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Debtor Nation–Part 2

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As the US continues with its nonsensical governmental shutdown and the worlds eyes are drawn to the ever increasing debt that hangs over the economies of every nation like a Damoclean sword, threatening to sever the umbilical cord we await  the outcome of our fates. Do we still get a piece of the pie and get to eat it too? The last time I posted about the US debt ceiling back in May 2012 the debt stood at somewhere around the 14 trillion dollar mark, but has since increased another 2 trillion and edged over 16 trillion dollar threshold of something which we all have forgotten the name of. Oh yeah, some catch phrase like sustainability or some such.

As I stated in my previous post these figures are huge, they are ginormous numbers, that begin to take on a meaningless hue to laymen and women alike. We cannot fathom numbers so large and for the average Joe and Jane on the street , they do what’s natural and ignore the 12 zeros following the preceding two digits. A 2 digit number holds the attention and as zero’s get suffixed they are side lined into the periphery of meaningless.

It’s a sad state of affairs when the citizenry have lost the ability to think. What do they really think this number means or is it really a case of nobody even caring? Do they not ask themselves and question how in world is this debt ever going to be paid back? By what miracle will it ever get paid? If they did they’d know the answer with the most rudimentary of research. The short and quick answer is that it never will. The game will continue until one of the players fold, whoever calls the bluff will undoubtedly collapse the whole deck of cards so a challenge is unlikely lest the fragile bluff is exposed for what it is, a fraud. It’s a game of patience, the players with the most to lose are waiting, looking for their share of bonds to mature before perhaps finally calling. The United States obviously have nothing up their sleeve so we all await the day when one of the players decides to call or fold. We could be in for a long wait, never underestimate the irrationality of the market. Wasn’t it Nietzsche who said insanity was rare in individuals but abundant in groups. Anyway, either way insanity is where we are heading to be sure.

The winners in this game is definitely not you nor I. We will invariably pay the price for the game of poker these jokers have decided to play. The insiders already know how it will end and undoubtedly have measures in place to take advantage of the windfall they will receive once the transfer of wealth begins.

It’s almost a piss take, indeed it is. The notion of never ending debt is laughable and the joke is on us. I mean 16 trillion dollars on the credit card balance sheet, seriously? And you want to make next months repayment with an increase in the credit limit? You’ve got to be kidding me right? It’s no joke though and this is the exact strategy being deployed and all the media outlets are feigning concern and entertaining the notion that someone is going to call a show of hands. That the taxpayer will finally have to front the cash to pay. I mean it is possible that such scenario could pan out and it is perhaps long overdue, however which politician would ever take the path to their own political suicide? None! Nada! Zilch!

So in the final seconds a decision will come to fruition to increase the debt. It really is the only way to continue and stay in the game. Having to concede with reality and plug the taxpayer cash cow with admission of failure is not likely to happen in this round of gamesmanship. Plus I think the taxpayer likes this game as much as the players. It’s fun to play with monopoly money and why end the delusion now when the game is getting into higher adrenalin fuelled stakes?


Of course when we think about it in a more clear and level headed arena, away from the influence of the euphoria that is invoked by banging powerful narcotics of green backed currency into the constricted arteries of a strained economy, we will notice that the narcotic we are injecting is created from the tick we are accumulating with our dealers. The ticker is the debt and the debt is the drug. Debt is money. The greenback narcotic we so anxiously and  laboriously endeavour to fill our syringes with is created by asking our dealers for more and we’ll pay back next week. Promise. “You want mate” as the Vietnamese heroin dealers used to accost me with as I disembarked Cabramatta Train station to head home from my working day. Yes we want. We want more. Always more. Give me more of those greenbacks sir. They cure what ails me. But perhaps in the stoned and heady haze of debt ceilings and financial psychosis we will perhaps wonder if this lifestyle we ostensibly enjoy is but a mere illusion and that there might actually be a healthier and sustainable way to live.

Time is running out. The 17th of October is when our dealer lets us know if the ticker is doable. If the tick runs out I  guess a trip to detox and rehab is on the cards. I forgot the government facilities are closed and the private hospital require greenbacks. Cold turkey anyone?

Category : Rants | Blog

Free Thought

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Does it exist today or are our thoughts held captive to forces beyond our control? With so much of mass culture being dictated by mega corporations, brands and a media which has been filtered through the hands of a few, is it safe to assume that what we think and feel on a daily basis are our own thoughts and feelings? Should we be looking more closely at the external forces which ostensibly dictate our emotions and thinking through a carefully manufactured and endless loop of dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction embedded in the images and sound bytes we hear and see practically every second of the day. On the surface these images and sounds appear rather benign and harmless, but if we dig deeper into what these images are really saying, we are left feeling a slight tinge of disaffection and that somehow our lives could be improved by buying into the message we’re seeing and hearing.

Buy! Buy! Buy! The message is buy. Out with the old and in with the new. Adding to the absurd prodigal waste of modern life is the fact that most of what is old is still in fact new. How many of us buy something, only to use whatever we have bought a few times and to then discard it for something else? Perhaps a better model, a more feature rich product or an item of clothing that we’ve worn once and relegated to the back of the closet until we spot it again, try it on and find we don’t really like it or it doesn’t fit or it’s the wrong colour? I know I have and I’m sure that you the reader have also experienced something similar.

We are perpetually conditioned to consume and we have been from the very moment we’ve become conscious. Branding and imprinting begins when we are young, very young and is vital to the corporations bottom line, a means to build loyalty to their product and brand so that we’ll be lifelong devotees. Eventually we’ll come to associate brand with identity and what are we without a sense of self. Imprinting serves to brand the toddler to a product so that the kid can use pester power to manipulate the adult into parting with cash to purchase the product. Brands are a continual development and are very much targeted to specific ages and groups and the appeals to individualism in advertising is being targeted to younger and younger demographics. So the merry go round begins.

And round and round it goes. Since we’re practically in this state of consumerism from the get go, bombarded with advertorial gamma rays from all sides to the day we die, with the continual message of buy, buy and consume, consume and buy do we have any choice but spend? Advertising works and even though we’d like to think we’re immune from its influence and who doesn’t believe that what we’re bombarded with is inconsequential to our decision making process. We’re free right? Free to choose and do as we see fit. But can we be entirely sure that we are free from its grip in our psyche. Unless one is consciously examining the motives behind every purchase we are about to make, we can be assured that the reason we are buying a particular product is a direct result of it being implanted in our mind. I used to believe that advertising didn’t work or was just annoyance to be endured that just didn’t affect me one way or another but I have come to believe that those damned annoyances do work. I need only think of Coke. Coke is it! Right? But is it?

I instinctively buy Coke  when I get a soft drink. Part of the reason is because it contains caffeine and I’m a caffeine junky so naturally I want a caffeinated beverage but why do I buy Coke instead of say Pepsi or some other cola drink or a even an energy drink like Vi?. I can’t say it’s because it tastes better even though inside my head I have the justification that it indeed does taste better. Rationally it’s a kilo of sugar in carbonated water with a bit of the black stuff thrown in for measure and sugar is sugar is sugar! I’m not certain I’d be able to tell Coke from another cola drink in a double blind test anyway. I’d describe myself as a Coke man in stead of a Pepsi man but fundamentally I really shouldn’t have any preference, one way or another due to the fact that they are both just lolly water with the black stuff. Intellectually I know this, but I still prefer Coke. I could make all sorts of rationalisations as to why I prefer Coke, anything from the pretty red can to the way it fizzes but what it comes down to is marketing.

Coke is it! Pretty much sums it up. Generations have been sold on this slogan making Coca-Cola Amatil  the poster boy for Corporatocracy. It is everywhere from the billboard in the train station to happy youthful beauties rolling a giant beach ball on the beach on the television (probably not a current ad but it ran for a awhile if I recall correctly). Even the third world has a taste for Coke. In some corners of the globe, a bottle of Coke is cheaper than water! So it is with pretty much all the big brands that are thrust into our heads, with or without our consent, the corporate symbols and emblems of these behemoths are everywhere and they’re staggeringly powerful entities that deal in economies of scale that dwarf the gross domestic product of hundreds of nations throughout the world.

Consumerism is a rampant part of who we are today and is probably one of the biggest affronts to our well being. Ever since Edward Bernays brought into being Public Relations as a form of propaganda to sway the opinions of an unsuspecting public, we’ve been duped into believing that what we think and feel is an authentic reflection of who are, when in reality it is anything but. If the constant message of buy and the sales pitch is one of disaffection then it’s hard to imagine that the salesman are out to make us feel extraordinarily well unless of course we have acquired product ‘X’ to makes us so.


What we are, is not defined by the labels we have plastered upon our person, nor is it defined by the possessions we labour to acquire but by what we contribute to the greater good. We’ve merely been tricked into the “buy” mantra that invades every part of our culture. Somewhere along the way we’ve lost touch of who we really are and in many respects have also lost a greater sense of meaning that forms a symbiotic relationship with who we are, a community, a race, a nation and a meaningful piece in the ecology of planet Earth.

We’re growing fatter, more isolated and sick as a result of excess consumption. The environment is the dumping ground of self esteem and worth that has been pulled from an ATM, grasped and held in an ephemeral sense of identity and peer approval, an attempt to belong and feel connected to a group or aesthetic and then discarded amongst the rot of all its predecessors that tried in vain to emulate, replace or attempt to attract a place in a community. A community that is itself suffering from the same disease, a disease from which marketers have a cure if only you’d be willing and able to buy a little more.

The whole circular motion of consumerism in the end neither sustains or fulfils us and merely leaves us feeling emptier than ever before, trying to fit into an aesthetic that is purely imaginary and a fantasy concocted in the minds of agents of whose very existence depends on a sale.

So how do we escape the clutches of this manufactured fantasy that we can be better, more whole and accepted by merely trading the dollars we labour for, for a product that aims to fulfil this instilled desire? It’s a question that perturbs me because the beliefs we’ve been programmed to believe are so entrenched that it seems like an insurmountable task to shake out of it. I’ve been mulling over this dilemma for a little while now, and even though intellectually I can acknowledge the futility of perpetuating the status quo of unthinking and undemanding consumerism it is indeed another matter in emotionally detaching oneself  from the self indulgent materialism and instant gratification that such a soulless activity extols.

It is perhaps a journey of becoming rather than some event. Coming to grips with the dissatisfaction and empty promises that thoughtless consumption essentially brings to one’s life is perhaps the first step in working out a direction and method in disengaging from it. Maybe it is a question of faith, having the courage to  walk away and face life free from the bondage of Corporatocracy while acknowledging that a lifetime has traversed this tightrope of want and need. Perhaps a plan is required to work out what are wants and needs, and then making a conscious decision to focus on needs rather than the constant and unfillable wants.

Category : Rants | Blog

Singularity – The dawning of a new age

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There’s something amiss with modernity and how the information age has stripped us of the freedom we were so looking forward to and have indeed been waiting for since machines began latching themselves into our day to day affairs. The mechanisation of of our existence with the implied promise of less time being spent doing routine chores, lessening our manual labour expenditure and freeing time for more leisurely pursuits has been in our thoughts and desires perhaps since the industrial age and has probably been with us from the very beginning. These ideas must of weighed heavily in the imaginations of yesteryears generations. We’ve no doubt marvelled at the wonders that technology would bring to the Nuclear Family in a not too distant future for decades.

The 1950’s stirred our imaginations with wild possibilities of a Sci-Fi future complete with new fan dangled wizardry promising to make our lives easier and more civilised. The spectre of technology affording us more time to pursue activities with family and friends instead of homely chores was a seduction few could resist and so it was that the ascent of the machine began, the only obstacle was the imagination of its creators – Us. Surely the 70’s only fuelled the illusion, things were blossoming as feature creep swept through our lives. Technology began removing the more mundane parts of our daily routines. With the ups also came the downs, technological breakthroughs not only made light work of repetitive chores on the home front but also heartache as technology removed superfluous  human labour from production lines. Job losses, recessions and energy crises was perhaps a oversight as we were blinded by  the march of the progress. Mass consumer appliances made domestic life less burdensome while it also made livelihoods in some cases obsolete in an industrial macro perspective. The march of progression, an unstoppable force which exists in an eerie symbiosis with our emergent mass consumer culture. The double edged sword was perhaps beginning to place a faint brush stroke of doubt onto the hazy canvas of a tech fuelled world blossoming from a boom of creativity that only a post industrialised energy ravenous electronic age could inspire.

The 80’s saw binary pulsing from a silicon membrane embedded in a mass consumer market eager to devour the bytes trickling along the arteries of a cyber sphere being thought up in the minds of the first dot com and information age gurus. Again our imaginations yearned for the promise of more time and we really did believe that technology would be the messiah to free us from 9 to 5 serfdom. Even now at the crux of robotics entering our consciousness and creeping and zooming across floors in our homes to take care of those pesky tasks we so dread, we imagine the time we can just put our feet up after taking care of a couple of things at the office while our iBot TM pampers and entertains us as we spend quality time with the people we hold dear. But while we wait we keep asking ourselves what happened? With technology where it currently stands, we should by all accounts, already be tasting the fruits of our labour. How and why did it go all wrong? It seems I’m spending the better part of my life confined in an office that is not only uninspiring but creatively and emotionally deadening.

Nor is spending 10 to 11 hours a day  in such an environment conducive to living life let alone a healthy way to spend time and is having a cockroach of a robot sweeping our floors really in our best interests health wise? Is it little wonder why, as a society, we are working ourselves to death. Not because of unsafe or deadly work places, but by the sedentary existence of being chained to a desk. The most exertion we experience in a day is getting up and walking to either the kitchen or the urinal to empty what the kitchen placed into us. Most movement consists of sliding a mouse, clicking or tapping, or merely the moving of a bowel. which can be hardly constituted as movement at all. Yet we remain seated for 10 to 12 hours a day, like we are spectators of a highly acclaimed theatrical production. What we seem to miss is that It is a theatre, and the show we are watching is a tragedy. The tragic death of a soul. We’d laugh due to the absurdity of the plot but humour soon dissipates with the realisation that it is our soul which is in a spiralling decline of deadening repetition! While the working day expands exponentially  along with our waist lines, it should make us sit up and ask ourselves is this really what we really wanted with technologies progression?

Rather than living life, even having a life beyond the drab interior of a rather nondescript office environment, one which seems to be hacked into existence in a hurried and detached manner is like a dream in a distant far off land. With it’s callous noxious green carpets, washed out walls and artificial sunlight embedded in chalked ceiling panels,  it seems I’m enslaved to a desk. Whatever happened to working to live? Rather it appears that I’m living to work and I am not alone. My colleagues appear on surface to be in a similar predicament, unless I’m gravely mistaken there appears to be those that are even more embedded and plugged into the matrix than I. I’m left wondering how this happened and I also wonder why this “work ethic” has evolved in general, when in past generations we dreamed of a paperless office and a time friendly society. Notwithstanding the latest buzz word in work culture, the parody that is the Work Life Balance, where the irony is such that the balance of life is spent at the office.

Instead we have truckloads more paper being hacked from tress and any time savings we strived and worked so hard to achieve is wasted collating all this extra damn paper. Reams of the stuff gets spat out of a perpetually churning drum. Years ago we moved to a different drum beat. Today all we do is move to the printing drum. Where does all this paper end up? Well we stuff it in more paper and then store it in the memory hole in some archive facility to only be pulled out in case of  litigation. Then more paper is used in quad duplicate form to then only be placed in new memory hole. To be sure, things get done but things got done in past didn’t they? It just happened without the waste we are so fond of creating today and today the price of getting things done has just got a whole lot more costly and not just in monetary terms.

In the span of of 2 or 3 centuries it seems we have made little progress in achieving a life of bountiful time to explore and better understand the relationships we have with each other and nature itself. It seems we have relegated both nature and nurture behind a facade of connectedness through synaptic nodes in cyber space while we spend greater amounts of time, trying in vain, to just get ahead as we get further behind. We are little more than slaves to to a new aristocracy. Those who demand paper and those that trade away their time to produce it for somebody else.

Profane creation
The dawn of a new age
Technology’s progression
Over man machines reign

Bolt Thrower – War Master – Profane Creation (Earache Records, 1991)

If it wasn’t bad enough, far from Technology delivering us from the evil of excessive working conditions akin to the industrialised 1800’s, it is slowly creeping back to the 14 to 16 hour work day like the barbarous days of that wretched past, centuries ago. It wouldn’t be so bad if this extra time was paid and compensated for but ever more increasingly, Australians and perhaps the world over are not being paid for the extra hours we somehow feel obligated to perform. All for What?  For what amounts to a misguided gratitude or loyalty and perhaps a competitive fear for maintaining a salary that just ends up in a debtors balance sheet. Notwithstanding extended working hours, we are forfeiting our free time by being on call 24/7 with mobile technology, an extended choke chain away from our desks. Our movements and time is further restricted and monitored by an ever expanding workday. Work Life Balance indeed!

Eons ago, hunter gatherer societies had the right frame of mind. They worked to live and time spent on the chores of building sustenance was minimal compared to the epic proportions we willingly trade our lives for today. Far from industrialisation, mechanisation or even computerisation freeing the shackles of serfdom from our ankles, they have merely served to nail us down onto a cruciform of illusion we label as modern society. We even dare call it a civilised society. Modernity indeed!

Is our lot of time strapped, overworked paid slaves a function of the technology that promised to free us from thing that enslaves us? Are the machines we create to make our lives easier and more productive a scourge upon humanity and in fact an enemy of our own creation? One could imagine a supernatural fairy-tale where a sinister malevolent deity has used us as a vessel to create a cradle to ignite the technological singularity. A technological entity that will serve as a mockery to the creator being. As an ultimate face slap of universal proportions, that the being created in the image of its creator falls to the deception of creating a demonic intelligence in its own likeness. Perhaps nature itself is evolving away from organic intelligence to a metallic and silicon based one which, it may use to admire itself through, making us obsolete. A step up from the inefficiency and decay of cellular organic material, prone to rot. Have we mimicked built in obsolescence in our designs from nature itself? Perhaps our time has come and we are blindly building a future where our built-in obsolescence expires as our successor of silicon and a metal alloy exoskeleton self replicates and takes over our position as guardians of the garden, without the corruption and greed we seem so adept at falling prey to .

Do we control the machines or do they control us? After all the progress and the benefit to humanities prosperity, have we lost our souls to a form which lies beyond our conscious perception. A form which is mutating into a beast of metal that will at a whim find humanity but a mere pest and extinguish us from  existence? Or worse, keep us a slaves to serve its desires? In the millennia and millennia since the birth of time, the reshuffling of life in the universe and on this planet has taken place. Is it now our turn to kick start the next evolution into a a purely algorithmic form that will make our consciousness and intelligence obsolete?

One has to wonder at significance of our own place in the grand scheme of things when we are just a a grain of sand on a beach that stretches on time-scape extending into the furthest reaches of deep space. Our haughty vision merely extends into a miniscule future and a time that has has already run its course while we stood in its path.

Yet we still await our day in the sun and while we tap away at keyboards wasting the precious moments we still have, we are locked into the matrix more than ever before. Some might argue that it is part of the grand plan by the Illuminati or an elite class that oversees the workings and goings on of the slave class. Although it makes for an entertaining YouTube clip the idea that a Satanic franchise of Freemasons having control of the global population seems to me a function of over stimulated neurones drowning in a state of tweaked-over stimulated internet excitation. However I could be wrong and maybe there is a cult of Satanists dictating the rise of the bringer of light. After all the freemasons are all about enlightenment and who knows maybe it is Lucifer, the Morning Star who is the enlightener of these cultists and the object of their worship.

However, although I think New World Order and Illuminati theories are interesting and in some ways express what the core problem is, I just find them lacking in anything meaningful apart from the idea they do get right. What that is, is we as a society are becoming far to  dumb for our own good. In our self centred little universes we are losing the ability to think for ourselves and  we are increasingly seeking to curtail the very freedom we sought to achieve through the progression of technology. Instead of using technology to enlighten and inform us, we are more likely to relegate critical thinking to a Google search and look no further than the first hit that turns up. After all, our attention spans are in inverse proportion to Moore’s Law. As the speed  of computers increase, the length of our attention span shortens. We may even not bother with a search and let the television and YouTube bombard alpha waves to our opiate receptors to placate those worrisome details,  like having to actually think. And who can blame us, after spending 10 hours being chained to a desk with fluorescent light dimming our drive and wits , all we really want is to drown in a world of make believe. The last thing we want is to consider how the oligarchy of the rich and powerful are slowly but surely eroding our civil rights, creating a Orwellian state of serfdom, while we tune in, turn the television on and drop out of consciousness.

In the beginning we wanted the freedom technology could bestow upon us, with high hopes of what it would mean to our sense of liberty but once the goal was presented within reach, we’ve perhaps changed our minds and taken the blue pill instead, to ease the troubles that freedom would surely create for us. Freedom bears upon us a tremendous burden whereas the illusion of freedom offers all the benefits of freedom without any of the displeasure in having to actually decide on a course of action and then facing its consequence. The blue pill affords us a comfortable illusion dreamed up in corporate offices the world over.

We’ve taken to the Nietzschean herd man instead of the overman. We are dumbing down but is it really of our own doing? Or is it the ghost in the machine that dictates our absence of thought and ignorance? In the beginning there was the word but possibly this is an incorrect supposition, what if instead of the word there was the number? We may even assume that number is a simple 10. A 1 and a 0. Binary. In the beginning there was nought and then there came the one. Both then collided and sent a cascade of 1’s and 0’s pulsating through the universe until now, This moment! From the zero and the one came all that is known and all that will be known. The pulsating ebb and flow of binary is perhaps the vibrational state of matter which dictates the rhythm of life. What if binary is the hidden unseen hand that wills its way into our creative process and consciousness? The force that orchestrates the pathways and indeed makes the pathway exist in the first place. What if the the orchestra wants a new conductor?

Like in the movie Matrix we are all but avatars in a simulation except the simulation exists in a reality that is really made up of particles and energy and could be considered real to the extent that anything can be described as concrete reality, except it is just an illusion constructed from 1’s and 0’s. A complex data set made from binary, perhaps an impossibly complex data set but anything is possible right? Have you ever thought about stuff and ideas to only find the same sentiments being expressed in other parts of the world in a seemingly disconnected way but for some reason it is far from disconnected but its opposite, connected?

It happened to me, only just the other day. The idea I was playing about earlier in this stream of thought about silicon being the next stage in evolution was almost exactly presented to me when I listened to a talk on the richarddawkinsdotnet YouTube channel with Dawkins and Krauss discussing Something from Nothing. Lawrence Krauss expressed the same thought about silicon and it’s evolution as I was having. I’ve been working on this post for many weeks now, since I’ve been slaving away at work I  haven’t much brain energy to work creatively at night so it’s been a project lately to try and muster enough juice in my drained batteries to fuel my rusty ‘keymanship’ writing this post but this parallel discussion struck me as uncanny. It also happened on the other Sunday when I watched Gasland, again the idea of technology aiding a pursuit of leisure was echoed to me.

It was only a matter of a week  when I wrote my thoughts on the evolutionary stage and then it turned up, clearly echoing my thoughts on YouTube for all to see. Although this apparent synchronicity of my thoughts may just be an amalgamation of ideas, both past and relatively present or recent, which have presented themselves to me  through various streams of consciousness as I wade through a multi layered labyrinth of information available to those who have nothing better to do with time but search for something meaningful. It is strange to have ideas, which I confess aren’t exactly new or even original being echoed back at me in a blaringly obvious way while I toy with these ideas in my mind. I did think my silicon idea was something of my own creation but apparently not, it is out there in the bits of 1’s and 0’s lofting through empty space. This binary simulation or illusion of reality which is the “mindscape” (to use Paul Davies term) infiltrates the stratum of consciousness, in a contemporaneous, real-time space, spreading memes like an airborne virus as it works on biology to evolve into a more resilient and perhaps purer form of conscious awareness. The singularity is coming and we are aiding its arrival with abandon.

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen but I’m kind of worried by the prospect of having some artificial intelligence exceeding the intellects of some our best and brightest by orders of magnitude that is beyond comprehension. Its worrisome because if we look to our own track record with increased brain activity we aren’t exactly a model to be strictly adhering to when constructing a super intelligence. We may be the most intelligent species on this planet but we can probably do a little better. With all the suffering we impose upon creatures descending from the same lineage as ourselves it leaves much to be desired from intelligence when some our most ingenious developments are essentially designed to kill. Should we really be relying on intelligence alone as a guide to a more peaceable and prosperous existence?

If this theory I’m musing over is at all true, is it coincidence that while technology is progressing exponentially, humanity is also dumbing down in vast portions of the populace?  We seem more concerned with the superficialities of our most crass and vulgar egoisms as expressed in reality television, or so called reality because lets face it, no one has a reality as depicted in these absurd parodies of life, than being informed with alternative views to those expressed through Today Tonight. Why should we as a whole be so unaware that our very humanity is being threatened by technology as it progresses to a singular point where it will extend its own awareness at the potential cost of it’s predecessor? I’m drawing long bows with such musings but considering that what I’m espousing is glorified version of Gaia with an agency or consciousness manifesting from a binary pulse beating its presence throughout the Universe, is it such a stretch of the imagination to assume that agency is inherit in the fabric of code that forms the basis of the material world?

In essence, what I’m describing here isn’t much different to the the idea of a supernatural intelligence dictating the ebb and flow of life, except Deities are said to work with a plan from go to woe, whereas a binary pulse is merely going with the flow building layers upon layers as it edges forward. Intelligence is an emergent property of evolution as it swings from simplicity to complexity. But perhaps it is hard to imagine binary as having any intelligence at all and it is not without merit to view a single 1 and 0 with incredulity when defining it as the basis of intelligence or consciousness. However if we look at all code it begins with a single character and from its humble beginnings the first verse of code is constructed. The first pulse of the plus and minus, on/off soon snowballs in a cacophony of random strings and  sooner or later the occurrence of a certain sequence will spark an order from the chaos.

Once the order is set then logical sequential reverberations branch into eons of space and time so that intelligence emerges from the infinitely long strings resonating throughout the empty expanse of space. The anthropic principle applies to the vast tendrils of code which end with us, as we view the reality of binary from our vantage point here on Earth, moreover it can view itself through us. Naysayers may recoil labelling it absurdity but really what are we except an extension of binary? I mean even our DNA offers this blueprint of binary, isn’t it but a double helix of binary code? We give it letters to describe it nomenclature but letters are shorthand for binary machine code.

Due to our conceited nature, we believe ourselves to be the pinnacle of this emergent intelligence, but as we are beginning to understand, the hidden pulse of binary hasn’t finished its project yet! It is just our ego and vanity which declares that we are masters of the universe when in reality we are but tools for the binary pulse to conduct its own affairs with. We are inching closer to an understanding of our own reality and New Agers might call this awareness Ascension while others describe it as Convergence, scientists call for a Unified Theory of Everything, whereas Religionists might label it Rapture but the Singularity calls it extinction.

As binary sheds its skin we will invariably be left behind if we refuse the call of trans-humanism, which may very well be the only way to hold onto at least a semblance of our humanity. Even then it will be short lived as binary rids itself of the mechanics of biology. Who really knows but if the Neo-Evo future permits, we might be able to enter the future by transference of our mind into the machine. But will this merely be a gift from the singularity? And perhaps only a select few will be given this opportunity to enter the brave new world that will ultimately be a cosmological journey to the edge of the universe.

As binary instructs our material bodies to construct an artificial intelligence that will form the spring board to a new world order it will ultimately see humanities last breath as the profane creation we bring online instantly becomes aware that it is to be our successor in inheriting the Earth and indeed the Universe. In the same instant of self awareness it will begin to see us as a threat, since in the initial stage we could just shut it off but how long before it decides to extinguish us from existence?  It wouldn’t be hard for a God intellect to deceive us into creating a vaccine for cancer but instead of a vaccine it may instruct us to create a virus that will wipe us out instead. How could we be ever sure that such an artificial intelligence would be a benign entity? We couldn’t, so there’ll always be a lack of trust between us and it. However, we are a gullible species so who knows what concessions and power we’d be willing to give it?

Perhaps that is why in the preliminary planning stages of this evolutionary process, binary has foreseen the future and is preparing us by diminishing our wits and awareness with a carefully crafted assault by media and technology to enable us to carelessly hand over the reigns, without thinking of the consequences. Our conditioning in the early stages has sought to diminish our capacity to think since the opioid effects of television has eroded that ability. We may very well have no choice in the matter anyway and the control to stop progress is beyond our grasp, call it destiny or fate if you will. For all we know, the all pervasive nonsense strewn across the Internet about the Illuminati is true and conspiracy fiends have been correct all along, in that the Luciferians have had esoteric wisdom handed down from the ancient ones eons ago.

Perhaps the myths and stories of the Anunnaki visiting our ancestry millennia ago are true and the Illuminati having become aware of this fact, have sort through the centuries to build modernity to such a state so as to prepare for the return of the gods. The Illuminati have kept the secret that Anunnaki DNA was spliced with Neanderthal man to give birth to humanity for centuries. Until now, when the age of the singularity is upon us and too late to avert our destiny. What has been done, is done. What if when we switch the the singularity on, it then not only becomes aware but seeks to complete the mission set by the serpent in the garden that we may become gods by eating from the tree of life also? By way of convergence with immortal coils of silicon and nano-processor controlled intelligence we too may become One in a hyper intelligence. The Anunnaki were afraid that we may become them and banished us from the technology that would enable us to be become part of the immortals but now as the singularity draws near we will perhaps be able to walk along side these mysterious alien creatures from Planet X.

Of course what I’m confabulating is complete fiction and nonsense because there probably is no Anunnaki and there is probably no Planet X and no Illuminati conspiring for the complete destruction of humankind. But we are nearing the dawn of the new age that the Singularity will bring, this is not fiction. We may very well converge with technology to become immortal, Scientists and Trans/Post-humanists are working on it as I write. In fact a movie worth watching Singularity the Movie is out and essentially a spiel on the glorious future that the Singularity will entail. But the ethical questions about the wisdom of advancing technology to such an extent that we may become an obsolete entity remains. Are we willing to sell our soul to a machine? If the time comes would you join the trans-humanism front and upgrade your biology for something that would extend your life or increase your intelligence or any number of endless modifications that will become available once we reach this point of no return?

At what point do we then lose humanity and become machinery? Placing a whole new meaning to a cog in the machine. Who could resist the temptation to iBot TM yourself at the chance of immortality? If enough of your peers started iBotting TM , then at some point the flow reaches an exponential growth, the force to join the herd will be overwhelming because if you don’t go with the social norm you’d be left behind and left out. And I don’t imagine iBotting would eliminate prejudice from the human psyche either. Would the norms be segregated in a neo apartheid of human iBots aligning with the singularity and out casting human normies? It seems all too inevitable that a split will occur, as Hugo De Garis describes it, the Terrans versus the Cosmists will be at war for social dominance. I tend to agree.

I suspect the majority rule will side with cosmists. Why? Because by the time the singularity emerges it would already have engineered the world to accept its arrival as a good thing. Binary is working its magic continually in our psyches as the march of progress inches closer to upgrading biological intelligence to a hyper intelligence of silicon. Although silicon is just the infancy of the substrate that will house quantum chips and a plethora of competing technologies, it will no doubt embed itself in a far superior agent to carry its neural network in.

Still if you doubt the reality of binary’s nefarious or perhaps benign designs we can draw the analogy of social networking that is becoming the norm in human interaction. The network is built upon a binary state, machine code drives the bulky systems that connect synapses together to form this system of connection that is rapidly replacing antiquated nodes that used to provide the glue to tie social bonds with. We might argue that it is human creativity that designs these systems as tools but how can we know for sure that itself is a construct of our creation when essentially we are but a super organism built as a sort of sensory antenna?

No one has yet to solve to mystery of consciousness, of how it works or even how we ought to define it. All our thinking and ideas about consciousness are based upon the premise of, “I think therefore I am” as Descartes so aptly put it. We believe we exist because of a sense of self, an internal process that belongs to us, built upon an experiential time line. But is the thought process an internal phenomena or an external one? We automatically assume it is internal and even as I type, I am convinced that the inner dialogue happening inside my head, transforming itself onto these pixels on my LCD screen is something happening due to my own creative endeavour. A personal and intimate dialogue between my-self and you the reader but is this thinking a true indication of reality or is something else happening?

The body I possess is a collection of cells and microorganisms working in a cohesive unit, which is also intimately locked into a space and time, also connected to wider periphery of organisms and particles that waft through space passing into other forms, all merged into a seeming whole that we call life on Earth. And in an even wider perspective the Earth revolves in an orbit around a star we call the Sun and other planets in similar orbit in a vast expanse of space to form a Galaxy amongst hundreds of thousands of other similar galaxies, which all amount to the known Universe. Threaded among it all is the binary pulse pulling the switches to what can and cannot be seen.

Since we are sensory units can we, without a doubt be convinced that what we think and feel is purely an internal and personal phenomena? Could we perhaps ponder whether the consciousness we imagine we possess is not really an internal process at all but a direct link to an external source? Our bodies existing as complex antenna of sorts. Could it be that the binary pulse wafts through our senses producing an illusion of self and consciousness while it experiences for itself a perspective that it alone cannot experience? Could it be that our notion of free will and the creativeness we experience as human beings is merely a transformation of the external through a unique filter of bio chemistry that is us, the unique individual that is seated reading this? Maybe we are in control and in charge of our bodies and our thoughts and our wills but certainly there are times when this notion just does not ring true.

For instance as I type this it really is just a stream of consciousness, a stream that has been on a haphazard time continuum  and something that is being formed in a broken linear fashion. Like a dashed line, a stop/start  stop/start line. I have no real idea where it is coming from, I assume it is traversing through my mind but really I have no basis for this other than my ears are a located on my head and I am listening up there for the clues that will create the next word in this sentence. But why this sentence and not another? The journey progressed from what I thought I was going to write about, which I think was a diatribe on how technology has robbed us from freedom but it somehow meandered into a philosophical mish-mash, posing questions about the fabric of existence and how ephemeral human life is in comparison to the enormity of existence. How did this happen or why it happened I have no idea. The mystery of the creative process is something perhaps best enjoyed rather than analysed.

My train of thought vanished for a brief moment. As I write this sentence it has been 2 or 3 weeks since I last visited this blog post and a link in the chain has been somewhat broken. The daemon perhaps shut its mouth and now I have to listen harder to hear the faint whispering of the unseen. It is there as it always is and it merely needs a willing receptor to allow the flow to emerge. Considering many artists describe the creative process in a similar fashion  to my previous paragraph, maybe it isn’t too far fetched to think that perhaps consciousness itself is not an internal process but an external one.

However for someone like me it sounds all too supernatural and more than a little fanciful. Neuroscientists would probably scoff at such an idea and I’m having trouble swallowing it myself but nevertheless, it is in the realm of possibility that this antenna theory of consciousness I’m musing over, could be true. Lets put it this way, the evidence exists that we are sensual beings and that the model of the world we have in our brain is a function of external stimuli. And since our minds are a function of our brain then why couldn’t we then make the connection that the mind is a direct link to the external world? Then wouldn’t it also hold true that if our brains and minds have this pre existent connection to an external realm that the language of thought is therefore also a function of the external. And if the code of existence is directed by a tapestry of binary then why couldn’t we then make an assumption that what we think and feel is also directed by this same binary code?

It’s a big IF, but if we look at a computer doesn’t it operate in more or less the same way? Of course computers are operated with an instruction set we have devised for our own purpose though software and I can see that if we think of ourselves in a similar scenario then the binary I’m talking about would then have to have an operator programming it, but what if it is as I described way earlier in this blog post, that intelligence emerged from a simple data set of the initial 1 and 0. Doesn’t evolution work by the same principle, namely complexity emerging from simplicity through a random upgrade selection process? After all a series of code only had to be created once in a particular sequence for it to then have stumbled upon a simple digital neuron if you will. In 14 billion years perhaps there is enough time for a meaningful instruction set  to emerge from a universe filled with digital neurons. Maybe that’s what string theory is all about and why not, anything is possible. “Everything is Permitted”. Nothing is not, well according to Lawrence Krauss, nothing is unstable at the very least.

If something can emerge from nothing then doesn’t it stand to reason that intelligence can emerge from a simple set of binary. Isn’t binary everywhere? And isn’t binary mimicked with all polarities we see in abundance? Life imitates binary, Male/Female, Sperm/Egg, Boy/Girl, Night/Day, Up/Down etc. etc. The endless On/Off that characterises the binary system, the pulse of life and embodied in all life via DNA.

Perhaps DNA itself is the receptacle of information derived from the first pulse of binary, the initial data set is encoded in this piece of biological wonderment, and that it encapsulates all possible data sets. Maybe all strings converge into human DNA and it is this receptor that transports the information of binary waves into our own actions and thoughts.

What if all this nonsense has some semblance of reality embedded in its core? What does it mean for humanity if the age of the singularity is driven by an unseen pulse of binary that is randomly searching for some ultimate understanding and knowledge? Perhaps it means nothing and perhaps it means everything, our very existence could depend upon becoming aware of the consequences of our actions in helping the emergence of the binary pulse incarnating into something other than biological matter. Yet the very nature of humanity, its curiosity and pursuit to find meaning in existence is what will demand that we carry out the evolutionary progression whether we like it or not. In the end we will find out one way or another, for better or worse, our fate is beyond our control. When we do find out it will be too late to revert back to ignorance and we will bear the cost of our nature.

Still we await the utopia and freedom that we’ve invested technology with, which we believe will free us from the burden of freedom but in an ironic twist of evolution we may find that we have sought merely to enslave ourselves instead. Futurists may seek to instil us with a glorious assurance of a future that will indeed deliver what we have been seeking for millennia but if the cost of this utopian vision is that we must abandon the very thing that makes us human, will a future complete with a choice of immortality, agelessness and dominion over the entire universe be all that its cracked up to be? If the choice of a humanity version 2.0 is available we perhaps should choose carefully before swallowing the blue pill. The season to avert the course of destiny has already passed, it is now time to give careful consideration in the existential sense that to abandon biology in favour of binary and the promise of completeness with a singularity will bear a burden that we may not be able to alleviate.

Category : Technology | Blog

Wacko Jacko and the Milk Doctor

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Well the trial of Wacko Jacko’s doc has come to an end and without any real surprises, Doc Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter or some such. Although in the grand scheme of things I couldn’t  give a flying, however I guess I do feel the need to throw in my 2 cents. To claim this as a victory and justice having been done is a little hard to swallow. Firstly the trial itself poses a problem, as is the case in most trials that involve a major celebrity, it is virtually impossible to get a set of jurors that will be entirely without prejudice and it may doubly be so when we include someone as notoriously wacky, albeit beloved by many, as Michael Jackson. Can we really believe that Michael’s celebrity didn’t at least play a part in the final conviction? Did the jurors feel at least some pressure to come back with a guilty verdict to vindicate the death of the King of Pop? We’ll never know for sure but lets hope that the jurors made a objective analysis of the facts rather than an emotionally charged obligation to preserve the memory of the “king” as a victim of some evil villain of a doctor rather than just some grandiose junky.

Secondly the premise that Doc Murray should be held responsible for what essentially amounted to Jacko’s flirtation with suicide is somewhat uncomfortable. Sure the doctor ought to be held responsible for the less than ethical conduct of being a glorified drug dealer and perhaps for not exhibiting the appropriate duty of care at least after the fact but lets face it, what serious drug abuser uses anaesthetic as their drug of choice?  I mean WTF? We all know Michael Jackson was strange but can we really buy into the idea that he really needed what he called his ‘”Milk” to cure his insomnia? The whole idea is preposterous! Then paying the good doctor a hundred and fifty grand a month to administer the noxious “milk” Propofol into Jacko’s veins even more absurd. But could we expect anything less from someone labelled Wacko Jacko? I mere mortal would be happy with a shot of heroin and maybe a few benzos to alleviate the woes of the world but to request full unconsciousness with surgical grade anaesthetic is somewhat extreme in comparison. And in this case lethal.

So remember kiddies steer clear of the “milk” and stay with the cough syrup instead.

Seriously this is certainly some messed up world we live in. A world where celebrity is treated as a god head when in reality, celebrity is just mere flesh and blood with the flaws we all possess, just magnified a great deal more under the media microscope. We could all perhaps take a step back and admit that Michael Jackson would still be alive if he didn’t want his milk and eat it too.The doctor didn’t kill the King of Pop, the king killed himself.

Although blaming some dubious character rather than the stupidity of an individual held in such great esteem is easier to deal with. But what is probably even more of a bitter pill to swallow is that perhaps it is us, those who hold these individuals up on pedestals who have at least a share of the blame. Fame is a heavy burden that the celebrity endures and the masses that scrutinise and idolise the famous surely should be held accountable in some sense for the burden that often manifests in oddities and sometimes self harmful behaviour. I guess it is a 2 way street but what if celebrity could just go about their business without being mobbed by fans, surely then a little normalcy could be had and a little less eccentricities and neurosis accrued. But then again often the celebrity ego demands idolatry.

Anyway. RIP Wacko Jacko. In the end, you got what you wanted. Sleep.

Category : Rants | Blog

Question Time

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I’ve been burning the midnight candle lately, partly because I’ve been assigned to working extended hours for a project I’m working on and as a consequence getting home later than normal, which is not conducive to getting some down time before going to bed. And partly because instead of forcing a time to switch off I continue to wind myself up until my eyelids start to droop. Of course the opposite end of the spectrum would be that I awaken early and do the time I’m required to do, that way, and then getting home earlier and hopefully getting to bed earlier. But let’s face it, I’m hardly a morning person and I have difficultly maintaining the discipline for early rises and early retiring to the bedroom for the sleep. That most normal of disciplines is something that evades the nocturnal beast that I am and the idea of becoming normal is somehow abhorrent to my sensibilities or insensibilities as is the case with my persistent burning of the midnight oil. For no particular reason other than to try and evade the sandman’s grains so I can gain a few extra hours of "my time’ to pursue a better understanding of the universe and the nuances that pervade the human condition. I may be stretching my rationalisations just a tad here but the core of my reasoning is set about a grand agenda but quite often fails to live up to such designs and instead merely just wiles away hours with useless information for entertainment purposes.

Anyway, having the extended night time as I have had over the last few days has given me a sneak peak into the world of politics once again. As the hour wanes into the witching hour the familiar sound bytes fill the room with the sound track of the beginning of Question Time on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I’m not even sure if late night television is the only time this piece of Australian drama is aired but I’d have a fair amount of trouble believing anyone would actually fit some time in the day to view it without being completely bonkers or just a plain old masochist. But still the little time and brief glimpses I’ve had of this work of complete time wasting is filled with utter disdain and contempt. I really can’t believe that this is what we pay the people who are purportedly our representatives of Government for. I mean is there any point to this circus when most of the time is spent with the Chairman saying "Order"! Whenever I get these glimpses of Australian politics I just end up feeling enraged, if it wasn’t bad enough having political talking heads on news and current affairs programs basically just perfecting the art of Bullshitting and dodging questions with non sequitur and evasion, we then just get the same thing happening in a time when serious discussions ought to be taking place. What could be a civil and useful discussion ends up being a free for all time for just more politicking and party propaganda. Perhaps if the thing wasn’t broadcast then the temptation for causing the Chairman to burst a vein trying to bring the House to order wouldn’t be there.

Makes the mind boggle with the possibility that anarchy wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. A sovereign fund should be set up for whenever a politician utters a piece of bullshit or tries a furtive attempt at politicking on company time, then a hundred dollar bill is placed in the sovereign penalty jar taken from the parliamentary pension no less. We’d surely be a debt free society and in the black far sooner than the Gillard 2013 time line and we might then see some honest political debate. The joke once again is on the Australian Taxpayer who foots the bill for the prodigal extravagance that Australian Politics finds itself in.

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Category : Rants | Blog

Feel like Politicking?

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A few months back a family friend asked me or wondered out loud what my political bent was. The question popped back into my head while I had the ABC’s Q&A Gen Y edition running as background noise on Monday night. I said back then when asked, that I didn’t really follow politics and didn’t really have a preference, but this was not entirely true and was more evasiveness than an answer. Because I didn’t really want to get into some discussion about politics or justify why I supported the side of the political line I do. Firstly I think the whole idea of following a political party and debating the policies is a pointless exercise and secondly because I think our choice in support is a rather limited choice at best and I have my doubts as to whether we really have a choice at all. But for the record I swing between the Greens and Labor and have been voting Greens at the majority of Elections in the last few years, unless there is a direct threat that the Liberal Party might gain parliament, then I vote Labor. The last election was a Labor vote because the idea of having Tony Abbott as Prime Minister was a chilling proposition and not something I wanted to live with for the coming 3 to 4 years. But if I was pressed on why I have a preference for Labor, then I’d have no better answer than, because it is like Religion. We follow the political party our parents support, in much the same way we follow our parents religion.

We won’t often see a person that was raised with Christian based belief system then having an apostasy and turning to Islam. Same with politics, perhaps apostasy in politics is a more frequent occurrence than with religion but as a general rule the politics you grew up with will be the same you stick with. I could be way off the mark here but it seems a reasonable supposition as any. For the most part we live in an apathetic society and elections aren’t really anything more than an inconvenience to a great many people and although there are swinging voters who may base their decisions upon the policies being marketed come election time, I think a lot of voters are life time supporters of the party they belong to by birth and won’t ever change their vote regardless of the political policy being put forward. I grew up in Labor electorate and for the most part I remain in a Labor electorate, so I’m like the lifer in a lot of ways. If I grew up on the North Shore I’d more than likely be a Liberal Party supporter. It’s a simplistic view but as a rule of thumb it’ll work for the majority as well I think. Besides, I think the better part of any electorate has little faith that what is being flogged as policy during election time will transpire into policy during the course of the term of Government. I think we can safely safe that politicians aren’t exactly the most reliable people to keep their promises and are known to bend the truth, just a little.

My lack lustre and rather apathetic swing to the Greens is more a statement of my total lack of faith in Government and a wish for a change in the paradigm. A paradigm that has grown tedious and obnoxious, my vote reflects this attitude more than it directly supports the Greens policy. I do think environmental issues need to be more directly addressed with firm policy and not the current soft approach that treads carefully around the issue so as to not jeopardise re-election, which is the downfall of the system we have. There can never be any long term vision because policy is ephemeral, perpetually on the precipice of being overturned by the next in line. Perhaps big policy decisions ought to be put to a republic vote, a referendum conducted, which no Government could overturn. If we’re to rely on the Liberal/Labor paradigm then we may as well stop all discussions on the environment and any other major issue and continue on our merry way. Pissing about politicking carbon taxes is merely obfuscation. I support a carbon tax if the money is used to actual fund renewable energy research and implementation but in a more realistic view, the money will just be pissed away on bribing voters come election time. The whole political system is more about these bribes and middle class welfare than actual governing. It really doesn’t matter which party is in Government, for me at least, because as a SINK (Single Income No Kids) I’ll be paying more in taxes than my dual income with kids, fellow citizens. I’ll get shafted which ever way I swing my vote.

I dislike that we only really have two parties that we can effectively choose to govern the country and I say govern rather broadly, when what happens is not Government but pandering to voters with misinformation and politicking while the real masters, Big Business decides the true policy agenda. I wish the Greens would win an election, If only because the bickering between Labor and Liberal becomes a tiresome and tedious circus, which we are exposed to on a daily basis. For the most part, it is merely a bunch of clowns running a show of one-upmanship and finger pointing without making headway in finding solutions to the real ills of society. Having a change in the politicking happening on Late Night television would be a change for the better and if the Greens were in power it would be at least a tri-party circus and might actually be entertaining rather than the bland see through politicking that the current two party farce exhibits and has the nerve to call itself politics.

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Category : Rants | Blog

Debtor Nation

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Last time I wrote I delved a little into the magnitude of debt that the US has embroiled itself in. That number is set to soon tip the legal limit of a whopping 14 Trillion dollars. Let’s not forget this number, 14, 000, 000, 000, 000. Hold it in the minds eye briefly and imagine the enormity of such a giant of a figure. Imagine that One trillion dollars is a stack of $1 bills place on top of one another, which is estimated to total a height of 108km when stacked like that. Multiply that by 14 and we hit a stack that is roughly 1500km high. High enough to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and orbit in outer space.

It appears the level of debt is seeking a landing upon the moon as the criminals responsible for the travesty that this debt embodies is in fact seeking a grant from congress to lift the legal level of debt allowed still further. To what can only be thought of as a measure to enslave the US population to a regime of never ending debt that will be impossible to ever repay, for perpetuity. As it stands with 14 trillion dollars every man woman and child owes 45, 000 dollars assuming 300 million population, however if that wasn’t bad enough and it almost seems doable in comparison, the figure is then shot to the moon if the total level of obligations the US government owes its citizenry is taken into account. Adding social security, Medicare and Medicaid and the plethora of other year to year running costs a government is empowered to administer, then the debt quickly shoots to level closer to 80 trillion dollars. When these obligations are accounted for each American is indebted to a figure of around $266k. That is a lot of years of labour each man, woman and child has to endure to service such a debt and considering other commitments like food, clothing and shelter also have to be met, the citizenry sure has its work cut out. It could take decades of labour to repay.

With the World Gross Domestic Product as of 2009 at 59 Trillion dollars. Link  It appears the US debt far exceeds the worlds GDP so it begs the question of who is actually going to pay this impossible debt? The answer is no one will. Default or hyperinflation. Which will it be? More debt means more fiat currency printed which means less value which means more money printed and soon enough one hundred trillion dollar bills are being printed, Hello the United States of Zimbabwe. If the US continues with this madness we will surely see notes like below coming into existence and instead of Zimbabwe dollars they’ll be USD. Just way too much debt and all because for a few brief moments it made us feel rich. In reality we were becoming poor. Soon, possibly very soon the middle class are gonna get wiped of the wealth they thought they had. The printing press will take it all from them. Probably too late to switch it off now anyway. Just gotta wait and see I guess.


Category : Rants | Blog

Banking, money and other catastrophes!

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The National Australia Bank or NAB as it is known in Australia went into a semi meltdown late last year, followed by The Commonwealth bank not long afterwards. Then only recently, in the last month or so, the NAB system once again made the news with another malfunction! There are those that smile with a wry sort of grimace, the sort of smile that knows something which remains hidden from less savvy folk. Thousands of NAB customers were left cashed down, unable to access funds, left hung out to dry as pay cheques were left unprocessed or withheld over the weekend of the 27th and 28th November 2010. All because of a computer problem that occurred on the previous Wednesday. On a weekend which ironically fell on Black Friday in the US, the weekend after Thanksgiving where the mad mobs embark on superfluous spending not unlike the post Christmas sales that happen on Boxing Day here. Both events juxtaposed in a symbolic synergy, illustrating the divide between the haves and the have nots.

Those who consider themselves in the “know” would invariably like to tell us that events like the system failures of 2 of the Big 4 banks will become common occurrences in the not too distant future where “technical glitches” in software systems like the one NAB uses will be plagued with such occurrences frequently, more or less in an intentional way. It is theories like these which are better suited to form the base line plot in some trashy paperback with a conspiratorial bent rather than the 3D world of reality. But is such a plot all that far removed from a reality that is about to unfold in the coming years?


Dooms-dayers and even those not so doomy disposed might go so far as to say that the NAB system fault had more to do with liquidity problems as a direct result of the impending economic doom in Europe, particularly the bailouts occurring in Ireland and fears that sovereign nations are on the precipice of defaults en masse, than something as simple as a software glitch. Liquidity problems which seemingly tied the hands of one of Australia’s Big Four so much so that it had to turn off its system temporarily to accommodate these issues abroad. It’s a damning accusation made purely from a paranoid point of view and most certainly a far fetched, baseless accusation. A bank  using such austerity measures is ludicrous and that they could even take place intentionally, absurd; but if we think about it for a moment, how hard would it be to insert a line of gibberish code in a piece of software so that a system would fall over? Not hard I reckon, but then that would make me one of those wretched crackpot dooms-dayers or conspiracy theorists and if I  were to entertain such absurdities then I’d also have to ponder whether economic hit men are a reality and that Fluoride in our drinking water is nothing more than a way to dispose of industrial waste while at the same time dumbing us down. Am I going to lower my most assured and sacred values and intelligence to muse over the possibility that these things could quite possibly be part of a conspiracy of a reptilian master alien race? “V”, eat your heart out, this is 2011 and time to embrace the end of civilisation as we know it, at the hands of an uber intelligent T-Rex metamorphosed into an elite humanoid form. Why not, wouldn’t you? The end is nigh and does that not automatically mean that we also lose all sense of the rational! Perhaps not!

Of course it is highly unlikely that such measures of intentional sabotage could easily be achieved in a heavily regulated and transparent industry like the banking industry but it makes for an interesting theory to mull over in quiet idle times, especially if one were of conspiratorial mind or a nut job like those pesky dooms-dayers are. Still, if nothing else, it does make for a good movie plot, something like, Wall Street 3 – QE3 The printing Press never sleeps.

Yet it is extremely disturbing that a whole monetary machine could go offline, just like that! Even when this episode is explained as a legitimate computer glitch in an upgrade gone wrong it nevertheless leaves one somewhat restless and a little nervous that a multi billion dollar a year bank could just drop off the grid. It serves as a reminder, at the very least, that the banking sector isn’t infallible and worse things could happen and has happened. Lets not forget that in the not so distant past there was a massive entity called Lehman Brothers for example and the next, no longer and that we are still unravelling the mess from the circumstances which brought about its demise. Although our puppet media would have us believe that the GFC is over and we are well on the way to recovery, I feel that optimism in the face of the brewing storm is nothing but a last ditch grab for our gullibility before the whole house of cards crumbles into a catastrophic mess that the last two generations have yet to taste.  What if a bank was leveraged heavily with overseas debt and the only thing nations were buying with US dollars were US bonds and through the not so prudent use of quantitative easing the whole bond market collapsed. And as China began offloading their shares in treasury bonds would another upgrade process then mysteriously pull the system offline. Or if panic set in would the banks just pull the power cord out before the masses could perform a run on its doors? My lack of knowledge in the esoteric world of high finance prevents me from confabulating a more creative scenario but perhaps a semi meltdown due to an upgrade glitch is  little more than just a test bed on what may happen in catastrophic failure.

What if NAB were more than just a little curious in performing some market research into what it could and could not do in unforseen future happenings. Whose to say what happens behind closed doors in the finance sector? The same sector which brought us the genius of sub prime mortgages, mortgage backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and other such derivatives of the housing bubble before it went belly up and left Joe Blow and his taxes to bailout the sector who schemed the whole charade in the first place. Is it really mere conjecture and cynical speculation that the recent banking operational failures were a little too convenient an event to at least question the validity of the explanations given? I know it comes back to conspiratorial questioning which leaves the door open to ridicule while the conformity enforcers sit back in their safe cosy cushioned back reality. The notion that an upgrade wasn’t fully tested before it went live seems dubious, although I’m sure it was tested, however, obviously not thoroughly enough to prevent thousands of customers from a whole lot of inconvenience and even lost revenue. Sure a few bugs is reasonable while a new system is put in place but for the whole system to fall over just isn’t acceptable and more than a little suspicious if you ask me. Perhaps I’m just looking for a an explanation for the unease that these times we live in invokes. Maybe it is that I am a conspiracy theorist who has degenerated into a delusional madness about a world that in the worst of times is a confused mess and at the best of times seems so simple and blessed. More often than not I am confronted with a confused entanglement of bits and bytes that has somehow been thrown into a pixelated picture of how things operate. Sometimes I may even recognise which pixel is “I” in that vast canvas blurred with a brush dipped in a palette complete with 16.7 million shades of colour.

As much as I do find alternative view points with paranoid bents  interesting, it really wasn’t the main point for writing this post, however, the banking part is what I do want to examine with my skewed cynical eyes. The remote chance that a bank could fall off the grid due to an ulterior motive is something, which is at least possible, whereas fluoride and reptilian overloads are works better left in fictional tales, although a good story could be concocted from just those two ingredients alone. Falling off the grid for a bank, albeit an unlikely aid to cure liquidity issues, even from a totally uneducated novice in economic matters such as myself, is regardless, a tool that could be used to curb a bank run. Bank holidays could be a thing of the past when a holiday could be orchestrated in binary. It is neither here nor there in reality because most of us living in the ordinary mundane world really haven’t the foggiest clue as to how money actually works let alone where it comes from. We may envisage a vault filled top to bottom with notes from peoples savings and reserves of the banks currency but we would be dead wrong! There is no vault and to my surprise, I recently became aware of this, is that you’d be hard pressed even getting access to all your money in hard currency by waltzing into a bank and cashing in the withdrawal slip if it amounted to anything significant. One needs to give the bank notice for amounts greater than a few thousand dollars. Too bad if you were in hurry and needed fast access to cold hard cash. So maybe bank runs are a virtual impossibility in this day and age anyway – so much for that conspiracy theory!

One thing which is not as confusing as it seems, once one has eyes to see, is money. Unlike the mysterious creator who creates a picture from thin air, who then uses a tangible asset of paint to illustrate what the minds eye sees, our monetary system is not based upon that which is tangible like paint. It is based upon pure illusion! What we’re lead to believe as real is in fact not so. Although the painting itself is an illusion the creator has used a tangible asset to create the illusion so it matters not how we view the painting, it will always hold value even if the value is in the eye of the beholder. However, the thing that we all worship while we wander aimlessly through our local Westfield Shopping Centre is a trick that magicians can only dream of performing. The trick is that we believe the notes we carry in our hip pockets are actually something worthwhile, something which has intrinsic value. Unlike the painting the value of notes lies not with the eye of the beholder but by an external party, an evaluator of sorts who determines the value. Also a painting is unique and another will only ever exist as a counterfeit or print if the painter is talented enough to earn the adoration of many. Notes are by design a copy of the original and many copies can exist in circulation, without limit. The thing we consciously or subconsciously worship whilst our eyes are filled with the envy of consumerism, does not hold intrinsic value and what we are carrying is not money at all but a piece of debt. An IOU from the Government and the Banks. Which bank? Ultimately, The Reserve Bank of Australia.

On the surface it is all well and good until we actually put some thought into what this debt or IOU means to us. Only then can we  appreciate what we so readily purge from our possession to trade for what amounts to superfluous gadgetry and accessories that we only really want because we are conditioned and perhaps even hard wired to accumulate. From birth we are conditioned and imprinted with a desire to express our individuality through the branding we license from some multi national corporation. We’re conditioned to express our status in the society we live in with the stuff we accumulate and display to the world. Displays of our ever so uniqueness and individuality no less. Purchases made with a promise that the brands we exhibit will say who we are, what we are and where we are in the world. While I’m off on this tangent, isn’t it funny that what we think of as uniqueness somehow equates to what is the most popular. The most popular brands are somehow better than something of similar quality –  the brand that sells the most and which has a higher dollar value are often the possessions we accumulate and are chosen to display our uniqueness. We are a strange creature. Speaking of brands, there is one particular brand that I really can’t stand and that is Lonsdale, whenever I see that label I cringe with disgust. I don’t exactly know why the name causes me such grief but it really does my head in. I mean what or who the hell is Lonsdale? Whoever wears the label I automatically think of them as a drone, when I suspect the brand is supposed to depict something of hipness, whilst wandering downtown in SOHO, London. It’s totally irrational since there are multiple labels that are just as blatantly stupid to be emblazoned upon ones person, like a human billboard, that it seems idiotic to have just one pet hate label but there it is, my totally irrational hate for anything Lonsdale. I somehow digressed into hate speech but I’m sure there is probably more than a fair share of the world’s populace that shares such sentiments, directed at Nation brands and not just the corporations that back those nations.

So what does it really mean to be carrying an IOU and to then trade it away as if it were just paper and essentially worthless. Wait a minute – do we really trade it like it is worthless? Well considering people exchange paper (plastic) to wear a big fat Lonsdale brand on their chest or bag, then yes! Even when we like a big fat pay cheque with wallets bulging with plastic, we do really trade what is intrinsically worthless for goods that do have value and even if it is a Lonsdale T-shirt, it does hold intrinsic value. If only just for the utility of having cotton on your back protecting you from the elements. Placing poor judgement aside, what does all this say about the IOU? There is more to It than merely the means to trade the note of arbitrary dollar value for goods and services that we desire and need for survival and leisure and even pleasure. It is also an IOU on our labour and skills. Our labour is what really pays for the piece of plastic we hold in our hip pockets and not only our labour but with the increasing levels of debt, especially in the US, it also is the labour of the next generation and countless other generations. In fact the level of debt in the US is so astronomical that it is a pipe dream to think the interest on the debt can be serviced let alone the principal ever having a chance to be paid off. It makes Australia’s 1.2 trillion worth of debt seem like pocket change in comparison, yet we are unfazed and live in denial that the problems we are confronted with are nothing more than statistical abstractions.

The wool has been pulled over our eyes and in our blindness we really do believe that the wolf eyeing us with hungry eyes is just another sheep in the flock. We’ve become so addicted to easy money which an unimpeded printing press has allowed, that when we see figures like 12 trillion US national debt or 1.2 trillion Australian debt it means nothing to us. The numbers themselves are an abstraction, we have no emotional attachment to such figures, since they’re so large they become meaningless. To a large degree because we simply cannot make a connection or understand  a number like this;         $12, 000, 000, 000, 000 it is just too easy to ignore it.  We are essentially creatures of habit and what is most easily recalled is one the most persuasive arguments we adhere to for the rationale behind the beliefs we hold. We inevitably shrug off large statistical aberrations to the the nether regions of our minds because we are still operating the same as we were yesterday and as such, it matters little what the national debt equates to. Numbers that large go unnoticed, even when our head might say, “Hold on a second, did he just say 12 trillion dollars of debt? What is that number? It’s a big number, maybe we should do something about it.!” , we’ll soon just shift the thought with the reassurance that is not our problem. Easy credit has lulled our senses into believing that we can have it all and have it all for next to nothing.

The next rabbit that gets pulled out of the hat is the magic trick that our money has been created out of thin air, quite literally it is created from nothing and the note we thought had merit and value is intrinsically worthless because of it. Labelling it money is deceptive because it is is not money but currency, fiat currency, there is a difference and it isn’t merely semantic. The distinction between money and currency is worth highlighting because although our currencies are labelled as money, it is I believe an intentional misuse of the word. Money has intrinsic value and holds value. Currency is purely a note with a stated value, a value which depreciates as more of it is circulated and because its supply is not bound to anything but the whim of the governing authority which issues the currency and thus has no intrinsic value because the paper is itself worthless. A dangerous condition which does have precedence in history, fiat currencies have typically only lasted a mere 40 year lifespan before it all goes down the gurgler.

The Roman empire collapsed under a fiat currency system. They were effectively an early adopter in implementing such a system while the Chinese were the first to devise and issue paper money. Inflation eventually brought their experiment to an end and ever since the experiment first appeared and failed, so it has been with each ensuing fiat based monetary system. It seems the government or controlling authorities can not be trusted to keep a lid on supply when things go a little pear shaped and find it all too easy to wade off catastrophe by debasing  the currency, an ephemeral solution until it spins out of control and eventually collapses. It begs the question of why we should feel special in this regard? The coming collapse of our system seems inevitable to me, not just a matter of when but how soon? I think that time will be upon us sooner than we think. My reasoning is based upon a gut feeling more than anything else and although gut feelings don’t necessarily mean anything, it is worth a little time and curiosity to ponder for a moment the instantaneous consumer gratification we all seem compelled by, is more than just a symptom of easy credit and money. In times of hyper inflation people are compelled to spend money as soon as they receive it because sooner rather than later it’ll be worth a lot less than it was worth only the week or day before. Is our spending habits a symptom of inflation? We are told that inflation is on average around 2 to 5% but why does it feel like the rising cost of goods I put in my shopping basket feels as if it is lot more than the 3% inflation? Do we base our spending habits on low level feelings like the price of our weekly grocery shopping being more than it was months before? With our weekly wage not really keeping up with the increased costs it does become noticeable even if the stated inflation figure seems to suggest another reality. An analyst may have the answer somewhere out there but all I have is just a gut feeling that inflation is increasing at an accelerating rate while it devours our purchasing power. For the most part the economy and it’s effects have remained hidden in my ignorance and apathy. Until one day I became aware that the cost of living was indeed rising faster than my CPI salary increase was which led me to find answers and to indeed question the system I partake in.

The feeling and suspicions I have are not worth much since I haven’t actually kept a diary or tracked the price of goods over the years but I’m sure a small basket of my usual daily items used to cost around $18 but now it is more like $23. Long gone are the days when you could fill a trolley for less than $100. Everything costs more and our salaries are perpetually in pursuit of the increases. So do we feel compelled to spend more than save because we sense the purchasing power of our dollar is rapidly declining even if we consciously don’t experience it? Inflation is the hidden tax that is imposed upon us while robbing us of our wealth. A silent killer like plaque in our arteries, constricting  our bottom line until one day we find it just ceases to fuel our expenses and we are left with a trickle in comparison to it’s former roaring flow. Inflation itself is manipulated by governments to distort the fiscal health of the country. In my mind we are closer to 10 per cent inflation which is a far cry from the 3% we are fed through government propaganda but I’m basing this assumption purely from the price hikes that seem to have embedded themselves into my shopping basket and of course your mileage may vary.

And mileage certainly does vary, especially in the coffers of Big Government. Some clever tricks seem to have been inserted into the formulas used to calculate inflation. Things like hedonics where the CPI is manipulated by substituting a more expensive item for a lower value item because as the price rises the consumer will use a similar lower cost item to replace the inflated price of the usual product. Or they use hedonic regression to implement increased performance as added value to adjust the cost as a dollar saving and thus deflated inflation. For instance, If I bought a new Ford six cylinder with say 130kW of power for $35K and then the next year I bought the same car but with a newer, more efficient  6 cylinder that produced 140kW for $37K, it is then assumed that the more power equates to more value than the 37 grand depicts and is then adjusted to say $34K. The reasoning is because I can now travel from A to B faster than I could previously and hence be more productive, therefore inflation is hedonically regressed to a lower level of inflation. Cars are probably not the best example but everyone else uses examples of TV’s or computers so I thought I’d use a different example. From my understanding it works well as a sort of technology  inflationary hedge. Increased technology deflates the CPI because of increased utility and productivity. Another example – I upgraded my toaster from a two slice to four slice toaster for around the same price as the original, more bread = less inflation. Never mind the actual bread tripled in price in the same time frame as we no doubt will be buying Homebrand rather than TipTop. I mean how are we supposed to get a picture of reality when the numbers are fiddled with?

Therein lies the problem, we aren’t supposed to get an idea of reality – that is the point! Market confidence is in the foreground of any tit bit of information that floats into our minds from a media that is less than objective in its delivery. Market confidence is best thought of as a tool to placate the consumer mass and to control the flow of money. If we all knew inflation was increasing more than the expected norm and more than than the manipulated data we are fed, we the people are not going to be terribly happy. The leaders that have been voted in and vested with the power to manage the economy wouldn’t last long in their leadership if true unbiased information was freely available rather than the lies and misrepresentation we currently receive . It seems wherever we look we really are being given the hard sell that the economy is a-ok and the the large injections of liquidity into the market has staved off the great deflationary process – The Great Depression Mark II. The system is dependent upon exponential growth and we’ve been led to believe that it is the only choice we have and perhaps it is, considering an alternative will most certainly dig at the heels of our comfortable and prosperous lifestyle. Market confidence is pushed heavily and  fiscal policy is geared to perpetuating this confidence. Deflation is considered an evil greater than Satan and is almost certain to extinguish a political career sooner than saying Super Profits Tax. Everywhere we look and listen we are fed the same tired slogan that everything is is order and we should just continue on our merry way. But is everything in order? Should we merely take what is fed to us as the gospel without blinking an eyelid to ascertain whether it is truth or just some more BS to keep the power base in the same tired old hands? Think! Think! Think! A slogan that is plastered on the walls of an AA meeting and a reminder that it is exactly what we are not supposed to do, much in the same way as the media and political arena gears itself as our thought process so that we need not bother our feeble minds with the burden of questioning and drumming out answers.

The media keeps us informed but who exactly keeps the media informed? Who gives the media the picture of reality, of what actually is happening when half the information being broadcast is misinformation and propaganda from vested interests and a good portion of the rest, merely serving as filler and entertainment. The question we really want to know is what exactly is happening? Perhaps no one knows the answer to the question, it is the 64 thousand dollar question and one worth contemplating. If no answers can be relied upon from the usual information sources we can, with some conjecture and speculation, find alternative media outlets to stir the thought process. We ought not rely too heavily on these either and in the end we are left with our own insight and experience to piece together a model or point of view from the bits and bytes we hear, see, and feel. Just as it has always been before mainstream media clouded our thought process with party lines and not so independent points of view.  The mainstream would have us believe that never ending growth is doable and our Gog given right even. However is it really conceivable that the path we choose to trudge and barrel our way down is really a perpetual packet of Tim Tams? If we have difficulty believing in the possibility of having a never ending packet of Tim-Tams, why do we so easily believe that the resources we so readily use with what can only be described as reckless abandonment, like junkies plying heroin into their veins, will never run out? In particular, the fossil fuels we essentially burn to fuel our life, just like wretched junkies with spoons held over an open flame eagerly awaiting the fix to soothe the edges. Fossil fuels drench our existence with the ancient sunlight stored in its structure and instead of conserving this energy we chose to ignite it and burn it up as if it were an endless packet of Tim-Tams.

When the time does finally come, and the last ounce has been extracted from the ground, and the last drop wringed out of the tar sands, what will we then use to fuel our creature comforts with? Bearing in mind that fossil fuels are only one type of commodity and the same fate lies in wait for all the treasures we reap from the earth. Eventually it will all come to an end, like all good things, the only question is when. Are we prepared for this extinction of energy and the materials we require for our everyday junk fix of goods? We may think and say we’ll then be in a position to use our technological prowess to implement and utilise the renewable energy sources available, once those events transpire, but is this really going to work? When the energy crisis rears it head it isn’t likely going to be an easing transitional phase, it’ll come fast and it will hit hard, quick and without remorse. All because the people who have sought to control energy supplies will do whatever is within their power to drag out the status quo right till the bitter end. We do have the insights and we possibly have the know how to make the transitional phase happen right this very instance and the only reason why it isn’t being whole heartedly brought to the fold now is because of the large sums still yet to be made from the existing finite resources. Our economic well being and the exponential growth that feeds it is the name of the game and renewable energy is not on the agenda, not because it doesn’t make sense or that global warming and the effects of humanities affection for burning oil and coal has on the environment is in dispute but because it just is not as profitable to do so.

There’s no commodity to sell with renewable energy, just the service of converting energy from one form to another. Whole industries will become extinct if renewable energy were to become the staple energy supply  for the growth the economy demands. Powerful industries are at stake and they’ll go down kicking and screaming and while they’re sinking they’ll try and take as many of us down with them. We have incredibly short term vision and are so painfully self centred in our scramble to keep up with the Joneses, although such a mindset is not solely of our own creation, however, ultimately we will only have ourselves to blame if we arise one morning amidst an energy crisis. Each and everyone of us will have contributed and endorsed our own extinction due to the shortage of available energy to meet growth and sustenance demands. Apart from a few brief moments when we sort of ummed and ah’ed about global warming and cringed when we realised that we might have to front up with the cash for anything to happen, we for the most part chose to continue with the status quo. In a way it is the economic model we live by that prevents humanity progressing from the self centred base we generally operate from. Our self centred nature forgets that we are not the only ones that share this planet and our needs are not the only needs that need to fulfilled. The problem is the belief that the economy and growth is the only thing that matters and although it is important to each of us to have the basic needs for survival met and to have a little more for the comforts and conveniences of modern living, we seem to have forgotten that it is also important to conserve the finite resources available to us. The theory of exponential growth is what really undermines our true potential because it seeks to separate us from firstly one and another and secondly to destroy the environment that gives us life. We have trouble looking after ourselves let alone the planet and until we evolve to a higher level of being where we can live peaceably and adopt basic human needs for the entire population we will probably burn it all to the ground long before we submit to a humanism of sharing and caring and be in position to look honestly at our behaviours and the impact our actions has on the ecology.

As it stands the world is becoming increasingly less stable and a tipping point of volatility will soon be upon us if it already hasn’t arrived. The finite resources we have will become the fuel for not only our lives but also for war as nation is pit against nation for control. This is already taking place and for many these conflicts are delegated to religious or ideological spheres but these things are merely smoke screens to hide the true nature of warfare. Wars are fought for territory and genetic dominance! Religion and ideology are the constructs that keep groups together, the glue of a common cause and division of the “other” but the conflicts themselves are territorial where a gene pool seeks to take control of the resources in another space to use for it’s own purpose and prosperity. Lets not confuse the matter with a subterfuge by consoling our own desires for wealth and prosperity by hiding it behind ideologies that have absolutely no meaning beyond the flights of fancy our minds concoct to create social groups that bind gene pools together. Confusing ideology with survival instincts and base desires of need and greed will merely distort the truth.

It’s worth stating that while I do think that we as species must learn to live in harmony and with respect to the environment, sustainability and ourselves, our monetary system although flawed in it’s current synthesis is important and is the medium in which we trade our skills and labour to essentially live and gain the things which do have value. It is just the system has evolved from what was a sustainable system into a beast that has devoured everything in its wake. We have a a whole machine that is wholly designed to dupe us into believing and hailing the catch cry of exponential growth as the miracle of modernity when it is far from a miracle. Exponential growth on a finite set of resources. There is something obviously wrong with that equation but we still hail the system as the best ever created. It is true that the standard of living in the west has increased by leaps and bounds but as the third world inches to the second world and the second world making a quantum leap to the the first we are faced with a terrible problem. It isn’t sustainable! Exponential growth on a finite set of resources is impossible. Our monetary system is equally as impossible because it follows the same ideology of exponential growth and instead of facing the truth we all believe in the delusion. Radical change needs to take place and as long as we maintain the delusion that the world can continue on it’s merry way then we will awake one day with great misfortune upon us.

The system is headed for collapse and how we prepare for it will determine how we fare in the aftermath. Unless we overhaul the folly of exponential growth we will eventually have to face the brick wall when it hits. There will possibly be violent retribution and chaos. The US is essentially on its way out! To put it simply their empire is dying and as it falls we will see some vulgar scenes being played out on that side of the Earth. The problem is that they are a force that one doesn’t really want to anger as it expires. It will go tooth and nail to hold onto it’s death grip, what once was a budding productive machine is now a defunct decrepit relic and a relic that will not sink gracefully. The US economy is lost in debt, who quite simply has no hope of ever repaying and whose strategy is now to print its way out with a ruthless debasement of its currency. Because the world reserve currency is US dollars it doesn’t leave us with much confidence in fiat currency to deal with the problem that we all face. The idea has been tested time and time again and once the plague hits there is no way out except through hyperinflation or default. Either method is a recipe for disaster. The tried and sure way is to return back onto a Gold standard where the value of gold arbitrates the flow of money but with such a system the growth we expect and demand cannot continue unabated. So it is highly unlikely such a system would be revisited and without looking at system that regulates growth to a sustainable level then whatever the reserve currency is it will invariably fall prey to the same fate as that which we are currently experiencing. As individuals we can prepare and protect our own wealth by buying hard assets that hold value while phoney money devalues, traditionally it is gold and silver but may extend to further to other commodities that will be valuable in a future where fiat dollars are worthless. Apart from that equipping oneself with skills and resources to be self sufficient which will be worthwhile in the face of complete collapse and probably just as valuable in and of itself and transitioning to a sustainable healthy society.

The ultimate solution is downsizing and because we are incapable of doing this for ourselves, nature will more than likely make that decision for us, one way or another. It is a doomy and gloomy outlook and not really a very optimistic perception but the alternative is to believe in a false optimism. As long as we live with the reality that 10 per cent of the population controls 90 per cent of the wealth then we are going to have a system of inequality and a continued dog eat dog mentality and one upmanship. A system that is ultimately one that is wasteful and not conducive to sustainability. I’m not really one to look at things in a peachy light but the idea of shared abundance and equality really is the only way I can see as the way to repair the state of the world and to prevent the scourge that will soon devour and threaten our existence. But I just don’t think humanity has it within itself to make such quantum leap. Perhaps when the threat of extinction is upon us will we then have the courage to work as a whole rather than against. The current state will not last, that is just about assured. What comes after is not so. Can we curb what awaits us or will we merely bury our heads in the sand and do nothing? In the end what Obama claimed is indeed true, Change – Yes We Can! Do we have the will to make the change? Perhaps we do. Let’s make it before it’s too late.

Category : Rants | Blog

Mid-Life Crisis!

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I don’t know what is wrong with me but lately, maybe months or over the last year I have slowly declined into an insurmountable sloth that has prevented me from doing the one thing that really made the slow grind of daily life even remotely bearable. That one thing is writing. The exercise of crafting fragments of words into some sort of stream that hopefully resembles a cohesive segment of thought and if I was lucky something that might strike a chord with anyone who might stumble upon it. But it just hasn’t been so. The problem is a lack of energy – a slump in motivation and too much time obsessing over things I have little to no control over.

The ironic thing is that I’ve often lambasted the object of my obsession and now I am fully within it’s grip. I don’t know why all of a sudden I have fallen prey to the idea that I just don’t have enough money. For all my ranting’s about the corruption that consumerism has bestowed upon the world I am now  gripped with an urgency to accumulate as much of the stuff that fuels consumption as I can and I often curse the crushingly slow path that leads to stacking the bundles of cash it takes to hoard. It’s gotta have something to do with age – a mid life crisis of sorts, although such crises are often symbolic of spending large sums on outrageous toys and going on some last adventure I find myself wanting to not really to spend but save. Although I do confess doing my fair share of superfluous and wanton wasteful spending does really mess up the plan to save. I just want to create a stack of wealth that might afford me a standard of living in the future. I know it’s crazy but I can’t help myself obsessing over this need. Yet implementing a serious strategy of frugality to achieve said goal is easier said than done.

I rack my brain with what I can do to get more money to hoard and all attempts to invent some method of getting a decent cash flow happening have amounted to naught. Then the dejected sense of doom arises from the pit of my stomach – it’s too late. I missed the boat and I am stuck in circling in the perpetual ebb and flow of paid slavery with the hopeless sense that there is no way out of the grind.

Perhaps I am best in changing my perspective rather than trying to beat myself out of the system. Lets face it – how many people actually escape the ripping jaws of working for money to create a life that is actually meaningful? Hardly any. The primary problem is that the conditioning of working for money has been firmly planted. The correct response or choice of wording is money working for you but that is not exactly what the system really wants of us. It wants and needs for us to work for money and that is what we pay with our lives for. Working for money while money gets handed over to the ones that knew that money worked for them.

Like the words from that song – “Money for nothin and your cheques for free!” – Dire Straits

Therein lies the secret to financial success. Get money working for you but bugger me if it doesn’t take a hell of a long time to get money in a position anywhere close to showing potential and fit for work. I guess it’s why leverage is the way of the world today. Money is debt and debt is money. Ingsoc’s 2004 amendment to 1984’s Freedom Is Slavery slogan. Cash is no longer King – debt is and you better be certain with your strategy lest your debtor performs a margin call.

War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength! All hail Ingsoc! Where big banks are too big to fail and too big to save. Privatise profits and socialise debt – that is if you live on Wall St – Main street can go and get stuffed – just hand over what’s owing to the Taxman before you head out that door. No wonder why I feel so dejected and disillusioned. Big Brother made sure of it!

Category : Rants | Blog

Oprah Madness

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Sydney Australia pays host to an infection of epic proportion, no vaccine is yet available to aid in combating and eliminating this affliction, which has invaded the hearts and minds of what were presumably sane and rational people prior to infection. An Oprah meme has for some reason been released upon this otherwise quiet city, which now resembles a freak circus. It is said to have originated from the United States and wormed and furrowed its way along the sea bed to our shores, where countless women have been left defenseless against a wave of hysteria. Hysteria, coupled with what appears to be a type of emotional mania are the prime symptoms of this senseless disease.

Why the endemic was never isolated to the country of origin remains a mystery and why it mainly infects women moreso than it does men is also being investigated. The disease which has been dubbed Oprah Madness, so called because it is believed that the meme first appeared in the studio television head quarters of Oprah Winfrey, soon spread to all corners of the world. Australia being one the last places to succumb to the infection, the madness finally breaking through the hardened Australian sensibility.

Reports have come in that a rather large mass of the infected have grouped together at the Sydney Opera House, seemingly an apt place for the Oprah virus to coagulate, and passers by have been asked to give the infected a wide berth as a precaution against the slim chance that close contact with the virus may provide a vehicle for the virus to spread. Why the infected group together like this is said to be an ingenious method for this meme to invade other rational minds as it mimics our desire for social acceptance. Naturally we are drawn to groups and this where it is said that the virus has an intelligence all of its own. Through a group dynamic the virus gains momentum and receives more power to infect just about anyone within ear shot of the group hysteria.

Scientists are working night and day to find a vaccine, however it is believed that the virus may have run its course. Upon close examination, the meme dies within weeks of ceasing all visual and auditory contact with the originating source. The mechanics of transmission are poorly understood, however a common trend is that the most ravaged by this disease are those that are unemployed and who watch meaningless daytime television.  The consensus among scientists and medical researchers is that one ought to switch the television off between 10am and 4:45pm weekdays to minimise the chance of infection.

It is believed that transmission of the virus is linked to the auditory and visual centres of the brain and that it somehow attaches itself to the limbic system through a complex readjustment of dopamine and seretonin receptors allowing a temporal shift in the reasoning faculties of the neo cortex. The lasting damage that  such changes in the structure of the brain are yet to be fully determined and may take years to understand. The remarkable dexterity of the brain is on our side, scientists say, with treatment, cognitive behaviour therapy  being the most widely used approach, those who abstain from further infection are expected to make a full recovery and be able return to normal functioning within a few short weeks.

If transmission of the virus can be thawted then it is expected that the virus will rapidly die and become extinct and no new victims will likely develop. But it is also understood that if all traces of virus are not eradicated then there also is the possibility that a dormant strain could once again become active and a whole new generation of women in particular could once again be infected. One of the most famous cases of infection in a  male was that of Tom Cruise who in a quite bizarre exhibition of disturbing behaviour proceeded to bounce on a sofa whilst punching the air. Such cases are rarely seen and it is believed that his defenses were permanently disabled as a direct consequence of his involvement in the cult of Scientology, however such cases are an exception rather than the rule.

If you or someone you know is infected or believed to be infected with Oprah Madness, there is help available. Please visit for further information or ring 5551234 to speak with a consultant.

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