[BBC Documentary 2015] Gold Moves East (YouTube Video)

Some people claim gold to be out of fashion, because it’s only a commodity with ancient intrinsic value.  Nonetheless, we all know that an ounce of gold comparing to an ounce of most things on earth, gold would be more coveted after.  Since gold is more valuable than most commodity — even though nobody can ever eat it — it makes sense that according to the demand of time any price could be named for just an ounce of gold.  For an example, hypothetically, another major world war may boost the price of gold to $20,000 for an ounce of gold.  Of course, it could also mean a future world disaster may dictate the price of gold in any amount of worth, but the example I gave is a hypothetical one only.  Since gold is being imagined as out of fashion in this moment in time, people are buying up gold as trinkets and not as something that could secure their future, thus people may easily give up their gold in good time.  When bad time comes, I fear people who go without gold will find life suddenly becomes a lot bleaker.  In World War II, gold was a major source of finance for battles across Europe and elsewhere.  In ancient time, gold was the source of wars and greed.  What would be the role of gold for this century and the next?  Check out the video right after the break to see how gold is being viewed throughout the world.  Enjoy!!!

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Can Financial War Foretell That A Physical War Is Near?

After I had done finished the reading of Chapter 2 for “The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System” By James Rickards, I’m convinced that financial war could precede the physical war.  In fact, I think financial war might be one of the early telltale signs that may point out that the physical war is near.  After all, financial war is designed to be first strike of first strike, because it helps the attackers to damage the enemy’s economy, consequently weakening the enemy’s ability to conduct physical war in the long term basis.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that a physical war is definitely going to happen when a financial war has happened.  It’s just that I think financial war is definitely preceding a physical war, because financial war can be used to weaken an enemy’s economy.

In the digital age we’re living in, financial war can cause havoc beyond imagination, because trillions of dollar could be vanishing in digital wipe.  Perhaps, the digital wipes could come in waves such as stock market collapse, bank runs, bond market collapse, and so forth.  Systemic collapse such as the financial crisis in 2007 was experienced waves of paper wealth loss, and the same thing can be happening again either by targeted attack by designed or by another unseen consequential event which happens naturally by the design of nature (such as systemic risk).

By digital wipe I meant that our money (more like the world money) can vanish in the digital world even though paper wealth loss might be the eventual explanation.  After all, money nowadays can be zeros and ones in the digital world.  Stock market is trading in the digital age with digital technology.  The book suggested that successful cyber-attacks could amplify the financial war in general.  In fact, cyber-attack method is one of the methods a state can employ to launch a financial war.  Nonetheless, cyber-attack method isn’t the only mean for financial war, because financial war in general is a lot more complex.  Such as sanction and other means can be employed too!

Anyhow, once the financial war attack begins, I bet the chain of big events will eventually follow.  Until the point of an enemy’s economy can no longer be weakened by the means of financial war, then the physical war might follow unless one of the war participants decides to make peace and prevent the physical war.  Of course, physical war between major powers such as China, Russia and United States cannot be breaking out easily, because these are nuclear power states.  Besides financial mutual destruction capability, these states can probably annihilate each other with radioactive capability such as nuclear bombs/missiles and so forth.  They might deliver these nuclear weapons at hypersonic speed which is up to 10 times the speed of sound, consequently making it very hard for a defense apparatus to shoot down such nuclear weapons before these devastated radioactive weapons reach the intended targets.

As the book suggested, perhaps physical war might not happen as one side might back down from further conflict as the financial war might be devastating enough to dictate the winner in the conflict.  The book suggested further that major forces such as China and Russia are preparing for such possibilities by accruing gold.  The book detailed that at the height of financial war between United States and Iran, Iran was partly successfully circumvented the United States dollar sanction by accepting gold as payment for the oil export.  Until when the United States told its allies to stop trading goods with Iran using gold, it was then that Iran had to import and export goods using its allies local currencies such as Yuan, Ruble, and Rupee.

In these two early chapters, the book already suggested that United States unintentionally pushed Iran to stop using the dollar as the reserve currency.  This might suggest that other countries are looking at Iran and fearing that one day they maybe in the Iran situation, thus they might have to face U.S. dollar sanction, consequently putting their economy at risks of collapsing.  These other states may already have been diverting and diversifying their dollars into something more tangible such as gold and so forth.  In China and Russia case, these two countries are now ramping up their natural gas deals and whatever else to partly diversifying their dollar reserve holding.  So too hoarding gold is among the plans of their diversifying activity in case the dollar is in trouble.  The United States government was shutdown not too long ago, because of the debt limit ceiling bickering between the political parties — this had further added the anxiety for the states that are currently holding dollar as their reserve currency for oil trading and so forth.

Even if a physical war breaks out, the book suggested that the winner of the physical war in the end might still regain the financial war lost.  After all, the winner can dictate the terms in the end right?  Nonetheless, in my opinion nobody knows how the next great war will turn out to be since we’re living in the nuclear age.  The nuclear fallout is beyond my imagination.  Sure, I have seen movies’ depictions of the nuclear fallout, but how close to the reality the movies’ nuclear fallout depiction is remaining to be seen.  Nobody knows the future I would say!  If God forbid that the nuclear fallout might occur and be so devastated, the victor of a physical war might not be able to regain the financial war lost, because the situation got so bad that dictating terms at such time might not be even feasible or sensible for all involved parties/states.

Perhaps, the nuclear age is so scary that major powers such as United States, China, and Russia, if sensible enough, may dare only to engage in financial war — leaving physical war to be carried out by the Hollywood movies.  If this is a possible scenario, I must say that financial war is even more important than otherwise.  After all, the victor in financial war will be able to dictate terms that are favorable for a victor’s state in today globalized world in the aftermath.  Perhaps, financial war will be able to be used as a targeted weapon which isn’t involving too many states at the same time, because it’s not as destructive as a physical great war such as World War II.  Because World War III may go nuclear!

As the case of United States sanctioned Iran from the dollar payment system, it was clear that United States could orchestrate a targeted financial war against a single state.  Sure, the United States did involve its allies to stop trading dollar for Iran goods; these so called allies had their own interests to be contented with, consequently forcing them to not carry out their financial war against Iran at 100% effort.  Moreover, Iran got the oil that could be bought at cheaper price during the height of the  United States’ Iran sanctions, and the so called allies had allowed Iran to export oil for gold and so forth.  With accruing gold, Iran could then trade the gold with its allies such as China, Russia, and India for other goods and services.  Even when the United States had involved allies such as Germany and so forth to stop Iran from exporting oil for dollar and gold eventually, Iran survived the sanction and the allies were humming fine.  This demonstrated that the financial war could destroy the targeted enemy’s economy without ending humanity.

Knowing financial war can destroy an enemy’s economy without ending humanity, nuclear war might only be the last desperate attempt for a state to defend itself.  This might encourage states to use financial war more frequently to push the boundary of bargaining at world stage.  Nonetheless, since we are living in the digital age and globalized world, financial war can be very consequential.  In the United States case, if an enemy is successfully bringing down the economy of the United States through financial war, it may not destroy the United States in short term.  In the longer term though, a successful financial war against the United States can be devastated for the overall health of the United States economy.  Furthermore, if the United States gets weaker financially, United States won’t be able to maintain her military might and so forth.

Certainly, it’s in the United States’ best interests to not let a financial war attack to bring down the United States economy, because in the longer term the United States may not be able to grow normally again.  Certainly, it’s the case for other countries besides United States to make sure their economy won’t be disturbed by financial war.  After all, I think a financial war can be devastated enough to disrupt even the everyday peoples’ lives.  I think financial war should not be taken lightly and be waged so carefree.  Countries of the world should care more for the health of global finance, because we’re living in a globalized world.  A break in the chain might do more harm in the long run, because things are moving faster in a much more complex globalized and closely finance linked world.

Source:  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/13/hypersonic-arms-race-china-tests-high-speed-missil/?page=all

Population Size Advantages Plus Productivity Equal Wealth And Glory?

Everyday in the news, we’re seeing more reports on the growths of China and India. Nowadays, the citizens of the West are not of one mind whenever they discuss whatever in regarding to these two countries. Some people in the West appreciate the rises of China and India. Some people are fearful of the rises of these two countries. Understandably so, because these two countries, although geographically close by, these two countries have very different cultures and politics, and these two countries have even less commonalities with the West. With the eyes of outsiders, West populations are wearied of these two rising giants, because these two giants’ economies and militaries are growing in bounds and leaps as each day goes by.

There are people out there believing that these two giants are just recapturing their past glories, because these two giants’ had been the global economic engines before. In fact, China in particular, had been the world economic engine for centuries. Before industrialization, even through tough times and regime changes, China had always been able to recapture her world standing as a global economic powerhouse or superpower. Only when the industrial age had come which then the West was able to subdue China. If I’m not wrong, there were eight countries from the West and elsewhere that came to divide and conquer China in late 1800s and early 1900s.

The people who are supporting China and India rises probably believe that these two countries are just recapturing their old glories. Nonetheless, others are fearing that China and India rises will change the world order’s status quo. So far, China and India are still developing, but they are developing at breakneck speeds. On the other hand, the rest of the world are stood still in regarding to economic activities. The fears of China and India rises exacerbate as China and India continue to expand economically and militarily. What worse is that China and India are competing against each other for world’s resources. Rich resource countries are loving to attract these two giants’ capitals, but the rest of the world is fearing the competition between the two giants might get out of hand and launch the world into wars and destructions.

People are wondering why China is not a democracy, but yet this country is able to rise from ash and go on to capture the world’s wealth (or recapturing her past glories). India is growing fast, but when comparing India against China, India’s development is decades behind China. Infrastructure wise, China is urbanizing and developing at breakneck speed while India is trying too hard to mimic China’s infrastructure developing progress. In short, India wants to overtake China in developing in everything, but at the moment China is ahead by miles. In term of population though, if I’m not wrong India is growing her population faster than China each year. This means India might be able to catch up to China in population size.

In the TEDx Talks video right after the break, Rush Doshi explains why China and India for so long had been rich and powerful; although China and India were subdued by the West and elsewhere when the industrial age arrived, there are signs that China and India once again recapture past wealths and glories. Rush Doshi looks at the world through the geographical lens, and so he claims that geographically advantages allow China and India to develop huge populations. Rush Doshi then proclaims that at any point in history whenever China and India could be just as productive as the rest of the world, due to huge population sizes, China and India could lead in wealths and glories. Check out the video right after the break and enjoy!!!

 

Imagine What Great Benefits That Will Bring To Us All If We Have A Great Solar Wall… Or How About Many Great Alternative Energy Walls?

English: The Great Wall of China, near Beijing...

English: The Great Wall of China, near Beijing in July 2006. This is a section of Mutianyu. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please note before reading this blog post:  Whenever I mention of a lord, I don’t say a lord is representing a country or an entity.  Instead, I mean a lord is the energy itself.  For an example, oil lord equates to oil itself.  Got it?  Also, I don’t pretend to be an expert in oil, because let me say this — I’m not an expert in oil matter.  Instead, I just have a lot opinions about oil in general, and some of my opinions are definitely inspired by other people’s opinions.  Anyhow, my opinions might be just that, but let us see what will actually be as time progresses.  Also, when I speak of Great Solar Wall or great whatever wall, it’s just a metaphor…

Here is an outrageous imagination on my part, but let see how outrageous it would be OK?  As oil prices become evermore expensive, people begin to wonder what on earth has contributed such volatility in the oil market.  I think oil prices have always responded to any volatility in the world that has to do with oil supply and demand.  An example of one oil volatility among many oil volatilities in the world would be a country somewhere, which is the main supplier of oil, suddenly cutbacks the production of oil supply.  In the case of a major oil supply cutback, oil prices would be skyrocketed unless the demand is going to be less depending on oil from this point on or the oil supply is once again replenishing the so called oil quotas (i.e., different from oil reserves in my opinion as oil quotas are to fulfill the oil demands for whoever and on the moment of notice).  So, it’s clear that the world is totally depending on oil as if oil is the cocaine of a cokehead.

Without oil, the world won’t be able to operate as usual.  This means economies will shrink and so on.  With oil is being so ridiculously in charged of the livelihood of the world, people have began to realize that we need alternative energy to counterbalance the all too powerful oil lord.  We are looking for the new lords that can help the world to say no to oil lord from time to time, because without being able to say no to oil lord the world will be totally depending on oil with no end in sight.  So, people are hoping that the combination of hybrid, fuel cell, wind, natural gas, solar, and other fringe technology might just be enough to boost their confidence in saying no to the oil lord from time to time.

So far though, alternative energy lords aren’t yet capable in challenging, let alone overthrowing, the oil lord in any shape or form.  Nonetheless, we have to ask the question, what if the alternative energy lords know what to do.  I think this means the alternative energy lords have to go for broke!  So, I imagine the solar lord has to put up a Great Solar Wall which is as long or even longer and much wider than the Great Wall of China to harness enough solar — to make the oil lord sees that his days are numbered.  Other alternative energy lords should also go for broke.  Of course, the question is, will there be any devastating major impact (i.e., negative impact) for the environment if one or more alternative energy lords go for broke?  If the scale of justice for the environment assures us that the lords of alternative energies will do more good than harm, then we should be relentless in cheering and voting for the lords of alternative energies.

I think, more energy lords come onto the battle field the better for the world as the bloodshed will be lessen.  There will be check and balance and people don’t really have to go to war for any single energy lord.  Any lord that is promising peace will be the lord of our time, right?  To make this even more clear, simply put that if we can rely on the lords of alternative energies more, we don’t have to listen to the oil lord who is always attracting wars.  When nobody is listening to the oil lord anymore, he will not be able to attract enough supports for wars.  With less wars, the world will race ahead for more prosperity and peace!  With less wars, the world will race ahead and transform the 21st century into a marvelous, golden century.

If we have a marvelous, golden 21st century, then many current problems of ours will be solved.  I imagine that a golden 21st century would allow creativities and jobs to prosper.  In order for such prosperity, alternative energy lords will have to work extra hard as the oil lord isn’t somebody who can just be bulldozed over.  So, I guess my imagination of a Great Solar Wall  — or we can say that we need a Great Alternative Energy Wall in general — will be the solution to our current major world problems.

The major world problems are probably stirred up by the implication of wanting to secure more oil for a growing economy or a developed economy, thus promotes oil scarcity and so on.  So I say, let us go for broke!  We and the alternative energy lords must go for broke and go for broke fast or else we will not have time to stop the much bigger and more dangerous, oncoming wars for oil.  Nobody needs a crystal ball to predict wars can break out in our near future if major developing nations are desperate for more oil.  In fact, I should not even use the term developing nations, because it’s too loosely of a term.  I should use the term of oil desperate nations.  By using the term of oil desperate nations, we can include the developed nations, that just as desperate for oil as other oil desperate nations, to the long list of oil desperate nations.  The longer the list of oil desperate nations the more conflicts in the world will play out.  It will not be a pretty picture for all!

Want an example of oil desperate nations?  China is one.  Want another one?  India is another one.  For your information, population size does matter a lot when it comes down to measure the oil desperation of a nation.  This is especially true when a desperate oil nation is growing its economy and modernizing its cities in a big big way.  We also have to consider that United States is another oil desperation nation, because the fact is that United States always has the need for more oil so its economy can keep on churning or perhaps growing even more.  I fear though, China’s oil desperation level will definitely be much much greater than United States’ oil desperation level.  Once again, it’s about the economy growth potential of China and its population size.

I think China is a perfect example of an oil desperate nation.  Eventually, China will need much more oil than anyone else in the world to keep its economy grows the way it is now, because China economy at the moment is untouchable in term of GDP growth.  You can also say GDP growth isn’t a true measure of a growing economy, and the true measure of a growing economy should be of GDP that was calculated from PPP (Purchasing Power Parity).  Well, once again, China also has strong growth in PPP.

You might ask why China will be more desperate for oil than India even though India is almost comparable in population size.  Well, I think as long China is able to create a more vibrant economy than India as how China economy is doing so far, oil desperation for China is just going to continue to grow much bigger than India in time.  So it seems that India might have less headache than China in the area of oil desperation unless India can outgrow China in economy sometime in the future.  Perhaps, GDP, which derived from PPP, can truly show why China is growing much more than India in economy, thus oil desperation for China is greater.  To put it bluntly, however wrong I might be I think at the moment oil is tightly tied into every economy of the world.  We can also make an observation such as this — both oil and economy do need each other to grow.  Sadly to say, I don’t think alternative energy is anywhere near in replacing the dominating position which the oil lord has at the moment.

At the moment, it seems that the oil lord is able to meet the oil demands of the world.  Nonetheless, some of us do believe that the oil lord had seen his oil production capacity peaked sometimes back.  No matter if this is true though, we humans know one thing, nothing is unlimited.  Even the sun itself one day has to die out, and we know no human can survive on planet earth if the sun dies out.  So to put this bluntly, human intelligence told us that oil won’t last forever.  This is why we should not be so complacent about this.  Perhaps, whatever few signs there are that suggest oil production capacity has peaked, we should fear for the worse that will come straight at us in the near future.  I think one example of the few signs that suggest we are experiencing peak oil (i.e., oil production capacity has peaked) would be the continuous higher oil prices.

If we are too complacent about oil scarcity in general, we might not be able to leave behind a working energy market in which our children will be able to rely on for their prosperity.  This is why I think the alternative energy lords must jump into the rescue and go for broke.  If the alternative energy lords go for broke, even things might not pan out the way we hope, at least we might have more choices in alleviating the oil desperation problem.

Have we ever asked ourselves what will happen if the oil lord runs out of oil?  If there is such a scenario, I can only imagine the world population of 7 billions people will dwindle rapidly as foods and other major necessities become scarce in the face of not having enough input energy (i.e., input energy which creates the basic necessity outputs that the large human population needs for survival).  With hindsight, I think we can safely say that oil has always been the hand that has help increased the world population.  It’s 7 billions and counting.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

Just A Wild Thought: Electronic Magazine With Bendable Electronic Pages

English: Covers of backissues of ARMOR magazine

Image via Wikipedia

I have heard some tech companies are working on making bendable electronic devices that are super thin and wide.  If they are able to produce something like that which can be resemblant to a piece of paper, imagining the wide applications this technology can bring about.  Here is one I think of, but I’m not sure how hot or even cool it will be.  We know how old magazines work, right?  You flip it, flip it again, and flip it some more till you flip to the very end of a magazine.  Well, won’t it be cool if you buy an electronic magazine once, and the magazine company has to try to figure out how to fill those electronic magazine pages with their contents.  If this idea/technology ever makes debut, I wonder will you and I will be flipping electronic magazine pages with joy?  Of course, the whole idea is to allow magazine companies to update their magazine contents wirelessly and periodically without your interventions.  It’s obviously that you have to subscribe to a magazine company for your electronic magazine to work.  In fact, one electronic magazine should be able to display contents from multiple magazine companies that you have subscribed to.  Just a thought really — this technology might never happen!

India Takes A Bite At Apple, They Plan To Make $35 Tablet

Everyone wants a bite of Apple!  Researchers of Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Science in India are looking for a manufacturer that can produce their $35 tablet in abundance.  They boast that the cheap tablet can do everything that an iPad can.  The OS will be Linux.  A $35 tablet will undercut all American tablet players!  So far I have not heard any other tablet that has a price this inexpensive!  India promises a cheap tablet, but can they keep the promise?  If the $35 tablet becomes real, I sure hope American people can get some too!  One thing for sure, nothing can go wrong with a Linux OS.  Excuse me for being such a Linux fan!  Source.

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