Archive for October, 2013

FINITE CALCULUS

October 31, 2013

If we want to get real smart, we will have to let no reason unturned. Foundations of calculus have been debated for 23 centuries (from Archimedes to the 1960s’ Non Standard Analysis). I cut the Gordian knot in a way never seen before. Nietzsche claimed he “made philosophy with a hammer”, I prefer the sword. Watch me apply it to calculus.

I read in the recent (2013) MIT book “The Outer Limits Of Reason” published by a research mathematician that “all of calculus is based on the modern notions of infinity” (Yanofsky, p 66). That’s a widely held opinion among mathematicians.

Yet, this essay demonstrates that this opinion is silly.

Instead, calculus can be made, just as well, in finite mathematics.

This is not surprising: Fermat invented calculus around 1630 CE, while Cantor made a theory of infinity only 260 years later. That means calculus made sense without infinity. (Newton used this geometric calculus, which is reasonable… with any reasonable function; it’s rendered fully rigorous for all functions by what’s below… roll over Weierstrass… You all, people, were too smart by half!)

If one uses the notion of Greatest Number, all computations of calculus have to become finite (as there is only a finite number of numbers, hey!).

The switch to finitude changes much of mathematics, physics and philosophy. Yet, it has strictly no effect on computation with machines, which, de facto, already operate in a finite universe.

In the first part, generalities on calculus, for those who don’t know much; can be skipped by mathematicians. Second part: original contribution to calculus (using high school math!).

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WHAT’S CALCULUS?

Calculus is a non trivial, but intuitive notion. It started in Antiquity by measuring fancy (but symmetric) volumes. This is what Archimedes was doing.

In the Middle Ages, it became more serious. Shortly after the roasting of Johanne’ d’Arc, southern French engineers invented field guns (this movable artillery, plus the annihilation of the long bow archers, is what turned the fortunes of the South against the London-Paris polity, and extended the so called “100 year war” by another 400 years). Computing trajectories became of the essence. Gunners could see that Buridan had been right, and Aristotle’s physics was wrong.

Calculus allowed to measure the trajectory of a canon ball from its initial speed and orientation (speed varies from speed varying air resistance, so it’s tricky). Another thing calculus could do was to measure the surface below a curve, and relate curve and surface. The point? Sometimes one is known, and not the other. Higher dimensional versions exist (then one relates with volumes).

Thanks to the philosopher and captain Descartes, inventor of algebraic geometry, all this could be put into algebraic expressions.

Example: the shape of a sphere is known (by its definition), calculus allows to compute its volume. Or one can compute where the maximum, or an inflection point of a curve is, etc.

Archimedes made the first computations for simple cases like the sphere, with slices. He sliced up the object he wanted, and approximated its shape by easy-to-compute slices, some bigger, some smaller than the object itself (now they are called Riemann sums, from the 19C mathematician, but they ought to be called after Archimedes, who truly invented them, 22 centuries earlier). As he let the thickness of the slices go to zero, Archimedes got the volume of the shape he wanted.

As the slices got thinner and thinner, there were more and more of them. From that came the idea that calculus NEEDED the infinite to work (and by a sort of infection, all of mathematics and logic was viewed as having to do with infinity). As I will show, that’s not true.

Calculus also allows to introduce differential equations, in which a process is computed from what drives its evolution.

Fermat demonstrated the fundamental theorem of calculus: the integral was the surface below a curve, differentiating that integral gives the curve back; otherwise said, differentiating and integrating are inverse operations of each other (up to constants).

Arrived then Newton and Leibnitz. Newton went on with the informal, intuitive Archimedes-Fermat approach, what one should call the GEOMETRIC CALCULUS. It’s clearly rigorous enough (the twisted examples one devised in the nineteenth century became an entire industry, and graduate students in math have to learn them. Fermat, Leibnitz and Newton, though, would have pretty much shrugged them off, by saying the spirit of calculus was violated by this hair splitting!)

Leibnitz tried to introduce “infinitesimals”. Bishop Berkeley was delighted to point out that these made no sense. It would take “Model Theory”, a discipline from mathematical logic, to make the “infinitesimals” logically consistent. However the top mathematician Alain Connes is spiteful of infinitesimals, stressing that nobody could point one out. However… I have the same objection for… irrational numbers. Point at pi for me, Alain… Well, you can’t. My point entirely, making your point irrelevant.

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FINITUDE

Yes, Alain Connes, infinitesimals cannot be pointed at. Actually, there are no points in the universe: so says Quantum physics. The Quantum says: all dynamics is waves, and waves point only vaguely.

However, Alain, I have the same objection with most numbers used in present day mathematics. (Actually  the set of numbers I believe exist has measure zero relative to the set of so called “real” numbers, which are anything but real… from my point of view!).

As I have explained in GREATEST NUMBER, the finite amount of energy at our disposal within our spacetime horizon reduces the number of symbols we can use to a finite number. Once we have used the last symbol, there is nothing anymore we can say. At some point, the equation N + 1 cannot be written. Let’s symbolize by # the largest number. Then 1/# is the smallest number. (Actually (# – 1)/# is the fraction with the largest components.)

Thus, there are only so many symbols one can actually use in the usual computation of a derivative (as computers know well).  Archimedes could have used only so many slices. (The whole infinity thing started with Zeno and his turtle, and the ever thinner slices of Archimedes; the Quantum changes the whole thing.)

Let’s go concrete: computing the derivative of x -> xx. it’s obtained by taking what the mathematician Cauchy, circa 1820, called the “limit” of the ratio: ((x + h) (x + h) – xx)/h. Geometrically this is the slope of the line through the point (x, xx) and (x + h, (x + h) (x + h)) of the x -> xx curve. That’s (2x + h). Then Cauchy said: “Let h tend to zero, in the limit h is zero, so we find 2x.”  In my case, h can only take a number of values, increasingly smaller, but they stop. So ultimately, the slope is 2x + 1/#. (Not, as Cauchy had it, 2x.)

Of course, the computer making the computation itself occupies some spacetime energy, and thus can never get to 1/# (as it monopolizes some of the matter used for the symbols). In other words, as far as any machine is concerned, 1/# = 0! In other words, 1/# is… infinitesimal.

This generalizes to all of calculus. Thus calculus is left intact by finitude.

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Patrice Ayme

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Note: Cauchy, a prolific and major mathematician, but also an upright fanatic Catholic, who refused to take an oath to the government, for decades, condemning his career, would have found natural to believe in infinity… the latter being the very definition of god.

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Arctic Heating Up

October 30, 2013

Colorado University Boulder got more than one Nobel Prize in physics, and specializes in climate (because of NCAR). A new study shows unprecedented warmth in the Arctic. Here is part of CU Boulder press release, October 23, 2013:

“The heat is on, at least in the Arctic.

Average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic during the last 100 years are higher now than during any century in the past 44,000 years and perhaps as long ago as 120,000 years, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Arctic Cordillera Ice For 120,000 Years. Now Melting

Arctic Cordillera Ice For 120,000 Years. Now Melting

The study is the first direct evidence the present warmth in the Eastern Canadian Arctic exceeds the peak warmth there in the Early Holocene, when the amount of the sun’s energy reaching the Northern Hemisphere in summer was roughly 9 percent greater than today, said CU-Boulder geological sciences Professor Gifford Miller, study leader.”

[The Holocene is the geological epoch that began after much of Earth’s last glacial period ended roughly 11,700 years ago and which continues today. the cause of the spectacular warming then is fully understood; it had to do with Northern Hemisphere’ summers receiving more sunlight, due to a combination of various characteristics of the Earth orbit, which was very different from today; then the Sun was closest to Earth in Northern summer, whereas now it’s in January or so, etc.]

“Miller and his colleagues used dead moss clumps emerging from receding ice caps on Baffin Island as tiny clocks.  At four different ice caps, radiocarbon dates show the mosses had not been exposed to the elements since at least 44,000 to 51,000 years ago.

Since radiocarbon dating is only accurate to about 50,000 years and because Earth’s geological record shows it was in a glaciation stage prior to that time, the indications are that Canadian Arctic temperatures today have not been matched or exceeded for roughly 120,000 years, Miller said. [It is know that there was a short very warm episode then, due to orbital positions again.]

“The key piece here is just how unprecedented the warming of Arctic Canada is…the warming we are seeing is outside any kind of known natural variability, and it has to be due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.” said Miller.

Miller and his colleagues compiled the age distribution of 145 radiocarbon-dated plants in the highlands of Baffin Island that were exposed by ice recession. All samples were collected within one meter of the ice caps, which recede by 2 to 3 meters a year. “The oldest radiocarbon dates were a total shock to me,” said Miller.

[For how Carbon 14 dating works, see note.]

To find summer heat higher than in at least 44,000 years is, philosophically, highly significant. It urges to try to find a scientific pattern of systematic data points supporting that picture globally.

The poles are expected to warm up enormously, with total disappearance of the ice. Indications are that Antarctica is not secularly stable above 440 ppm CO2. We are already above that in CO2 equivalent (that is, adding 400 ppm of CO2 to other man made greenhouse gases, as methane and those used in refrigeration).

In the Jurassic, and generally the whole dinosaur era (200 million to 65 million years ago), probably because of a lot of shallow seas (?), the planet was warm. There were crocodiles in Greenland and dinosaurs in Alaska and Antarctica (one does not know how they went through the 6 month night). At the time of the disappearance of various species 65 million years ago, the planet cooled down a lot, and species able to maintain a warm metabolism continuously (avian dinosaurs and mammals), or a cold metabolism for a long time (crocodilians, turtles, snakes, etc.) were left to rule.

We are injecting CO2 at such high rate that one can expect the added heat to warm up enormously the two cold places: the poles and the deep ocean.

Much noise is made about Antarctica’s ice cover augmenting. This is not completely true, and where it’s true, it was an expected consequence of warming.

First what’s not true: West Antarctica and the Antarctic peninsula are melting, and fast. Grass has actually appeared in the later, and flowering plants brought on scientists’ shoes have become a problem. Brace for agriculture in Antarctica.

Second what’s only superficially true: the energy of the winds around Antarctica, from a generalization of the Equipartition of Energy theorem, have augmented in speed. So winter ice spread far and wide more than it did before. In truth, there is less of it in volume.

Third what is true: warm air carries more moisture. Extremely cold air carries no moisture at all. That’s why elevated (up to 4,000 meters) East Antarctica is the driest place on Earth (hence one looks for meteorites there). East Antarctica is warming up, so the air carries more moisture, and since it’s still very cold, it snows more.

The potential for catastrophe is greater there; much of east Antarctica, under the enormous weight of the ice, is down to 200 meters below sea level. The margins of these deep basins are much less so, but they are often located at high latitudes (above the polar circle in Wilkes Land!).

So sea water could infiltrate and melt the continental ice from below (that’s how the Hudson Bay ice shield melted in a few decades; this phenomenon is already launched in West Antarctica, where the sea margin is advancing at one kilometer per year, at least).

The increasing injection of about 40 BILLION TONS of CO2 each year in the atmosphere is a large scale physics experiment. A natural change of 100 ppm takes 3,000 to 20,000 years. We have done more than that in a century. Atmospheric CO2 is at its highest level in 15 to 20 million years (Tripati 2009). During the Middle Miocene, temperatures were around 3 to 6 degrees Celsius warmer (12 Fahrenheit). The ocean was 25 to 40 meters higher than at present, with a density of CO2 similar to present levels.

But don’t worry: Obama’s golf is doing fine, his skin is brown, rejoice: you ‘ve got the change you can believe. All the more as the administration of the USA is doing its best to augment the production of fracking and freaking fossil fuels, while saving the coal industry by exporting all the coal possible to other countries. Something facilitated by new ports. Craftily, the administration has oriented the conversation towards the XL pipeline…. while the trains carrying all the fuel roll away in the night.    

The fossil fuel and gas production of the USA, the highest in the world, is twice that of Saudi Arabia at its peak. The CO2 craze, by shrinking vital space, the Lebensraum, guarantees a war of extermination. Is that the subconscious desire of the elite of the USA? What else? Just plain stupidity?

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Patrice Ayme

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Notes: Located west of Greenland, the 196,000-square-mile Baffin Island is the fifth largest island in the world.  Most of it lies above the Arctic Circle. The ice caps on the highlands of Baffin Island rest on flat terrain. They are remnants of the Laurentide iceshield, at least 28,000 years old. “Where the ice is cold and thin, it doesn’t flow, so the ancient landscape on which they formed is preserved pretty much intact,” said Miller.

Summer temperatures cooled in the Canadian Arctic by about 5 degrees Fahrenheit from roughly 5,000 years ago to about 100 years ago – a period that included the Little Ice Age from 1275 to about 1900.

“Although the Arctic has been warming since about 1900, the most significant warming in the Baffin Island region didn’t really start until the 1970s,” said Miller. “And it is really in the past 20 years that the warming signal from that region has been just stunning. All of Baffin Island is melting, and we expect all of the ice caps to eventually disappear, even if there is no additional warming.”

A 2012 study by Miller and colleagues using radiocarbon-dated mosses that emerged from under the Baffin Island ice caps and sediment cores from Iceland suggested that the trigger for the Little Ice Age was likely a combination of exploding tropical volcanoes – ejecting aerosols that reflected sunlight back into space – and a decrease in solar radiation (blatant from the reduction of sun spots, the multi-century Maunder Minimum).

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How does carbon dating work?

When the plants are alive, they take in carbon from the atmosphere (plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen). The atmosphere contains stable and unstable carbon. The unstable carbon decays away. However, collisions of carbon with cosmic rays (high-energy particles from the cosmos) fabricates unstable Carbon-14. Carbon 14’s nucleus has 6 protons and 8 neutrons, whereas Carbon 12, the stable form, has 6 of each.

Half of a set of carbon-14 nuclei decay in 5400 years. Half of the remainder will be gone by the time the next 5400 years have passed.

Once plants are covered by ice, they die, and their carbon 14 decays. One can tell , by looking at the ratio C14/C12 how much time has elapsed. However, so much C14 has decayed after about 50,000 years, one can’t tell what’s left.

United Stasi Of America?

October 29, 2013

The real boss at the CIA, Deputy Director Mike Morell, just retired. He looks fit, strong, nearly young. He was there 33 years. He also gave an interview to 60 minutes, Oct. 27. He concluded by telling what preoccupied him the most. The increasing division of society in the USA:

“What keeps me up at night is the inability of our government to make decisions that push out our economy and our society forward and one of the things that I learned looking at the world is that a country national security, any country national security is more dependent on the strength of its economy and the strength of its society than anything else.

We have change we can believe: ever more plutocracy. And this is the main enabler:

Leggy, Not Brainy

Leggy, Not Brainy

CIA Morell’s fear:For some reason I do not understand there has been a change. Both parties are at each others’ throats to score political points. I don’t know why that occurred, and I don’t have a good understanding of why it’s so don’t know how to fix that but that is what needs to be fixed.”

In these later remarks, Mr. Morell is naïve, I will show.

As I have pointed out many times, the reason the Kaiserreich attacked the world in 1914 was the extreme division of German society at the time, with an increasingly active socialist party (SPD) revolting against the reigning plutocrats.

What worries me the most is the ignorance of people and their ardor to accept the lies which are served to them. All sorts of Obamacrap are recent examples.

The USA is the only country in the world where citizens are forced to enter a contract with for-profit companies. (OK, I did not carefully consider Zimbabwe.) USA: United Slaves of America? Yes, for profit. This would not have happened in, say, France: millions would have got to the streets.

Even the Lords, in the Middle Ages, were not for profit.

In Switzerland, where a sort of Obamacrap exists, the “caisses” (insurance) are not for profit. Anyway the Swiss, squeezed by France (complicated story) are moving towards a French like health care.

According to the  New York Times, Obama himself directed strikes against civilians, using drones. That there were strikes against civilians who were obviously civilians, like repeated strikes against a grand-mother surrounded by grand children was detailed by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (survivors were interviewed thoroughly).

This sort of premeditated “signature” strikes has no antecedent. It’s fundamentally different from even the way Genghis Khan’s generals were conducting their massacres. Mongol generals were always at war for cause. They gave fair ultimata: “surrender, and live, or else!”.

The USA is not at war against Yemen, or Pakistan. Or, for that matter, Sudan (when Clinton destroyed a pharma plant there).

The truth is that the leaders of the USA have been conducting systematic lying to their own population. Bin Laden was a major deputy of the CIA. he was recruited by the CIA, and led to lead a major army in a war of aggression against the Socialist Republic of Afghanistan. Osama Bin Laden, a simple engineer and scion of plutocracy, came to hate his recruiters, not the least because they led him to commit crimes against civilians.   

All of this was buried by thick propaganda.

If the NSA records 70 million French conversation in 20 days, it’s not because the USA’s security would be at risk otherwise. It’s because people at the NSA are making money from it. They probably sell the information to the likes of Musk, Boeing, nuclear plant makers, helicopter companies, whoever. France has state of the art industries in aerospace, nuclear, composites… Or even less well known areas like power lithium polymer batteries, software, or advanced microchips.

In the case of Obamacare, Obama exerted his usual level of care, characterized by neither oversight nor foresight. I have written dozens of pages on what would happen, 4 years ago. it’s happening.

In the case of intelligence, as in the financial sector neither oversight nor foresight is also the rule.

When the simultaneous attacks in Benghazi against the USA consulate and a CIA base a mile distant happened, the Obama administration did nothing. After an hour had passed and the well planned Al Qaeda attack was fully on, personnel under attack was told help would not be coming.

“For the people who go out, on to the edge, to represent our country, we believe that if we get in trouble, they’re coming to get us, that our back is covered. To hear that it’s not, that’s a terrible, terrible experience.” [— Gregory Hicks, former deputy chief of mission in Libya, on “60 Minutes,” Oct. 27, 2013.]

Why did not the administration ask, for example, the French to intervene? Supersonic Rafales could have been on the scene within an hour. French jets have exhibited extreme targeting precision. They did not even try.

Like Obama did not even try to extent Medicare by giving it the power of full negotiation. He could do it tomorrow. It’s legal, it would save money, both to the state, and the country, it would make health care more accessible.

The chair of the Senate intelligence committee is California’s senior Senator, Dianne Feinstein. “It is my understanding that President Obama was not aware Chancellor Merkel’s communications were being collected since 2002,” Feinstein said. “That is a big problem. With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of US allies – including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany – let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,”

It is indeed a big problem. In 2010 the spying machinery comprised 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies in more than 10,000 locations in the United States. The USA intelligence community as a whole includes in particular 854,000 people holding top-secret clearances. In ten years and real dollars the budget has augmented by at least a third. And kept on augmenting briskly under unawares Obama.

Vice President Dick Cheney declared to CNN: “We do collect a lot of intelligence. Without speaking about any particular target or group of targets, that intelligence capability is enormously important to the United States, to our conduct in foreign policy, to defense matters, economic matters, and I’m a strong supporter of it,”

Translation: the USA is turning into the USSR. Case closed. As usual, the White House denied, but some of what it denied last week, now Feinstein herself says it’s the truth. And one does not spy on up to seven million French conversations a day of French economic actors without those economic reasons thieves have. The evidence is incontrovertible.

Obama has been going through his presidency, unawares. Or worse, claiming to be unawares. That was a big problem.

This was made possible because his supporters have been also unawares. Or claiming to be unaware. This was, and is, an even bigger problem. Instead of proposing immediately ways to progress positively, all they do, those pseudo-progressives, is to criticize the Tea Party, as if Obama were the president of the Tea Party.

The extreme right wing of the Republican Party is for No Government. Very bad, indeed. My question: how does that differ from Obama’s practice? So is Obama president of the Tea Party? Why not? Watch what they do, instead of listening to what they say they do. Before you scream, remember; a ten million dollar a year banker in Obama’s cabinet suggested sequestration. even the Tea Party did not dream of that one.

So let me help Mr. CIA, Mike Morell. In truth, there is just one party in the USA. The strife between the two parties is just theater, kabuki. In truth, there is just one party, the plutocratic party. This is what “being at each other’s throats” hides.  

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Patrice Ayme

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1) Morell also said “president” Karzai of Afghanistan got direct cash payments of 100 million dollars. His associates and family also got their own considerable payments. Well worth dying for.

2) Cheney also said: “When people say torture, that may be their opinion, but with respect to the attorneys and the lawyers that are charged with reviewing what we do, it was not torture. I don’t believe it was torture,” Well, I know some of these attorneys. I was actually invited for dinner at the home of the leading one, John Yoo. I believe Yoo is just criminally wrong, and mad a career of it. The Nazis also had lawyers and judges to justify all they did. Not many, but enough. (The worst of them unfortunately died in an air raid in February 1945, so there no trial of torturous justice. Unfortunately no one has arrested Yoo yet.)

WILL TO EXTERMINATION

October 27, 2013

[Dark Side I; the squeamish is invited to read something else.]

Jane Goodall, the fanatical Christian and do-gooder, was the leading chimpanzee ethologist. Her lesson number one, as she always insists, is that “chimpanzees are very much like us“. Paradoxically, the greatest discovery Goodall made was what I view as the deepest pillar of the Dark Side. The WILL TO EXTERMINATION. Roll over Nietzsche, and even Sade!

Nietzsche’s Will to Power should be controversial. Because, not only the likes of Caesar or Napoleon had evoked it, but there are other “Wills“. Obviously. And the most important “Will” had not been uncovered by Nietzsche. Or, come to think of it, by any major philosopher, so far. The Will To Extermination is the very core of the Dark Side. It has been ignored at humanity’s own peril.

War is Business. On the Extermination Path.

War is Business. On the Extermination Path.

[Chimpanzees are four to five times stronger than human beings; the latter surrendered power for dexterity, allowing to terrorize chimpanzees with superior weaponry.]

Sade had achieved a much better understanding, and he warned fellow revolutionaries that it was unwise to push the French revolution onto Europe by the force of arms… That it would all turn into what it turned into. Sade had a point one has to keep in mind (say in Syria).

Understanding that the Will to Extermination is a dominant emotion is a must for making progress in humanism. Keeping it in mind would have led humanity to question early on what the German “Reichs” were up to, or Lenin, Stalin, or Hitler, or many of today’s mass homicidal dictators. Or, more generally, what all plutocrats are up to. The Will To Extermination is the main interface of true plutocracy with the world.

Is that all there is to the Dark Side? Oh no. There is the “Will To Power”, sitting on the side. And there is more: emotional, not just rational, pointillism.

I had a dream. A rescue helicopter was landing in the thick forest next to my home. I had to recover my solar powered camera to immortalize the scene. However it was on the south side of the overhang of a giant cliff I knew very well. In my haste to recover the camera, I overlooked the fear that the cliff ought to have inspired, overshot the device, and found myself hanging from weeds above the enormous void. At that point, waking up seemed the only reasonable option left.

Lesson? People act on reduced emotional sets. In that particular case, the urge to get the device was the only thing considered. Similar reduced emotional sets were at the origin of the German attack in 1914, or the rise of the United Stasi of America, or Obamacrap Obamacare.

Thus, it’s not enough to consider e-motions (what moves), but also which emotions are operationally in command, in any given course of action.

Nietzsche explained in “Beyond Good & Evil”, that he wanted a unified cause, a Theory Of Everything psychological (are modern physicists taking themselves for Nietzsche?). That’s why Nietzsche promoted the Will To Power. That was rather a bid for infuriating oversimplification. Indeed, he himself admitted people thought with their guts, or stomach.

Indeed there is a Will to Drink, or one to fill one’s stomach. Or, more basic of all, there is a Will to Breathe (people can’t commit suicide by refusing to breathe; even under water, end by trying to breathe water).

Nietzsche himself also admitted that there was a “Will to Knowledge”. As it’s well known that curiosity killed the cat, it’s hard to see what kind of power, but for self destruction, the cat was after.

In other words, the silly Nietzsche himself had to admit that there is more to a brain than the desire to turn power on. Studies on Aplysia have confirmed this. Far from being the way Nietzsche thought, the essence of brains is non locality. That’s precisely why consciousness was evolved.

What is usually said is that Goodall discovered that chimpanzees made war. What I point out is why they make war. Here is a recent (2010) study in “Current Biology”:

Chimpanzees make lethal coalitionary attacks on members of other groups [1]. This behavior generates considerable attention because it resembles lethal intergroup raiding in humans [2]. Similarities are nevertheless difficult to evaluate because the function of lethal intergroup aggression by chimpanzees remains unclear. One prominent hypothesis suggests that chimpanzees attack neighbors to expand their territories and to gain access to more food [2]. Two cases apparently support this hypothesis, but neither furnishes definitive evidence. Chimpanzees in the Kasekela community at Gombe National Park took over the territory of the neighboring Kahama community after a series of lethal attacks [3]. Understanding these events is complicated because the Kahama community had recently formed by fissioning from the Kasekela group and members of both communities had been provisioned with food. In a second example from the Mahale Mountains, the M group chimpanzees acquired part of the territory of the adjacent K group after all of the adult males in the latter disappeared [4]. Although fatal attacks were suspected from observations of intergroup aggression, they were not witnessed, and as a consequence, this case also fails to furnish conclusive evidence. Here we present data collected over 10 years from an unusually large chimpanzee community at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. During this time, we observed the Ngogo chimpanzees kill or fatally wound 18 individuals from other groups; we inferred three additional cases of lethal intergroup aggression based on circumstantial evidence (see Supplemental Information). Most victims were caught in the same region and likely belonged to the same neighboring group. A causal link between lethal intergroup aggression and territorial expansion can be made now that the Ngogo chimpanzees use the area once occupied by some of their victims.

So what the authors suggest is that chimpanzees behave like little Hitlers, plotting an expansion of their “Lebensraum” (vital space).

Maybe. However, is it how chimpanzees feel it? Certainly not. Inter-chimpanzee violence is extremely brutal and cruel: parts are torn away, bitten off, until death occur from shock and blood loss. (This happens in the wild, and in captivity.)

One can describe a murderous chimpanzee rampage only as motivated by unbounded hatred. When moved by that sort of emotion, chimpanzees are not in the spirit of just making smart real estate investments.

Nietzsche tried to explain everything with the Will To Power: “Suppose, finally, we succeeded in explaining our entire instinctive life as the development and ramification of one basic form of the will–namely, of the will to power, as my proposition has it… then one would have gained the right to determine all efficient force univocally as–will to power. The world viewed from inside… it would be “will to power” and nothing else.” (From Beyond Good and Evil.)

Well, Nietzsche missed the big picture, the one that explains Auschwitz. Trying to do, finance, economics, sociology without the Will To Extermination, is to try to reason out of a reduced emotional set, missing the most important ingredient.

There too, contemplating chimpanzees’ behavior help. the art of extermination with chimpanzees consists into having the many surprise an isolated individual. So chimpanzees go on the war path. They make a single file, they become very silent, strongly bounded by… the perspective of committing murder. And they murder at a stupendous rate, much higher than that of hunter-gatherers. Thus war is a force that provides chimpanzees with the strongest meaning.

Verdict? To defeat the Will To Extermination, we need a higher form of war, just as to fight a disease, we need to understand, and use its essence against itself, as vaccines do.

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Patrice Ayme

Representation Is No Democracy

October 25, 2013

Imposing Representation Is Not Real Democracy

In 1789 the USA settled on a Constitution of “We The People” that set-up a “Congress” elected by the rich of the right color and religion. The president was elected by a few representatives (something that allowed to select the plutocrat G.W. Bush instead of the one who had won the election, by a few million votes, Gore).

A few people, easily bought, selected for their vainglorious greed, and anxiety to please, are in charge of the planet. This is not the rule of the People, it’s the rule of a few (=”oligarchy”). Can we do better? Yes.

Elevate Yourself With Towering Examples

Elevate Yourself With Towering Examples

Simultaneously, in 1789, France distinguished herself by the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen“. Although those Rights looked a product of the enlightenment, that Enlightenment was an outgrowth, a renaissance, of the spirit of the empire of the Franks (Imperium Francorum), that started around 300 CE with the “Lex Salica” (that went later through dozens of revisions, as it quickly grew to 65 chapters).

An example of this rediscovery of old values: the slave trade was made unlawful again, nearly 12 centuries after the Franks had done it the first time around.

The Rights of Man more or less grew into the Charter of the United Nations. The European Union made mandatory the “democratic” form of governance to belong to the EU.

Yet the problem is: what does democracy mean? The last law forbidding marriages of “mixed races” was outlawed in the 2000s.

The USA outlawed slavery only in December 1865. One cannot say the USA was a democracy before that. It was just the democracy of a particular We The People, before that.

How did the Athenian system work? Well, everybody had the same right of vote, and… speech. Mandates were widely spread (more than a thousand judges sometimes), and short. The Roman Republic used similar tricks (Consuls were elected in pair, but had full power alternatively, for a month, during just a year!).

The Athenian Assembly was open to the entire population. It had a quorum of 6,000 for some decisions.

Athens’ Democratic Index was ONE: one man, one vote, one voice.

The democratic index of the USA is roughly 600/200,000,000. 600 representatives (Congress plus Senate plus President), 200 million adults. That’s roughly one three divided by one million. In other words: ZERO, for the democratic index of the USA. No wonder the long faces.

Could we establish a democracy such as Athens’ nowadays?

Of course. It exists to some extent already: Confederatio Helveticae  (CH), Switzerland. The Swiss suggest, and vote on all the big decisions. Then elected representatives are in charge of enacting the decisions of the People. In Switzerland, the government officials of the seven members governing councils are really servants of the People, not big masters (by the way, the four most popular such officers are women).

Switzerland has more than eight million inhabitants, thus of the order of one hundred times the population of Athens. Modern telecommunications allow to conduct national debates before the “votations”. The results are often unexpected, as when a recent referendum prevented the further sprouting of speculative secondary residences for the rich in the magnificent landscapes.

Land speculators, especially in scenic Valais (see Matterhorn/Cervin above), were disgusted. They wasted big money fighting the measure. But, whereas in the USA, it’s easy to buy a big fat Clinton, or two, how do you buy six million Swiss voters?

So why is the rest of the so called “democracies” deprived of this direct, real democracy? The answer is obvious. Recently, the Swiss People voted systematically for anti-plutocratic measures. In the next referendum, in November, a proposed law would limit salaries to one million Francs (roughly one million dollars).

Representative democracy is not democracy. It’s a parody of democracy, perfect for the enormous buying power of the plutocrats, who can easily afford to buy body and soul a few hundred representatives.

The Dark Side’s secret will, is not the will to power. Nietzsche was naïve that way. The Dark Side’s secret will is the will to extermination. Ignore at your own risk. Or subjugate with real democracy: one person, one vote, one voice.

***

Patrice Ayme

*** 

P/S: The Salic Law born in 300 CE, broke the back of Greco-Roman self-destructive inhuman madness, that had ended devouring itself. The Salic Law replaced very systematically the death penalty by fines, and outlawing the slave trade. The law also re-established total religious tolerance, allowing Jews, Pagans, Atheists, and even Muslims to worship whichever way they wanted.

(I say “even Muslims” because the Muslims came in through violent full scale military invasions, starting around 715 CE until the end of the Tenth century. Yet, Muslim inhabitants were left alone, after the armies were thrown out; they were absorbed, leaving only African and Arab genetic markers behind.)

Welfare Generalizes Savings

October 24, 2013

Welfare Does Not Just Save Bodies & Souls, But Also One’s Pocketbook.

Systems of governance, systems of thoughts and emotional systems, be they of institutions or of individuals, are all closely related. A case in point is the relationship of the private savings rateversus the rate of social expenditures in various nations .

The more the social expenditures, that is, the welfare state, the greater the private savings.

We Socialize, Therefore We Save

We Socialize, Therefore We Save

Notice that FR (France) spends socially way more than any other country. Part of France’s lower savings rate relative to her sister republic “GE”, Germany, is no doubt related to the fact that France has now a third more youth than Germany (instead in 1940, the fascist Germanoid “Reich” had twice more youth than the French Republic). Young people save less.

France, thanks to colossal taxes, spends socially about twice more than the USA, but the French saving rate is also 50% higher than the saving rate in the USA.

Oblivious to facts, Alan Greenspan, plutocratic propagandist, ex-central banker, friend and governmental czar of financing the hyper rich with trillions, is out spewing more of his plutophile mental poison with a new book. Krugman denounces the insults to reason it consists of:

“Greenspan thinks he has discovered a new law: transfers to individuals, even if fully paid for with taxes, reduce national savings one for one. You can bet that this claim will soon be popping up on the right as an established fact… as a reason to weaken the safety net.

The obvious answer is to look cross-country: European nations have much bigger welfare states than we do; do they have lower savings? No.

A quick-and-dirty version: I compare social expenditures as a share of GDP (from the OECD Factbook) with national savings rates for 2010 (from the IMF WEO database). “

This is the graph above (thanks Paul Krugman for doing the research; you search, I explain!).

Where does the positive correlation between welfare and savings come from? Simple: Both the will to savings and the will to welfare are motivated by the same mentalities.

The more welfare the state, the more considerate the People of that state. That’s obvious. Now, where does the will to welfare comes from? Consideration. The more considerate to others, one is, the more for a welfare state one is.

Now, if one is more considerate to others, one, naturally, will be more considerate to oneself. Where does the Latin word “considerare” comes from? It meant to look closely, observe carefully. In other words, to look at something as one does to the stars

This, by the way is in full consideration of the flaw in the much touted “Golden Rule” of treating others as one would treat oneself: treating others as one treats oneself does not help others if one wants to kill oneself, or abuse oneself!

Hence the Will to Welfare involves more than sheer reciprocity, and “love” of others. It involves consideration. In particular consideration to the potentiality of changing circumstances, and their fluctuating nature. Thus to will and implement the welfare state, people have to be informed, serious, and well intentioned to others and themselves.

The same emotional system lead people who want welfare to all, to complement it with even more welfare to themselves. the more serious the People, and the more savings oriented they are.

Thus that countries with a greater welfare state save more is no accident, but direct psychological causality.

La Fontaine’s famous fable “La Cigale et La Fourmi” (Ciccada and the Ant) acknowledged part of this, four centuries ago. It is mandatory reading and memorizing in French elementary school.

Propaganda by the likes of Greenspan is part of the collapse of the United Stasi of America down the black hole of plutocracy unchained. Stasi? Merkel, October 24, 2013: “To spy between friends that does not work at all.” The colossal NSA spying is in violation of European, French and German law.

Meanwhile Norway, with its 3% unemployment, GDP per capita more than twice that of the USA, superlative infrastructure, one billion dollar national wealth fund (100 billion at the scale of the USA), is inaugurating an anti-Islamization government. The right wing spokesman of the new right wing government rightly points out that immigration without integration is only ruin of civilization (as the Romans found out). He said what was at stake was the colossal Norwegian welfare state, the necessity to defend it.

Meanwhile France is facing a strike of the soccer clubs. A 75% tax on income above one million Euros has brought the ire of the rich.

Yet, polls show that 85% of French people approve of the 75% tax on income millionaires. And why should some ignorant who kicks a ball be paid a fortune, and an engineer or nurse very little? This is also a question Brazilians have as they face cuts in social services, while circuses are going up.

If we want a human society, we have to make sure that plutocracy is kept in check. and only thus can welfare, hence savings, and consideration, thrive. Taxes is the way to do it, lest the core rots away (as it did in Rome; by 400 CE, the empire could not even afford to defend its borders, as I have explained many times).

Be it only to brandish a sword, one needs a heart, and a soul. And having a soul also means not to intrude with all the powers in other people’s souls: down with the United Stasi of America!

***

Patrice Ayme

Mad Bull Lost Its Way

October 23, 2013

CO2 Craze Is About Cutting Off Oxygen

At this point, the USA has clearly lost its way. Everything is going the wrong way: Obama Wealth Care, Obama NSA, Obama drones, fracking all over, fracking the ground, the world, civilization itself, hiding behind the “Tea Party” … The whole satanic way.

The European Union CO2 pollution, per capita, is less than half that of the USA. France (and a few others) achieve about a third of CO2 pollution, per capita, than the USA. With universal health care, universal free higher education, and 400 km/h (250 mph) trains.

USA, NSA, Oil, Gas, Fracking, Frightening

USA, NSA, Oil, Gas, Fracking, Frightening

Did the USA lost its way earlier? Sure. But it turned out immense profitable. To the USA. Profits are specific, you see.

On May 1, 1914, Colonel House, the adviser of USA president Wilson,  proposed to the spastic German dictator, the crippled, vainglorious Kaiser, an alliance to dominate the world with Britain, deliberately oriented against the “racially inferior French”.

We know what happened next. The four top generals of “Great General Staff” (Großer Generalstab) had already plotted to make a world war before Russia could develop enough with French capital, or the German Socialist party (SPD) could ramp up in power. The irresistible growth of Russia, France and the SPD insured the death of the plutocracy of the “Deutsches Kaiserreich“. Only the miracle of war could extract it from this difficult situation. Why not? With American help?

In early August 1914, the fascists attacked two neutral countries and declared war to Russia and France. Arrogant and hubristic generals, without adult supervision, were in command of Germany. They committed right away mass atrocities in Belgium and the French Republic. Some of these acts, such as slave labor, were in direct violations of the Hague convention.

Those who claim Nazism was a surprise, have obviously not observed the behavior of the German armies in Belgium and France in 1914.

If Germany was such an atrocious dictatorship, how come the French republic and the Royal Navy could not dispose of it quickly?

That’s where, strangely enough, the exploitative mentality, greed is need, of the USA, comes to the fore. 

Let’s leave aside the fact that Germany was twice the size of France, and that Britain had only 150,000 soldiers or so. On paper, Britain and France, with their superior navies, ought to have been able to shut down the Deutsches Kaiserreich right away, cutting off its coal, its food, its cotton. Cotton? Well, cotton was crucial to make explosives. Serious cotton companies were making all their money from varied explosives. Where did that all come from? The USA. Of course. Through Holland. Of course.

And, of course, American Consular Officers were doing their best to feed the Deutsches Kaiserreich with all the commodities the fascists in Berlin needed. The Brits were livid, but they could not do anything.

It’s only after the USA consented to enter the war sometimes in 1917 (after Wilson was re-elected first on the opposite pledge), that Britain and France were able to blockade Germany. By the summer of 1918, French forces, with the help of the Serbs, also cut off the Deutsches Kaiserreich from southern supplies (through the Balkans) condemning it to starvation.

The greed of the USA extended the First World War by three years. OK, it was an excellent deal for the USA. Hey, business is business and the business of the USA is business. Right now, it’s called fracking. NSA too.

Not satisfied with this, American plutocrats basically took command of Germany in the early 1920s, while financing the Nazi Party (even before 1923), at a time when that Party was mostly notable for being full of those who had extended the war, and wanted another go at it (such as the numero uno of that tendency, general in chief Ludendorff).

So now what do we observe?

Turns out that the CO2 monsters, aside from an American pet, feudal Saudi Arabia, are Canada, USA, and Australia. Do you see a pattern?

The USA is turning around its entire economy, thanks to fracking for oil and gas. The USA is already the world’s number one producer of fossil fuel and gas, at about twice its old peak in the distant past. Twenty-two million barrels, each day. CO2: what, me worry?

Australia apparently intents to burn the entire planet, with huge augmentation in its coal production planned immediately ahead. Australians’ thesis is pure exploitationism. Australia is no poor country: GDP per head is much higher than in the USA.

Mad exploiters’ mantra: greed is more important than sense. To demonstrate this better, while Australia is on fire, the Prime Minister, Abbott, confidently declared that it had nothing to do with warming.

What do Canada, the USA and Australia have in common? An institutionalized emotional system justifying and lionizing the taking of entire continents from the Natives. In other words, greed, rapaciousness and over-exploitation as the dominant rant. Or “Rand” as they say in naive Washington. (Ayn “Rand” is a pseudo-philosopher from Russia that serves as brains for the present day USA; she extols titans of greed as those who make society possible; see comments of the preceding essay.)

The USA, as the enormous leader of the pack of uncontrolled greedsters, is clearly at fault. Mad bull has lost its way.

How gone is the mind of the bull? Well, the NSA recorded 70 million private messages of French citizens, in three weeks, a few months ago. All of these recordings are governmental, economic, technical, commercial. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda, everything to do with the rapacious behavior of that giant kleptocracy, the USSR: stealing secrets right and left.

In the latest news, Merkel, the German Chancellor, called Obama to complain that the USA had spied on her cell phone (24 hours later, Obama said the USA was not spying on Merkel’s phone “now”. “Now”: get it. Five minutes ago, yes, now, no.

Oh, by the way, enough with this comfy “global warming” semantics. The problem is CO2 exponentiating up. CO2. Exponentiating. An exponential is a phenomenon that grows at a speed proportional to its magnitude.

Hypoxia, not warming, is the worst problem that lays ahead.  

Half of the oxygen is produced by phytoplankton, and carbonating the ocean with carbonic acid affects it adversely. As the phytoplankton dies, it’s unable to absorb the CO2, thus causing still another non linear, exponentiating effect to augment further the CO2 exponential. 

And all this what for? Because the “democratic Senate of the USA” in 2009 was actually demon controlled, as it refused to approve a scheme to control carbon that the Congress had passed. 

And where was Obama then? On the green, plotting his further financial ascendency. The Obama administration, reaching new heights of perfidy, hautighly declared that fracking and its greenhouse warming methane, CH4, was a “bridge fuel“, cleaner that coal. Well, that’s true. What it forgets to point out is that, like in 1914, coal of the USA is exported massively to other countries. Instead of feeding those who were trying to destroy civilization, now the idea is to destroy the biosphere directly.

In any case, on this most important issue, the survival of the biosphere, the Democratic Party of the USA cannot hide behind the Tea Party, “Republicans”, or lack of bipartisanship. “Demoncratic” is another way to translate plutocratic.

Plutocracy is a ruin of the mind. Watch the top leadership of the USA ordering the killing of civilians by drones.  Even Roman emperor Tiberius was not that bad. By a very long shot. and still, Tiberius’ reputation is terrible, because subsequent Roman historians and writers made a few pointed remarks.

Explicit strikes were dissected by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Apparently strikes were ordered on grand-mothers, and then doubled up by strikes on the little children around.

But who cares about little children, when the entire biosphere is in the crosshairs of greed?

***

Patrice Ayme

Devils In The Details

October 20, 2013

I am often highly critical of the New York Times. However, if nothing else, it provides useful services by pointing out gory details that make plutocracy come to life. 

Krugman, as I have made plenty clear, is a half way house. Half pro-plutocratic, half progressive. He has to: if he was full progressive, the New York Times would shut him down, and the commoners, even many of a self declared “progressive” kind, would view him as a lunatic, and rage against him. One thing Krugman does not do is CO2. He should. That would broaden his economics to a very useful area, directly impacted by the plutocratic mania:

Masochism? Australians Want To Burn Australia?

Masochism? Australians Want To Burn Australia?

If Australians want to burn Australia, they are succeeding (see below).

Commoners, including many posing now as “democrats”, were all for invading Iraq and having Iraqi oil pay for it (that was such a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention that even G. W. Bush may have known about it! FOX News hoped in vain).

A recent example? Maureen Dowd courageously came out with an editorial, “Cat On A Hot Stove”, scathing for “Sir Lecturesalot”, as she calls Obama.

Commoners posing as left-wing wrote enraged comments, accusing her of “hatred for the black man” (the NYT removed these comments later).

Maureen’s crime? She quoted  Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close adviser and wealthy Chicago friend, who told David Remnick in “The Bridge”, of Obama’s “uncanny” abilities. “Obama needs to be properly engaged, or he disengages. He’s been bored to death his whole life,  Jarrett said. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.

Maybe Obama should have tried something real hard, then, like fundamental thinking…

Another of Maureen’s crimes? Quoting “Senator Dianne Feinstein who “urged presidential leadership”, noting that Obama “stepped back” partly because he felt “burned” by all the scabrous budget fights.”

More Maureen: “When the president says “we’ve all got a lot of work to do,” he means Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Obamacare should really be called Pelosicare, as the historian Niall Ferguson noted… Obama thinks he can come down from above, de haut en bas, and play the great reconciler, but you can’t reconcile in absentia. You have to be there. You’ve got to be all over these people.

The paradox of Obama is that he believes in his own magical powers, but then he doesn’t turn up to use them. There’s nothing wrong with a president breaking a sweat somewhere beyond the basketball court.”

Ouch.

Krugman on the all too ignored plutocrat, Erskine Bowles, in Liquidity Preference, Loanable Funds, and Erskine Bowles:

“Here’s Erskine Bowles in March 2011:

‘[T]his is a problem we’re going to have to face up to. It may be two years, you know, maybe a little less, maybe a little more. But if our bankers over there in Asia begin to believe that we’re not going to be solid on our debt, that we’re not going to be able to meet our obligations, just stop and think for a minute what happens if they just stop buying our debt.’

Strange to say, however, neither Bowles nor anyone else of similar views has, as far as I can tell, actually done what he urged: “stop and think for a minute what happens if they just stop buying our debt.”… So the conventional wisdom about how we have to fear a Chinese bond-buying strike just doesn’t make sense — and in fact it falls down in exactly the same way as fallacious arguments about the harm done by fiscal deficits in a depressed economy…

You may find it hard to believe that so many important and influential people could be dead wrong about the basic economics of our situation. But as far as I can tell, this is simply something “everyone knows”, and none of them have ever thought it through.”

My comment:

Our bankers over there”? Our bankers? Eskrine Bowles incarnates and defines modern plutocracy. His evil influence (evil influence; that’s what “Pluto” means) extended from Clinton (the hyper wealthy Bowles was his chief of staff) to Obama. 

Bowles set-up the Obama plutocratic team, and told Obama to “leave your friends behind, they only cause problems”. Thus Obama thereafter got only advice, and even company, only from plutocrats, plutophiles, and their sycophants. 

Bowles does not make errors as far as his pocket book and the power of his influence is concerned. The error is plutocracy, and having individuals such as Bowles in charge of decisive thinking.

Krugman in the Worst Ex-Central Banker In The World: “Greenspan believes that he bears no responsibility for all the bad things that happened on his watch — and that the solution to financial crises is, you guessed it, less government…

The thing is, Greenspan isn’t just being a bad economist here, he’s being a bad person, refusing to accept responsibility for his errors in and out of office. And he’s still out there, doing his best to make the world a worse place.”

My comment:

Greenspan, central bankster. Still in office, propagandizing. Insisting deliberate crimes were, and still are, virtues. The way that central bankster earns his keep.

Greenspan makes Jean-Claude Trichet (the ex-head of the European Central Bank) look like Saint Francis of Assisis plus Einstein combined. Trichet now rails against excessive taxation for the little guys, inequality, tax cheats, plutocracy.

In other news, there are huge fires in Australia. They are caused by heat never experienced before. Is Australia hoisted by its own petard? Of the developed countries, Australia pollutes the most in CO2 per capita.

Climate scientist Andy Pitman from the University of New South Wales in Sydney said the problem has not been caused by “bad fire weather”. Instead, it was the result of a very warm winter – the second warmest on record in NSW during Australia’s warmest 12 months ever.

That’s obviously caused, in turn, by CO2 greenhouse heating Australia is doing so much for. Did I mention Australia’s giant coal export, forcasted with glee to augment 8% a year, each year, for the next five years? (That’s a distinct contribution from the 20 tons of CO2 or so.)

“Vegetation that would commonly basically shut down in winter continued to transpire,” says Pitman. By continuing to give off water, the vegetation dried out the soil so that in spring, the plants had little access to water and became dry. That primed the landscape for fire: “Really hot days combined with strong winds plus ignition equals a major problem.”

Details, details, details… and before you know it, the devils are roasting the landscape.

The hotest item in the Australian elections of 2013 was the carbon tax. Enough Australians voted against it (basically) to change to a right wing government that railed against efforts to curb CO2 emissions. Now Australia feels the heat. Abusing people is one thing, abusing physics, another.

***

Patrice Ayme

Europhobes Devaluating

October 19, 2013

It turns out that the Europhobes had not checked out the main premise of their official argument.

Krugman in Do Currency Regimes Matter?: Antonio Fatas, citing new work by Andy Rose (pdf), suggests that currency regimes don’t really matter — in particular that membership in the euro has not really been a special problem for peripheral countries.

Challenging preconceptions is always good, and this is a serious debate. I am still, however, very much on the other side. I’d argue two points.

First, nominal wage stickiness — the key argument for the virtues of floating exchange rates”… is good.

Is it not amusing that “the conscience of a liberal”, Krugman, who passes for an extreme, left wing, bleeding heart socialist, in the USA, lauds the lowering of wages? By the way of currency devaluation? because, you see, the problem with wages is not that they low, it’s that they are “sticky”… Not to say ‘yacki’. In any case, never low enough. 

Rose, professor at UC Berkeley, is endowed with one of these big, impressive titles. Rose is “B.T. Rocca Jr. Professor of International Business, Associate Dean, and Chair of the Faculty, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, NBER Research Associate, and CEPR Research Fellow.”

Could not have happened to a better guy. A more Very Serious Person. Krugman takes titles very seriously, so he is now cornered. Professor Eminence Rose looked at 170 “small economies” (out of 214, excluding large economies such as EU, USA, China, etc.). Rose established that:

1) countries having opted for a hard currency exchange rate or for an inflation target, stayed, since 2006, in the one of the two regimes that they chose.

2) economic outcomes did not differ (so the partisans of devaluation, such as Krugman, are not supported by data).

On the face of it, it’s obvious that the partisans of devaluation are idiots: once 214 countries have devalued, then what? Ooops; of this we did not think, that’s why we are called idiots. But that makes us pundits who dine at the White House, and are very well paid.

OK, let me rephrase this. it’s obvious that the partisans of devaluation are on the payroll of the hyper rich. Indeeed, who profits from devaluation? After Argentina massively devaluated, friendly Americans landed like vultures, and bought entire landscapes, many times over.

USA banks made a fortune.

The only thing left, after devaluations, is that the rich is getting richer. Indeed, the rich own other things, besides their wages. Like real estate. A point Krugman always blissfully forgets. Such are American style “liberals”. All for liberally liberating capital from the constraints of civilization.

Anyway, I sent this to Krugman, who published it right away:

Ah, nothing like a bit of anti-Euro propaganda in the morning now that the government of the financially rogue nation has reopened for a bit, sequestered and all, with its infrastructure inferior to Spain’s. 

Belonging to the euro zone brought tremendous advantages to the countries concerned. In particular, they splurged on infrastructure, and trade, commercial or human.

Spain is covered with very high speed train lines. As Spain does not frack, this is a precious asset. The world’s most advanced military transport plane (the brand new A400) is also built is Spain, and ramping up production (by contrast, and no coincidence, Boeing announced that the fabrication of the competitor of the A400, the C17, will be terminated). 

What the honorable Paul does not seem to know is that conversion rates into the Euro were deliberately manipulated. For example the Drachma was converted at twice its real worth. It was viewed as a welcome gift to the Greeks. As Franco-Germania was about 60 times the size of Greece economically speaking, that was viewed as innocuous enough. 

That also means that Greece ought to collapse 70% from its peak to return to the poverty level it had to start with. That will not happen: tourism is rebounding. Same in Portugal. 

Greeks have not opted out of the Euro as they remember dramatic life with the drachma. Totally drachmatic. Europe has made Greece free, democratic, and rich.

The problems of Greece, at this point, are not about wages being sticky. The problems, basically, are that the Greek economy and fiscal system are far from where they ought to be. But the Franco-Germans are helping instilling the needed Prussian spirit. 

Ireland, and others, have announced they are pulling out of the crisis. Next objective? To further the banking union. Paradoxically, the state of Landers banks in Germany is a problem.

The real argument of europhobes, of course, is that New York is the world’s most beautiful city, and the Euro is a threat to the splendor they live off, like the vampire from the neck of a cow. But don’t expect them to be that honest, or introspective; their livelihood depends upon not being that way, and talking of other things.

Things that, it turns out, they just invented, with the sheer power of their greedy, self obsessed minds.

It’s a wild world, but the Euro is strong.

***

Patrice Ayme

A Coward: Roosevelt

October 17, 2013

For decades, people who ought to know better, such as Elie Wiesel, have been going around, and, weasel like, wondered why Auschwitz happened.

There were just some “Roosevelt” awards (Krugman got one, and I know of this thanks to him). I was shocked by how much the greatness, goodness and courage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt was evoked.

The reality is just the opposite. 

Roosevelt is the president who waited until the Nazis attacked the USA to do something of consequence about those fascist, racist mass murderers. On December 11, 1941, 4 days after Pearl Harbor, Adolf Hitler declared war TO the USA. Hitler’s Panzers had just reached a Moscow subway station.

The USA, finding itself at war, acknowledged the fact. So much for courage. 

Fortunately, the French Republic had declared war to the Nazi Reich on September 3, 1939. 

That was 27 months before December 11, 1941, and that was also something the French did TO Hitler. Whereas Roosevelt, obsessed as he was by his political popularity, did nothing of courage, until he had to, for other reasons. 

1939, 1940, 1941 are years that, truly ought to live in infamy. For the USA too. Not just Germany. 

The Netherlands loom big in the Roosevelt universe. Amusingly, the Netherlands was also “neutral” in 1939-1940. That meant: helping Hitler, and the Netherlands played a huge role in the defeat of France in June 1940. 

And why was France defeated? Lots of reasons. But Nazi Germany was allied to imperial Japan and fascist Italy (both attacked France directly), plus Stalin USSR (supporting Hitler directly), and, most importantly, American plutocrats (and even, for a crucial three months, at the beginning of the war, in 1939, by the president of the USA and its despicable Congress). 

Don’t ask why Auschwitz happened. Ask, instead, why Roosevelt happened. 

And please don’t say:”God with Us”. As the Roosevelt sycophants do all day long. Enough of the god hypocrisy.  “Gott Mit Uns” was engraved on the belt buckles of the SS. 

Those who refuse to know history cannot learn anything important.

***

Patrice Ayme