Data shows 400 pension funds could trigger garnishment – Wirepoints Special Report April 16, 2018

It’s foolish to think that garnishments are going to solve anything. Taxpayers in municipalities across the state – who already pay the highest property taxes in the nation – have been putting more and more money into pensions, only to watch the funds continue to deteriorate.

Despite a doubling of taxpayer contributions since 2005, police and fire pension debts have doubled to $10 billion instead of shrunk, while funding ratios have fallen.

HT – Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.

 

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When the product is “free,” WE are the product

There are many people who think nothing of it. They laugh at us. For them, we’re fossils that just cannot grasp the modern world where private life takes place on the Internet and is stored forever in the cloud. Formerly innocuous devices like toothbrushes, dolls, TVs, thermostats, fridges, mattresses, or toilet-paper dispensers, that are everywhere around the house, will see to it that more and more personal and even intimate data gets uploaded to the cloud as the Internet of Things invades not only our home but our body cavities…

But there will be a day when we will be forced to surrender our data to get health insurance, drive a car, or have a refrigerator and a thermostat in the house. This is where this is going. Why? Because data is where the money is. And because many consumers are embracing it.

A toothbrush that sends your personal usage data to “The Cloud”.

This is a must read article.

Stress Changes Your Brain Structure!

In mice.

In the latest study, the researchers paired sets of mice together and then removed one mouse from each pair and subjected them to a mild amount of stress. They then returned the stressed mouse to the pair and observed the brains of both mice. The results showed that the stressed mouse experienced changes in a group of neurons located in the hippocampus, a brain area that plays a central role in memory and emotional response. The brain of the other mouse that hadn’t been stressed, but was now in the presence of its stressed partner, rapidly showed the same neuronal changes in its hippocampus. In effect, the brains of the unstressed mice mirrored the brains of the stressed mice.

Read the source article here.

The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized

Conclusion

The results of this elucidating simulation, which dovetail with a growing number of studies based on real-world data, strongly suggest that luck and opportunity play an underappreciated role in determining the final level of individual success. As the researchers point out, since rewards and resources are usually given to those who are already highly rewarded, this often causes a lack of opportunities for those who are most talented (i.e., have the greatest potential to actually benefit from the resources), and it doesn’t take into account the important role of luck, which can emerge spontaneously throughout the creative process. The researchers argue that the following factors are all important in giving people more chances of success: a stimulating environment rich in opportunities, a good education, intensive training, and an efficient strategy for the distribution of funds and resources. They argue that at the macro-level of analysis, any policy that can influence these factors will result in greater collective progress and innovation for society (not to mention immense self-actualization of any particular individual).

Luck matters.

Somebody actually attempted to quantify this.  Read the article and judge for yourself.

The Pleasures of Life without Social Media

The fact of the matter is that we do not need the Internet, we do not need social media, and we certainly do not need “smart phones”. What are you, a brain surgeon, that you always have to be available in case of an emergency call? Listen to what people say when they use these “essential” gadgets, as I listen to the hordes on campus—the most typical utterances are: “Hey, what’s up? Yeah I’m on the escalator. Ok, see ya later”. Impressive. Clearly, it’s money well spent. It is almost as if individuals have become afraid of a moment of silence, possibly because they intuitively fear discovering that inside, they are empty…

If you are a professor, you learn that the years (or decades) spent acquiring knowledge in a subject area, plus all the resources devoted to the task, not to mention the training that went into preparing you, are worthless: everybody else always knows better, with their deep knowledge gained on the fly. Anti-intellectualism does not just come from outside the university’s walls. You get lectured at by snarky graduate students with deep insecurities who fashion themselves as activists, called “stupid” by barely literate undergraduate students who misspell their protest signs, and are immediately denounced as “racist” for the mere act of disagreeing with one of these imbeciles.

HT to WordPress and the Fabius Maximus websites.

This is the best essay I’ve read in a long time.  Please take the time to read the entire essay and share with family and friends who actually possess critical thinking skills.

And I thought that Twitter as a porno platform was bad…