Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Delusion of Money

It has been said the money is the root of all evil. The quest for wealth is closely tracked to the quest for power, or in broader terms social standing, with many believing that wealth is power. The theory that more is better has been perpetuated throughout the history of man, and has long been the measure of mans success in life. The quest for power has manifested itself in many forms; money, the learned helplessness of religion, brute force are the more common examples. Over time it has been demonstrated that the combination of these three things in particular has a multiplying effect and so each is used in varying degree's of combination with great effectiveness.

I find the concept of faith, born of religion, to be the bane of human existance. The conditioning faith has provided can be tracked to many counterproductive aspects we all deal with today. The one I will harp on now is money, a concept second only to religion in its detriment to societal stability.

What is money? It is the medium with which to measure the accumulation and transfer of wealth.

What is wealth? It is the measure of the money or valuable property you or I posess.

What is value? It is the amount of your wealth, typically measured by money that you are willing or able to trade for a good or service.

How it was decided that a metal ore should be the basis or medium by which wealth should be determined is a mystery to me. But it was, and for a large portion of human existance it was the benchmark of wealth, and the basis for all currency, if not in practice, definately in principle. The majority of items we tend to associate with wealth have little if any useful purpose. Gold has no structural integrity to speak of and was not used in commercial application until fairly recently. Same with diamonds. Mental capitivity to uncommon, shiny objects could well be mans greated weakness.

When mans lust for wealth exceeded the somewhat limited quantity of available gold, the gold standard was discarded in favor of government backed curreny notes and coins. A rather arbitrary move as far as I am concerned. Now the only thing that gives value to money is faith in the promise that those who are entrusted to power will recognize that money as wealth.

Now, this is a simplistic view of modern currency, it is far more complex than that these days. The financial miracle of interest and the credit that generates it, have seriously complicated the matter, throw in nearly 200 governments and nearly as many currencies all vying for a worlds goods and services we find ourselves in a mind numbing place.

Money has trapped and enslaved us. It has become necessary for the basic act of survival. Everything has a value, everything is owned. This leaves our present generations of Americans in a difficult place. Our money is becoming worth less and less every day. I purchased a one ounce gold coin last year for about $600 it is now worth $832. If still attached to the gold standard this would be impossible. Commodities such as gold, oil, foodstuffs etc. do not flucuate in value per se. It is the money needed to purchase the items that moves and provides the value of said items. So the gold I bought did not increase in value, it requires more of my wealth to obtain the same amount of gold, because the dollars that measure my wealth have less value.

The amount of wealth contained in the dollar versus other forms of government backed currency is falling a a phenominal rate. Once the preffered currency in the world, nations are divesting themselves of dollars causing an exponential tailspin, the faster the dollar declines in value, the faster other countries dump dollars. When all of those dollars are injected back into the domestic economy it creates a glut of currency. There is less demand for the dollar when more are available in a given market and with out the dollar being attached to anything tangible there is nothing to stop the government from borrowing more dollars from the federal reserve. (notice the .gov designation in the link, the federal reserve is a private, for profit entity)
You read that right, our government borrows all of the dollars available in our economy. The federal reserve prints the currency and our government borrows it and pays interest to the federal reserve to do so. (recently they stopped publishing the M3 or money supply so the average citizen can no longer see how much money the government is borrowing from the federal reserve, this in my opinion is why the current powers that be don't care about deficit spending, they just print more money, and hide that fact by doing things like sending pallets of dollars to Iraq to be used as footballs) Our tax dollars pay the federal reserve for the privilge of using thier notes. Pull out a dollar bill, it doesn't say United States Note, it says Federal Reserve Note. That's right a conglomoration of private for profit banks control our currency. JFK tried to abolish the Federal Reserve, he issued executive order 11110, and in my opinion sealed his fate in doing so.

This long path leads me to my point. For the dollar to have value all that is necessary is that the people holding them believe they have value. The more value we believe dollars have the less we are willing to trade for goods and services. The conditioned faith that the general populace has regarding the intentions of our government, which largely draw on the conditioning seen in religion, has ensured that the wealth of a nation is syphoned of to a tiny faction. While I find this futile in the grand scheme, it has damaged any chance of the average person being anything but average. They manipulate the faith of the people by adjusting interest rates, fuzzy math to hide things like inflation, trade deficits, unemployment figures etc. In short we are beginning to awaken, more and more people a becoming hip to the fact that money is an illusion, and the declining confidence of faith is showing. Unfortunately this illusion is so closely tied to our survival, when it is laid bare we are all in serious trouble.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Man stares into the future with near sighted eyes. Our lifetime is but a nano-second, our entire existance and that of all we have ever known, less than a tick of the second hand on the ever expanding face of the watch we know as time. Those who dare to place focus beyond the reach of flesh can still only imagine that future in terms relative to the contemporary.

I have a problem with visionaries who work to effect change beyond their lifetime. The dynamics of chaos that we have assured ourselves we have a grip on are a fickle bitch. When ideologies reach into the unknown they change in ways unknown to the visionary. The most devestating campaigns of change were/are effected with the goal of cohesion of all to a particular ideology. The wide range of social ideologies and geographic location often require the use of force to implement change on a wide scale. The visionary is able to justify the force with the conviction of their perspective that the cause is noble.

The euphamism "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is a good way to sum up how I feel on this issue. I am quite certain that none of the characters deemed despots thought to themselves "hey, I'm an evil bastard, lets go do some evil" They were convinced that their cause was righteous and were willing to do whatever necessary to see through their ideology. The identity of good and evil is related mostly to which side of the issue you are on. The American Revolution is the most common example in our society. I assure you that king George III did not think of his rebelious colony as anything but, and certainly would never have catergorized them as freedom fighters.

I bring up the American Revolution to illustrate my point further. The framers of the constitution envisioned a specific future for America, a future that reached well beyond anything they could have forseen. A future that many say differed greatly from the contemporary situation we live in today. They attempted to account for ideological shifts by making the Constitution a living document, amendable to contemporary circumstance, as evidenced by the 17 amendments in addition to the Bill of Rights. What they could not know, therefore not account for was a dis-engaged populace and the semantics driven political strife that has become the norm.

I wish I had an answer for this problem, I see the advantageous side of progress and I see a down side as well. This is directly related to my perspective and moral judgement on the intent of the actions and direction of progress. The rational and existential wage war on my thoughts and I find myself in a regressive loop ending in the thought that we should all just revert to slaves of our primal origins. So if there is anyone out there reading this, help me out here. Must we accept the good with the bad and strap in for the roller coaster that is humanity, or is there a way to focus each generation on the contemporary therefore building a solid foundation for the future, with out violation of my original and seemingly circular concern?

Friday, October 5, 2007

The meaninglessness of the meanings of words

The central core of communication dictates that all party's involved in communicating draw from the same meanings and definitions to communicate successfully. Word's and idea's become blurred by playing fast and loose with the definitions. From the infamous "what the meaning of IS, is" to the subtle shift in frame that occurs when people call the occupation of Iraq a "war", the manipulation of words to serve the purpose of controlling what the consumer of the information draws from that information is abundant and mostly below radar. It's no wonder the world in which we as individual's live can be so disconnected from reality, nobody understands what the fuck anyone else is talking about.

The careful measure of verbal mis-direction by those who want you to see things as black that are clearly white is a time honored tradition. Clergy, politicians, lawyers, advertisers, teachers, parents all want to control your perception of reality. That's how you end up with suicide bombers and anyone who isn't a millionaire voting republican. There are various groups who's sole purpose is to dissect the common language and find ways of manipulating their target audience to believe not what is true, but what that group wants them to believe is true and they're damn good at it.

Take the food industry as an example. The words; light, lite, free, low, lean etc. were abused in food packaging to the point where the FDA had to step in and regulate criteria for the use of those and many other words so the consumer would not be duped when they focused on the big brand label telling you how good for you an item is and not on the nutritional content. Fat Free items can contain up to .5 grams of fat per serving, regardless of the serving size. Soda usually comes in 12oz or higher containers yet the nutritional data is geared towared an individual serving which is 8oz. It seems as though companies who process and package foods for the consumption of the general public don't want you to know what's in, or has been done to the food being consumed.

The ability to twist words to suit a particular meaning, or more precisely the ability to accurately pattern the twisting of those words to achieve the desired effect is a powerful tool for those that are aware of it, and a weakness of dire social consequence for those who do not. 90% of communication is non-verbal, yet most rely on the verbal portion to process for reaction, leaving the meaning-less words to formulate, in effect, a meaning-less reaction leaving many with a life without meaning.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Most Prolific Quarterback EVER!!!

Congrats Bret, thanks for all the memories!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

For those who doubt...

Americans are living in a police state. I wonder what Kerry had to say after that. Rebuild from the ground up it's the only way...