This page was updated February 3, 2021 by jtk and is current : Go Back Home : OR Read the prior entry.
This is the message from A Course in Miracles for the day.
This one is decidedly not seeing peace. This comes from a blog post entitled POLITICO Karen Visits the Zoo, Is Shocked to Find The Animals Restless on Daily Pundit.
Original source...The Z Man dot com: https://thezman.com/wordpress/?p=22736The GameStop story, which is becoming more of a general short squeeze story, is a good example of what happens when an economy is fully financialized. Since there is little money to be made in making things or creating things, the best human resources flow into finance, where a bright person can get rich finding a slight imbalance in the marketplace for an asset or an error in the holdings of another player. The economy becomes a massive poker tournament with the central bank as the house.
If you step back and think about the transaction at the heart of this story, there is no moral or economic reason for it to exist. The practice of shorting a stock can have both moral and economic utility. In the former case, an investor seeing some corruption in a company or sector is letting the world know about it by betting against it with his own money. On the latter point, the blend of shorts and longs provides useful data about stocks and sectors for investors and planners.
When everyone at the table is using chips borrowed from the house and many of the whales at the table will never have to repay the house, both of these functions are flipped on their head. In the case of GameStop, some sharps were gaming the system in an effort to artificially deflate the value of otherwise good companies. GameStop is a solid little company that is an example of modern retail. They are a value-added retailer, which is the future in the world of digital commerce.
The point of the shorting activity was not to reveal some flaw in the company’s approach or signal a lack of faith in the retail sector. The point of the trade was to fool other investors into piling in on the short, so the price of the stock would collapse. This would allow the hedge funds behind this scheme to make a quick profit. The losers in this will be the people holding the stock and the company itself. Like all victims of piracy, their only crime was in trusting the system.
The neoliberal defenders of financialization will counter that the WallStreetBets activity is exactly the sort of self-regulation imagined when the process of financialization began in the 1980’s. Instead of government bureaucrats with no understanding of the market picking winners and losers, savvy players would do battle in the marketplace. In this case, clever traders saw an opportunity to raid the pirate ships raiding companies like GameStop and they carried off some booty for themselves.
This sounds great, if you are a pirate. There is no doubt that the people involved here love the action in the same way gamblers love it when some guy is on a huge roll at the craps table. It is an exhilarating drama, even for the observers. The thing is most people are not pirates and have no interest in being pirates. More important, they do not wish to be ruled by pirates. They do not want to live in a world of no fixed rules, just the shifting standards of the pirates making war in the economy.
Another really good article at the same site: Feudal Excess - about our broken and declining political establishment
According to Hoyt dot com / 3 February 2021
Between the ages of about ten and sixteen or so, I was desperately unhappy.
There were many reasons for this, and most of them, honestly, are no one’s business. Or they’re other people’s business, but not mine to divulge.
But a lot of it had to do with coming of age and going out into the wider world, and finding that I didn’t quite fit in. I don’t think I’m the only one who reads int his blog and thinks this. Because we are odd.
Do I belong to the autist creed? Well. It manifests differently in women than in men. In fact, i read an article — which I can’t find right now — that explained convincingly that a lot of what are considered transgender/masculine traits in women are a manifestation of autism. It’s possible.
I’ve also heard it said that every one in science fiction is on the spectrum, somewhere, and that sociologists and psychologists go to science fiction gatherings to study us because of that.
shrug. I don’t now. I know I had the sensory issues that are part of autism until I was about fourteen. (To some extent still have them, but they’re negligible now.) And that there’s an overlap between those issues and “math brains” which I have despite digit dyslexia.
Friends who research the brain have been known to go on at length about brains that re not quantitatively different, but qualitatively different. I.e. brains that create more internal connections and are slower to prune them. This seems to have a covalence with autism. (And the terrifying idea is that the profound autism that manifests as mental retardation might be nothing of the sort, just brains so alien they can’t communicate properly.) And it seems to have a correlation to either not having normal instincts or not allowing them to operate because you “think too much.” (And yes, I got tired of that accusation by the time I was 12.)
Anyway, we know all sorts of things about people like us, including that other kids tend not to like us much, unless they are like us. (I don’t know. Is our behavior perhaps Neanderthal? ;))
So, by the time I started hitting puberty (hard, like one hits a wall) I was acutely miserable. The ever changing curriculum, (because revolution) and the fact that most of it was bullocks didn’t help.
But there was nowhere I could go. I dreamed of going, without having any clue where. (Okay, from the time I was eight I wanted to go to Denver, and be a writer. But that was not only not a plan of action but, considering I thought Denver was by the sea, it was a stupid and slightly insane dream, with no chance of coming true. (Look, I can’t explain it. Himself and His foreshadowing, okay?))
Mostly I escaped into books. As much as I could.
For all I knew, all that lay ahead was a life of living with my parents and getting old, probably teaching English to recalcitrant children, and never fitting in.
I read a lot, and because I was mostly broke (I hoarded my birthday money like a miser, and used it to buy books. Well, except when mom took it to buy me boots, because she thought not walking around with holes in my shoes was important or something. No, I still don’t get it) I read a lot of books five ro six pages at a time, standing up in a bookstore, ready to run when someone said “Miss, this is not a library.”
And I re-read a lot. Everything, really. If it came into the house, it was mine to read. And hiding it was no protection, because I could smell where people hid books.
I think my French and English got good because my brother started buying books in those languages, so I wouldn’t read them, if they were mildly (and I mean mildly) racy.
Oh, and I raided friends’ libraries. And their parents’ libraries. And considered standing on street corners holding up a sign that said “Will work for books.”
The problem is I read really fast, until concussion and eye issues slowed me down about 18 years ago. I’m still not that slow. But I got to the point I read six books a day.
And you just can’t keep up with that. Not on virtually no money.
Yes, I did have a relationship entirely based on borrowing someone’s books. And I’m not even sorry. Look, his parents bought him ANYTHING on condition he would read it. And he didn’t like to read. So I told him what the books were about and gave him lists. It was…. nice while it lasted. (And he turned out okay, I think. Despite being a weird-non-reader.)
So what do you do when life is terrifying and boring (and if you think it can’t be both, you didn’t live through 2020 and aren’t reading this in 2021) and you can’t get enough story?
I’d already started writing, but when I was about 12 it went weaponized. I had entire worlds, and I wrote about them, to remind me of what stories to write set in them.
Mostly science fiction, though I suppose some fantasy. It’s hard to tell, because I wrote this stuff before I knew there was a difference.
And I more or less lived in these worlds (I am, for the first time, now, at 58 writing space operas set in those worlds I created. Or at least writing them in English (I have no clue what happened to my notebooks of fiction in Portuguese) and in coherent form. That is what Schrodinger worlds — I swear coming soon — is about. All those worlds.) I drew house plans. I wrote notes on technologies. I wrote biographies and histories. I lived there at least as much as in the world in which my body happened to be.
Look, it wasn’t healthy. It was too much. And at some point one has to make a choice, to engage with the real world and learn to survive in it.
Which I did, more or less cold turkey at 18. And then I became an exchange student and met my husband…. which is weird since he was a character in my stories when I was 14. (Himself has a really weird sense of humor, okay?)
But I never completely discarded the dreams and the stories. Even when I thought there was no hope of ever being published, I’d dive into my imaginary worlds for a respite from the crazy world around me. Always.
There were two extended periods when I couldn’t do it, couldn’t day dream. The six months right after 9/11, and most of 2020.
It’s coming back, though. Which is good, because I need escape.
Which brings me to one of the first times I shared my fiction with a school friend. I let her read this story where some kids (I was about ten, I think) stepped through a time/space portal into another world where they had adventures.
This girl promptly scolded me and told me that I was bad for writing about people escaping instead of staying here and “solving the world’s problems.” Like, you now, at ten, I even knew what the problems were, much less could solve them accurately.
It will surprise no one to find that this woman grew up to write various books on serious “social problems” right? No I haven’t read them. I have no intention of. They’re YA books about people who are horribly mistreated and stay that way, from what I gather from the blurbs.
Matthew Boose's article "Welcome to Soviet America" is a really good read with some nice, scathing lines. You should read it in full at: https://amgreatness.com/2021/02/01/welcome-to-soviet-america/
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