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December 31, 2011

Economist magazine predicts that China's economy will pass the US economy in 2018

The Economist magazine forecasts that China economy at market rates will pass the US economy in 2018

They also predict

2020 for China stock markets to exceed the valuation of US stock markets
2023 for China consumer spending to pass the US
2025 for China defense spending to pass the US

Dwave quantum computers for the next few years

Dwave quantum computers at 512 qubits should run some algorithms that achieve a speed advantage I'm some cases. However, there are a lot of supercomputers and a petaflop scale machine could come down to $10 million prices in the next year. The main utility of the quantum computers will be to run unique quantum algorithms that enable improvement of classical computer operation. (This information is mainly from a personal interview with Geordie Rose, CTO of Dwave.

An example is that non-convex algorithms can be run more efficiently to remove misclassified images in image recognition training datasets. This will enable classification and searches of images to be improved using regular classical algorithms.

If there are 1 million images that were classified by humans and 1% were wrongly labelled and the quantum computer could effectively remove the ones that were wrong then the image searches would be improved. Google has been cooperating with Dwave on research to prove out these methods.

So a combination of more qubits, faster machines, better algorithms and experience operating the machines and learning what they are best at should lead to success.



Brain's Connective Cells Are Much More Than Glue

Glia cells also regulate learning and memory, new Tel Aviv University (TAU) research finds. Glia cells, named for the Greek word for "glue," hold the brain's neurons together and protect the cells that determine our thoughts and behaviors, but scientists have long puzzled over their prominence in the activities of the brain dedicated to learning and memory. Now Tel Aviv University researchers say that glia cells are central to the brain's plasticity — how the brain adapts, learns, and stores information.

According to Ph.D. student Maurizio De Pittà of TAU's Schools of Physics and Astronomy andElectrical Engineering, glia cells do much more than hold the brain together. A mechanism within the glia cells also sorts information for learning purposes, De Pittà says. "Glia cells are like the brain's supervisors. By regulating the synapses, they control the transfer of information between neurons, affecting how the brain processes information and learns."

Researcers has developed the first computer model that incorporates the influence of glia cells on synaptic information transfer. Detailed in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, the model can also be implemented in technologies based on brain networks such as microchips and computer software, Prof. Ben-Jacob says, and aid in research on brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

A Tale of Two Stories: Astrocyte Regulation of Synaptic Depression and Facilitation

LG To Unveil 84 inch Ultra HD 3D Television

LG Electronics will unveil the world’s largest ultra-high-definition (UHD) 3D TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month.

The LG 3D-capable UDTV will feature a native screen resolution of 3840×2160 – which equates to eight million pixels and four times the resolution of a full HD panel – as well as the company’s passive 3D technology. LG hopes to take home entertainment to a whole new level with this offering, by providing the best immersive viewing experience outside of cinema screens.

The ultra-high-definition 3DTV will also grant consumers access to the Smart TV ecosystem from LG, through which they can enjoy a huge range of internet-connected services including over 1200 apps. There is also a 2D-to-3D conversion engine on board, which allows viewers to enjoy limitless extra-dimensional viewing.

Xiaonanhai Dam cleared for construction

NY Times - on Dec. 14, the China State Council approved changes to shrink the boundaries of a Yangtze River preserve that is home to many of the river’s rare and endangered fish species. The decision is likely to clear the way for construction of the Xiaonanhai Dam, a $3.8 billion project that environmental experts say will flood much of the preserve and probably wipe out many species.

The decision is a big victory for Bo Xilai, the Communist Party secretary of Chongqing, the central Chinese megalopolis where the dam will be built.

The Xiaonanhai dam will displace 400,000 people permanently which is more than the 300,000 displaced by Chernobyl and the 88,000 that have been displaced for an extended period by the Fukushima reactors

December 30, 2011

Longevity highlights for 2011

Fightaging has a review of antiaging highlights for 2011.

Recent analysis of a bisphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis, or age-related loss of bone mass and strength, has turned up an intriguing finding - the treatment considerably improves life expectancy in the recipients. It's not often that an effect of this magnitude turns up out of the blue in humans in this day and age.

Five extra years of life is a good half the expected effect of regular exercise.

Australian clinical researchers have noted an extraordinary and unexpected benefit of osteoporosis treatment - that people taking bisphosphonates are not only surviving well, better than people without osteoporosis, they appear to be gaining an extra five years of life. ... Out of a total cohort of around 2,000, a sub-group of 121 people were treated with bisphosphonates for an average of 3 years. When compared with other sub-groups taking other forms of treatment, such as Vitamin D (with or without calcium) or hormone therapy, the longer life associated with bisphosphonate treatment was marked and clear.

December 29, 2011

China lays out space plans until 2016

UPDATED- China Daily has a copy of the white paper that describes China space programme’s five-year plan, a China National Space Administration (CNSA) pronounced a Long March-5 rockets “will use non-toxic and pollution-free propellant”. This would catch up to Russian and American rockets that have been using non-toxic fuel for a few decades.

BBC News- The Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spaceships will be launched to dock with the Tiangong-1 space lab module. Officials have indicated that at least one of the two next Shenzhou missions would be manned and that 2012 might even see the country's first female astronaut.



Major Tasks for the Next Five Years

In the next five years, China will strengthen its basic capacities of the space industry, accelerate research on leading-edge technology, and continue to implement important space scientific and technological projects, including human spaceflight, lunar exploration, high-resolution Earth observation system, satellite navigation and positioning system, new-generation launch vehicles, and other priority projects in key fields. China will develop a comprehensive plan for construction of space infrastructure, promote its satellites and satellite applications industry, further conduct space science research, and push forward the comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development of China's space industry.

Longevity news

1. Fightaging notes that FDA regulation makes it impossible to meet demand or to try to develop and offer meaningful products. The US and the FDA then reach out internationally to try to block the black market in medical progress (through stem cell and other treatments for people with otherwise terminal diseases.

Four people were indicted for distributed stem cells and other biological products without federal Food and Drug Administration approval, and for unapproved treatments of cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's Disease. ... Court records unsealed Wednesday show that the scheme made more than $1.5 million in sales between January 2007 and April 2010, from procedures Morales performed in Mexico on patients he met in the United States.

So the lesson is if you are going to provide non-FDA approved treatments internationally then you should not harvest any stem cells or use any US sources. There also needs to be other steps taken to fully internationalize the service and avoid money transfers in US territory.

2. Exceptional longevity is associated with decreased reproduction

Design of a Polymer–Carbon Nanohybrid Junction by Interface Modeling for Efficient Printed Transistors

ACS Nano - Molecularly hybridized materials composed of polymer semiconductors (PSCs) and single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) may provide a new way to exploit an advantageous combination of semiconductors, which yields electrical properties that are not available in a single-component system. We demonstrate for the first time high-performance inkjet-printed hybrid thin film transistors with an electrically engineered heterostructure by using specially designed PSCs and semiconducting SWNTs (sc-SWNTs) whose system achieved a high mobility of 0.23 cm2 V–1 s–1, no Von shift, and a low off-current. PSCs were designed by calculation of the density of states of the backbone structure, which was related to charge transfer. The sc-SWNTs were prepared by a single cascade of the density-induced separation method. We also revealed that the binding energy between PSCs and sc-SWNTs was strongly affected by the side-chain length of PSCs, leading to the formation of a homogeneous nanohybrid film. The understanding of electrostatic interactions in the heterostructure and experimental results suggests criteria for the design of nanohybrid heterostructures.



Molecular carpet-weaving - Two-dimensional networks from boron acids

Stable two-dimensional networks of organic molecules are important components in various nanotechnology processes. However, producing these networks, which are only one atom thick, in high quality and with the greatest possible stability currently still poses a great challenge. Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) have now successfully created just such networks made of boron acid molecules.

Researchers have developed a process by which they can build up high-quality polymer networks using boron acid components.

The “carpets” that the physicists are working on in their laboratory in the Deutsches Museum München consist of ordered two-dimensional structures created by self-organized boron acid molecules on a graphite surface. By eliminating water, the molecules bond together in a one-atom thick network held together solely by chemical bonds – a fact that makes this network very stable. The regular honey-comb-like arrangement of the molecules results in a nano-structured surface whose pores can be used, for instance, as stable forms for the production of metal nano-particles.

ACS Nano - Synthesis of Well-Ordered COF Monolayers: Surface Growth of Nanocrystalline Precursors versus Direct On-Surface Polycondensation

A Russian nuclear submarine caught fire but it was successful put out

A Russian nuclear submarine caught fire Thursday, but officials say there was no radiation leak and no one was injured.

The fire on the Yekaterinburg submarine happened while the vessel was docked for repairs in the northern Murmansk region.

The Russian Defense Ministry said all of the submarine's weapons had been unloaded before the repairs and its reactor had already been shut down. The Delta IV class vessel is able to carry 16 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

NY Times - After battling for hours to extinguish a blaze aboard a nuclear submarine, Russian firefighters finally gained control of it early Friday by submerging the stricken vessel at a navy shipyard.

Billionaire investor is bullish on agricultural commodities and bearish on all stocks for the next 2-3 years

CNBC - Jim Rogers expects global economic problems to get much worse.

Rogers is short because he is not optimistic about what’s going to happen in the world over the next two or three years.

“I’m short emerging markets, short American technology, short European stocks – I don’t see much reason to own equities,” he says.

“If I were buying anything I’d be buying agricultural commodities,” he says. “Going forward we’re going to have huge shortages of everything – including farmers – I think ag will be a great place for the next 10-20 years,” he says.

But don’t take that to mean that ag stocks are a buy – that’s not what he means.

“Yale did a study recently showing that investors made 300% more by putting money in commodities themselves rather than commodity stocks – that is unless you’re a great stock picker.”

The Future of Science 2021

The Institute for the Future has published "A Multiverse of Exploration - The Future of Science 2021"

Invisibility cloaks. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A Facebook for genes. These were just a few of the startling topics IFTF explored at our recent Technology Horizons Program conference on the "Future of Science." More than a dozen scientists from UC Berkeley, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, Scripps Research Institute, SETI, and private industry shared their edgiest research driving transformations in science. MythBusters' Adam Savage weighed in on the future of science education.

The map focuses on six big stories of science that will play out over the next decade:

1. Decrypting the Brain
2. Hacking Space
3. Massively Multiplayer Data
4. Sea the Future
5. Strange Matter
6. Engineered Evolution.

Those stories are emerging from a new ecology of science shifting toward openness, collaboration, reuse, and increased citizen engagement in scientific research.


Nextbigfuture has been tracking the progress in neuromorphic chips and the application of memristors to emulating synapses.

By the end of 2012, there will likely be integrated one square neuromorphic chips with about ~10 billion synapses and ~1 million neurons. In 2015, the neuromorphic chips are targeted to have 100 times more capability. The military is developing neuromorphic chips for autonomous, unmanned, robotic systems and natural human-machine interfaces and diverse sensory and information integration applications in the defense and civilian sector.

If neuromorphic chips become mainstream in the 2020s,they could be a $50 to 200 billion segment.

Self driving robotic cars and "temporary auto pilot" functions in cars could become mainstream in the 2016-2025 timeframe. They would be a big market for more advanced sensors and neuromorphic chips.

HP intends to have a memristor alternative technology to flash on the market in sixteen months, an alternative to DRAM in three to four years and, following DRAM, a replacement for SRAM.

DARPA has funded a memristor based approach to Artificial intelligence.

Memristors will be used as analog synapses
CPUs and GPUs will be used for neurons (there also could be custom chips)

DARPA SyNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics) goals are :
* 1 million neurons per square centimeter
* 10 billion synapses (memristors) per square centimeter
* 100 milliwatts per square centimeter
* total power 1 kilowatt

The total system would then be about 10,000 chips with a combined 100 trillion synapses and 10 billion neurons. The human brain has about 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses. The human brain is 50 times more energy efficient than the DARPA Synapse goals

Dwave Systems Tour and interview with CTO Geordie Rose

I, Brian Wang, had a guided tour of Dwave Systems. This was courteously provided by Dwave Systems CTO Geordie Rose.

Highlights

The papers that they publish are about 2 years behind the research and work that they are performing.

They had published a paper back in May, 2011 which provided evidence that the 4 by 4 unit cells leveraged quantum effects. There is no difference between the coupling of the 8 qubit cells with the surrounding cells and recent internal work has been showing that the quantum effects extend to the entire chip.

ie. The full 128 qubits, or 512 qubits (for the new chip) should fully leverage quantum effects.

Dwave has developed adiabatic versions of quantum factoring algorithms. They have an adiabatic alternative to Shor's algorithm and have factored far larger numbers on their quantum computer system.

The next 18 months will be a critical period for Dwave systems. Raising private money has become far more difficult in the current economic conditions. If Dwave were profitable, then they could IPO. If Dwave were not able to become profitable and IPO and could not raise private capital, then there would be the risk of having to shutdown.

December 28, 2011

Blueseed office seastead to open within 21 months

Blueseed (seasteading startup) plans to launch in the third quarter of 2013, offering living and office space in an elegantly designed modern tech environment so compelling that it will be called the “Googleplex of the Sea”, attracting top entrepreneurial and technology talent from all over the world to Silicon Valley, where they can create companies and jobs, and develop disruptive and innovative technologies.
Blueseed planned location

Blueseed rent

Blueseed will have a wide assortment of living and office space packages for rent. Tentatively, depending on the ship we will end up selecting, we estimate that prices will be starting at $1,200/person/month for our basic accommodations. For comparison, the average monthly rent for a studio in San Francisco is $1750 as of October 2011, competition for apartments is fierce, and incubator spaces sell for $400-$650 per desk.

In addition, each resident will need to deposit in escrow an amount sufficient to cover transportation back to their home country in case of necessity. This amount will be returned when the resident permanently leaves Blueseed.

Iran threatens Strait of Hormuz but US Fifth Fleet says disruption will not be tolerated

1. Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran's armed forces is really easy ... or as Iranians say it will be easier than drinking a glass of water," Iran's navy chief Habibollah Sayyari told Iran's English language Press TV.

"But right now, we don't need to shut it as we have the Sea of Oman under control and we can control the transit," said Sayyari, who is leading 10 days of exercises in the Strait.

Tension has increased between Iran and the West after EU foreign ministers decided three weeks ago to tighten sanctions on the world's No. 5 crude exporter over what the U.N. nuclear watchdog says is an attempt to design an atomic bomb, but left open the idea of an embargo on Iranian oil.

About 15.5 million barrels of oil a day, or a sixth of global consumption, passes through the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, according to the U.S. Energy Department

2.
The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, after Iran threatened to stop ships moving through the strategic oil route.

"Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations; any disruption will not be tolerated."

Oil analyst Thorbjoern bak Jensen, with Global Risk Management told Reuters, "The threat by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz supported the oil market yesterday, but the effect is fading today as it will probably be empty threats as they cannot stop the flow for a longer period due to the amount of U.S. hardware in the area."

December 27, 2011

Google+ on track for 400 million users by the end of 2012

Businessweek - Google Inc. is adding 625,000 new users a day to the Google+ social-networking service, which may total 400 million members by the end of next year, according to independent analysis of its growth. Facebook has more than 800 million users. Google+ has apparently just passed the 62 million user mark.

Google can continue to integrate Google+ into its other products and word of mouth will continue to build. Most importantly, 700,000 Android devices are activated daily and this will become a very significant source of new users for Google+. That number will also grow next year.



China's aircraft carrier and submarines are crap

1. Wired - China's refitted aircraft carrier is intended as a training aircraft carrier.

* It has a modest size (60,000 tons) compared to American carriers
* It has an incomplete air wing and escort force
* It will sail without the company of allied flattops
* It has unreliable engines

There will soon be 22 aircraft carriers in the Pacific.

Internet teaches you how to kip up and thriller dance

Internet videos not only let you learn physics from Richard Feynmann but also let you learn how to kip up from Ryan Doyle (Parkour expert) and how to dance the Michael Jackson Thriller Dance


Learn how to kip up and more



Hummingbird helicopter drones gets 1.8-gigapixel camera

The U.S. Army is using a hybrid-type acquisition approach to develop a helicopter-like, Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial System with a so-called ARGUS wide-area surveillance sensor suite designed to beam back information and images of the surrounding terrain, service officials said.

Beginning in May or June of 2012, the Army will deploy three Boeing-built A160 Hummingbird Vertical-Take-Off-and-Landing Unmanned Aerial Systems, or VTOL-UAS, to Afghanistan as part of a Quick Reaction Capability

One key characteristic that sets these unmanned air vehicles apart from others, such as the Predator, already more famously serving in the war zone is that the Hummingbirds are rotorcraft--that is, they fly like helicopters rather than planes.

The Hummingbirds will be equipped with DARPA's Argus-IS sensor system, which features a 1.8-gigapixel color camera--gear that the Army a year ago described as "the largest video sensor ever used to conduct tactical missions." The Army said at the time that Argus can track people and vehicles from altitudes above 20,000 feet and, attached to an A160, should be able to scan almost 25 square miles. It will allow operators to scan a wide field of view and download images in real time.


Global Research and development will grow 5.2% in 2012

The Battelle-R and D Magazine annual Global R and D Funding Forecast released today shows global research and development (R and D) spending is expected to grow by about 5.2 percent in 2012 to more than $1.4 trillion. R and D funding growth will largely be driven by Asian economies—a number projected to increase by nearly 9 percent in 2012. Elsewhere in the world, growth remains strong and stable in the aftermath of the global recession.

Batelle 2012 Global R and D Funding Forecast (36 pages)



Nuclear, coal and other energy news

1. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano presented a forecast that the number of nuclear power plants would increase by 90 to 350 units in the world between now and 2030. The figure was estimated by IAEA following the accident at the Fukushima I nuclear power station operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. Amano said, "While the rate of increase will be smaller than that prior to the accident, we still expect a substantial increase."

2. Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Monday that it shut the No. 4 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power station on Japan's western island of Kyushu for planned maintenance. With the closure, only six of Japan's 54 reactors remain in operation.

Test high speed train made of plastic reinforced with carbon fiber can hit 500 km/h

China Daily - China's largest train maker, CSR Corp Ltd, launched over the weekend its first test train that can reach speeds of up to 500 km an hour.

The six-carriage train with a tapered head is the newest member of the CRH series. It has a maximum drawing power of 22,800 kilowatts, compared with 9,600 kilowatts for the CRH380 trains now in service on the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, which hold the world speed record of 300 km per hour.

Ding Sansan, the company's chief technician, said the concept of the super-speed train design was inspired by the ancient Chinese sword. The bodywork uses plastic material reinforced with carbon fiber.

The Ministry of Railways and the Ministry of Science and Technology approved the overall plan of the high-speed test train in January after it was reviewed by a team organized by the two ministries.


December 26, 2011

Researchers should soon e able to cool atoms to 100 hundredths of a billionth of a degree, 100 times colder than best ever

In experiments with rubidium atoms in optical lattices,physicists successfully demonstrated they could remove entropy from atoms via orbital excitation blockade. In principle, they can reach temperatures 10-to-100-times colder than currently achieved, to temperatures of tenths-to-hundredths-of-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero. However, they likely need lasers of longer wavelengths to do so in real life, said researcher Markus Greiner, a physicist at Harvard University.

This should enable exotic new states of matter and enable better quantum computers.

Nature - Orbital excitation blockade and algorithmic cooling in quantum gases

Putin prioritizes Russia's GDP growth acceleration to 7 percent

The Russian government is seeking to accelerate the national economy’s growth to 6-7 percent annually and join the list of the world’s top five economies over five years, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

“We are setting the goal of accelerating economic growth to 6 percent, better to 6-7 percent, and join the list of the world’s top five economies in five years but not only because advanced economies will be falling but also because we’ll be growing,” Putin said at a congress of Business Russia public association, which unites the country’s medium-sized businesses.

Russia has set the ambitious task of expanding its per capita gross domestic product by 50 percent in the next decade “to achieve the level of more than $35,000 per person from the current $20,700,” Putin said.

In 2011, Russia’s GDP will grow by 4.2-4.5 percen

Makani flying wind energy

Technology Review - The Makani Airborne Wind Turbine consists of several turbines attached to a wing, which is tethered to the ground. In flight, the vehicle takes essentially the same path as the tip of a wind turbine's blade, following a circle perpendicular to the wind direction. Thanks to crosswind aerodynamics—which produce the rapid circular movements familiar to anyone who has flown a kite on a gusty day—the apparent wind speed hitting the rotors can be as much as 10 times the actual wind speed.

Because the wing makes more efficient use of the wind than a fixed turbine, Hardham says, and is made of fewer, lighter materials, it should produce lower-cost energy. Maintenance can occur on the ground rather than at the top of a wind-turbine tower.

High-altitude wind harvesting still faces skeptics. "It's a really interesting idea with potentially significant benefits, but we're early in the process of sorting out whether it'll work," says Fort Felker, director of the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colorado. However, he says, reliability, safety, and economics are all concerns. Aerial vehicles designed to harvest wind energy need to be flying most of the time—and there's always the risk they could "land on a school bus," says Felker.


Test flight: A time-lapse photo shows the flight path of an airborne wind turbine. The vehicle is tethered to a converted fire engine (lower left) during a test in a remote area of Sherman Island, California.
Makani


Brazil overtakes UK as sixth-largest economy

Brazil has overtaken the UK to become the world's sixth-largest economy, according to a team of economists. The banking crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession has relegated the UK to seventh place in 2011

Russia and India are expected to benefit from a surge in growth over the next 10 years and push the UK into eighth place. Like most economies, India is struggling with high inflation and slowing growth, but its highly educated workforce and skills in growth areas from IT and services to engineering will push the economy into fifth place. After a decade of selling oil and gas to Europe and other parts of Asia, Russia will be at number four.

The CEBR also predicted that the UK economy would overtake France by 2016.

It also said the eurozone economy would shrink 0.6% in 2012 "if the euro problem is solved", or 2% if it is not.

Brazil GDP: $2.52tn (£1.6tn); CEBR estimate for 2011

CEBR forecast
Rank 2011        2020 (forecast)

1    US          US
2    China       China
3    Japan       Japan
4    Germany     Russia 
5    France      India 
6    Brazil      Brazil
7    UK          Germany
8    Italy       UK
9    Russia      France
10   India       Italy

55 inch OLED TV and 3D TV that will not need glasses at CES 2012

1. LG will show off a demo of a 55 inch OLED TV at CES 2012

The 5-millimeter-thick display is light, pencil-thin, and promises high definition with no after image--that motion-induced blur you may see in an LCD screen. In addition, it boasts a contrast ratio of over 100,000:1. LG is setting up a stepped-up pricing war, strongly hinting that its world's-largest OLED display will be far more affordable.



Mach Effect explanation of Mass gets independent research support

Arxiv - The gravitational mechanism to generate mass II is a paper on Arxiv (5 pages) that supports the Mach effect interpretation of mass and inertia which is the basis of the James Woodward proposal for Mach Effect propulsion.

With the eminent confirmation or disproof of the existence of Higgs boson by experiments on the LHC it is time to analyze in a non-dogmatic way the suggestions to understand the origin of the mass. Here we analyze the recent proposal according to which gravity is what is really responsible for the generation of mass of all bodies. The great novelty of such mechanism is that the gravitational field acts merely as a catalyst, once the final expression of the mass does not depend either on the intensity or on the particular characteristics of the gravitational field.

Why is China doomer Gordon Chang so wrong ?

Gordon G. Chang is a lawyer and author, best known for his book The Coming Collapse of China, in which he argued that the hidden non-performing loans of the "Big Four" Chinese State banks would likely bring down China's financial system and its communist government and China would collapse in 2006.

He has in recent years hedged and indicated that the collapse will come by the end of 2011 The reason given is that "China’s political and economic system is unsustainable in a modern world."

NBF - It seems that Gordon Chang starts from the premise that China must collapse and then works back to find his favorite reason based on things that he personally does not like about China as it exists today.

The Coming Collapse of China was published in 2001

He is a regular contributor to The John Batchelor Show, The Glenn Beck Program on Fox News, and CNN. He also appeared as a special guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on July 17, 2006. On 3 February 2010, he appeared on Al Jazeera English and argued that China does not have a lot of economic leverage over the US, and it is actually the other way around.

The study stream of articles and commentary has been consistently wrong in predicting failures in China.

This is related to a nextbigfuture observation that Amory Lovins is a popular TV and other media "energy expert" despite being consistently wrong since the 1970s.

China, national and world economies and Energy are both large and complex topics. Apparently being able to explain some of the mechanisms is good enough to be considered an "expert" even if your overall point of view and overall forecasting themes are wrong. Also, many in the media want an "expert" to push a prediction that the media wants to happen.

China is projecting 11% industrial output growth in 2012 and most forecasts are for China to maintain 8% GDP growth in 2012

December 25, 2011

Creative Reconstruction

There was a book written about Unlocking Energy Innovation and how there are four scales of energy research and deployment, but I would say there are different levels of industrial scale deployment

They had said that the USA was mainly failing at demonstration and early adoption.

I would note that the US and Europe are only deploying about 1% new energy infrastructure. There is not enough growth to create the demand for more. China and India have high growth and are building or will build a lot more. The US and Europe need to have creative reconstruction. They need to reconstruct energy with a policy of replacing their coal power. This will declutter legacy technology to create high volume demand for new technology.

I would argue for a lot of small modular nuclear but it also applies for solar power and robotics. Foxconn who makes iphones and employs 1.2 million people will replace about 500,000 with 1 million robots. They will be driving down solar panel costs with unprecedented scale. Heartland Robotics has talked about a manufacturing revolution with $5000 robot arms, but instead small scale at home manufacturing the real game will be Foxconn scale automation.

New synthetic molecules treat autoimmune diseases in mice


A team of Weizmann Institute scientists has turned the tables on an autoimmune disease. In such diseases, including Crohn's and rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's tissues. But the scientists managed to trick the immune systems of mice into targeting one of the body's players in autoimmune processes, an enzyme known as MMP9. The results of their research appear today in Nature Medicine.





Carnival of nuclear Energy 84

The Carnival of Nuclear Energy 84 is up at the Atomic Power Review

Idaho Samzdat - US Areva CEO Jacques Besnainou joined the monthly conference call with nuclear bloggers. In response to a question from Dan Yurman, he said that the firm would restart the construction phase of the Eagle Rock Enrichment Facility in Idaho by late 2013 or 2014, or whenever investment funding is found for the project. Also, Besnainou provided an update on the progress of two EPR reactors being built in China.

The Myth of Japan's 'Lost Decades'

The Atlantic - It is commonly believed that Japan was the economic juggernaut of world trade of the late 1980s, which, we are told, has been mired in stagnation ever since. The argument is made that Japan is technological know how behind the made in China boom.

Question 1: Given that Japan's current account surplus (the widest and most meaningful measure of its trade) totaled $36 billion in 1990, what was it in 2010: (a) $18 billion; (b) $41 billion; or (c) $194 billion?

the Answer is C $194 billion.

Question 2: How has the yen fared on balance against the dollar in the 20 years up to 2010: (a) fallen 11 percent; (b) risen 24 percent; (c) risen 65 percent?

The answers are C - the yen has increased 65% against the US dollar.

India's economic growth slumps

Economist - Expectations for India’s economic growth rate have been sliding inexorably. In the early spring there was still heady talk about 9-10% being the new natural rate of expansion, a trajectory which if maintained would make the country an economic superpower in a couple of decades. Now things look very different. The latest GDP growth figure slipped to 6.9% and industrial production numbers just released, on December 12th, showed a decline of 5.1% compared with the previous period, a miserable state of affairs. The slump looks broadly based, from mining to capital goods, and in severity compares with that experienced at the height of the financial crisis, in February 2009, when a drop of 7.2% took place. Bombast is turning to panic.

There has been the slowdown from world economic problems but India is also experiencing other problems.

Years of government drift have meant a loss of momentum on reform, from building infrastructure to controlling graft. That drift was symbolised by the ruling coalition’s decision this month to allow in foreign supermarkets into India, which it was forced to reverse two weeks later after widespread protests and objections from the smaller parties it relies on to stay in power. India’s economy can seem like a bicycle—it needs to keep moving fast to be stable. Once conviction in the destination falters, companies curb investment and hope turns to fear that the country’s problems may be intractable.