The .01% Conspiracy

July 11, 2014

KRUGMAN WAKING UP TO THE .01%

Student Krugman is learning economics, or what one ought to call meta-economics, ever better. We will give him a gentleman’s D. Said he in Who Wants A Depression?”:

“One unhappy lesson we’ve learned in recent years is that economics is a far more political subject than we liked to imagine. Well, duh, you may say. But, before the financial crisis, many economists — even, to some extent, yours truly — believed that there was a fairly broad professional consensus on some important issues.”

Yes, we know all too much: on so many issues, the economists’ consensus was both very injurious to society in general, profitable to economists, and thoroughly idiotic counterfactual. For example, a master idea was that hedge funds and the future markets, in spite of their leveraged size dwarfing the real economy, had neither impact nor even any connection with the real economy.

This monstrosity of a lie was long fostered by Krugman and his self-admiring society of friends and estimable Nobelized or Nobelizable colleagues.

That sort of fairly broad professional consensus on some important issues allowed all these creatures to live a grand life of importance and influence, as it pleased the Masters of the Universe to no end (what the Masters do then, is that they bring some money or chairs, or buildings to some Pluto universities such as Princeton, and everybody is happy: Meg Whitman get her sons in Princeton, where they can do whatever, etc.)

They can call it whatever, I call it corruption.

Krugman agrees that there is corruption:

“Who are these always-wrong, never-in-doubt critics? With no exceptions I can think of, they come from the right side of the political spectrum. But why should right-wing sentiments go hand in hand with inflation paranoia? One answer is that using monetary policy to fight slumps is a form of government activism. And conservatives don’t want to legitimize the notion that government action can ever have positive effects, because once you start down that path you might end up endorsing things like government-guaranteed health insurance.”

But it does not stop there. Krugman and colleagues have discovered the obvious:

“The really big losers from low interest rates are the truly wealthy — not even the 1 percent, but the 0.1 percent or even the 0.01 percent. Back in 2007, before the slump, the average member of the 0.01 percent received $3 million (in 2012 dollars) in interest. By 2011, that had fallen to $1.3 million — a loss equivalent to almost 9 percent of the group’s 2007 income.”

That low interest rates punish the “rentiers”, there is no doubt. Wealthy people in the Nineteenth Century were called by the French word “rentiers” precisely because they could live off rents. Being wealthy means to be able to live off interest, without touching the inflation adjusted principal.

So this is a reason to dislike low interest rates if one is very wealthy. But those with an aversion to risk, inflation or wild market fluctuations also detest very low interest rates, and rightly so.

Thus the question: are there other aspects of a policy of low interest rates that the wealthy do not like? In other words, can we go further than pointing out the obvious as our little Krugman does?

Well, first of all, THE WEALTHY LOVE DEPRESSIONS. During those, everything is so cheap that the wealthy, especially financiers, buy things for pennies on the dollar.

Nowadays, hedge funds allow the hyper rich to profit handsomely from financial and economic shocks. That’s why vultures funds are out to get countries that restructure their debt, with help from USA courts. They dearly regret not to have forced Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy into bankruptcy. So Argentina makes an excellent target.

A successful economy is, by itself of little value for the hyper rich. Quite the opposite. As said above, they tend to be rentiers. They are lions who made a killing, and want to keep what they got for themselves. Empowering, with a more economic clout the Populus is to be feared: if the poor is empowered, it can shake things up, and made demands to the rich, force them to share. The Revolution of 1789 was driven by the small bourgeoisie: newly empowered poor people.

Fundamentally, wealth, power, are relative. Nearly everybody lives so much better than Louis XIV, that, after due consideration, they would never exchange their lives for his. To be wealthy means to have things others do not have. Depriving the poor some more works as well as enriching the rich.

So our plutocratic leaders pursue both now.

Patrice Aymé

 

Elites’ Bad Faith

July 7, 2014

Bad faith was central to Sartre’s philosophy. He should have known, being a magnificent example of it. Bad Faith is vicious. It has to be dealt adequately, that is it has to be outmaneuvered.

An example: the Nazis contacted the greatest photographer in Berlin. He was asked to present his ten best pictures of Aryan babies. The lame Goebbels (a PhD and information minister) selected the best. The picture was published all over the Reich, as the definition of the magnificent human being that the somewhat degenerate Himmler, Hitler and Goebbels were not. Unbeknownst to those idiots, the famous photographer had selected the picture of a Jewish baby, here on the cover of “Sun In The House”, a Nazi magazine.

Aryan Ideal: Jewish Baby Became Chemistry Professor

Aryan Ideal: Jewish Baby Became Chemistry Professor

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer revealed to the amazed parents (who then had to hide their baby, lest she be recognized, and fled to France).

However, Nazism was not about smarts. It was about grabbing riches and power. For that, smarts were the enemy. Similarly, nowadays, “conservatives” are not about smarts, or being, actually, conservative. They are all about grabbing power and riches, thus smarts are something that’s in the way. So they target smarts for destruction, and this is exactly what refined studies reveal.

A New York Times’ article reveals that divisions about facts, such as whether the biosphere is warming or evolution happened, commonly attributed to ignorance, is nothing of the sort. The divide “is wider among people who otherwise show familiarity with math and science, which suggests that the problem isn’t a lack of information…

[We] found that factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines. With science as with politics, identity often trumps the facts… Unfortunately, knowing what scientists think is ultimately no substitute for actually believing it.

… we also need to reduce the incentives for elites to spread misinformation to their followers in the first place. Once people’s cultural and political views get tied up in their factual beliefs, it’s very difficult to undo regardless of the messaging that is used.”

This is why I suggest that deliberate lying on facts, in a mass media setting, is a crime, and ought to be pursued with as much ardor as some forms of, say, pedophilia. A new branch of government ought to be created: TRUTH (independent of Justice, Executive and Legislative).

Paul Krugman chimes in Beliefs, Facts and Money Conservative Delusions About Inflation with: “The problem, in other words, isn’t ignorance; it’s wishful thinking.”

Wishful thinking? Wait a minute, Paul. It’s, conveniently, the thinking which plutocrats wish for Americans to have. It’s more vicious thinking than wishful thinking. The researchers mention euphemistically “elites”, because they want to keep receiving money. Elites with money, that’s plutocrats. Pluto, Satan, all that: it’s no good. “Elite” is a good word, though. A fresh coat of paint on Satan, should make Satan happy.

Krugman believes that knowing more about the issues widens the divide, because the well informed have a clearer view of what they need to reject, so as to sustain their belief system. Except, of course, and that’s not a small detail, that the “elites” don’t really “believe” in their rejection, as the researchers found. Instead they believe they have to exhibit belief to sustain systems of thought that are convenient for their way of life. In other words, they are lying.

I notice this all the time. I talk to the “elites”, and I notice they use “anti-ideas” namely slogans, while their body language and conversation strategies tell me they absolutely do not believe in the garbage they affect to consider self-obvious (“the climate changed before”) .

In any case, Krugman wrote the article linked above, inspired by the Bad Faith of the elite. He speaks of “Great Recession”, “Disdain for Government”, “Fiat Money”, but he does not go far enough. Either his semantics, or the concepts attached to it, do not go far enough.

So let’s correct Krugman gently:

Great Recession? Great Recession of democracy. How does one make democracy recede? By making the People really stupid.

Much of the pseudo-progress under Obama falls into that category: Obamacare is a pseudo-reform, giant wasteful programs such as the F35 have been left intact, environmentalism has been turned into a Macbeth like contemplation about a particular, irrelevant pipeline, banks have not been reformed back to the much more advanced system president Roosevelt had created in 1933, and plutocrats have been turned into the hidden government, somewhat officially.

Disdain for government” in a democracy, means disdain for the People: in a democracy, the People is supposed to rule.

“Printing money”? Enough money has to be printed to support enough exchanges to support the employment that the potential economy, and the real society, calls for.

But that’s true only in a democracy. If one is attempting to change a democracy into a plutocracy, mass employment, aside from slavery, is counterproductive, as it empowers the People.

In the end all these economic theories that are obviously incorrect in democracy, are profoundly conducive to plutocracy. That’s no accident.

Krugman calls for “Fiat Money”… Through the Central Bank. However, the Fed creates the economy through private banks. That’s still plutocratic.

The really democratic solution is to create money through the Treasury as needed for mass employment projects projecting progress (in efficiency, ecology, hedonism, etc.). Let the government create huge spending programs, and run a so called “deficit”. Sell bonds, whatever. As in Japan. At worst, if there was a default the bonds would turn into a tax (of those rich enough to buy said bonds).

Those who want to reduce the money below what society demands, want mass unemployment, and thus the reign of those who have massive private capital, the plutocrats.

None of those crazily erroneous ideas of the far right and its attached financial and CEO class are thus crazy, when looked at as a system of mood and thoughts that drives towards plutocracy. Then they are entirely logical.

Bad Faith is a mood that produces solid logic. One needs greater emotions to break it, rather than meek reason.

Patrice Ayme

USA Financial Extortion

July 6, 2014

Individuals (famous economists), and organizations that are profiting from the present oligarchic system cannot be too critical against what feeds them. One has to read beyond the mellifluous lines.

Here is The Economist, June 28, 2014:

“Share and share alike… America should also embrace the OECD’s efforts, already backed by more than 50 countries, to create a truly multilateral system in which tax information on residents’ accounts and certain investments is shared annually. For that to work, America would need to hand over data similar to those which it demands from others—something it has hitherto appeared reluctant to do. The financial superpower looks ever more a regulatory bully, setting rules it ignores itself.

Bullies Kill, Vultures Feed, Justice The Old Fashion Way

Bullies Kill, Vultures Feed, Justice The Old Fashion Way

Setting rules for others one ignores for oneself is the essence of viciousness.

The financial superpower looks ever more a regulatory bully?

The USA is a financial bully, and it started in 1944, when the USA tried to bully Lord Keynes himself (head of the currency commission at Bretton-Woods), into accepting the Dollar of the USA as the world’s reserve currency.

The fact that it started so long ago means that the bully’s institutions have evolved accordingly. A particular case if American justice, which finds American violence to be just: the case of the vulture funds is exemplary. Whoever stands in the way of American vultures is unjust.

Keynes wanted to use the International Monetary Fund to create “Drawing Rights” as needed, a solution Dominique Strauss-Kahn implemented to the tune of 450 billion dollars until his fateful encounter with the maid from hell, taken super seriously by New York “Justice” (until she proposed so many tricks to the officers in charge of “protecting” her, that, well, it was embarrassing, even for New York “Justice”).

Keynes resisted totally, so the government of the USA forged the documents that made the USA into the one and only financial superpower. When Saddam Hussein begged to differ, and started to use Euros, he was hanged. So the BNP executives, who have not been executed yet, ought not to complain too much, as The Economist astutely points out, somewhere else.

What is The Economist alluding to above? “… hand over data similar to those which it demands from others.” To the fact that the USA is the world’s largest tax haven for global plutocrats, while busy destroying all other tax havens. The destruction of Swiss banks and bankers is exemplary that way.

In other words, the USA sucks up capital from all over the world, by stealing other countries’ taxes (as it provides plutocrats, worldwide, to escape taxation, thanks to… Delaware).

Says The Economist in: “Tax havens, The missing $20 trillion How to stop companies and people dodging tax, in Delaware as well as Grand Cayman”: a lower rate on a broader base, combined with vigilance by the tax authorities, would be more efficient and would probably raise more revenue: America, whose companies face one of the rich world’s highest corporate-tax rates on their worldwide income, also has some of the most energetic tax-avoiders.

These reforms would not be easy. Governments that try to lower corporate tax rates will be accused of caving in to blackmailing capitalists. Financial centres and incorporation hubs, from the City of London to Delaware, will fight any attempt to tighten their rules. BUT IF POLITICIANS REALLY WANT TO TAX THE MISSING $20 TRILLION, THAT’S WHERE THEY SHOULD START.”

From the horse’s mouth: to tax the missing $20 trillion, start from London to Delaware… Exactly what I have been saying for years. The global financial exploitative mess is part of an Anglo-American imperial situation.

I have condemned the way “judicial” authorities in New York siding with the financial vultures therein. The Economist now agrees with me, and goes somewhat further, as it alleges state corruption. Here is an extensive extract from:

BNP Paribas in the dock: No way to treat a criminal. The French bank deserved a clobbering, but America’s legal system looks like an extortion racket.

BNP argues that it broke no European laws… That is true enough, to Europe’s shame… It is also true that the underlying transactions had nothing to do with America, but because they were denominated in dollars they had to be cleared in New York, which provided America’s lawmen with a toehold.

But the guilt of a suspect and the justice of a cause do not make a tribunal fair. And America’s system for pursuing errant banks, especially foreign ones, is anything but fair… BNP had little choice but to settle. Defeat in court might have led to the loss of its American banking licence—a death sentence for a big international bank. America’s prosecutors can also wield the threat of criminal charges against individual bankers.

Bank against the wall

Not only were BNP’s tormentors, such as Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s politically ambitious banking regulator, able more or less to dictate their terms, they also had an incentive to make the fine as big as possible because the agencies involved divvied up much of it among themselves. Mr Lawsky’s outfit gets $2 billion, four times its annual budget, which it will triumphantly deposit in New York state’s depleted coffers.

There are no meaningful checks on this process, let alone a plausible procedure for BNP to appeal. Bank bosses cannot even publicly criticise deals they agree to under extreme duress. No precedent is set and no guidance provided as to the limits of the law and the proportionality of the punishment.

So even if BNP fully deserves its punishment, the legal system that meted it out is closer to an extortion racket than justice. France’s economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, has compared America’s pursuit of BNP to “economic warfare”. In other words, a bank that catered to mass murderers has had some success in portraying itself as a victim. Any process that can make BNP’s dealings with Sudan look anything less than shameful must be very flawed indeed.”

“Catered to mass murderers”? Is that not the story of the invasion of Iraq by the USA? Did BNP invade Sudan? Is the USA pursuing the invaders of Iraq?

No, the USA is using imperial might in ways very similar to Putin. (Putin also has laws and judges and Congress on his side, nota bene.)

Two months ago Argentina reached a settlement with the Paris Club, a group of government creditors.

On June 16th the Supreme Court of the United States decided twice in favor of NML Capital, a “vulture” fund (and subsidiary of hedge fund Elliott Management) that snatched dirt cheap bonds after Argentina’s 2001 default. The fund and its plutocratic owners have since pursued the country for the payment of all principal plus outstanding interest in US courts. For at least 1.6 billion dollars.

The ability of struggling countries to restructure their debts has been dented. Hold-outs everywhere have greater incentive to litigate; creditors who might accept exchange offers could see them gulped down by vultures, catered to by USA judges.

Those who play with fire to burn others may find where the concept of “backfiring” comes from.

Patrice Ayme’

Will To Destruction

July 4, 2014

The West rots in a crazy political crisis propelled by carefully engineered ignorance, misunderstanding and herd like behavior. It has drastic economic, social, and even ecological consequences. None of this is an accident. Instead, it’s the expression of a will. And no, it’s not just a Will To Power, as Napoleon and Nietzsche would have it, in their simplicity, and general lack of cynicism.

Before taking flight above the morass of commonality, let’s roll out Krugman in “Build We Won’t” (07/ 3/ 2014):

“You often find people talking about our economic difficulties as if they were complicated and mysterious, with no obvious solution. As the economist Dean Baker recently pointed out, nothing could be further from the truth. The basic story of what went wrong is, in fact, almost absurdly simple: We had an immense housing bubble, and, when the bubble burst, it left a huge hole in spending. Everything else is footnotes.

From Obama To O Blah Blah

From Obama To O Blah Blah

Krugman pursue, playing naïve: “And the appropriate policy response was simple, too: Fill that hole in demand… In prosperous times, public spending on roads, bridges and so on competes with the private sector for resources. Since 2008, however, our economy has been awash in unemployed workers (especially construction workers) and capital with no place to go (which is why government borrowing costs are at historic lows). Putting those idle resources to work building useful stuff should have been a no-brainer.

But what actually happened was exactly the opposite: an unprecedented plunge in infrastructure spending. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, public expenditures on construction have fallen more than 20 percent since early 2008…an almost surreally awful wrong turn…

And it’s about to get even worse.”

Krugman explains that public spending is evil, because that would increase the deficit. Deficits are evil, when there’s a Democratic government that can borrow at incredibly low interest rates. We can’t raise gas taxes: that would be a tax increase, and tax increases are even more evil than deficits. So public infrastructure can decay.

Krugman does not know if this is politics or madness: “If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is… The collapse of public investment was, therefore, a political choice… how self-destructive that political choice has become. It’s one thing to block green investment, or high-speed rail, or even school construction… But everyone… thinks we need good roads. Yet the combination of anti-tax ideology and deficit… means that we’re letting our highways, and our future, erode away.”

In simple terms:

Trillions of dollars are sitting idle, a huge amount of work needs to be done, around 40% of the working age cohort is not employed. Crazy? Not at all. It’s the logic of the plutocratic phenomenon. Gut the People. We have seen this before, when the Roman empire entered its terminal decay (which took more than two centuries).

Here is my explanation:

Public investments are those made for the common good, because they are too large, or too much about public property, or too unprofitable, short term (fundamental research in science and philosophy).

No capitalist can buy the air, for example. The air is a public good. No private individual ought to be allowed to possess the atmosphere. Thus it’s public investment that has to take care of the air.

And so on.

Of course, civilization has decided that what is the most precious: free will, freedom, life, cannot be owned any more. They used to be, at occasional, crazy points of history, never sustainable: in this country, nearly four centuries ago, slavery was reintroduced, and human beings, and their children could be owned, and abused (the slave trade was unlawful in the Empire of the Franks since 655 CE, in the Seventh Century, the great conceptual, and technical break with Greco-Roman Antiquity).

As the most precious cannot be owned, and traded privately, they can only be taken care of publicly. By cutting down on public investments, the powers that be have decided that what was the most precious was not worth investing into.

So the economy, society, and civilization itself go down.

You may wonder: what usage are the powers that be pursuing, by smothering the most precious values? Are they not suffering too? Well, by making ever more life into a living hell, the plutocrats who lead our politicians feel ever more at home.

Who needs roads, or trains, when one can private jet around? This is exactly the reasoning that was made when plutocrats destroyed the tax base of the Roman Empire: plutocrats did not need roads, they could live in their villas. They did not even need a public army: they had their own private armies. Nor did they need public schools, they had private schooling. It is the same now!

What drives this Will To Destruction?

Something deep in the genus Homo. The Will of Homo To Destroy… Homo.

This is what the plutocratic phenomenon taps into, that Will To Destruction. It is its reason of being.

Patrice Ayme

Cosmic Background Fanaticism

July 3, 2014

We have one experimental find: the Cosmic Radiation Background (CRB), a uniform light from all over the sky at 2.7 degree Kelvin. I will argue that, on the face of it, it has three possible causes. However only one is considered to be true, and is consequently explored to death. That is, as if the lives of physicists depended on it. In truth, it’s only their careers that depend upon it.

A theory nearly everybody believes in, is the “Big Bang”. After all, it’s in the Bible. The Bible is popular, thus, so is the “Big Bang”. As behooves something so big, it’s supposed to explain everything, for example why there is a Cosmic Radiation Background, why there is Helium, etc.

Pleiades Star Cluster: Close To Olbers Effect...

Pleiades Star Cluster: Close To Olbers Effect…

Skeptics will smirk: for centuries people searched for the Cosmic Radiation Background: then, it was called “Olbers Paradox”. The “Paradox” was that there should be a Cosmic Light Background (the light of distant stars)…

Olbers’ reasoning was simple: 1) suppose the universe is infinite. 2) thus looking anywhere around the sky, once gaze is bound to end on the surface of a star. 3) therefore the sky ought to be uniformly bright according to the brightness of the average star.

[Let's forget modern subtleties such as Red Dwarf Stars and Brown Dwarves...]

However, pointed out Olbers there was no uniform brightness.

Now one such uniform cosmic light has been found, though, nobody seems to remember Olbers’ name. Olbers’ reasoning is inconvenient.

Indeed, ever since Maxwell, we have established that light is electromagnetic radiation. So the Olbers Paradox could very well show up, not as visible light, but as a weak radiation. Why? Well, suppose that distant parts of the Universe recede, as Hubble and his predecessors and colleagues observed: the light from distant stars would shift into the very deep infrared… As observed!

However, now that the Olbers Paradox has become the Olbers Effect, it’s used to explain something else completely different, and outright weird: the Big Boom. Instead of being the light of distant stars (or the like), as Olbers would have had it, the Cosmic Radiation Background (CRB) is viewed as the light from… an explosion.

We see the expansion, we see the stars, we see the galaxies, do we see the explosions?

And the question then appears: what happened to the initial Olbers Paradox? Why does nobody talk about it anymore? Could it not be that the Cosmic Radiation Background is even boosted the Olbers Effect with, say, tired light?

Why are these sort of natural, historically laden questions not addressed anymore?

The answer is simple: take Princeton University’s Physics Department. All professors there are string theorists. Problem: strings don’t exist. So these people are professors of inexistence. No wonder they can’t answer history.

It’s true that theoretical considerations can lead to phenomenological interrogations. But string theory had its chance. By occupying all the theoretical space, it prevents other theories to have their chance too.

Let’s change intellectual gears, and lift the debate into Meta.

What we have here is one experimental find: the Cosmic Radiation Background (CRB), a uniform light from all over the sky at 2.7 degree Kelvin.

We have three possible explanations, yet only one is pushed and pushed and pushed. That’s not the proper scientific method. To figure things out, we have to look everywhere, and make sure that logical branching points have been explored.

OK, governments do not give enough money to do that. They prefer hedge fund managers and Google clowns.

In the age when robots can replace most work, it’s time to reconsider this. Why? Why is it so important to get the universe right? Well, be it only because by doing so, we make our intelligence more subtle. In Bangladesh, the sea is now rising more than 16 millimeters per year, threatening one hundred million people. And nobody knows why.

Perfecting our ability to observe and make theories is our essence. And no better place there is to perfect it than the entire universe.

On a more aggressive meta level, to understand fanaticism, and the related intellectual fascism is urgently needed. In this respect the entire field of physics, as the self described most clever people in the world can be exposed to be complete fools.

Remember the TOE? The Theory Of Everything? Well, as we now know, physicists have theories on, at most 4% of the universe. And those are obviously incomplete. But that’s another story.

In the same vein, maybe they have only a 4% explanation of the Cosmic Radiation Background. Those who are honest enough, and clever enough, will admit that may well be true. No honesty in matters intellectual, no intelligence.

Patrice Aymé

Sarkozy Indicted For Corruption

July 2, 2014

Crime There, Business As Usual Here… 

France’s Former President Sarkozy Taken Into Custody: 

02 July 14

Just two years after losing the presidency in an election, former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy turned himself in to police for an inquiry into a cover-up of suspected illegal campaign fundraising. Sarkozy, 59, is France’s first former president to be taken into custody.

After 16 hours of continuous interrogation by the police, Sarkozy was put in formal “examination” by instruction judges at 2 am (on three counts). That means, translated in American semantics, that he is indicted.

Sarkozy is being questioned over his possible interference during a probe of possible illegal financing for his 2007 campaign from France’s richest woman, L’Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt. The case centers around whether Sarkozy and his lawyer were kept informed illegally on the investigation by a friendly magistrate — who was in return promised a prominent position in Monaco.

The sums involved, at most a few million Euros, are tiny by the standards of the USA. Some were used to organize large, USA style political rallies, with lots of flags waved.

In the USA, there is basically no such a thing as illegal financing: once respected some purely formal barriers, the world’s richest people can finance their chosen candidates with unlimited funds. Astutely, they finance both sides, “democratic” and “republican”, of the same thing that is everything.

Under Obama, that system became industrial, for all to see. Obama, or his wife, fly to the San Francisco Bay Area, all the time. For a bit more than 30,000 thousand dollars, one can have breakfast with them. As that’s more than half the family income in the USA, the price of the visit keeps the commons away.

Lunch, dinner and personal interviews are reserved to multibillionaires.

Why it has to happen so often means probably that the president is getting instructed about what to do next by the world’s richest people. (What else? More elaborated plots? Sex a la Clinton?)

In the French republic, spending for presidential elections is state financed, and limited to a few dozen million Euros. TV is requested by law to show candidates on an equalitarian basis. The last presidential election in the USA cost more than 6 billion dollars (there is also a lot of hidden spending).

The indictment of Sarkozy for corruption occurs on the very week when it was revealed that Bill Clinton, all by himself, had gathered a full billion dollars… from his beloved, the plutocrats.

That very week when the giant bank BNP was condemned grievously for financing companies in Cuba (an island that is Wall Street’s, the Mafia’s, and thus the government of the USA’s nemesis).

Financing companies in Cuba is legal in Europe. After all, Cuba is not viewed as a rogue nation by the United Nations.

Blatant, massive, astronomically large financing by plutocrats for all to see is basically unlawful worldwide, except in the USA…. The world most hidden, and largest, tax-haven (but only a haven for the hyper rich, because not everybody can afford an anonymous company set-up!)

Sarkozy is charged with corruption. This is a very serious charge in France. The last time this happened to a French politician (MP-Mayor of Grenoble, Carignon), he went to jail for four long years (among other punishments).

Sarkozy declared that he had been “humiliated“. And so it is for nearly anyone who has to do with “justice”. And yes, it’s not always “just”. Far from it. And yes, there should be more safeguards against the power of the state, as “liberals” have said for 26 centuries.

But, when he had the power, Sarkozy used, and abused, it. Enjoy.

Patrice Ayme

Why Are Americans So Primitive?

July 1, 2014

Paul Handover, from Learning From Dogs, a commentator of this site asks: “Your essay, Patrice, clearly depicts your views towards Western religions but here’s a question: why do so many Americans embrace Christianity in what one might describe as almost a fundamentalist manner? For such a forward-looking nation in so many ways, this aspect has puzzled me for some time.”

Both aspects are related, the religious primitivism, and the charge forward. Metaphysics, like other things meta, is primarily to address down to Earth questions. Literally:

God Given! Let the USA Bless God. Alleluia.

God Given! Let the USA Bless God. Alleluia.

[Don’t You Ask How We Got All This.]

The USA is like a horse with blinds: it is forced by its masters to pull a heavy load, and devices around its head do not allow it to look sideways. Not looking around and questioning is fundamental. Sitting in a café’, and chewing the world for hours, is best done somewhere in Europe. Americans do not like to discuss the big issues as much: they are too close to “conspiracy theories”.

An all-encompassing philosophical attitude looks around too much, away from the task at hand. It would ask too many questions about the reigning plutocracy. The plutocrats do their best this not to happen. The USA functions like an empire driven by masters, and common people think accordingly.

The coming back of the Christian God in the USA, since the 1940s, corresponded to an enormous influx of cheap labor from (then) primitive areas of the world (say Mexico). The Latinos provided with cheap labor, but they have a strong family structure. Primitive Christianism is a proven recipe to keep them down (just ask the Conquistadores).

In 1954, “IN GOD WE TRUST” was made the motto of the USA, and enforced in public schools in many states (not Hawai’i).  So now we have a president who asks God to bless the USA, as if he were the Pope, urbi et orbi.

I have written numerous essays on the connection between the Bible, where God Himself conducts holocausts, and the barbarity of the first three centuries of occupation of North American by English speaking Europeans. Whereas in Spain, Charles Quint, as early as 1550 CE, ordered to stop holocausts in the Americas, such an order to stop the massacre, was never given in the territory that was going to become the USA.

The result can be contemplated in the Brazil football world cup: whereas the Central American football teams (Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras) are genetically mixed with Indian genetic stock, there is not one speck of Indian facial trait in Team USA.

A successful holocaust is not conducive to introspection. Especially when one enjoys its fruits every day.

But let’s look at it from a different angle. Obama named a commission to look into the disappearance of the bees. Well, there is no need to do this: the factors are well known, including nicotinoid insecticides.

So the leadership of the USA is playing stupid, to gain time for those who make and use such nicotinoids: playing dumb has its uses to gain time. After slavery was officially outlawed at the end of the Secession War, in December 1865, racism kept on going strong in the USA. Obsessing about the Christian God, allowed not to notice that: how could people obsessed by becoming good, be bad?

After all, the Bible is racist enough to endorse any tribal excess: it’s all about the Chosen People (whom Hitler chose for a perversely inverted special treatment).  The myths of the Bible, such as the “city on a hill”, and, of course, the chosen people, in this case, the Pale Faces, was to rule what was obviously the Promised Land.

Naivety can be brutally effective. And it’s not always wrong.

Minds in the USA are concentrated on achieving practical tasks. Instead of remaking the world in their head, the world is God-given.

So citizens of the USA work, and work, and never, ever, contest the established order seriously.

That’s why you will never see Paul Krugman contest deeply the banking system. Quite the opposite: he wants central banks to send it ever more money.

Paul is practical: he camps on popular positions. That makes him the most popular blogger for progressives on BOTH sides of the Atlantic (so Americanization is progressing, even among self-proclaimed progressives!)

Popular now, sure, but a future dwarf, not to say flea, in the history of thought.

All and any Americans are deeply uncomfortable when one makes deep critiques against “their” system. I had a rich, highly successful architect with plenty of skyscraper under construction, become red in the face, when he accused me of wanting to change the Constitution of the USA, and that never, ever, any reasonable American would take me seriously. Never mind that dozens of European countries change their Constitutions continually. In the USA, it’s the proverbial “third rail”, where all the electricity goes through. He never invited me again, an experience I had too many times to bother counting them.

Challenging the system, in a country such as France, for at least three centuries (after Louis XIV croaked), has been seen as the most interesting exercise (except for when the humor-less Robespierre and Napoleon ruled). In the USA, it’s viewed as a personal threat (by all too many).

Americans come from all over the world. Only very strict simplifying principles keep their minds compatible with each other. At least, so all too many of them feel.

Yesterday I was swimming in a lake in California. It has a small official “Swim Area”, watched over by no less than four official would-be rescuers armed with loud speakers. Going outside is “Against The Law”, although deprived of danger.  Other arcane laws apply: a five year old child, going out of such and such a particular limit, within the “Swim Area”, exposes the accompanying parent(s) to a $300 fine.

Being “Against the Law” is even more important than God, in the USA. Some laws seem set-up, just to test whether one will respect the “Against The Law” Principle. Those who do not respect that Principle are “outlaws”, and definitively not felt to be socially acceptable.

As this happened in Berkeley, a supposedly rebellious, flower power town, if there ever was one in the USA, some swimmers braved the interdiction, and were soon yelled at through the loudspeakers by adolescents a third their age, threatening them with the long arm of the law.

(Unsurprisingly, old foggies from the 1960s tend to be more rebellious than the youth whose parents were raised by Reagan; so, all too often, the enforcers are young, the old disobedient.)

As in all good American movies, the cavalry was called to the rescue against the terrorists. Black uniformed police officers swarmed the edges of the lake. A police helicopter flew low overhead, barking out orders. Never mind the budget crisis. Never mind this is a narrow 300 meters deep valley adorned with giant eucalyptuses and towering redwoods.

What is important, is to demonstrate how important law and order is in the USA. “Shock and Awe” will be applied. If the helicopter crashes, the rogue swimmers will be no doubt charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Order starts with God. The God that gave the “Promised Land” to the “Chosen People” is best. He has proven his worth by killing millions, emptying continents, and torturing David’s son to death, because his father had not respected the law of God. The law of God is now applied to European banks and Argentina, bankrupting them all, empowering and enriching Americans some more, proving how this metaphysics of brutal  primitivism is all worthwhile.

Let Obama conclude: “God bless the United States of America!” OK, children! Now that we are done with philosophy, back to work!

Patrice Aymé

Rosalind Franklin: Be A Blossom Of Wisdom

June 29, 2014

Rosalind Franklin, born in Notting Hill, London, was from a wealthy Jewish British family. Armed with a PhD, she spent nearly 5 years studying X ray technique in Paris. Back in Cambridge, she made a succession of discoveries, including the double helix structure of DNA.

Franklin died at the age of 38, a victim from ovarian cancer. I would venture to say that it is likely she got the disease from her work with radiation (as Nobels Marie and Irene Curie clearly did).

Rosalind, 4 Years After Elucidating the Double Helix

Rosalind, 4 Years After Elucidating the Double Helix

Is the human condition a vacation from nothingness? We live, and, in the long run, we die. So what do we live for? Fundamentally, because life is what animals are, that’s what they do. Yet, humans know they will evaporate. So, in their case, there is more: an esthetical choice.

They know their lives, in a way, are gratuitous acts. All proportion kept, they are like those insects who fly around just one day. Humans are erased as they die. The God illusion was invented to deny this. Yet, increasingly, most people do not believe in it, and never did.

So what to live for?

For eons, people learned all they could, and the best were called Shamans. They tried to transmit the knowledge and stories to their (spiritual) descendants. For at least 50,000 years, that process, a continual re-invention of the human condition, ruled. It was no doubt achingly painful for shamans to transmit the wisdom, before they died, and see it all slip back.

Visible progress accelerated only with the invention of civilization, herding and agriculture (in which order is not too clear; wolves certainly came first, at least 50,000 years ago, at least that’s my Neanderthal wolf theory).

Nowadays have writing. Writing was painfully evolved over the eons, and started with painting and other pictorial representations (as Robinson imagines in his book linked to above). We cannot just examine our existence, nowadays, but also the past.

“The results suggest a helical structure (which must be very closely packed) containing probably 2, 3 or 4 coaxial nucleic acid chains per helical unit and having the phosphate groups near the outside.” — Rosalind Franklin, official report, February 1952.

Franklin’s two manuscripts on the double helix DNA reached Acta Crystallographica in Copenhagen on 6 March 1953, one day before Watson & Crick completed their model saying what she wrote months prior.

The details on how Franklin made the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA are complex. The guy who stole her work, to give it to Watson and Crick, Wilkins, had suggested an helix. He probably wanted to exact vengeance on Franklin, who he viewed, erroneously, as having stolen the show, and a PhD student of his. Franklin was actually acting under orders from the head of the lab, who did not bother to warn Wilkins. Wilkins stole Franklin’s famous Photograph 51, and gave it secretly to Watson & Crick.

People who had stolen Rosalind Franklin’s work, were published first in the magazine Nature, although her earlier discoveries were fundamental (to the thieves). The thieves got the Nobel after her death, and insulted her, post mortem, just to make sure that their forfeiture would reign unchallenged (by the same way, in recent years, Watson was widely condemned for racist theories: nastiness is a way of life).

Grotesquely, but tellingly, the Nobels don’t mention prior discoverers. So Franklin was ignored. That makes this Nobel prize a tool of manipulative conspiracies, from the usual suspects. Just as Copernic and Newton are attributed discoveries that were made centuries EARLIER, not mentioning deceased discoverers allow to mangle the history of systems of thought, in arcane, but efficient ways.

That despicable tradition was (slightly) changed for the egregious case of the so called Higgs particle; a prior Belgian discoverer, by then deceased, was mentioned. But the particle is still called a Higgs, because Anglo-American white males are supposed to be dominant in most ways intellectual… Thus in all other ways.

Raping women is an old tradition, most fruitful.

A French professor called, Lejeune, a Catholic fanatic close to John Paul II was the guy who stole credit for discovering trisomy 21. Sleazy behavior like that qualifies automatically for sainthood in the Catholic church. It’s an old tradition started by the killing of Hypatia, an Egyptian female Einstein of 16 centuries ago, by Saint Cyril and his rape murdering sadistic goons.

So Lejeune was fast-tracked for sainthood. Unfortunately for the sleaze ball, his victim, differently from Franklin is still alive (although 88 years old, and having, as she says, better things to do than fighting for recognition, but viewing as a duty to set the record straight ).

The real discoverer of the chromosomal anomaly was a woman, Marthe Gautier, who had done all the cell work that led to the identification of the supplementary chromosome. She had learned in Harvard some ways of manipulating cells, and brought her knowledge back to Paris. She got a bit of space, some rudimentary equipment, and cultured cells using serum derived from her own blood. The same story happened as with Franklin: her pictures were stolen, and Lejeune presented them as his own.

That controversy was well known, so the Nobel committee did not attribute a Nobel for that major discovery, the first explicit roll-out of a genetic abnormality, and its exact mechanism.

It helped that all the discoverers, real or imaginary, were French: one of the missions of the Nobels is to prove the superiority of Anglo-American thinking, and thus of Vulture Funds over Argentina. Hence all the caviar in Manhattan.

Hey, corrupt Nobel clowns! Marthe Gautier is still alive! What about rewarding her, finally? It would be encouraging to all the women out there, who work hard in matters intellectual. Or, at least, it would make you look less corrupt with power and influence.

Here is a letter of Rosalind Franklin to Ellis Franklin, her father. It has no date, possibly summer 1940 whilst Rosalind was an undergraduate at Cambridge University.

“You look at science (or at least talk of it) as some sort of demoralising invention of man, something apart from real life, and which must be cautiously guarded and kept separate from everyday existence. But science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated. Science, for me, gives a partial explanation for life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.”

Rosalind lived like a thinking rose. It’s the best choice we all have. The best metaphysics worth having. We are all roses, and may as well make beauty, the beauty of minds well blossomed, the pinnacle of creation.

Patrice Aymé

Demonic Empire & Bliss

June 27, 2014

Traditionally, there are those who are for empire, and those who are against it. Also there are those who distinguish good empires (the Athenian empire, the French “mission civilisatrice”; English Commonwealth) from the disgusting ones (say UK’s anti-Boer South Africa), to the very bad ones (plutocrat Leopold II’s Heart of Darkness Congo), or the outright demonic ones (the Kaiser’s holocaustic Namibia).

However, Manicheism goes only that far. I am going to suggest a completely different form of analysis, and approach, to the concept of empire.

An empire has subjects, just as a predator has preys. This is the conventional view. And, yet, it contains its own overcoming. Indeed, just as there is a mathematical entanglement between predator and prey, there is a philosophical entanglement between an empire and its subjects.

Good Empires Rest On Holy Wisdom; Ἁγία Σοφία, Constantinopolis

Good Empires Rest On Holy Wisdom; Ἁγία Σοφία, Constantinopolis

“Imperium” depicted initially the absolute, life-and-death ordering capability from top Roman generals. (Roman “emperors” inherited that capability, as they were always the commanders in chief, at least on paper.)

To this day, an empire is supposed to be all about a few ordering the many (thus, intrinsically “fascist”). Yet, even this Roman military root is endowed with subtlety: imperium does not reduce to fascism.

Why? The semiotics of fascism is, fundamentally, not just about the many being strong by tying up together. It’s about the law, and the law is absolute: Dura Lex, Sed Lex (Law Hard, But Law).  So the many are tied by an absolute.

Roman generals were obeyed absolutely, only when they inspired an aura of absolutism, that only vertiginous respect could confer them.

A professional special force killer was sent to assassinate Marius (seven times Consul, who triumphed in Africa over Jugurtha, and Gaul, Piedmont over invading Germans). He found the elder Marius in a room. Marius, unafraid, addressed the would be-assassin with his stentorian voice: ”Soldier, are you going to kill your general?”. Trembling, excusing himself, the assassin fled, and Marius’ enemies gave up on the notion of killing their all too respected foe.

In other words, imperium worked best when the soldiers loved their generals. After all, soldiers were armed to the teeth, trained to kill, and not to fear death. Generals need to be loved, the law does not. So imperium is an intrinsically milder notion than fascism.

Thus it’s not enough to say there are good empires, and bad ones. More generally, there are good empire-subject entanglements, and bad, unjust ones. It’s not all about just about the empire, it’s also about the subjects, and it’s also about the interactions of the one, with the others. Moreover those entanglements can be asymmetric.

Let me give an example. The Roman empire was the ultimate empire. Arguably, it’s going on, stronger than ever, 27 centuries after its founding (long story). For at least a millennium, the Romans interacted with the Celts, Jews, Egyptians, Greeks and Mesopotamians.

It was the same Roman empire, however, the outcomes were very different, and drastic differences are reflected to this day: the West became Rome, and Mesopotamia is still wrecked by war without end. By far the most complex interaction was with the Celto-Germans. It was pretty much antipodal to what happened with the Jews and the Mesopotamians, and, one can even claim, with the Greeks.

In Mesopotamia, and against the Iranians, Rome and its successor regime (“Constantinople”) struggled in vain for seven centuries. Nothing came out of it, except so much morbidity that, in the end, the Arabs overwhelmed both Persia and most of Rome.

The Jews, or rather, domineering Jewish fanatics, who made no sense whatsoever, in two formidably suicidal wars, rejected Rome. The first of these killed a million Jews, much of the population of Israel, then. It started by the cold blooded killing, inside Jerusalem, of 600 legionnaires of the Roman garrison. The strategic objective was unclear, and soon at least three Jewish factions were fighting each other, to death besides engaging the Romans.

The Romans had a sense of humor, and catapulted thousands of pig heads inside Jerusalem (I presume that they let them rot carefully first). On the less amusing side, the legions devastated forests throughout the region to build gigantic works for the siege of the holy city.

Egypt did not care about Rome one way or another. That mood of pragmatic indifference was contagious: while the titanic struggle of the Judaic War unfolded, just over the horizon, the hundreds of thousands of Jews in Alexandria did not raise the smallest protest.

Greece had been severely mistreated by the plutocratic Roman Senate, by 146 CE: Corinth was destroyed as a warning that republican independence of Greek City-States will not be tolerated. That was mass terrorism, and it marked Greece for centuries to come, as intended. Greek democracy did not recover, until the EU chased out the pro-Washington dictatorship, 21 centuries later.

And then there were the Celts and the Germans.  Those were not united, they relished their complicated world. They had adopted many traits of Greek civilization, even before the Romans showed up. Their metallurgy was second to none, and a major export to Rome. Ultimately, after 16 centuries of tragi-comedy, and all sorts of happenstance, the Celto-Germans became Rome (officially, in 800 CE).

It’s actually a curious thing: after a terrible war when Caesar intervened (Caesar was accused by some in the Senate and some historians, to have caused much of the problem), nothing anti-Roman ever happened again in Gallia. Even when the so called Gallic Empire ruled, later, it was not to reject Rome, but to improve it.

Differently from what had happened in Greece, the Romans did not rule Gaul through terror (although the war with Caesar had killed and enslaved millions, it had been a very complicated, messy affair, nothing like the cold blooded holocaust at Corinth) . Far from it. Even Latin was not imposed. In the Fifth Century the bishop of Lugdunum (= Lyon) preached in Celtic. Latin replaced Celtic completely, well after the legions were gone (that happened in 400 CE, a decision of Rome, taken when, for budgetary reasons, Rome put the Franks in charge of defending the two Germania and Gallia). Phasing out the three Celtic languages happened when the Franks, who came to rule Gaul completely in the early Sixth Century, completely gave up their own Low Countries German for Latin.

The Celto-Germano-Greco-Roman civilization became a symbiosis ruled by the Franks. Why a community of minds there, and not with Israel, or Mesopotamia? It’s obviously an explanation that involves many factors. The Celto-Germans and the Greco-Romans had a very long story, with fair intellectual trade, in both directions: by the time Caesar showed up, that intense trade was at least a millennium old. The Roman army was equipped with Celtic metal works for centuries.

Celts and Romans had important principles in common, like a quasi-religious dislike for kings, and, certainly, hatred of tyranny. This dislike was so strong that Armanius (Hermann) a once-Roman officer who treacherously annihilated Roman general Varus and his three legions (plus supporting troops, and fellow travellers), was later killed by fellow rebels for behaving, it was alleged, like a king.

Yet, as Rome became a fascist dictatorship, the Germans became more sympathetic to fascism, and kingship. Clovis, elected king of the Franks, his father, Roman imperator Childeric I, and his grandfather Merovius. Thus, Western Europe (or, at least, the elements if Western Europe which came to re-establish an empire) was pretty much evolving as one mental unit.

Such bliss of a common spirituality was not shared in the Middle East. The Jewish God symbolized tyranny made divine. Persians and Mesopotamians needed to kneel abjectly to all the plutocrats they could find. Lack of water had led the civilization of the Middle East to dictatorship. The hydraulic dictatorship (Fernand Braudel) implied “Oriental Despotism” (Karl Marx).  Fascism, cruel and demented, the “Right of Sword”.

Darius, who fought from Ethiopia to Ukraine, exhibited a clear case of the “Right of the Sword”. That existing mood was embraced 11 centuries later in the Qur’an. Unbelievably, the Sword is still festering today: arguing for the Right Of The Sword, Arab plutocrats are agitating, in 2014, to have Justinian’s Cathedral, Ἁγία Σοφία, “Holy Wisdom“,now a museum, been converted again to a mosque, so that the depiction of the real world represented therein be covered up again, as reality offends Islam.

This is an example of the persistence of moods and systems of ideas. Cynics will also point out that their genesis, namely the desert, only got worse.

Well, whatever: if we understand the situation, we can probably fix it. No empire, no law. Thus it remains to make the empire good.

Today the European Empire’s 28 heads of state approved Jean-Claude Junkers as head of the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch). The European Parliament is widely expected to elect Junkers next week. The 28 elected chiefs used the occasion to sign on the Free Trade and Association Treaty with Ukraine and Moldavia. Justly unsatisfied by this slap to Putin, they also sent Vlad the Impaler, back in Moscow, an ultimatum. Yes, an ultimatum. Electing the head of the EC is a furthering of democracy in the European empire. But democracy is naught, if it can’t bite.

The 28 EU leaders demanded that separatists return border checkpoints, release hostages and start talks to implement a peace plan drawn up by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko by June 30. Failure to do so will result in “further significant restrictive measures” against Russia.

Vlad The Invader has three days to obey. It may be time for him to remember what happened when his preceding supporter of minorities through annexations, Adolf Hitler, refused to obey. Unbelievably, France persuaded Britain to declare war.

Wisdom without doom is only gloom.

Patrice Aymé

Fascism As Esthetics: Celebritism

June 25, 2014

CELEBRITIES ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM TO BE

Apparently bitten by the critique that he spends his time pleasing the enemy, Paul Krugman, insists that he is no crude man. In an apparently unrelated situation, hedge fund billionaire Milner a Multiverse fanatic, has attributed his enormous three million dollar prize in mathematics and biology.

What’s the connection? Celebritism. Krugman is afraid to contradict celebrities, Milner is anxious to spread celebritism to (some) top scientists. Celebritism is the sugar around the bitter pill of oligarchism.

Spain's Motto [Alcatraz]. Want Progress? Plus Oultre!

Spain’s Motto [Alcatraz].
Want Progress? Plus Oultre!

Krugman: Jared Bernstein agonizes over the role of wonkish analysis (which spell-check keeps trying to change to “monkish”) in a political environment in which “facts and smart policy are on the run.” It’s something I worry about too.

On one side, if wonks don’t point out what we really should be doing, who will?…

On the other hand, if wonks only propose things that won’t happen, what good are they?”

It seems that Krugman does not understand that, where there is a will, there is a way. Reciprocally, if there is no will, there is no way. To propose strategies that could, and ought, be willed, eschews him.

Indeed  the case for real progress has to be made stridently, and repeatedly. Indeed Obamacare is much better than a hard vacuum, but now it’s the law, so really drastic progress ought to be proposed instead of crowing constantly about how good Obamacare is. If I want to hear crows, I go on a walk. Even Obama wants people such as Krugman to push for the right ideas.

Whereas “politics is the teaching of the possible” (Die Politik ist die Lehre vom Möglichen; Otto Von Bismarck, author of Universal Health Care in the Kaiserreich, 1883 CE), the art of the critic ought to be to present strongly what ought to be willed. Critics are not in charge of sausage making… (See Note on the “art of the next best“.)

By just presenting to the masses what is OK with the Tea Party, one becomes Tea Party. When the democrats were in total control in the first few weeks of Obama’s first ascent, they made constantly the Tea Party case, showing their true nature (somewhat on the right of Hank Paulson, who had to go on his knees just a few weeks earlier to persuade Nancy the Plutocrat Pelosi to save the economic system!)

Where there is no belligerence, there is no esperance. Wonks conk, monks honk.

Says Columbia U. mathematical physicist Peter Woit, from “Not Even Wrong”:

“The first set of winners of the $3 million Milner/Zuckerberg financed Breakthrough Prizes in mathematics was announced today: it’s Donaldson, Kontsevich, Lurie, Tao and Taylor. There’s a good New York Times story here.

When these prizes were first announced last year, I was concerned that they would share a problem of Milner’s Fundamental Physics Prizes… One oddity is the award to Kontsevich, who already received $3 million from the Fundamental Physics prize. Given my interests, I suppose I shouldn’t criticize a prize structure where physicists get $3 million, mathematicians $3 million, and mathematical physicists $6 million.

While this prize doesn’t suffer from the basic problem of the Physics prize (that of rewarding a single, narrow, unsuccessful idea about physics), it’s still debatable whether this is a good way to encourage mathematics research. The people chosen are already among the most highly rewarded in the subject, with all of them having very well-paid positions with few responsibilities beyond their research, as well as access to funding of research expenses. The argument for the prize is mainly that these sums of money will help make great mathematicians celebrities, and encourage the young to want to be like them…”

My comment (immediately published by Woit, whereas the New York Times sat on my Krugman comment for hours, since I am on the censorship list):

Milner is a celebrity. And a financial manipulator who became immensely wealthy with what Roosevelt and the Bible called contemptuously “money changing”. He profited immensely of a system, plutocracy, that is mostly about oligarchy pushed so far, that even the character of those “leaders” become diabolical.

It’s diabolical to make us believe that mathematics will progress more by giving more power to those who have more than enough to do good math.

Overall, science and mathematics do not have enough practitioners. A striking example is antibiotic research where a small effort needs to be done to find new antibiotics. To have a few individuals who are much richer will have no positive effect whatsoever. This is certainly true in math and physics.

In biology, immense greed has clearly undermined research (individuals have made up to half a billion dollar a year in that field, but one cannot find the comparatively modest finance for new antibiotics research). Making a few persons very rich promotes greed.

So why is Milner doing this? Maybe it’s subconscious. The oligarchic principle is that humanity is unworthy, but for a few celebrities who never get enough. This is what Milner is truly rewarding. His reason for being what he is. Someone obsessed by individual power.

Want to help science and math? Finance studies on how to persuade governments to finance enough advanced public free instruction in science and math, starting in preschool. Through heavy taxation of the richest celebrities, starting with Milner and his kind.

The very fact that Milner and his ilk have so much money to spend on celebrities demonstrate that they are not taxed enough. (The same goes for private jumbo jets a la Google founders.)

Celebritism makes people obsess about one not themselves. It’s deeply immoral: if our ancestors had obsessed about other people that they never met, they would have been eaten by lions pretty soon. But we are here, so they were not like that.

“Moral”, the “mores” means what is always “more”, what persists, what allows to persist. The celebrity cult, just as watching obsessively sports, or dance, on TV, is a deep offense against self-reliance. Such anti-evolutionary behaviors ought to be discontinued.

Part of the fundamental concept of fascism, is to make one, out of the many. This is great in combat, yet devastating for the collective mind. Celebritism is a pernicious way to make people obsessively love the reduction of the many to the one. Thus, it’s immoral.

Down with the prizes! Long live Gregory Perelman. Perelman solved several conjectures, including the Thurston and Poincaré), but adamantly refused the Fields Medal and the Clay Prize (one million dollars). Perelman had strong moral objections to the hierarchy in mathematics. So do I. So does Alexandre Grothendieck. Milner’s clumsy intrusion makes a bad situation worse. And Krugman’s meek bleating for the status quo ante to defend that ugly concept, pragmatism, does not behoove true intellectuals.

Plus Oultre!

Patrice Aymé

Note on the “art of the next best“: Krugman made a whole noise about the fact that his choice, and that there is a whole body of economics about that. The problem is that this is NOT principled. This is the art of the “corsaire”. “Corsaire”? Yes, corsaire, in French. What Krugman does not tell you, probably because he does not even know, is that this whole body of thinking (including “corsaire”, in French), comes very explicitly from Otto Von Bismarck. In other words, this mode of thinking, unprincipled, led to catastrophe. Bismarck, a polyglot, invented the “art of the next best“. Without knowing it, Krugman thinks like a Prussian imperialist.


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