Oil, Technology diffusion and missing posts

well dear readers, it has been a long time since i last posted. sorry about that, but i had to move into a new domicile and my computers and cable connections were down for several days. i am still recovering from the move and yesterday i had the pleasure of getting smacked in the eye with a racquetball traveling at approximatedly half the speed of light. damn that hurt.
anyway, i figured i would just mention a few stories that i picked up in the last day or two.

Intel Corp announced that it would be investing some $1 billion dollars to open new markets in poor nations. i applaud the investment if only because the internet is the most egalitarian system of information exchange on the planet, and perhaps throughout history. there are of course draw backs to this kind of private development.

1. depending on the type of exchange that occurs, poor nations could end up just more dependent on Intel for infrastructure upgrades and improvements. in five years when Intel stops sending money they will be shackled with all of this technology they can not afford or maintain without big payments back to Intel Corp. this is of course Intel’s plan–in modern parlance it is called “penetrating new/emerging markets.”

2. if this program expands in conjunction with US federal aid in certain regions, the program could actually be a red herring for capturing big foreign aid budgets. how? simple, the process that is going on right now in iraq and other places goes like this: the US government develops an aid budget, they go to the state and inform them of what the money is for, the federal government also conveniently provides a list of appropriate US companies that can perform the services for which the money is appropriated. your tax money gets collected, the federal government thinks up this scheme for “aid” to others and then funnels the money right back to american pocketbooks, leaving the “aided” country with nothing but massive maintenance bills and declining terms of trade for its primary goods.

in other news, the price of oil dropped a bit today on news that oil supplies were apparently wrong. crude supplies were underestimated by about 1 million barrels. my reaction? how the hell is this news? somebody missed a small amount of oil stocks–yes, small. the US consumes 20,731,000 barrels/day according to the Energy Information Administration. you do see the ridiculousness of this situation, yes? some paper pusher finds 1/20th of our daily use of oil and the market celebrates in futility by lowering the price of oil. if 1 million barrels of oil can make prices drop, then why is the price of oil so damn high in the first place? do not answer that, it’s a rhetorical question.

’nuff for now

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