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Adam Smith On Conceit, Central Planning, And Disorderly Society

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Perhaps it is worth a reminder that, while every effort by the Central-Banker-In-Chief and his political play-things to proclaim free-market omnipotence in stark contrast to the wholesale manipulation of any and every market and macro-economic lever possible, Adam Smith some 250 years ago pointed out the inevitable unintended consequences of such grand conceit. As the [central planner] seems to "imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board", the end result is that "society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder."

 

"The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.

 

He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful.

 

If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder."

Adam Smith 1723-1790

 

(h/t Ralph C)

 

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Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:04 | 2639557 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

"What?" -Herman Van Rompuy

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:56 | 2639622 Silver Bug
Silver Bug's picture

Sadly it looks like society is only going to get more and more disorderly.

 

http://ericsprott.blogspot.ca/

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:41 | 2639736 AldousHuxley
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http://www.amazon.com/1421-Year-China-Discovered-America/dp/0060537639

 

1421: The Year China Discovered America

 


Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:56 | 2639750 engineertheeconomy
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The loudest words are the words that you never hear, you can tell more by what a person doesn't say.

I did a google search on "the relationship between the bankers and the military" and there wasn't much to say about it. That tells me that there is an enormous relationship between the banks and the military.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:11 | 2639762 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Outside of "you better win" actually I would say there really isn't.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 03:10 | 2639880 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Never read into USAA then have you? How about Blackwater?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:37 | 2640145 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

you meant win win

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:40 | 2640250 Jay Gould Esq.
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And what of our modern, centrally-planned economy ? Has Government yet acknowledged, over the course of the past two centuries, that, in order for prosperity to flourish, capital must be allowed to find its own course ? Alas, Leviathan yet thrives...

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with most unnecessary attention but assume an authority which could safely be trusted to no council and senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of man who have folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.

Adam Smith,
The Wealth of Nations, 1776.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 01:02 | 2639819 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

The loudest words are the words that you never hear, you can tell more by what a person doesn't say.

I did a google search on "the relationship between the bankers and the military" and there wasn't much to say about it. That tells me that there is an enormous relationship between the banks and the military.

First, fuck Google.

Second, try bank funded war - Startpage Web Search

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 01:13 | 2639830 salvadordaly
salvadordaly's picture

Fuck Google!!!!!

duckduckgodotcom!!!

 NO TRACKING!!!!!!!!!

End Google!

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 13:06 | 2640227 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

wait, how naive are you? It doesn't matter if google tracks you or not. You're assuming that the rest of the network is not compromised. Duckduckgo could be worse than google for all you know (terms of privacy are worth fuckall, and which better way to prefilter your targets than by allowing them to selfselect for a supposedly non-tracking search engine?)

Moreover, AT&T, Verizon, and other Tier 1 providers have let the CIA plant their hooks into their backbone core routers through which terabytes per second of US traffic is routed and monitored.

The CIA are also suspected to be the cause of some of the recents sectionnings of submarine communication cables, part of the internet backbone, in order to install traffic monitoring/shaping/injecting stations - it can't be subtle since entire subcontinents suddenly lose outside connectivity, such as has been happening lately, multiple times yearly in trouble zones, especially in MENA - of course, the official excuses are always that a fishing boat's anchor has ripped off the undersea cable.

So this means all domestic and most international traffic is very probably being tracked, whether you allow them the convenience of consolidating their tracking under your google identity or not.

Finally you also assume that your computer is not reporting on you, either through official means ("trusted" computing) or intelligence spyware. If it is then all precautions you use externally (using tor-like obfuscation/tunnelling networks, whether you SSH to a remote host from which you operate your browser or use any other obfuscation/encryption mechanism) are totally useless because the origin itself is plausibly spying on you.

In geek circles we say that you cannot trust your operating system unless you compiled it yourself, but you cannot trust your compiler unless you wrote it yourself, nor can you trust writing your compiler if you didn't both design and print the CPU it was built on. As if using google vs duckduckgo mattered when all of the other attack angles are uncovered while you splatter who you are all over these boards...

TL;DR : In terms fight club will understand, switching from google to duckduckgo without adressing the rest is exactly like saying "vote republican to get obama out!" or "Kick Ben out and start over with a new chairman!"

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:19 | 2639908 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

 

 

Banksters = War War = banksters

 

 

The U.S. central bank, called the Federal Reserve, was created in 1913. No one promoted this institution with the slogan that it would make wars more likely and guarantee that nearly half a million Americans would die in battle in foreign lands, along with millions of foreign soldiers and civilians. No one pointed out that this institution would permit Americans to fund, without taxes, the destruction of cities abroad and overthrow governments at will. No one said that the central bank would make it possible for the U.S. to be at large-scale war in one of every four years for a full century. It was never pointed out that this institution would make it possible for the U.S. government to establish a global empire that would make Imperial Rome and Britain look benign by comparison.


You can line up 100 professional war historians and political scientists and talk about the twentieth century, and not one is likely to mention the role of the Fed in funding U.S. militarism. And yet it is true: the Fed is the institution that has created the money to fund the wars. In this role, it has solved a major problem that the state has confronted for all of human history. A state without money or a state that must tax its citizens to raise money for its wars is necessarily limited in its imperial ambitions. Keep in mind that this is only a problem for the state. It is not a problem for the people. The inability of the state to fund its unlimited ambitions is worth more for the people than every kind of legal check and balance. It is more valuable than all the constitutions ever devised. ~ L. H. Rockwell Jr. ( http://www.lewrockwell.com/rockwell/war-and-inflation.html )

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:35 | 2640251 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

The Fed feeds the military-industrial complex very, very well.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:32 | 2640136 roadhazard
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Bankers contribute to local police pension funds for extra protection.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:33 | 2639914 Apostate2
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I am uncertain as to the meaning of this cryptic post but the book is fantasy (i.e. historical fiction). The Chinese were coastal sailors not blue water salts. A bit like the discovery of the Terracotta Warriers. Nice narratives but without hard evidence.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:39 | 2639916 bloostar
bloostar's picture

2012, the year China BOUGHT America. There, fixed it.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 22:35 | 2641529 rayduh4life
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I'd much rather we owe them than they owed us.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:54 | 2640070 Hulk
Hulk's picture

About a dozen asians walked into North America around 15,000 years ago. I would say that was when North America

was discovered...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:40 | 2640150 DaveyJones
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they were going to take their boat but the water was too hard

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 04:55 | 2641747 A Nanny Moose
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Ice fishing accident.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 14:52 | 2640638 RiverRoad
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Someting tells me all the history books heretofore are going to get rewritten BIg Time.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 06:15 | 2639923 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

It's amazing how much we have learned since Adam Smith. LOL.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:12 | 2639642 flacon
flacon's picture

Central Planning is a scourge upon the earth. 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:24 | 2639661 midtowng
midtowng's picture

Sadly the biggest manipulators are the ones proclaiming that we don't need regulators.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:28 | 2639666 flacon
flacon's picture

Failure is a natural regulation. If only failure wasn't deregulated. 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:58 | 2639699 Stackers
Stackers's picture

" Doctor Franklin, what have you given us a republic or a monarchy ? "

" A Republic ...... if you can keep it"

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:30 | 2639985 Withdrawn Sanction
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“I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

--Benjamin Franklin (1787)

On the adoption of the Constitution by the Philadelphia convention

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:31 | 2639953 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

A natural regulation with harsh consequences for people other than the one doing the failing. A rather relevant detail, in retrospect.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:10 | 2639709 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Sadly the biggest manipulators are the ones proclaiming that we don't need regulators.

 

 

"I've got you this time, Brer Rabbit," said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. "You've sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?"

Brer Rabbit's eyes got very large. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you," mused Brer Fox. "No, that's too much trouble. Maybe I'll hang you instead."

"Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"If I'm going to hang you, I'll need some string," said Brer Fox. "And I don't have any string handy. But the stream's not far away, so maybe I'll drown you instead."

"Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

"The briar patch, eh?" said Brer Fox. "What a wonderful idea! You'll be torn into little pieces!"

Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox's fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.

Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit's death rattle. He heard nothing.

Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.

"I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox," he called. "Born and bred in the briar patch."

And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.

 

http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/brer_rabbit_meets_a_tar_bab...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 19:53 | 2641222 FreedomGuy
FreedomGuy's picture

Our whole lives from birth to death are centrally planned, now. Bloomberg will tell you what sized soda you can have while Obama will tell you how much of your labor you can keep.

Without a large measure of freedom there really is little purpose to life. We are all pawns on someone else's chessboard.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 05:43 | 2639918 Herman Van Rompuy
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What?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:24 | 2639948 New_Meat
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"What???" - Rudy Giuliani

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:53 | 2639999 post turtle saver
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No, it's "What??? 911!" for Giuliani.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:41 | 2640151 roadhazard
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Selling F E A R ... 911! 911! 911! Those numbers have taken all the privacy of the American People. Disgusting.

Osama Bin Laden, the man who brought the Police State to America. He won.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:33 | 2639956 GMadScientist
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"Do they speak English in what?" - Jules

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:12 | 2639558 Precious
Precious's picture

There is trulee profundity in dizorber.  --  Reginald Van Gleason III

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:56 | 2639620 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. Chaos always defeats order because it is better organized." Terry Pratchett

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 06:10 | 2639922 rufusbird
rufusbird's picture

Imagine, if you will, all the farmers markets in the world, (this will help visualize it...

google ( world's vegetable markets images ) below

https://www.google.com/search?q=world%27s+vegetable+markets&hl=en&client...

Chaos that works better than any central planning person, or group of persons could ever with control. (Attempts at central planning of food production result in massive starvation.)

Well, historically, until recently in a historical sense, hasn't finance functioned the same way?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:41 | 2639957 GMadScientist
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That's not chaos; everyone showing up on a random day when they felt like it with whatever they felt like selling (not just vegetables) would be closer.

How many vendors selling veg laced with shit would it take for the whole farmer's market to collapse?

Tell me again how ADM and Monsanto aren't centrally planned entities and how the free market will handle drought better than alternative economic systems.

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:39 | 2639990 Withdrawn Sanction
Withdrawn Sanction's picture

How many vendors selling veg laced with shit would it take for the whole farmer's market to collapse?

Actually, a more useful formulation of the question would be, how many buyers would it take to recognize vegetables laced with shit before the shit-selling vendor was ostracized?  Or to put it somewhat differently, does word travel fast or slow?

And to address the other point about ADM and MON:  they may indeed be centrally planned entities, even evil, but they can only foist their evil on others at the point of gun.  Of course, they do not brandish their own guns, that would be illegal; rather, they get Uncle Stooge to do it for them under color of law.  And Uncle Stooge does so b/c they pay him to do so.  

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:21 | 2640022 GMadScientist
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I'm pretty sure robber barons could afford their own guns, if it came to that. There's certainly prescident in US labor history.

A further postulation: can buyers recognize which vendor gave them the shits before said vendor has changed identities?

And for pure humor's sake: can a corporation get the shits?

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 22:49 | 2644479 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Chaos is how new products are invented, developed, and sold in a market.

It happens in an organized fashion because of timing and the skills of those involved, i.e. the process involved.

Government interferes with that process.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:11 | 2639567 Cognitive Dissonance
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The ultimate conceit of man is demonstrated by his thinking that this time it really is different, that we are truly special and unique, that the lessons of history so dearly and painfully learned by countless generations before do not apply to the here and now.

Thus the endless circle of insanity goes round and round and round again.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:23 | 2639589 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Don't you think it is an age thing as well CD?  People think they know everything through their 30's.  By the time they hit 50 they have either decided to fight the machine or have sold out in the interest of their dependents in the face of the relative hopelessness of struggle.  Young people like to blame older people, but I have come to think that may be backwards.  I ask you this because I respect your opinions, and I can't say that so often around here any more...

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:34 | 2639597 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Interesting post.  I like to think the struggle is never hopeless and time is on our side in this one.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:03 | 2639635 Reese Bobby
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I hope you are right.  “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”  -C.S. Lewis

 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:38 | 2639678 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Reese, the linear correlation between age and wisdom that most people hold true is false, imo. If you put in honest work toward fortifying your own wisdom, there is no correlation but which you impose on yourself. Starts with being more selfless than selfish, more truthful than decietful, more just than unjust, and more sympathetic than apathetic. There is no reward that can be seen outside of your body, but the rewards you feel from exercising and adding to your own wisdom are what makes this life worth living.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:28 | 2639720 CrockettAlmanac.com
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there is no correlation but which you impose on yourself. Starts with being more selfless than selfish,

 

If you "yourself" are considering such action then it can not be "selfless." The more we know and respect our own selves the more ready we are to act rationally and responsibly toward others. Selflessness is just another word for the suicide of one's spirit. Appreciate your own value and act in accordance with your own values.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:10 | 2639760 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

But dear Crockett, you misunderstand my sentiments. I says "more of one than the other," as opposed to "only one instead of the other." What, in the end, prevail as the best of outcomes, are the results of rational, logical, and reasonable thought.

I'm pretty poor. Sold my motorcycle at the beginning of this year and gave all proceeds to my friend so he could pay rent and eat and stuff for a couple of months. I honestly don't give a shit what labels anyone puts on that choice - I was just doing what I thought would be the best outcome.

A utilitarian approach, used in moderation and accordingly, does wonders. I already live in an ideal world in my head. The physical world is far, far away from that ideality. I do what I can to help my friends, family, and strangers in the physical and in the psychological. I don't get anything out of it, and I never expect anything in return other than for people to realize that there is humanity and if it has not been twisted, it is quite ideal.

I guess in that sense, I am selfish.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:21 | 2639771 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

I'm pretty poor. Sold my motorcycle at the beginning of this year and gave all proceeds to my friend so he could pay rent and eat and stuff for a couple of months. I honestly don't give a shit what labels anyone puts on that choice - I was just doing what I thought would be the best outcome.

 

My point is that you made that decision and took that action yourself. If acts of charity could be accomplished "selflessly" then no real individual would have to actually engage in them.  Acts can not be considered or undertaken without actors. Concepts such as "give" or "run" or "think" do not exist without an individual self to perform those actions: Skateboarder gives, the boy runs, the girl thinks.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:45 | 2639804 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Evil manipulates.

"Selfless" is only an approximation word that stands for an organic thought process borne out of "love," another approximation word that stands for another organic thought process. I don't wish to argue semantics with you friend. Just trying to help others, and in turn myself, in the process as this whole experiment runs amok. If I am a piece of shit, so be it. If I am not, so be it.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 01:25 | 2639816 CrockettAlmanac.com
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The definition which is commonly given to the word "selfless" would be better attached to a word such as "willful."It takes great strength of individual will to jump on a hand grenade to save one's comrades, for example. The word "selfless" implies not that one can give consideration to other individuals but that consideration for certain others individuals conflicts with one's own self interest which is not necessarily the case. The man who jumps on the grenade does so because he is in proximity to the grenade, there is no opportunity to diffuse or toss away the grenade and if one is to be killed by the grenade anyway one can promote ones own values best by jumping on the grenade and enabling one's companions to go on to win the battle. He promotes his own values in the most effective way open to him. Defining acts of charity or goodwill as being "selfless" is every bit as insidious as claiming that war is peace or freedom is slavery.

 

Evil manipulates.

 

That's why you believe that abandoning your identity through "selflessness" is a virtue when in reality it is a manipulative play designed to to replace your values with the will of others. Be wary of powerful individuals who demand sacrifice. For example, when Warren Buffet talks about "giving something back" he does not intend to become poorer in the process, he's merely talking his book in a very effective and manipulative way.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 03:19 | 2639884 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

You have a very good grasp on the language. If we are not alone, then there maybe be hope for us after all.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 07:56 | 2639961 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

While it's certainly true that opportunists attempt to use "selflessness" as a tool of manipulation, that does not preclude the possibility of rational beings behaving in a selfless manner. It is an effective tool for those opportunists precisely because it is a natural human instinct to care for others. Being selfless is not an abdication of self-worth as much as a philosophical stance that prioritizes others ahead of oneself and sacrifice is only effective when that being sacrificed has tremendous value (a pan-cultural phenomenon).

The man that jumps on the grenade or goes back for wounded does so because of the soldiers on his left and right, not "promoting his values" or any other sanctimonious bullshit you learned from John Wayne movies.

Were you born with no mirror neurons?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:21 | 2640178 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I understand what you're getting at, but jumping on a grenade isn't a considered decision, it's an instinctive reaction. 

In general, when we ponder the events of the world, people have a great tendency to overstate the importance of "willful" decision-making.  It applies to some of what we do, but definitely not all or most.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:30 | 2640239 CrockettAlmanac.com
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I understand what you're getting at, but jumping on a grenade isn't a considered decision, it's an instinctive reaction.

 

If actions such as  jumping on a grenade were instinctual then the human race would have died out a long time ago. It is a willful action only undertaken in particular circumstances with a definite goal in mind.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:56 | 2640298 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

I don't agree, and I'd say read more interviews with the folks who've survived such things.  There are some very consistent lessons in their experiences.  There just isn't TIME to think any of it over.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 12:13 | 2640316 CrockettAlmanac.com
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If the man who jumps on a grenade does so entirely from instinct and without any consideration whatsoever then one would expect that man to jump on any grenade in any situation. His instincts would have him jump on a grenade even if no one else was endangered and there was an opportunity for escape. If jumping on the grenade was instinctual then the man would jump on it to save Hitler as readily as he would to save his friends. If jumping on a grenade was instinctual then grenades would be far more effective weapons because the targeted soldiers would not attempt to avoid the ordnance but would rather be drawn toward it. But that's not the way it goes down. The man only jumps on the grenade when that is the most rational option available.

 

An act such as jumping on a grenade may take place in a split second but that does not mean that reason and values don't come into play. In fact, one must have a firm handle on one's own values such as love for one's comrades in order to make the split second decision to jump on the grenade as one's true instinct would be to flea from the grenade as quickly as possible.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 23:22 | 2641585 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Yes, I understood you the first time, and I'm saying you're wrong. 

To clarify one point first, because you're smearing the concept a bit: "instinct" doesn't mean "mindless"--it means "not based on rationality."  You can ask people how they'd handle a situation in advance, then test how they actually respond and chart the difference.  In some cases, the differences are dramatic--the actual BEHAVIORAL response just doesn't align with the subject's perception of self, right and wrong, logic, etc.

The real crux of things is that a large portion of human "thinking" is post-hoc rationalization.  This upsets the intellectuals, but has been demonstrated in many experiments.  Your own brain spends a good chunk of time tricking you into thinking you meant to do what you just did, and it's very convincing.  But it's just a story.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 01:25 | 2641665 CrockettAlmanac.com
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Yes, I understood you the first time, and I'm saying you're wrong.

 

That's because you keep ignoring the facts. One may jump on a grenade to save one's friend but not to save Hitler. That is rational. Accept it.

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 14:35 | 2643366 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

A hypothetical isn't a fact.

Tue, 07/24/2012 - 22:59 | 2647877 All Risk No Reward
All Risk No Reward's picture

Just to clarify, are you argung that Alex Jones would jump on a grenade thrown at a Jekyll Island Federal Reserve Party in norder to save the Rockefellers and Rothschilds as quickly as he'd do so to save his own children?

Is that what you are arguing?

I think you miss something very important - call it "present context" or context in the present time.

People have that at any instant.  it take no "time" for me to think of the context I've been in and still reside in at the moment.

That information is there and doesn't need timing to think it through.

I think Alex tries to grab chief Rockefeller or Rothschild and throw him on top of the grenade - and would choose to die trying vs saving these demons.

Hypotheticals can actually expose deficiencies in logic - and when they do, they are not welcomed, now are they?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 12:17 | 2640277 CrockettAlmanac.com
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While it's certainly true that opportunists attempt to use "selflessness" as a tool of manipulation, that does not preclude the possibility of rational beings behaving in a selfless manner.

 

If one abandons oneself then one also abandons the merits which one possesses. Rationality is not a free floating concept. It must attach to an individual self.

 

It is an effective tool for those opportunists precisely because it is a natural human instinct to care for others.

 

Voluntarily aiding others is not a selfless act. We help those with whom we feel some kind of sympathy or kinship. If one were to act against ones own self interests then that would cause one not to want to help others on whom one depends. If one were to deliberately act against ones own self interest one would give aid to one's enemies rather than one's friends.

 

Being selfless is not an abdication of self-worth as much as a philosophical stance that prioritizes others ahead of oneself and sacrifice is only effective when that being sacrificed has tremendous value (a pan-cultural phenomenon).

 

How can one abandon one's self without abdicating one's self worth? One can not and does not prioritize an undefined group of others ahead of oneself. One chooses whom one wishes to help according to one's own values.

 

The man that jumps on the grenade or goes back for wounded does so because of the soldiers on his left and right, not "promoting his values" or any other sanctimonious bullshit you learned from John Wayne movies.

 

Why do you believe that the love of a soldier for his comrades is not a reflection of his values?

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:41 | 2639732 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I appreciate your points but I never suggested there was anything "linear" about it.  That is the problem I observe.  But you are lucky, and God Bless if perspective and wisdom came to you at an early age.  I happen to be a devout, but by definition failed Christian so in my own way I naturally am striving for what apparently came easier to you.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:18 | 2639769 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Wisdom is not a one-time thing or a binary "you have it or you don't" thing either. You have to strive to be righteous (whatever that means... it's a fucked up word that only you can truthfully define for yourself), be better than you already are, learn more than you already know. That is how wisdom builds, and I learned that pretty early. Many people stop learning or never learn at all. Self-imposed restrictions are one's only barrier.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:36 | 2639790 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Well, I am chatty tonight...but if you give your last few Benjamins to a friend in need I respect your advice.  Read the book dude...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:41 | 2640266 Spacemoose
Spacemoose's picture

"Reese, the linear correlation between age and wisdom that most people hold true is false, imo. "

disagree to some extent.  i'm old and it seems to me that there is definitely a decrease in some forms of mental acuity as you age.  however, i've also noted that as you age you gather more data points with which to plot trend lines.  sort of like having a 50 year history of stock price movements, instead of just 10 years.  one becomes much better at identifying long term trends.  i'm not a big fan of the normalized slope of the current line.  it points to an omnipotent state. 

 

     

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:38 | 2639605 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Not to jump in on this thought - if CD wants to offer something better he can - but:

By the time they hit 50 they have either decided to fight the machine

Uh, try by the time they hit 24.  And they don't fight it because no one has clearly communicated a better alternative.  

Getting rich = pussy.  Idealiism < pussy.  

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:54 | 2639619 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I don't know.  For instance the educational system teaches nonsense right through grad school.   And it seems to me most self-proclaimed idealists will really sell-out in a heart beat for a lot of money if given the opportunity.  But I agree the alternative is not well defined.  Which wanders into the really complicated topic of the breakdown of society/community.  I can only speak from my experience, but for what it is worth a lot of money is nice but it is the real answer to nothing.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:20 | 2639654 nmewn
nmewn's picture

The only one who can ever sell out is you, yourself...its within you and all of us.

I saw your comment above to CD and ached to respond...so here goes...

Just because you're "old" or young, doesn't mean you quit fighting. Even when I was young(er) I respected my elders who made rational sense and imparted timeless wisdom I could use through the rest of my life. You will know it when its voiced, as it is devoid of the current fashion or fad.

I always remember, you can never really lose or fail until you quit fighting. Understand what you're fighting for, why, and against what, its not always for present self but a very much larger thing to be handed down to those who will follow behind you.

At the end we should all die free, with a clear conscience and a smile knowing we did all we could...now its theirs if they can keep it.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:35 | 2639671 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Wow.  That was really well expressed and hopeful.  Thanks.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:42 | 2639681 nmewn
nmewn's picture

We'll be OK Reese...it is "they" who are terminally screwed.

Take care ;-)

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:48 | 2639806 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Wonderful dialogue guys, almost brought a tear to me eye...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 01:00 | 2639817 BKbroiler
BKbroiler's picture

derp

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 06:37 | 2639932 ultimate warrior
ultimate warrior's picture

That was very eloquently put.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:23 | 2639658 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Totally right RB.  Greenie for you.

Just last night I was watching the local news, hearing Pete Townsend singing to me about a car during a commercial and could not help but be reminded of this:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-who-sell-out-mw0000652659

So does Pete Townsend not comment here because he doesn't get it?  Or because he gets it more than you or I care to?

/no jokes re: Pete T is too busy "researching" child porn.  thank you in advance

Until then...

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:27 | 2639724 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Do you think that professional musicians should not be permitted to sell their services or is it just that they should perform only for you and for no one else?

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:36 | 2639731 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

So are we getting off-topic or not?  I just said CD is a leader on this site but real change in the real world needs a new person to step forward.

I guess the answer to your question is yes - I'm down with Pete Townsend singing to make me buy an Acura or whatever car it was.

How about you?  Is this question more interesting than what was noted below?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:03 | 2639754 engineertheeconomy
engineertheeconomy's picture

Townsend has about as much integrity as does Greenspan.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:15 | 2639765 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

And you and I have less integrity - at least out here in cyberspace - than either of them.

Pete Townsend wrote good songs.  And Greenspan once wrote that all $ go back to gold.  

I respect musicians and fed chairmen before they sold out and realized they couldn't do shit to right the wrongs of the past.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir2rFb_ghn0

Until someone offers better, buy physical.  

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:00 | 2639965 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

No, Greenspan didn't write Tommy or Behind Blue Eyes and Townsend didn't sell out the entirety of capitalism.

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 02:56 | 2639878 Moon Pie
Moon Pie's picture

Crockett, it depends.  Of course they should be permitted.  But what if the music and what it says or aims at is to the listener, for enjoyment, for thought, for contemplation...to open up ideas or look at them differently?  If that artist is any good...he/she has done so because what they have to say burns within them...they are questions, facts, statements and yearnings that the artist needs to - must - express.

I grew up as a teen in the late 70's...man, if Eric Clapton would have done a Michelob ad then, he would have been trashed.  He in fact do such an ad in the mid-80's...and started an avalanche of "poser" artists, but yet still musicians, shilling for corporations.  It's their right to, for sure...but what it reveals is they really never loved their work, their music.  Frikin Led Zeppelin pushing Cadillacs?  Really?  But turns out their were thiefs of material anyway.  What really broke my heart is when Steve Winwood started to go commercial...but then seemed to stop himself.  Thank god.  I hate the thought of not enjoying "Dear Mr. Fantasy" as I always did.

There are others that have not gone the commercial route.  Notably Dylan...but there are many others.  There is a good reason for that, too.  Dylan knows what his music is and what it means to him.  Take Hank Williams Sr. and Jr.  Sr. would never go the commercial route.  Jr. Set his sights there and bathed in it.  Which is cool.

But our media/society and what young people today know is totally (almost) devoid of any true artistic integrity.  You can say commercialism did that and there might have even been a nefarious plan, etc., but the truth is, there are very few (any?) musical "ARTISTS" out there, that will go out on a limb, ask the tough questions, state the bald facts, and stir the conscience anymore.  Where are they? 

The dearth in good, provoking and moving music is disturbing to me and has been for some time.  In its place is some fairly disturbing and ugly stuff.

Pete Townsend (whatever his other foibles) is totally free to push automobiles, hair gel, or the longer lasting light bulb.  But, he lets us in on what he really thinks about his own music in the process...which I never thought much of to begin with.  The Who always seemed commercial to me...good for them....just don't tell me they are great artists.  They're not.

And I don't think this topic is unrelated to many things that I read here in ZH...and is fact an important part of our own condition and what we have allowed to occur. 

BTW...give Dylan's "Everything Is Broken" another listen when you can.  Why heck...lookly here...i just found a link to it:  http://videos.sapo.pt/EZNZizOUtzpQctOD4U1U  Think its a Portugese url/site...Dylan won't let YouTube play his shit. 

 

 

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:10 | 2639970 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

I'm reminded of a street musician I saw in Venice Beach one summer who thanks the crowd for their applause and support then pointed out, "but I can't eat that shit."

The biggest sin of Clapton is not putting out a decent album since that Michelob commercial (and what a weak fucking song to pick from one of the strongest repertoires in rock'n'roll...they had to pick something lame from his "I'm going to be an alcoholic because that's more socially acceptable than junkie" wanna-be country phase).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1yfVKsB8wU

 

I met a boy
wearing Vans, 501s,
and a Dope Beastie Tee,
nipple rings, and New tattoos
that claimed that he
Was OGT,
Back in '92,
from the first EP.

And in between
Sips of Coke
He told me that He thought We
were sellin' out,
Layin' down,
Suckin' up To the man.

Well now I've got some Add-Vice for you, little buddy.
Before you point the finger
You should know that I'm the man,
And if I'm the man,
then you're the man,
and he's the man as well
so you can Point that fuckin' finger up your ass.

All you know about me is what I've sold you,
Dumb fuck.
I sold out long before you ever even heard my name.
I sold my soul to make a record,
Dip shit,
Then you bought ONE.

All you read and
Wear or see and
Hear on TV
Is a product
Begging for your
Fatass dirty Dollar

Shut up and BUY. Buy. Buy. My new record.

Buy! BUY! Send more money!

Fuck you buddy!

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:58 | 2640188 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

"The interest of the musician is music.  The interest of the professional musician is money."  --some old guitarist who refused to be a professional

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 15:55 | 2640785 takinthehighway
takinthehighway's picture

Slight detour, but thought that you might enjoy this - "Working Class Rock Star":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cextxQZz28o

Frank Marino et al.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 12:14 | 2640326 Another Texan
Another Texan's picture

Nobody likes a hooker with a penis.  Fuckin liar.   

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:50 | 2640285 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Crockett, it depends.  Of course they should be permitted.  But what if the music and what it says or aims at is to the listener, for enjoyment, for thought, for contemplation...to open up ideas or look at them differently?  If that artist is any good...he/she has done so because what they have to say burns within them...they are questions, facts, statements and yearnings that the artist needs to - must - express.

 

None of that precludes an aging rock star from selling his wares and putting away some cash for his old age.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 12:57 | 2640393 Moon Pie
Moon Pie's picture

I don't disagree.  It's a matter of how they do it (live concerts, new material, etc.) vs. letting it out for use that is disconnected and impinges the integrity of it.  A price is paid (money v. regard) either way.  An artist's legacy is really the issue.  Imagine Warhol lending his art to promote a product?  Or Renoir?  Same thing here.  They are free to do it...but it changes things.

Integrity/Dignity is the very thing most lacking in our society and business culture.  I'm afraid it's also lacking in the arts.  From Movies, to TV, to music.....

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 13:36 | 2640470 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

 

for use that is disconnected and impinges the integrity of it.

 

Suppose that I believe that the way you earn your living lacks integrity? Does that make it so? Should you forgo making a living and let your family slide into destitution because I object to the way you flip burgers or fill out forms?

 

Imagine Warhol lending his art to promote a product?  Or Renoir?

 

Does Alphonse Mucha's creation of advertisements including this one for JOB impact your appreciation of his depiction of the Four Seasons? Does it lessen his stature as an artist? Note that this advertisement is featured at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

 

https://www.1000museums.com/prod_images/milw/600/milw0019_3240--600.jpg

Mon, 07/23/2012 - 02:35 | 2641694 Moon Pie
Moon Pie's picture

Crockett....you be Crockett...and I'll be me.  I'd say you're delusional and trite..but that just me.

"I'll let you be in my dream, if I can be in yours.." - Bob Dylan

What you think about my integrity may or may not have an economic impact upon me.

I'm beginning to think my answers and comments are not worthy of your replies.  Not in an abstract sense either and certainly not because I am "better" or "worse" than you.  Just because I think you are either not really thinking or really just a boob.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:19 | 2639978 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Vic Vinegar said:

Just last night I was watching the local news, hearing Pete Townsend singing to me about a car during a commercial and could not help but be reminded of this:

http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-who-sell-out-mw0000652659

Apologies in advance for being pedantic, Vic. If it was singing, wouldn't that be Roger Daltrey?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:12 | 2640013 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

I wondered the same thing at first but I think the song was from Pete's solo stuff.  

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 12:14 | 2640293 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

The car commercial which I saw featured Let My Love Open the Door from Pete's 1980 solo album Empty Glass. A great record. I bought it when it debuted.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF1sVrFCkrY

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 22:42 | 2641538 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Fair enough, Vic and Crockett. I stand corrected.

I've never seen the commercial, so my presumption was that it was using a song by The Who.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:59 | 2639627 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

Uh, try by the time they hit 6.

And on another note,

I do strongly suggest to you all that the chaos is not coming,

it is here.

It is messing with your psyche -- now -- because you are human, after all.

Give it a thought...

until there is truth,
you will be in turmoil.

That is the way it's supposed to be.

 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:57 | 2639652 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

By the time they hit 6?  You hit puberty at a young age!

Your definnition of chaos is different than mine.  My definition of chaos is when I expect Big Brother to be on my tv on the CBS channel on Sunday night and it is not.  SHTF at that moment - not one sooner.

Until then, this is reality, nothing chaotic about it.  Reality for me is defined as a bunch of money nerds shitting on how the world should be, rather than bouncing ideas off of each other as to how it could be and what we could do to make it different.

So your junk makes sense here in reality.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:08 | 2639634 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Don't you think it is an age thing as well CD?"

I think you are speaking towards a bigger subject or theme, one that encompasses the overall control system, and of which we are all an integral part who promote and perpetuate the very system we complain about.

Specifically since at least the advent of (and in fact since well before) the printing press began to change the process of knowing and knowledge which previously was acquired by way of "common" knowledge and self-exploration, the collective "we" have been subjected to a spell (a controlling thought meme) whereby the controlling few made a determined and concerted effort to convince the many that the past was populated by backwards dunderheads who could do little more than start a fire and feed their family.

In other words, there has been a concerted effort by the few to convince the many that wisdom can only lay ahead and nothing can be learned from the past, that only those in authority (meaning those who author their own wisdom and power and claim they speak for all) can comprehend and dispense true knowledge and knowing, thus assuring the powerful and elite near total control over the minds of the many.

This is very poor and extremely incomplete summary of my thoughts on the matter.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:09 | 2639644 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

There is no easy answer but I follow your points.  One challenge for me is determining the difference in perception between getting older and real changes in society.  For example, when I was younger I had many "famous" role models.  Now I would struggle to name one.  Take care CD.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:27 | 2639663 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I wasn't trying to ignore your observation regarding personal age and perception/perspective, but rather I was just trying to see the bigger picture.

We do not teach our children to think (independently), but just to be an effective and efficient cog in the corporate machine. By the time we are old and wise enough to see this more clearly we are often faced with a stark and, for some, frightening choice. Continue to be a cog ourselves and milk the system for all that we can in order to retire within the system or to fight the system.......which will most likely put ourselves in physical peril as we continue to age.

The overwhelming majority choose to close their eyes and play out the string, recognizing their own self-interest over that of the children coming up behind them.....thus perpetuating the very system they claim to dislike or even hate. Very few are brave enough to risk it all and demand change.

I am navigating this minefield very poorly myself so please don't think I am the pot calling the kettle black.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:34 | 2639670 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

This illustrates one of my bigger peeves. There are those who bitch incessantly about the corruption within the system on one hand and build an investment portfolio with the other..........

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:47 | 2639689 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

You mean I shouldn't look to profit off the TVIX and want this corrupt, fractional reserve-based lending system to fail?  You mean there's an inherent hypocrisy in that?

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:57 | 2639751 i-dog
i-dog's picture

LOL ... hold up a mirror and get junked ... because the reflection is ugly!?! Too funny.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:51 | 2639692 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But.......but.......but I am good and just, a victim of the system, a slave just trying to fend for myself. I can not be guilty of hypocrisy in the face of such monumental crimes and corruption by so many others.

Let them first cease and desist, then I will clean up my house.

/sarc

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:08 | 2639708 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

You are the man, CD - one of the best commenters on ZH and you always make people think.

But I'll be damned if history doesn't need another leader Napoleon Bonaparte or Alexander the Great-style right about now...CD is not the guy to be that as he is far too self-aware of his own weaknesses to lead.  Naps and A-Dog never navel-gazed: they just did.

Me - I'm not about to lead as I'm gonna punch out for a bit to go play some videogames.  

Everything Mr. D has had to say is great: someone just needs to translate that into action.  

And don't say "we all gotta do our part" - somebody needs to be a lightening rod.  I'm not saying that to complain...I'm just stating facts.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:31 | 2639986 centerline
centerline's picture

The "strongman" will arrive.  I am pretty sure of that.  Not sure what scares me more these days.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:45 | 2639686 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Oh I never thought you weren't trying to answer my question.  And you're probably being way too tough on yourself.  You have been brave with your ZH observations for a long time.  I judge people on how they treat people they do not have to be nice to, and as an investor I would make a heavy bet you pass that test better than most.  Peace.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:28 | 2640027 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Its how people behave when they are unobserved that shows their true mettle.

By definition thats unseen.

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:27 | 2639982 centerline
centerline's picture

I am navigating this minefield very poorly myself so please don't think I am the pot calling the kettle black.

That pretty much sums it up for many of us here I am sure.

Your statements above are spot on.  I would only add that society and own instincts to "belong" create a powerful self-reinforcing mechanism.  Groupthink is the new normal.  A very dangerous thing IMO.

But, alas, I am stuck in said system and forced to play along.  I remind myself almost daily of it, yet find myself entangled in one way or another all the time only to hate myself for it later.  "Doing the right thing" is a very situation thing here.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:59 | 2639703 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

CD, you seem to speak toward what I found as a good contemporary read on cylicality from Strauss and Howe in the Fourth Turning.

If everything is working for you, then a linear view of what's going on (status quo) continuing forever makes sense. Enter the elitists.

However, as history has shown, human society is cyclical with distinct phases of birth, maturation, decay, and death, thereby mirroring the cycle of every living organism.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:47 | 2640276 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

To Reese Bobby:

I "knew" everything when I was 8 years old and I asked my grandmother, "What was the Depression?" and she said, "Oh that was terrible: many people lost their jobs and their homes, everything.  It was a terrible, terrible time."  I was so thank ful when she said,  "You will never know what that was like, dear."....... 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:33 | 2639595 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

You nailed it Mr. D.  100+ greens to you if I could.

I would offer a challenge to this doomerish note:

Thus the endless circle of insanity goes round and round and round again.

Unlike past eras, the internet-era (before it's killed off as we know it) allows us to communicate with anyone, anywhere, at anytime.  

Rather than offer up this thought that appears on the surface to be defeatist, why don't some of the bright minds of Zero Hedge offer up some better ideas?

Because if the insantity just goes round and round again, then I guess it's Katy Perry videos and shitting on how 'dumb people are' from here on out?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuwfgXD8qV8

Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for some Kardashians.  

No sarc bitches!

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:43 | 2639741 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Understand who or what your enemy is.

 

Morality is a survival adaptation that develops in a specific group to promote the viability of that group.

The Moral Instinct by Stephen Pinker

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/magazine/13Psychology-t.html?_r=1&page...

 

There are two basic types of brains: one type mainly strives to control and manipulate people, the other mainly to control and manipulate things.

Mentalism and Mechanism - the twin modes of human cognition by Christopher Badcock

http://www.thegreatdebate.org.uk/MentalismCB.html

 

There are three general, overlapping, cultures in human society. One very old, the hunter-gatherer culture, represented by liberals. One about 12,000 years old, the Pharaonic, represented by the conservatives. The third, a nascent culture, and an intellectual (moral development) offspring of the Pharaonic culture, the freedom, or individualist culture.

So, there you have it: two types of brains being motivated by the differing moralities of three basic, and overlapping, cultures.

 

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:57 | 2639752 Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar's picture

Honestly buddy you make no fuking sense to me.  Reference NY Times articles all you want, but you are a sad adaptation of what a Zero Hedge reader should be.

Who fuking cares about what you had to say above?  Buy physical and STFU.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:31 | 2640035 Dr.Engineer
Dr.Engineer's picture

Pure bullshit dude.

It is my Christian faith that helps me to anticipate this:  the depravity of all, original sin, the inclination to sin.

This psuedo-materialistic crap is what is killing our system.

The fear of God is not imagined, it is real.  We willfully ignore it and wind up with made up rules for conscience that are forcefully used to override what we know as conscience.

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.  Most ignorance is vincible ignorance.  We don’t know because we don’t want to know.  It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence.  Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their books that the world should be meaningless.”  Aldous Huxley

 

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:06 | 2640198 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

For you religious types, I must point out: God created a lot of us who are completely lacking in fear of Him.

I dunno why He'd do that, but I assure you that we too are very real.

That said, if He exists, I suspect all will become clear when I'm judged.  In the meantime, it would be only arrogance on my part to proclaim that I fully understand his will and goals.  All I've got to go on is a bunch of other people's interpretations, after all.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:38 | 2639606 nmewn
nmewn's picture

That is the nub of it CD...all this was done before, time tested and has a well known consequence/conclusion.

To imagine that one (or many) have the power or intellect to control and manipulate the trillions of daily decisions made by billions of individuals across the planet will go to anything other than disaster is to confront the real possibility that one is insane or stupid.

But...it has happened before...clearly the problem is not enough digits ;-)

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:45 | 2639614 Cabreado
Cabreado's picture

CD,

I think "conceit" and lack of emotional intelligence eventually reach a convergence, and that's where we are.

The overall theme of Narcissism is important, but the unchecked Entitlement in places of influence has to be the greatest concern.

It is all disintegrating, for sure... for lack of humility.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:01 | 2639705 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

If humility is not one of your best friends, you have poor choice in friends.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:39 | 2639734 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

Perhaps, but anyone who is incapable of accurately assessing their self worth and marshaling their strength towards achieving goals determined by their own values is doomed to live a hollow life.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:19 | 2639763 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

What if you are sort of below-average and weak?  Are you less "worthy"?  I only ask because you highlight the clumsy point I have been trying to make on this thread.  I know so many people in my daily life that are low on the "ladder of success" that I think have such high moral character that I totally reject the idea that "strength" and "goals" mean crap in the big picture.  In many ways I view my "success" and drive as a weakness related to the fact it is the easy route to comfort.  If this flies right over your head I am sorry.  Good luck...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:33 | 2639778 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

 

What if you are sort of below-average and weak?  Are you less "worthy"?

 

How do you define "worthy?" An individual with fewer skills is less worthy of making a high income than someone with specialized skills. But all men are created equal in the sense that each is a sovereign individual who not only has the right to live his own life as he sees fit but can not achieve his full potential, limited though that may be, without understanding and undertaking the management of his own individual character, skills, flaws, needs and desires.

 

I know so many people in my daily life that are low on the "ladder of success" that I think have such high moral character that I totally reject the idea that "strength" and "goals" mean crap in the big picture.

 

An individual possessing high moral character would likely set goals which would proceed from that character. Why should such individuals not envision and pursue such goals? Can one display a virtue without acting in a way that promotes that virtue? If a virtuous person remains inactive how could anyone know whether they have high moral character or not?

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:41 | 2639797 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Relax man.  Go for it.  I am just telling you if you win the "prize" you are chasing it won't mean poo unless you have taken care of your "soul" above all else.  God Bless.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:47 | 2639805 CrockettAlmanac.com
CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

I'm quite relaxed. And I'm chasing no prize other than the contentment of living my life in my own way in my own time.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 08:18 | 2639976 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

I'd say the world is beset more by people who relelentlessly pursue achievement of goals that lead to a hollow life all the while believing themselves to be true to their "values" (for some definition of same).

They're incompetent, not apathetic.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:03 | 2639756 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

I like your comments a lot.  Whether you are a Christian or not I would be really interested in your opinion of a short book named "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.  So many well-meaning moral judgements are fraught with danger.  It is actually a powerful and beautiful way to look at the world.  Well, to me at least...

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:36 | 2639791 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Thank you Reese, I appreciate your inputs in this thread also. I'm not one to subscribe to any particular field of thought or identify myself with anything at all. I just happen to be here, observing, and I see that love (for naturally occurring animate and inanimate things. Man-made things are twisted in most cases and unfit for love)  is indeed the greatest of all sentient thought processes.

Life here is precious. We've already thrown away most of it. I'm just trying to appreciate whatever life is left here.

Haven't read "Mere Christianity" yet, but I will give it a read and get back to you another day. Christianity, like most things, has been twisted and processed, but I do appreciate the theme of "love" that it presents. I also do find it quite incomplete.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:43 | 2639800 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

Cool.  I am REALLY interested in your views after you read it.  Peace.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:51 | 2639617 lakecity55
lakecity55's picture

Hubris.

Guard against hubris.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:21 | 2639656 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

Good point, its not easy sometimes.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:24 | 2639775 Reese Bobby
Reese Bobby's picture

DUDE!

"Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind."

http://www.btinternet.com/~a.ghinn/greatsin.htm


Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:55 | 2640182 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

pride goeth before the fall - herodotus

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:45 | 2639685 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Control is a very successful survival strategy.

 

Surrendering control is not.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 09:22 | 2640023 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

.

Control is a very successful survival strategy.

I partially agree. Control of one's self and one's surroundings is a sucessful survival strategy.

Control of others may or may not be, depending upon how one defines and implements it. For example, control of one's children, forcibly when necessary, in pursuit of the goal of them reaching adulthood as healthy individuals (both physically and mentally healthy) is a successful survival strategy.

Influencing others, when implemented as leading by good example, can be a successful survival strategy. For instance, building and cultivating a productive garden, explaining the benefits to neighbors who ask about it, and sharing knowledge of what works and what doesn't, will prompt some neighbors to build and cultivate their own gardens. Of course, this serves to illustrate the distinction between control and leadership.

In my opinion, forcible control of others, and the desire for such control, is a mental disorder. Any survival advantages it may confer must be considered in light of the survival disadvantages that come with it. While this strategy can work for wild animals which live in packs, when employed at a human level it is a waste of the cognitive abilities which differentiate humans from wild animals.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 11:10 | 2640207 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Trouble is that there are no clear bright lines between influence >> coercion >> forcible control. 

We can pick specific examples and mostly agree, certainly, but the difficult issues always occur where there's difference of opinion.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:01 | 2639706 RiverRoad
RiverRoad's picture

Depressions seem to go round and round again too, droughts and all.  But Nooooo, this time is different.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:20 | 2639773 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

This time is different. We the Americans have failed to "bear allegiance to the same" of This Endless War that is forced upon us. Shall we complain of the bankruptcy that is already the result? How about we embrace it "in the name of American arrogance." To Damamscus...and beyond!

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:56 | 2639813 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

I guess it's one of history's lessons is that every generation thinks that history's lesson do not apply to them.

 

We therefore should not/are not supposed to be surprised and the wise should always assume (except when proven otherwise with hard facts) that the common mood of any global or local herd is that of escaping history's laws.

 

Now, this should be intimately linked to the stages of any mania, and the feeling can therefore overshoot to the downside.

 

None of the these two extreme states correspond to humans accepting their shortcomings, realizing their potentials and taking responsibility for it - the essence of all established religions if you asked me, before that message got corrupted for a much more convenient one.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 10:45 | 2640164 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

They agree with your concept, they just don't think it applies to them  

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:23 | 2639573 Rollerball
Rollerball's picture

Private "money" is PRIVATE; hence(forth), there is no (social) contract.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:20 | 2639582 zero19451945
zero19451945's picture

Ben Bernanke has a well-documented track record of failure. He missed the recession. Missed the housing bubble. Basically missed everything. Didn't see it coming and can't tell you why it happened.

Yet our elected representatives constantly look to this man for guidance!!!

There is something seriously wrong with this country and it has nothing to do with economics. People are just fucked up in the head. People are brainwashed to trust "experts" when those same people get it all wrong.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:03 | 2639637 ihedgemyhedges
ihedgemyhedges's picture

Elected officials may have in the distant past looked to Fed Chairmen for guidance, but now they look for him to keep the government funded and the money flowing and the sheep as content as possible as they graze...................and I don't think Bernanke has ever been looked to for guidance.  Greenspan, maybe..........

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:04 | 2639638 Bollixed
Bollixed's picture

Puppets rarely get anything wrong. What the audience consciously ignores is the movement of the strings in favor of the dance. Benny's bosses probably think he's as gifted as they come.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 03:39 | 2639887 malikai
malikai's picture

I think I'd put my money on "Benocide is as replaceable as the rest". Unless by gifted you mean he's somehow gifted into fooling people, but even that's a stretch.

Timmeh's a better liar, IMO. Dimon, Blankfien, et all are even better than Timmeh. I'd suspect any one of them and hundreds of others would do just as "good" a job as Benocide. And they would do it without a lip quiver.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 23:31 | 2639653 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

When you stop assuming that the Bernanke's of this world are pursuing an outcome in favor of a free market economy protected by Constitutionally minded, Liberty and Justice oriented, servants of the Republic it all makes perfect sense. The cold reality is Benanke's track record is 100% on track with the socialist/globalist/fascist/ agenda. We have become a nation of fools to allow these criminals to manage our lives in any aspect whatsoever.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 22:35 | 2639673 holdbuysell
holdbuysell's picture

Even if they see it, there's no way in hell they're going to say it.

Sadly, some of US's 'finest' 535 have done quite well in the markets from insider information before the 2008 crisis from briefings.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 00:44 | 2639802 Unprepared
Unprepared's picture

Don't you worry, I heard Krugman is being groomed to take over. Imagine Krookman and Timmah in charge of fixing the global economy! We are sofa king doomed.

Sun, 07/22/2012 - 06:36 | 2639931 WTFx10
WTFx10's picture

In a colony the leaders never make mistakes. It is always the serfs not responding to the masters orders that causes the problems.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:23 | 2639588 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Bernankenstein

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:37 | 2639604 booboo
booboo's picture

Robespierre and his humanistic thought thugs believed they could order a perfect virtuous society until the people finally snapped and blew his jaw bone off, perhaps a fitting end to Bens jawboning.

Sat, 07/21/2012 - 21:42 | 2639610 JamesBond
JamesBond's picture

not too bad for an old dead white guy

 

jb

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