Thursday 31 March 2011

What a difference 100 years makes

It doesn't seem possible that this is what San Francisco was actually like, just a little over 100 years ago. It took millions of years for us to evolve to the level that is seen in this video, and then consider what the world looks like now just those few short decades later. What will the world look like another 100 years on from now..?


This film was originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. New York trade papers announced the film showing. Wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!) It was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing.

End of quarter report for the ECB

So, I wonder what happens to the price of gold after today, when the price won't matter again for another three months.

The fight to control the flow of oil

Wikipedia:2003 to 2008 world oil market chronology

... Prices on June 27, 2008, touched $141.71/barrel, for August delivery in the New York Mercantile Exchange (after the recent $140.56/barrel), amid Libya's threat to cut output, and OPEC's president predicted prices may reach $170 by the Northern summer.

There's quite a lot to say about Iraq in there too, as you might imagine.

Plenty of interesting notes relating to the leadup to war with Iraq in the 2000, 2001 and 2002 pages as well.

Not that I'm attempting to suggest the coalition have anything in mind but helping to install Democracy and freedom in these countries of course.

H/T Mortymer

UK wealth and assets distribution

This report summary, from (UK) National Statistics, might be from 2006/2008, but it is still very interesting. It would be very interesting to read the summary of the results of a survey taken today and compare it.

Cathartic reading, if you are someone who believes we are right now living through an unfolding financial wealth[1] implosion. Which I happen to, in case you haven't realised by now.

If you look at the distribution of financial wealth — within which I would, personally, say personal pension wealth was a subcategory rather than alternative main category — we see extraordinary divergence. In a financial system collapse — a collective realisation that if you hold paper "financial investment promises" then you don't have anything real — and a consequent growing collective rush to dispose of these promises for actual, real physical wealth — which is what we are seeing gather pace today — then I find this, as I say, cathartic.

The bottom 50% of society already owned more than half of the "physical wealth"[2] in 2006/2008, according to the Gini coefficient given in this report. If "the rich"[3] are going to see their financial wealth collapse, then society will return to a far more equitable balance.

So, the way I see it, this unfolding financial collapse that is gathering pace as I write, is the manifestation of justice. A return to the real world — the world of the past, where you only got ahead if you worked and lived below your means, and not by making promises to others that you cannot possible repay. The world where you only considered yourself to have wealth if you could touch it, if it actually existed. If it was physical wealth. An asset, rather someone else's liability to you.

Who will be the overall "winners" in this return to justice? "The rich"? Methinks not. If you hold other people's liabilities as your wealth... get out now — beat the final stampede as everyone wakes up to reality. There don't have to be winners and losers in any financial system, only in this one.

[1] Financial wealth: "conceptual", "unreal", or "paper promises" — something that doesn't really exist, but you are promised you can have it some day.

[2] Physical wealth: actual, real things, that really exist in the world.

[3] "The rich": particularly "bankers", who are the ultimate financial parasites, but also including "speculators" of all stripes, who also suck the lifeblood from everyone around them in the world, in their quest to get ahead in a non-zero-sum system.

1694: When cancer originally entered the system financial?

bank of England: History

Britain built the first truly global empire, on the back of the paper credit money emitted by this institution.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Disqus commenting system

I thought I would try out the Disqus commenting system, as a replacement for Blogger comments (that are just infuriating sometimes!). It seems like Disqus will provide not only a chance for great richness in the comments (some tagging is allowed), but it appears that it is better-integrated with your other social networking activities.

I'm interested to know what, if anything, any of you think of this change?

Tuesday 1 March 2011

A Teddybear's Picnic?

... because today's the day
the Teddybears have
their piiiiiic-nic.

Or is it? Time will tell.

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