Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

My second visit to Williston – October 2014


(All photos by James Ulvog.)

Last week (mid October) my wife and I visited Williston to see our son and daughter-in-law. Got to visit for five days.

This was our second trip to Williston. Our first visit was a year ago, in early October 2013.

I’ll post a series of articles with my observations.

Infrastructure gains

One noticeable change is the infrastructure is starting to catch up.

It was amazing to see the amount of new housing built in the last year. On the west side of town there are an astounding number of large apartment complexes.

Here is one complex of four large buildings of which one is out of view (4 stories each of around 15 units per floor) under construction.


(photo by James Ulvog; the area between the buildings and streets

will be filled with car garages. The concrete is already poured.)

  Read more…

Paperback books and e-books; more on the dispute between Hachette and Amazon

Guess what? Lowering the price on something means you can sell more of it and make more money.

That applies to paperbacks when they first came out and it applies to e-books today. Well, it actually applies to practically everything.

Know what else? Anyone who wants to publish a book can do so. Anyone. For astoundingly low cost. The publishing frontier is wide open. Thank you Amazon.

In August, Amazon sent an e-mail to people using their Kindle Direct Publishing service. (By the way, if you aren’t already a best seller and want to ever get your book published, you really, really ought to go the e-book route with KDP. It is awesome.)

Back to the e-mail.

Since it went out to tens or hundreds of thousands of people, I will take the liberty to quote it.

Some history: Read more…

Update on solar and wind power – solar #30

Here are a few articles on the economic problems and environmental damage from wind energy: survey of broad issues, intermittency, & pushback.

10/1 – Why Not Wind – Brief summary of the shortcomings of wind plantsCheck out the full article for detail comments on each of the following key points:

It’s energy from the weather.

Turbines kill birds and bats.

Wind industrializes open space.

Such and such a country got 85% of its electricity from wind.

That would be Germany and that stat is only true at whatever peak of the day the wind is blowing strongest. Average production is a small percent of that artificial stat. Read more…

A lighter moment in watching the regulation experiment – #9

I’m watching the impact of heavy regulation on the newly legal business of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington.

I don’t plan to focus on the short-term adjustment issues from the grand natural experiment. I’m more interested in waiting for the unintended crushing effect of regulation.

In the meantime, it is entertaining to watch the transition. Sometime you gotta’ just laugh….

10/7 – KOMO News – Exploding ‘pot pop’ removed from three marijuana shops

Read more…

Puritans started with socialism and price controls before they jumped to capitalism

There is a concept loose in the U.S. and emphasized in our educational system that the Puritans arrived in the U.S. believing in capitalism and went straight to economic prosperity.

Well, capitalism will definitely do that, but the Puritans made a few stops before getting to prosperity. Those included socialism, price controls, and severe caps on finance & trade under the guise of opposing usury. All of those policies will suppress economic development.

Jerry Bowyer explores this journey through false ideas is a series of articles, which summarize his interview with Mark Valeri, author of Heavenly Merchandize.

To encourage you to check out the full articles, I’ll try to summarize some key ideas.

7/30 – Forbes – Jerry Bowyer – Puritans vs. Capitalism: How A Theological Error Led To Financial Stagnation – In the 17th century, pastors and religious leaders were opposed to usury which included even discounting letters of credit more than a small amount. If you can’t use paper (bills of credit) to facilitate long-distance trading, there won’t be much trading.

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – drone edition

The frontier of drone technology is wide open. A few articles that stretch my understanding of this amazing world we live in. Some cool pictures this time.



(photo of harbor patrol boat by James Ulvog)

10/6 – Wired – The Navy’s Developing Little Autonomous Boats to Defend Its Ships – The Navy successfully tested the swarming abilities of autonomous harbor patrol boats. An operator can tell small boats like these what ships to defend and what to attack:


(photo by James Ulvog of harbor patrol boats on exercise)

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 10/7

A few articles of interest on the wide open frontiers that surround us now – U.S. production of petroleum to surpass Saudi Arabia; sheepdogs protect predators as well as sheep.


Check out the huge increase in US production, compared to Saudi Arabia:

petroleum production

Source: Carpe Diem. Used with permission.

9/29 – Financial Times – US poised to become world’s leading liquid petroleum producer -

Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken – 10/6



(Photo by James Ulvog, showing flaring of natural gas that can’t be tied into a pipeline.)

Here’s a few long notes on interesting news that I won’t cover in a separate post:

Production may drop for a while

10/2 – Million Dollar Way – North Dakota Oil Production Likely To Start Falling – Rigzone, Reuters – The MDW article quotes Rigzone explain why production will be likely be falling at times over the next year.

Read more…

Tragedy of Fraud series now available in print as well as e-book formats

tragedy-cover   tragedy-cover


Both books in my Tragedy of Fraud series are now available in print format from Amazon.

The newest book:


Tragedy of Fraud – Insider Trading Edition describes – Scott London’s long fall from Big 4 audit partner to prison inmate.

Click the link for your reading preference:

First book in the series:


Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned - Consequences of fraud spread far. There is a long list of well-earned wages from fraud that will be paid in full.

Available in your preferred format:

Tragedy of Fraud series available soon in print

tragedy-cover   tragedy-cover

In a few days, printed copies of the two books in my Tragedy of Fraud series will be available in print at Amazon.

(Update: Available now.)

They are currently available in e-book format at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes store. Read more…

California implements ban on plastic bags when shopping. Will take a few years to learn the human cost.

Legislation in California has been signed into law banning the single-use plastic bags at stores and restaurants.

In summer 2015 plastic bags won’t be allowed to carry your food from the grocery store to your car to home. In 2016, plastic bags will be banned from pharmacies and convenience stores.

Paper bags may be provided by stores for a price of a dime a piece.

One of many articles can be found in the Daily Bulletin: California becomes first state to ban single-use plastic bag.

We will become the first natural experiment to see how many hospitalizations and deaths of humans this causes.

Will probably take until 2016 for a good year of data to accumulate and another year or two for epidemiologists (people who study diseases and their transmission) to analyze the data. Probably another year to find some place that is bold enough to publish unpopular results.

So in 2018 or 2021 we will start learning of the unintended consequences.

How can there be human suffering from reusable bags?

Read more…

Ideas to make your writing more understandable. Give it a shot.

The whole purpose of writing things is for other people to understand your ideas. Why then is so much writing bad?

Steven Pinker suggests in The Source of Bad Writing that the issue is

The ‘curse of knowledge’ leads writers to assume their readers know everything they know

Read more…

Good news for birds – proposed plan for a more dangerous solar project pulled by owner

The owner of the proposed Palen Solar Electric Generating System in the California desert that would have been more damaging to birds that the Ivanpah facility has withdrawn their plans. That according to reporting by Chris Clarke at ReWire: Massive Solar Power Project for California Desert Scrapped.

Read more…

More good stuff on the Bakken – 9/26

Here’s a few quick notes on interesting news that I won’t cover in a separate post: cost of Bakken wells going up, short-term production drop and long-term increase.

Cost of wells

9/20 – Million Dollar Way – Idle Chatter on Costs of Completed Wells in the Bakken -

Read more…

More good stuff on the open frontiers – 9/25

Just like the wild west in the late 1800s, the frontiers of energy and technology are wide open. Here’s a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in. Just brief comments from me.


9/14 – Wall Street Journal – Russell Gold – Fracking Gives U.S. Energy Boom Plenty of Room to Run – Current Top Gas Well Produces Five Times as Much as Record Setter a Decade Ago- What was an amazing gas well ten years ago has been topped by a factor of five.

Read more…

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