Monthly Archives: June 2014

CAS: The Operative Principle Behind Everything

under construction

We first encountered complex adaptive systems (CASs) when doing graduate work in computer science. When our interests moved to economies and markets, the fact that these were CASs was always in the back of our mind. Recently it occurred to us that a/the fundamental property of a CAS is its internal energy in both quantity and structure, how this energy is acquired and how it is used. The acquisition of energy in an appropriate form is a necessary condition for the survival and growth of a CAS. Consequently we began to rethink CASs from the viewpoint of their inputs.

Very recently, several articles have come to our attention that seem related from our new perspective. It’s quite wonderful how a new line of thinking turns everything we encounter into a “nail” for it hammer out. We see a path forward that applies CASs to a diverse range of topics that have engaged our interest – some we have written about and many not even touched.

This inaugural essay will act as a table of contents to the series much like the one on socialism that we have been developing (Socialism: One of the Two Great Destructive Forces of the Twenty-first Century). The first step is to develop a definition of a CAS that we can begin from. A very cursory look at the literature suggest possibly several essays or chapters leading to a concise and sufficiently abstract representation of what a CAS is that it will have the widespread generality required to encompass our physical world. The notion of energy will have to be abstracted as part of this initial research or a close follow-on. We may then begin to analyze the classes of global problems that are gaining global prominence.

Islamism: No Caliphate Here

When Mohammed created the religion/cult of Islam, he had no opposition in terms on theological (doctrinal), ideological, military or genealogical grounds. Nightwatch posted a short news update today (NightWatch 20140629):

The Caliphate. ISIL declared the restoration of the Caliphate, an Islamic State that includes all the territories ISIL has conquered. It called on all Muslims to pledge their allegiance. ISIL leader al-Baghdadi declared himself Caliph Ibrahim.

Comment: The Caliph is supposed to be the legitimate successor to Mohammed. There are many who would claim this title. This declaration will be challenged on theological, ideological, military and genealogical grounds.

Our emphasis is the basis for our contention that no Caliphate is possible in the near future if ever. The deep internal schism in Islam between Sunnis and Shias ensures that no single leader is likely to emerge that can unify the divided house. Military conquest of one side over the other would be a necessary first step. We believe that for all the missteps the US has made in affecting the balance of power in this onging war, they will try and prevent one side from gaining ascendancy.

This does not mean that the spread of Islam is not a threat to our Western cultures and societies. It means that the threat can more easily be contained if we manifest the political will to do so. Westerners fail to understand that once a Muslim owns territory anywhere, that territory is forever part of the future Caliphate. That includes the mosque in your neighborhood and the property of your Islamic neighbour next door.

Commentary

We asked our friend Paul Merkley to vet our short piece above. His valuable comments follow:

I don’t think you can say that Muhammad had no opposition, etc.. The whole thrust of his revelation is that it overturns the corrupted teaching of the Jews. It was the local Jewish community that brought to his attention the Jewish tradition —which at first he tried to co-opt by claiming that his message clearly fulfilled it, but then, having been, as Muslims recall “mocked” by the Jews, he proceeded to dismantle the Jewish teaching, keeping all of its key concepts, declaring everything from about Genesis 12 onward as fabrication. He did not intend that his teaching should be received as a free-floating new insight into everything but as the hidden truth – Islam — that had always been behind all Jewish and Christian scripture. Muslims are obliged to believe that the continuation of Judaism and Christianity amounts to a perverse defiance of Allah’s message, contained in the Qur’an. This explains the unforgiving malice of Muhammad and all his followers towards our faith and our civilization.

Otherwise, I am in full agreement with your analysis. I believe it would be madness to imagine that we have a dog in the race that is going on in Syria, Iraq, Jordan and beyond. Obama’s newly-announced policy of searching for democratic elements and assisting them is utter madness. .No one of the parties – Shia, Sunni, Kurds should be assisted by us. We must hope that the interfering outsiders – Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the other Middle East sheikhdoms – will checkmate each other – to our benefit. , Our entire policy should be to contain these demonic energies so that they waste themselves within the borders of Syria and Iraq.

Paul Merkley

CAS: Limits in a Connected World

The grand strategy that we have adopted is to understand our global civilization as a complex adaptive system (CAS) or less formally, a networked or connected world. One of the first sources of commentary that came our way when we launched this effort is the video by Chris Martenson below (56:04 minutes). After the video we comment on it, extracting what are key ideas for our theme.

This is a long but well produced and clearly explained analysis of the current state of our civilization from three key viewpoints, economic, environmental, and energy. We examine each in turn.

The Geopolitics of Ramadan

We republish this essay from Stratfor because it informs about the Muslim psych and the eternal and terminal battle they wage against Kafirs or Infidels (that’s you by the way).

Summary

Ramadan for most people is a religious occasion when Muslims around the world fast from dawn until dusk. During this lunar month, the faithful also try to pray as much as possible and seek to maximize the practice of good deeds. However, Ramadan has a much less talked about geopolitical dimension.

GM Announces New Recall Strategy

With news of the latest GM recall (read: Three More GM Recalls Today: When Will It End? and GM adds three more recalls of more than 450K) covering more than 473,600 vehicles and 20 million in total this year, GM has developed a new recall policy. When a consumer buys any new GM vehicle, it will be recalled before it leaves the dealership and on every anniversary of the initial purchase for 10 years. This should eliminate most of the recall notices that the company has been forced to make. An official noted that they had considered recalling vehicle as soon as they left the production line and reserve the right to extent their recall policy to include this preemptive action.

Followup Gut Splitter

Two days after posting this, MarketWatch informs us: GM recalls another 7.6 million cars. It confounds us that GM can still sell cars! We’d short the stock as a bet on total management  incompetency in the company but we’re afraid that that this incompetence may be exceeded by the gullibility and ignorance manifest by the general public. The optimal strategy for the public would seem to be to own two different model GM vehicles from different model years. This will increase the odds of having at least one road-worthy GM vehicle at any time.

The United States Has Unfinished Business in Ukraine and Iraq

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By George Friedman

In recent weeks, some of the international system’s unfinished business has revealed itself. We have seen that Ukraine’s fate is not yet settled, and with that, neither is Russia’s relationship with the European Peninsula. In Iraq we learned that the withdrawal of U.S. forces and the creation of a new Iraqi political system did not answer the question of how the three parts of Iraq can live together. Geopolitical situations rarely resolve themselves neatly or permanently.

The Perpetual Assassination of the Jew Leon Klinghoffer

We present this essay by Paul Merkley,  The Perpetual Assassination of the Jew Leon Klinghoffer, reprinted by permission of Paul and from The Bayview Review. See the links at the end for direct access to the rest of Paul’s work. The essay follows.

I begin with a news bulletin, announcing a tentative tactical victory for decency.

The Metropolitan Opera on Tuesday canceled its plans for a live, global broadcast of next season’s “The Death of Klinghoffer,” amid concerns that it could fan anti-Semitism. The company’s general manager, Peter Gelb, said Tuesday that he had received hundreds of emails over the past 10 days calling on him to cancel the transmission of the controversial opera by American composer John Adams. “The Death of Klinghoffer” depicts a 1985 cruise-ship hijacking and the murder of a Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, by Palestinian terrorists. Mr. Gelb said he didn’t believe the 1991 opera was anti-Semitic but added that he was aware of “great concern, which I think is justified,” about “anything that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as pro-terrorist.” (“Met Opera Cancels ‘Klinghoffer’ Broadcast, “The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2014.)

Eurasia’s Ongoing Crackup

June 25, 2014 | 0758 GMT

Stratfor

By Robert D. Kaplan

Eurasia — from Iberia to the Korean Peninsula — faces the prospect of epochal change. These disruptions are not always in the headlines, and they obscure vast areas of stability where change is gradual rather than sudden. But at a time of rapid shifts in technology and urban demography, it is to be expected that political identities of the kind that lead to territorial adjustments will undergo transformation. And while in some cases a yearning for liberal democracy will be a driving force of upheaval, in too many cases the driving force will be exclusivist ethnic and sectarian passions anchored in specific geographies. The world’s leading opinion pages are consumed by the battle of ideas, but in the early 21st century blood and territory could be more accurate indicators of postmodern geopolitics.

Quote(s) of the Day: 20140614

From our friend JR, and in loving memory of the late great Province of Ontario whose citizens just took it off of life support:

“When a self-governing people confer upon their government the power to take money from some and give it to others, the process will not stop until the last bone of the last taxpayer is picked bare.

Kershner’s First Law

“When it is possible for people to vote on issues involving the transfer of wealth to themselves from others, the ballot box becomes a weapon with which the majority plunders the minority. That is the point of no return, the point where the doomsday mechanism begins to accelerate until the system self-destructs. The plundered grow weary of carrying the load and eventually join the plunderers. The productive base of the economy diminishes further and further until only the state remains.”

G. Edward Griffin, The Creature From Jekyll Island

Worsening Violence in Iraq Threatens Regional Security

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Summary

Battles continue to rage across northern Iraq, pitting jihadist group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant against Iraqi security forces and their allies. The growing reach of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has escalated an already brutal campaign in Iraq. Alarmingly quick advances by the militants across an important region of the Middle East could draw in regional powers as well as the United States.

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