Monday, December 07, 2009

Slopes and Poisons

From Wanted: Iconoclasts:
Historically, iconoclasm was an 8th-century Byzantine movement in opposition to the religious icons central to Orthodox worship. By smashing icons, the iconoclasts hoped to restore the purity of the church and focus religious belief on the spiritual - they appear to have had similar impulses to those that later inspired Martin Luther to revolt against the decadent Medici papacy. Their opponents, the "iconodules", did not just love images, they were regarded as enslaved to them.
(It's a concise definition.  Nice job.)

Unfortunately, in a mass society driven by its systemic necessities, iconoclasts will be media products.  They will therefore become formulaic and therefore only capable of appealing to the faithful.  Thus divisions are enforced and ghettos are created where none need exist.  Some slopes are steeper than others.

The article continues:
The US mortgage market is even more hopelessly compromised than it was a year ago, with the combination of the home-buyer tax credit and the Federal Housing Administration's lax requirements for only a 3% down-payment producing a new US$1 trillion pile of mortgages that appear to be toxic.
Other damaging policies that were improvised during the crisis are also still in place and show no signs of being reversed. Interest rates are still close to zero; indeed bank "window dressing" was reported on Friday to have driven interest rates on short-term Treasury bills to below zero. The monetary base was doubled in late 2008, a sharper increase than ever before in the history of the Federal Reserve, yet there is no sign of its decline, while the banking system's excess reserves pile up at over $1.2 trillion.
The above illustrates the danger inherent of stressing short term gain over long term considerations.  Resources are limited.  Pretend money only goes so far.  Eventually, after throwing one too many life lines, one runs out of rope.  Maximum Advantage would have it no other way.  And that is its poison.

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