It’s Never Been More Important To Think For Yourself

Here is one reason I say that:

“China used artificial intelligence & big data to identify Americans likely to participate in Antifa and #BlackLivesMatter protests and then they sent them videos through TikTok on how to riot.”

Of course we all remember as well, way back in April (2020), when no less than the New York Times, itself one of the world leaders in propaganda, admitted to being duped, along with millions of others, by Chinese misinformation.

This, reader, is why independent thought and the desire to think for yourself — which has always been a prerequisite to human flourishing and human happiness — is more necessary now than ever before.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who was once a bartender and is now a partisan politician extraordinaire, recently said that those not on her side (politically) would be “crying in the refrigerator” if we were to ever get behind the bar or wait on tables. I believe I can speak a little to this subject, having bartended for more years than her (by quite some time, I’m afraid to say) while simultaneously and profoundly disagreeing with virtually every single one of her explicitly communistic politic-economic convictions, and I can tell you in all truth and sincerity that I’ve never once cried in a refrigerator. One wonders a little, though, I must admit, where she came up with that image.

Partisan politics are a dead-end road. For both sides. They lead nowhere. And more: both sides can sling insults back and forth forever and yet they aren’t even opposites. “They’re two sides of the same penny,” as H.L. Mencken accurately observed, long ago.

The following is a tweet from a conservative who’s worked blue-collar jobs aplenty, as have countless other conservatives, just like countless liberal-dems.

As readers of this website know, I celebrate wealth and wealth-creation, and I believe in it. I believe in it because I know where real wealth derives — i.e. the division of labor, production, and the freedom to exchange — and I know also that exchange is the very engine of human progress and civilization. Wealth-creation is a virtue; making money is an art. It is the hypocrisy I don’t particularly care for — especially in corrupt partisan political elitists who believe they are better suited than we ourselves to determine how our lives should be led.

If it doesn’t strike you as a bit presumptuous that a politician — whom you didn’t vote for and would never vote for, and whose politico-economic views you find reprehensible (because, unlike her, you know exactly where they lead) — can legally tell you and me how to live our lives and spend our money, I’d like to buy you a drink and discuss this.

The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission.

I repeat: The only alternative to acting by right is acting by permission. Ask yourself: whose permission? And why?

Something else all people should be aware of regarding AOC: she has absolutely no conception of the astronomical amounts of fossil-fuel and industry and technology — and this includes a great deal of rare-earth minerals — required at every level of production and implementation and maintenance for so-called renewables. She has no comprehension of it whatsoever.

As I’ve written about before:

As with the production of silicon chips, production of c-Si wafers begins with the mining of silica, found in the environment as sand or quartz. Silica is refined at high temperatures to remove the oxygen and produce metallurgical grade silicon, which is approximately 99.6% pure. However, silicon for semiconductor use must be much purer.

Higher purities are achieved through a chemical process that exposes metallurgical grade silicon to hydrochloric acid and copper to produce trichlorosilane gas. The trichlorosilane is then distilled to remove remaining impurities, which typically include chlorinated metals of aluminum, iron and carbon. It is finally heated or “reduced” with hydrogen to produce silane gas. The silane gas is heated again to make molten silicon, used to grow monocrystalline silicon crystals or used as an input for amorphous silicon.

The next step is to produce crystals of either monocrystalline or policrystalline silicon. Monocrystalline silicon rods are pulled from molten silicon, cooled and suspended in a reactor at high temperature and high pressure. Silane gas is then introduced into the reactor to deposit additional silicon onto the rods until they “grow” to a specified diameter.

To produce multicrystalline silicon, molten silicon is poured into crucibles and cooled into blocks or ingots. Both processes produce silicon crystals that are extremely pure (from 99.99999% to 99.9999999%), which is ideal for microchips, but far more than required by the PV industry. The high temperatures required for c-Si production make it an extremely energy-intensive and expensive process, and also produces large amounts of waste. As much as 80% of the initial metallurgical grade silicon is lost in the process.

Sawing c-Si wafers creates a significant amount of waste silicon dust called kerf, and up to 50% of the material is lost in air and water used to rinse wafers. This process may generate silicon particulate matter that will pose inhalation problems for production workers and those who clean and maintain equipment. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set exposure limits to keep ambient dust levels low and recommends the use of respiratory masks. But it has been suggested that, despite the use of respiratory masks, workers remain overexposed to silicon dust.

The use of silane gas is the most significant hazard in the production of c-Si because it is extremely explosive and presents a potential danger to workers and communities. Accidental releases of silane have been known to spontaneously explode, and the semiconductor industry reports several silane incidents every year.

Further back in the silicon supply chain, the production of silane and trichlorosilane results in waste silicon tetrachloride, an extremely toxic substance that reacts violently with water, causes skin burns, and is a respiratory, skin and eye irritant. Although it is easily recovered and reused as an input for silane production, in places with little or no environmental regulation, silicon tetrachloride can constitute an extreme environmental hazard.

The extremely potent greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride is used to clean the reactors used in silicon production. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change considers sulfur hexafluoride to be the most potent greenhouse gas per molecule; one ton of sulfur hexafluoride has a greenhouse effect equivalent to that of 25,000 tons of CO2. It can react with silicon to make silicon tetrafluoride and sulfur difluoride, or be reduced to tetrafluorosilane and sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide releases can cause acid rain, so scrubbers are required to limit air emissions in facilities that use it.

It is imperative that a replacement for sulfur hexafluoride be found, because accidental or fugitive emissions will greatly undermine the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions gained by using solar power.

Other chemicals used in the production of crystalline silicon that require special handling and disposal procedures include the following:

Large quantities of sodium hydroxide are used to remove the sawing damage on the silicon wafer surfaces. In some cases, potassium hydroxide is used instead. These caustic chemicals are dangerous to the eyes, lungs and skin.

Corrosive chemicals like hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid and hydrogen fluoride are used to remove impurities from and clean semiconductor materials.

Toxic phosphine or arsine gas is used in the doping of the semiconductor material. Though these are used in small quantities, inadequate containment or accidental release poses occupational risks. Other chemicals used or produced in the doping process include phosphorous oxychloride, phosphorous trichloride, boron bromide and boron trichloride.

Toxic phosphine or arsine gas is used in the doping of the semiconductor material. Though these are used in small quantities, inadequate containment or accidental release poses occupational risks. Other chemicals used or produced in the doping process include phosphorous oxychloride, phosphorous trichloride, boron bromide and boron trichloride.

Isopropyl alcohol is used to clean c-Si wafers. The surface of the wafer is oxidized to silicon dioxide to protect the solar cell.

Lead is often used in solar PV electronic circuits for wiring, solder-coated copper strips, and some lead-based printing pastes.

Small quantities of silver and aluminum are used to make the electrical contacts on the cell.

Chemicals released in fugitive air emissions by known manufacturing facilities include trichloroethane, acetone, ammonia and isopropyl alcohol.

Monocrystalline silicon (mono c-Si) is formed when the one single crystal cools into a cylinder (called a rod or ingot). Thin wafers are then cut from the cylinder.

Mono c-Si is produced in large quantities for the computer industry. Because the purity of silicon needed for solar PV is less than that required for silicon chips, the PV industry has historically relied on purchasing (at reduced cost) silicon wafers and polysilicon feedstock rejected by the chip makers. The production of solar grade silicon is growing as demand in the PV industry is outstripping the available computer industry castoffs.

Mono c-Si is produced in large quantities for the computer industry. Because the purity of silicon needed for solar PV is less than that required for silicon chips, the PV industry has historically relied on purchasing (at reduced cost) silicon wafers and polysilicon feedstock rejected by the chip makers. The production of solar grade silicon is growing as demand in the PV industry is outstripping the available computer industry castoffs.

In addition to the chemicals used by all crystalline silicon cell production, additional chemicals used to manufacture mono c-Si solar cells include ammonium fluoride, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, phosphorous oxychloride and tin. Like most industrial chemicals, these materials require special handling and operating standards to prevent workplace hazards or exposure to toxics.

To make multicrystalline silicon (multi c-Si) wafers, molten silicon is poured into crucibles under an inert atmosphere of argon gas and slowly cooled to form thin squares. These cells are typically less pure than mono c-Si – particularly around the edges, due to contact with the crucible during crystallization. They are less efficient but are also less expensive and less energy-intensive to make. Multi c-Si has a significant share of the c-Si market, at about 67% in 2004. Overall, the lifecycle impacts of mono c-Si and multi c-Si have a similar profile, although the energy used in production is higher for mono c-Si. Other materials used or produced in the manufacturing of multi c-Si that require special handling and operating procedures include ammonia, copper catalyst, diborane, ethyl acetate, ethyl vinyl acetate, hydrogen, hydrogen peroxide, ion amine catalyst, nitrogen, silicon trioxide, stannic chloride, tantalum pentoxide, titanium and titanium dioxide.

This, I assure you, is only the beginning.

It doesn’t even touch upon wind-turbines and the rare-earth minerals required for that — nor the extreme environmental degradation it causes; nor does it touch upon the twenty million tons of cement (the making of cement also requires a great deal of mining) sunk deep into the earth and required in order to anchor every single wind-turbine, which the Audubon society calls “Condor Cuisinarts” for all the birds and bats these monstrosities kill. Nor does it touch upon the fact that wind and solar both require massive (taxpayer) subsidization to sustain and even more fossil-fuels to back them up because of the intermittency problem, nor to the fact that wind and solar are both far more likely to contaminate ground water than hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

And so it goes, the propaganda machines rolling endlessly on and on …

Think for yourself.