Tag Archives: design

EVOLUTION!?

We are so far advanced from where we were 10,000 or more years ago.  We are such badasses!  Just to think, not that long ago, we were little more than naked, nomadic semi-animals who spent the majority of their time looking for food.

Now, however, we have GROWN AND EVOLVED.  Look at US! See what we have evolved into:

Today I received an e-mail.  It was spam, just like the other 412 e-mails that I received in the last 15 minutes (it now takes a measurable amount of time for a person to “sift” out real e-mails from the spam).  This particular e-mail caught my attention because of the bright colors (because I’m a recovering 20th century consumer) and when I read it, it really had an impact.  At the end of this post there is a screen shot of the e-mail message.  Just in case the text is too small and you can’t make it out well, the e-mail reads as follows:

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Hey frank (then my email address which I blacked out)

Use this information to Blackmail Anyone You Know

 Ever wished you could get back at someone by uncovering dirty information?

If they have a speck of dirt under their fingernails, we’ll find it and provide it to you.  Find out background information on anyone in just minutes (arrests, past marriages/felony)

 Get the Dirty on Anyone Here (in the green button)

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This is what we have evolved into?  This is the best we have?

Sometimes, we suck, big time.

(PS, in case the author of the e-mail is reading this:  Get a life!!)

What's left of us.

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A curious observation

Far be it for me to resort to raw commercial endorsements.  No, that’s not what this is about; however

PROLONG2many of you know about the product pictured here:  prolong.  It’s the stuff you add to you your Christmas tree water to keep it fresh during the time it sits in the tree stand.  The stuff works great, but it’s not only that.  It also gives me such a robust boner.

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Behold!

(Preamble: I’m still here!)

“Behold:  man.  Poor, foolish creature.  We humans are the only living organism (that we know of), able to gather up all of the information in the world and put it in a box.  Then, after finishing, we sat in front of the box and looked at it – and got information confused with knowledge.  On a planet where ignorance has been the status quo, such a thing could happen.  So now, instead of a planet populated with uneducated poor people serving the handful who got a clue first, we are a planet of idiots with boxes full of information who think that this makes them educated and knowledgeable. I am a human, these are my people.  Humanity has come full circle, from being jesters to graduating as full-fledged clowns.”

 We can do better.

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Understanding what we say.

Several times a day, sometimes more, I’ll read somewhere or hear from someone that “the real estate market is bouncing back” or that “home prices are stabilizing” or some other similarly sounding statement. Interestingly, it’s always accompanied by a burst of emotion that I can only compare to lust. This is, as I understand, what many of us want, I guess it’s supposed to make us feel safe in the face of the change we are experiencing – something that can only be called “self-genocide” (sic) and that “things will return to normal”, where “normal” is that little tiny corner of a closet somewhere in this world where most of us allow ourselves to be kept against our will, fed a diet of bullshit and sugar and given 20 lashes whenever any one of us generates an original thought.

I wonder if any of the people who make statements like this have any idea of what they are actually saying. It’s no different than having someone – anyone – walk up to you and proclaim with excitement and glee: “Hey! Did you hear? Slavery is becoming popular again, it just might make a comeback!” Yes, slavery is what I compared this to.

…What was that?

…Am I a communist?

LOL. Of course I’m not a communist, silly; there’s no such thing, besides, none of the “isms” work, remember?

Why do I write this, you ask?

I write this because it’s simply the truth. Of all of shit that we’ve done to ourselves in the last 12,000 years of “civilization”, the only thing shittier than giving someone a “mortgage” would be to sell them as a slave. Nothing else that we’ve done comes even close to being as unacceptably fucked up than to sell people, against their will, as property. The mortgage, however, is a real contender for the title; it forces someone who may want a home of their own to buy the money required to pay for it at $10.00-$20.00 for every $1.00, (i.e.: Hi! I’ll sell you a dollar for ten dollars) over the average 30 year term. This, of course, is crowned with the “cherry” of letting mortgage-holders speed up time and sell a mortgage, at maturity value, within 24 hours of issuing it. This is one of the things that got us here.

Imaginary omnipotence is incredible, isn’t it?

Think about it, it’s about time we did, wouldn’t you say?

We can do better.

ctwfrank

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An observation as to death

“I fear not death, nor the fact that it will, one day, visit me; but I cannot bear even the thought of not living.”

ctwfrank

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…and while we’re on the subject of GOLD

Okay, let’s continue being serious for a moment about GOLD.  The gold phenomenon, as I like to call it, is very closely tied to the events that led to where we are today, which can accurately be described as a cluster fuck, but on a planetary scale.  If we take this disease that is killing the human race (because our idiocy has become a disease) and boil it down to the simplest possible explanation, it would be this:  When we developed trade and commerce and an economy, it was good – very good; we shouldn’t forget that the human race went from being little more than a handful of half-starved nomads always moving and looking for food to having excesses, luxuries, slaves, titles, position and properties in the span of a couple of thousand years.  After 250,000 years of looking for food and water all the time, this was the blink of an eye.  Civilization, as it were, was gourmet fare for the human ego, which ate it up with gusto; the way only we can:  by gorging on what felt good now without giving a second thought as to…well, as to anything.  We just kept heading in the direction of MORE!  Why should anyone think that we could run out of anything – the first 3,000-4,000 years after the Neolithic revolution was phat!  There was plenty for everyone, in fact we wouldn’t come up with the concept of poverty for some time; remember, you have to be free to be poor and you would be surprised at the percentage of the human race that were slaves and for how long.  We acted without thinking, planning or considering the consequences.  Doesn’t that sound familiar?  It was the same 12,000 years ago.  We may have airplanes and computers but we have not curtailed our insatiable appetite for irresponsibility by even a little.  You can count on a human being to fuck something up, and that we did, especially when we picked a metal: gold, to be the raw material for this new thing we called MONEY.  Money was such an incredibly addictive and irresistible goodie that it simply froze our minds.  No one and I mean no one thought about or worried about what we would do when we ran out of gold.  Maybe there was some ignorance involved, but anyone who has ever been in charge of anything since we’ve had money had to have known that people multiplied, quickly, but not gold, in fact every year, it became just a tiny bit more difficult to find new gold.  We didn’t need to pinpoint a specific year, but just knowing that at some point in the future it just wouldn’t work anymore because there would be more people needing to use money than there was gold to be money was enough to act on.  It’s typical of us.  Right now, even at this stage of our descent into who-knows-what, if by some chance a huge asteroid made of pure gold were to pass within range of our rockets and we lassoed that planet-sized nugget of the stuff that dreams are made of, anchored it to the moon, took its measurements, and started to figure out exactly how much hold was on the asteroid, we would get to “more than what we need right now” and just stop counting.  Why bother?  We hit our nut!  We filled up the hole that we made!  We would, and we all know it.  We would have gold orgies and the filthy rich would become indescribably rich and be happy, and the poor and downtrodden would still be poor and downtrodden but happy because they would still have that shitty job that barely paid them enough to live on – the one that they lost at some point between 3 years ago and today.  We would continue to ignore half of all of us – the ones that there was never enough for in the first place and they would continue to starve to death because even though our own stupidity is killing us, we don’t want to change because change requires thinking and actual work and those things make our brains hurt – unless there’s money involved.

So we ignored the math and based our wealth on gold.  Fine, so how did the whole wealth thing work?  How was new money made?  Up until possibly the 1960’s (that’s a guess, but I think a good one) for there to be new money, there had to be new wealth. This requires a quick recap of the history of human wealth.   If you recall, the wealth  of the world and of nations had always been food, which may very well remain as the only real thing of value in human history, and then we came up with the concept of money to use as a medium of exchange because it was simply too cumbersome and tedious to trade in food directly.  We chose gold as the material from which we would make the money that would represent the wealth (food) and be much easier to carry and transact since it is a soft metal and easily formed into coins.  Then we got so used to dealing and transacting gold, that we forgot it only represented wealth and, just as Aristotle warned, we confused it with wealth – but no one said anything, we just took it as a given that gold was the wealth of the world and when food came up in conversation, it would quickly be referred to as a commodity, usually in the futures market – yes, futures, as in; not yesterday or today, but the future, you know that thing that we can not predict but for some strange reason can buy and sell.  This continued and evolved until trade and commerce became so widespread (because we love to fuck and reproduce like rabbits) that a sub-category of money had to be created: currency (including paper money).  The first bank notes appeared sometime in the 16th century of thereabouts, in Scandinavia (That’s an interesting story, remind me to write about it sometime.) and it caught on quickly.  By the 19th century, paper money was in common used and was valued at par with gold because they were redeemable for gold at just about any bank.  During all this time, gold was wealth.  Paper notes were portable representations of gold and therefore notes were only printed based on how much gold there was.  At some point we realized that the amount of gold was finite; that’s when wealth became a privilege and we began to acquire it by using war or theft or fraud, you know good old fashioned proven techniques.  Then, all of a sudden, just like that:  there was no more new gold.  That was it.  All the money there was, was all the money there was, but the human progress train didn’t notice, it kept right on going.  Oh Shit!  What do we do now!  There’s no more gold to make more money!  If people find out, it will be a freaking disaster!  What to do?  What to do?   It didn’t take us very long, we figured:  what the heck, if we’ve screwed the pooch, then let’s screw it properly!  Nobody said anything, not a word, then, suddenly (and I mean suddenly) in August of 1972, the President of the United States of America went on the air (TV and radio) early in the morning, before the markets opened and rattled off a list of “executive decisions” which included:  “a 90 day freeze on prices and wages, an immediate 10% import surtax and the severing of the link between the dollar and gold (meaning that one could no longer want into a Federal Reserve bank with a $20 and walk out with however much gold that got them).  It got a little attention at the time, it’s getting A LOT of attention now.  That single act literally killed the concept that we know as money.  The price of gold was fixed in dollars and the US dollar is the reserve currency of the world (gold being the official currency).   Here’s the part that we MUST understand if we are to survive this.  The link between the dollar and gold was cut, not because of any of the reasons given (which don’t matter); it was cut because WE RAN OUT OF GOLD and someone at some point realized that there were more bank notes floating around that there was gold, not much, but just enough to blow the whole thing to kingdom come if anyone found out.  They didn’t have to do it, they chose to do it because the alternative was to do what we’re going to have to do shortly:  build a new economic infrastructure.  They figures, what the heck?  Nobody knew what was going on, it would take YEARS before the decision would begin to stink as it does today, so they cut the link between gold and the dollar and the wealth that was gold stopped at however much there still is.  That did not stop us from propagating our species however and developing technology and adding more people every year to that exclusive club made up of people addicted to excess and other people’s envy.  We continued forward and our economy GREW.  (Screeching record sound)  Wait a minute; didn’t I just say that we had run out of gold?  How could our economy grow if there was no new gold?  No new gold, no new money, remember?  But there was new money.  Crisp and freshly printed dollars were pouring out of the US mint and currencies all over the world continued to be incrementally printed and introduced into circulation.  But how could anyone get away with this?  It was easy, we printed money based on new gold that was BORROWED (it also didn’t exist, because there was no actual gold to borrow, that was just how they did the math).  This fictitious quantity of borrowed gold didn’t exist; therefore the convertibility of paper currency to gold HAD to be cut – because there wasn’t enough gold, get it?  This new “way” of printing money based on the assumption that if there were gold that could be borrowed, we would, but there isn’t, but we would if there were, so we’ll act as if we did and print money based on the value of this new DEBT.  And there is was, that’s how the DEBT was born.  We owe nobody approximately 52 trillion dollars worth of  “borrowed” gold, which never existed but was used to print currency that was spent as legal tender.  It was made possible because our banks created this money by issuing, buying and selling LOANS.  In some part of our non-functioning brains, it could be said that these loans were what created the “borrowed gold”.  At first, loans were made by banks with our deposits; yes, the loan that you had for your car or for anything, 25 to 30 years ago was actually other people’s money, deposited at the bank that gave us the loan.  They had permission to do this and, after all, we weren’t using the money, we deposited it, remember?  Very quickly however, the banks didn’t need our money, the money that they created by lending out our money and charging interest on it was re-deposited by the banks, and by the 1980’s, they didn’t need our deposits.  They were making new money left and right, lending out larger and larger portions of this gold that doesn’t exist to themselves and then transacting money on that DEBT.  Our governments told us, “don’t worry about it, we’re good for it, trust us.” Maybe this is why it’s called fiat currency, because fiat means “authority” in the dictionary (sic), but authority is the basis for credibility and credibility is the foundation of trust. You see, the root morpheme fiat also forms part of two words that came from Latin and are used by romance languages:  confiar; which is Spanish for TRUST and fiar: which is also Spanish for TO EXTEND CREDIT TO, TO LEND.  Wow, is all of this a coincidence? I don’t think so.  Am I a conspiracy theorist?; hardly.  This is simply what we did.  When we ran out of gold and we borrowed the gold that we would need if the gold actually existed, but it didn’t, so the only way to get away with it was to treat the DEBT as real.  This would make the “borrowed gold” real, as it were.  And they did, and we bought it and theydid it more and we bent over and took it all.  

This “debt” that took Greece and Italy from our world (because they are no more) is not real, but it is killing us and it might just succeed.  Now if you’re thinking, if it’s not real, then it can’t kill us, then you get detention and here’s why.  It’s like WATER.

WATER?  Yes, water.  We need water in order to survive.  Without water, we die, quickly, of dehydration, this is a commonly known fact and the visual image that comes to mind is of a person in a hot and arid place like a desert, dropping dead from the thirst.  Scratch that image for a moment and replace it with this one:  You are in a life raft, floating in the ocean, lost and adrift.  You are the sole survivor of a shipwreck and you’ve been out at sea for two days now, in the raft, in the sun with no provisions left.  You start to get thirsty, very thirsty.  You become delirious and suddenly you realize Wait a minute!  I’m floating in an ocean of WATER!  You laugh and you drink and drink and drink and 8 to 10 hours later, your kidneys shut down and you die, of what is essentially DEHYDRATION, because it’s not really WATER, it’s SALT WATER.  Oh, they’re both wet, but the salt water is poison and will kill you.   The DEBT is our salt water.  We ran out of fresh water and just began drinking that salty debt water up in our delirium for more.  If you can imagine some math to convert salt water to debt and establish a parallel between the time it takes salt water to kill a person and the time it will take the debt to kill what’s left of the human race, you could say that we’re in the 6th hour of the last 8 hours of our life as we know it.  If we keep drinking the salt water for 2 more hours, we DIE, but if we stop drinking the fucking salt water we will have landed on a sandy beach with a beautiful fresh water spring nearby and we will LIVE.

I want to LIVE and I think that you do too.  Please, stop drinking the salt water, it’s NOT REAL WATER.  If we stop feeding this nightmare called the debt and stop believing that it’s real, then we can just throw away the civilization that we broke and BUILD ANOTHER ONE.  After all, whose planet is this, ours or the debts?

We can do better.

ctwfrank

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Let’s be serious…just for a moment

Seriously now, it’s already hard enough having to sit and watch us bullshit ourselves to the point of idiocy, but I just finished a tag surfing session and in addition to the usual endless droning about GOLD this and GOLD that, I just saw (for the first time) an article regarding a country that was “repatriating” its gold from the vaults in London and New York where the countries of the world have kept their gold since WWII.  The article stated that the decision to repatriate the gold had been made by the leader of the country “in view of the volatile nature of the world’s economy’.  That was just a bit much.  Up until now, the math more or less indicated that everyone knows that the whole GOLD thing is bullshit, but all of a sudden I’m not sure if I should doubt that math.  Is it possible that people actually BELIEVE this shit and are not just playing along because that’s what we think we must do?  I don’t know, but it’s scary.  Scary enough to motivate me to post this message:

Just in case anyone actually believes that GOLD has any actual value that makes it immune to anything that might happen to the economy or to human civilization, it should be noted that GOLD is actually worthless.  It is a fairly unremarkable metal that we selected to use as the stuff that we would manufacture MONEY from back when we decided that WEALTH (which has always been FOOD) should have a standardized measure of exchange to facilitate commerce.  We picked GOLD to be the “material” used to manufacture money because it was PLIABLE and we could shape it into coins more easily than other metals. In other words, GOLD became the manufacturing material for money because it was SOFT, period.  That’s about all there is to GOLD, the rest we made up and believed.  In summary; if the U.S., European or global economy should collapse (they actually already have, but I won’t go against the “grain”, I’ll play like it hasn’t happened yet) then what in the world is that country I mentioned earlier going to do with all of their repatriated GOLD?  It’s time for everyone to begin to digest the truth because it is the truth, regardless of how we feel or what we believe and the truth is that there IS no more money.  We spent all the money that there was, that there is and that there will be in the next 500 years and there is nothing left to substantiate any math that supports the concept of money.  The machinery that moves civilization is running today (albeit poorly) only because we BELIEVE that those little pieces of paper and GOLD are actually worth something, but this hallucination is quickly fading and sooner than we can imagine, MOST of us will have no choice but to face this truth and deal with it.  So I ask you:  when the MACHINERY that runs the “world”; the one that runs on “money” finally peters out and shuts down, ending commerce and production globally, what can anyone do with GOLD?  With no infrastructure in place, there will be no system in place to grow and distribute FOOD OR WATER and in 3 months there will be mayhem.  What good will 10 or 11 billion dollars worth of GOLD do when everyone is STARVING?  Who in their right mind would trade a can of beans that they found in the back of some forgotten cabinet somewhere for a mountain of GOLD at that point?  You can’t EAT the stuff!  It’s a freaking METAL, no different than tin, bronze or iron and no more or less valuable than whatever WE decide.  It was hard for me to digest, but I did.  This means that you can too, because we’re all the same.  I know that it’s hard to let go of the world as we know it, but WE BROKE IT and we need to build a new one, so we need to grow up, quickly, or in the simplest of terms, we’re fucked.  YOU know this, I know this and we ALL know this.  I refuse to believe that we are all idiots, but we are dangerously close to proving that to be true – and that applies to me as well, if we end up screwing ourselves because of idiocy, then that makes me an idiot too.  I don’t want to be an idiot.

We CAN do better.

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Untitleable

It has always been generally considered that our modern globe-spanning Western Civilization chose Greece to be the place to herald its birth.  Now, all of a sudden, it might just be that it also chose Greece to be the place where it lay down to die.

ctwfrank

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The price of excellence

In today’s world we try to teach our children to excel and to do their best and we believe this, therefore it is fair to say that this is true. At the same time, whenever anyone excels or does their best or does something that is considered valuable or important and is recognized for doing what we have instilled in them since childhood, what follows the recognition is a barrage of envy, resentment, exclusion, rejection and even mistreatment on a personal level; not by everyone, but by almost everyone. If each individual instance of this negative response was to be analyzed and dissected, one would see that the reason and cause for it boils down to the simple thought: “Why couldn’t it have been me? Why did it have to be him/her?

So widespread has this phenomenon become, and so used to it have we become that it is not only expected, but has become that which is desired, for which one of us can stand in front of a mirror and deny that some, or all of the motivation or inspiration that we may have to accomplish anything is based on how much others will envy us for being recognized and financially compensated.

It is very possible that this very real aspect of humanity may be the reason why so many arrive at the conclusion that it is futile to excel or contribute for any reason other than the financial benefit, the latter having become the only motivation we may have left. It is also very possible and quite probable that many people have actually solved this equation and concluded that the only way to not experience this phenomenon is to be mediocre.

If we look around, we can see that what we actually teach ourselves to aspire to is mediocrity, for what greater accomplishment can there be than to “not attract too much attention?” Just ask any celebrity.

An exceptional thought, action or creation born of any one of us requires the good will, acceptance and simple courtesy of the rest of us; for what benefits one of us, benefits us all. We already know this.

Isn’t it time to forgive the past and build a future? We’ve made enough mistakes to learn from them instead of repeating them.

We can do better.

ctwfrank

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Playing the odds

What we once mostly called the “economy” or at times the “financial infrastructure” at other times the “fiscal structure” and every once it a while we would call it the “banking structure” or the “commercial structure” of the world, or to be more general; the systematic functional management and administration of wealth and value – ended, or died, or disappeared or was replaced some time ago.  It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when, but it doesn’t really matter at this point.  If anyone might ask the question:  “If this is true, then what has existed in its place since?”  The answer to that would be a casino, with the only exception being that there is no house.

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