My Album Download Update
Okay, I realized there is a problem today with downloading the album with Hamachi.  You have to have the password to join the network my hamachi client is on. I’m not going to give it out on the blog, because it happens to be the same password I use for some other sensitive information.  Until I figure out a way to fix this, I’m going to put the files on the server available for download.  Click here to go to the Hamachi/StmC entry and DOWNLOAD MY ALBUM!

BlipMedia News
In other news, if you are a Blip user and have sent a tech support request via email lately, and I’m not responding back in my usual 10 seconds later fashion, it’s because I’m SWAMPED with requests lately.  We’ve added 200 some odd users in the last week and a half (record growth!) which is bringing with it new sorts of problems, challenges, and technical questions.  I’ll get back with you in the order I got your email in, I promise.  If I’m not getting to you after about four days, send another email, or you could try leaving a message on the public forum in the hopes that someone in the community may have run into your problem and can help you solve it more quickly.

In another podcasting related trend that’s worth mentioning, podcasting has reached another plateau busting growth trend in the search engines.  I know this because I basically own the keywords “podcast hosting” and a few others similar to that, and my GoogleAds bill has shot through the roof this week.  It’s up from about 15 clickthroughs per day to around 30 or 40.  I’ll get some hard stats and graphs here in the next few days and put some real analysis up.  I’ve not been monitoring the news for podcasting lately, so if anyone has some insight as to where this influx is coming from, I’d be open to learning.

Peak Oil Fervor on the Rise; World Looks to Rizzn for Help
There has been a fair amount of concern amongst the Peak Oil alarmist crowd recently that has a couple of people in my sphere of influence up in arms, and urging me and anyone I care about to move to an agrerian population center or join a commune.  I’m open minded, and I listen to what my comrades have to say before  Most of the ruckus has been started by a certain Michael Rupert article published at From the Wilderness.

As I pack my bags to head to Washington for Congressional Black Caucus hearings on the September 11th attacks (to be conducted this Friday and Saturday) my inbox is being progressively flooded with emails from inside sources in the energy industry about what Hurricane Rita is now likely to accomplish – the near-complete destruction of an already teetering US economy.

Coup de Grace.  If you hear these words, know that they come from this article.  I’m not going to go through and point by point rebuttal everything in this article, I’m simply going to go over the highlights and share my thoughts.  I’m not the authority on Peak Oil, and I’m not the authority on rebutting Peak Oil.  I am a very learned and avid student of Ray Kurzweil, and I ‘survived’ Y2K as an industry insider, and I believe that my insight given those two facets of me makes my analysis unique and pertinent.

According to Michael Rupert:

  1. 30% of America’s refining capability is likely to be destroyed by Hurricane Rita
  2. 30% of America’s domestic natural gas production is shut down.
  3. Saudi replacement oil is useless, because it’s not even a bargain at $10–$12 below market cost.
  4. Rupert agrees with the mainstream media (MSM) that Rita will indeed be a worst case scenario when it hits Texas, effectively destroying anything it touches.
  5. The Chairman of Valero Energy says that this could destroy America’s economy as we know it.
  6. CNN is now predicting $5/gallon gasoline prices post-Rita
  7. The largest nuclear plant in America is being shut down in response to Rita preperation.
  8. FEMA will not protect lives, only protect assets.

I must admit, before reading the article by Michael Rupert, I was a lot more convinced of a crisis hearing this information from trusted members of my inner circle.  Unfortunately, if you read through his article, the bulk of the ‘crisis’ is based on MSM sources. What is it we here at the Blip community have been screaming for almost a year now?  The MSM distorts in favor of sensationalism!  Why?  Because it sells more advertisements!

As soon as my life settles down a bit, I’m going to finish a little documentary I’m working on about FlyDLUX, focusing on the distortion the media placed on our company in relationship with the facts.  It was the most real example in my life I’ve ever had that showed me how much of our ‘news’ is simply entertainment, not factually based. As to the Chairman of Valero Energy, of course he’s going to agree with him.  He’s a chairman of a large energy conglomorate.  He’s looking for corporate welfare, in an era of corporate entitlement.  The more he plays up the crisis, the more he’s likely to recieve in federal aide.  There is no self-interest in him downplaying the crisis.  Just like Enron, if the public wants a crisis, he and others like him are in a position to ‘create a crisis.’

Speaking to FEMA, P.J. O’Rourke on Real Time with Bill Maher brought up an interesting point a week ago.  FEMA is an agency that shouldn’t exist.  It’s a creation of the Carter administration, and it’s responsibilities are essentially redundant to pre-existing private and military operations.  Emergency management shouldn’t be taken care of on a federal level.  It should be the responsibility of the first responders, the National Guard (implemented from state-level authority), and if needed, individual executive orders and acts of congress.  The necessity for a government organisation like FEMA to muck things up simply isn’t there, as it seems to only get in the way of other, more capable organisations, private and governmental.

Most importantly, and on a grander vision that simply this one hurricane and the last, those concerned and even panicked by the Peak Oil prognosis in general (and these disasters in specificity) in my opinion are missing the larger capability of a capitalist system and the Law of Accelerating Returns.  I’m not saying we as a country should ignore the dwindling world oil supplies, and if I was saying that, it simply wouldn’t happen.  I guarantee you all over this country and indeed this planet, there are people quietly positioning themselves to take up world slack with alternative energies onces

the world runs out of it’s favorite crude juice.  That’s the nature of economics, and indeed the nature of the law of Accelerating Returns.

Let me quote Ray Kurzweil, one of the worlds leading proponents of AI and technology in general:

The Law of Accelerating Returns: As order exponentially increases, time exponentially speeds up (that is, the time interval between salient events grows shorter as time passes).

But the growth predicted by the Law of Accelerating Returns is an exception to the frequently cited limitations to exponential growth.  Even a catastrophe, as apparently befell our reptilian cohabitants in the late Cretaceous period, only sidesteps an evolutionary process, which then picks up the pieces and continues unabated (unless the entire process is wiped out).  An evolutionary process acclerates because it builds on its past achievements, which includes improvements in its own means for further evolutions.

The Law of Accelerating Returns applies equally to the evolutionary process of computation, which inherently will grow exponentially and essentially without limit.  The two resources it needs – the growing order of the evolving technology itself, and the chaos from which an evolutionary process draws its options for further diversity – are unbounded.

Kurzweil, in the context from which I drew this quote, was attempting to persuade us that machines would one day build themselves, based upon the Law of Accelerating Returns, the Law of Increasing Entropy and The Law of Time and Chaos. (for more on all this, I suggest The Age of Spiritual Machines, by Ray Kurzweil).  The point that I’m driving at, however, is that as time progresses, and chaos increases (that is to say, increasing uncertainty in the energy and the oil markets), the laws previously mentioned dictate that alternative energy forms to fill the voids created will be found, and our way of life will be only slightly disrupted (if at all).

In simpler terms, these criseses and new technologies seem to function on a pendulum swing, and we are entering an age where there seems to be a number of pendulums swinging into their low points, and when a pendulum reaches it’s lowest point in the swing, the chicken littles of the world seem to run out of the woodwork, because it sells papers, issues, advertisement, or otherwise allows them to cash in.

I’m not 100% convinced that my analysis applies here, but I’m hovering around a high 80% to low 90% degree of certainty.  I invite criticism and response to this to distill this down to it’s essential truth.

/mark