Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mind's Eye Re: Radical banking

This is from the Bank of England:

Over the course of the past 800 years, the terms of trade between the
state and the banks have first swung decisively one way and then the
other. For the majority of this period, the state was reliant on the
deep pockets of the banks to finance periodic fiscal crises. But for
at least the past century the pendulum has swung back, with the state
often needing to dig deep to keep crisis-prone banks afloat.
Events of the past two years have tested even the deep pockets of many
states. In so doing, they have added momentum to the century-long
pendulum swing. Reversing direction will not be easy. It is likely to
require a financial sector reform effort every bit as radical as
followed the Great Depression. It is an open question whether reform
efforts to date, while slowing the swing, can bring about that change
of direction.

On 31 Oct, 13:58, archytas <> wrote:
> Just in case my fuel from thin air is confused with some conspiracy on
> the matter - the following is the New Scentist state of play.
> Last week, Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), a company in Stockton, UK,
> revealed the first successful demonstration of an idea that dates back
> to the oil crisis of the 1970s: that carbon, hydrogen and oxygen can
> be plucked from carbon dioxide and water in air to be converted into
> methanol and then morphed into gasoline.
> However, amidst the headlines, some media coverage overlooked the key
> point: the energy efficiency of the process has yet to be
> demonstrated. This matters because the technique uses electricity for
> key stages. The inventors hope to use renewable energy sources to
> supply this, but it's not yet clear if the system will be able to
> produce fuel at an affordable price.
> The big idea is to capture atmospheric CO2 and turn it into fuel so
> there's no net increase in CO2 from cars and trucks fuelled by such
> gasoline. As long as the process is powered by renewable electricity
> sources such as solar, wind or tidal, using the gasoline is carbon
> neutral.
> The AFS plant comprises a CO2 capture unit in one shipping container,
> with a methanol reactor and miniature gasoline refining system in
> another. Air is blown into a sodium hydroxide mist, snagging CO2 as
> sodium carbonate. A condenser collects water from the same air. To
> make methanol – formula CH3OH – hydrogen is generated by electrolysing
> the water while the carbon and oxygen come from electrolysing the
> sodium carbonate. The methanol is then converted to gasoline.
> Following tests over the last three months, AFS chief executive Peter
> Harrison says the demonstrator reliably produces half-a-litre of
> gasoline a day. Peter Edwards ,an inorganic chemist at the University
> of Oxford whose team is working with a Saudi firm on similar ideas, is
> impressed: "I take my hat off to Air Fuel Synthesis. They have taken a
> concept that has been around for 35 years and gotten the process
> going."
> But Harrison points out the demonstrator, funded with a £1.2 million,
> two-year investment from private backers, was built to make gasoline,
> "not to prove its net efficiency or energy balances".
> Douglas Stephan, a chemist at the University of Toronto, Canada, also
> researching fuel production from CO2, describes AFS's demonstrator as
> "an engineering tour-de-force". But he too warns efficiency is the
> key. "Until a detailed assessment of the energy efficiency is
> enunciated, I would remain sceptical about this technology," he says.
> Andrew Bocarsly, chief science advisor at Liquid Light Inc, a company
> in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, aiming to synthesise chemicals like
> methanol from CO2, points out that many researchers worldwide have so
> far failed to find cost-effective and efficient ways to split hydrogen
> from water.
> "I do wonder about the cost efficiency of their chemical conversion
> processes," he says, noting energy is required to back convert
> carbonate to gaseous CO2, to liberate hydrogen from water, to convert
> the hydrogen and CO2 to methanol and to transform methanol to
> gasoline.
> AFS says demonstrating efficiency will have to wait for a bigger
> plant, which will fit into three shipping containers that can be
> dropped anywhere fuel is needed and produce 1200 litres of gasoline a
> day. Harrison says motorsport venues, keen to reduce their fossil fuel
> dependence, and some remote islands have expressed an interest in
> these £5 million units. "The demonstrator has given us the confidence
> that this next level of gasoline plant will be efficient enough," says
> AFS marketing manager Graham Truscott.
> Harrison says the ultimate goal is to build refinery-sized plants that
> could compete with oil – but he says they could cost £10 billion and
> need serious government aid. That in turn would need serious proof of
> energy efficiency. Bocarsly adds: "This issue will be the test for
> commercialisation."
> There's one more factor to consider, says Edwards: "The efficiency of
> this process would also have to be balanced against the cost of
> alternative measures like burying or dumping CO2 underground."
> There remain big questions on how to get more finance into such areas
> - neither banks nor governments are much good at it.
> On 31 Oct, 13:32, archytas <> wrote:
> > Russell did something called 'In Praise of Idleness' Andrew.
> > Definition in politics and economics is in a dire state.  I think it's
> > all stuck in the mud of Bacon's Idols and can't cross the line to
> > science.  We can fairly reliably define work in physics as mass
> > through distance and acceleration (complicated by stuff such as
> > friction - modern thermodynamics extends theoretically to a
> > replacement of gravity).  In human affairs I suspect a freed slave has
> > a different idea of work than some freak 'making' millions front-
> > running trades.
> > Most of us would probably think a return of decent paid jobs would
> > improve the economy - but underlying this is little radical in
> > definition of work - we really conflate jobs with income
> > distribution.  The deep questions are beyond the work ethics we have
> > soaked up and concern how much work we need to do and how to share the
> > burden and be able to encourage work motivation and quality.
> > In ideology I support a global association of free workers and a
> > collective free-table.  I know this is pie in the sky - but I would
> > like to radicalise work motivation away from compulsion to provide
> > necessities and affluence in privacy.  I would see primitive or
> > utility banking as necessary under-pinning of this.  We can't continue
> > with financial services as the biggest tax parasite of all time.
> > After years in the game I see most innovation-talk as Mumbojumbo - we
> > don't link it to improved quality of life.
> > We can now make petrol from air (water vapour, carbon dioxide - to
> > methanol which can be cracked up to petrol) - there are working
> > prototypes.  I'm inclined to the view that our ways of making money
> > from production are more of a barrier to such innovation than a help -
> > and remember investment in such is tiny in comparison to property and
> > other fetish bubbles.  The bugbear lurking in my Unsaid here is we can
> > hardly trust government organisation and would need a new form of
> > that.
> > On 31 Oct, 11:56, andrew vecsey <> wrote:
> > > I published a video about my opinion of what work is that I would like to
> > > share. First you play, then you work and then you think. The virtues of
> > > laziness. See YouTube video
> > > **
> > > The text of the video is below.*
> > > *
> > > *The art of work and play*
> > > Work, as seen by the sharp eyes of children, is a game adults play for
> > > money.  Because all games have rules, to make your work into a game, you
> > > have to follow some rules. The first rule of games is not to aim too high
> > > if you want to enjoy the game. The second rule is not to take the game too
> > > seriously. It's not about winning or losing, but about how you play the
> > > game.  So if you want to have a good game, you have to play it right.
> > >  The higher quality you aim for, the lower quantity you hit. If 80% is too
> > > low for you, you can reach for 90% at twice the cost, effort, time, and
> > > stress. An additional danger is being perceived as better than you are and
> > > being expected to maintain your high level. Prolonged, this can make you or
> > > break you. If it breaks you, you get a burnout. If you get too badly
> > > burned, you can suffer a nervous breakdown.
> > >  Because we live in a very superficial world where appearance is valued
> > > more than substance, you can take advantage of this. If you cover cracked
> > > or stained floors or walls with pictures, plants or stones, you save
> > > yourself time and money from repairing them.
> > >  Because the beginning and the end of things are more important than their
> > > middle, you can take advantage of this. You don`t have to cook a fancy meal
> > > to impress. A few fancy appetizers, wine and a rich creamy dessert is all
> > > it takes, saving you time and money.
> > > Practical tips to save time and energy:
> > >    -
> > >    Use the carpet as temporary places to sweep things under. Works with
> > >    indoor as well as outdoor carpets. Instead of chasing leaves in the wind,
> > >    sweep them under the doormat. They will get pressed into doormats
> > >    themselves that can be at a later time easily rolled up and discarded as
> > >    compost behind the closest bush.
> > >    -
> > >    Don`t clean the the whole thing just because it has a spot of dirt on
> > >    it. Just clean the spot. This is useful not only for bulky things like
> > >    carpets and coats, but also for floors and shirts.
> > >    -
> > >    Develop a chronological universal filing system, not only for your
> > >    office papers, but for your clothes as well. This way the newest things you
> > >    receive will be always on the top and the oldest things always on the
> > >    bottom making things easy to find quickly.
> > >    -
> > >    Don`t do things now when you can do them in the last moment. If you do
> > >    them now, it will take longer than if you do them the last minute. And if
> > >    you do them now, you will probably re do them in the last minute anyways,
> > >    so save yourself the trouble.
> > >    -
> > >    Don`t make things complicated when you can make them simple.
> > >    -
> > >    Adjust your speed according to the quality to quantity ratio you aim
> > >    for. And don`t aim too high.
> > > Below is an example of how you could make your work more enjoyable and more
> > > like a game if you happened to be a janitor.
> > >    -
> > >    Call yourself a "certified
> ...
> read more »



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