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     The Planet-Destroying “Doomsday Machine”-from the 1960’s Star Trek Television Series

I tend to bring modern perspectives into the past using historical actions that belie the human condition through the ages, as to show us as a species in a vaccuum, without preconcieved “normal” rituals of any particular age. It’s my way of “seeing” if the same actions hold up with or without the sum total of knowledge that we’ve acquired up to this point-that I think rarely turns into wisdom. Yes, this is a long sentence to begin short blog.

Free Markets-There have never been and will never be a “free market.” The first free market transaction took place in the stone age when a large man with a big rock threatened to bash another smaller man’s head in, if he didn’t give him his food. What the large man doesn’t know is that right above him behind a rock is a friend of the man with the food about to drop an even bigger rock on this trader’s head to get his clothes.

Trade has always been carried on by those who think they are getting a bargain and will do whatever it takes to leverage their position by obtaining and possessing more knowledge and technology for the advantage using, enslaving, abusing, or defeating the other guy. That’s Darwinian in nature and real “hands-off” pure free trade. We can move along to whatever age you wish and the same conditions apply. Those armed with better knowledge and technology can demand the better deal, or manipulate a market to enrich themselves whether it be Dutch Slave Traders, a Robber Baron Rockefeller employing Chinese railroad workers, or Dell Computer’s New Delhi computer phone support operators. Greed that is corporatized in this world starts out with no rules unless they are imposed from entities outside those corporations. It reminds me of the above photo of the mindless planet-destroying Doomsday Machine from the original Star Trek series. It does what it is made to do. Swallow everything without regard for any other lifeform. Our corporate machines make the most money it can at the lowest cost. This profitability is a good thing when society benefits from products being invented and good and services being created. If that were the case then all would be wonderful and the blog would end here, but it is not.

People that call for unrestricted free trade assume that the market forces will solve all their problems with whatever social bloodletting that occurs (as long as they have their piece of the pie first) and if one disagrees with that harsh concept, then they must be a communist, a socialist, or a pansy-ass liberal. Without rules we allow our society to become the blood-thirsty beasts that we are, taking whatever position we can to achieve the upper hand and take full advantage-of course we would use our ethics and morality to guide us. Go take a tour of a maximum security prison to see how naturally benevolent our species really is when conjuring images of a kinder, gentler, dog-eat-dog world.

We have allowed the institutional markets to create “products” that have no purpose other than to produce income, regardless of what markets they destroy. If one can jack-up speculation on commodities by pouring billions into a limited market, than we as a country watch as our way of life is destroyed by our allowing the “free market” to cleanse this stain of humanity by raising the cost of goods beyond the population’s ability to afford them. In the past, cash positions were used to dictate prices to the futures markets and now it is the opposite with the tail wagging the dog, as the Doomsday Machines have zeroed in on how to wring-out profits by manipulating destructive price actions. There’s no doubt there are shortages that contribute to price increases, but the machines don’t care about relative supply-less than 1% of those who buy future’s contract deliveries take delivery anyway. In the long term, whoever makes it through, will perhaps benefit from those who take the opportunity to cash-in on a way around the effects of speculative marauding and create alternatives. Until then, buckle up and hold on to your cash. It’s going to be a wild ride unless conditions change and we face up to the fact that we’ve allowed a system of financial institutions to destroy ourselves in order to reinvent ourselves-instead of tempering our excesses. Change is inevitable, the quicker, the more blood that will be shed the more human misery that will take place. That’s a human constant. Machines have sped up all processes of life, there is no stopping Moore’s law, so whatever “final frontier” that has yet to be exploited, will be quicker than ever in our history.  The real Terminators are the machines of financial destruction that we allow to be invented without “human” structure.

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Few people understand futures and options contracts on the open market, if one could call it that.  Essentially, what we humans do is write on a piece of paper a price and a date for commodities such as oranges (Think Eddie Murphy in Trading Places), coffee, pork bellies, grain, and the most talked about today-oil.  The futures pit used to be a place to hedge bets against a bad crop or to ensure future supplies at a pre-negotiated price.  In this era, less than 1% of all futures contracts written will ever see the light of day in delivery of those items.  It is all about shuffling the paper to stick the other guy with the speculative prices that a few million dollars has jacked-up.  It isn’t like the stock market where millions of shares worth hundreds of billions can be manipulated and are….but not as easily.  Leverage my friends is the “Power of the Schwartz” that allow few to make millions and now as the opportunists see the advantage of that leveraging, they are throwing their fund’s dollars at the commodities in anticipation of the same stupid hopes that the housing market counted on-that nothing ever goes down.

Now pretty brunettes can espouse all they want on CNBC about how the “free market” sets these prices and to dare to tamper with this “free enterprise” would be akin to sacrilege and completely throw our capitalist standards to the wind- forever shall we be damaged.  Never mind we’ve been adjusting the rules of the “free market” ever since there was a free market.  Derivatives did their damage in the nineties and those same geniuses brought us the CDO’s and other money-making “instruments” designed to ensure profit and lure in millions of investment dollars to make millions more in speculative endangerment to our species.  What the hell ever happened to investment?  One would buy a stock to invest in the future of a company, not buy a future to hope to put it to someone else on the food chain before time runs out.  These same talking brunettes tell you that it is demand and supply, and to a certain extent it is, however prices for oil have exploded in the face of less demand here and abroad.  How is it that we allow a small group of speculators to set the prices for oil that Exxon executives love to point to when questioned?  Because we are irrational idiots.  These are professional horse traders not oil men, drillers, refiners, wildcatters, and have well-manicured nails with no calluses on their hands.  They are toying with our financial system.

Here’s a possible solution for oil futures:

1.  One can only buy contracts of tanker loads with a minimum 250,000 DWT (Dead Ton Weight)

2. Any new futures contract must be bought at a time period at least 15 days out, not for that day of purchase.  Anyone holding older contracts can sell them but only in the month of expiration.

3. An oil futures contract cannot be traded until that contract month begins.

4.  Any contract that does not trade must take delivery at expiration. (Just have that tanker show up on the East River outside their palatial condo)

5. Apply similar standards to all other futures contracts in varying degrees.

 Now I guarantee you that prices on all commodities will fall to their real level of worth within days and oil will be at $50 a barrel overnight.  Too bad those who make all that money at the expense of our national economy don’t give a damn about their own country as much as they do about making profits at the expense of their country and country-men and women.  If they try to move the exchange to overseas, then we negotiate with that government to put the same rules in place.  It is to their advantage to do so and we give them enough foreign aid to help them keep illegal speculation at bay.  It would be cheaper than finding Bin Laden.

We need to take our futures back, now!

 

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 Ray Kurzweil, a digital genius in his own right, ingests close to 200 different vitamins and extracts a day, employing a person who does nothing but handle the dissemination of the proper pills at the proper times.  It is his attempt at longevity; longevity to keep him alive for fifty more years.  Kurzweil, has been a pioneer in the invention and application of speech recognition technology, optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis,  and the most popular electronic keyboard instruments in music. He is the author of several books his latest, “The Singularity is Near.”  A production company has purchased the motion picture rights to The Singularity is NearFantastic Voyage, andThe Age of Spiritual Machines including the rights to Kurzweil’s life and ideas for the film Transcendent Man. To quote his public relations release on his latest book “The Singularity Is Near” portrays what life will be like after this event a human-machine civilization where our experiences shift from real reality to virtual reality and where our intelligence becomes non-biological and trillions of times more powerful than unaided human intelligence. In practical terms, this means that human aging and pollution will be reversed, world hunger will be solved, and our bodies and environment transformed by nanotechnology to overcome the limitations of biology, including death.”  Now there’s a pretty impressive release, but for Kurzweil it is “a matter of fact.”

Indeed, if there are long term solutions to the problematic issues of continued human existence fighting nature and ourselves on two different fronts, taking artificial intelligence and transferring our “engrams” or electrical impulses of who we are in essence, could have the potential for immortality and perhaps finally-long term wisdom.  Now, the question is “who gets to have the dubious privilege of living forever?”  Is this the final fight to decide who rules and who is decimated or are will we ever be able to co-exist with each other?

That is the ultimate question.  Without the dependency on biological degradation, who wouldn’t want to live forever?  That question beckons a whole new set of dangers as well as philosophical ponderings.  It may happen in the near future – it is no doubt happening in some government lab right now.

That is the ultimate question.  Without the dependency on biological degradation, who wouldn’t want to live forever?  That question beckons a whole new set of dangers as well as philosophical ponderings.  It could happen in the near future or who knows-it is not doubt being tested in some government lab right now. Extending the human race’s capability to race to the stars is important as we only have so much time left in our sun’s capability to produce fusionable energy before it burns out, or some other calamity occurs.  We need to establish other possible alternatives to allow our species to live on; we owe it to ourselves.  We may have a billion years before that happens, and some would say it doesn’t matter we will become extinct by our own hands, and that may be true, however, I vote for life to continue living at all costs.  It will happen sooner than you think and I wish I was born now – in the era that will change the longevity of humanity forever.

 
 

 

 

A new book details the sinking of the ill-fated ship “Titanic” and points the finger at the low quality rivets used in the construction of the ship.  Now, doesn’t that sound familiar?  Much like the old story of the horse that the blacksmith shoe’d with a missing nail, that caused the shoe to come off, that threw the rider to the ground, that prevented the delivery of the message he was carrying, that the general never received, that eventually lost the war.
 
It also reminds me of a classic line by Steve Buscemi in Armaggedon when he’s being strapped in to the space shuttle,  “You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?”
 
And so the human saga goes on-never remembering what happened before……. for more info go to