Capitalism is Money Making More Money

Capital is Money. And Capitalism is money organized to make more money.

Money making more money, makes more money available. This creates a society with big advantages, and big disadvantages.

Lots of money is available for big projects – transportation (railroads and steamship lines) – and for manufacturing (for making factories). These combinations make nations powerful – and also make for income inequality. More power is created, but this power is not equally distributed.

Something else is necessary to make all this work – to lessen the inequality, and make bigger pieces of the pie available for everyone. And this something else has to be, to begin with – an awareness that this something else is needed.

Once we know what is needed, we can try different ways of making it happen. Always keeping in mind, what we want to do. Make a better world.

Ignorance is the Secret Glue that Holds Everything Together

I am still obsessed with my struggle to understand what is going on. The answer for most people is simple “Don’t try to understand! Powerful, secret forces are managing the world, and it is best to leave them alone.”

I’m sure they are right – powerful forces are managing the world – or more correctly, mismanaging the world. And they do not want their operations exposed.

We can take that as our starting point – something is messing up the world. Next question “What is it?”

I can only speak from my personal experience in the last half of the 20th Century – and a very unpleasant experience that was. I kept asking “What is going on? And I kept getting the same answer “Nothing is going on, or at least, nothing important. Have a good time, and stop asking questions!”

And I kept seeing company after company, organization after organization – go under.And everyone kept ignoring this.They seemed to feel their most important asset – was their ability to ignore this.

And they were right, as far as their individual survival was concerned. If they noticed, they were shot down in flames – as an enemy of How Things Worked. I could only conclude that I was a horrible person – since I noticed what was going on.

If I could rewind time, back to 1960 – what could I say to the people then? I could only say “Something is wrong, and badly wrong – and we got to do something about it!” But I was trapped in my career as an Electronic Engineer, in the Cold War – making all kinds of money, doing nothing.

I was miserable, but I could not understand why. I was wasting my life, but no one seemed to think this was important.

Something else was important – but no one knew what that was – or wanted to know what that was.

Picabia’s Big Moment

New York Review

Francis Picabia: <i>Femmes au bull-dog (Women with Bulldog)</i>, 41 3/4 x 29 15/16 inches, circa 1941

Francis Picabia: Femmes au bull-dog (Women with Bulldog), 41 3/4 x 29 15/16 inches, circa 1941

This is about Art – if you haven’t guessed already.

This was intended to be a snide comment on our consumption of pornography.

My mother would not have approved.

A Machine is Not Alive, but It Can Operate Anyway

I am still trying to understand what a machine is. But the proper way to go at this, is to do it the other way around – understanding how Life operates first. And this means understanding how the Cell operates.

One of the many books cluttering up my desk is one on Cognitive Neuroscience. Which begins by looking at the cells in the brain – neurons. These highly specialized cells have a cell body that is the same as any other cell – containing many microorganisms, containing millions of complicated compounds, busily interacting with each other, many times a second. In a word, a cell is alive – and this is the basis of Life itself.

This is what Science teaches us – but People are not interested in Science. They want a simple story, something their minds can understand easily – God created the World!

I will not go into this controversy here – but go back to the basis of life – that like anything else, is composed of atoms and molecules. Living organisms organize them one way (an extremely complex way) and machines another way – that is much simpler.

And I will note one thing more – people create machines, they cannot create themselves. But when they reach a certain level of organization, such as the Railroads in the 19th Century, this process reverses – and the machines take control of the people – and the people become like them.

Without realizing this at all.

Emily: The Quiet Earthquake

New York Review

More about Dickinson! Three books and a movie.

Here I sit, in my pyjamas, in my apartment in Orosi, in Costa Rica, reading the New York Review of Books, that gets flown in to me from Miami. I live at the end of a long pipeline – but I can savor everything on the Internet – and that is nearly everything!

Too much, really – but I keep getting more and more of it. The Review is full of book advertisements, and I bought two of them, in Kindle editions, from this issue alone.

As I have said before – I live in the worst of times, and the best of times.

Better Than Real

This is another world entirely, where people can do whatever they please, without fear of retribution – because they are above all that. In this world, people do not matter, and the strong can do whatever they please – and everyone else will be part of whatever they set up.

What I am describing is the world of Business, and the Office. That is, in a word, inhumane – and run by people who are that way also. They have their minds set on greater things – and not on human things.

They regard people as a foreign species, that can exploit as they please. There are some limits to this, of course. The people must be kept satisfied with their lot in life – or they will rebell. But this can be easily done by the Media, that keeps them entertained.

They have established two classes of people – people who are better than real (who have all the advantages) and people who are less than real (who have much less). Reality still exists – but only in the fine line that separates the two. Everything else is either black or white.

One thing else is required – they must not be aware of all this, and must live in ignorance of it

What Made Us so Successful

Our closest relatives are the Great Apes, who we resemble in many ways. But they are still limited to the tropical forests – and we have spread everywhere, except Antarctica.

How did this happen?

We grew a larger brain, and one that is better organized. It is now the most complex structure in the universe – and we are only beginning to understand how it works. And how it doesn’t work, sometimes.

This large brain enabled our most important advantage – language. This, coupled with our social behavior, made us very successful. We were smart, millions of years ago.

And the large predators, that would have made a meal of us – learned to hunt easier prey. We were always in groups, and always on the lookout for danger. If one spotted danger, we all ran off, at top speed.

And we could run – half our body length consists of our long, powerful legs.

Our upright posture placed our eyes, with their color vision, and depth perception, up in the air, where we could see further.

We had no body hair – and could easily dissipate the heat caused by running. And we had sweat glands in our skin, that could cool us off even more. We could easily outrun any other animal. And by banding together, could kill any other animal we wanted to.

We developed frontal sexual intercourse, that no other animal has. Males developed a large penis, and females a clitorus – that made sex very pleasurable, so we did it a lot. And this produced more people – that gave is the incentive to spread out, and occupy more territory.

We could eat nearly anything, and it didn’t take us long to find new sources of food in our new territories. Life was easy then, and we only had to spend four hours a day looking for food. The rest of the time we could socialize – and we developed many ways of doing this.

We discovered how to use fire – that no other animal came close to using. We could now cook our food, which made the food we had more nutritious – and made other sources of food available. No doubt we learned to flavor our food also. We also made containers to cook our food in – and to carry our belongings in.

All this happened when we were hunter-gatherers, living in small bands of less than a hundred people each – speaking hundreds of different languages.

We knew about our neighboring tribes – and intermarried with them. Warfare in some tribes was common – but generally we were peaceful, because this was easier. We soon occupied all of Africa (a huge continent in itself) – still as a minor species, thinly spread out. But we were there.

We moved north, into Eurasia, a huge landmass – and soon occupied all of it – including the Arctic!  Then across the Bering Straits into the Western Hemisphere, and occupied all of it!

We were the most successful species in the world – and we had yet to discover Agriculture and Civilization!