Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I've been saying all along about the economy

David Suzuki is a Canadian Naturalist famous for popular science style TV programs.  He's finally saying in this article something that I haven't heard many people say:

The economy is not a force of nature, some kind of immutable, infallible entity. We created it, and when cracks appear, it makes no sense to simply shovel on more money to keep it going. Because it’s a human invention, an economy is something we should be able to fix – but if we can’t, we should toss it out and replace it with something better.

He's saying, in this article, that we should slow growth down for environmental reasons.  Well, I've got a slightly better reason for him that includes the environment.

The purpose of the economy is to make sure every human being on this planet is guaranteed their first level Maslow needs, and with a lot of hard work and inborn talent, might achieve their higher level Maslow wants.

Any economy that fails to do that, including because of global climate change eliminating native villages in the Arctic and the South Pacific- needs to be scrapped and redesigned.  Anything less is failing to live up to the great ideals of the six largest and oldest religions on the planet.  So if you believe in God or Buddha or Confucious or even many gods, in fact, if you're anything other than a money worshiper whose biggest temple is Wall Street; then you can no longer support this failed economic system.

Why I'm against trade

I've lost track of who did this chart- but it completely explains the reason I'm anti-trade with cultures that I consider to be "inferior".

Why the US Economy is sunk

We have no real money.

This actually worked for the last 80 years:  Every dollar the FED creates, it loans.  It prints money, then loans it either to banks or the federal government.  This changes classical M1 into M3; money created by loans rather than physical money.

The reason we have deflation today is because as a culture, we're overleveraged- way too much M3, no M1, very little physical product to back up all of that M3.  All of the "stimulus" packages put forth so far have been funded with M3, not M1.  No wonder hyperinflation hasn't shown up and deflation is increasing rapidly; there's a major solvency problem, not just with the banks but with the FED itself as it is now overleveraged 100:1.

Here's my solution:  Kill the FED.  Let every governmental body print whatever dollars they need to survive.  End taxation entirely- your local neighborhood need a new park?  Just print the money to buy the land.  Decentralize money creation as long as all money creation is M1.  Then we'll have hyperinflation instead of deflation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When autism proves it's own

The United States economy, basically, is sunk.  Done for.  Nothing left but death spasms.

Yet due to ideology about the free market and neoliberalism, Barak Obama is heading down the same road Clinton and W Bush did, making matters worse by throwing debt after bad money.

Now here's what autism has to do with it.  Because I'm mildly autistic, I don't have an emotional attachment to a given system.  I can see that the American people need protectionism, so I'm not afraid to call for tariffs in public.  I can see that we're in a trade war already, so I'm not afraid to say if other countries want a trade war, we should respond with a hot war.  What al Qaida and bin Laden and Saddam Hussien did to us is NOTHING in comparison to what China and India have done to millions of American workers.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Appearances, Autism, and the Culture of Death

Ok, once again, Karen of Clear Blue Water wrote a few blogs this weekend on typepad that caused me to write this.

One of my major problems with being "A practical Catholic man" as my membership as a third degree Knight of Columbus puts it, is that as a person suffering from Asperger's I rarely notice, let alone judge people by, apperances.  If you don't tell me you're a sinner, you might even be sinning right in front of me and I simply won't notice.

This is especially true of the frivoulous way American culture has chosen to treat the Seamless Garment of Life.  You might be married to your same sex partner, you might be spending your weekends in the loving embrace of farm animals, I'm not going to notice.  You might be an old guy living in sin with your divorced neighbor and actually a part of my family, and I'm not going to say a word to you about it until you come right out and shove it in my face and ask my opinion (yes, this actually happened to me- at which point I had to get very autistic about my theological obsession and explain the differences between sin and sinner, between ideals and reality, to a man whose previous experience contained nothing more complex than the proper water-to-agregate ratio for concrete.  Not a fun experience).  

Yes, I'm like many "orthodox" Catholics, and I think that divorce is wrong in just about every instance- but that won't keep me from going out to coffee with a friend in the midst of an awfull divorce and offer my shoulder to cry on.  I can survive it because I *don't* have NT empathy, because it's just another story to me in a world that I'm not certain is real to begin with.  And because, I don't think individuals should be blamed for the mistakes of society at large- and certainly the frivoulous way we treat marriage in this society is a bad mistake. 

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pope Benedict predicted the 2008 crash in 1985

In this paper, written back in 1985 soon after he gained control of the CDD (the new version of the Inquisition) then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger predicted that neither capitalism nor communism adequately controls the ethical challenge of greed of the individual, and thus, both are doomed to have a "collapse" of rules.

To be exact:
These realms have come to appear mutually exclusive in the modern context of the separation of the subjective and objective realms. But the whole point is precisely that they should meet, preserving their own integrity and yet inseparable. It is becoming an increasingly obvious fact of economic history that the development of economic systems which concentrate on the common good depends on a determinate ethical system, which in turn can be born and sustained only by strong religious convictions. 9 Conversely, it has also become obvious that the decline of such discipline can actually cause the laws of the market to collapse. An economic policy that is ordered not only to the good of the group — indeed, not only to the common good of a determinate state — but to the common good of the family of man demands a maximum of ethical discipline and thus a maximum of religious strength. The political formation of a will that employs the inherent economic laws towards this goal appears, in spite of all humanitarian protestations, almost impossible today. It can only be realized if new ethical powers are completely set free. A morality that believes itself able to dispense with the technical knowledge of economic laws is not morality but moralism. As such it is the antithesis of morality. A scientific approach that believes itself capable of managing without an ethos misunderstands the reality of man. Therefore it is not scientific. Today we need a maximum of specialized economic understanding, but also a maximum of ethos so that specialized economic understanding may enter the service of the right goals. Only in this way will its knowledge be both politically practicable and socially tolerable.
In this we see one of the earliest examples of what would become Pope Benedict's war on irrational religion and irrational economics.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Want Pro-Life? Vote Constitution!

I allowed myself the luxury of being a single issue voter this year.

My reason was simple- I've become very cynical about the whole voting process, and Obama was sure to take my state anyway (by 15 polling points at the time I voted).  So I allowed myself to follow my faith, and vote Seamless Garment of Life.

This did NOT, surprising to some, lead me to vote Republican.

Republicans like to say that they're pro-life.  But 17 of the last 35 years they've had majorities on the Supreme Court, and have yet to even consider revoking Roe V. Wade

For 6 out of the past 8 years, they've held majorities in Congress, in State Legistatures, and in the Presidency, yet Ron Paul's Right to Life Amendment couldn't get out of committee.

Due to these two facts, I'm forced to assume that for Republicans at least, being pro-life is nothing more than campaign promises to be broken.

And thus, I did the logical thing, and voted for the only pro-life party left in the system.

The view from the inside of an autistic's head

This is inspired by Karen's article on Clear Blue Water, or more rather, by her response to me there.  However, it's entirely different in a way.  There exists a huge gap between autistics and the parents of autistics- between the alt.autism discussion on usenet and groups like Stop Autism Now!  I think I'm high enough functioning to explain some of that gap- and hopefully, in so doing, give parents some new tools to deal with their autistic children, and likewise give autistics a small view of how NT parents see things.

First of all, a bit of background- from my point of view (and I've seen this from several autistics out there, so I'm by no means alone in this) NTs have either a myth or a special power that us autistics simply don't.  That myth/special power goes by many names:  Empathy, Telepathy, "appropriate behavior", reading "body language" and "tone of voice".  It might exist, it might not.  I've never quite convinced myself that it exists.  But a HUGE portion of the behavior of lower functioning autistics that I've been in contact with is based on the assumption that it both exists & they don't have it.

Us autistics try to make up for it in different ways.  Myself, I listen closely, and try to limit my communications to text/telephone whenever possible- this seems to at least limit the effect based on it.  Lower functioning children I've seen try to replace this power with various senses- touch, taste, smell- without success of course, but at least they try.  My own theory on why autistic children seem to "regress" in verbal ability despite having, in writing, a large vocabulary is due to simply giving up and assuming that everybody else already knows what they know- so why bother expending energy in talking.

Karen mentioned the frustration apparent at "not being able to talk".  I'm going to suggest here a possible alternate explaination:  not realizing that communication hasn't happened, the child gets frustrated at your apparent refusal to understand.  Not inability to understand, but "refusal" to understand.  It doesn't matter one whit that the child's logic and "theory of mind" is wrong in blaming you, that is the facts from his point of view and that's where his anger is coming from.

One of the potential causes of autistic behavior, of course, is the inability of the brain to process all the information coming in from the five senses.  I know I myself get massive migraines from the mere attempt.  Here's what I suggest for an autism inspired tantrum based on miscommunication, and I know it's going to sound 19th century to some parents:  Create a room in your house specifically for your autistic child.  It doesn't have to have windows, it might be no bigger than a closet.  In fact, it might *be* a closet.  In this room, there should be a computer with network hookup, some form of white noise/music generator, fully adjustable lighting, and a comfy chair or bed.  Maybe a solartube with a shade.  A refuge from the world, so to speak.  When a tantrum happens at home- put the kid in the room and leave him alone for at least an hour.  When out and about, return home as soon as possible, and put the kid in the room.

Eventually, he'll come to his own terms with whatever caused the friction.  But to come to those terms, he needs time, and the ability to control the stimulation of his environment to the smallest degree.

And that's just a small view, from the inside of an autistic brain.  Give it what authority you will, I don't care and remember that I may indeed be sane, as defined by the first post in this blog.

Purpose and Hello

After many years of journal entries and posting in other people's blogs, including being an editor on Technocrat, a major contributer to Slashdot and Economic Populist, and Clear Blue Water, I've decided to create my own blog.  Here's why.

In recent days, I've had some thoughts that just don't fit anyplace else.  A serious discussion on Clear Blue Water about Autism, the loss of the auto industry bailout on Technocrat & EP, my recent trip to the coast and a discussion with my brother on the maintenance of electric boat engines vs gas, have all led me to create a new blog.  Posts will be within these limits, and don't expect any extra stuff put into this.

As to Outside the Asylum- that's the name of Wonko the Sane's house from Douglas Adams' So Long and Thanks For All the Fish.  That's my view of the world.  I realize, intellectually, that I have a mental disorder- Asperger's- but from my point of view, I am sane, it's the rest of the world that has gone completely nuts.  Wonko thus built his house inside out- tried to decorate the "inside" of the Asylum such that allows the poor insane world to heal a bit, and then never once again set foot past the doorway above which he put the instructions from a packet of toothpicks- the thing that proved to him that the rest of the world had gone insane.  

From time to time, I'll point my slashdot journal, EP, and Clear Blue Water posts here, but mainly to those articles that fit whatever it is I'm talking about in them.  I have no purpose to this blog other than to absorb the thoughts that I get obsessed by- so that I can get them out ans leave them to history, and get on with more important things.
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at