle would need to have an individual federal firearms license. Part of the point of the 1994 ban was that guns classified as “assault weapons” look scary and the average person can’t tell the difference between an “assault weapon” and a machine gun, so the ban (which actually reduced shooting deaths, by the way) had more public support.


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We can get more oil from OPEC and domestic production but that won’t get up and running for some time (like in 2023). There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of spare capacity that can come online right now. The 1 million bbl/day release from the SPR can help somewhat while production gradually increases, but I tend to agree we should only use the SPR in dire emergencies rather than to ameliorate annoyingly high gas prices. The reasons for the price drop are: Demand destruction caused by inflation, especially in non-dollar currencies. Russia’s production has been smoother than expected even as we approach the December 5, 2022 deadline for the UK and EU to stop using Russian oil. Russia seems like it will keep trying to sell to willing buyers rather than retaliate against sanctions with production cuts, though I don’t have a crystal ball or Bene Gesserit prescience powers. More oil investors expect a recession. Raising interest rates creates a “strong dollar” environment, which lowers the cost of crude oil in dollars but makes it more expensive in every other currency. Domestic gasoline (petrol) consumption has been lower in 2022Q2 than all of 2021. It’s not all bad news because some of the decrease is linked to better vehicle fuel efficiency. The SPR and modest production increases are enough to influence prices in a tight market. I don’t think we’re at the End of the World or the Peak Oil “doomer” scenario just yet, but it might be a good idea to practically and psychologically prepare yourself for a possible future when $4-6 gas/petrol was the “good old days.”

Using a condom is a good idea because of highly speculative initial data, but it shouldn’t color your initial impression of how monkeypox spreads because we don’t really know enough about that yet. It looks like the spread is still consistent with it being primarily airborne, which would also explain a superspreader event involving people having sex. It isn’t that people oppose doing something about COVID. It’s that they were initially told you just need to wash your hands and cough into your elbow. People have a cognitive bias in favor of advice from authority figures that does not change. If advice changes, people think of it as “flip-flopping” and lose trust in institutions. You have to emphasize uncertainty and caution from the beginning. Even if it isn’t realistic for the government to get as much buy-in from the population as it did in March and April 2020, there are still options it can use to respond to both monkeypox and COVID (without Congress necessarily authorizing spending): Actually improve CDC messaging, including to vaccine hesitant people rather than treating vaccine skeptics like political enemies. The CDC could say it will back up local public health authorities who choose to issue requirements that are stricter than CDC requirements. Develop plans to help both people vulnerable to infection and people who want to avoid infection or exposure. Most people are tired because politics is so polarized. A way to reach people might be to, for example, get people together who are “ideologically diverse” but agree we should do something to respond to disease threats and improve public health systems. Polarization is created by the focus on a winner-take-all perception of elections since the 1992 election and politicians turning everything into a wedge issue. It isn’t created by “fatigue” over pandemic restrictions or crises.

I would add some observations to what people are talking about right now (covering multiple prepping-related economic/social/political issues going on right now): Focus on what you can control. If you can’t do that right now, “rational insanity” is better than “irrational insanity.” Put another way, yes, you can maintain a positive outlook grounded in objective reality even if you fear the worst will happen you you. That’s what Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese did (hey, Ho Chi Minh was inspired by the American Revolution and I recommended a Dave Ramsey video and he’s someone else I strongly disagree with, plus “study your enemy and take what’s good” goes back a long way). I don’t personally agree with Emerican on his politics, but I don’t know of a better video on prepping for catastrophe with a rational positive outlook versus becoming a “doomer.” Stick to sources of information that are generally accurate and honest about uncertainty even if they’re biased or inaccurate on some issues (I don’t want to take a stance on social issues or social/religious conservatism here, but it isn’t exactly a surprise when someone says something he’s said over and over and over [and over] again before). Yes, we’re strangers in a strange land and can’t predict the future. The future was always uncertain, you just might have been realizing that it was always uncertain over the past few months or right now. Take bad news as a “slap” that wakes you up rather than a kick that puts you down. Again, there’s benefits.gov if you need extra help with basic needs right now and might qualify for unemployment insurance or other programs. There might also be prepping-related social enterprises in your area that can help you with food assistance, getting seeds, or starting a food garden. Prepare for civil unrest. If you go to church (regardless of your opinions or the church’s opinions), it might be a good idea for the church to take safety measures over the next few weeks, even if that means switching to livestream. Consider safety issues especially if you go to a Catholic church or a “Catholic-like” church (e.g., Episcopalian), since some people could associate the church with a particular viewpoint even if you don’t agree with that viewpoint (or every aspect of it). On a more explicit note (for worriers), I think the chance is close to 0 that SCOTUS will intentionally cause an economic disaster anytime within the next few years (like, say, abolishing the federal government or declaring paper money unconstitutional) unless stuff quickly gets really really bad. Justice Barrett and scholar John Copeland Nagle wrote an article in 2016 saying that no justice in her right mind would reconsider precedents involving topics such as the Social Security Administration, paper money, the state of West Virginia, or whether the Fourteenth Amendment was properly ratified.

The Ruger Mini-14 has the same features as an AR-15, including support for large magazines, but doesn’t look as much like a military-style gun designed to kill people. It wasn’t banned in the 1994-2004 federal ban, but someone who’s psychologically disturbed and wants to kill people (and has crappy 1990s Internet) might not know that it’s just as good as an AR-15. The ban probably also had an economic effect because gun manufacturers couldn’t easily repurpose AR-15’s sold to the police so they can sell them to civilians. Most shooting deaths occur in incidents involving 1-2 people, so we wouldn’t expect magazine capacity to matter that much. Most pistols are semiautomatic and are good at killing people quickly. Countries like Japan, Singapore, and Australia ban pretty much all guns and have very low annual shooting deaths. For what it’s worth, most informed gun control supporters wanted to ban sale of all semiautomatic rifles unless the rifles were used for hunting. That wasn’t politically feasible in 1994 because it would mean all hunting rifles would have to be federally registered and everyone who owns a hunting rifle would need to have an individual federal firearms license. Part of the point of the 1994 ban was that guns classified as “assault weapons” look scary and the average person can’t tell the difference between an “assault weapon” and a machine gun, so the ban (which actually reduced shooting deaths, by the way) had more public support.


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