Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I just joined the Worldwide Game Of Sprouts Association. It's a great game that I have been playing for years. Here's the first two moves of a game I'm playing with a fellow in France. Gotta love the internet!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Homework Sunday

I am up to my elbows in money today. Unfortunately, it's all theoretical money. Studying a few "academically acceptable" sources, and about a million anonymous, pseudonomous, and a few attributed blog and other web sources that won't end up in my paper. I just started following David Boyle's "The Real Blog", seems like a pretty good source for the debate on the other side of the Atlantic.

The field of money is fertile ground for conspiracy theory. It's so fertile, in fact, that it's hard to find the real story. I cannot prove that local negative-interest currency has been stamped out (pardon the pun) by banks who are both jealous of their prerogative to create money, and wealthy enough to buy legislation. Of course, if you by your nature create money, you can make the government do your bidding and prevent competition, all the while pretending that the Holy Market is a free one.

There is no such thing as a free market. Never was.

I'm trying to get this paper done before December, as that will give me more time to work on my group psych project -- and so I can move on from money and into my next area of independent research, game theory. I don't want to have too many irons in the fire. Anyone who knows me will say that it's too late for that...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Geometry of the Soul

Just this:
An equal plus an equal is
Never unequal.
If a line divides a plane into two parts,
No part is less than the other: they are
Equal (in accordance to the rules of


Length times depth times breath
Of a prism gives the
Every time.

Y is part of an
Ordered pair. Let me map the
Universe onto this plane with compass and four colors.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hitting the Wall (prose meander)

In every human endeavor that goes on long enough, you hit a metaphorical wall. At that point, you either pull it together, or you fail.

I will not fail for lack of trying.

Looking back over the last two weeks, I realize that I have hit that wall. The first half of the semester, I worked on my more challenging courses first, then played on the internet or read or watched a movie or whatever after completing each assignment. Then I would reward myself with English or Ethics.

For the last two weeks I have been slacking. I'm a week behind in my science, I'm utterly lost in math, I have a psych assignment due tomorrow that's only 1/3 done, I haven't read the ethics text for tomorrow, the only class I'm ahead in is English, and only a few days ahead there.

Realizing this is winning the first half of the battle. I shut off the internet and quit making excuses this afternoon -- I'm only able to type this entry because I am done with tomorrow's math homework. I have a movie here I am dying to see (Leif Jonker's "Darkness") sitting on the shelf, and I am not going to watch it until I am done with psych. Tomorrow I am going to get fully caught up on my science homework. Sunday I can get ahead on next week's load.

I will climb the bloody wall this time. I will not let it climb me. If I fail this time, it will not be for lack of trying.

For many years, there was a voice in my head urging me to fail, and prove to the world I was a failure. That voice has been stilled by time. I have a different voice now, one that tells me to succeed, and prove to myself that I can do any damned thing I set my mind and my will to.

I will do this.

Never again will I put myself at the mercy of an uncaring employer simply because I can't prove I have the qualifications to get a better job. Never again will I strive to climb a corporate ladder, only to have it kicked out from under me for a variety of reasons (some my fault, some the system's fault).

This time I am going to do it right.

And I will not give up when it gets a little tough, or boring, or confusing. I will push through.

Wildecho stuck a note on the whiteboard calendar where I track my assignments. It's a scrap of paper that I wrote a quote on, years ago. She kept it, and posted it right when I needed it. It's Tom Hanks, speaking in "A League Of Their Own":

It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone could do it. It's the hardness that makes it great.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Economics and English (prose meander)

Larry Niven says, there is no cause so worthy that you cannot find a fool following it. I've been working on a paper for English class about negative-interest currency. There's plenty of material out there about it, but... there are a lot of cranks out there who have problems with the monetary system.
And the cranks make the reasoned thinkers look like deluded fools. It's like speaking out about fluoridated water -- immediately, everyone thinks you're going to bomb Russia to preserve our Purity Of Essence.
There are a lot of thinkers out there who look at the current monetary system, see its flaws, and try to point them out and suggest real alternatives. And then there are those who see the flaw, and push their argument past all logic.
There's a legal case I reference in the first part of the paper, to illustrate that money is actually nothing more than bank-created debt. It's a case that occurred in MN back in '68, where one J. Daly sued to prevent a foreclosure. The original basis of his argument was that the debt was illegal, because the bank did not loan him someone else's money, but instead created the money out of thin air.
This part is absolutely true. The president of the bank testified in open court that it is true. The Federal Reserve used to publish a booklet saying the same thing. (And there are plenty of people out there saying they quit publishing it because it told money's dirty little secret. There are others who try to discredit the booklet by saying the Federal Reserve chose its wording poorly. I don't know about you, cobber, but I find an argument that the system is fine because the Federal Reserve is incompetent do be less than convincing. Anyway...)

But it's what happens next...
The court is a local Justice Court, with a Justice of the Peace presiding. The justice has very specific limits on what kinds of cases he can try, and this case is outside those limits. Not only does he ignore a higher court injunction, but he goes so far as to declare all bank debt null and void because it's unconstitutional on the grounds that private banks cannot create money. This penny-ante JotP claims to have a legal opinion worth more than the Supreme Court. When the higher courts come down on him, Daly is his attorney. Faster than you can say conflict of interest, Daly was disbarred. Justice Mahoney died within 6 months of the case, and didn't the conspiracy theorists have fun with that! And this is my point.

Because some loud people think that Mahoney was killed, and because a tax-dodging lawyer tried to find legal justification for his actions by indicting the Federal Reserve, any discussion of money that cites this case has to either ignore, defend, or deflect accusations that have nothing to do with the merits of the important part. And, because Daly has been painted as a crank (I just did it myself, and I never met they guy) it makes anything he says suspect.

The important part of this case, as far as I am concerned, is that the president of a bank stood up in court and, on the record, said that his bank created money out of thin air.

But that simple but important fact is tainted because a couple of the players pushed it too far, and a few nutjobs put their shoulders to the wheel of insanity. It's no secret that I am a conspiracy buff, to a certain extent. I disbelieve a lot of conventional wisdom about a lot of things. That doesn't mean I swallow every new conspiracy theory whole. I just feel there are important questions that have not been answered to my satisfaction (like where exactly is the plane? If you know what I'm talking about, you know what I'm talking about; if you don't, it wouldn't help either of us for me to explain).

We were doing peer-editing on a paper this week, a compare/contrast paper using 2 sources on the same subject as our final. At least one person refused to even try to edit my paper because they felt the subject material would be beyond them. They didn't understand that they didn't have to know anything or care about the subject -- they just needed to see if I did a good job comparing, contrasting, and most importantly, citing my sources. This person asked my why I wasn't studying to become an economist. "Because I'm fascinated by it, but I don't want to make it my career. And because the very first thing they would do, would be to drill all the heresies out of my head, or fail me if I clung to my belief that the system is profoundly dysfunctional in and of itself."

In and of itself. Hmmm. This has been a common thread in discussions lately, I think I've used this phrase 6 or 7 times -- 15 or 20 if you count rough drafts.

In my previous post I tried to put together a poem centered on a comment I made because I had been thinking about the old quote by James Branch Cabell (who is frequently referenced by Larry Niven, btw, thus lending a pleasant circularity to this entry) "An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist knows this is true". I dont think it really captured the point I was hoping to make. So here's the line that started it all, the bit that was lost in translation from aphorism to acrostic:

What a terrible world this would be if there were no room for improvement.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Heaven and Hell

For we do not live in the best of all possible worlds
And some refuse to learn the
Lesson that Belief in Nothing is not the opposite of Believe in
Everyone is not

Doomed by an accident of birth (
Cannot bring myself to believe in gravitons).
How terrible it would be to live in a world where
Only consequences matter!
Today, live your life as if it's almost
Over, they told
Yet only in room for improvement is hope.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Autobiography of Red

My English instructor recommended this book to me, saying
You may enjoy this.
She's a poet, and
The pieces of hers I've read, I've
Enjoyed. Anne Carson's "Autobiography of
Red" is interesting. Not something I would have picked up on my own,
Yet, something I enjoyed.

Outwardly, its
Format is described as a Novel in Verse.

Definitely peotic prose rather than prosaic poetry. It's something that's
Effectively ouside my experience. It's two stories layered, or
A case of one story
Twined and twinned -- an update of the story of
Hercules and Geryon. If anyone else has read it, can you illuminate it?


How do you start a weblog?
In my case, a placeholder post, devoid of content.
However, content is
Really, if you look context in the