Maximize the min

Absolute garbage health advice:

The red made me laugh. I had eggs earlier today and then it's ground beef (chili) with shredded cheddar later in the week.


Losing trust

Vox Day:

I haven’t believed a word coming out of the medical science community since the whole Food Pyramid thing was conclusively proven to be backwards. While most Americans duly ate more bread and pasta while reducing their fat consumption and became overweight, I kept the weight off because I saw how people who ate more meat and less carbohydrates lost weight and stayed in shape. Of course, I was already skeptical due to the flip-flopping on whether it was butter or margarine that was good for you.

It’s not that the individual general practitioners are always wrong, the problem is that the medical community as a whole doesn’t hesitate to lie any more than the media does.

Yup. The Food Pyramid is completely backwards. Following it basically guarantees that one becomes and stays unhealthy. I still remember how one of my colleagues was horrified to learn that I used to eat three boiled eggs for breakfast. OMG, too much cholesterol. So bad for you. This is the same guy who would go through an entire bag of Oreos for his late night snacks.

Anyway, while the lies about history and the latest news are easily propagated and difficult to see through, the falsehoods about health can be simply refuted by personal experience. Those who lost strong sons and lively daughters to a "vaccine" learned this the hard way.


Cars everywhere

I noticed that at my workplace many years ago. Quite a few colleagues would jump in their cars to get coffee from a shop that was within walking distance. It was doubly strange when they did that during lovely spring weather.

An average person would have to walk 12 hours to burn off one pound. It's easy to do that in one month. That's 12 pounds in a year. It's low-level calorie burn but it adds up to a substantial amount over time.


Burning calories

That was pretty funny. Anyway, instead of a treadmill, I used an elliptical machine for my gym cardio before Corona Chan made its debut. I could burn over a 1,000 calories in an hour. I kept pushing it and once did 2,700 calories in 2.5 hours. That wasn't a smart move. Afterwards, I didn't go over 2,400 calories in one session. More than that and the exhaustion and body soreness would be too much. I had found my limit.


Red or blue?

One of my friends in high school asked me to go watch a movie in the theatre.

"Which movie?"

He told me. 

"Does it have something to do with math?"

"I don't know but it looks good."

The movie was a little slow in the first half. It more than made up for it with its jaw-dropping finale. I had watched a landmark sci-fi action movie in 1999. Oh, it definitely wasn't about math. Now, Mr. Wick will resurrect the role that made him famous.


Irresponsile parents

I've noticed this in Canada as well:

The volume of sugar that kids eat today is out of control. For example, "healthy" fruit juices pack an insane amount of calories. Worse, they're not satiating at all -- which means more calories added later.

Just a few days ago, I saw a family, a biking trio -- mom, dad, and a son. It was strange to see a severely overweight boy but normal looking parents. Those unhealthy habits are tough to overcome. Exercise won't cut it. The diet must change. The kid likely gets whatever junk food he wants. The parents have to put the foot down.


Not getting incentives

Benevolent socialists have often fixed the price of food because the evil farmers are gouging the average person. Then, everyone is shocked when the farmers simply stop growing crops because they can't get money for their labor. The same logic applies to renting:

There was an application process for renting an apartment in my area. One had to submit personal information for a credit check while also having an in-province job history of a minimum of five years. That was in 2004. It isn't just six months rent upfront. Landlords can use strict criteria to weed out potential troublemakers. For example:

  • age
  • race
  • job history
  • credit score
  • marital status

So, if you're a single guy in his early 20s working at a fast food joint who has saved a few thousand dollars for renting a new apartment, then you'll still be rejected because you're not safe enough for the landlords who've been drained by parasites.


Did you get your non-vax?

That's the problem: Most People Are Idiots.

I met a neighbor today. She's an old lady. She asked, "Did you get vaccinated?"

"No."

Pause. "Are you going to get vaccinated?"

"No."

"Oh. That's unfortunate."

Shrug.

"You know many employers are requiring that workers get vaccinated."

"Yes."

I didn't argue. Just went along with my day. She got her two jabs and still wears her mask. Soon, she'll be told to get her nth shot and she will. Her choice.

Oh, it only took a few months for Trudeau to flip:

After the majority of Canadians got their two jabs, he conveniently switches his position to openly discriminate against the unvaccinated. He bets that the petty majority will continue to support him.


Money printer goes brrrr

I looked at the local sale price increases of a few items compared to two years ago.

Eggs: $2 --> $2.8
Butter: $3 --> $3.5
Milk (4L): $4 --> $4.7
Coke (6 pack): $2 --> $2.8
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $4.5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $2.5
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5

For a second, I was surprised by the tiny increase for milk. Of course, the milk price is set artificially high by the Canadian government. So, it didn't go up as much because it's not the market price. Add in the price increases for rent, electricity, internet, electronics (especially graphics cards and laptops) and your average person is getting squeezed hard.


Middle East in Canada?

Summer temperatures in the mid to late 40s is normal in the Middle East. I once experienced 52 degrees Celsius in one miserable Arabian summer. However, this is definitely not normal for Canada:

That's brutal. People here consider days with 30+ temperatures as a heat wave. They're not ready -- mentally and physically -- for such scorching, life-draining heat. Worse, the infrastructure isn't there -- many don't have air conditioners which become a necessity in such circumstances.

Between last Friday and Wednesday, the BC Coroners Service saw a 195 per cent increase in the number of unexpected and sudden deaths it typically sees in a five-day period. During that time, 486 deaths were reported. That number is usually closer to 165, officials say.


The B stands for Broken

The Tech Giant of old can't handle the modern stuff:

IBM's planned company-wide email migration has gone off the rails, leaving many employees unable to use email or schedule calendar events. And this has been going on for several days.

Current and former IBMers have confirmed to The Register that the migration, 18 months in the making, has been a disaster.

Reminds me of my workplace. The old email system was ugly, clunky, and slow. After the company moved over to a shiny, new email system, my boss came up to me and asked a question about something he emailed to us the day before. I had a confused look. "I didn't get the email."

"...What!?"

Apparently, some people did get it while others didn't. It was a fun few weeks.

Among those employees unable to access their email, there's concern that disappeared messages may not be restored. We've even heard that IBM employees have been approached by recruiters posing questions like, "Why are you still at IBM? They can't even get email straight."

At least, they're super woke!


The current year

My electricity used to be on a two-month billing cycle. The utility company changed it to a one-month schedule a few years ago. Now, my payments are approaching the same amount as they were before that change. In other words, electricity has doubled in price in a very short time. Add in the skyrocketing housing market, rent and the recent spike in food prices and real inflation is squeezing the average person. Of course, the government data shows a modest 1.314% inflation. So, it's cool.

The same holds true with crime statistics. If the police don't even bother recording the petty thefts, burglaries, and physical assaults, then did they really happen?


Nightmare in Canada

The average sale price of a house in Saint John, New Brunswick is $250,000. Right now, the most expensive house for sale in Saint John is priced at $1.2 million. Compare that to Toronto where the average sale price of a detached house is $1.75 million. This will rip apart families and friends:

Soaring home prices in Ontario, which are up between 30-50 per cent from last year depending on the area, are forcing a growing number of residents to give up on their dreams of home ownership.

A new survey by Right at Home Realty found 51 per cent of respondents say they believe they may never be able to afford a home in their current city or town. It gets worse for people looking in the Greater Toronto Area at 55 per cent and 59 per cent in the 416 area code region.

Hamilton, a largely middle class city one hour away from Toronto, has become unaffordable for most:

Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton are, according to new research, the least affordable cities in North America.

Vancouver was the least affordable city, with Toronto in second place and Hamilton in third. All three are more expensive places to live than New York and L.A.

I have been looking at real estate in the Greater Toronto Area for a few years. It's crazy how a house that would sell for roughly $100,000 in parts of the US can often be priced at a million dollars in Canada. It's simply unattainable for most Millennials and Generation Zyklon in the Crazy North. 


Powered by debt

Millions have lost their jobs or had their pay slashed in the last year. Now, they'll face the full wrath of the money printer:

The invisible tax of rising inflation will do far more to harm working and middle-class Americans than Biden’s proposed tax hikes. The trillions of dollars in congressional spending and money printing from the Federal Reserve is already having a dramatic effect on the price of ordinary goods. [...]

Over the past year, food prices are up 3.5 percent, with eggs and meat up by over 5 percent; gas is up 22 percent and is expected to get even higher by this summer; lumber is up 250 percent; new home prices are up $36,000, with overall housing up 11 percent; and new cars are up 9 percent, the highest in 68 years. In April, 13 percent of new car buyers paid more than the sticker price. Other goods — from household items, baby care and general merchandise — are already up between 5.2 and 7.2 percent from this time last year. The cost of eating out shot up by 3.7 percent over the past year, and some takeout specials such as chicken wings have nearly doubled. Coffee futures are up 24 percent since October. Even growing your own food has surged in price, with the cost of seeds and potted plants jumping by 10.5 percent.

I was thinking about buying a new PC recently. The actual price of the whole build comes out to almost double the MSRP! And that's assuming all the parts are even available for purchase. As of right now, the top three 3000 series GPUs from Nvidia are sold out in Canada.

The primary driver of the current inflation comes through money printing by the Federal Reserve. The Fed nearly doubled its bond purchases since the beginning of the pandemic, pumping almost $4 trillion into the economy. This is about as much as the Fed purchased between 2008 and 2014, during the worst of the Great Recession. From February 2020 to March 2021, the total of circulating cash, mutual funds and banking deposit money supply increased from $15.473 trillion to $19,896 trillion. The Fed effectively monetizes the federal government’s debt, creating both a cover for higher deficits and increasing the money supply further. From 2019 to now, the national debt jumped from just under 80 percent of gross domestic product to over 100 percent.

We had a one-month stock market crash last year. We're due for a giant meltdown like we had in 2000 and in 2008.


The Bell Hell

Walter Schultz doesn't like leaving anything to chance. The licensed private investigator documents everything — so when he contacted Bell Mobility in February for a better deal on his service, he recorded the exchanges.

Three different customer service representatives made the same offer, which he accepted, that included 10 GB of data for $55 per month.

But Bell later told the Kitchener, Ont., man he couldn't have the deal — because it didn't exist.

I know someone who used to work at a Bell call center. Too many reps, mostly foreign students, would often make ridiculous offers to customers to get them to stay but, in reality, those deals didn't exist for current clients. Many times such offers were exclusive to new customers but they came with a time limit -- the sweet low prices would apply for six months and then skyrocket to the original, high rates. Of course, this important information wasn't shared. So, one ended up with pissed off customers six months down the line but by then the reps already had met their numbers, got their bonus, and had moved on to greener pastures.

Bell and Rogers are truly hated by a large number of Canadians because what they're doing is deceptive and illegal. Why do they keep getting away with it? A law professor explains:

He says the biggest problem for consumers is "accessing justice," because it's often too expensive to enforce consumer rights if a telco refuses to budge and the CCTS rules against the complainant.

"Already consumers always feel that they're in a weaker position, and I think they are, which is why we have legislation to protect them… but what are [they] going to do? Commence a legal action for $100? Most people will not," he said.

Stop using their services. There are plenty of reasonable and cheaper alternatives.


So much data

My first laptop in 1998 had a 2.1GB hard drive. Now, we have 20TB hard drives and there's more to come:

Seagate recently published its long-term technology roadmap revealing plans to produce ~50 TB hard drives by 2026 and 120+ TB HDDs after 2030. In the coming years, Seagate is set to leverage usage of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), adopt bit patterned media (BPM) in the long term, and to expand usage of multi-actuator technology (MAT) for high-capacity drives.

The capacity jumps over the past two decades have been phenomenal.

Seagate and Western Digital have been looking to radically increase sequential and random performance of HDDs by installing more than one actuator, with multiple read/write heads into one drive. Seagate's Mach.2 technology — which embraces two actuators — can almost double IOPS-per-TB performance of a hard drive and substantially increase its sequential read/write speeds.

Soon, we'll have mainstream SSDs with sustained transfer speeds of two gigabytes per second. Most hard drives manage only 10% of that. They're basically separate beasts. Nowadays, one should get both for the desktop: an SSD for the main drive and the hard drive for extra storage and backup. However, for most laptop buyers, solid state disks are a superior choice because of speed. Plus, who wants to carry around a slow 20TB drive in their laptop anyway?


Denmark gets serious

Jino Victoria Doabi's voice cracks as she describes the bidding war between Denmark's political parties to make it harder for those born abroad to become citizens.

"It makes me feel that I'm not worth anything," she sobs. "I study at the finest university in Denmark and I study the hardest of everyone, and I work hard to improve democracy too, and still this is nothing - just because of where I was born."

Yeah, welcome to the real world. My father worked in Saudi Arabia for three decades. After retirement, he was given six months to settle his affairs and fuck off back to his native land. The West has been too generous. Finally, they are starting to take concrete steps:

The New Right's proposal would split those eligible for citizenship into two groups - those from largely Muslim areas such as the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and those from elsewhere.

Of course, these "new Danes" are not happy.

The only parties pushing in the other direction are the small, minority parties of the centre and Left, such as the Social Liberal Party for which Doabi is standing as a citizen representative in Copenhagen.

This alone should get her banned from getting citizenship.


Mildly cold in Texas

I know it's serious. I know a lot of people are enduring things that are very difficult. But, I have to admit, as a survivor of some of Minnesota's coldest-ever winters, it's hard not to be just a little bemused by people prophesying doom on the basis of "temperatures expected to drop to as low as 11F in Houston and 9F in San Antonio."

I mean, in 1983, I once waited 30 minutes for a bus in -40F windchill temperature. They didn't even cancel school!

Vox Day goes on to offer excellent advice on how to handle the cold. A few years ago, we had -40C wind chill in Ontario. Universities, colleges, and schools were open! I had to walk to work. It hurt but it was manageable.


Eight days of misery

This February is extremely cruel:

Snowstorms are hitting southern parts of Ontario for consecutive days and it's being called a "snow parade." [...]

There's another system expected for later in the week, which meteorologist Doug Gillham said could make the seven-day snowfall totals "rather impressive with the parade of storms."

Many words came to my mind. Impressive wasn't one of them.

Here's how it looks.

SNOW ON: Friday, Saturday (today).
SNOW OFF: Sunday.
SNOW ON: Monday, Tuesday.
SNOW OFF: Wednesday.
SNOW ON: Thursday, Friday.

The harsh low humidity combined with strong winds will literally cut up your skin. I went grocery shopping yesterday. I was outside for under half an hour and there are cuts around my knuckles.


The Arctic Menace

Below zero for all of Canada:

For every provincial capital to remain below the freezing mark, particularly Victoria, everything has to come together to hold the frigid air coast-to-coast. Victoria has only spent 28 days below the freezing mark for an entire day this century, and strong winds flowing from the continental high-pressure inland will make this a reality.

January was pleasantly mild. February is not going to be nice:

This week, the widespread Canadian chill will be the latest on record since at least the beginning of the 21st century. 2021 threatens to do the unheard of -- three consecutive days with below zero temperatures across all of Canada.

Plus, we'll get a tiny snow storm for the weekend in Ontario.


Winter is here

America is going to get a mild taste of this vicious polar vortex:

A prominent lobe of the polar vortex settled over western Canada on Sunday and created the coldest Canadian temperatures in years and in some cases, record-breaking cold that was reported by a handful of weather stations.

In an area larger than France and Germany combined, the population of Northwest Territories is under 50,000. Here's why:

On Sunday, Wekweèti, N.W.T. recorded -51.9°C, which is Canada's coldest temperature since March 2017.

The wind chill makes it so much worse:

Wicked wind chill values left an icy, dangerous chill across northern Canada in recent days and the coldest of 2021 is currently a staggeringly low -66 that was recorded at Ennadai Lake, Nunavut on February 6th.

The absolute worst wind chill I've felt is -42 degrees Celsius. At the time, I was surprised with my knowledge of numerous swear words across multiple languages.


Walter E. Williams

I found out about Walter E. Williams in the late 90s. He was an economics professor and a columnist. I spent many hours online reading his bold, logical, and uncompromising prose in those summers in Saudi Arabia. One could instantly see that he was an excellent teacher. His work will inspire many more for years to come.

Thomas Sowell writes about his friend:

Walter once said he hoped that, on the day he died, he would have taught a class that day. And that is just the way it was, when he died on Wednesday, December 2, 2020.

He was my best friend for half a century. There was no one I trusted more or whose integrity I respected more. Since he was younger than me, I chose him to be my literary executor, to take control of my books after I was gone.

This didn't surprise me:

Holding a black belt in karate, Walter was a tough customer. One night three men jumped him -- and two of those men ended up in a hospital.


Unnecessarily fragile

I had a pizza slice at work a few years ago. Afterwards, after thoroughly washing my hands, I went to get a paper towel but the sensor on the machine was broken. I could easily see a gigantic roll of paper in the container but there was no peaceful way of getting it out. Something so basic as a backup button or lever was absent from the design. "Technology" had made the whole simple process more aggravating.

The following is much worse.

Vacuum doesn't work. The door bell doesn't work. A cooking appliance doesn't work. Why? Because Amazon servers are down! Who the hell decided that an internet connection or a web server was necessary for these devices?


Big vs. Huge

Most people don't really comprehend the sheer size of wild animals. I once asked a group about the weight of a tiger relative to a small house cat that weighs five pounds. They thought that a tiger was anywhere from five to fifty times bigger. A male Siberian tiger can be a hundred times bigger!

Now, let's see an animal that can grow to be 3x heavier than a Siberian tiger.


Poor and lazy decisions

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey has sparked backlash after saying that Americans are obese because they make poor choices, in an interview with the New York Times.

Mackey said that the world is getting fat but that Americans are leading the way. He also said that the U.S. has had "more of a problem" with COVID-19 due to obesity-related comorbidities like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure.

Mackey has come under fire for saying that obesity is not an access problem, and instead said that ignorance and poor choices are to blame for obesity.

Most people are also lazy and stuck in their bad habits.

At the most basic level, people have to severely limit their sugar and carbohydrates if they want to cut weight and not gain it back. Eating sugary foods and drinking sweet beverages on a daily basis is very gratifying. Eating potatoes and broccoli and drinking water is just sad! However, those "sad" choices don't lead to devastating consequences down the road.


Spend less

Rory Sutherland is quite astute:

There are two ways to become richer. One is to earn more. The other is to spend less on things you are forced to buy. Given the extraordinary centralising forces of the past 40 years — where the gains of the knowledge economy have disproportionately accrued to rent-seeking city landlords and transport networks — the freedom to work remotely is an instant 20 per cent pay rise. And sorry Boris, but if I travel to work in order to buy a £6 sandwich, in the short term, yes, I am bailing out Pret A Manger, but in the long term I’m bailing out the Duke of Westminster.

The cost of driving a car is staggering for the average person in Canada.

The total cost of ownership for a car is $955 per month when you include all your car payments, gas, maintenance, and auto insurance costs. After 3 years, you’ve paid for your car in full, and your payments drop to $502 per month.

That's $6,000 a year if you buy and use a prudent car for a long time. A cost that's not mentioned? The hundreds of hours burned in miserable traffic. I knew a colleague who often took over one hour to get home after work. During a horrendous snow storm it took him close to four hours. Living close to work (if it's not crazy expensive) or working from home (if possible) is definitely a huge income boost.

Of course, the landlords and, by extension, the banks won't be very happy about that.


Sugar is the villain

My family would have plenty of junk food for a birthday celebration during my early teenage years. Cakes, sweets, samosas, chocolate bars, sodas, etc. I would eat as much as I wanted but then be ravenous in 2-3 hours! This confused me since I could go 24 hours without food if I had a big dinner. That's the insidious thing about sugar: it makes you hungry more quickly.

That's what a lot of people including many so-called experts don't get: Why do people get fat? The answer from most would be: it's because fat people are eating too many calories. Yeah, that's not the answer. Let's see if that answer makes sense if we ask that question in a slightly different manner: Why are people consuming too many calories?

Understanding that question will lead one to the answer. Of course, the mainstream is hopelessly wrong. It's almost impossible to not gain weight on the recommended diet of low fats and high carbs. Fats and proteins are your friends.


Everybody is racist

Curiosity and compliments are now evidence of RAYCISSSM.

Racist: "Nigger." "Beaner." "Chink." "Paki."

Also, racist: "You speak English very well."

I was having a conversation with an Indian woman at my workplace many years ago. She was talking about her daughters. During the conversation, she said, "Like you, they don't really get Bollywood movies."

I gave her a confused look.

"Oh, they were born in Canada. They didn't learn Hindi."

I said, "I wasn't born here. I can understand what they're saying in the filims."

"You weren't born here!? But, but, you speak English very well!"

I calmly and politely informed her that she was a RACIST BITCH.

I thanked her for the compliment.


Another dumb privilege

Deal prices in Ontario, Canada:

  • Dozen eggs: $2
  • Potatoes: $0.2 per pound
  • Chicken legs: $1 per pound
  • Chicken breasts: $3 per pound
  • Frozen turkey burgers: $1 for 1 (100 grams)
  • Burger buns: $2.5 per 8
  • Minced beef: $3 per pound
  • Coleslaw salad: $1.5 per pound
  • Ketchup: $3 for 1 liter
  • Miracle whip: $3 for 0.9 liter
  • Sriracha sauce: $2.7 for 0.7 liter
  • Olive oil: $10 for 1 liter
  • Apples: $1.25 each
  • Tangerines: $0.25 each
  • Mini-cucumbers: $0.5 each
  • Tomatoes: $0.75 each

Add in salt, pepper, chili flakes, garlic power, paprika, and oregano, and you've got the essentials for healthy and inexpensive meals. 

Eating healthier isn't a privilege. It's simply inconvenient. Waiting in line for under a minute to get a calorie-packed meal combo is just easy. The average adult watches five hours of TV in a day in America. "I got no time," isn't a legit excuse.


Crooked polls, again!

This made me laugh:

[...] the odds right now are about as generous as they are likely to be before Trump exposes Creepy Joe in the debates. So, while I would not recommend betting the house, it's probably a very good time to put down $10 or so for post-election bragging rights.

Four years ago, a colleague said that Trump had little chance of winning the election. I disagreed. We made a bet in early 2016.

The amount? $10.


New Consoles in 2020

Microsoft and Sony will release their new gaming consoles before Christmas:

The new generation of consoles will bring big increases in CPU and GPU capabilities, but we get that with every new generation and it's no surprise when console chips get the same microarchitecture updates as the AMD CPUs and GPUs they're derived from. What's more special with this generation is the change to storage: the consoles are following in the footsteps of the PC market by switching from mechanical hard drives to solid state storage, but also going a step beyond the PC market to get the most benefit out of solid state storage.

It's about time. Solid state disks have become cheap enough that it doesn't make sense to not use them for gaming devices. Those who do have blazing fast SSDs don't see the full benefits yet because the game designers haven't pushed their requirements higher. That will change soon.

Microsoft and Sony are each using custom NVMe SSDs for their consoles, albeit with different definitions of "custom". Sony's solution aims for more than twice the performance of Microsoft's solution and is definitely more costly even though it will have the lower capacity. Broadly speaking, Sony's SSD will offer similar performance to the high-end PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs we expect to see on the retail market by the end of the year, while Microsoft's SSD is more comparable to entry-level NVMe drives. Both are a huge step forward from mechanical hard drives or even SATA SSDs.

The new XBOX will have a read speed of 2.4 GB/s. It's the slower one. Sony's PS5 will be at 5.5 GB/s. When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I used floppy disks to store my word documents. It would take a few seconds to transfer the files over from my laptop. The total capacity of those disks was 1.44 MB. Now, we'll have media that can transfer an entire DVDs worth of data in one bloody second.

Eventually, PC gamers will also benefit as the new games will be designed to use the lightning speeds of NVMe SSDs. As the games can load GBs of data almost instantly, they should look absolutely stunning.


A Sinister Shortage

As health restrictions ease and stores, restaurants, and other services start to reopen, some employers complain they cannot entice workers back to their old jobs. Perhaps their employees changed careers or enrolled in higher education; others may be reluctant to come back while community spread of COVID-19 is still widespread.

It’s another headache for business owners trying to restart after the shutdowns. The President of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business went so far as to declare that Canadian employers now face a “shortage of labour.”

Technically, he's correct. If I was an employer and I offered jobs that paid $10 per hour, then there would definitely be a shortage of labour.

The correct solution to this "shortage"? Increase the wage. The solution that the employers want? Import peasants who'll work for low wages and not complain. Of course, if you oppose this, then you're a HORRIBLE RACIST WHO SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY AND PERMANENTLY CANCELED.

In theory, if something is in short supply, its price should increase. But the laws of supply and demand are suspended whenever employers complain it’s too hard to fill job openings — and then inevitably demand that government do something about it.

Yup. It's a neat trick. Keep wages low ... get almost zero local workers ... cry, whine, gnash teeth ... get cheap foreign workers!

While low wages are a big part of the problem, meager and irregular hours make matters much worse.

Employers’ recruitment problems are partly due to stingy wages. But their failure to offer decent, reliable hours is actually the bigger issue. Most retail and hospitality workers are scheduled for inadequate and irregular hours. As a result, weekly incomes are very low: a median of just $450 a week in the hospitality sector. Who wants to return to work and risk infection, for a handful of hours’ work at minimum wage?

I know that at my local grocery store, the workers are scheduled in an utterly unstable manner. It's not unusual to have the following work week for an average employee:

MON: 11 AM - 6:30 PM
TUE: 6:45 AM - 3:30 PM
WED: 3:30 PM - 8:30 PM
THU: OFF
FRI: 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
SAT and SUN: OFF

Then, the next week brings a completely different schedule. And yeah, that's a minimum wage job. 25 hours a week, on average. Take home monthly pay? $1,300. What's really insidious is that a motivated employee can't really fit another regular, part-time job in the mix because the hours are unpredictable.


Logic is too cold

Nothing changes a woman's mind faster than pure fear.

A few years ago, there was a conversation about guns at my workplace. Of course, everyone thought that guns are uncouth. I said that self-defense is basically impossible in Ontario. Carrying a handgun is illegal. Worse, tasers and pepper sprays are also banned. I asked the women, "How will you defend yourself when a bad guy breaks into your home?"

"Call the police!"

"Yeah, make sure you have some chalk ready for them."

Confused looks.

"It'll be easier for them to draw an outline around your body."

A few weeks later, one of the women told me about her weekend. A guy in a hoodie was going around the neighborhood and checking cars and front doors. She called the police. Her mind started racing. "Is he a thief? Is he going to break into my home? Is he going to hurt my children? How can I ... defend my family!?"

In that moment, she understood.


White vs. Blue

People with physically demanding jobs take more sick leave. They also have higher unemployment rates and shorter work lives, a new Danish study finds.

"This study showed that high physical work demands are a marked risk factor for a shortened expected working life and increased years of sickness absence and unemployment," study co-author Lars Andersen and colleagues wrote. Andersen is with the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen.

The difference was much smaller than what I expected.

For men age 30, working life would be expected to last almost 32 years for those with physically demanding jobs and nearly 34 years for those with physically undemanding jobs. Among women, the figures were just over 29.5 years and nearly 33 years, respectively, according to the researchers.

Old high school teachers and professors almost always have the option to teach a course or two in a given semester. Retired laborers, however, would seriously injure themselves in their old jobs. I knew a mathematics teacher whose husband was a car mechanic. They didn't need the money but he just loved his work. Eventually he had to give in as the body couldn't take the toll. A few years later, she retired as well. Funny, how that anecdote fits the data.


Vicious Criminals

Muslims expect children to fast during Ramadan. It's a great source of pride for a father when his five-years-old daughter is about to go into a coma has been fasting for the whole day. It's child abuse masquerading as piety.

There's tremendous social pressure to fast in schools as well. The cafeterias are closed! When I lived in Saudi Arabia, I could go without eating food the whole day but not drinking water was beyond me. After coming back from school, I would gulp a liter of water and have a snack. My parents didn't mind. Unfortunately, many have to hide from their mom and dad to commit the horrible sin of eating food:

Hiding snacks under their beds or behind piles of clothes, young Tunisians are finding ways to subvert the Ramadan fast -- despite being locked down with their Muslim conservative parents.

The generation gap in religious observance is not new but it took on a new dimension this year as the fasting month coincides with strict movement restrictions to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A Facebook group for Tunisians seeking to circumvent social pressures and eat during the day has attracted some 12,000 members.

This isn't merely an issue of a few strict parents. The thugs with badges will throw you behind bars for this "crime": 

The North African country's post-revolution constitution guarantees freedom of conscience, but there are no clear laws against eating in public during the holy month. But every Ramadan, the police arrest people caught eating or smoking during the daylight hours, citing vague "public decency" legislation or a decades-old directive.


Not all about luck

There are a few big ways luck plays a part:

  1. Wealth.
  2. Genetics.
  3. Religion.
  4. Economic system / stability.

A mentally retarded girl born to poor Muslim parents in a hardcore socialist country in the midst of a war would definitely qualify as very unlucky.

However, most people don't really mean luck in that sense. Usually, when they say "you got lucky", they're referring to someone in a similar environment as themselves. A kid who studies hard to ace a test or practices for months to win a sports competition wasn't just fortunate relative to his peers. Telling him that "you got lucky" would be a cruel way of dismissing his hard work.

This thinking is quite common among adults. For example, most people have no clue about the risks a person has to take to succeed in business. Their contempt is obvious when they say, "that jerk just got lucky." These mediocrities trash those who thrive. The prudent ones recognize the golden opportunity to emulate the successful and better their lots.

Anyway, if one can boil it down to its essence, then:

Success = Knowledge + Willpower + Luck


Debt Deflation

I exchanged a few Canadian dollars into US dollars at the end of February. I thought that the pandemic with its tremendous downside would decrease the price of oil and lead to a stronger US dollar. Still, I was shocked by the sheer speed with which it appreciated. The US to CAD exchange rate had been in the range of 1.29-1.36 for over a year and then in under a month, it went from 1.31 to 1.46! It wouldn't surprise me to see that by the end of this year, a) the USD to CAD exchange rate cracks 1.5, and b) the Grand Financial Casino aka the US stock market is down by a significant amount; let's say SPY under 200.

Also, as one reader at Vox Day writes, the dollar will continue to get stronger. The economists in charge have pumped up staggering amounts of debt for decades. The debt-powered GDP growth can't last forever. This just might be the beginning of the end.


The Excellent Eco

Umberto Eco was a supremely knowledgeable and magnificent writer. His Foucault's Pendulum was maddeningly chaotic and confusing but ends with profound clarity. As an Agatha Christie fan, his The Name of the Rose was rich and glorious. It must have been quite an experience for Taleb to have met the great man.


No CNE in 2020

A once-in-a-century pandemic leads to the cancellation of the Canadian National Exhibition:

The Canadian National Exhibition has cancelled its 2020 event, marking the first time since the Second World War that Canada's largest fair will not be held.

The annual fair had been scheduled to run from Aug. 21 to Sept. 7 at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

"Safety always comes first at the CNE, and the decision to cancel our event is the right decision during this critical time to protect the health of all Canadians," said John Kiru, president of the Canadian National Exhibition Association, in a statement.

I went there last year. Physical distancing at an event of that scale is basically impossible. It's very sad but the organizers had no choice.

Organizers say the CNE generates $128 million for the Ontario economy each year and attracts more than 1.4 million visitors.

The pain isn't over.


Math is very hard

These people don't understand the basic reproduction number: R0. So, of course, they don't get that reducing that number, even by a small amount, has HUGE benefits. Let's take a simple example in which a virus spreads very quickly every day. Let's say a person returns from travel with this virus. He spreads it into the local community by visiting family, friends, and various markets. In this case, R0 is 3. After one week, a staggering 2,187 people would be infected.

Days after infection R0 = 2 R0 = 3
1 2 3
2 4 9
3 8 27
4 16 81
5 32 243
6 64 729
7 128 2,187

Now, let's say, a similar city a few hours away implements a mask protocol. The masks reduce the risk of transmission by only 33%. Then, the R0 would be 2. One infected person who visits that city would end up infecting only 128 people after one week.

So, a 33% reduction in R0 improves the situation by 94% in ONE WEEK. A month or a year later, the reductions would be even more staggering.


Should have listened to N. N. Taleb!

The Canadian government didn't understand the risk till it was too late:

A March 10 department-drafted briefing note prepared for Health Minister Patty Hajdu ahead of question period said that, with just 12 cases being reported nationwide at that point, "the risk of spread of this virus within Canada remains low at this time." The note also said the public health system is "well-equipped to contain cases coming from abroad, limiting the spread in Canada."

A month later, Canada has more than 21,000 cases.

21,243 cases now. That's a 177,000% increase in the number of infected people in Canada in one month! That's what happens when you have a politically correct, totally not-racist, unlike that horrible Trump attitude to public health.

Between Jan. 22 and Feb. 18, 58,000 travellers arrived in Canada from China — 2,030 of them were coming from Hubei province.

Only 68 were pulled aside for further assessment by a quarantine officer and only three passengers were actually flagged for a medical exam — the other 65 passengers were sent away with a pamphlet.

It's impossible to know how many pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic passengers were released into the general Canadian population.

The Ontario government sent text messages in late March -- telling recent international travelers to "self-isolate". The problem? There is no way for the government to check up or enforce that policy. Many who came back from long trips immediately went shopping to stock up. I know of a grocery store nearby where a guy was chatting on his phone describing his recent trip to Florida! The store manager found out and asked him to leave and go home. He only did so after he finished shopping.


Foods and supplements

Vox Day posts a translated message; an excerpt:

Anyone who has symptoms should take only and exclusively PARACETAMOL (except, of course, medical prescription), drink plenty of water, and very often (if possible sips every 15 minutes). We also have natural antivirals such as Garlic, Ginger, Propolis, and almost all aromatic plants (Mint, Melissa (Torongil), Rosemary ...) Cinnamon, Curcuma, Fruits with Vitamin C ... in direct infusion.

He adds:

I've also heard from various sources that large daily doses of Vitamins C and D3, as well as zinc, have been reported to be efficacious.

I've found that the following four foods / supplements provide a powerful boost to the immune system:

  1. Garlic or garlic powder
  2. Cayenne pepper or sauce
  3. Vitamin C (1,000 mg per day)
  4. Vitamin D3 (2,000 IU per day)

The combined cost is quite impressive. Under $2 per month!


SPYfall 2

I've been paying attention to the financial markets for the last eight years. Never have I seen such volatility and pessimism. The NYSE has halted a few minutes into the open because of a steep 7% drop.

U.S. stocks hit critical circuit breaker levels on Thursday minutes after the opening bell for the second time this week as global markets plunged amid investor fears about the coronavirus global pandemic.

SPY has gone from a high of $339 to $250 in under a month. That's a staggering 26% drop. TVIX has gone from $40 to $420 in about three weeks.


Day and night

Minneapolis police officers will no longer ticket motorists for broken headlights or turn signals, instead handing out vouchers to pay for vehicle repairs under a new department policy unveiled Wednesday.

Too dumb to change a bulb.

A 2018 Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office report found that more than half of motorists stopped citywide for equipment violations were black, even though blacks make up only about a fifth of the city’s population. The disparity was particularly glaring in the ethnically diverse neighborhoods of north Minneapolis, where the study found that 80% of drivers pulled over were black, compared with 12% who were white.

The trillions in welfare wasn't enough.

Vox Day:

If, at this point, you still believe in equality, of any sort, you're a) an idiot and b) are not intelligent enough to be reading this blog. The fact that European civilization requires Europeans to maintain it is not merely a truth, it is a freaking tautology.

Unknownsailor comments at Vox Day:

Ever wonder why Saudi Arabia has to pay white contractors to maintain all their fancy military hardware? Because there are few and far between people inside their own military who are a) smart enough to do so and b) want to do so.

1400 years of inbreeding does not happen without consequence.

(Nods head.) These Arabs have made trillions of dollars from petroleum but they need thousands of White people to maintain their oil infrastructure. They still don't have an educated and interested workforce after a century of oil money!


There is no equality

A few years ago, I heard a woman who was talking about boys and girls. She said that the sexes are equal and the differences are "socially constructed". An older woman, a grandmother, seating nearby was shaking her head. That didn't faze the ignorant fool who kept on talking about the horrible oppression of society.

Her profession? Science teacher.

Of course, reality provides concrete lessons:

Your average guy has twice the upper body strength of a woman. After a few months in the gym, that guy can double his strength. So, now, he is roughly four times stronger than a woman when it comes to lifting, pushing, and punching. A man with gifted genetics and discipline can become more than ten times stronger than the average woman. He might as well be a different species at that point. Yet, we get stories in which women are stunned and surprised when their slim boyfriend gets to showcase his strength. This is what happens when you swallow the GRRRL power nonsense from the media.


The Thin Veneer of Civilization

Nope. The Internet allows us to more clearly see the ugliness of greed and envy. Too many people will never get close to becoming rich but they'll take great pleasure in burning the wealthy. Human nature is what it is. The smart thing to do is to protect yourself against the savagery as best as you can.