Posts Tagged ‘Cognition’

A Modest Proposal Regarding Google: Separate Greed From Cognition

October 14, 2018

Abstract: I propose to legislatively force Google to separate its for-profit search from its non-pecuniary interested search. In one case one would look for $Search, say Google$.com and in the other, one would search inside Google.com. (That is Google without the $ dollar sign…)

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I spoke to the owner of a cheap hotel in the Alps. He explained to me how much money he was loosing from the already hyper wealthy, powerful and influential Google and its associated for-profit accomplices. Then I got a very simple idea to remedy part of the problem.

Google is the search engine most used around the planet. That made it into a world public utility. Now of course those who contributed most to its growth may object that Google is a private company, and they should be able to do with it as they want, like any other private company (private companies which are on stock exchanges are, confusingly, called “public” in the USA; they are not “public”: they are the property of the holders of the so-called “stock” of the company, so they are truly private!)

I had a much more thorough, truth-telling picture at my disposal. However, more than 15 years ago, I got evacuated from the then search engines because I had gone a few truths too far… (when I mentioned this to “friends”, then, they told me that was impossible, I was paranoid… Nowadays, few would believe that can’t happen: search censorship is official). So I didn’t want to repeat the experience (I got enormous censorship from Facebook in the last few months). So here above was a much milder picture: those billionaire creeps, endowed with all the powers thanks to my good friend Obama even scare people who, as I did today can hang on a cliff, 1,000 feet above the deck. We are in censoring dictatorship… At least we don’t get cut-up in pieces: see the Saudi Arabia exploit below…

But Google, by hook or by crook, achieved a world monopoly. That position is, in turn, an asset. How it became a world monopoly was by paying, directly or indirectly, by cash or by jobs, some “consulting”, some obtained just through the grossest influence peddling. Same as Apple and Facebook. (Notoriously Steve Jobs made a deal with corrupt Irish leaders to get Apple worldwide profits taxed only 1%… in violations of EU and US law…)

Thus Google owes We the People of Planet Earth, quite a bit. Besides, its spy-on-everyone practice should be unlawful: “We don’t need you to type at all because we know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less guess what you’re thinking about … Is that over the line?” – Google (then) Chairman Eric Schmidt

https://gizmodo.com/5878987/its-official-google-is-evil-now

Now if one looks for a given product or subject, one finds plenty of “Adv” (Advertising) listed on top. Then there is a whole jungle of paid transactions: Search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimisation (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-impression (CPM) search engine advertising, sponsored listings, paid for placement, and that’s before you get to services provided by the search engines themselves – Google AdWords, etc…

This is all extremely lucrative. Google has paid billions of dollars just to have Apple, its partner in crime, brandish it as its default search engine:

https://searchengineland.com/report-google-to-pay-apple-9-billion-to-remain-default-search-engine-on-safari-306082

Thus, worldwide, when people search for something, they enrich the crooks. Crooks? How else do you want to qualify those who pay very little or even no taxes, while being the richest (legal) persons on Earth. Companies as persons? Since “Citizen United” the crooked (?) Supreme Court of the US (“SCOTUS”) has recognized companies as “persons” with a right of free speech… GAFA (Google Amazon Facebook Apple) pay very little tax, whereas normal companies pay much more; that’s (greatly) how they became the richest in the world. They do not invent the science: they are technological aggregators, exploiting the work of obscure, impoverished, scientists.

Google once had a deep partnership with Apple. Then, while Steve Jobs mentored co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Schmidt sat on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) board of directors, Android magically acquired into iphone like capabilities: do Google and Apple constitute a double headed duopoly?

One could use against them the insult GAFA use against companies who buy patents from inventors (thus rewarding inventors). GAFA and their ilk are NON-PRACTICING ENTITIES:  indeed, they, mostly, didn’t practice the research. They are just tax free monopolies exploiting the discoveries of others (who now, thanks to SCOTUS’s devastation of the Patent System, can’t exploit their own discoveries pecuniarily…).   

So Google: let’s separate for-profit search from non-profit search. Greed needs to be kept away from knowledge.

Morality starts legislatively.

Today, Trump said that Saudi Arabia’s disappearance of a well known journalist, if confirmed, would bring “severe punishment“.

Things are getting ever more complicated and rougher in Saudi Arabia, as expected (from, in part the war against Iran by proxy in Yemen, where faults are shared, and civilians facing today’s world greatest human crisis). The disappeared journalist used to be an Islamist and was a supporter of the (fascist) Muslim Brotherhood, before supporting in 2018 democracy (& incoherently, still, the Muslim Bro!) Missing Journalist Was an Insider Willing to Cross Saudi Red Lines

The famous Jamal Khashoggi rankled authorities (and maybe Muhammad Bin Salman, MBS Himself, the reigning “Crown Prince”) with socially liberal views and (intolerable) sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood…

What to do? Just as common denizens should put pressure on legislators to separate profit and search, they should insist to separate fascist regimes and supporting them… by frequenting them. For example, going to Thailand, or Indonesia, let alone UAE or Saudi Arabia, as a tourist, should be carefully considered for what it is: an active support for fascism. Evil regimes (and that could be arguably more than 100 countries) should be spurned, avoided and rejected. I was no friend of Khashoggi, because of his Islamist past.. Nevertheless, cutting up the enemy in body parts (as probably happened to Khashoggi) just because he is basically right, is enforcing terror, just as efficiently as others are enforcing terror with biased search, and for the same basic reason.

Google greed cognition, the Saudi Islamist dictatorship: time to meditate the well-known Chinese proverb:”Kill the chicken, to frighten the monkeys“. If we chicken out of all this, the mighty getting mightier, in the grossest ways, we will be all become frightened monkeys..

Patrice Ayme

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Note on something somewhat related: Calling “private” companies the shares of which are publicly exchanged, enables the wealthiest owners of the world to claim, intuitively and emotionally, that they do something “public”. Whereas, of course, the exact opposite is true. The equivalent happened when Google seized as motto “Don’t be evil” (we will do it for you…)

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Note on the author not being an hypocrite contrarily to appearances: I use Google all the time… I even use, very rarely, features of Google I know enrich it… But I would use any top performing search engine: search is a public utility…

No Understanding, No Empathy

February 8, 2014

Debating how to maximize empathy goes to the heart. There is no heart without soul, or soul without mind, and mind without knowledge.

I just argued in “Finance Worth: CERN, Not Plutothat the Will To Knowledge, in particular the Will To Science was the best way to undermine social injustice and inequity. It’s no coincidence that the English, American and French revolutions happened when the scientific revolution became obvious even to the plebs.

Paul Handover, a trusted and most faithful commenter on this site, author of the Learning From Dogs site, objected to my allegation that The Will To Know is a different dimension in psychological space from empathy (literally, “feeling the pain“).So I argued that funding physics was primary. Paul wrote:  Spending to alleviate, nay remove, homelessness should come way before physics despite the power of your argument. Just my two-cents worth.

I will show here that, although, in first order, physics and empathy are independent of each other, in second order, the latter depends upon the former, in our honorable genus. Actually the dependence of empathy upon cognition is central to the ferocious genius of the human genus.   

No Cognition No Communication No Civilization No Commiseration

No Cognition No Communication No Civilization No Commiseration 

The first time I met that idea, I was a child, watching a grainy TV screen. Neil Armstrong was landing on the Moon. Some French intellectuals who I saw only that day, smirked, and said it was a terrible thing. “With all the money they spent on that they could have fed the hungry instead!”

I was outraged. Being half Algerian, and having lived mostly in Black Africa, I had direct knowledge that people suffer, die and go hungry for reasons that have nothing to do with spending. Money can’t buy love, and it can’t buy hatred, either.

JFK and LBJ spent 100 billion dollars landing on the Moon. That was money splendidly and fruitfully spent. Stepping on the Moon was a better idea than a Third World War with the USSR. Arguably, if the USA and the USSR had not competed to get to the Moon first, they may have competed with direct war (instead of the indirect war in Vietnam). The race was pretty much settled when the giant Soviet N1 rocket exploded every single time a launch was attempted, producing a 7 kilotons TNT explosion (half of Hiroshima), and destroying its launch pad.

The technological fall-out of the landing on the Moon was enormous (never mind that the 100 top NASA Saturn V engineers were Nazis). The scientific fall-out is still ongoing. Some of the astronauts were geologists and brought back lots of rocks which were studied worldwide. The Moon’s geology is full of surprises: it’s a piece of Earth’s mantle!

Considering the discoveries made on the Moon, I have argued in “Life Giving EARTH NUCLEAR Reactor” that one ought to introduce a new term in the so called Drake equation: a huge fission reactor may be needed for life, and the Moon may have resulted from it. If true, this has all sorts of philosophical, not to say political, consequences.

A parallel, highly ambitious technological program was the much derided Franco-British supersonic, the Concorde (initially a French idea). Concorde was an enormous success too, and nobody knows. No, it’s not because Concorde still hold some speed records. Concorde contributed a lot to the advanced of civilization. And not just by having the French and British taking tea together.

How? When a plane flies supersonic, its center of lift goes way back. To compensate, the center of mass of the plane has to go way back too. That was done by transferring fuel. That was not done by hand. That was done, could only be done, by computers, and assorted electrical systems. With its Gothic delta wings very unstable at low speeds and its variable geometry air intakes, Concorde needed to have many other mechanisms under computer control.

One did not want the computer system to fail. An elaborated system was invented to make sure of that. Five computers, using different software systems built by different companies were put in command. One machine flew the plane while others watched and were ready to take over. Concorde was the first “fly by wire” plane (the next one, years later, was the USA Space Shuttle). Now such systems are ubiquitous, not just in aviation, but each time a driver applies the brakes, a train goes somewhere, etc.    

That empathy should be viewed as coming “way before” understanding is THE classical mistake. The Roman emperors, the top plutocrats per excellence, thus committed it again and again, for all to see and hear, until they drove Rome into the ground, below their boot.

Nothing comes before understanding. Understanding is what humans do. Many animals have empathy. Elephants certainly do. In humans, understanding has grown so much, that empathy has become a slave to understanding. (That’s the major problem with tribalism.)

After all many animals, or human populations, have empathy, but, lacking understanding, that empathy is of no effect whatsoever.

One can easily imagine that it is what befell the Mayan civilization in the super drought of the Seventh Century or all the Americas when the epidemiological and military apocalypse of the Fifteenth Century was upon them. The cataclysm was not understood, empathy had no effect.

All Aztecs had homes, but, to protect their homes, they would have needed enough knowledge of physics to make field guns to repulse the 2,000 invaders.  The Aztecs could not understand why Conquistadores climbed on Mexican volcanoes: they were fetching saltpeter to make more gun powder.

Meanwhile, paralyzed by their version of empathy, the Aztecs captured Spaniards alive to offer them, alive, to the Gods. So, when they had the struggling Cortez in their hands, literally, they tried to tie him up with ropes, and that gave enough time for his men to kill all the Aztecs swarming him, and rescue El Capitan.

Under what theory does providing a roof for everybody comes before understanding for everybody? After all, is a roof necessary for life? During most of human evolution, in most places, there were no roofs. It’s as if I said:”Oh we need to understand how to grow more food” and someone replied: ”Well build a home for the homeless, first”.

What if my neighbor does not want a home? After all, I have enjoyed bivouacs many times: I understand the charm of life in the grand outdoors, below the Milky Way.

Poverty is more than about roofs: I live in one of the world’s richest regions (the SF Bay Area) and I see people digging into garbage all the time. That did not use to be the case. It’s more so since Obama rules, with his fake empathy.

When I was a child, I saw only dogs and vultures dig into garbage. In Black Africa, a place with no intrinsic riches whatsoever. So poverty is a problem with the organization of society. Obama’s USA are the richest ever, but so is financial inequality. In other words, poverty in the USA is a question of understanding Obama and Pelosi did not understand, hopefully, that what they were doing was bound to increase inequality.

The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest machine, is mostly under France, and its power mostly comes from nuclear power plants in socialist France. There is absolutely no contradiction between socialism and understanding, just the opposite. That’s why the LHC and ITER sit in France. Not because France loves homelessness and treating the poor like trash, but, precisely, because empathy without understanding is self-contradictory.

The understanding approach to things is first to ask why there is homelessness, and then to address the factor therein. Some people are homeless because they scrambled their brains on drugs: ponder the factors therein. Millions of people are homeless, or poorly lodged, because the jobs are not where the houses are: that’s endemic throughout the world. Fix that through construction programs, where needed, and so on.

An important advance in Physics has been Quantum Field Theory. The useful theories therein are RENORMALIZABLE. What does that mean? Because of vacuum energy fluctuations, any Field is subject to non linear self interactions. The Fields feed backs on the Field, non linearly. When physicists can handle this, by changing the mass and the charge, in a topological way, the theory is RENORMALIZABLE: one can compute with it.

It’s obvious to me that the mathematics and methods so developed are applicable to other fields (pun not intended). Actually they have been applied in statistics. It’s only a matter of time, and enough people knowing physics, before these methods are applied to the fight against plutocracy and homelessness.

Indeed, if some people in the USA live as some African dogs and vultures used to, it’s not because there is not enough spending, or it’s going in the wrong direction. The Black Africa I knew was 1,000 times poorer than the USA is today, per capita. However the psychological situation was different. It’s psychology that made the difference, not spending. And what psychology is used for.

Plutocrats know human psychology very well. Simply, in the mood they are, the hyper exploitative mood, psychology is in the service of the hormones, the neurohormones, and the glands, in or out of the brain, in the service of the Dark Side. 

The Will To Know can ram the Dark Side, and only the Will To Know can do so. There is no empathy without understanding, because empathy itself is a form of understanding.

The housing crisis, in the USA, and throughout the West, just like the employment crisis, is, first of all, a cognition problem. There is a Will Not To Build. That needs to be re-cognized.

All these considerations will fly beyond the understanding of the presidency in Washington. Obama organized a State Visit and assorted dinner for his romantically complicated partner, President François Hollande of France. That’s the first State Dinner in two years. Last year’s dinner was cancelled by the president of Brazil, when she learned Obama was spying on her as if she were Osama Bin Laden.

The thick ivory invitations with gold embossing and the words “The President and Mrs. Obama request the pleasure of” were printed for 300 celebrities and powers of the plutocratic order. They had to be destroyed and new ones printed without Ms. Trierweiler’s name. Trierweiler was a woman endowed with extraordinary powers because she was thought to be sleeping with the French president, until it was revealed that she was not. Then her powers magically vanished.

One may wonder by which other magical powers those 300 hundred worthies are invited at the seat of power. No doubt, if she were around, a few years ago, the Obamas would have invited, in the past, the corrupt daughter of the Spanish King.

In a real democracy, should that not be unsupervised by We the People? Can there be empathy without democracy? Hell no. Hell says no, and does care about that a lot.

When Pluto plays philanthropist in a forest, do moralists want to find out what’s going on?

Patrice Aymé

Enough Naivety Already.

December 18, 2010

 

NO INDEPENDENTLY THINKING PEOPLE, NO PRESSURE.

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NAIVETY RULES:

Obama signed his second enormous “stimulus” made of enormous tax cuts for the hyper rich. Both on tax cuts for the hyper rich and in war, Obama has expanded considerably G. W. Bush’s policies.

It is a plutocratic trap: there is not enough credit to pay for it, and it does not build anything. Instead, the money for the rich thus created will keep on fleeing the USA. As the moment arrives when the interest on the debt will be even larger than the (near) trillion dollars for the “Defense” department, the plutocrats will turn around, and request savage cuts in what they view as the American welfare state. The plutocrats are the masters of the narrative of reality in the USA.

Krugman wrote an editorial “Wall Street Whitewash” starting with “When the financial crisis struck, many people — myself included — considered it a teachable moment. Above all, we expected the crisis to remind everyone why banks need to be effectively regulated.  

How naïve we were.”

Indeed. Potentates have no interest to advertize how they steal everybody. As long as there is no pressure from the street, things will not change for the better. Understanding will only decay.

Plutocracy is only afraid of the street (a well known fact throughout Europe, hence the demonstrations there). Pressure in the street is not fashionable in the USA, ever since it was savagely, subtly, and everywhere repressed. Americans are basically scared.

The average American is pretty well programmed by the hyper rich, even on the emotional level. The average American feels that “cool”, the emotion of having no emotion, is the superior emotional set-up, and that Very Serious People do not believe there ever was anything such as a conspiracy. Conspiracies do not happen in the USA. All Very Serious People know this. Being endowed with a modicum of gravitas, or culture, is to know that too.

Krugman, and others, have observed that facts and semantics are being reconstructed by the (so called) republicans to claim that the government caused the financial crisis (when actually it is lack of government which did). The republicans decided to banish from now on words such as “deregulation”. Hence deregulation in finance could not have created any problem, since “deregulation” does not exist.

The Reaganosaurs try to foster the feeling that the government is bad, thus it should be terminated (except where it serves them with enormous profits). Presumably everybody should buy weapons to re-establish order, and tanks to drive around the potholes. As the rich would have bigger weapons, private armies and flying machines, they would dominate the situation: a more technologically advanced variant of the feudal order established during the Late Roman empire.

The Obama tax cuts for the rich ought to help that way. In the next stage, his republican ‘friends’, and Wall Street ‘friends’ will propose to Obama savage cuts in government. At this point Obama will be trapped, because he will have to chose between losing the last democrat willing to vote for him, and doing once again, what his very rich friends want him to do.

The same situation happened in the late Roman empire. The Obamas of the time were Christian emperors who had delayed too long cracking down on the feudal rich. Of course they were themselves the ultimate potentates, so they had no moral standing to criticize their fellow plutocrats, and that was, then, as now, an important part of the crisis. (When the Franks replaced the Romans, the wealth and power differential between the richest and the poorest, was incomparably less than in the Late Roman empire.) Let’s try to demolish a piece of the bankers’ lying narrative. Contrarily to what they pretend,

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FINANCIAL DERIVATIVES CAUSED THE CRASH OF 2008:

In particular, real estate loans did not cause the crash. As I will demonstrate below in several ways, they were too small to do so. Instead speculation in derivatives caused the crash.

Hyper wealth has made a disingenuous discourse brazenly asserting that the subprime loans created the financial crisis. This is completely false, as can be demonstrated by a few observations, and basic mathematics.

There are 55 million homes in the USA. Let’s suppose very generously fifteen million were paid, once again very generously 100% with subprime loans, and that every single one of these loans was a total loss. Since the median price of a home peaked around $200,000, and went down 30%, we get a loss on each loan of $60,000. On 15 million homes, the total loss in dollars is (15) (ten to the power six) (6) (ten to the power four) = (90) (ten to the power ten) = 900 billion dollars. In other words, less than a trillion dollars.

However the government of the USA given to the banks five trillion dollars to the banks (and so called shadow banks, financial establishments endowed, like banks with money creating ability). (This is according to the Special Inspector General, Neil M. Barofsky; most of the help to banks has no been given through TARP, but through direct loans and Quantitative Easing.) Thus most of the loss of banks is not attributable to non performing loans.

Another way to look at the discrepancy is that, if the housing market in the USA keeps on going down, its nominal loss of value will reach 10 trillion dollars in 2011. But that includes all homes, including many without mortgages. Actually mortgages in trouble, in one sense or another total less than ten million, with presumably less than 2 trillions of nominal losses between them (simple math!). Since the housing market is down less than30%, we get a maximum loss, once again, of less than a trillion dollars. There is a severe discrepancy between one and five.

Looked at it another way, when insurance companies such as AIG lost money (cost to taxpayers around 200 billion dollars to pay for AIG’s contracts and obligations), what does it have to do with subprime loans? Nothing. It has to do with something we are generally told by noble economists such as Paul Krugman, as having nothing to do with an underlying market, namely, derivatives. in the case of AIG, the derivatives were Credit Default Swaps.

The situation is even more blatant in Europe, since home loans are neglectable there relative to the economy. Instead European banks engaged in absurd risk taking to claim fake profits for an instant, and stuff themselves with bonuses (the clamp down on bonuses of the EU on january1, 2011 should help to prevent such abuses in the future.)

People such as nearly all politicians, having little knowledge of derivatives, mathematics or economics, are nominally in charge of deciding everything about derivatives.

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WHAT IS MONEY?

I agreed with Paul Krugman’s editorial on the “Whitewash”, but I went deeper, harping on my usual theme of money creation. Money is basic to economy and finance, but it is not clear what it is.

Krugman recently pointed out that there has been remarkably little relationship between the standard monetary aggregates and the inflation rate.

But here’s an even more basic question: what is money, anyway? It’s not a new question, but I think it has become even more pressing in recent years.

Surely we don’t mean to identify money with pieces of green paper bearing portraits of dead presidents. Even Milton Friedman rejected that, more than half a century ago.”

Not knowing what the basic notion a theory is handling is common. having despaired of establishing clear and definitive foundations, mathematicians discovered that they could establish a lot of very useful basics as Category Theory, although it mightily rests in the air.

 

Physics has he similar problem with mass and energy. They are both, besides being supposedly equivalent, fundamental to General Relativity and Quantum Field Theory. But their definition is completely unclear (gravitons interact with themselves, so gravity breeds gravity, and QFT is plagued by quasi-infinite energy in any volume of space, in any of its official versions).

However, there is a difference between economics, physics and mathematics. I claim there is an absolute solution to the problem of defining value in economics, and, thus, money. But this is besides the point of this humble little note.

I sent the following comment to the New York Times, expanding on Krugman’s Whitewash article. Curiously, it was not published. It is just a variant on a theme that I have harped on repeatedly, the last time two weeks ago. But nobody seems to have picked it up yet, so I have to keep on repeating myself (although my complaints on Obamacare were joined in a universal chorus within a year, I am still waiting for a similar global howling against public financing of private profit as common and usual money creation!)

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Bank “deregulation” was the annihilation by Secretary of the Treasury Summers, under president Clinton, of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s work. Summers had actually started his devastation campaign under Reagan, causing the failure of the Savings and Loans. Now he has somewhat changed his spots, but such was his master work.

FDR had analyzed carefully what ailed the American economy. He decided to prevent banks from speculating. Why? Because private banks were given the fiduciary duty of CREATING money. They create it through debt.

Creating money was the prerogative of the state, for several millennia. When private banks realized that they could speculate with the money that they were free to create, they discovered they had found a process for free money that they could inject into themselves in an exponential loop.

FDR, who was not interested by riches, having them already, saw that this infernal exponential was not compatible with the republic, so he outlawed it explicitly, thus accomplishing both justice and fame as a knight of civilization. Summers, who has already made a small fortune with derivative manipulating firms (eight million dollars the year Obama selected him) saw that offering the gift of that infernal exponential to the financial plutocracy, would made him much richer and influential. Different people, different ambitions.

Private banks did this lend to themselves in the 1920s, causing the crash of 1929-1930 (stocks were bought sky high by banks using their infernal free money process, and then went down more than 90%; some of the financiers connected to said banks, like Joe Kennedy, pulled out in time, building huge fortunes).

In the 1930s, many banksters stole the money, and ran away. Millions of simple souls were robbed of all they had. That is why Roosevelt closed all banks the day he became president (a fact Obama does as if he did not know that it happened). Banks were progressively reopened under strict conditions of operation (no more speculation, and the banks were forced to lend money not to themselves, but to the economy).

In the last two decades, derivatives and shadow banking (insurance companies, investment banks, etc.) have been allowed to join that free money machine, that exponential bandwagon. This is the so called “deregulation”, and the plutocrats are now going to claim the concept has no merit, because it does not exist.

This ability, for the banks to create as much money, that is debt, as they wished, allowed them to push prices of what they speculated in. Because they lend to themselves with money they claim to have, although they do not have it, they can push the prices up, and make real money before the crash, or so they hope. In all markets, from oil to real estate. The best place to have maximum leverage was the “derivative” market. Lehman Brothers (strictly speaking an “investment bank”, thus part of “Shadow Banking”) used 50 to 1 leverage (it lent 50 times the capital it truly had). For small periods of time, sometimes as small as nanoseconds (“high frequency trading”), bankers claim profits, and then give themselves bonuses.

But sometimes, the leverage follies were more tangibles, as in Spain. International airports were built from scratch, in the middle of nowhere. The country is now covered with ultra modern public transportation (not clearly always profitable).

The dysfunctioning of finance became obvious in 2008, as nearly all markets crashed. Common people and taxpayers were left with the bill. For example the collapse of Lehman Brothers was paid for by taxpayers. But the top managers of Lehman, including its head, Mr. Fuld, left with billions.

Overall, a giant crisis is still under way, as the money creation machine has been confiscated by the private money creating industry, and they are using their giant means to corrupt the entire process, starting with the cognitive functions of society (including its semantics).

Obama and top democrats have understood nothing to this cancer, and European socialists are not doing any better.

However, the European Union has limited bankers bonuses cash to a small fraction, as I already said. Repetition is the mother of education.

The rest of the bonuses awarded by the bankers to themselves will be changed, by law, into stocks held 5 years, which should make bankers think twice about strategies leaving taxpayers with bankrupted banks, at least within 5 years.

This is effective immediately, and a singular contrast in effectiveness with the democratic Congress, its democratic Senate, and the democratic president of the USA, who put back in place a system similar to the preceding one they were themselves enjoying, namely with the wolves watching over the wolves (the so called independent Fed is stuffed with private bankers, at least in its most important local branches such as New York).

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A PARTIAL SOLUTION; LET FAT LOSERS LOSE, AND NATIONALIZE THE MESS :

The European crackdown on bonuses is just a beginning. More drastic solutions exist. Namely what is called discreetly the “restructuring of debt“. The problem is that private companies, banks, cannot be repaid, often for loans they ultimately made to themselves (X loaned to Y, which loaned to Z which loaned to X). A lot of the money disappeared into bonuses, and corruption (such as fat checks to the “agencies” in charge of evaluating credit worthiness).

The Great Fire of 1666 in London was stopped when, after several days of a mighty, but hopeless struggle, the Navy was allowed to dynamite houses.

This sort of analogy has a honorable past: Adam Smith used fire regulation as an analogy to bank regulation.

The equivalent now is to restructure the debts, that is to tell the private lenders (the banks), that they will not make all the money they hoped to make (because taxpayers and citizens, and their children, do not want to pay them anymore). In practice it will often force banks, and shadow bank holding companies, into bankruptcy, because most of their money they still claim to have, has already disappeared in bonuses and corruption.

Then the only way to mitigate the situation will be to nationalize the bank operations (hundreds of banks were nationalized during the saving and loans crisis under Reagan and Bush Senior, so it’s not communism, nor new; the UK has nationalized giant banks in the present crisis).

The Bush-Obama solution has been instead to pay for nationalizations, and then to give all the money back, and the keys, to those same managers, exploiters, banksters, and counterparties who had stolen so much money, that they had driven what they managed, contracted, or conspired with, into de facto bankruptcy. (Technically only Lehman was allowed to go bankrupt, because trillions of dollars were credited by the government to all the other banks in a timely, and secret manner.)

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MALWARE VERSUS WELFARE:

As most of the disposable money goes to banksters, not enough is left for even keeping infrastructure going. This shows up in the educational system (American children are out of school in the early afternoon, and, when at school, between swallowing two “soft” drinks, are mostly fixated on sports). It also shows in the aging of the physical infrastructure of the USA:

As Krugman says: We’re becoming shabbier by the year.” Entire American cities, which were cheaply made in the 1920s and 1930s with glorified chicken houses, ought to be rebuild with modern durable housing. They are highly energy inefficient, creaking, deformed, and pervaded with mold. They would not be considered fit for human inhabitation in Europe. Malware versus welfare, that is the question.

Ruling is most comfortably done by ruling the minds. That means imposing a narrative. An example is that Obama’s narrative that he could not make any progress in his first two years, as long as he could not persuade… the opposition (which would have been completely impotent, but for Obama waiting for it, literally and figuratively). This is what being a bipartisan meant.

Hence the semantic and cognitive shifts of the last few weeks. Krugman describes that pretty well in ‘Springtime For Hypocrites’: …”all the concern about the deficit was a front for opposing anything progressives might want, to be dropped as soon as debt was being run up on behalf of conservative goals.

The “conservative” goals of conserving increasingly shabbier housing, roads, trains, schools, health care and transportation, while conserving expanding profit margins, is ambitious in its own way. And that sort of “conservation” can last a long while, as the history of France (say) during the 18C showed: a needed revolution can be delayed by several generations, as established order dominates the narrative of what reality is supposed to be. “Conservative” is so nice a word as to be misleading. Exploitative and plutocratic is more like it. But Krugman needs to keep on looking as a Serious Person, or he would not be as influential as he is, and would be deprived of his pulpit at the New York Times (or even Princeton!).

Right now, as the real economy in the West is being starved of money, and investment, one can also see the minds increasingly robbed of the means to understand what is going on. That is even worse. By the Fifth Century, all what the Roman people cared about was sports (riots between supporters of various teams of charioteers caused dozens of thousands of dead in Constantinople alone).

Plutocracy ultimately robs minds: that is the way plutocracy has always ruled. In the long run, nothing else will do to keep plutocracy going. Why? Under plutocracy, the socio-economy and civilization always decay, on the largest scale.

An inkling of that encroaching mental corruption: when the Secretary of State of the USA, Clinton, orders her ambassadors to steal (source: WikiLeaks, but not denied by the government of the USA). This is more than a violation of international conventions, it’s a deliberate violation of civilization, as was the refusal to prosecute all and any of the malversations under G. W. Bush (such as the official re-instauration of torture).

So the cognition and logical levels will keep on decaying, at least in the USA. Europe is a different matter, as one may hope that it realizes that is plutocracy which was behind Nazism. One may hope that Europe remembers that plutocracy killed well above 60 million Europeans, in one generation. One may also hope that Europe remembers that peace is an acquisition one fought over, not a gift of the gods.

Pluto has no gift for the many, except hellfire. As far as the gods are concerned, there are way too many people already, and they have been insolent too long.

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Patrice Ayme