Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Money Is a Game

First of all I should tell you what I think of money: it is meaningless. It either has intrinsic value or is an IOU on a paper napkin. Why do you think that people with a lot of money buy art? Because art has more intrinsic value than does a $100 bill, due to scarcity.

Let's trace the history of money a little bit. Before 15,000 years ago, we lived in tribes as hunter gatherers which meant that either we trapped or sought out animals to either kill and eat or allow them to mate inside confines that we would create and eventually turned into what is called domestication. At that time everything was simple barter. If you had something that somebody else needed and they has something that you needed, between the two of you, you worked out relative value, so that perhaps a flint and stone with which to make fire would pretty well be worth learning the secrets of making a compass, by finding a lodestone and chipping off a tiny sliver and floating it upon the cunumbulous of water, a secret that allowed the Chinese to develop seagoing ocean vessels far before the Europeans did.

But somewhere between 15 and 12,000 years ago men began to learn the art of agriculture in earnest. This meant that he had to stay with his plants throughout the year or at least the growing season, and he had to figure out a way to store the extra grain, which the tribe was counting on to get them through tough times and winters. It also meant that locations which had the greatest primary value in terms of freshwater, good soil, animal abundance and plant abundance became places of commerce. Plus, property itself started to sort itself into layers of value. But, back to grain storage. From about 12,000 years ago  until about 9000 years ago, most of the world seem to use something called cowries, which were crafted seashells, and were deemed to have different values depending on size and the craftwork that went into them.

Between 15 and 12,000 years ago, agriculture began to take off in a big way. Of course we think this is good, because it caused communities to stabilize and to have adequate food supplies for tough times. But grain requires storage, and grain storage creates wealth. At this period of time "cowrie" shells were used as instruments of value, and incidence of these instruments of value can be found worldwide. As we domesticated the animals a funny thing happened about 10,000 years ago. It is called the Holocaust, which translates as “burnt offering.” Here's how it came about:

As a child you probably had chickenpox. Where do you think chickenpox comes from, bananas? No. Obviously chickenpox is a disease that once confined itself to chickens and somewhere along the line made the leap into humans. first, an animal would get sick, and this would spread throughout the herd. Somebody who was very clever and sly took notice of this and as soon as he saw a sick animal he would separate it from the herd and throw it on a bonfire. If you get results, which clearly they did, all the sick animals would be thrown on the “Holocaust”, saving many human beings from the hazards of these diseases. Pigs were another example: they often contain almost invisible worms called trichinosis, and if the meat were not cooked thoroughly, the human beings would come down with trichinosis–not a pretty sight, so let's look up at the chain of command. There are probably heads of households, there is likely to be a tribal chief, but the buck stops somewhere and laws and taboos aren't going to get very far if they come from somebody I know– thus the necessity of the creation of deities–gods, and there were plenty of gods for every occasion.  Gods for success in war, a good harvest, healthy children, good luck, plenty of food, and every other thing you can possibly imagine.

Now let's say you had sold the riddle of illness, that is to say that you had figured out that if you burned a sick animal you probably saved your village a great deal of distress, and  if you forbid the eating of something, you can also save lives. So what's our best approach to say that I thought it up is to end up with a lot of people laughing at you, but going up the mountain, which were considered portals to heaven,  you could come back with some pretty hefty rules that people would follow. So man created God in something of his own image–that is to say, anthropomorphically similar but with far greater powers than anyone of us.

In our quest for the domestication of animals the largest were bulls and cows, which became instruments of value at around 9,000 BCE. A good healthy cow which could give milk and meat, or a virile Bull is worth an awful lot of sea shells, and worth a good healthy portion of salt,  which has a distinct value of its own–not only necessary nutritionally but excellent for preserving meats for long periods of time. So animals became mediums of exchange, for several thousands of years–long enough for the cow to become sacred in India,  the pig to become taboo in the Middle East, and so on and so on.

This lasted until somebody thought of making coins, eventually out of what are called the precious metals, silver and gold– but,  silver might tarnish with gold is very stable.  Throw a bar of gold in the ocean and hundreds or thousands of years later it will be exactly the same bar of gold.  So gold coins became the medium of exchange because they were easier to carry around than cattle.  Paper money didn't really come into existence until several hundred years ago, with the invention or rediscovery of the printing press.  Now here are some interesting historical facts:

We're going to look at the Crusades, which cost a lot of money to fund, so they simply raised
taxes. It is easier to  demand money from people who already have it  then to demand work instead of money. The Crusades almost broke England' and other nations banks, then called treasuries. Now what happens when you need more money than you actually have?  And this is where we begin to see our problem. Countries themselves started borrowing money to fund their wars.

This is where things get tricky, so please bear with me. Usury is the word for unfair interest.
In the Middle Ages,  Christians could not lend to other Christians at interest, so if I lent you 100 "Thalers" Father of the word Dollar), or "Crowns", when you paid me back it was still 100 and we were even. Muslims were not allowed to lend at interest either, and lend only to other Muslims. The Jewish were forbidden to lend to other Jews at interest, but they COULD lend to other peoples (Gentiles, Goyim) at interest. That's where this whole shit-storm got started.

You might be able to borrow from your friends, but they trusted you and if it was for War, who knows if they would ever see their money again. Sooner or later you had to go to the Jewish Bankers, who were the loansharks of the day. They might loan you $100 but they expected $110 back, or they came and took away your livestock and your land. Soon the Christians caved and started allowed loaning at interest and EVERYBODY GOT STUCK in spirals of debt, except that the Jews had a head start. One of the smartest guys changed his name to Rothchild (which means "red shield") and soon became the richest guy in the neighborhood of the entire world.

And Rothchild built a kingdom out of money itself. And he became Europe's first real slumlord. BINGO - Anti-semitism (lots of my friends have been Jewish down to the bone marrow).


But here is where the trickery exists, the sly man's method of fleecing the sheep: HE LOANED TO BOTH SIDES OF WARS, knowing that one side would win and pay him back with the interest, and the losing side would owe him money they didn't have; in other words, they would default, and he could legally take their land and whatever valuables they had, after the winning army looted, pillaged and raped all they could.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Solasishock: Degrees of Freedom = Money

Solasishock: Degrees of Freedom = Money

Degrees of Freedom = Money

Well,  here it is, 2012, the year where everything ends on 12/21. Well we better get ready, because anything that ends postulates something beginning, and I think it's beginning now. I know I was born in what I thought was America, but lately I  have begun to think that I live in Amerika,  with a spiraling down of personal freedoms as the famous saying goes, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

The only problem with that scenario is the ratio between the rich and the poor, and how you define each of those terms. Personally, I don't enter thoughts of UFOs or Mayan calendars, except in the sense that the Mayans get to celebrate New Year's early.

I suggest that the term rich and poor have to do with degrees of freedom. America is said to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but by percentage, less and less of us have less and less freedom. Most of us are counting our pennies while the rich count their millions. I don't care much for things, because anything I own also owns me–otherwise why would I go searching for it when I can't find it? I am then it's servant, it's slave–for as long as it takes for me to either find it were to declare it lost.

The term “degrees of freedom” is a term from physics having to do with symmetry, with the symmetry of the sphere being greatest, because no matter how you roll it, it looks the same. Not so with a rectangle, in a square you would have 90° of symmetry or 6 different positions which would look the same. With a rectangle if you have a strange grouping where one group of symmetry are the 4 ways you could turn it, and 2 additional but completely different degrees of freedom when you stand it on its end.

What has that got to do with me, you will probably ask? Well, although money has no intrinsic value of its own (it used to be tied to the gold standard and the silver standard but now it is tied to nothing), still has as much value as you pretend it does (or society at large). We will be talking about the Federal Reserve later, but right now we just want to associate money with degrees of freedom. If you are homeless and are begging for change you have almost no degrees of freedom–you must do the same thing day after day with no respite. With more money you may rent an apartment–with more you can buy a house etc.

The rich can go skiing and live their lives on vacation. If they have enough money they can play at it–the money game. When I used to tour through Europe it drove me crazy because every time we crossed a border we had to change our money into a different currency, and the money changers always charged you to exchange currencies. This of course, depletes in a small amount your degrees of freedom and establishes borders. If I can use the Euro in quite a few countries I save money because the money changers have been put out of business, but if I go to a country such as Great Britain, who do not use the Euro, where am I? At one of the thousands of money changing establishments, with them scraping off a little off the top every time I change my money.

This, by the way, is the only act of violence that Jesus ever performed during his ministry–on Wednesday, he overturned the money changers at the Temple, because you had to buy sanctified animals from the priests, and they used Shekels, whereas the common people used Roman coins, because they were under the yoke of Roman Rule. Let's run a little timeline, Jesus knocked over the money tables (and you can just imagine the scramble of people to grab the Shekels),  on Thursday evening he was arrested in on Friday morning he was crucified. Wednesday Thursday Friday. No slow-motion justice there. He acted on Wednesday and was dead and thought of as out of the way by Friday afternoon.

Many people when they get rich buy summer homes, boats, yachts, 4 or 5 cars and every other luxury you can imagine. What do I do?  I hope that my next royalty check has a good number on it. That's right, I get royalty checks, which means that I am Royal. That doesn't mean shit.  I have played and performed with my heart and soul and I have given it everything I've got every time, but I have less degrees of freedom than the man who owns the building I live in. What do you think of that?