Sudden Disruption

... seeking simple answers to complex problems, and in the process, disrupting the status quo in technology, art and behavior.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Next Economic Bubble Will Be a Zen Bubble

04-23-14 - I've been collecting data for this post since 2010.  Considering recent prices for art, it's past time to release it:






1988 Jeff Koons sculpture of Buster Keaton on a horse - sold for $5 million 12-17-12


Economic bubbles

Economic bubbles are fascinating specifically because they have little to do with economics, and everything to do with human behavior. In other words, little to do with logic, and everything to do with intuition.

Goods and services have a fundamental value reflected in how the thing contributes to our calories or shelter. Yes, there's more to life than than being fed and dry, but values become more abstract and subjective once security, health and aesthetics become factors.  And things get REALLY crazy when human vanity, greed and speculation are brought to bear.  These last factors are the source of economic bubbles.


Bubbles are driven by the "Greater Fool Theory" in which the value of something will increase with each transfer as long as there is another a greater fool.  Well, until there isn't.  The guy holding title when the music stops is the loser.  That's when everyone realizes the last transaction price was absurd. After that, the object in question's value will drop dramatically and its market go quiet for decades.  Whom ever is left holding the bag will have to wait until "the thing" comes back in fashion.  If ever.

Even though the lesson of economic bubbles has been presented many times and in vivid detail, the lesson never seems to take. Or maybe I should say, there always seems to be a greater fool.  In the interest of those thinking about becoming a fool and chasing the next bubble, I'll present some historical examples of the phenomenon, their characteristics, and why it's ill-advised to get involved.  Finally, for those still interested, I'll present my candidate for the next bubble, and why.  Maybe you can get in (and out) early. Let's review some of the more famous bubbles to understand how they expanded, collapsed, and their ultimate impact upon our economy.


 Tulip Mania

The genesis of bubble behavior almost certainly goes back to ownership of property itself.  There are likely examples lost to history, but one of the earliest and most vivid major economic bubbles was Tulip Mania.
Strange as it may seem, it was literally the selling of future contracts for, of all things, tulip bulbs. Don't let this humble flower fail to impress you. The demand was amazing, and provides an example of human behavior run a muck with a thing called fashion.  For a flower.

 In February of 1637 there were examples of single tulip bulbs selling for the current equivalent of ten years salary for a craftsman - for EACH bulb!  This was certainly in the hundreds of thousands of today's dollars. Yep. One flower bulb, a decoration for the table.  The key was that each bulb was unique in color and pattern and could be farmed, and their contracts traded.  Even though many similar families were bred, uniqueness is well, unique.  And unique allows for amazing rationalization, or shall we say irrationalization?

Some of the stories are amazing.  In one case, a workman mistakenly assumed a valuable tulip bulb on the kitchen table of his employer was a common onion.  He sliced it up for his sandwich, (appreciating it for its aesthetic flavor, and fundamental value in calories). When discovered, he was sent to debtor's prison for his error.  There are many other examples of how these crazy tulip prices destroyed people's lives. Mania is a good description for the love of these flowers and the strange market it created.

Though this bubble was narrow (a small part of national wealth), it was extremely deep (10,000 multiple). That multiple significantly increased the asset value of the Bank of Amsterdam for a time.  After the bubble popped, negative effects were felt for years.  In less than 90 days from the peak price, a tulip bulb was only worth, well, a tulip bulb, which was only it's aesthetic value as a flower, (or calories).  It could be argued that the workman was the most rational person in that economy.  A couple of smaller tulip bubbles in other areas happened later, but the value of tulips has never again approached that peak anywhere in the world.


South Seas Bubble

You'd think Tulip Mania would be chapter one in every business book for centuries, but less than 80 years later everyone seems to have forgotten the lesson. The South Seas Bubble had almost nothing to do with the South Seas. Instead its major asset was literally HALF of England's debt. The hopeful trade with South America allowed for the instruments of speculation (shares), and much of the government was complicit in promoting the investment, which increased borrowing for speculation ten-fold before it popped. This bubble was both wide (half the national debt) and fairly deep (ten times any possible fundamental value).  When it popped, it too depressed the economy of England for years.


The First Tech Bubble

Let's move to modern times. The first tech bubble has many good examples, but one I know well as they were a competitor.  In 1982 Fortune Systems was building a 68000-based micro-computer system.  They floated the 7th largest IPO in U.S. history at the time, raising $110 million at a half a billion dollar evaluation. This was for a new company with no profits that had shipped fewer than 200 units, most of which were having problems. Of course all was lost when the product didn't pan out. There were other early public tech offerings but except for a few like Apple Computer, most shared the same fate.  This shows bubbles don't have to be big to be crazy.  This was a modest bubble at the time, but it provided a taste of what was soon to come.


Tokyo Real Estate Bubble

Japanese real estate prices started rising dramatically in 1986 and were highest in Tokyo's Ginza district in 1989.  Choice properties were fetching over 30 million yen per square meter ($20,000 per square foot!) at one point. Prices were only marginally less in other large business districts of Tokyo.  HALF of the WORLD's real estate value was in one relatively small island called Japan.

By 1990 the party was over.  In 2004, prime "A" property in Tokyo's financial districts had slumped to less than 1 percent of its peak, and Tokyo's residential homes were less than a tenth of their peak, but still managed to be listed as the most expensive in the world, only being surpassed in the late 2000s by Moscow and other cities creating their own bubbles. The Tokyo bubble was both wide and deep.  Tens of TRILLIONS of dollars worth of "asset value" were wiped out with the combined collapse of the Tokyo real estate and dependent stock markets. Only 18 years later in 2007 had property prices begun to rise, before falling again in late 2008 due to the global downturn.  Japan has not yet recovered.  It's now been decades.


The Internet Leads the Second Tech Bubble

On the day Netscape went public I gave a talk explaining how there was NO reason to value a company with NO revenue and NO profits at almost 4 BILLION dollars.  As it turns out, this too was just a taste of what is common today.  By the time the internet bubble crashed in the spring of 2000 it had created an estimated 6.2 TRILLION dollars in value, 90% of which disappeared within weeks.  Even though mostly limited to only a segment of technology, this bubble was widely subscribed.  It's impact was felt world-wide for years. 


U.S. Housing Bubble

As money shuffle out of the internet, I began wondering where it would go next.  I watched in disbelief as house prices doubled (or in some cases tripled) in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. At the peak, lotteries were held for the RIGHT to buy new residential construction.  Some high-end properties were being sold for up to $700 a square foot at nearby Lake Tahoe, which was far beyond its value in materials.  The difference was (ir)rationalized by location.  I don't need to go on about the housing bubble.  Everyone else already has.  I'll just note that it represented "assets" of around 10 TRILLION dollars and seems to have triggered a collapse of a credit and asset bubble on Wall Street of even greater magnitude.  This bubble was also devastating to main street, which continues to be affected.


Chinese Real Estate and Debt Bubble

What may come to be known as the Chinese bubble is similar to what happened in the west but may be far larger when evaluated in retrospect, once good data is available.  In the United States, approximately five million "extra" housing units were constructed  in the early part of this century.  China has built between 70 and HUNDRED million housing units in a similar time-frame.  Now, China has a lot more people and many of them need houses, but there was a disconnect in market forces for of this construction.  Most of these units are executive homes and do not match the need nor demand from the market. Mitigating these glorious ghost cities will be far more difficult than foreclosing and reselling the American homes.  If you own anything in China, sell.  Which brings us to the point of this post.  Where will all the fools go next?

05-05-14 - "Forget it, Jake; it's Chinatown" - more signs of cracks in China:

Zombies once destroyed Japan’s economy—now they’re infecting China’s



The Next Bubble

Now that bubbles are understood, we'll never again get caught.  Right?  Not necessarily. In Wikipedia on Bubbles it's noted that bubbles are generally identified in retrospect, much like bull and bear markets. Bubbles sneak up on people. As a matter of fact, people (and their human behavior) seem to be their secret sauce.

Is a fool someone who pays more for a thing than its fundamental value? Or is a fool someone who doesn't manage to sell the thing to a greater fool before the music stops? And what about the guy who doesn't immediately sell once the "price" exceeds this fundamental value? Doesn't he also become a fool at that instant? Where do the lines get drawn? In retrospect it's easy. Seeing these lines while they are happening is more of a challenge.

The truth is, ALL investors are fools to one degree or another. It's just a matter of how long we feed the bubble and how it eventually deflates. It's all depends on where you get in, and where you get out. That's where the human behaviors of greed, denial and fear comes in.

So what will be the next bubble?

Real estate? Not in our life-time.  China will be the final nail in that coffin.  The upturn in the U.S. last year was just a dead cat bounce.  It will abate soon, and mark the beginning of a long flat market for residential real estate in America, and around the world.

Stocks? Nope.  Like real estate, the current bull market is just a return to normal after the crash.  There's already stock bubble talk, which will likely dampen the drive upward shortly.

Gold Bubble?  Nope.  It's too obvious to do more than double unless we have major civil disruption.  Also, since it has virtually no fundamental value, it could be argued that gold is always in a bubble, by degrees.

The next significant bubble will be none of the above.  The next bubble will be in collectibles, and it's already well underway.


A Zen Bubble

According to Businessweek, "There has been a 434% increase in value of the top 50 contemporary and postware artists since 2003".  And a record high of $142 million has been set for "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" who only died in 2002.  Usually artists have to be dead for MUCH longer to fetch such absurd prices.  And that's just one example.

Almost $66 BILLION of fine art was sold in 2013.  That's only ONE year of ONE segment of collectibles. There's also fine wine, cars, books, stamps, money and too many other obscure segments to be named, which is the real point.  With tulips, it was only tulips.  With web start-ups, it was only web start-ups.  In collectibles, there are at least a million places for fake value to hide, many of them unique.  This bubble has truffles at $100K per pound, a figurine for $5 million and a puppy (!) for $1.5 million.  Did you even realize people collected truffles? I didn't.

The point is, the prices for art (and cars, and wine, and etc.) reflect far more than typical aesthetic value. These prices are dominated by speculation.  This is clearly a bubble, no matter how you wish to rationalize it. Or more precisely, these are bubblets as each of these segments lives in its own world of "investors" who generally ignore the others.  There is no limit to their rationalized value.  This segmentation is what will make this bubble so different from the ones that have come before. This bubble is not a bubble at all.  It's more like foam rising off the euphoria of too much champagne.  And as foam, it will play out in a far different way than the typical bubble.

This collectibles bubble is both wide, deep and insidious.  Worse than its absurd dollar value is its stealth. The types of collectibles are almost infinite, since virtually anything ever created by man or nature can be collected..  Many unique items are in a class of one.  If it has value to anyone, it has value to a speculator. And if it has value to a speculator, its price will ultimately be driven far beyond it's fundamental or aesthetic value.

Like other bubbles, the price of any unique item or the whole segment will increase right up until it doesn't. If you dig deep, you'll find many examples of bubblets collapsing, but most investors don't take notice unless they own the item.  These collectors lick their wounds in silence.  Who wants to brag about a loss?

Its stealth nature will be the hallmark of this bubble.  This collapsing foam of bubblets will not make any major news, well unless a big segment such as fine art collapses in general.  But that's less likely because each piece can be effectively rationalized then hidden away, which will be another aspect of this bubble -the absence of liquidity. Pieces will ultimately be hard to sell, and will therefore go back in the closet.  We may even see a time when collectible sales drop off, and the items simply used as collateral for loans, which may drive yet another credit bubble.  In any case, this Zen bubble may go on for decades, or longer.

Since a unique item can have a theoretically infinite value, expect some wild examples.  Here are a few I've "collected" over the last several years.  Most are just headlines or links.  You'll have to Google for details.

When will we see the first BILLION dollar collectible transaction?



$38 Million for a car?

"$160,000 for a $666.66 Computer! An Apple computer purchased more than 30 years ago has sold for 425 times its original selling price. From the article: 'An Apple-1, one of only about 200 such machines built in Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' parents' garage, sold at Christie's auction house in London today for 133,250 pounds (about $210,700). The Apple-1, which didn't include a casing, power supply, keyboard, or monitor, originally retailed for $666.66 in 1976. Apple discontinued the model in 1977.'"

$330K for 2.87 lbs of rare white truffle!

05-23-11 A Rolex wristwatch made in 1942 sold for a record $1.16 million at Christie's!

$194K for a 38 inch toy boat once owned by Malcolm Forbes!

$302,500 for Andy Warhol print of Mao Zedong - TEN TIMES the estimate!

1923 Leica 0-series becomes world's most expensive camera, fetches $1.89 million at auction!

Marilyn Monroe's Seven Year Itch dress, which went under the hammer at auction on Saturday, is a record breaker.  The iconic white dress fetched $5.5 million!

A Stradivarius built in 1721, which once belonged to Lord Byron's granddaughter, sold online for $15.9 million!

A Jean-Michel Basquiat self-portrait sold for $3.3 million on 06-27-2011, five times more than in 2003!

World's oldest running car fetches $4.6 million at auction

Gerhard Richter's 1982 painting Kerze (Candle) fetched $16.6 million at a Christie's sale, an auction record for the artist, who says the price is "as absurd as the banking crisis".10-24-11

Why IS Art So Damned Expensive? 12-03-11

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold for $15K, three times estimate.  Skid marks free. 11-07-11

Rare 1787 Gold Coin Sells for $7.4 Million

Roy Lichtenstein's 1961 painting, I Ca See the Whole Room!... and There's Nobody in It! sold for $43 million 11-14-11

A set of eight scrolls of lotus flowers PAINTED THIS YEAR by Chinese artist Cui Ruzhuo sold for $15 million!

The ultimate inflation: A 1793 copper one-cent coin sold for $1.38 million at Heritage Auctions - 01-16-12

The 1889 van Gogh Vue de l'asile et de la Chapelle de Saint-Remy formerly owned by Elizabeth Taylor sold for $16 million. 2-19-12

The 1963 Francis Bacon "Portrait of Henrietta Moraes" sold for $33 million. 02-20-12

A Ruyao bowl that dates from 1086 to 1106 sold for 26.7 million dollars at Sotheby's, a record 04-09-12

This year (2012), paintings by Warhol and Munch are expected to sell for more than $50 million each. 05-01-12

Munch's "The Scream" went for $119.9 million dollars, more than twice estimates. 05-04-12

Why did this Mini sell for over $65,000?

05-08-12 - A teacup Lady Gaga used last year in Japan sold for $75,000.  What's next, used toilet tissue?

05-09-12 The $412 check that DC Comics gve artist Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938 to buy the right to the Superman character, and for other work, fetched $160,000 at an online auction.

05-11-12 A blue flannel New York Yankees baseball cap worn by Babe Ruth in the 1930 is on the block, estimated to be worth $400,000.

05-15-12 Mark Rothko's fiery 1961 canvas, Orange, Red, Yellow fetched a record $86.9 million after a $45 million estimate.

07-07-12 Joan Miro's 1927 Peinture fetched $37 million at Southeby's

08-20-12 Cover art for issue 328 of The Amazing Spider-Man sold for $657,250, a record for comic book art.

09-01-12 and setting new records in each category:

Cezanne's painting "The Card Players" for $250 million
Superman's first edition went for $2.16 million.
The first map of the United States for $1.5 million
A live Red Tibetan Mastiff puppy for $1.5 million
Audubon 1st edition bird book $11.5 million

The two guns taken off Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow sold for a total of $504,000.  I wonder if they could have appreciated the irony. 10-18-12

Two 1941 Sun Yat-sen stamps sold for $709,000 10-22-12

The 1951 drip painting Number 4 by Jackson Pollock sold for $40,400,000 at Sotheby's. 11-19-12

Indian weddings have become a bubble and are an excellent example of bizarre human fashion.  The wedding industry in India is now growing at 25% per year.  India is now consuming 30% of the world's gold production, and half of it goes for Indian weddings.  The estimates for 2012 wedding costs in India are about $40 billion, and this is in a country with a per capita GDP of only $4000.    Could this gold be considered a collectible?

"Rick Champagne, a 56-year-old company owner from Arizona has bought the original Batmobile (dating back to Burt Ward and the '60s) for $4.2 million. He's quoted as saying it 'was a dream come true.' From the article: 'The Batmobile design was based on a 1955 Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy by the Ford Motor Company. It was the first time that car had come up for public sale since it was bought in 1965 by car-customiser George Barris, who transformed it in 15 days, at the cost of $15,000 (£9,400), into the superhero's famous vehicle.'" - 01-24-13

A blood-stained sock worn by Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling in the 2004 World Series  fetched $92, 613 at auction.  03-20-13

1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider sells for incredible $27.5 million

07-01-13 An untitled 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for $29 million at Christie's

09-04-13 A vintage Ferrari Spyder convertible sold for 28 million in the same week that a diamond and a yacht went for about same amount.  Is $30 million a special price point?

10-14-13 Sotheby's sets new record prices in China with $30,800,000 for a diamond, $30,500,000 million for a bronze Buddha and $23,300,000 for Zeng Fanzhi's, "The Last Supper", the highest price ever for a contemporary Asian artist.

11-18-13 The car that won the 1954 Formula 1 world championship, a Mercedes-Benz W196R coupe became the most expensive car ever sold at $30 million.

04-30-2014 "In 2013, one blue fin tuna was auctioned off for $1.7 million..."

05-01-14 Even sales of early scraps of an artist's work have exceeded a million dollars:

DYLAN'S 'LIKE A ROLLING STONE' HEADS TO AUCTION

05-15-14 I'm not sure if unique houses qualify as collectible, but it's hard to imagine any other reason to pay this much and it would certainly break the billion dollar absurd threshold I mentioned :

The Most Expensive Homes in the World


And one more from the age of opulence:

This Absurd Mansion Features Star Trek-Themed Rooms And Could Be Yours For $35 Million

So what's up with Popeye?

Steve Wynn paid $28 million for Jeff Koons sculpture of Popeye.
Andy Warhol's Popeye is appraised at $50 million.
Roy Lichtenstein's Popeye is appraised at $47 million.
It makes one want to start drawing cartoons.





Why are so many people paying so much money for art?

"Owning collectibles offers one major advantage – one that I think drives 90% of the demand for collectibles: It's a great way to protect your wealth from the IRS. People know that when they die, the IRS won't have any idea what is hanging up on their walls or hiding in their vaults. So they hide money in these trophies to give to their children to avoid estate taxes. Mind you, I'm not passing judgment on these actions, nor am I recommending them… I just believe that's why a lot of demand for collectibles exists.

Collectibles are also easily transferable across borders. You can take a Picasso on a private jet and move $100 million offshore. And no one even knows you have it.

When you buy collectibles, you're betting on the irresponsibility of the government and the wickedness of the tax system… If the government gets more irresponsible and the tax system gets more heinous, you'll probably do well. And I think that's a good bet. But you should understand that's what you're betting on."

04-29-14 - The above observation is an excellent example of how tax policy can distort markets.  It's also an excellent reason to collect, an reasonable rationalization.

04-25-14 A collector paid $2 million for Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", a record for lyrics.

07-09-14 Claude Monet's "Water Lilies" sold for $54 million.

09-04-14 A copy of the first Superman Comic which originally went for ten cents sold for $3.2 million yielding a multiple of 32 million times it's original value.

09-07-14 A 1962 250 GTO Ferrari sold for $38 million and is lifting prices for all sports cars of the era - a nano-bubble of its own?

09-18-14 - Hyundai spending $10B for 20 acres turns land into a collector's item for the first time. This is in the price class of the Tokyo bubble of 1989.  They could have done a lot better in the Nevada desert like Tesla just did.  Even Tesla's 370 acres in the BAY AREA, some of the more expensive land on Earth only cost $42M - and it had a 5.5 million square foot working factory on it!  Has Hyundai been bit with bidding fever in the process of taking the site away from Samsung, turning this plot into a collector's item?

10-16-14 BUY THE PAINTING HOLD THE PAINTING SELL THE PAINTING

From the above link: "A Francis Bacon triptych set an auction record for any artwork, at $142.4 million. Jeff Koons’s sculpture Balloon Dog (Orange), at $58.4 million, set a high mark for a living artist. An Andy Warhol picture of a Coca-Cola bottle sold for $57.3 million, pushing the overall take that night to $692 million, at the time the biggest single sale of art ever."

"The final price for Apocalypse Now, including the buyer’s premium paid to Christie’s: $26.4 million. It had appreciated roughly 350,000 percent in 25 years."

Friday, October 03, 2014

What Ever Happened with H2S Induced Hibernation?




The latest:

Apparently "Torpor" is the new handle for this technology:

10-03-14 NASA Eyes Crew Deep Sleep Option for Mars Mission

04-21-14 Survival of teenage stowaway on five-hour flight to Honolulu is medical 'miracle'

03-27-14 Doctors will place patients between life and death in suspended animation trials


10-07-13 - Ain't No Science Fiction, Suspended Animation Is FDA Approved and Heading to Clinical Trials
Mass extinction is a great reason to hibernate:

04-17-12 Key ingredient in mass extinctions could boost food, biofuel production

02-20-12 - Peter Skyllberg Snowed in for Two Months - Related?
Was Mitsutaka Uchikoshi another example?


09-30-10  Considering the theme of my original post, here is yet another example of the media missing the story and working the "politically incorrect" angle.  


In this case, documents were revealed from a Naval Surgeon in 1805.  The headline is about "Bizarre naval experiments" and the focus is tobacco smoke and deliberate transmission of venereal disease, when the real story is quite probably the first documented case of suspended animation.  

When will they ever "get it"?


Bizarre naval experiments revealed


04-21-10
 Significant advancement and recognition for the concept of induced hibernation! 



I revisit this topic each year.  It appears there's been significant progress.  Look through my list of uses below to understand why, and how important this discovery is.  Or start with Mark Roth's latest TED video at the end of the post.



CNN Update - 10-15-09...


Another major update 02-18-10 - Wired Interview









What Ever Happened with H2S Induced Hibernation?

I originally wrote this post on April 22, 2006


One year ago today [April 22, 2005]...

Mark Roth at Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle announced the astounding ability to induced hibernation in mice by having them breathe 80 parts per million (ppm) hydrogen sulfide
gas (H2S). Yes, that's the gas that smells like rotten eggs.

Not only did these critters fall asleep for six hours, their heart rate and respiration dropped by 92% - apparently replicating the effects of true hibernation. And their temperature dropped to 2 degrees C above ambient temperature. They in effect became cold-blooded.

It should also be noted, when the gas was removed, the mice awoke with no apparent ill effects. The critters could still run their maze in a normal fashion.

There are hints that H2S Induced Hibernation might be a natural defense mechanism or at least a normal biological process. It appears this H2S gas is produced by the body under certain
conditions and may be the key to normal hibernation. This may also be the cause of "Cold Water Shock Reflex" in which those who have "drowned" in cold water come back to life.

At 80 ppm, H2S can not simply be replacing O2 in the blood which exist at 210,000 PPM in typical air. It seems that H2S acts more like a hormone causing ALL cells in the body to slow down at the same time. Is H2S the body's way of adjusting the thermostat?

Hold on! I'm way out of my element here. I'm not qualified to do biology. I'm not even qualified to write about it.


But I DO considered this ASTOUNDING news! And indeed the world reported it. Well at least in a tepid way (sorry about the pun). From the BBC to the Washington Post they did at least rehash Mark's original work. Even
Wikipedia added three paragraphs to the Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) page. I was impressed with that.

But THAT was it...

I'm serious.

Nothing more.

No follow-up questions.

No follow-up answers.

No in-depth reporting.

No detailed analysis.

No flying out to Seattle.

No camping on the lawn.

No helicopter shots.


No checking tax returns.


Hell, Tom Cruise jumps up and down on a couch and the media follows him around for weeks! Where is the coverage for the stuff that REALLY counts? Oh well. I would wait. There was sure to be more news on the topic in a short time. So I set my Google news reader and waited...

And waited...

And waited...

And I'm still waiting.

It's been one year. Other than some comments from an aging blog and one think tank, there has been nothing at all. Nothing! Am I way off base or is this NOT a Nobel class discovery?

Where's the follow-up from Mark Roth?

Where's the H2S Induced Hibernation blog?


Where are the frat boy posts about their flatulent experiments?

Where's the Flatliner crew?


Where's Kiefer Sutherland when we need him?

Where are all the science fiction plots?

When I read the news release last year, I thought follow-up would be like the coverage for Cold Fusion a few years ago - lots of people trying to reproduce the results. Maybe we would even get some quick test with humans.

But no...


Nothing.


Nada.

Zilch.

What's a geek to do? There's only one thing. Ask the questions that SHOULD have been asked a year ago. So here goes.


Does this Roth effect work longer than six hours?

Does it work for days?

Does it work for weeks?


Does it work for months?


Does it work on other larger mammals?


Does it work on humans?

Any obvious side effects?


Any long term side effects?

How long can someone stay under without ill effects?

Does this low-level metabolism consume fat like it does in bears?

Does muscle tone also atrophy?


Does this low-level metabolism extend life?


Is 80 PPM a threshold or is there a proportional effect at 40 PPM? 20 PPM?

What happens at 160 ppm? Is the sleep deeper? (yes, I know H2S is deadly at higher concentration, but so is table salt).

Is this truly a natural feature of mammals?
  If H2S is produced internally, can the effect be induced by meditation? If so, how does one exit the state?

I could go on and on but you get the idea. To get the answers to these and other questions, first they have to be asked. And then asked by the right people. That's what this blog post is all about. We need the right people asking these questions - not me.

There's a saying in the world of finance, "Capital finds it's highest and best use". This seems to take a little longer with science. It also takes imagination, speculation and a whole lot of
promoting.

Promotion is important. America was not named for Columbus. America was named for a navigator and blogger of the fifteenth century - Amerigo Vespucci. His letters were published widely on his
return from the new world. He didn't discover anything, but promoted what he found. The name stuck.

That's why H2S Induced Hibernation now needs to be all about blogs, Digg and Wikipedia. It's up to us. It's time for some speculation. Maybe even some speculative fiction. We need serious talent
applied to finding the answers to the above and other questions. More discussion may help.

Here are some ideas as to how H2S could be used. Maybe this will help move things along.


Time in trauma care - This one is obvious. With such low concentrations of H2S needed, a simple regulator mask in first aid kits might extend that "Critical Hour" to a "Critical Day" giving time to do a better
job with transport, evaluation, and treatment. It's easier to stop bleeding when the heart is only pumping eight times per minute. It's easier to keep cells alive when their demand for resources has dropped by 92%.

Mine Disasters - During the recent mine disaster in West Virginia, the miners only had air for one hour. Could this have been extended to 12 hours by adding a little H2S to those respirators? Coal mine accidents are an even bigger problem in China with over 6,000 dead per year. Think of the lives that could be saved even if a small percentage had this advantage.

Fire Escape - Since most fire deaths are caused by smoke inhalation, many extra minutes could be gained with one of those new and improved masks from the coal mine? Check the first-aid kit. Is it there yet? Again, the lives saved would be in the thousands
world-wide.

Underwater Rescue - Another good application for limited oxygen? And maybe a re-make of the movie Abyss? Lots of possibilities here.


ALL incurable disease - This is a no brainer. Got a problem? Take a break for a while. Wake up to review the literature. Take another break. Repeat until cured.

Medical scheduling - Waiting for an organ? Make
sure you have enough time. It's better than death.

Military Use - Lot's of possibilities here, from trauma to transport. Here's where Kiefer Suterland comes in with a new release of 24 Hours lived in 24 years. How's THAT for a challenge to
his premise?

Sleep Efficiency - How about all that time we waste sleeping? Might we extend our life by taking it deeper? Or maybe the opposite, and find out how to shorten sleep? Keep an open mind.


Weight Loss - this could be a biggie, both in terms of dollars and quality of life. Let's say you're not a fan of winter anyway. Why not do like the bears do? You could wake up ready for your
new spring swim suit.

Capital Punishment - This is a bit radical, but at least it's not a death sentence. And they aren't causing any problems in the mean time. In time we might even find a "cure" for murder.


Pregnant Mothers - This might at first seem radical too, but Mark Roth's page refers to "embryonic diapause, a pause in embryonic development found in about 70 species of mammals". It might be
useful one way or the other. Don't count it out.

Punishment - What the hell. Let's put them ALL on ice as a cost reduction measure! We could count it as good time. Would it still be punishment? Fun to think about. (note - after I wrote this I found one blog post at World Think Tank that talked about using H2S for prison riot control. Could we extent this to riot control in general?)

Athletes - Since I'm getting radical, how about extending the performance window of our very best athletes? We could give them the option of waking up every four years in time to train for the Olympics. The other option would simply be to let them "rest" off season.

Space Travel - Yep. Classic application. Maybe we could finally do some. There are at the very least, some fresh movie plots here, or the chance to make them more realistic.

Time Travel - This is of course relative and one direction. But how about sleeping a few weeks at a time and find yourself subjectively rushing forward into the future? It might be fun.

Tivo for life - This is an extension of the time travel idea - sort of fast forward when you want, live life when YOU want. Let's say you're a basketball fan but hate the rest of the year -
beep, beep, beep. Treat the boring parts of life like one big commercial. Live life on YOUR terms!

Tivo for the heart - Will H2S sleep dampen a heartache? I think Heinlein used this in "Door Into Summer". Would it help? Who knows. If you've ever been there, anything's worth a try.


Tivo for the soul - Could this be the ultimate form of meditation? Stay awake for only short slices of life and jump WAY into the future. Would it give you a different perspective? Would you dream? Would it matter?

Anyway, you get the idea. The point is, there are LOTS of possibilities not being effectively promoted. Feel free to ad yours below. These examples are why it's so important to know...

H2S Induced Hibernation useful?

It's been a YEAR!

Clue us in.

Or is everyone, "No Longer Sleepless in Seattle" ?

BTW, amazing work Mark. Congratulations.




Sudden Disruption
the radical option for editing text 
















Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Significance of the Samsung Note

First posted 3-15-12:



Like much in the history of human affairs, technical advancement does not generally happen in smooth progression. It moves in fits and starts, and smart-phone technology has been on a tear for the last few years.

Palm was the first true smart-phone with a library of independent apps, but it was the iPhone that first found broad acceptance of the general public. Apple seems to have a way with tech fashion, even if they aren't always the first to market.  Or the best.

The next major fit of development was the Android family.  Motorola Droid offered the first significant competition to the iPhone.  HTC improved performance and over this last year Samsung has come to lead Android technology with it's large displays, yet light weight.

We now have the Samsung Galaxy Note as it's latest example, but is it too cool or simple too big?  I'll start with a comparison of my Droid which is what I know best.  The Samsung Note has:

100% more screen area.
50% taller
67% wider
250% more pixels
255% faster clock
80% more battery
60% more pixels in its camera
Plus a front camera
4G surfing and movies
4 times the RAM
16 times the ROM
Effective pen interface

So what's not to like?  Well, it is 8 grams heavier but that's too small to notice.  The Samsung Note also has no hard keyboard, but surprisingly, the screen is so large, I'm faster (and more accurate) on its soft keyboard than the Droid hard keyboard.  The Samsung Note is better in every way than the standard Droid and even better in most ways than the latest iPhone.  End of story?  No quite.

Surprisingly, the Note's best feature (the screen) is also the critic's biggest complaint, which is what this post is really about.  The Note is being panned as a "phablet" because of it's large screen. The logic is, it's too big to hold up to your face, and yet too small to compete as a tablet.  Here's an example review:


By: Jonathan S. Geller - Feb 13th, 2012 at 03:45PM

"The Galaxy Note essentially has everything you’d want in a smartphone: a great dual-core processor, a solid camera, a beautiful display and good build quality, and it runs on ATT’s new 4G LTE network that delivers incredibly fast downloads speeds. Plus the battery seems actually decent so far, which is a triumph for modern smart-phones.

Throw all of that right out the window.

The phone is too big. You will look stupid talking on it, people will laugh at you, and you’ll be unhappy if you buy it. I really can’t get around this, unfortunately, because Samsung pushed things way too far this time."


And it wasn't just Jonathan.  Here's what Zach at BGR had to say:

Samsung Galaxy Note review: The smartphone that ‘Samsunged’ Samsung
By: Zach Epstein | Feb 22nd, 2012 at 12:01PM

"Holding this beast to your face while on a phone call in public will result in awkward stares. Not “maybe” or “might,” but “will.” It just looks silly."


One more - PC World's review:

"For most, the Note will be too big for a phone, but too small for a tablet. Rather, it’s an awkward in-between device, and will only appeal to a niche consumer base. "



I'm here to tell you, PC World and all the rest are dead WRONG.  The Note will NOT be limited to a niche.  It has hit the sweet spot in size and will become the new standard in smart-phone technology.  Here's why.

As some of you may know, I've been a geek since before the word was widely used.  I've been interested in computers since the smallest ones filled up a room, which was long before they became personal.  It was much later that the first thing that could be considered personal technology was introduced, and it was a calculator.

If you think the lines are long for gadgets now, you should have been around in 1972 when HP introduced the original HP35 calculator.  It sold for $395 which was over $2000 in today dollars, but you couldn't buy it at any price (no eBay back then).  After placing only two magazine ads, the original HP35 calculator was back-ordered for more than six months.

This backlog was because the HP35 was SUCH a major advancement  in technology, it is hard to imagine even in today's new gadget world.  The closest competition to the HP35 calculator sat on a desk, weighed 25 pounds and cost more than $10,000 (or $50,000 in today dollars).

In contrast, the HP35 was designed to fit into William Hewlett's shirt pocket, which is the key to the issue at hand.

Even though back-ordered from their own distribution, I discovered from a friend at HP that I could buy their calculator at HP headquarters.  This outlet was for employees, but he said they weren't checking IDs.  I immediately flew my plane to Palo Alto, walked up to the front counter and bought two (an extra one for my cousin).

It's been that way my whole life. I watch a given technology then buy the latest and greatest when it's introduced; not because it's a fashion, but because it's significantly better in some technical way. I bought the very first Palm Pilot the day it was released. I generally hold off upgrading until there is significant advancement. At their introduction I bought the first color Palm phone (also from Samsung), then the Palm Treo and Palm Centro in turn as they were significant advancements.

Just over two years ago I ended a long-term relationship with Palm and bought the original Droid on the day of it's introduction. I considered the iPhone but the first version wouldn't even copy, cut and paste text, which I can't live without.  Android has been amazing though there are still things the old Palm did that the Droid can not yet touch. But that's another blog post.

So why am I leaving the Droid behind so quickly? The usual reasons - significant advancement in technology which are listed above, but most importantly because of the size of the screen.  All of that visual real estate is wonderful.  For years now I've known the  the original HP-35 hit a sweet spot in physical size and weight.  It was as big as possible without being too big to fit in a shirt pocket.

As it turns out the Samsung Note is almost the same size and weight as that original HP-35. I've been carrying the Note in my shirt pocket the last few weeks and it feels just like the HP35 I carried from years ago. So according to the reviewers, the only problem is how silly we look if we hold it up to our head, which is my second point - a true geek is like the Honey Badger - he doesn't give a shit.

And that's how I know I'm authentic geek: I don't understand why it looks weird to hold a Samsung Note up to your head.  Why does it matter?  It's what it DOES that counts.  I for one believe it's the ultimate geek-cred to side with function over fashion.  And who's says Bill Hewlett wouldn't have looked cool talking on his new calculator, if only there had been a cell towers around.

Who wants to bet the next iPhone is not bigger?

And that in three years the Samsung Note will be the standard size for a phone?

And then it will be cool.

Email your wager.

03-28-12 Samsung ships five million Galaxy Notes in just five months

04-05-12 Samsung's Galaxy Note is a freak hit


06-01-12 Too early to say I told you so?


06--20-13 Time to note a problem with the Note - both the power and volume buttons are in the worst possible locations.  I had noticed this with other phones but hope for some reason it would be different with the Samsung, but alas... no.  The problem is, these buttons are in exactly the place where you are most likely to hold the phone, which means they are constantly and inadvertently activated.  It is a classic physical overloading fail.  And Power should be slightly recessed, so it doesn't bump on, whatever it's location.  Droid did this well.

Interesting survey about size:


10-14-13 Upgraded to the Samsung Note 3 as it's brighter, lighter, faster with longer battery life and better camera.  Also, the power button is no longer directly across from the volume buttons so both are inadvertently hit less often.  I'm not crazy about the hard Home button which also powers up when not asked for, but I'll reserve judgement until I get a few more miles.  Overall the device is a delight because of display, performance and battery.  More later.

02-12-14 Four months use and this is the best mobile device I've ever owned, mostly because of display quality, speed and batter life.  And the apps keep getting better.

09-24-14 Ultimate Vindication



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amazing New Air Car - It's NOT About the Air!

Updates:

09-18-14 - Another radical light car for Paris.  This one is 2100 lbs and uses Air/Hybrid to get 141 MPG.  Are the French on a roll?

01-25-13 - Peugeot Cirtoen to Introduce Compressed Air Hybrid by 2016

09-07-12 AIRPod

09-07-12 Tata AIRPod


07-05-11 - Tata Air Powered Car to be Introduced in India

02-26-09 - Yet one more way to use compressed air for braking recovery from ETH Zurich

First posted 01-19-08:







And it's not even about the car!

(note - whoever owned the MDI page when I posted this blog has diverted it to a new investment group and broken some of the links below. I have redirected them to the French or Guy pages as well as possible for now - thanks to Chris from Future Net.)

Every now and then a an idea comes along that will change the world - and gets mostly ignored. Some of you have heard me talking about this new air powered car from MDI (Moteur Developpment International) in France which is now to be manufactured by Tata Motors of India.

MDI did a press release a few weeks back and it was handled like, well, another press release. The automotive press paraphrased a few paragraphs, but I wonder if they actually THOUGHT ABOUT what they wrote?

And when Tata Motors introduced their more conventional yet inexpensive Nano at the Detroit Auto Show last week, it got amazing coverage, but not ONE mention of this new air car to be manufactured by the very SAME company!

The highly touted Tata Nano is a cute little bug that will get more than 50 MPG - cool. But the MDI OneCat which is about the same size will go more than 3 TIMES farther on the same gallon of fuel! Did no one actually READ the spec sheet on the OneCAT?

To be fair, the objective of the Nano is low price, not mileage. And the OneCat is much lighter, which helps, but surprisingly, that's not the key to it's mileage advantage. Here's how they do it...

As almost everyone knows, the standard internal combustion engine is only about 30% efficient under the very best of conditions. This means 70% of the energy in a gallon of gasoline leaves the car as wasted heat.

The only heat that produces power is that narrow band of highest temperature that causes rapid expansion of air when the spark plug fires. Once the piston reaches the bottom of it's cycle, all the lower temperature energy from that cycle is wasted and must be pumped out the exhaust pipe.

If you add MORE heat at the point of ignition (higher octane), you get more power. But Carnot and his second law of thermodynamics limits us from using any of the heat BELOW the temperature of ignition. THAT is the primary reason for the INefficiency of the internal combustion engine. But what if we COULD use ALL of that heat?



CAT - Compressed Air Technology

Guy Negre of Formula 1 fame and his company, Moteur Developpment International have spent the last 14 years developing a new type of engine for automobiles.

Compressed Air Technology has been described as using air as fuel, but that's not quite right. The air works more like a battery. Guy's design actually uses a carbon-fiber air tank with up to 300 times normal atmospheric pressure driving a piston to give the car a range of 100 Km. You can think of this system as a standard compressor motor and air tank - except it's running backwards. The air tank drives the compressor, instead of the other way around.

So far, no big deal. Any advantage is a matter of strength, weight and volume per unit of energy stored in the "battery" - the carbon-fiber tanks helps some. But if a short range compressed air car is all they had, it wouldn't be very impressive. The next refinement is the key and I now believe it was created in response to the problem of freezing the engine as the air was decompressed. Whenever air pressure drops from 300 Bar to 1, the gas laws say the heat in that original volume is now spread out over a much greater area thus dropping the temperature. Guy's "fix" to this problem had a side-effect that I believe to be the biggest advancement in thermal energy extraction since the invention of the Otto-cycle in 1860! It effectively uses "wasted heat".





Bi-Energy Breakthrough

Guy Negre's brilliant innovation is to add a small fuel burner between the air tank and the motor. The heat from this burner not only keeps the engine from freezing up, it also extends the range for the compressed air tank by increasing the pressure of the air even more on it's way to the motor. Properly insulated, this burner could approach 100% conversion efficiency of the burned fuel. Here's the reason...

Small amounts of heat are not enough to turn over a reciprocating motor. But when you add a compressed air tank, it provides a pressure bias great enough to drive the motor on it's own. Now add the burner. Per the gas laws, the pressure increase is proportional to the heat added - it doesn't require a critical temperature of ignition! You could run it tepid or boiling - ANY heat adds power. It's just a matter of how much.

If you double the burn rate, you'll double the added expansion. Since there's no point of ignition, there's no critical temperature before this energy is extracted. ANY heat added by a burner (or other source) will simply add proportional expansion and energy extraction. Theoretically, most of the energy from a gallon of gasoline (or stack of firewood) could be used to drive the motor.



Check the spec sheet above. I assume these are actual measurements. The OneCAT will go 100 Km on air alone, but another 700 Km on only 10.5 (1.5 Liters per 100 Km x 7) liters of fuel! That works out to almost 157 MPG!



More Than JUST an Amazing New Car

MDI has a good chance of creating an amazingly efficient little car, and that's cool. But what's REALLY exciting are all the other potential industrial applications.

Considering generation and line losses when producing electricity, it may even now be more efficient to run Bi-Energy motors at the site of the application instead of buying electricity. Or we could boost mechanical power from solar heating. Or hot sewer water for that matter! ANY source of heat could be used. It's just a matter of degree and effectiveness.

OK. You'll still need electricity to provide the compressed air bias, but the rest of the energy would be more efficiently extracted - the hotter, the better. What about recycling the heat from air conditioners to drive their OWN motors? I'm not talking about perpetual motion here. There's no free ride. It's just that the heat is no longer has to be totally wasted. This approach provides an excellent possibility of dramatically increased efficiency in anything that needs a rotating motor and has wasted heat available. (Note - MDI was WAY ahead of me - I just found this link on their site... Further Applications - WOW!)

These ideas are worth more than just a press release.

It's a whole new way of thinking about energy!


More Air Car Energy Links...

Guy Negre Page

MDI and Indranet

Dr Louis Arnoux Interview

Future Net

ZevCat

Wiki


Others are picking up on using waste heat in this fashion - The VGT RoundEngine


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

VW Redefines "Car" With A 261-MPG Diesel Hybrid






As you can read, light efficient cars have been one of my favorite topics for a long time:

07-04-06 1974 VW Dasher

Update 03-06-13:

The Volkswagen XL1 just debuted in Geneva and claims a range of 261 mpg, with a curb weight of about 1,750 pounds. Its coefficient of drag is extremely low at 0.189. It’s powered by a 47-hp, two-cylinder turbodiesel paired with a 27-hp electric motor. VW says it will make 250 examples with a price near $100,000



Top Gear First Drive: the VW XL1

Update 01-25-11:


First posted on 02-18-10:

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Best Bike Is a Trike

First some history.  I've been hiking since I first put on shoes.

I did my first solo long-distance hike of 13 miles when I was 12 years old.  I started distance running in my teens. When drafted into the Army I was informed that my flat feet would eventually cause nerve compression.  I got special boots.

I built up to marathons in my 20s and 30s.  In the last couple of decades I've returned to mountain hiking, but longer distances and rougher ground.  I've hike across the Grand Canyon in nine hours.  I've ran and hiked across California from Reno to the ocean at Santa Cruz in multiple sections at different times, the longest of which was 51 miles in 16 hours. I've done parts of it twice.  I've hiked most of the 175 mile Tahoe Rim Trail at over 3 MPH pace.  Most of my life I've ran or hiked 40 to 50 miles a week.

But that all changed last January.

Yep.  On a hiking vacation to Las Vegas when I logged well over 100 miles in less than a week, that nerve finally compressed. I've had the condition diagnosed and treated, but it's now down to surgery of unpredictable outcome, or I back off the miles.  So we get to the topic at hand - bikes and trikes.

I'm not good at backing off exercise, so since February I've been riding my mountain bike.  These rides remind me of why I never liked bikes.  I hate spending all my time looking at the ground. My hands get numb from the vibration of the handle-bars, and those seats didn't deserve the title.  They are literally a pain in the ass.

Over the last few weeks I set out to find an alternative to my mountain bike.  It's not that I have a bad bike. It's an aluminum alloy Specialize with full suspension. I think it cost me over $2k new, and has lots of gears and cool features. It's the riding position I dislike.  Bikes are uncomfortable.

My Schwinn Stingray in 5th grade was the exception. Thinking back, it was almost a recumbent. It had a nice wide seat which you sat ON, instead of it having it inserted. And with high-risers there was not much weight on the handle-bars. Again, that wide seat took the load off the hands. Plus the visibility was excellent. It wasn't very fast, but it was agile and fun.

Last week I rode a tadpole style recumbent tricycle for the first time.  I found this guy in Alameda, California who is an expert with recumbents.  His name is Zach Kaplan.  He is a wealth of information.  If you have any interest at all and live in the area, spend some time with him.  He let me try out a couple of his trikes, and I fell in love with the experience immediately.

I now own the Catrike pictured above.  It's light, fast and agile.  I realize I'm too early in this honeymoon to be objective, but three wheels is SO much more fun than two.  Yes, I know I'm now harder to see on the road, but we live in the age of LED strobes.  I leave mine on.  And it's true that trikes don't climb hills as well as bikes, but those are the ONLY two drawbacks.

Trikes yield a more pleasant visceral experience.

Trikes are FAR more comfortable.

Trikes are FAR more stable.

Trikes can stop faster.

Trikes can go faster.

Trikes are more fun.

You can see the world around you better.

If you get the chance, give a trike a try.

You'll see what I mean.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Back to the Future with Motorcycles

When I was a kid, our family had a number of small motorcycles for trail riding.  They were light, agile and got great gas mileage.  My favorite was a 1965 Yamaha Trailmaster 80.  I spend lots of time exploring the mountains of Norther California on that "bike".

Unfortunately, the same thing happened to trailbikes that happened to cars - over the years, they got heavier. Then motors got bigger to carry that extra weight, which made everything heavier still.  Unlike cars, this weight had more impact on handling, especially on rough ground.  It's not easy getting a 300 lb motorcycle over a log.

I'm still waiting for a modern version of the 1978 VW Rabbit which weighed 1880 pounds dry.  With modern technology it should be able to get 100 MPG.  In the mean-time, it looks like Yamaha may be thinking the same thing.  It's only a concept, but it's headed in the right direction:

Yamaha shows retro lightweight 125cc motorcycle that gets 220 mpg

Bring it on!



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Economic Predictions

I'm going to start a post here which I will update from time to time to make my economic predictions a matter of public record.  Some of these are summarized from the past.  The rest are current, predicting the future.


12-12-12 - I don't necessarily agree, but nice work none the less:

Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

01-01-12 - The US Treasury still believes US banks have $9.9 trillion in home loans.  That's down only 7% ($10.6 trillion) from it's high in 2006.  Such denial!  A quarter will have to be written down sooner or later.  Another quarter will be paid by underwater home owners who simply don't want to move or accept the real value of their house.  So between the banks and home owners, there's still plenty of denial to go around.  I've said house prices won't bottom for another year, but this real estate toilet won't completely flush for another five to ten years (lost decade?).  With new construction minimal for at least another three years, US growth will continue it's long slow pull off the bottom with real growth rates staying under 4% and averaging only 2% for the next five years.  Still, real estate will remain the best long-term investment for anyone who has cash.

01-01-12 - The Euro will survive since Germany has already involuntarily funded the weak sisters through the central Buba bank claims of half a trillion Euros.  Now they only need formally loan that much so the weak sisters can own up to their claims in their central bank and hand the money back to them. In for a penny, in for a pound.

01-01-12 - China is building 36 million new apartments to distract investors from the 64 million condos already completed, but still standing empty. That's exactly 100 million new units total, which makes our 7 million empty houses look like a minor disturbance. 


The real question is, where will these 230 million people work when they come in from the farm?  And how much will they be paid?  The growth honeymoon is over in China.  Now they'll have to do it the hard way. Ironically, organized labor will be their next major political force on the street.  Stand by for volatile times in China.


COLLECTIBLES

01-31-11 - Collectibles will be the next financial bubble, will have a long expansion and selective contractions over years before final collapse.

06-29-14  RIGHT!  And it continues... The pain hasn't started.

THE UNITED STATES

The U.S. will gently return to a slow growth "new normal" as we complete our transformation to the information age, and continue to lead in tech design. 06-22-10


China will become the world's manufacture, but have the greatest volatility as they grow too quickly in political fits and starts.  Russia will provide grain and energy, but struggle to achieve true democracy.  India will evolve more slowly around customer service. Brazil will be the emerging star of the next decade.  Still not much hope for Africa. 06-22-10


ENERGY

Because of last year's $150 per barrel oil, in less than five years we will be awash in energy from multiple sources such that energy will be available at the equivalent of $1.99 a gallon in today's dollars - 01-01-10.

Somewhat right.  Though about twice that, energy has remained relatively cheap and will continue that way for another six years at least. 06-29-14


DEFLATION

We will have modest deflation for at least the next three years. 04-17-10

06-29-14 - RIGHT!  Four years and going strong, but has bifracated into biflation.  Basic goods and energy remain relatively cheap because of continued improvements in agriculture and manufacturing.  There is no general spiraling price increases.  But "unique" has taken on a whole new value in our culture reflected in the price of collectibles and some real estate - both have seen dramatic inflation using quantitative easing dollars of the one percent.  This trend will continue for another six years until at least 2020.


CHINA

China's construction and real estate bubble will exceed the scale and impact of our own and will pop within 24 months, with dramatic effect. 04-17-10 - Wrong!  They built 38 million MORE lower cost apartments. The reckoning remains on the horizon - by 2016? 06-29-14 


STOCK MARKET

06-29-14 - Deflation and low bond yields will continue to drive equities up for the longest bull market in history.