Archive for May, 2015

Quantum Fraud?

May 29, 2015

QUANTUM THEORY A FRAUD?

That Quantum Theory is a fraud, I have believed for decades. I still remember a seminar I gave in Stanford, a bit about that, and the hatred I got in return. But it seems my point of view is finally gaining ground, among the powers that be.

I believe in moods. A mood is a neurohormonal state. It is culturally transmitted (although there are genetic factors, as the case of the incredibly fierce Catarina Sforza makes clear). Consider Athens: when it was a Direct Democracy, Athenians were ready to die for freedom. A century later, the mood had changed. When a sea battle against the Macedonians turned badly, the Athenian captains were not keen to fight to death. Instead, they surrendered Direct Democracy for 24 centuries (and counting).

Sforza: "Se io potessi scrivere tutto, farei stupire il mondo"

Sforza: “Se io potessi scrivere tutto, farei stupire il mondo”

[Caterina Sforza: If I were to write all, I would shock the world. She died in 1509, aged 46, from pneumonia. Earlier, for decades, she had been one of the fiercest war and love leaders of Renaissance Italy. She did not hesitate to engage in atrocities, and hand to hand combat, surrender not an option.]

What happened with Direct Democracy? Why did the Athenian fleet surrender readily when confronted to Macedonian plutocracy, whereas, time and time again, Athens had fought the Persians to death at Marathon, at Salamis, on the seas, in Boeotia, in Egypt, etc.?

Well, dominance by pro-fascist philosophers (Socrates, Plato, Aristotle) changed the mood from fighting to death for freedom, towards tolerance for fascist leadership (from Solon 594 CE, to the philosophers around Pericles, the mood had been just the opposite).

The ultimate mood is the one pertaining to reality. Is reality real, or should it be just what the masters want it to be. Can one make fun of reality, Should we?

Making fun of reality? What else does standard Quantum Theory, the so-called “Copenhagen Interpretation”, when it considers that cats are alive and dead, SIMULTANEOUSLY?

I spent most of my life worrying about what is really real in physics. That implied really wondering if the supposedly greatest minds in physics were really for real. Or whether they, and their admirers, were delusional, if not outright fraudulent.

I am happy to see my point of view starting to be shared by the Establishment.

Owen Maroney, a physicist at the University of Oxford, Great Britain “worries that physicists have spent the better part of a century engaging in fraud”. Says Nature, 20 may 2015 in: “Quantum Physics; What Is Really real?”:

Ever since they invented quantum theory in the early 1900s, explains Maroney… [physicists] have been talking about how strange it is — how it allows particles and atoms to move in many directions at once, for example, or to spin clockwise and anticlockwise simultaneously. But talk is not proof, says Maroney. “If we tell the public that quantum theory is weird, we better go out and test that’s actually true,” he says. “Otherwise we’re not doing science, we’re just explaining some funny squiggles on a blackboard.”

Those inclined to philosophy, economics, sociology and the like may scoff about wondering about “fraud” in theoretical physics. However the taking-over of “austerity”, also known as plutocracy, is directly related to a loss of a correct sense of reality.

This sense of reality is directed by the head, the top thinkers, and the fish rots by the head.

An example is Einstein’s discovery, or, should we say, explanation, of the photoelectric effect. It’s no doubt correct. Or, let me rephrase this more correctly, the zeroth order explanation of the photoelectric effect by Einstein is correct. It was a trivial idea, but still a new idea. What Einstein did was to suppose that electromagnetic energy was absorbed by packets. Planck, in reasoning that was much harder, conceptually, logically and mathematically, had introduced the quantification of radiation for emission (inside a cavity). That is, that radiation was emitted by packets.

Einstein made a logical hyper-jump.

What’s a logical hyper-jump? I am introducing the notion, it’s globally valid in all theories. It consists in introducing a new axiom, emotionally inspired. The emotion here is that Planck had emitted packets. Einstein decided to receive them. It’s the symmetrical emotion.

But that’s all the logic there was, and this infuriated Planck.

Einstein, as I have explained, did not stop here: he made another logical hyper-jump. That one, he did not need to explain the photoelectric effect. That was the start of the dead-live (“Schrodinger”) cat madness, and thus the Multiverse deranged debasement of reality itself.

When the elite thinkers are idiots, or, worse, deliberately fraudulent, it is no wonder that the 99.9% are like babies one steals lunch, if not life, from.

Patrice Ayme’

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FIFA Under The Law, USA Banks Above The Law

May 28, 2015

Yesterday the French amused us by celebrating four resistance fighters (out of hundreds of thousands), two of whom (the ladies) were rather advantaged right from the start (and did not do much). Today the humor comes from the USA, which has decided to crack down on soccer. More exactly, FIFA: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. It’s easier to crack down on soccer rather than American football, as the USA are not too good with the former. Moreover, FIFA is a French acronym…

But the irony is not there, the irony is that High Finance steals trillions, while fossil fuels enjoy 5.3 trillion dollars of subsidies (says the IMF), much of it lost in corruption (casual observation).

Putin: [FIFA Scandal] Yet Another Attempt By The USA To Extent Its Jurisdiction To Other States

Putin: [FIFA Scandal] Yet Another Attempt By The USA To Extent Its Jurisdiction To Other States

And what does the USA do? Arrest FIFA officials. Seven senior FIFA officials were arrested at a luxury hotel in Zurich, at the behest of US authorities who are conducting a massive investigation into corruption at football’s governing body. Seven more charged in the USA.

FIFA’s profits last year were 3.3 billion dollars, slightly more profit than the French oil giant TOTAL (one of the five Big Oil oil companies). TOTAL has 100, 000 employees. TOTAL has hundreds of subsidiaries (some part of an effort to pay fewer taxes, something TOTAL said it will change). FIFA has 1,400 employees. So one can say that FIFA’s profits, per employee, is about 70 times those of TOTAL.

The punchline? FIFA, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is registered as a non-profit, of sorts, and pays no Swiss Federal taxes.

This sounds silly, but one has to understand that the world’s plutocracy rests on similar tricks. In the case of FIFA, it’s comical: for years one knew that money was given by nations to get the soccer world cup. For the 1998 cup (won by France), the finalists were France and … Morocco. France got 12 votes, Morocco 7. It was just revealed the Moroccan votes were bought (big surprise!).

The way FIFA is corrupt is typical of the way most international organizations are corrupt:

1) A few officials vote (same story in Brussels, Washington, Moscow, Beijing, etc.), while they supposedly represent the world.

2) All “countries” get an equal weight (209 of them in the case of FIFA, appreciably more than in the UN). So a tiny Caribbean island nobody has ever heard of, but for a few plutocrats, gets the same vote as, say, Brazil, or Germany (total population nearly 300 million).

Once again, in the case of FIFA, it’s comical: FIFA revenue is of the order of five billion dollars. The world’s real economy GDP is around 10,000 times more. However, counting financial derivatives, the world real and imaginary GDP rises another eight times, or so.

And there, the conspiracy factor is much higher. Let me explain.

FIFA’s corruption indeed, is for all to see. Everybody knew that Qatar had bought its world cup selection: clearly only “officials” who were bought could agree to have players playing in 50 Degrees Celsius (in the shade) heat (that’s 122 Fahrenheit, temperatures seen in India this week, courtesy of the fossil fuel industry).

The High Finance industry is hidden in plain sight. But well hidden: the famous 99.9% understand nothing to the public-private fractional reserve banking system, so they can be rolled in flour every day, and then fried, just so. In a way, there is justice; the stupidity of the 99.9% gets punished by the malignant growth of plutocracy, mightily fed by the fact that big bankers are actually corrupt government officials.

That bankers are corrupt, many understand. That bankers are also unsupervised government officials, very few understand. Plutocrats, though, understand this perfectly well.

More generally most plutocrats, and plutocratic organizations, have to do with being on the good side, or in a conspiracy, with government. Most of these conspiracies are intricate enough for common people not to perceive them (an example is the F35 “strike” plane, the most expensive military program, ever, in all of history: 400 billions spent so far, and counting… for an ineffectual plane which will need several more years, just to fire its gun).

So the FIFA scandal, for all to see, is excellent, if one looks at it as a toy example of a much more general problem. However, if it the only thing people worry about, and, somehow, leaves the impression that justice, police and the law are prevailing, worldwide, it will have a nefarious effect.

Why is FIFA’s corruption a toy? Because it involves a few hundreds of million dollars. A particular example is FIFA in Brazil: companies such as Nike paid a hundred million dollars or so, to organize the world cup in Brazil: that was “legal” (it should not be legal, but that’s another matter). Then 70 million dollars were paid below the table. This is what the “authorities” in the USA are in a huff about. This is what they call “corruption”.

Why? Because corruption, in the USA, is above the table: everybody can see the hyper wealthy buying the president in the USA. It’s glorious, it’s all over the media. If you have 200,000 dollars to waste, the president of the USA will go on his knees, and eat crumbs in your hands, such is the nature of the beast.

So how did the banks’ corruption cost? Just for the 2008 crisis? Well just look at the total cost of the “Quantitative Easing“. That’s at least ten trillion dollars (8 in the USA, around 2 in the EU). Even if one upper bounds the FIFA corruption at one billion, this means the High Finance corruption scandal was at least 10,000 times greater.  And differently from FIFA the worst part is orders of magnitude greater than that, as it consists in the hundreds of trillions banks diverted in financial derivatives.

If one views the latter, as one should, as the largest corruption, the greatest theft ever, in the history of humanity, one ends up with the astounding realization that banks have stolen for at least ONE MILLION TIMES MORE money than the FIFA has moved under the tables.

The BBC (Canada) itself is wondering: America does not even like football… Why is it leading the charge against alleged Fifa corruption?”

FBI Director James Comey set out why the US was able to act:

“If you touch our shores with your corrupt enterprise, whether that is through meetings or through using our world class financial system, you will be held accountable for that corruption…”

The USA is of course “world class”, or even of a class of its own in the world. Especially as far as considering taking orders from plutocrats, others for idiots, and playing holier-than-thou, with the aim of pleasing the banksters. Question: how does Mr. FBI thinks drug trafficking works?

Answer: citizens of the USA spend fortunes on illegal drugs coming from Mexico and the like, so they can forget the sorry world class parody of democracy they live in. Once the drug sellers have pocketed the money, in the world class USA, how do they get it to South and Central America? Through world class banks, of course. American banks. Big banks of the good old USA. Why does not Mr. FBI think about that? Won’t advance his career? I guess not. It’s not “world class” to suspect your masters.

“Nobody is above or beyond the law,” FBI Director Comey said. “We will not stop until we send messages that this is not the way things should be and that they must be different”.

Kabuki theater, on a world scale.

Even Vlad Putin has noticed: “This is yet another blatant attempt (by the United States) to extend its jurisdiction to other states.”

It’s irritating to see Putin marking points. Yes, nobody is above the law. However, the USA itself is above the law, indeed. As Big Banks of the USA are part of this general enterprise, the USA, when they launder money for drug traffickers, they get a slap on the wrist, a little fine (paid by Quantitative Easing, that is, the We The People of the USA themselves).

The USA above the law? Why else the USA does not recognize, and is not part of the International Criminal Court? Simply because many of its top officials would see warrants of arrest against them (starting with those who launched wars of aggression). Instead, what we have now, is tiny Switzerland, anxious to please its masters in Washington and New York, by arresting whoever those capitals (of USA and High Finance, respectively) have decided to arrest.

The considerable attention given to this FIFA scandal is yet another maneuver to focus the attention of We The People on something shiny which moves, on vaguely alien culprits. It is reminiscent of those two low level traders who were prosecuted for the 2008 crisis: one in New York City, one in France. Yes, they were both French. What works best is what is straight out of central casting.

As usual, American “justice” will employ a very corrupt method: make a deal with some “culprits”, such as this Swiss banker who went to jail, in the USA, but then was given around 100 million dollars, by the USA, for having said, for all to hear, what the USA wanted him to say. What kind of “justice” is that? The justice of corruption? But then if justice is corrupt in the name of corruption, where is the real justice located, and what is it?

Patrice Ayme’

Pantheon Pathos

May 27, 2015

CHOOSE ALL YOUR GODS WELL.

Today, the French government inducted another four resistance fighters to the Pantheon. Good point: they could keep on doing this for a million years. Bad point: Why should most resistance fighters and their descendants would have to wait thousands of years to be recognized as equally worthy?

Worse: this shows that the French republic is (mis)guided, to this day, by (what I call) celebritism and arbitrariness (what makes those four resistance fighters more valuable than others? That they were connected to a general, De Gaulle, one of them by genes)? And even worse: but I better reserve this for the punch line.

Diminishing French President Dwarfed By Pantheon

Diminishing French President Dwarfed By Pantheon

Pan-Theon: All Gods. Choose your gods well, don’t just pick up a few, and make others angry.  Yes, silly and erroneous decisions diminish civilization. Be it indirectly giving weapons to the so-called Islamist State (as Obama worried he would, and then did!), or just pointing at a few, as they were Muhammad, worthy of a discriminatory cult.

Why to worry so much about France, some will sneer? One of my USA friends recently, slightly infuriated as she was (thanks, in no small measure to my finely tuned devilish ways), told me “Nobody cares about France anymore, the place has become so irrelevant. Look at me, I learned French, and my children are learning Spanish.”

Most people do not know why France is so important, but a hint is that France gave birth to both England as we know it, and gave enough of a shove to England in America, to give birth to the USA (something finalized at Yorktown, when the three French commanders, La Fayette, Rochambeau, De Grasse, and the American commander, Washington brought the rendition of the British Army and its German troops). The USA itself, at this point, is just an addendum to Frankish history. That’s not just a slight, but a heavy duty.

The truth, and the French are the first to forget it, is that the Imperium Francorum (“Empire of the Franks”) was the successor state of the Roman Empire, SPQR, the Senātus PopulusQue Rōmānus, or more directly, of the Imperium Romanum (Roman Empire). After four centuries of Frankish recovery (including stopping and reversing the Islamist invasion), the Roman Empire was officially re-launched at Christmas 800 CE, when Charlemagne was crowned by the Pope one and only Roman Emperor in Rome (to Constantinople’s rage).

So all of Western Europe is actually the set of Frankish successor states.

Thus it matters what France is doing today. It was good that the Frankish Franco-German leaders, Hollande (because, as the Franks, is ancestors came from there) and Merkel proposed greater unification for the Eurozone. (Ahead, and because of, Cameron hair brained des-unifying proposals.)

So today, the French government decided to install four resistance fighters to the Pantheon.

Coffins representing the two women and two men — Genevieve de Gaulle-Anthonioz, Germaine Tillion, Pierre Brossolette and Jean Zay — were escorted through Paris streets to be interred Thursday after a sound-and-light show Wednesday night.

The women’s coffins contain only soil from their gravesites: their families didn’t want the bodies exhumed. Maybe they knew, deep down inside, that the ceremony is unfair, and that it is just political exploitation.

Indeed, why not to honor all resistance fighters? And these two women did not die under torture, actually, they did not die at all. Others died under torture from the Gestapo and its minions. At the very least, those who died under torture ought to get to the Pantheon too. The point is that, although these two women resisted, they did not resist to such a degree that they would have been worth of the torture chambers, right away.

Many others were; including British female agents, parachuted in France to conduct sabotage; many were tortured to death by the Nazis. We know this, for example from SS Commander Barbie’s Memoirs. Those girls who parachuted over France knew the risk: to be caught, and tortured to death. But why are they not parachuted, as they deserve, in the Pantheon? And don’t try to tell me they were not French: the moment they parachuted into Nazi occupied France with weapons, they became French, as far as I am concerned.

Hollande apologists will point at rising anti-Judaism (euphemistically, and grotesquely called “anti-Semitism”), and that celebrating resistance to Nazism helps to fight it. Yes, agreed, but my objection stands: why those four, and only those four. Because they were favored? De Gaulle’s niece was carefully not killed, because Heinrich Himmler thought she could be exchanged. She was also from some small French nobility.

So what’s truly celebrated here? Celebritism? At least, in part, and, as far as I am concerned, too much. Celebritism ought to be condemned, it’s something for civilization to leave behind. Celebritism is exactly why we have to choose between Clinton and Bush, as usual. And why Bush’s grandfather was one of Hitler’s most precious collaborators. Celebritism is also why income and wealth inequality has reached much higher level than during the Late Imperium Romanum (which did die, fundamentally, from said inequality… Or, at least, so I claim).

Celebritism supports oligarchy, which supports plutocracy, which supports intellectual fascism, which supports stupidity. Turtles all the way down to hell. Kill celebritism, and, ultimately, you will kill the cult of stupidity. It should not require much brains to realize that being obsessed by those who are famous for being famous is rather hare brained.

The French Republic has a duty to do better, because, historically, it guided civilization. The clowns presently in charge ought to be reminded of their shortcomings. (But, naturally, if too stupid, they can’t understand any of the preceding.)

Patrice Ayme’

Note 1: So far there were only 71 persons in the French Pantheon, including one woman (Ms. Curie; why her Nobel Laureate, and discoverer of nuclear energy, daughter, Irene, is not there is another mystery to me). All the “just”, those who harbored Jews at the risk of their lives, as my grandparents did, are there. So there is a precedent for admitting a CLASS, at the Pantheon.

Note 2: The original Pantheon still stands in Rome. To this day, it’s the tallest free standing (purely) concrete structure in the world. (That’s probably why the Christians did not destroy it: too tough, and no stone to steal to build their Vatican and what not…)

Tech, Science, Thinking, Stalled By Plutocracy

May 26, 2015

TECH STALLED BECAUSE SO IS SCIENCE, & THINKING, AS OUR MASTERS DESIRE

Technology, Energy, Science, Economy all entangled, & Stalled:

Some have observed tech is bringing up more hype than progress: we did not get flying cars, but 140 characters. Productivity is stagnating. The Internet hype led a devolution of thinking, for all to see. Some sites seem popular, mostly because they induce a parody of thinking (even on “academic” sites).

Against the will to stupidity, genius roars in vain.

So much of the “high Tech” is not truly high tech, or at least new tech. It’s no big deal, indeed. The “high tech” monopolies, with their “big data” will allow to make with robots what our ancestors used to have with domesticated animals (an ass, horse, or an ox are clever, and respond to voice commands, like the day after tomorrow’s robots).

There is not enough financing of the possible avenues of futuristic research. Here is one:

Real high tech would mean progress in energy production: this is the core of what defines our species. An obvious possibility, indeed, is thermonuclear fusion. H-Bombs work splendidly, and are very small. Making a thermonuclear engine has been difficult, but propulsion in space could turn around a lot of the difficulty we presently have.

Krugman noticed some of this in “The Big Meh” [I sent wise comments, therefore all censored by the New York Times; the Times later sent me kindly an unsolicited letter to justify its censorship; there is no excuse: the New York Times should not censor serious and cogent comments, this is a misuse of technology].

Krugman: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”… began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”… Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch…

O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.”

We evolved as a technological species: weapon and tool usage precedes the apparition of Homo:

Technology preceded the apparition of Homo Erectus, two million years ago. So we can only conclude that technology, and its attached science, and scientific method, created the ecological niche in which Homo, even homo Erectus, evolved.

The fundamental evolutionary niche our very distant ancestors, pre-Homo Erectus, chose was to improve the quantity and quality of energy at our disposal. They went to explore, far from trees and cliffs, armed with stone tools and weapons, with a bias towards a much more carnivorous diet.

Technology and science are us. This is as human as we get. That does not mean anything goes. Just, that’s how humanity gets going.

Thus, our very evolution is entangled with our mastery of energy. Neanderthals used coal (lignite!) already 80,000 years ago. When our ancestors learned to domesticate animals and then invented agriculture, we improved our mastery of energy considerably. In the last 2,000 years, wood was progressively replaced by fossil fuels.

However, fossil fuels have become unsustainable. It is not just that they have put so much CO2 in the lower atmosphere, warming it, melting the ice, rising the seas, and into the ocean, making it acid.

The Return On Investment (ROI) of fossil fuels is now terrible. Major oil companies do not make much profits on new fields: they cost too much to find and exploit. Fracking makes money, but only because the states, and others, pay the price. Remember: 5.3 trillion dollars of fossil fuel subsidies out there.

However progress in economic matters is all about ROI in energy. Without energy we have no food, no shelter, we die.

We don’t have flying cars because we did not improve our mastery of energy as much as that would require (the very first plane, part of a French military program, did not fly very far: it used a heavy steam plant; shortly after, the internal combustion engine allowed to take-off more clearly; right now Airbus sells an electric plane, and intents to develop that technology much further).

Fundamental progress in energy technology has been stalled by lack of advances in fission, fusion, and batteries. Only solar photovoltaics is making really spectacular progress.

This stalling of major technological progress where it counts, in energy management is why society, and the planet, are threatened. This stalling is directly related to a dearth of fundamental research funding, itself related to the rise of a non-tax paying plutocracy. We are in whirlpool of disaster, and the greed of an oligarchy is its nature.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: Latest News: Amazon Inc. just announced it would stop hiding its European profits in Luxembourg, and would set-up tax paying subsidiaries in various countries: it was threatened by incoming British and French laws. However, skepticism is widespread about the fine print in Amazon’s proposal…

The future was not stalled in the past: Contrarily to what happened around the era from, say, 1900 to 1970, when many futuristic technologies were researched; the USA operated nuclear rocket engines, France flew a “statoreacteur” (“ramjet”) plane, etc.; the inception of motorized flight, from the French steam plane, all the way to jet engines, took around 50 years!

 

Are Creative Thinkers Crazy?

May 25, 2015

John F. Nash Jr., a famous mathematician, who got the Nobel in economics, died in a car crash on Saturday at age 86. He was coming back from receiving the Abel Prize in Norway. That’s one of several Nobel-like prizes for mathematics.

The taxicab driver lost control of his vehicle, and collided with a guard rail and then a car frontally. Nash and his wife of sixty years or so, apparently did not wear seat belts. They were ejected, and died. Others survived. Conclusion: don’t be so crazy as not to wear seatbelts.

Nash was famous for contributions to game theory and other mathematics. He found something called the “Nash Equilibrium” in a type of games he studied. I will further here a bit what Nash said about mental illness, and its connection with mathematics.

Establishment Keen To Burn Green Fairy, Lest Too Many Ideas Blossom

Establishment Keen To Burn Green Fairy, Lest Too Many Ideas Blossom

“Economists” were no doubt delighted to have still a new abstruse field of mathematics behind which to hide their complete sell-out to plutocracy. Nash Equilibrium probably could be invoked to explain why High Finance should get all the money in the world, and ten times more. Hence the Nash idolatry?

Just another crazy idea of mine? Not so sure. In the period 1950-1955, John Nash volunteered to work for the NSA, and a correspondence exists (declassified on 2012). One can observe a mind anxious to please the establishment (just the type of minds the establishment loves).

Nash became most widely known because of his mental illness, as portrayed in the book and film “A Beautiful Mind.” Nash said he regained his health by simply rejecting irrational thought… and the neurohormonal changes due to aging (something I explained was at the root of the Dark Side).

However, Nash dared to reveal that an irrational mood could not be separated from mathematical ability. I will dare say that this is a general phenomenon: to be mentally creative means to become mentally disturbed, so that one can be mentally disturbing. Please don’t get disturbed by this perspective.

Nash: “Even when I was mentally disturbed, I had a lot of interest in numbers. I began to think more scientifically as to the years like the 80s, and maybe the later 70s. And so there’s a transition from really having more of an enthusiasm for the numbers, like maybe magical or representing a divine revelation, and just a more scientific appreciation of numbers, and these are not necessarily entirely far apart.” [PBS documentary “A Brilliant Madness.”]

Nash: “The ideas I had about supernatural beings came to me the same way that my mathematical ideas did. So I took them seriously.”

[“A Beautiful Mind,” by Sylvia Nasar.]

Patrice Ayme: Most of my social experience, outside of family, has been with mathematicians. A striking fact, with the latter, is the quasi-divine status they confer to the (extremely theoretical) entities they work on. To most mathematicians, mathematical entities become like divinities to them, and mathematics the only universe worth knowing. It may be necessary to be as involved with something so abstruse.

Nash: “I would not dare to say that there is a direct relation between mathematics and madness, but there is no doubt that great mathematicians suffer from maniacal characteristics, delirium and symptoms of schizophrenia.”

[In “The Riemann Hypothesis: The Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics,” by Karl Sabbagh.]

Patrice Ayme: I would not dare say they are crazy, but, no doubt, they are? Once again, to progress in math, one has to attach extravagant importance to extreme subtleties, make them come to life.

Nash: “I can see there’s a connection between not following normal thinking and doing creative thinking. I wouldn’t have had good scientific ideas if I had thought more normally.”

[“Glimpsing Inside a Beautiful Mind,” The Irish Times.]

Nash: “I seem to be thinking rationally again in the style that is characteristic of scientists. However this is not entirely a matter of joy as if someone returned from physical disability to good physical health. One aspect of this is that rationality of thought imposes a limit on a person’s concept of his relation to the cosmos.”

[“Les Prix Nobel: The Nobel Prizes 1994,” edited by Tore Frangsmyr.]

How do new thoughts appear? According to me, thoughts are elements of brain geometry. New thoughts are new geometry. The more complex the thoughts, the more extensive the change of geometry. Thus brains which generate new thoughts are different, and the deeper the new thinking, the greater the difference.

The “green fairy”, absinthe, was excellent apparently to bring brains to operate under different “laws”. There is little doubt that it brought a lot of innovation in thinking, as particularly well illustrated by Van Gogh. Absinthe drove people a little bit too crazy, and became a threat to the establishment. Or, at least, that the way it was perceived.

New ideas, when able to explain, that is approximate, elements of reality, are contagious (through culture). They can change brains, thus society, ultimately making The Establishment unstable, or crazy. It fights back by pointing out that the new ideas are, obviously crazy (as it has interest to perceive them to be crazy, it makes sense).

Any really new idea is, or will be perceived, to be crazy. Thus insanity, this explorer of different laws, has to be respected (as long as it is not outright dangerous, that is injurious in a way which can be legally defined, and is not just a matter of trampled spirits).

So freedom of expression is not just about saying whatever, it is also about thinking whatever, as long as it is innocuous enough.

Absinthe was reauthorized in France recently (at lower concentration). Are creative thinkers crazy? They have to be. Any really true logic is not found in yesterday’s world. By yesterday’s standards, it’s completely crazy.

An example which made it to official science? The Lorentz-Poincare’ theory of “Local Time” (advertised by Einstein). Before 1900 CE, that would have been viewed as sheer insanity. But the philosophically motivated logic of Poincare’ is now viewed by theoretical physicists as simple common sense.

Crazy yesterday, obvious tomorrow: a metric to measure progress.

Patrice Ayme’

Death By Police State: The Case Of Dean Potter

May 24, 2015

HUMANITY WOULD NOT BE WITHOUT LOVE FOR RISK TAKING

Some pragmatic and biased partisans of the police state will immediately interject that the famous climber Dean Potter died from hitting the ground as he flew his wingsuit too low in Yosemite. The Guardian, though, saw a bit further: “Did rules, not risk, cause Dean Potter’s Base jumping death?”

Potter Above The Alps. Some Day, We Will Fly Better Than That, Because We Tried

Potter Above The Alps. Some Day, We Will Fly Better Than That, Because We Tried

See also: The Last Flight of Dean Potter by my friend Dan Duane.

Humanity evolved because it learned to enjoy ever greater feats, by taking ever more risks thanks to, and inciting to inventing ever more sophisticated technology.

Therefore risk takers have to be respected: they are animated by the essence of what makes us humans.

That does not mean one should make a cult of them. And the cult around many a climber has irritated me over the years. Yes, when risk takers go too far, and misrepresent the risks they take to the youth, thus making a lot of victims, they have to be cut down to size. In that sense Dean Potter, and other like him, some of them personal friends, have irritated me. I think climbing is dangerous enough to not overdo it. Most of my friends died climbing.

Wingsuit flying is even more dangerous: around 5% of wingsuit fliers die, every year.  However, the philosophy of wingsuit flying holds together.

Indeed, I am a climber too, and I have free soloed (mostly by force, during mountaineering, because it was safer than the alternative). I have observed, during a long climbing career, that those who solo too much, or at too high a level, die. They don’t necessarily die climbing: they get so used to cheat death free soloing, that they take inconsiderate risks in other activities such as driving, or BASE jumping (indeed). So I view the hard line taken by Dr. Paul Preuss, a fanatical free soloist and with hundreds of first ascents as stupid and criminal. A free soloing Preuss died in 1913, at 27, after falling off a thousand feet. Preuss was a genius, but he went too far.

I use to climb a lot in U.S. National Parks, especially Yosemite. However, over times, those parks turned into training grounds for the police state. Once, long ago, after a hard climb in Rocky National Park, Colorado, our ropes got cut by rock fall on the descent. We had to spend the night at 13,000 feet, freezing, and finished the descent the next day. By the time we made it out to the trailhead, hours away, a ranger was there to arrest us for staying out without an overnight permit (we had only a permit to climb that particular mountain).

In Yosemite, entire casual, or cheap campsites were closed, while the Valley itself became a city, complete with judge and jail. Rangers go about with infrared detectors to arrest those who would be out in the woods at night. And so on.

There is little doubt that forcing parachutists to jump with low visibility, or worrying first about arrests, is a factor increasing the probability of dying.

Why then have the National Parks, and a lot of the wilderness, in the USA, be transformed into a police state? Well, precisely because, so doing, people are trained to live in a police state.

A particularly comic aspect of this happened when the government of the USA ran out of money, and closed all the National Parks.

I came for one of my mountain runs, starting at the end of a dirt road where there is never anybody. For this sort of long, solitary runs, I get dropped somewhere, and run to somewhere else, where I get picked up (it’s more challenging than climbing, these days).

But that period, the Parks were closed. And to make sure that the Parks would stay closed, the government had sent plenty of supplementary law enforcement (so the government spent more money, because it wanted to spend less money!). A runner had to run in the woods to escape the Rangers’ SUVs, and then play hide and seek with a horse patrol, which had been especially sent in pursuit. Those days I saw plenty of rangers in places where one never sees anyone (let alone rangers), on access dirt roads to various Parks. Many people, even families, with children, got actually chased down and arrested for daring to penetrate their National Parks, on their habitual dominical hikes.

What was taught by Big Police by this barely credible repression? That in the USA, the law is hard, but it is the law, and humanity is nothing, if it stands in the way of the law. So Dean Potter died, flying at dusk, and many in law enforcement in the USA rejoice, and so do their fellow travelers. Because it reminds all that people are nothing, and orders, everything. National Park do not teach nature first. They teach the police state, first. That is considered much more important, nowadays.

There has been recently some indignation about the methods of the police in the USA. Racist allegations were made. However, those familiar with the police in the USA know that racism is not the fundamental problem. Some of the officers indicted for violence were actually “colored” (to use an old American expression). Police, in the USA, is very well paid, and associates with the rich, and the order they gave rise to. But not just that.

The Romans used to say: ”The Law Is Hard, But It Is the Law!” The Americans say the same. Brutal application of “justice” and the law is what holds the USA together.

(Obama himself has perceived this, and just cracked down, deciding to forbid the police access to some military equipment.)

325 million citizens of the USA are taught to toe the line, and there is no better place to do so, in a semi-playful way, than in National Parks. And it’s getting worse, in parallel, and related to, the mercantilization of the Parks. That’s why I don’t go there anymore.

Increasing authoritarianism is multifaceted: this week, all my comments to the New York Times, but one, were censored. I cannot even imagine why. But the general trend is clear: if one has something really interesting to say, don’t try to say it on the New York Times: this is the propaganda piece of the pseudo-fair. (Most interesting commenters have disappeared  from there. However, The Guardian, and other British publications publish my comments. So does the… Wall Street Journal.)

Increasing authoritarianism is a slow suffocation of the human spirit. Resisting it, our essence. As Jefferson, third president of the USA pointed out, when a law is bad, it’s not just our right, but our duty, not to obey it.

Patrice Ayme

Why Insist On The DARK Side?

May 23, 2015

The First Thing That Studying The Dark Side Reveals, Is That:

Individuals, Operate According To Different Neurological “LAWS”, So, Instead Of being One, As One Naively Expects, The INDIVIDUAL IS MANY. Ex Uno Plures.

We have met the Multiverse, and it’s us…

So why to study the Dark Side, besides generating confusion? Well, precisely because it is dark. And when we throw a light on it, we see all what our simplified lives have hidden. Instead, if one wants to understand what we are capable of, we have to bring the Dark Side to the light. How does one do that? One tries to understand one’s own reasons and motivations.

Some will sneer that this insight is not knew. Some will point out at Socrates’ “Know Thyself”. However, Socrates picked up what was the Delphi Oracle’s motto. Delphi was an interesting consortium managed by women. Nor was Delphi first. The Greeks apparently traded silk with China as early as the Sixth Century BCE. And they certainly traded philosophical and mathematical ideas with India. They may have heard of Lao Tzu. As traditionally related, custom officials prevented Lao Tzu to leave China, heading West, before he wrote down some of his ideas. Many of those were strikingly modern:

Lao Tze 600 BCE, Deep. But We Don't Want To Eliminate Ourselves. Sympathy For The Devil

Lao Tze 600 BCE, Deep. But We Don’t Want To Eliminate Ourselves. Sympathy For The Devil

Dark and negative? Sometimes circumstances call for dark negativism. When Sparta marched an army into Athens to eject tyrants who had succeeded to the enlightened democracy shepherded by Solon, it was dark, and negative, but necessary. From that promptly rose Athens’ Direct Democracy, a beacon to this day. World War Two was another famous example of diabolical negativism unleashed for the best reasons.

Is man rational? Some say yes, some say no. Pascal uttered that there were two sorts of reasons: one of them from “the heart, which has its reasons which reason does not have”.

So what’s reason? Generally that question is interpreted as: is man logical? The Logos, one of three deities or avatar of the deity, of Christianism (!) is about simple “logical” rules. Say:

(A-> B & B->C) -> (A->C). More generally, the old fashion logos can be generalized as diagram chasing as in Category Theory.

Logic, as traditionally envisioned, and Category Theory are all describable point to point and digitally. As both Quantum Mechanics and Non-DNA genetics point out, this is not how the world works, in full.

(Digitally is how the Abacus, and our Twentieth Century computers work; but that’s not saying much: that’s precisely their shortcoming; the Quantum Computers use Quantum mechanics, hence the continuously differentiable nature of the world.)

So it’s not surprising our brains act continuous differential. Just the opposite of neurons’ most spectacular antics. That consist in firing long range electric potential impulses down axons.

Continuously differential brainy means the EMOTIONAL, NEUROHORMONAL system.

How do we control that?

Well, that’s straining a bit out of the traditional approach to wisdom. Kama Sutra (truly a good life and family manual) and Tantric Texts come to mind (digging in the Tantra reveals a lot of analogy with what I preach, or what De Sade observed, namely that embracing nature is often the best teaching).

But one is better off observing how famous leaders of humanity, those who imparted momentum to civilization, lived. Well, they lived, mostly dangerously, and more strikingly, in various behavioral modes. Most monarchs were hard lovers and warriors, while appreciating the arts, and even science (contemplate the Duke of Normandy and Conqueror of England, asking pointed question about the state of motion of the Earth, of Ptolemy, the Marshall of Alexander (“the Great”) establishing Alexandria as a capital of knowledge, or Francois I, Louis XIV, and Napoleon pushing the sciences; contemplate Muhammad, warrior and philosopher).

And don’t forget Socrates’ military exploits, including, among other things killing four hoplites in hand to hand combat, and helping a wounded comrade survive in an harrowing retreat after a heavy defeat of the Athenian army.

What is going on here? What has hunting all day long, and skirt chasing to do with governance? Just as Catherine The Great, after she got her husband killed, and took as lovers many of the alpha males she detected. As Vlad The Putin would point out, that manly, adventurous attitude got her army a few miles from Berlin, and all over Ukraine.

What is going on is that varied behaviors lead to varied neurohormonal regimes, various moods, thus varied sets of mental laws. In the same “individual”.

This, in turn, leads to operating the brain under different “LAWS”. I borrowed the expression from Airbus, an airline company based in Toulouse, France. Airbus and its ancestors invented Fly By Wire (FBW), inaugurated with Concorde, (adopted for the Space Shutle,) and exclusively used in the Airbus 320 (now all serious aircraft makers have followed). When a plane flies normally it is in “normal law”. When things get abnormal, the computerized brain of the plane change “laws”, with the idea to put the pilots in charge. (The system has worked very well, for decades, up to two weeks ago when a brand new A400 M transport plane crashed because of a computer bug.)

The situation with human brains is that neurohormonal regimes put brains in different laws, that is, in different logics. This cannot be denied. It was intuitively understood, for a long time: hence the avice to not get angry, and that anger, or fear, are bad advisers, etc.

Well, maybe that’s the wrong approach. Maybe anger, fear, love, instead of being eschewed, have to be embraced, to explore the world under a different law.

Let’s go back to the aeronautical analogy. That A400M which crash was flown in a TEST, as a TEST aircraft (it was its first flight), by TEST pilots and engineers. As it turned out that was also the TEST of a new software to enable some specific military operations (acting on fuel and what is called “trimming”, a displacement of center of mass related to fuel, inaugurated on Concorde, nearly fifty years ago).

Well, the tests ended catastrophically: three engines cut-off, and the plane, badly trimmed, banked abnormally, and crashed.

It would have been better to run the whole thing as a thought, rather than test experiment. But for aircraft, there is no choice. Just as, for the Earth, there is no choice: we cannot run the Earth as a TEST SPACESHIP, doing whatever, and see what happens.

Because, whereas one crashed plane can be replaced, the Earth cannot.

So we have to make the most thorough thought experiments, much more thorough than we ever did before.

Why?

Because we want to understand our minds, or, more exactly, the minds of the oligarchy of a few thousands, dominated by Xi, Putin, Obama, Merkel, Hollande, and a few hundreds associated top plutocrats of, fully equipped with herds of minions, all the way down to academic critters producing the requested logic (plutocratic law).

Look back down at history. Consider FDR, a president of the USA at a time when, to avoid a holocaust, he had to make a united front with the French Republic. Instead, FDR did the opposite, pronouncing, ten years later, when they holocaust had been already unleashed, and millions were already dead, that the USA was the “Arsenal of Democracy”.

What motivated FDR in weakening and opposing France, while arguing with Hitler, when at the same time replacing his ambassador (Dodd) precisely because he was antagonistic to the Nazis, and tolerating a massive policy of investment with the Nazis that violated neutrality, and so on? One has to go to psychoanalysis.

My explanation? FDR was actually a plutocrat. His family had a (self-created) coat of arms (mine too, but it’s the fault of the king of Aragon, 12 centuries ago).

However, a half paralyzed Roosevelt had to impose an anti-plutocratic policy as candidate and president. And then FDR got the French government in his face, telling him he was all wrong. Indeed, then wrong FDR did, by being all too friendly to Hitler, and refusing Jewish refugees. In the end, FDR lived in denial.

The ultimate was when, although from an institutionally racist USA, FDR had to fight to death the racist-in-chief, Adolf Hitler, and make in a sense its bed for the Liberty-Equality-Fraternity Republic (never mind that France was not really that; FDR was furious he was pulled in the wrong direction; indeed, soon, under the pressure of the war, the U.S. army pushed for desegregation.

Notice that then one has to interpret emotions, such as FDR’s rage against the French, or his de facto friendliness to enemies of France such as Stalin. Texts, the digital thing, are insufficient.

To get to know ourselves, we have to know, not just our logic (roll over Socrates), or what we know (as a library of facts and demonstrations). We also have to know our emotions, and where they came from. More than that, we have to know what they are, or could be, capable of.

Thus we have not just to cultivate our garden (Voltaire), but also cultivate our emotional system, and especially its potential character. Don’t just imagine the Light. Imagine also the Dark.

Patrice Ayme’

NON-DNA Genes

May 22, 2015

 

What Are Genes? Well, not what they thought… Yesterday.

NON-DNA INHERITANCE IS NOT JUST CULTURAL, BUT BIOLOGICAL:

A gene in a life form ought to be a mechanism or device which (partly) generates the life form.

Forget about restricting “genes” to DNA inside the nucleus, I am using a philosophical definition. It gives immediately rise to a mathematical definition of “genes”. A “gene” is any reproducible form.

Example: Prions. They reproduce a molecular form. They have nothing to do with DNA.
Do we know genes fully? Certainly not. That would mean we know fully the way a human being (say) is reproduced.

Much Of What's Inside A Cell Is NON-DNA Reproduced

Much Of What’s Inside A Cell Is NON-DNA Reproduced

In the case of humans, it is said by those that everything we are comes from 35,000 genes they distinguish deep down inside. It seems unlikely that one can get so much from so little.
So is there more than those 35,000? Yes. First there are extranucleic genes, part of extrachromosomal DNA. There are also contributions from viruses, which can insert their own genes inside ours. Permanently. All these are part of Non-Mendelian Inheritance.

Moreover, let’s consider cellular division. “VEGETATIVE SEGREGATION” results from self-replication and then partitioning of cytoplasmic organelles. If one just look at the mass of what’s replicated, when a large organism is reproduced most of the mass is generated by this geometric copying. That’s also true for the smallest cell with organelles.

Now it turns out that centrioles are also an example of NON-DNA reproduction. They are transmitted by sperm, whereas mitochondria are transmitted by eggs.

The study just published, from Lausanne’s EPFL University, shows that centrioles can carry information over the generations.

Genetically modified versions of the worm C. Elegans, the one with Free Will, had three different centriole proteins tagged with a fluorescent signal. Tagged male worms were mated to untagged females. Scientists could specifically track centriole components that were contributed from the father during the course of embryogenesis.

Gönczy’s team imaged the fluorescent signals at different cell divisions of the developing embryos, and discovered that paternally contributed centriole proteins persist up to ten cell generations. Centrioles are persistent in the embryos. They are Non-DNA/RNA genetic information carriers.
“Centrioles have always been seen as something that just jumpstarts the development of the embryo,” says Pierre Gönczy. “Here we show that centrioles could be the means of a unidirectional inheritance of information, with considerable impact in early development.”
Several disease are known to originate in centrioles.

The evidence is strong for what I expected all along: organelles themselves are information carriers, and inheritance is not all about DNA. It’s the entire geometry of eukaryotic cell which reproduces, DIRECTLY, geometrically, not just DNA.
That’s called a paradigm shift.

So much for the selfish gene, and similar philosophical reductions to the absurd, fed by provisional science. This shows how dangerous it is to devise hasty philosophy from poorly digested knowledge. We are not just our DNA.

Life reproduces, but life does not just reproduces digitally (that is, through DNA). Instead geometric, topological, and analogous reproduction is also at work.
Patrice Ayme’

War Versus Direct Democracy

May 21, 2015

When We The People decide to go to war, it can be an excellent thing; to wit, many a revolution, including those which gave rise to the USA, the French Republic, the Republic of China (OK, OK… There were two…). However, when an oligarchy, or a plutocracy, decides to go to war, it is rarely a good thing. Most often, it is an atrocious thing. The war the USA launched in Mesopotamia, as one of its principals, if not the principal actor, one way or another, has not been a good thing for the Middle-East (although, lo and behold, it has been an excellent thing for the domestic oil industry of the USA. Any rapprochement between these facts is sheer coincidence, and no animals were hurt during the making of this movie).

So the so-called “Islamist State” captured Ramadi, a large city just west of Baghdad. The next day, it captured Palmyra, in Syria, 200 kilometers from Damascus.

Mine Is Bigger Than Yours. Islamic State/Daesh Captured Thousands Of Tanks

Mine Is Bigger Than Yours. Islamic State/Daesh Captured Thousands Of Tanks

What does that have to do with Direct Democracy? Everything. You see, the Iraq War is a family affair. It was essentially started by one family. No, not the Hussein family. Those were just a convenient excuse. The war was started by one American family, or, at least, under its watch. The Bush family. It was convoluted enough a story, and the Main Stream Media was so embedded in it, that the reality of what happened has escaped the befuddled crowds.

The picture above was taken after the capture of Mosul. Within hours of that joyous event, the Islamic State was flying combat helicopters, meaning that it employed Sunni elements of Saddam Hussein’s old army. In other words, lo and behold, the “Mission” was not accomplished. Saddam, or rather his punching power, was back. The same topo was reproduced after the capture of Ramadi. Columns of tanks flying the Black Flag could be seen on IS videos. (Yes, I have strange pastimes…)

War has a life of its own. Once started, it is hard to stop. All the more since it is quickly sympathetic to the worst actors. Thus, even making peace with war does not work. One cannot just rise the white flag, and surrender. Just giving up on war, surrendering to those who lead the war successfully, once it has risen its ugly snout, often means giving up to very bad guys.

The day after capturing Palmyra, Daesh (the Arabic insult France and Arab states hurl at the IS) dashed out of Mosul, ten kilometers towards the Iraqi capital. France and the USA have officially a few thousands soldiers on the ground in Iraq, not enough to stop Daesh. Air strikes have been hindered by a laudable effort to limit strikes to military targets. In most French or American sorties, bombs are not released.

It seems as if the Franco-American led strategy in the Middle-East is not working (in spite of more than 5,300 air strikes, and president Hollande of France attending the Gulf Defense Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia). How come? Or, more exactly, what is going on?

Well, it’s called the Iraq War, and it was started under Bush Senior, long ago (if not even earlier, when Iraq was encouraged to attack Iran, with the same Western actors, well represented).

What would we do without Bushes? Would we even have had “enjoyed” Hitler (who called Prescott Bush his “most important” collaborator, at some point).

And this brings the big question: would the People of the USA have authorized the attack on Iraq, in a referendum?

No.

There would have been a debate, and undisputed example of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction would have had to be produced. First.

Some are sure to sneer that I am naïve, and that the We The People of The USA would have been manipulated into war. OK, let’s suppose that. Then what? The We The People of The USA would have egg all over its silly face, and, at least, would have learned something, namely to check its sources more carefully. For next time.

In a referendum, there is no doubt that an attack on Afghanistan, after 9/11, and an ultimatum, would have been authorized. Thus it’s probable, actually, that, once it had been exposed that Saddam Hussein’s secular regime was an enemy of Islam Fundamentalism in general, and Al Qaeda in particular, the We The People of the USA would have disagreed to attack a, de facto, ally.

Right, the Athenian Direct Democracy took lousy decisions during the war between Imperial Athens, and other rather oligarchic, if not fascist Greek city-states, led by a degenerating Sparta, financed by the giant Persian plutocracy.

Yes. This was then. A tough learning experience we can learn from now.

The fact is, one family got us in the Iraq War, for the last 25 years, and We The People of the USA, or We the People of Europe, did not vote for it.

Although at first sight it does not look like it, I have documented the causal chains between the mess in the Middle East and Western plutocracy, and the institutions it created. The Great Bitter Lake conspiracy, initially a manoeuver to push France and Britain out, and the USA in, is a case in point.

Kuwait itself was a conspiracy (it’s only natural that Mesopotamia would have access to the sea! Always had, before the British messed up with it).

The USA Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie was accused of having given tacit approval for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait (August 2, 1990). Glaspie’s statements that “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts” and that “the Kuwait issue is not associated with America” were interpreted by Mr. Hussein as giving him freedom to solve the problem of Kuwait (which he alleged was using horizontal pumping in Iraq’s oil fields. Saddam would not have invaded Kuwait had he been given an explicit warning that such an invasion would be met with a United Nations Security Council resolution.

University professors specializing in the question concluded that:”…The U.S. State Department had earlier told Saddam that Washington had ‘no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait.’ The United States may not have intended to give Iraq a green light, but that is effectively what it did.”[ ^ John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt (Jan–Feb 2003). “An unnecessary war”. Foreign Policy (134): 54.]

Some don’t believe in Conspiracy Theories. However, beside the law of unintended consequences, history is mostly made with these. (To know this, one has to study history beyond the headlines.)

It is easy for one family, such as the Bush family, to conspire. When only a few men take all the decisions, their wildest dreams and most secret perversions can be enacted, and enabled.

Yes, conspiracies are impossible to organize in Direct Democracy. Thus, those who heap spite on “conspiracy theories” are actually asserting that We the People control our destinies. Evidence to the contrary is in plain sight. A few thousands individuals control most of the world’s wealth, and even fewer, most of the world’s power.

To remedy this, a few conspiring to kill millions, just one way: Direct Democracy, as much as possible.

Patrice Ayme’

Bank Worship

May 20, 2015

BANK WORSHIP IS ALL WHAT MIGHTY ECONOMISTS KNOW:

I have fiercely condemned, for a decade, the policy of reducing the economy to interest rates. As I have said, and will say again below, this is identical to making (private) bankers into gods. “Liberal” (meaning “left” in the USA) economists love to say that low interest rates is all the socialism we need. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman is trying to make fun of the serious arguments found in scholarly critique of his “interest rate idolatry”. Says Paul:

I’m With Stupid.

No doubt, dear Paul, no doubt. Being stupid is more profitable, quite often, than being smart and moral.

Banksters Steal The World, And Prosper, Ever More

Banksters Steal The World, And Prosper, Ever More

Via FT Alphaville, James Montier has an interesting piece castigating economists for their “interest rate idolatry”, their belief that central bank-set interest rates matter a lot for the economy…” Montier writes down notions I used to brandish at the beginning of the Obama presidency. I stopped after I realized everybody (Very Serious People, Academia, High Finance, Politicians, Media) was on the con. That meant, in practice that, if one talked about it too much one was viewed as mentally imbalanced (just as pointing out that the Qur’an prescribes terrorism may one looks as a racist, according to the Politically Correct insects). Here is part of Montier’s well-thought essay:

A wider idolatry: the greatest con ever perpetuated

Lest you think I am being unduly harsh on the world’s poor central bankers, let me turn to the wider idolatry of interest rates that seems to characterise the world in which we live. There seems to be a perception that central bankers are gods (or at the very least minor deities in some twisted economic pantheon). Coupled with this deification of central bankers is a faith that interest rates are a panacea.

Whatever the problem, interest rates can solve it. Inflation too high, simply raise interest rates. Economy too weak, then lower interest rates. A bubble bursts, then slash interest rates, etc., etc. John Kenneth Galbraith poetically described this belief as “…our most prestigious form of fraud, our most elegant escape from reality… The difficulty is that this highly plausible, wholly agreeable process exists only in well-established economic belief and not in real life.”

This obsession with interest rates as a cure-all rests on some dubious views about the way the world works.”

Montier points out that the fundamental official argument for lowering interest rates down to zero is flawed: …”firms generally rely on internal financing to fund investment, rather than borrowing – witness Exhibit 6. Over 100% of gross investment is financed by internal funds.”

The obsession with interest rates has meant, in practice, that so-called liberal, self-described “progressive”, friends of “We The People” economists, have prescribed, implicitly, to lower taxes on the hyper-rich as much as possible. So they masquerade as left-wing, but, in truth, they are plutophiles. This is an old method, and why Polar Bears are white, instead of brown or black as their ancestors were. Montier:

“Just in case you were wondering about the much-lauded ability of the central bank to create inflation via helicopter drops of cash (or its modern-day equivalent), this is actually a form of fiscal policy, not monetary policy. As I noted above, monetary policy alters the distribution of net worth while fiscal policy alters the levels of net worth. Because helicopter drops effectively give everyone a boost of cash, this is clearly a change in net worth and thus is likely to be helpful in stimulating demand.

As you may have gathered from the preceding paragraph, the good news is that there is an alternative to monetary policy, and that is fiscal policy. These days fiscal policy is deeply out of vogue amongst policymakers and politicians. However, it has a much more direct link to growth than any of the channels suggested for monetary policy – it is part of the construction of GDP, and has a clear impact upon incomes.”

Krugman made a very feeble defense, which mostly consisted, weirdly, but tellingly enough, to laud Lawrence Summers, one of the architect of the dismantlement of the financial regulations under Clinton, to create a class of hyper-rich financiers. To his credit, Krugman published my comment:

In the USA, houses are started massively all the times. It’s a mark of unsustainability (presumably flimsy housing is replaced). Reducing the entire economy to this, is imbalanced. Why not consider infrastructure starts? Research? Health?

The fundamental question is: what is an economic activity which is profitable for the society?

The conventional answer is that banks know best. As the banks’ lending goes up as interest rates go down, bringing the latter down, improves the economy, say banks’ friends.

Let’s call that BANK WORSHIP.

Bank worship has enabled big banks’ heads and associated high financiers they collaborate with, to be so powerful and dishonest, that they changed the hearts & minds of all the power that be in society.

The latest case is the French Societe Generale: the police chief in charge of an inquiry on an eight billion dollar fraud therein, now admits, years later, that she was manipulated by the bank (a lower level employee, Jerome Kerviel, was sued, chased down, and condemned severely, although he claims he acted under orders). The fraud was reimbursed by taxpayers. This means that Societe Generale bosses, just in this particular case, of this particular fraud, stole around 50 dollars to each French citizens. Don’t worry for them: the thieves live big. An even bigger picture is that, in the leading countries, big bankers are banksters, and they corrupted institutions of the Republic (including politics, government, justice and police) thoroughly.

The problem is the same in Anglo-America: time after time, giant frauds of the biggest banks are exposed, and they are condemned to fines. In the end, a bank-too-big-to-fail condemned to a fine means nothing: in the worst possible cases, it’s tax payers who pay. It is the case where the criminals’ punishment is to make the victims suffer.

The latest such case is the LIBOR “punishment”, proclaimed today. In it, big banks in London manipulated the world’s leading interest rate (they call that the “market”). You would think that, after stealing billions the heads of banks such as JP Morgan would go to jail. No. Taxpayers go to jail.

Zero Interest Rates, To Serve High Finance Plutocracy:

Another problem is that zero interest rates have proven devastating for small savers, while providing the banks and their accomplices with quasi-unlimited funds for playing with each other the derivatives’ market, something that is not a real economic activity, except by making the richest ever richer.

One lends to the rich. By making lending ever easier, government policy has made the rich ever richer.

Correct economic activity would consist in the government encouraging activities which are profitable to the people at large, very long term.

The “market” is driven with what bankers think is profitable, short term.

Conventional wisdom by the economists in power is that we can trust the bankers to encourage the economic activity most suitable to the “market”, hence society.

Governments were told by the economists in power to make the job of bankers easier, to make for a better economy, hence better society. Trust bankers, give them all the lending capability, hence all the power they want, and We The People will become richer.

Thus the general strategy of bank worship assumes a trait that is true: a banker is a government official. A banker is a non-elected, uncontrolled government official, with unlimited funds, and inexistent oversight by the People’s representatives.

Bankers control the market, which controls the economy, which control society. Is that the society we want? Do we want to be controlled, financed, by an oligarchy of non-elected little Big Brothers who decide what activities the society will engage in?

Bankers are little Big Brothers who are free to finance the high financial class they belong to, as much as they want. That’s why derivative trading is more than ten times larger than real trade, worldwide. This is also why half of the world’s money is in Dark Pools. And so on.

The cause of this nightmarish world is bank worship. Bank worship is very smart for the Big Bankers. Krugman is NOT with stupid, as he disingenuously claim. He is with the winning crowd. To go interact with people such as Paul Krugman and Joe Stiglitz, the fact is, one needs to be seriously independently wealthy (then one can become a “student”, meaning a future co-conspirator, or mingle at parties).

It is very stupid for the rest of us to have become adulators of bank worship. Bank worship made society subject to a dictatorial oligarchy operating in the shadows.

What happened to the Enlightenment? It seems to have sunk in “Dark Pools”.

Patrice Ayme’