Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Laws are made to be ignored.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Motion does not necessarily denote change.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The newly liquidated always complain.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The road to truth is paved with lies.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Failure is an open book.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Failure has its own potential.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Failure fulfills its own potential.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Unity is the bad part of community.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Decadent entitlement demands something for nothing, but never quite gets it.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ideology is the shadow of philosophy.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Meaning is victimized by boredom.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Winners too often forget how to think.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The best time to kick someone may be when they are down, but don’t fool yourself regarding the cleverness of doing so.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

i. Ideologies are like drug pushers.
ii. Ideologies define control.
iii. Ideologies differ by degrees of freedom and fanaticism.
iv. Ideologies defy reality to the point of corruption.
v. Ideologies defile by action as backlash tumbles the blocks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Vanity negates beauty unto ugliness.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Fall always seems to begin in the autumn.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

High performance systems are inherently unstable, this making reform impossible without first utterly stalling.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Failure is an empty tomb.

America's Defense Meltdown

Advance Preview of America's Defense Meltdown available now. Produced by the military reform movement. Includes chapters by William S. Lind and other associated with DNI.

I can never resist a work that is sure to be hated.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Decadence shoves respect under a rock.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reality is an intruder to party politics.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Determinism is a determination to fail.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Disaster is not a technicality for its victims.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Panic negates sense.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

All Aphorisms, All The Time

Some of my aphorisms have been featured on All Aphorisms, All The Time a blog by James Geary, who is the author of The World in a Phrase: A Brief History of the Aphorism.

Thanks.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A dull blade can still function as a bludgeon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

i. A people adrift have forgotten themselves.

ii. Those so lost often prefer false memories.

iii. The greatest lies are most soothing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One can be well educated and still know nothing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Honor deserves reciprocation; respect is something else.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Reaction has many sources; some are just less active.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

“Why get my knuckles sore?” I asked the hammer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ignoring baser realities invites weakness to come knocking.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Does Not Need

On Al-Qaeda Web Sites, Joy Over U.S. Crisis, Support for McCain. Here are examples of support a US Presidential candidate does not need:

Al-Qaeda is watching the U.S. stock market's downward slide with something akin to jubilation, with its leaders hailing the financial crisis as a vindication of its strategy of crippling America's economy through endless, costly foreign wars against Islamist insurgents.

And at least some of its supporters think Sen. John McCain is the presidential candidate best suited to continue that trend.
"Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.

The Web commentary was one of several posted by Taliban or al-Qaeda-allied groups in recent days that trumpeted the global financial crisis and predicted further decline for the United States and other Western powers. In language that was by turns mocking and ominous, the newest posting credited al-Qaeda with having lured Washington into a trap that had "exhausted its resources and bankrupted its economy." It further suggested that a terrorist strike might swing the election to McCain and guarantee an expansion of U.S. military commitments in the Islamic world.

"It will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaeda," said the posting, attributed to Muhammad Haafid, a longtime contributor to the password-protected site. "Al-Qaeda then will succeed in exhausting America."

It was unclear how closely the commentary reflected the views of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who has not issued a public statement since the spring. Some terrorism experts said the support for McCain could be mere bluster by a group that may have more to fear from a McCain presidency. In any event, the comments summarized what has emerged as a consensus view on extremist sites, said Adam Raisman, a senior analyst for the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors Islamist Web pages. Site provided translations of the comments to The Washington Post.

"The idea in the jihadist forums is that McCain would be a faithful 'son of Bush' -- someone they see as a jingoist and a war hawk," Raisman said. "They think that, to succeed in a war of attrition, they need a leader in Washington like McCain."

Islamist militants have generally had less to say about Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois. Leaders of the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah expressed a favorable view of Obama during the primary campaign but later rejected the Democrat after he delivered speeches expressing support for Israel.
I'm still not going to vote for either.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Low Hanging Fruit

You don't see something like this everyday: Letter: Andrew Lahde, Lahde Capital Management:
Today I write not to gloat. Given the pain that nearly everyone is experiencing, that would be entirely inappropriate. Nor am I writing to make further predictions, as most of my forecasts in previous letters have unfolded or are in the process of unfolding. Instead, I am writing to say goodbye.

Recently, on the front page of Section C of the Wall Street Journal, a hedge fund manager who was also closing up shop (a $300 million fund), was quoted as saying, “What I have learned about the hedge fund business is that I hate it.” I could not agree more with that statement. I was in this game for the money. The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking. These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.

There are far too many people for me to sincerely thank for my success. However, I do not want to sound like a Hollywood actor accepting an award. The money was reward enough. Furthermore, the endless list of those deserving thanks know who they are.

[...]

Lastly, while I still have an audience, I would like to bring attention to an alternative food and energy source. You won’t see it included in BP’s, “Feel good. We are working on sustainable solutions,” television commercials, nor is it mentioned in ADM’s similar commercials. But hemp has been used for at least 5,000 years for cloth and food, as well as just about everything that is produced from petroleum products. Hemp is not marijuana and vice versa. Hemp is the male plant and it grows like a weed, hence the slang term. The original American flag was made of hemp fiber and our Constitution was printed on paper made of hemp. It was used as recently as World War II by the U.S. Government, and then promptly made illegal after the war was won. At a time when rhetoric is flying about becoming more self-sufficient in terms of energy, why is it illegal to grow this plant in this country? Ah, the female. The evil female plant – marijuana. It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover. Unlike alcohol, it does not result in bar fights or wife beating. So, why is this innocuous plant illegal? Is it a gateway drug? No, that would be alcohol, which is so heavily advertised in this country. My only conclusion as to why it is illegal, is that Corporate America, which owns Congress, would rather sell you Paxil, Zoloft, Xanax and other addictive drugs, than allow you to grow a plant in your home without some of the profits going into their coffers. This policy is ludicrous. It has surely contributed to our dependency on foreign energy sources. Our policies have other countries literally laughing at our stupidity, most notably Canada, as well as several European nations (both Eastern and Western). You would not know this by paying attention to U.S. media sources though, as they tend not to elaborate on who is laughing at the United States this week. Please people, let’s stop the rhetoric and start thinking about how we can truly become self-sufficient.

With that I say goodbye and good luck.

All the best,

Andrew Lahde
I laughed so hard I almost fell off my chair. In other words, this guy was stoned and still did better than the "low hanging fruit." His rant also sounds like a warning of the perils of intellectual inbreeding to me...

Only Make Things Worse

Can a President Tame the Business Cycle? No, he can only make things worse. For example, Clinton deregulated the banking industry, but it took a colossal failure in the form of his predecessor to really run things into the ground. Hope doesn't pay the bills. Anyone believing otherwise is deluded.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Going As Expected

It's nice to know how the bailout is really going to work as expected. As reported in Wall Street banks in $70bn staff payout, welfare for the rich continues unabated. If you run people's retirement savings and your own company into the ground, you can expect to be rewarded:
The sums that continue to be spent by Wall Street firms on payroll, payoffs and, most controversially, bonuses appear to bear no relation to the losses incurred by investors in the banks. Shares in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have declined by more than 45% since the start of the year. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have fallen by more than 60%. JP MorganChase fell 6.4% and Lehman Brothers has collapsed.

At one point last week the Morgan Stanley $10.7bn pay pot for the year to date was greater than the entire stock market value of the business. In effect, staff, on receiving their remuneration, could club together and buy the bank.
Oh well, at least we'll know whom to beat and rob during the rood riots.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Savings? What Savings?

One thing I am finding annoying are all the lame comparisons with 1929. I've got news for these people: This isn't 1929! Americans have little or no savings. (I know I don't--at least not in fiat currency.) As pointed out in No savings allowed, if your job goes in the crapper, most Americans have nothing to fall back on but unemployment. This means the situation is both individually better, but probably collectively far worse as there is nothing to re-build upon (not to mention that US industry has been dismantled and "outsourced" overseas). To make matters worse, after all the money has been printed to pay for bank bailouts and other government programs, even those who do have money will end up with nothing. In 1929, if you had all your money under a mattress, you could conceivably ride it out. Soon, even that option will cease to exist. So my advice is to buy physical gold (assuming you can find it for $100 over spot), and if you can't afford it buy silver (assuming you can find it for $4.50 over spot). Prices are being Manipulated, so you might as well take advantage of the situation and at least have something in reserve for The Fall.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Mogambo Guru is (Nearly) Never Wrong

From Reserving the right to destroy the dollar:
...The Federal Reserve, on behalf of the people of the United States, is giving hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign central banks to bail them out, too!

And then those selfsame foreign central banks used this money to buy $43 billion of US government and agency debt last week! Gaaaahhh! My head is spinning! This is insane!

The Federal Reserve, in case you did not realize it, is not federal, in that it is a private bank owned by shadowy, nasty, greedy people hiding behind corporate shells, and it has no real reserves, but can create money anytime it likes, like last week, as the Fed created some money and then used the money to buy government bonds for itself! Hahaha! The Fed's stash of government bonds rose last week by $8.27 billion!

To show you that the Federal Reserve should instead be called the Government Slush Fund (GSF), the government borrowed most of this new money, as we realize when we see that Treasury Gross Public Debt went up by an eye-popping $336 billion last week, reaching the staggering total of $10.124 trillion!

In fact, in the last 12 months, the national debt went up by $1.062 trillion! Gaah! We're freaking doomed! Not only is the federal budget a mind-blowing $3 trillion in the $14 trillion American economy, but Congress is now spending an average of $88 billion per month (every damned month!) more than the government's revenues, which is 30% more than what they budgeted! Insane, incompetent morons!

And all of this money created by the Federal Reserve - all those stupefying trillions and trillions of new dollars and credit - increases the money supply, which will increase prices in a persistent, grinding inflation, getting worse and worse, which will destroy America as it has destroyed every other idiotic country that tried such a stupid, stupid thing.

[...]

And right now I gotta think that the Big Glorious Money (BGM) is going to be made in silver, mostly because Ted Butler, in the Market Update from investmentrarities.com, writes that "silver has never been a better investment at precisely the same time its price performance has never been more extreme", by which he concludes from the latest Commitment of Traders report that the commercial traders at the COMEX "have built up a record or near-record net long position in both gold and silver futures" and that they have also "established a record long position in call options for the first time in history."

Suddenly, being a really stupid guy, I was instantly lost, and I realized with horror that his seemingly cryptic remarks about futures and options meant that I was being asked to do some thinking to make any sense of it, and I was going to complain like the little crybaby that I am that I don't like to think, and that, like most people, I just want things handed to me.

Apparently, Mr Butler could see the sudden blank look of incomprehension and total befuddlement on my face, and, taking pity on me and fellow mental midgets everywhere, offers that he figures it means that these commercial traders are "positioned for an upside move in gold and silver" and "they are positioned for it to occur soon."

The real significance of this is that, as a result of long experience, he deems these commercial traders (other than the eight largest traders) as being "nearly-always-correct"! Whee!

And that means that I, being "nearly-always-incorrect" about everything, will soon be right for a change! How nice! Hey! This investing stuff is easy!
So buy silver (which I do despite silver rounds being sold at $4.50 over spot). Then you might want to start thinking about replenishing your stockpile of food and ammo...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

One of the most hated men in America.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Burning Continues

"The Republicans pillage the soil and the Democrats salt the Earth."

The economy continues to burn in a conflagration of worthless paper. So let's at least stay warm with its flames.

Nations Weigh Global Action to Crisis. They're going to take "action." As if incompetence were a virtue!

US stocks slide to five-year low. And it ain't over yet.

The Russians get on message. Dumping the dollar. (See Also.)

To the Bunkers! Just like Hitler?

The GOP Peddles Economic Snake Oil. As if the Democrats offer anything better. (Of course, even when the Republicans do the right thing, they do it for the wrong reasons.) The Republicans pillage the soil and the Democrats salt the Earth.

The world is at severe risk of a global systemic financial meltdown and a severe global depression. Can it, in theory, be stopped? Of course, but I have faith that so-called leaders will always do the wrong thing (at least from their perspective).

National Orientation. And here's why: they will never be oriented correctly, because they have lost the ability to observe as a consequence of intellectual inbreeding.

I'll certainly have fun pissing on their graves!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Crash and Burn Time?

Is this finally the time for the crash and burn of the economic system and the nation state? The answer is "maybe." (Although I suspect that it is at least the beginning.) Here are a few thoughts related to the subject from around the web.

Global Guerrillas:
Trend Line Assumptions

Here are some assumptions that underly all current activities related to the global financial crises:
  • Optimistic long term outcomes. Things are going to get better. Pollyanna mindsets.
  • The system, as it is currently configured, is the best possible or the only possible system. Faith in ideology.
  • Nation-states, singularly or collectively, are bigger and stronger than the financial/market system. The US is the guardian of this system. 20th Century legacy thinking.
The above assumptions lead to offensive (all we need to do is find the right leader) or reactive (whack a mole) mindset/policy. If you reverse them, you develop a defensive and opportunistic mindset/policy.
This faith is ideology is very similar to faith in technological progress. "They'll think of something..." (Whomever they might be?) Positive thinking is a lie for negative situations.

Paul Craig Roberts: A Futile Bailout as Darkness Falls on America.
As the US Treasury has not got $7, much less $700 billion, it must borrow the bailout money from foreign creditors, already overloaded with US paper. At what point do America’s foreign bankers decide that the additions to US debt exceed what can be repaid?

This question was ignored by the bailout. There were no hearings. No one consulted China, America’s principal banker, or the Japanese, or the OPEC sovereign wealth funds, or Europe.

Does the world have a blank check for America’s mistakes?

This is the same world that is faced with American demands that countries support with money and lives America’s quest for world hegemony. Europeans are dying in Afghanistan for American hegemony. Do Europeans want their banks, which hold US dollars as their reserves, to fail so that Paulson can bail out his company and his friends?
I'd be willing to bet that is a big NO.

Mike Whitney: Edge of the Abyss.
[I]f something is not done to increase the flow of credit immediately, the stock market will tumble, unemployment will spike, and many businesses will grind to a standstill. We could be just days away from a severe shock to the system. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson's $700 billion bailout does not focus on the fundamental problems and is likely to fail. At best, it puts off the day of reckoning for a few weeks or months. Contingency plans should be put in place so the country does not have to undergo post-Katrina bedlam.

[...]

So, how does Paulson expect to recapitalize the banks, which are loaded up with $2.4 trillion in mortgage-related investments, when congress's bill allocates a paltry $700 billion for the rescue plan? It's impossible. Just as it is impossible to keep prices artificially high with this kind of government buy-back program. These structured investments were vastly overpriced to begin with due to the fact that the market was hyperinflated with the Fed's low interest credit. As Doug Noland said, "This Credit onslaught fostered huge distortions to the level and pattern of spending throughout the entire economy. It is today impossible both to generate sufficient Credit and to main previous patterns of spending. Economic upheaval and adjustment are today unavoidable." (Doug Noland's Credit Bubble Bulletin)

Yes, and "economic upheaval" leads to political upheaval and blood in the streets. Is that what Bush wants; a chance to declare martial law – as threatened to recalcitrant congresspersons during the arm- twisting over the bailout - deploy his North Com. troops within the United states to put down demonstrations of middle class people fighting for bread crumbs?
Time to fight?!? Possibly. Although, frankly, I doubt the US military could occupy the entire country without destroying itself. Will troops really stay in the ranks when their own families are going hungry? (Considering many enlisted soldiers' families are living on food stamps, it is a likely possibility.) When the dollar is worthless, how are the troops going to be paid and fed? Just like the police in New Orleans left their posts to take care of their families, I doubt many would stick around. Besides, the US military cannot even occupy a country (Iraq) the size of California successfully. What are they going to do when it's everywhere?

At the very least, I would advise stocking up on food for about the next six months.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Maximum Advantage in all Things: Bailout #6

The US House of Representatives finally succumbed to their whorish impulses after being enticed by a pork laden bailout bill. It will not stop the inevitable, it merely drags the rest of us kicking and screaming over the edge into the no-so-fun land of hyperinflation. At least I'll know whom to blame. Their system is doomed. Entropy will not be denied.

Readings:
Why Paulson's Plan is a Fraud. There are so many reasons. Also, why does the population of a country that prides itself on individuality keep acting like sheep. Could it be, all that individualism is as a puffer fish?
As one reader put it,“We have debt at three different levels: personal household debt, financial sector debt and public debt. The first has swamped the second and now the second is being made to swamp the third. The attitude of our leaders is to do nothing about the first level of debt and to pretend that the third level of debt doesn't matter at all.”
Dismal math. You think it's bad now? Wait until the Asians stop buying (but at least the Bailout will never really be funded by the treasury: since the isn't one). Let's all hold hands and flush...

Concerning Europe:
Thanks to decades of mollycoddling their domestic industries, you now have a situation where European banks - many of whom Asians haven't even heard of - are now bigger than the GDPs of their home countries. Why does the ratio of assets over GDP matter? Because to pay for failed banks to foreign creditors and all that, governments have to run a surplus to GDP for a while.

Let's take an example. Iceland moved to guarantee its banking sector even as its top three banks are about 13 times the size of its GDP. In other words, if the government runs a budget surplus of 10% of GDP (massively contractionary fiscal policy), it would still take a trifling 130 years or so to pay for all its borrowings needed. For Switzerland, this figure is a mere 100 years, while for those like Belgium, that ratio stands at some 75 years. Remember, these are just figures for the bank losses, not counting all the other stuff that will be lost as a result of the failure of the banking system; for example the industrial base, trade and so on.

The fact that not a lot of people take a logical view of math can be absorbed by the rise in Irish banking deposits this week after the government moved to guarantee the banks. Aren't the Europeans a wonderful people, so trusting and naive in the ways of the world?
Now, that is nuts! It seems the belief that Europe could survive a US meltdown was in error.

Financial and Corporate System is in Cardiac Arrest: The Risk of the Mother of All Bank Runs
. (See also The Rising Risk of a Systemic Financial Meltdown: The Twelve Steps to Financial Disaster.) It isn't just bad mortgages. All the bubbles are popping:
The run on the shadow banking system is accelerating as: even the surviving major broker dealers (Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs) are under severe pressure (Morgan losing over a third of its hedge funds clients); the run on hedge funds is accelerating via massive redemptions and a roll-off of their overnight repo lines; the money market funds are experiencing further withdrawals in spite of government blanket guarantee.

- A silent run on the commercial banks is underway. In Q2 of 2008 the FDIC reported $4462bn insured domestic deposits out of $7036bn total domestic deposits; thus, only 63% of domestic deposits are insured. Thus $ 2574bn of deposits were not insured. Given the risk that many banks – small, regional and national – may go bust (as even large ones such as WaMu and Wachovia went recently bust) there is now a silent run on parts of the banking system. Deposit insurance formally covers only deposits up to $100000. Thus any individual, small or large business and/or foreign investor or financial institution with more than $100000 in a FDIC insured bank is now legitimately concerned about the safety of its deposits. Even if as likely the deposit insurance limit will be temporarily raised to $250000 by Congress there will still be a whopping $1.9 trillion of uninsured deposits (or 73% of total deposits); thus, a huge mass of uninsured deposits will remain at risk as even small businesses have usually more than $250K of cash while medium sized and large firms as well as any domestic and foreign financial institution or investor with exposure to US banks has average exposure in the millions of dollars. Particularly at risk are the cross border mostly short term interbank lines of US banks with their foreign counterparties that are estimated to be close to $800 billion.
The fun never ends.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Maximum Advantage in all Things: Bailout #5

Black Monday? Only for Scum (See "Ayes"). I'm shocked, and somewhat happy... And it was made possible by Republicans?

Credit crunch banker leaps to his death in front of express train. Now that's a good start!

It's worth every dime of my retirement to watch the banks go up in flames.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Maximum Advantage in all Things: Bailout #4

Back to form...

On the Presidential election:

Whomever wins, they will be a one termer, or even the last real President. A broken Federal Government will never have the same respect or legitimacy. How are they going to enforce their mandates? Neither candidate is up to the task of doing anything else but captain a sinking ship, and they'll damage state and local government in the process. Even corporations won't be immune to hyperinflation.

The political elites in this country are so out of touch. Those not physically inbred, like the Bushes, are intellectually inbred, like Paulson and Bernanke. They've spent so long only listening to money, that they cannot even conceive of the foundations of their power being undermined by their own actions. A bailout will make them hated, and they don't even know it. They confuse social isolation with acceptance. As a West African acquaintance said, "In any other country there would be a coup." (Or at least a General Strike.) It is hated by almost everyone of all political persuasion except the top 1% (at least the stupid ones). As far as I'm concerned, they can go bankrupt and die. They actually except us to take it bent over, just so we can still lend us money? What a priviledge: I can be screwed so they can screw me again! And on top of it, my earning power is reduced so I get screwed again and again. If they pass this bailout, this country is more doomed than it needs to be.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Maximum Advantage in all Things: Bailout #3

Typically, I don't mix work and art, but the Bailout and my work do intersect. Basically, this short discussion will illustrate why, unlike previous economic downturns, the government will not be spending its way out by building infrastructure. Anyone in the Construction Industry should take heed before supporting it: you are cutting your own throat.

Here's an excerpt from Reed Construction Data Chief Alex Carrick, a Canadian, has the Following to say about a bailout of the US Financial System:
This will be positive for the economy in the short run and will get businesses and consumers back into a “spending frame of mind” as credit becomes more available and worthless mortgages are purged from the system. But what will be the ultimate price?

The United States, having never been through such a massive government bailout before, may well have to face up to some harsher long-term realities. Here is what would seem to be the most likely scenario. And by the way, this is what some other countries have gone through when faced with enormous government debt.

The U.S. government will be anxious to reduce its debt load as quickly as possible. Wouldn’t you be, if you were in the hole by about ten trillion dollars? It will be hard to resist having higher prices take care of part of the problem. This means a likely pickup in inflation caused by printing more money. More inflation means higher interest rates.

More inflation also means a worsening of the trade deficit. This may lead to additional downward pressure on the value of the U.S. dollar. The huge trade deficit already in place has required China and Japan to keep buying treasury bills at interest rates that are unappealingly low. How long can this last? Furthermore, there is already some talk of a possible downgrade of U.S. government securities from AAA status to a lesser ranking.

The greenback versus the Euro is likely to suffer further indignity. Higher inflation, a falling dollar and rising interest rates are a terrible trinity. Recession will be hard to avoid. Policy makers might well be advised to ask what measures an international agency such as the World Bank or International Monetary Fund would require of a delinquent nation when its finances go into arrears.
If you think state and local government will fill the void, then think again. If Federal bonds are downgraded, then it would not be unreasonable to assume that state and local bond status would also suffer, and be required to yield higher interest rates as a result. In addition, one can expect that material, and other costs, will increase, perhaps dramatically as commodities are all priced in dollars (now), and overall inflation escalates. Also, if other investments are deemed more risky, commodities may experience cost increases due to speculation as was the case for crude oil last summer.

And that is one of the better scenarios.

Next time I'll return to my usual voice...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maximum Advantage in all Things: Bailout #2

Propaganda, as disseminated through the press, often seeks to convey unity and consensus, even where none exists. Scare tactics are also employed to sway the doubters.

More lies:
“This entire proposal is about benefiting the American people because today’s fragile financial system puts their economic well being at risk,” Mr. Paulson said. Without action, he added: “Americans’ personal savings and the ability of consumers and business to finance spending, investment and job creation are threatened.
-Link.
Yet, most Americans have no savings! The motivation is simple: the rich crooks certainly do want to unload their investments before the inevitable crash, and they want you to pay for it. And a stupid, distracted public will likely let them. This measure will buy some time (and a whole lot of Swiss Francs). Meanwhile everyone else pays to bailout piracy. In a service economy, as pointed out by Paul Craig Roberts and numerous others, little or no savings is to be expected. Also we learn from our crooked, lying, warmongering "Dear Leader" that looting the treasury is noble, and that we must rise above politics in doing so. It also appears the slimy, craven congress will go along with some changes. Meanwhile, everyone else gets to experience massive inflation or even hyperinflation. (Of course, the books are cooked to make inflation appear lower, and therefore keep wages low by lying with statistics. But that is another story.) One way or another, their system will fail. The only question is whom it will fall on. If it falls on you, just don't forget who pushed it down.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Maximum Advantage in all Things: Bailout #1

Now that the initial shock has worn...

This Bailout could never be possible were the US, as a technological nation (note: I do not say society), not beholden to the technical morality. Thieves are bailed out, because, we are rationalized, doing so would be worse. And who are we supposed to trust, at their lying word, but the very same politicians who enabled these crooks in the first place?!? It's a simple a looting of the Treasury, but we should be reassured that it could be worse! Traditional and/or opposing moralities would find the notion repugnant. Yet, Federal Government Officials and the big money press, see no shame as their moral framework is that of the hollow machine. Their precious system might fail quickly rather than slowly. Thus they retain their position at the expense of everyone else. In an alternate moral scheme, many responsible would see serious jail time, instead we see golden parachutes and big Federal Pensions. They have created their own anti-natural Verbal World, and may therefore be counted upon to almost always aspire to the greatest errors.

Probable Result:

The Moral Authority of the Federal system is truly bankrupt. A government that robs from its citizens to pay thieves has sunk below the level of a Kleptocracy into outright banditry. As a result, respect for the law will be eroded until it crumbles. Consequently, they destroy their legitimacy.

For robbing me, I can at least be consoled that they will suffer far worse in the end. (As long as I never kid myself that it will mean justice.)

Hopefully, I can spit at them as they lie in the gutter (and tell them to go get a Job).

See Also & Also.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

$700 Billion!?!

$700 Billion Is Sought for Wall Street in Vast Bailout. The biggest swindle in history is in the works. The government wants to bail out the crooks who started this financial disaster, and we're supposed to just bend over and take it?!? The political class is nothing but an enabler of thieves. Wall Street deserves to fail, and indeed nothing else offers any hope for the USA. The fact that rioting has not broken out shows the inherent cowardice of Americans yet again. Have fun starving, suckers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ideology sells solutions through collective consciousness. Unity is thus affirmed as the bad part of community.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Art is pointless without alienation, but not necessarily meaningless.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Years. RIP. So where is bin Laden?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Immediate survival demands immediate attention. Preparation requires mitigation. Anticipation lessens shock. The slow can be quick to react. Some loses cannot be bought. Mathematics is not a social science.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

i. Subversion is not advocacy.

ii. Decadence can never be undermined, only eliminated.

iii. Reality represents intrusion by those cocooned within anti-natural concerns: a hungry stomach focuses attention even as it drains the mind.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Introversion is not withdrawal; it just looks that way.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The shadow of a name is its initials.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Neither The Government Nor The Population - 7th Draft

Neither The Government Nor The Population was a project started in 1995 after the April 19th OKC bombing of the Murrah Federal Building. In part it was a response. The first 4 drafts were hand written, the 5th was a proof, and the 6th was "clandestinely" published and distributed over several printings. Copies were distributed for free in the Seattle area, and a few were mailed around the U.S. Several years ago, the 6th Draft was republished on this site. Although blog posts work fine for parts, I have not always been pleased with the presentation for the whole. Therefore, I will present the 7th Draft as a downloadable PDF. Now, the reader can like it or hate it based on the whole. The 6th Draft was hated by all the right kinds of people*; hopefully the 7th Draft will be more despised.

A few notes about this draft are in order. The 6th Draft was comprised of six chapters, and then ends with a few appendices (at least the first printing did). The few readers who spoke with me about it kept asking, "Then what?" What indeed. Several years later, before the birth of my first daughter in 2003, I began revising the first six chapters and added a seventh. Since philosophy is largely a reflection of a stage of life, it was important to complete it before family life set in. The seventh chapter, which I probably wouldn't write in the same way now, concerns revolution. I chose Spanish revolutionary syndicalism as the model as there is really very little likelihood that such will occur in the US, with the exception of the desert Southwest. (Anyone thinking otherwise does not understand this nation very well, but that's another discussion for later.) It's not like I ever wanted to advocate anything. The whole is different than the sum of its parts. In this case, the whole is propaganda, its parts philosophy, and bound together by my artistic sensibilities**. Anyway, I sat on it until 2005, when I finalized it, then tucked it away until now. "Enjoy."

* I am aware of one instance were excuses were made to revoke parole over its possession.
** Such as this Song.

Downloads:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #26

26. As institutional science has grown useless in addressing mediocrity in its own institutions and practices, it has grown destructive in addressing mediocrity in the greater society. By actively promoting schemes, such as soft Taylorism, the scientific establishment undermines itself. Only sociopaths personalities are immune from believing their own propaganda. Worse, determinism is often pushed for the sake of funding. The demand for results does produce quantity, but really very little quality. It also destroys objectivity. As such, there are better routes for addressing reality. Philosophy, appropriately wielded, has a much broader scope. Rather than exploring minutiae, one can look at the whole as different than the sum of its parts. This freedom can be liberating, but it will very likely not be profitable. Only posterity will care. As Things Fall Apart on their Own, one will at least know why The Fall occurred, and whom helped its decline...

-1992, 2008

End.

The Physics and Philosophy series has been written as an introduction to The Age of Mediocrity collection.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #25

25. Any search for truth hangs upon that which is sought. When it becomes obvious that certain routes through life will result in one being a cog, one can at least choose to modify the path. Art can be a labor or something else. Being paid to build is often better than being paid to produce. Sell first what is least valuable. One may need it later or not, but at least it is still possessed. Too many chose to do otherwise, and squander their talent for a bag of beans.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #23

23. Why is the lone scientist, or (true[17]) intellectual in general discouraged? Why is patronage corporate, foundation, academia or state only? Conformity is controllable. Imposed structure requires deadlines. Mediocrity flourishes by demanding a product. Publish or perish.

[17] As opposed to an Idiot.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #19

19. The constant demand for unattainable uniformity always degenerates into mediocrity through its means. Where Technique[16] abounds, creativity is stifled, and humanity is reduced. Unity eliminates possibilities. Culture stagnates when so fundamentally constrained by the dictates of the “lowest common denominator” mentality. Science, engineering and technical fields are no more immune being stifled than the greater society. In physics, historically, the greatest leaps forward in fundamental scientific understandings have been undertaken as generally solitary intellectual endeavors. Yet, the modern era would believe otherwise. The dollar devaluates more than just economic value.

[16] See The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul (and elsewhere in this book) for further reading.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #18

18. Mathematical prediction is a corner stone of modern scientific pursuit. In general, a science achieves legitimacy in direct proportion to its predictive accuracy. As a consequence, the scientist is rarely rewarded or encouraged to explore and investigate the limits of science. The Uncertainty Principle, along with chaos theory and certain studies in complexity are rare exceptions, but mostly scientists would appear to believe science is ultimately reducible to simple components or explanations. Faith is not just the providence of religion.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Holiday Reading

A giant breaks his chains and again walks the earth: inflation.
Otto Freidrich’s Before the Deluge: Berlin in the Twenties tells about the effects of hyperinflation in the Wiemar Republic:
The fundamental quality of the disaster was a complete loss of faith in the functioning of society. Money is important not just a medium of economic exchange, after all, but as a standard by which society judges our work, and thus our selves.

… “The collapse of the currency meant not only the end of trade, bankrupt businesses, food shortages in the big cities and unemployment” according to one historian, Allan Bullock. “It had the effect, which is the unique quality of economic catastrophe, of reaching down and touching every single member of the community in a way which no political event can. The savings of the middle classes and the working classes were wiped out at a single blow with a ruthlessness which no revolution could ever equal. … The result of the inflation was to undermine the foundations of German society in a way which neither the war, nor the revolution of November 1918, nor the Treaty of Versailles had ever done. The real revolution in German was the inflation.

“Yes, the inflation was by far the most important event of the period” says a 75 year old journalist. … It wiped out the savings of the whole middle class, but those are just words. You have to understand what that meant. There was not a single girl in the entire middle class who could get married without her father paying a dowry. Even the maids — they never spent a penny of their wages. They saved and saved so that they could get married. When the money became worthless it destroyed the whole system for getting married, and so it destroyed the whole idea of remaining chaste until marriage.

“The rich had never lived up to their own standards of course, and the poor had different standards anyway. But the middle class, by and large, obeyed the rules. … But what happened from the inflation was that the girls learned that virginity didn’t matter anymore. The women were liberated.”
In the World of Yesterday Stefan Zweig describes some of the result of this inflation on society:
In the collapse of all values a kind of madness gained hold particularly in the bourgeois circles which until then had been unshakable in their probity.

… How wild, anarchic and unreal were those years, years in which, with the dwindling value of money all other values in values in Austria and Germany began to slip! It was an epoch of high ecstasy and ugly scheming, a singular mixture of unrest and fanaticism. Every extravagant idea that was not subject to regulation reaped a golden harvest: theosophy, occultism, yoga … Anything that gave hope of newer and greater thrills, anything in the way of narcotics, morphine, cocaine, heroin found a tremendous market; on the stage, incest and parricide; in politics communism and fascism constituted the most favored themes; unconditionally proscribed, however, was any representation of normality and moderation.

… Nothing ever embittered the German people so much — it is important to remember this — nothing made them so furious with hate and so ripe for Hitler as the inflation.
Every Move You Make.
Established mechanisms of political power are, of course, the immediately available means for attempting change. Notions of citizens’ rights, freedom, and democratic participation are compelling paradigms that have consistently stirred the bravery of U.S. citizens – and yet elder political scientist Sheldon Wolin, who taught the philosophy of democracy for five decades, sees the current predicament of corporate-government hegemony as something more endemic.

“Inverted totalitarianism,” as he calls it in his recent Democracy Incorporated, “lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual.” To Wolin, such a form of political power makes the United States “the showcase of how democracy can be managed without appearing to be suppressed.”
Fear Factor: Surviving a disaster often depends on self-control
Fortunately, in many disasters, someone is often biologically and psychologically well-suited for dealing with the chaos. Such people typically are the most likely to survive or to shepherd a docile group of survivors out of a disaster zone. What makes them different? Some have a natural psychological buffer that allows them to bounce back from extreme stress. Examination of people who always perform well in extreme circumstances has shown high levels in the blood of “neuropeptide Y”—a compound that allows one to stay mentally focused under stress. It’s so closely correlated with success in pressure situations that it is almost a biological marker for selection into elite groups for military special operations.
Have fun!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #17

17. Science and philosophy may reclaim the older common ground. In either base or decadent societies, the likelihood is low. Survival promotes the immediate. Instant gratification produces results, but no meaning. Failure is an impedance. Emptiness invites backlash

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #16

16. Philosophy may be used to determine what is science and what is not; it may also degenerate. Certain ridiculous post-modern sociological theories postulate that society creates science.[15] Although science is certainly directed by the values of society, the underlying physical reality is solid. Only in a world where any idiotic opinion is granted some weight, as if there were a right to be stupid, would anyone give credence to meaninglessness. Religion may be boring, but at least it’s not dull. Post Modernism is not even worth the effort of rejecting. What is reality? A gun to the head is reality.

[15] See Impostures Intellectuelles / Fashionable Nonsense by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont for further reading.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #15

15. Meaning has meaning to human beings. Vacuums are uncomfortable. One may plumb and probe, but still not find answers. Certain questions need to be addressed. What explains life? What exactly is consciousness? Perhaps, assuming anyone will be around to do so, these problems will someday be tackled and even solved. Perhaps a few thought experiments might be in order. Unfortunately, such training is basically non-existent. Grant money demands results, not meaning. The path that takes the shortest time is rewarded.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #14

14. Science will never replace religion. It cannot explain death with facts. Why would anyone want to do so? Authoritarians are found in almost all denominations. The anti-religions have proven no less bloody than their false opposites. The state is a even poorer god than God. The instincts for religion seems inherent in the human herd animal. The soul is not spirit; neither is spirit the soul.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters Section #13

13. Philosophy has also likely lost prominence among scientists due to open hostility towards religion by a vocal minority. This mind set is distinctly positivist in direction. Fundamentalist backlash is an unwelcome obstacle toward scientific advancement. Even agnostics are annoyed by the clamor of those pushing ignorance, and dismayed by the lengths that these sort will go in pushing their agenda. They clearly are not interested in scientific truth. All the same, atheistic scientists can be equally entrenched in their world view. The insecure feel threatened. Who gives a shit? Spirituality is cheapened by talking about it. “I don’t want to hear it.”

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #12ii

12ii. After the Copenhagen Interpretation, philosophical influences became less prominent in physics, to the point where most physicists would probably consider their philosophy, with respect the natural world, as Positivist Reductionist. In other words, the only true knowledge is scientific knowledge, and a complex system is the sum of its parts, and reducible to individual components (or accounted for anyway). However, it is doubtful that most practicing physicists would have bothered to learn enough philosophy to describes themselves as a member of any philosophical school. Philosophy is not a religion; the ignorant can create a poor one. Like any cultural disease vector, dogma can be contagious. When meaning is avoided in favor of facts, some facts may stay hidden.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #12i

12i. The formulation of Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, to the point were the terms are synonymous, was long and drawn out. Unlike classical theories, such as Newtonian mechanics and special relativity, no one individual scientist or mathematician was chiefly responsible for its development. It changed the way people look at the world. Physics is no longer strictly causal. Even while neglected by lack of reciprocation, philosophy was impacted no less profoundly. Theories and ideas inconsistent with quantum mechanics have lost credence, if not their following. At the least initially, dis-empowered stakeholders will reflexively react negatively. Some will adapt. Others will ignore the new ideas. The most extreme cases are threatened and even provoked by scientific revelation. If cornered, the resultant backlash will be intense. Reality is often not truth.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #11iii

11. On classical causality v. quantum probability:

iii. Einstein’s theology was in conflict with the nature of quantum mechanics. He believed in the omniscient God of Pierre-Simon Laplace and John Calvin, where everything was done to some predetermined plan. Allegedly, Max Born told Einstein to quit telling God what to do. This attitude reconciles the notions of quantum mechanics with the ideas of God, and swayed many with objections along philosophical grounds. It probably unintentionally led to philosophy largely being discarded from the development of modern physics. Meaning is less important that the usability of the theory. It works; the atom bomb is proof. No less true in scientific careers than any other profession, pragmatism is easier: for advancement, one must move onward even if potentially short shifting fundamentals.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #11ii

11. On classical causality v. quantum probability:

ii. The most famous arguments against quantum probability were made by Albert Einstein. His most famous quote regarding the issue was “God does not play with dice,” while objecting the indeterminate nature of quantum mechanics. Einstein wrote to his colleague, Mac Born, to whom it often fell to refute Einstein’s objections:
“I find the idea quite intolerable that an electron, exposed to radiation should choose of its own free will, not only its moment to jump off, but also its direction. In that case, I would rather be a cobbler, or even an employee in a gaming house, than a physicist.”
In stating his case against the Copenhagen Interpretation, Einstein put forth, to Born, a succession of thought experiments. Born and his students, often with a considerable amount of effort, always found the flaws in his reasoning. Consequently, the case for this interpretation, of the observed phenomena in question, was strengthened. Einstein was no quitter. He eventually stated that the theory was incomplete, and would someday be replaced. Of course, this observation is pretty much true of scientific theories in general.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #11i

11. On classical causality v. quantum probability:

i. Quantum mechanics led physicists away from the causal physics of previous centuries. Certain historical figures and physicists in general, as identified by Werner Heisenberg,[13] were critical of the Copenhagen Interpretation. The first group wished to modify its wording to more closely agree with classical physics. This group did not disagree with the physics. They admitted the theory’s experimental predictions were accurate. For this group, the philosophical implications were difficult to accept, and so sought to change it. As good scientists, the second camp agreed with the theory, but wished to challenge certain components. The last faction, which included some such as Albert Einstein[14] and Erwin Schrödinger that were ironically instrumental in its formulation, were deeply dissatisfied with the widespread interpretation, and in particular concerning its philosophy.

[13] See Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy - The Revolution in Modern Science for further reading.

[14] His single Nobel prize was for discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect, which was unexplainable in classical terms and is considered one of the bases of the development of modern physics.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #10viii

viii. The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics states that every particle is described by its wave function, which contains information for determining the probability for it to be found in any location following a measurement. Each measurement causes the wave function to collapse. Other interpretations have also been developed, such as Bohm’s Interpretation,[12] which involves hidden variable to describe quantum behavior. All interpretations must agree with observations to be considered valid. The Copenhagen Interpretation works well enough.

[12] See David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1981) for further reading.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Yahia Lababidi

Yahia Lababidi's book of aphorisms, Signposts, is available - re-issued, revised, and with new material - directly from Jane Street Press. He has also sent me seven new aphorisms:
Whether having sex, or crossing the street - we make daily negotiations with others just to keep alive.

Excuses: the first refuge of the failure.

Indirect communication permits us to be reckless with the truth, confessing more than we would ordinarily dare.

Only after we have mastered a thing are we beyond it: such as culture, technique ... even words.

Things are at their most comfortable, before they collapse – be they armchairs or relationships.

It can be just as difficult to catch a whiff of our own anguish as it is to detect our bad breath.

Eye contact: how souls catch fire.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Resilient Community

John Robb: The Resilient Community: Read Here & Here. As Things Fall Apart. The fall back is DIY community. Unfortunately, a sense of community has largely ceased to exist as a reality for those "completely tied to or immersed in the legacy system," as Robb puts it. There's more to community than just houses.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #10vii

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
vii. Classically, in a simple system, if we know the initial conditions of a system, such as its position and momentum, we can determine the entire particle’s future and history. In quantum mechanics, this knowledge is impossible to determine. We may only know probabilities, not absolutes. The world below the level of the Correspondence Principle ceases to be strictly causal, but rather becomes causal and probabilistic.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Propaganda: Believing Your Own Lies

William S. Lind's latest installment of On War concerns the dangers of believing your own propaganda (i.e. lies) in war. As he concludes:
In the end, the Administration's (and the Pentagon's) insistence that the Iraqi state, government, army and police are real blinds only themselves. Iraqis know they are not. The American public knows they are not. The average Hottentot probably knows they are not. Do the members of the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations know less that the average Hottentot? So last week's hearings might suggest, and such is the power of empty words.
And such is the power of self-delusion. Saying something does not make it so. So much for "We create our own reality."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters Section #10vi

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
vi. The Correspondence Principle states that the behavior of quantum mechanical systems reproduce classical physics in the limit of large quantum numbers. Quantum effects “wash” out, or become too minute to observe, for objects larger than most molecules (or so). Scientific theory must always account for observation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters Section #10v

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
v. In quantum mechanics, each particle is described by its wave or state function. The wave function contains information of a statistical nature, which may be interpreted mathematically as a probability amplitude. We may then apply the principle of superposition, or add and subtract, depending upon conditions such a symmetry, the individual components to obtain a wave function as a whole for the system in question. Based on the amplitude of the wave function, the probability of finding a particle or system to be in a particular time or region of space may be determined. If we wish to observe a particular particle or system, we may do so, but upon making our measurement we will consequently collapse the wave function. Baring external influences, the system will always be found in that particular state. On the quantum mechanical scale, observation is never passive.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #10iv

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
iv. Position and momentum are complimentary dynamical observables. If we wish to determine a particles position, then we will no longer have any idea as to its momentum. In other words, after observing its position, the act of observing sends it off in an unknown (and unknowable) direction. Likewise, if we know its momentum, then its position is unknown (and unknowable). Therefore, an exact time and place cannot be calculated (even in theory). Another pair of complimentary variables are time and energy. An important point to understand (without actually resorting to equations) is that if we wish to know one observable with some, but not a precise degree of accuracy, we may also know the complimentary observable with a proportionate degree of accuracy. The famous Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle is the mathematical statement of this phenomenon. (Sometimes equations are simpler.) We may never know the precise trajectory of a subatomic particle.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #10iii

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
iii. Wave particle duality is exhibited by electrons and other subatomic particles. Simply stated, such particles will exhibit either wave-like or particle-like properties, but not both, which is wholly dependent upon how we with to choose to look at the system. If we conduct interference experiments, the particle will appear as a wave, with interference patterns similar to waves in a wave tank. However, if we choose to observe scattering effects, then the system will appear as particles. In quantum mechanics, the neutral observer[11] does not exist. This discovery has many scientific and philosophical implications. We cannot know what occurs in our absence. Does observing create the world?

[11] (Or observational device.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #10ii

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
ii. Quantum physics differs from classical physics. The energy levels and distances are on an atomic scale. The action of observing introduces uncontrollable and irreparable disturbances in the system being observed. If these disturbances are negligible, then the system in question will behave in a manner that is familiar to human experience. Quantum motion is far weirder.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Modern Warriors: Kenya

Kenyan Tribes Wage a War With Bows and Arrows is fascinating photographic evidence of a relatively "civilized" (I would say civil) form of warfare. If blood must be spilled, then agree to use ancient but deadly weapons, such as bows armed with arrow made from 4 inch nails, slings and machetes. It appears that these men have decided that they don't want to create another Rwanda, and have agreed to limit death to a pre-selected battlefield away from cities and towns. As a result, the civilian population will not experience wholesale devastation. At night, everyone goes home. Perhaps that is why the police do not intervene? It could be a lot worse. (To use my own metaphors) these tribes are an example of what Modern Warriors (or Modern Warrior Archetypes) can be. A non-decadent society can chose such a path. These are people who remember who they are.



Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #10i

10. On Quantum Mechanics:
i. A running joke among physicists states that if one were to ask ten physicists to define quantum mechanics, you would get ten different answers. They would then commence to arguing over whose interpretation was right. Perhaps they all are?[10] Perhaps their intuitive development is stunted by an education that over-emphasizes formal and/or simplistic supporting mathematics. “Yes, it’s nice this equation proves a mathematical formalistic point. But what does it all mean?

[10] (As supported by observation.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #9iii

9. On Causality:
iii. The tendency to see everything in terms of causes and effects was reinforced by pre-20th Century science, especially the formulation of Newtonian mechanics. The resulting belief of strict causation was described by the mathematician Pierre-Simon de Laplace as follows:
“An intelligence knowing, at a given instant of time, all forces acting in nature, as well as the momentary position of all things of which the universe consists, would be able to comprehend the motion of the largest bodies of the world and those of the lightest atoms in one single formula, provided his intellect was sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to him nothing would be uncertain, both past and future would be present in his eyes.”
This doctrine, sometimes called strict causality, advances the belief and idea of an all-knowing and all-seeing being, or in other words, God. As human beings are part of the universe, and therefore part of the grand equation, such philosophy also pretty much rejects any question concerning freewill. Although stated differently, these beliefs had previously manifested religiously in the form of such sects as the Calvinists and Puritans.[9] Classical physics strengthened these notions by adding a rational basis for determinism. Modern physics is another matter.

[9] Note the common thread of capitalism among the adherents from either age.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #9ii

9. On Causality:
ii. Supply and demand are economic manifestations of causality. In theory, needs and wants are mutually self sustaining with supply. In actuality, complexity makes all predications uncertain. This model also often neglects to account for historical or irrational forces. Competing systems may drive conflicts and hence economics as well. When dealing with a relatively rational adversary, conflict management is far less straining than fighting against forces seeking negation. Contact nodes are preferable to ill-defined boundaries. Systems have rules. Disruptions have consequences.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #9i

9. On Causality:
i. According to Kant, the human mind perceives all secessions of events as a chain of causes and effects. In a general perceptive sense, Kant’s observation distills the basic concepts of experience and memory. Human beings largely prefer simplicity in most things. Observations are akin to reference frames.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #8ii

ii. Physics makes for good metaphor. A metaphor is not a simile. Solely a human invention, reality does not recognize such constructs. Forced upon the world, the result is by definition anti-natural.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #8i

8i. Although seen less with each passing generation, some philosophers are physicists, and some physicists are philosophers. This duality is often indicative of a powerful intellect. The challenges toward the doctrine of causality during the development of quantum physics, and resulting reactions, are an example of the possible healthy interplay between physics and philosophy which ultimately strengthens both fields. However, both boats rise and fall with the tide. Care must be taken to avoid overreaching. Egoism and insecurity are poison to a technological society. Expertise in one field does not confer proficiency in all others.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #7

7. Although physics and philosophy travel different paths through the world of truth, an occasional intersection may be found. When physics reaches the furthest extant of its reach, which can often be a grey, uncertain area, then philosophy holds sway. Often the philosophical species encountered will manifest as metaphysics. Conceived forces, causes and effects can be useful tools for the scientist pushing the boundary of human knowledge. Possibilities may provide avenues worth exploring. Metaphysical musing lacking a basis in physical reality are little more than mysticism at best, or intellectual self-stimulation at least. Modern truth requires proof.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #6

6. Physics is a science based on the study of the material world and associated phenomena. A combination of mathematics and observation form the basis for attempting to ascertain physical laws and the causes of certain occurrences. Its successes are apparent. Its failures are not illuminated by its limitations. The inability, to see where its questions are no longer answerable by its methods, is a flaw. Consciousness is a case in point. Why does it exist? “Explain the mind? How absurd.” Despite positivist pretensions, some questions have not even begun to be asked.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #5ii

5ii. Postmodern “thought” is a large factor in the degeneration of academic humanities.[7] Meaninglessness taints anything contacted or connected to its advocates. If it were not so harmful to intellectual development, this utter garbage would be laughable. Among its crimes against intelligence,[8] postmodernism has made philosophy appear to be a waste of time. Mediocrity impoverishes everything.

[7] See Curtis White, The Middle Mind (2003) for further reading.

[8] Even the dullest Creationist is more respectable. At least regressive religious interpretations pretensions toward science are based on tradition. Brainless fools aren’t just found in church.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #5i

5i. Hobbes stated that philosophy is “a knowledge of effects from causes, and causes from their effects.” A scientist attempts to observe the pattern of occurrences in his or her particular field of study, whereas a philosopher tries to observe the pattern of happenings as a whole.[6] Both approaches have merit. So why, in the modern era, do almost none attempt to do both? A specialist misses much, but is better paid (as opposed to not at all).

[6] As evidenced by the babbling of either a free market or Marxist ideologue. Determinism is determinism.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #4

4. Science is a search for truth through facts. Philosophy is the search for truth through ideas. Those possessing neither facts nor ideas have no truth. The absence of truth is not necessarily a lie. The very young are innocent. Lies are not an unavoidable part of aging.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters #3

3. In the beginning of the human quest for reason, science and philosophy were indistinguishable. For want of a better term, this intertwining could be termed curiosity. As time went on, the abstract components of that curiosity evolved into philosophy and certain persuasions of mathematics. The more concrete elements grew into the various branches of science, engineering and the attendant mathematics. Currently, the sciences are demarcated into the broad categories of physical, biological and sociological sciences. In general, the older forks are more widely accepted. Mathematics is thought by many to be embedded in stone. Whereas sociology has found it necessary to develop the sub-field of demography to enjoy scientific legitimacy, and economics is often more akin to religious faith than science,[4] mathematics is thought to convey authority which often means better funding opportunities. Strangely, outside academia and teaching, mathematicians[5] have a difficult time finding work. Perhaps deep inquires are undesirable?

[4] As evidenced by the babbling of either a free market or Marxist ideologue. Determinism is determinism.

[5] Hence, “math, yes; math major, no.”

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters Section #2

2. Philosophy, having been developed to represent its contemporary reality, seems to often prove more hindrance than guide to scientific thought. Nevertheless, it can prove useful in demanding more rigor and a subsequent higher standard of proof. In addition, the subsequent new philosophy will serve the same (hopefully) healthy scepticism once its footings are threatened. Philosophy is a stage of life. Equally sightless, blind acceptance is no better than blind rejection. Too many idols last for too long. Their exposed hollowness must have meaning. The alternative is stagnation. Even rivers have islands.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Physics and Philosophy - Thoughts on the Implications of Quantum Mechanics, and Other Matters Section #1

This discourse is the author's draft introduction for an upcoming book project, entitled The Age of Mediocrity. (Postings will be more frequent than the previous few months; a review or two may be interjected between posts.)

1. The Twentieth Century brought about many revolutions. Broadly, the most fundamental are those changes regarding scientific insight. Although less publicly acknowledged,[1] of all those many scientific developments, the discoveries and insights that led to the formulation of the so-called Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, were among the most philosophically unsettling. Physics ceased to be, at least in principle, a deterministic science and became inherently uncertain. Of course, throughout history scientific revolutions have had ramifications beyond the intellectual and scientific domains preferred by scientists and philosophers alike. Although post-dating Aristarcus by about seventeen hundred years, Nicolaus Copernicus’ model of a heliocentric universe created much controversy, and even hostility as contrary to church doctrine, by suggesting that the Earth was not the center of the universe. However despite strong contrarian efforts, in part, its value at explaining and simplifying the seemingly complex movements of the planets led to its ultimate acceptance. Prediction is proof. Charles’ Darwin’s Origins of the Species is still not universally accepted. Too many hairless monkeys appear threatened by the idea that the multitude (if ever dwindling) of species seen upon the Earth did not always exist, but rather evolved over a period of time due to a process of natural selection. The idea of humanity as an accident has many penetrating and even threatening religious and philosophical implications. Evolution does not occur at the speed of light. As a contrast, in the case of Quantum Mechanics, its implications were generally accepted both less and more dramatically. In European scientific circles, even if world shaking, the debate was not nearly as hot as the two preceding examples. The interesting case of Albert Einstein will be discussed later.[2] However, the reactions against its political implications were harsher. Indeed, until the development of atomic weapons, the government of the Soviet Union suppressed the theory as something threatening to the Marxist dialectical materialism.[3] Ideology, not just religion, suppresses science.

[1] Perhaps quantum mechanics has less mass appeals because its history and development does not focus upon a single prominent scientist.

[2] See Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way, for further reading.

[3] It’s hard to argue with the demonstrated reality of an atomic bomb in the hands of an opposing power. The USSR caught up rapidly.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (with an Introduction by Mark Crispin Miller)

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (with an Introduction by Mark Crispin Miller) is a classic propaganda text by the so-called "Father of Public Relations." Published in 1928, it is an interesting read, but certainly reflects the time in which it was written. As pointed out in the introduction, this work is philosophically Positivist (in the deterministic classic sense as opposed to the Modern). As it was written during the development of the Copenhagen Interpretation, such faults will not be remarked upon further.

Edward Bernays, who was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, was deeply involved with the U.S. Committee on Public Relations, which was responsible for propagandizing US involvement in World War I. It was partially due to these activities that the word Propaganda began to be regarded with negative connotations. This book was his attempt (which obviously failed) to restore its neutral meaning.

Even if one views his advocacy for the blatant manipulation of the public mind as disturbing, his honesty concerning doing so is refreshing. He also believed that the propagandist required a certain idea of ethics to avoid going too far. (He did abandon his advocacy for cigarettes once the health effects were irrefutable.) He believed that propaganda could be used for good or bad, and was correct in believing so. However, even good uses, such as public health campaigns, were not enough to remove the taint from the word propaganda. Hitler sealed its fate.

Basically, this book is an attempt to sell his craft to the rich and powerful. One way or another, he certainly succeeded. For a look into the thinking of a master of propaganda, the book is worth reading for that reason alone.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Serf Wages

I also couldn't believe it when I read this:
Will work for taxes
By The Mogambo Guru

From AP, we can't believe our eyes when we read, "Plan Would Let Seniors Work to Pay Taxes". It seems that in Greenburgh, NY, the damned local government is eating the financial guts out of its citizens. For example, a 76-year old woman named Audrey Davison lives alone, gets a US$620 Social Security check per month ($7,440 a year), and has to pay $12,000 a year in property taxes on the house that she has lived in for 43 years!

Instead of the town saying, "Oh, my God! What kind of ravenous vampires have we become?" and lowering their damned spending and the damned taxes, "The town is pushing a program that would let seniors work part-time, for $7 an hour, to help pay off some of their property taxes."

Some bozo named Scott Parkin, who for some reason is the spokesman for the National Council on Aging, said that the program "sounded interesting" to him, "as long as it wasn't limited to menial work." Apparently, easy "make-work" labor for old people is insulting, but gulag-style, back-breaking forced-labor is okay! With whips! Hahaha! "And if they fall under the load, grind them into pet food and take their houses!"

He doesn't answer my question directly, but with a little clever editing, I can make it appear that way when I now insert his quote, "It's certainly in line with what we stand for, keeping seniors involved in work or volunteering as a part of healthy aging." Hahaha! Forcing old, sick people to work to pay their taxes is "in line with" what the National Council on Aging stands for! Hahaha!

Even more astonishing, he went on to say that he would, "Eventually ... like to see the county and the local school districts adopt similar plans!" I can't believe what I am reading!

I thought that I had misread it, but then he said, "If we got seniors working for the schools, there might be a more intergenerational feeling there", and apparently with all the forced labor to do the work, "It might be easier to pass the school budgets."

JMR Wayne T agrees with me when he says, "This is surely in the top five most horrible examples of Government abuse of its citizens I have ever seen. This is beyond Communism, this is serfdom."

(Read the rest Here.)
$7/hr is certainly serf wages, especially for retired professionals or trades people. So in this regard, menial labor is actually preferable. It's revolting to contemplate that anyone could seriously consider such a scheme, let alone approve of it. The manacles are always in the details.

Now, that's just plain revolting!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Condemnation

Russell Means: This Property is Condemned. The Lawfare continues with a declaration that the Lakota have the right to impose liens on government property. It will be instructive to see where this situation leads.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Sun Tzu - The Art of War

Sun Tzu - The Art of War. I've never sat down and read the whole thing straight through. I found this handy Small Edition that easily fits in my pocket. A great gift for your warmongering brother-in-law.

Take control of the strategic balance and move. The one who understands the tactics of the circuitous and direct will be victorious.