The Butterfly and the Sledge Hammer

  1. The Butterfly and the Sledge Hammer

“Do what you love.”  It has rolled off my tongue more than once.  It is the truism of the age of the “Creative Class”, another flippancy that has echoed in my own voice.  While I was not born to the silver spoon, I was born into a comfortable existence in perhaps the most egalitarian and free society the world has ever produced, 1950s and 1960s California.  I was encouraged to not only dream, but to dream large.  And I did.

The world was an oyster for an entire generation and I thought, by extension, an entire country and world.  I almost could not fail.  The world has been kind and mainly gentle with me.  I lived in the world of the Butterfly.  Butterflies are one of nature’s beautiful and delicate creatures.  That butterfly society has transformed our world.  Movies, music, computers, and now the social media have brought us into close approximation to each other.  But the butterfly has not floated through our existence alone.  It has had a companion, the sledge hammer.

The sledge hammer is as cruel a task master as the world has ever seen.  Grinding and unforgiving poverty has left much of humanity in such a precarious position that should the world “market” cease to function for even a short time their very lives would be in jeopardy.

There are those that believe and even argue that the Butterfly cannot exist without the Sledge Hammer as the enforcer, the police of the privileged enclosures necessary to the Butterfly.  The Butterfly creates our modern world from a hot house that must be ruthlessly exclusive.  The power of money backs this belief with an array of tools that have conquered the world and guard that conquest jealously with a brute force that brooks no dissent.

Money has replaced almost all other forms of human social arrangement.  Liberty and democracy have succumbed to its insidious influence and power.  How did this happen and is it irreversible?

The Butterfly and the Sledge hammer have been the twin pillars of support for a “summer camp” that had ambitions to be a “Science”.  Economics fiddles while the world burns and it is little more than sport or a career.  Money is the power behind the throne for both the Butterfly and the Sledge Hammer.  The rich life of the Butterfly Economy permits the time and space to ponder itself.  Such possibilities and potential.  The Sledge Hammer Economy breads pathologies of all types, pitting the poor dregs to fight over scraps and plot the overthrow of the system even as they seek their own escape.

From tea at 4:00 p.m. on the veranda to mining garbage in Brazil all day long, it’s all the same world.  The fickle world of the Butterfly and the Sledge Hammer can take you from one end to the other in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 1% Solution

The 1% Solution

The Point of Money 

Prelude 1:  In the 17th Century French Mathematicians Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat tackled a problem that had been circulating in Europe for some time, known as “the Problem of Points” or “the division of the Stakes”?  Pascal and Fermat, both avid participants in games of chance, wanted to know how to proceed if their dice game were interrupted at a point before the game was concluded.  Given different particular points in the game, they wished to know how the pot should be divided.  This seemingly mundane discussion between Pascal and Fermat laid the ground work for what became Probability Theory.  Probability Theory has woven itself into many branches of mathematics and the natural sciences, philosophy and artificial intelligence.  It is perhaps the single intellectual development that separates the modern world from the ancient.  It opened a window into the future, a scientific window that gave a numerical basis to expectations.  Probability Theory is crucial in the fields of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics and many other “physical sciences”.  In the field of economics and commerce it has brought us the invaluable tools of car insurance, hedge funds, derivatives, and Nobel Prize winning equations on how to value those derivatives.

At the dawn of the Third Millenium the world has once again come under the control of the powerful mystery cult called the “Market”.  At the core of this cult sits its main ritual called Money.  Until recently any discussion of the nature, structure, and function of Money has been taboo, almost absent from the public dialogue.  A topic that should dominate every legislature, every news cast, and every college curriculum has been an afterthought.  The World Wide Web has nibbled at its edges but our lives depend on it taking center stage.  It is the central question of our age.  What is the point of Money?

 The Occupy Wall Street Movement has given the world a wake-up call.  The growing income and wealth inequality, or as it’s called in the Hebrew and Christian bibles, Iniquity, threatens to capsize the world economy.  While the Occupy Movement has occasionally been criticized for lack of clear goals and programs, others have stepped in to fill the gap.  The former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney criticized his Democratic opponents for saying no one should live in luxury.  Mr. Romney proposed the unambiguous goal of making everyone rich so we could all live in the luxury we deserve.  I wholeheartedly agree.  We should all be members of the 1%.    But short of Mr. Romney adopting us all, how do we achieve such a goal?

I encourage everyone to keep the Billionaire down the block on speed dial but that alone is not a strategy.  We could get a job but unemployment seems to be chronic.  The only growth industries are Greens Keepers and Security Guards.  We have thinkers, educated young people, poets, artists, film makers, workers of all types who are idle.  Whole generations, Millenials, Xers, Yers, Boomers, are in trouble.

They’re ridiculed for not having a job.  They’re told “call back next month” when they go seeking gainful employment.  If they ask for help in their distress they are labeled “moochers”.  Those who are “lucky” enough to find employment are told that wages are down.  The “moochers” category has been expanded to the entire bottom 47% of the economic pecking order.  Government help to anyone in this group is defined as encouraging mooching.  The urban legend is that they mooch off the top 53% of the population known as the “producers”.

Food Stamps, unemployment insurance, every program aimed at helping the “moochers” is being cut or eliminated.   Hard-nosed realists tell us that these programs only reward laziness. The poor must be taught to be responsible for their own lot. The “producers” employ armies of lobbyists to persuade the press and politicians to alert the world about the moral hazard of getting something for nothing.  Meanwhile the myriad of subsidies to the “producers” are not even discussed in polite company.  The moral hazard only applies to the “moochers”.  Whether the bottom 47% is getting more of the public dollar than the top 53% is open for debate, but one thing is not.  The further up the economic ladder you go the more your subsidies are “On Top Of” your wealth and income.  No matter how rich you get, you never lose them.  In fact the richer you get the more subsidies you get. The further down the economic ladder you go the more your subsidies are “Instead Of” your wealth and income.

We reward the wealthy and punish the poor.  We have even gotten to the point where we have ceased to support those programs that are used by everyone in the society.  Education, water, even roads and bridges are being allowed to fall apart. The “Moochers” are watched closely so that all types of assistance are cut off at the very first sign of prosperity or the accumulation of any wealth.  The wealthy are shown the red carpet.  The serious people of the world assure us that we are in deep trouble.  We are told that helping the strong and punishing the weak is the only way out of “this situation” and that it will take years.  What exactly is “this situation”?

The situation is poverty amidst plenty.  The Economic Singularity is sailing without us.  The Human Economy has accumulated such massive wealth that it is becoming increasingly difficult to figure out what to do with it.  Nobody except the very wealthy have any money to spend.  We have plenty of what the world economy tells us that we want.  There’s enough caviar to go around for those who can afford it.  We seem to have almost enough BMWs.  What’s a world to do?   We could encourage using $100 bills to light cigars like they did back in the 1890s.

The “free market” has succeeded in creating a massive amount of things that a few people want.  Yet there are many places on earth where millions are hungry and lack the basics of clean water and a roof over their heads.  Perhaps our new “Robber Barons” and their pet politicians are correct; the price we must pay for prosperity is a poverty that would make Charles Dickens blush.   It dovetails nicely with their view toward the environment.  We are told that the only way to live happily on the earth is to foul it beyond recognition.

If this is true then the world financial crash of 2007 is just a down payment.  The disciplinary message that is poverty will continue to spread.  If you don’t work you don’t eat.  And if we don’t have enough work to go around.  Well, you figure it out.

There are those who encourage political action as a solution, but that seems almost foolish.  When United States Attorney General Eric Holder states in public that the crimes perpetrated on the world by the operators of the financial system must go unpunished because prosecuting them would create “disruption”, it is not difficult to see who is really in charge.

Suggestions of political reform are met with the disdainful refrain “that’s just how the free market works.”  The constant, mindless repetition of such mantras has begun to grate on one’s nerves.  One would hope that we are not headed for a situation in which people starve to death in sight of food.  During one of the Cult of the Market’s other attempts at global possession, just such a thing happened.  In 19th century Ireland the Potato Famine was not caused because Ireland lacked food.  It was caused because many farmers grew only potatoes and when the potato crop failed they lost not only their main source of food they lost their main source of revenue as well.  So even though there was sufficient food available in Ireland to address the famine, that food was exported.  The cashless farmers had to fend for themselves.  Politicians excuse for not extending some help to these farmers was that they didn’t want to send the wrong signal.  Death was the appropriate signal.  If I were a betting man I wouldn’t bet the family silver against it happening again.  Soon!

Later in his life Blaise Pascal went into isolation for the purpose of religious contemplation.  He was drawn out of that isolation by his fascination with the cycloid/trochoid, a member of a family of geometric curves known as the Roulettes (doesn’t it sound like a 60s Motown group).  For whatever reason Pascal published his work “Histoire de la Roulette..” under the pseudonym Amos Dettonville.  The whole episode makes me think that if Pascal and Fermat were here today they’d still be rolling dice.  I don’t think they’d have any trouble adjusting.  Their world was already Virtual 400 years ago.  Maybe they would be video game designers.  Or maybe we could lure them both in as consultants for our proposal of new type of money, The 1% Solution.  Laissez les bon temps roullez.

The World Has Changed

Prelude 2:  About a half a century before Pascal and Fermat began their correspondence, an obscure Scotsman named John Napier was at work on an amazing project.  Napier accomplished something that would weave itself into the next four centuries of the learned world.  He had simplified the functions of multiplication and division into acts of addition and subtraction.  Napier’s great work “Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio” created the Logarithmic Tables.  These tables and their close relative the slide rule, made possible calculations that expanded the capacity of every mathematician and scientist in the world.  Calculations that would have taken hours or days could then be done in minutes.  Napier exponentially increased the productivity of every mathematician and scientist. These tools proved sufficient to take us to the moon.  They have only been surpassed in the past fifty years by the electronic calculator, also known as the electronic slide rule.

One of the great problems with the current situation is that the world has changed forever.  Young people coming into the workplace today are the most productive in the history of humanity.  This has been their undoing.

Mechanical power, mass production, and information technology led mid-20th century scientist/mathematician Norbert Weiner to identify a process which he called Cybernetics.  He foresaw that these advances in information control and communication technologies would create situations in which a single person could replace tens, hundreds, or even thousands of former workers.  This is happening in industry after industry.  “Jobs” are disappearing and yet the biggest push from both sides of the political spectrum is how to “cure unemployment”.  “We must figure out how to get these kids jobs, or we are lost” is the refrain.  Weiner thought that the efficiency gained in these developments would increase living standards.  Just the opposite has occurred.  Less workers are needed and wages have taken a dive.

Buckminster Fuller was equally optimistic.  He called this process Ephemeralization,  ”the ability of technological advancement to do more and more with less and less until eventually you can do everything with nothing”.  Fuller’s vision was that ephemeralization would result in ever-increasing standards of living for an ever-growing population despite finite resources.

This persistent level of “unemployment” we are experiencing is no longer solely a product of the business cycle.  Everyone is scared because they don’t know what to do.  Perhaps unemployment is no longer curable.  We may never again need everyone to be employed in the manner they are now.  We may never have needed everyone to be employed as they are now.  Perhaps employment is not as gainful as we thought.

Norbert Weiner and Buckminster Fuller believed that such abundance would end the working world as we knew it.  It has, but not in the way they thought.  Productivity increases have been used to eliminate the access to money and thus access to the economy for increasing numbers of people.

While working people and whole societies have had trouble adjusting to the world of plenty, the economy has not.  The standard operating rules have been, send the money straight to the top.

The rest of us cannot decide whether we want to take a cattle prod to Granny to get her to work another five years or create “jobs” in order to get money in people’s pockets.  I think it’s time to get annoyed.  And then get past it.  In a very polite way of course.

Like Isaac Newton, the very parsimonious Mr. Napier spent many years engrossed in the Revelation of St. John.  One can never know how much his work in mathematics was informed by the dragons and trumpets and angels he communed with there.  If one of the dragons was Ouroboros or if one of the trumpets blown was Poseiden’s Nautilus Shell, it would help explain a lot. 

The Old Game

Prelude 3:  Famous French author and observer of America, Alexis de Tocqueville is credited with the quote, “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”   Whether it was de Tocqueville or not who made the statement, Fortunatus of Cyprus disagreed.  He was the owner of the famous Purse of Fortunatus, which never ran out of money.  “Freedom and democracy will begin when the public discovers it can grant itself the public’s money. It is, after all, the Public’s money.”

Game Theory is an academic discipline that looks a lot like Fermat and Pascal’s approach to the “Division of the Stakes.”  It takes Points in our personal and business lives and looks at them as if they were Points in a game.  Pascal and Fermat looked at the interaction of random factors.  Game Theory looks at the outcomes of players pursuing strategies.  These strategies can be competitive or cooperative.  The players can be equally informed and equally positioned or there may be great differences in power and knowledge.  The “Stakes”, the score in all of these games are measured in money and money is assumed to work.

Money is a bit different than points in a game.  Money has three fairly well accepted functions, Medium of Exchange, Store of Value, and Measure of Value.

Medium of Exchange – We use money to buy and sell.  You give someone money and they give you something you want.  That’s a buy.  You get money from someone and give them something you have.  That’s a sale.  Buying and Selling are bets.  You bet that what you get in a buy is better than the money you gave up.  You bet that the money you get in a sale is better than what you gave up.

Measure of Value – Money is a digital information system.  When you buy or sell something the amount of money becomes a price.  Price allows a person to compare completely unrelated products on an “objective basis”.  The object in the “objective basis” is money.  Price is set through negotiation.  Sometimes those negotiations are in the form of auctions and sometimes they are informal.  Offer and counter offer underlie every price.  Money is the language of these negotiations.

Store of Value – When you sell something for money you do this so that at some point you want to buy something.  When you buy something the seller has the same thing in mind.  What is the shelf life of the money?  If I get it on Tuesday, can I still use it Saturday?  Or if I keep it for a year, how much will be left?  This is a major concern for those who have stock piled cash.  The great majority of the world’s people have no cash savings and thus the long term Store of Value is of no consequence to them.

Game Theory helps us put numbers on things, but it is limited.  What would Game Theory tell us about a Basketball Game that began with one of the teams beginning with the usual score of 0, and the other team starting with 5,000,000,000?  Not much.  The outcome is determined.  Not only is the playing field not level, but such a “competition” would never take place.  The person with 0 points would not be allowed on the field.  This is because the playing field for money is made up of money.  The only competitors allowed are those with a lot of money.

There is a religious belief awash in the world that the winners of previous competitions are legitimate and their winnings must be respected.  Where did this money come from?  How did these points in the economic game achieve such prominence in human society?

Most of today’s money is created by Central Banks, be it the Federal Reserve System in the U.S. or the European Central Bank, and their numerous branch banks.  They create money by loaning out a portion of their customers deposits at interest.  These proceeds of these loans become deposits and are also lent out.  The banks are required to keep a portion of their customer’s deposits in reserve in the form of cash or bonds.  This is known as Fractional Reserve Credit.

One should be careful at this point.  Thinking about Fractional Reserve Credit can make you dizzy.  I recommend a good stiff drink before trying to wrap your head around the process.  Actually understanding Fractional Reserve Credit may require a whole bottle.

For any money there are basic safeguards needed to insure that it fulfills its functions.

  1. Indifferent- As with all scoring systems, Money should not show favoritism between participants.  There should be a single set of rules for all.  Money should provide equal access to all.
  2. Tightly Sealed- The creation and destruction of money must be rigorously controlled and done in a completely transparent manner.  Creating money taxes all other currency divisions.  Destruction of money is a dividend to all other currency divisions.  Unauthorized creation of money for the private gain of the creators is called Counterfeit and is a crime.  Authorized creation of money for the private gain of its creators is called banking.
  3. System Transparency- All basic quantities of money must be known and publicly reported on a timely basis to all market participants.  There should be no need of an audit of the Central Bank or any of its member banks.  Every day should be like an audit.  It should be Standard Operating Procedure to share all information and to make sure that information is correct.  There should be regular examinations to see if any public information is false.  There should be severe penalties for any lies.
  4. Markets depend on equal opportunity of all to participate.  Practices such as High Frequency Trading or other practices that use privileged access and technological advantage in market access must be controlled. No transactions should occur at a speed that makes transparency and equal access difficult.

These minimum safeguards are treated as a joke.

  1. Privileged players have privileged access.  The financial system is open to some and closed to others.  “Credit-worthiness” is used as a tool of economic power
  2. The creation of money is ill-defined.  Few comprehend it.  It is a hodge-podge of inherited standard operating procedures and is mostly made up on the fly.
  3. The entire financial establishment operates in an atmosphere of secrecy which serves the accepted business model of fraud.  The quantity of money in existence and who owns it is impossible to ascertain.
  4. Monetary transactions have entered the twilight zone.  Some are done at the speed of light with no opportunity for the market to even know what has occurred let alone be able to respond.

Money has degenerated to the point that the banks and brokerage houses that control the financial structure no longer feel much need to mask their activities.  They are running confidence games that are on the intellectual level of the carnival midway.  Insider trading and bait and switch are common.  Money has become a squeeze box, increasing and decreasing by letting and calling loans.  Granting power to some people and taking power from others, all in the name of “good business”.

Banks use Fractional Reserve Credit to loan their customers money to invest.  Perfect for creating Bubbles.  No one’s account is debited to make the loan.  The money created is “virgin”.  It didn’t exist before.  This new money has the self-fulfilling prophecy of driving up the price of whatever it is invested in, real estate, tech stocks, tulips.  This makes the bankers look like real smart “investors”.  Until the Bubble pops.

Those seeking alternatives have been steered to the somewhat loosely defined concept called the “Gold Standard”.   Gold is seen as “sound money” because gold has been shown to be a good Store of Value over the long run.  This is true.  Gold maintains its purchasing power over time.  It would be perfect if Storing Value was the only function of money.  But money must also be a Medium of Exchange and a Measure of Value.  At these other two functions, Gold Sucks.

When money is made of Gold the economy operates until gold is cornered and then the economy collapses.  It is usually brought out of collapse by introducing a modified gold standard.  Gold Backed cash and bonds are issued and their issuers are required to maintain “reserves” of gold to pay anyone who wants to redeem their paper for gold.

Central Banks and the Gold Standard both have their origins in medieval times.  Gold merchants began to provide strong houses (banks) where people could keep their gold.  These Banks issued certificates to the depositors which they needed to redeem their gold.  These certificates began to circulate as if they were the gold.  Some bankers realized they could issue more certificates than they had gold.  They could loan those certificates at interest because there was a thriving market for money.

It was a gamble, a gamble that could pay off well if not everyone showed up at the same time for their gold.  Even a rumor that a bank had issued more certificates than it had gold could trigger a panic known as a “run on the bank”.   Everyone rushed to get in line in time to get their gold.  If you got there late, tough luck.

The reason that such a system existed and continued to thrive was that it worked.  Given two towns side by side, the town which had the Gold Merchants who were loaning out extra certificates was more prosperous.  It had a Medium of Exchange that allowed its economy to thrive.  Even though it had booms and busts, it grew over time.  The town next door with an “honest” bank had an economy that was sluggish.  The only people who had money were the wealthy.  It puttered along until it was bought out or conquered.

Other cities and regions began to catch on and figured they should get them some bankers too.  And they did.  As much as they hated them and wanted to do without them, experience showed that those communities who had banks who issued more certificates than they had gold were tremendously more prosperous than those cities and regions that did not.  The modern world is the result.

We are told to choose between two rotten choices.  The Central Bank Model is little more than organized Counterfeit. The world’s bankers have proved unable to resist the temptation to create money and divert it to their friends.  I’m not sure anyone could.    The Gold Standard is an open invitation to a hijacking.  The governments of the world stand ready to run protection for both of these rackets to the exclusion of all others.

The two greatest beneficiaries of the “free market” in today’s world are the Chinese Communist Party and the Saudi Royal Family.  Wouldn’t Adam Smith be proud?

Attorney General Holder’s waving the white flag of surrender is just public acknowledgement of what has been clear for some time.  The lunatics not only run the asylum, they have privatized it and have pumped and dumped it a half dozen times.  It is not the first time that a powerful government has been brought to its knees by a financial structure that it cannot control and does not even understand.

One would hope that Game Theory would help us “find a way outa here” but each day makes it clear that the single economic law still in effect is the Power Law.  Under the power law the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker.  That quirky and insightful Jewish Economist Jesus was something of an expert on the Power Law and he summed it up nicely.  For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.  You can look it up.

The existing game for money on planet earth is now over, finished, Kaput.  Money responds to Money and nothing else.  The team that just won the World Series for money were very good players and they have a multitude of tools; Poverty and the Threat of Poverty, Control of the Money System, The Purchase of the Political and Regulatory System, and an ever tightening control of Information through Ownership of Media. They own the game. They barely need to cheat any more.

There are a growing number of money reformers who are no longer limited in their thinking.  They are looking beyond the Central Bank and the Gold Standard.  Here’s the take away question.  Is it still cheating if we figure out how to cheat for everyone?

The Social Network

Prelude 4: Austrian Economist Friedrick Freiherr Von Wieser (1858-1926) discovered a paradox, an exception to the iron law of demand.  Wieser considered a situation where “by driving an artesian well or opening up a copious mountain spring it is possible to provide a town with pure water in superabundant quantities.”  Wieser concluded that “If the principle of marginal utility were strictly adhered to, such an enterprise would never be started; a superabundant stock of free goods has a marginal utility of zero.  But will such a consideration deter the public from incurring expenses for such an enterprise?  Surely Not.”  

Economic Theory has no way of addressing a product that has sufficient quantity so that everybody has enough of it.  It tells us that individual initiative would not make this available because no one could make a buck off of it.  Wieser also is quite sure that this is the point at which economic theory no longer has anything to say and “common sense” takes over.  That is unless common sense can be bottled up.

Perhaps had Professor Wieser dug just a little deeper in this well he would have found the missing “Purse of Fortunatus”.  Perhaps the world was not yet ready for its beneficence, to never run out of money. 

The Industrial Revolution incorporated thousands of years of learning and innovation into machines.  These specially designed machines replaced craftsmen in the production order.  With craftsmen each product costs approximately the same amount.  Under the industrial system the purchase of the machine and set up can be very expensive.  The first unit of product costs a lot, but each succeeding unit became cheaper.

There were a multitude of effects from the process which derived from the ability to produce goods at drastically reduced prices.  Craftsmen lost their jobs.  Some crafts that people had trained in for years were completely eliminated.  Textile mills and especially the printing press virtually eliminated the craftsman.  This was a preview of what is happening today.  Innovation has been the undoing of many people.

The Industrial Revolution came close to manifesting Wieser’s Hypothetical Well.  While things were not hyper-abundant, they were abundant.  That is, they were abundant to those who had the money to buy them.  They were not abundant to those who did not have money.

Hyper-abundance began to appear with the advent of the Social Network.  The Social Network as a modern phenomenon can be traced to the telephone.  One telephone is useless.  You need someone to call.  The more people you have to call, the more valuable is the Telephone System.  This phenomenon of a product gaining value with each new customer has been termed the Network Effect.  The telephone system became more and more valuable.  It was allowed to develop into a regulated monopoly.

Broadcast radio and then television were more difficult to control.  The signals were out there and collecting a toll was more expensive than it was worth.  A new business model emerged, advertising.  Under advertising companies try to capture our attention so they may sell that attention to others who wish to sell us stuff.

Cable television brought back gates with the promise of greater variety and better quality.  A whole new network of wires was laid out.  Technology continued to intervene.  The Internet and the World Wide Web were waiting in the wings.  The Web at first piggy backed on the telephone and then cable television began offering its own connection.  The World Wide Web sits atop both and threatens to subsume both.  Phone services are now delivered through the internet and television programs and movies as well.  We’re headed for a single connection.

What came next was drastic.  Social Networks and Social Media began to connect people and machines to each other.  Massive businesses were created in days.  This was far more important than the medium becoming the message, the customer had become the product.  Face Book, just like broadcast radio and television, was given away.  There was no fee for use because Face Book needed to have as many “customers” as possible.  But unlike Radio and Television, Facebook did not produce entertainment to lure more customers; they lured more customers by luring more customers.

Creator of Ethernet and cofounder of 3COM Robert Metcalf gave the “Network Effect” an equation.  Metcalf stated that the “Value” of a Network was exponentially related to the Number of participants in that Network.   V = n²   This entered computer jargon and legend as Metcalf’s Law.  Even though Metcalf has personally backed off many of the claims of the more ardent supporters of the concept, it remains a powerful force.  Facebook’s multi-billion dollar stock offer was credited to the notion.

Since his original conception, Metcalfe has clarified several points. He has added that when Metcalfe’s law is applied to social networks (and thus social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn), it is not just the number of users that must be considered but also the affinity between users. He has also pointed out that the law works best when applied to smaller networks and loses value when concepts like “connected” and “value” cannot be quantified.  http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-metcalfes-law.htm

Wieser has shown us in his “Paradox of the Well” that goods produced abundantly enough to be given away have no marginal utility and thus no “market value”.  Metcalf wants to keep his insight contained to “small” networks whose “value” can be quantified.   The “Value” that Metcalf wants quantified is not its use value, it is the trade value of the network to investors.  For him this “Value” must be quantifiable or it makes no sense.  The philosopher Wieser tried to show us that the world would be foolish not to avail itself of the “free”.  The businessman Metcalf tried to keep the “free” sufficiently obscured, perhaps even from himself.  Is there a fine line between charging admission and just leaving the door open, or has the Rubicon been crossed?

The Social Networks have become so free that there are those who are advocating micropayments to customers for certain activities.  Imagine a Movie Theater in which all the doors are open all the time and the movie selection will be geared to get as many people as possible inside and to persuade them to stay as long as possible.  They might even lower the popcorn prices all the way to zero.  And by the way, I want a cut when this tremendous new business model goes into production.

Many of the issues surrounding the “value” of these efforts is obscured because the economy itself is a social network.  The economy is a virtual network which is laid over the physical and social world of human society.  Information is passed digitally over a grid called money.  Each additional participant adds value to the network.  And by participant I do not mean the great majority of the world’s population that is struggling to survive on pennies a day.  A participant is an independent consumer and producer who is free to negotiate with others and purchase products and offer products for sale.

A true participant in the Economic Network is one whose interactions are never forced. Basically what I’m talking about is trust fund kids, people with enough assets that they don’t have to take the first job that comes along.  The trust funds don’t all have to be in the $100,000,000 range.  We don’t all have to be billionaire’s children.  A cool $10,000,000 or so would do.  Just enough to not ever have to worry about their children starving.  This means that they can be extremely choosy in their “work” life.  They have the luxury of never working unless they want to.  For them work truly is an ethic, not a necessity.  They can afford to take some risks.  Risk pays dividends.  Coming from a family where you can bet $10,000 at the drop of a hat has its advantages.  Having the resources to absorb million dollar losses can put them in situations that pay huge dividends.  Money is leverage.  Now you see why I’d like to be adopted.  I just want to participate.

This brings us to the 4th function of money that fails to make it into most economic text books:

  • The ability to deny money to individuals, groups and society as a whole.  This is the main function of money as it is used today.  It is the power to deny people the basics necessities of life by denying people money.  When this power is intact there will never be a “free market” and the benefits of the “network effect” of the economy will always be stunted and not allowed to grow.

In the physical world of human reality, consumption must precede production, or how to put it nicely, the person is dead.  Human beings have the longest “Childhoods” or training periods of all the creatures on earth.  If they do not have support and access to the world economy in their youth their capacity to participate as a Producer later in life is challenged.  Poverty stunts the growth of the majority of humans at a very predictable rate.  Poverty limits the size of the Economic Network.

Taking Metcalf’s original equation       V = n²     we can contrast the Value of a Network that includes 100% with one that includes just the 1%.

Squaring 100% of the world’s population of 7,000,000,000 we get a network valued at

7,000,000,000² = 49,000,000,000,000,000,000

Taking 1% of the world’s population we get

7,000,000,000  x 1% = 70,000,000

And squaring that we get a network valued at

70,000,000² = 4,900,000,000,000,000

According to Metcalf’s Law the Market Network that includes 100% of the world’s population is worth 10,000 times more than the Market Network that only includes the 1%.  Maybe we ought to give it a look.

The New Game

Prelude 5:  The great Greek Mathematician Archimedes is reputed to have stated “give me a lever and a place to stand and I can move the world.”  He also taught us a great deal about how to float. 

A very wise man in my home town of Greenfield, California used to say, “you let me design the race and I’ll win every time”.  Maybe we should all take a little more interest in the design of the race.

There is an off shoot of Game Theory called Meta Game Theory.  In Meta Game Theory nothing is a given.  Games are seen not as a fixed entity of rules and scoring, but as evolving scenarios, in which stake-holders claw out reality by defining and redefining the game.  Creating the rules and rewards of games are themselves a game.  This is the Game to set up the Game.  Many people are already engaged.

Money is not as limited in its possibilities as some would wish you to believe.  While corporate controlled media and politicians have ignored virtually all options that in any way challenge the powers that be, the World Wide Web has not been so quiescent.  The Internet is coming to life with a discussion about money in all its manifestations.  Current efforts and historical alternatives are receiving attention and generating interest.  Money has taken many forms throughout history, some to great effect.

The idea of creating a New Money is gaining an audience and adherents.  The advocates vary in goals and structures.  Each of these alternatives seeks to overcome or circumvent the power of money in its own way.  The following categories are not hard and fast, they tend to bleed into each other.

  • Community-Building Currencies that seek to rebuild and support community are abounding.  LETS (Local Employment Trading System), Time Banks, Astoria Dollars are established and growing.  A method to “trade” on an equal footing with neighbors or to harness the power of the “free market” for a different group of customers that does not need the permission of international capital.  Some are complimentary to existing currencies.  Some are designed to replace those currencies.  Some trade hours of labor not distinguished in terms of quality.  What all of these share with the 1% Solution is that they are congregational, they depend on voluntary association.
  • Political Groups and Movements are springing up that seek to reform government policies surrounding money.  100% Reserve Money, the Positive Money Movement, Modern Monetary Theory, and the American Monetary Institute are providing strong advocacy for workable alternatives to the venality, stupidity, and downright corruption that now dominate.  Democratic and egalitarian principles underlie their efforts but they still seek what is called “Full Employment”.

The 1% Solution does not share this goal.  It believes that “Full Employment” is a personal decision.  Though people should be rewarded for their diligence and creativity, they should not be impoverished because they refuse to accept what someone else has determined are proper conditions for that employment.  Wages for work are primarily set by the poor negotiating position of those who need employment in order to have access to money.  If that negotiating position were improved things would change.

  • Monetary systems in video games and virtual worlds such as Linden Dollars of Second Life and numerous other simulations.  Some have opened exchange windows with the world’s official currencies.  The gaming world is creating a parallel universe.  Whether the motivation is to amuse, learn, or seek alternatives to the status quo is dependent on the participants.

The range is unlimited.  Some of these games are tackling issues that all creators of money must face.  How much currency should be created?  Who should get it and how, when, and why?  All of these questions are being faced and dealt with.  While some would diminish the significance of these efforts it is always important to remember that all money ever created is Virtual.  All money ever created is Digital.

The gaming world is beginning to realize this and gamers are not limited by the intellectual death that surrounds conventional business and economics.  The main restraint is that most of the games that exist are proprietary, owned by limited liability corporations.  The money in these games is “house money”, with all of the problems of “house money”.  The 1% Solution seeks to be a currency capable of being used by games and gamers that does not have these deficiencies.  It will happen eventually, either The 1% Solution or another peer-to-peer currency will be adopted over various gaming platforms.

  • Cyber-currencies such as Bitcoin have created completely Self-Referential Currencies.  They market the scenario of a guaranteed limitation on their issue.  They may be used to buy and sell products and be traded for other currencies.  Fortunes have been made and lost in Bitcoins.  That is fortunes in what we call Real Money, Conventional Currencies.

The 1% Solution and Bitcoin, share some characteristics.  Both seek to create a Virtual Commodity based on a guaranteed pattern of issue.  The value of that commodity is set in the market place.  They are both floating currencies.

Bitcoin creates what is essentially Synthetic Gold.  It introduces new currency through a process known as mining, which rewards early entry and computing power.  Bitcoin requires considerable effort in order to receive issued money.  Bitcoin has a sunset on new issue.  Its power derives from exclusion.

The 1% Solution has an ethos of egalitarian access.  A transparent limit on issue is combined with regular, equal payments to all participants.  It sets a minimum floor and everyone is nudged toward the middle.  Rewarding diligence, creativity, and quality are the goals of The 1% Solution.  Bitcoin rewards shrewdness and its sole goal is making money.

  • The discussion of Trillion Dollar Coins did yeoman’s work in bringing the structure of money to people’s attention.  Hearing the mealy mouthed idiocy that surrounded the discussion was priceless.  Get it?  President Obama’s hasty retreat spoke volumes about the fear that Trillion Dollar Coins stirred in the leaders of the Financial Establishment.  We all must serve someone and President Obama has made it clear who he serves.  It seems that being accepted as “one of the boys” by big finance is of paramount importance to him.  This keeps him in their pocket.  I say Trillion Dollar Coins for everyone.  It would certainly put the debt in a different perspective.  It was all those zeros that raised so many hackles.  $1,000,000,000,000  And here I thought zeros was the same as nothing.  Nothing is not what it used to be.

Let’s not let the discussion be swept back under the rug.  Existing money must be questioned.  Existing money must be challenged and scrutinized.  Any and all new alternatives, including The 1% Solution, must be challenged and scrutinized as well.

The Occupy Movement has set the stage for a serious discussion of these proposals. A “level playing field” may be a tall order right out of the gate but a “place to stand” on that field is essential.  And maybe then Archimedes could teach humans how to float as well as money does.

Earth, Wind, Fire, Water, and Money

Prelude 6: 17th Century Swiss Mathematician Jacob Bernoulli stood at the crosswords of probability and logarithms.  Bernoulli found the algorithm for the base of the Natural Logarithms.  Its formula is numerically stated   2.71828…   This number underlies some of the most intriguing phenomena in the universe, Spiral Galaxies, storm systems, and nature’s organic masterpiece the Nautilus Shell.  The Exponential Function   also has the amazing characteristic of being its own derivative.  But it was the Transcendental Number e’s connection to money that helped Bernoulli discover and state the algorithm clearly.  e is the product of 100% interest compounded continuously. 

Compound Interest is derived by dividing the time period of a loan into smaller portions, collecting the interest for that period and then paying interest for the rest of the time of the loan on both the original principal and the collected interest.  Take a $1,000 loan at 100% per annum and compounding it semi-annually would collect 50% on the loan at six months.  This is $500 which would now create a $1,500 balance which you would pay another 50% on for the next six months.  The total paid would be 2,250.  The amount paid on the loan increases each time the compounding period is shortened, but no matter how small you make the periods, even down to the millisecond, the amount paid reaches a limit at e, $2,718.281828….

Napier’s Logarithms yielded the transcendental number “e” which Bernoulli combined with the insights of Fermat and Pascal and Dutch Mathematician Christiaan Huygens and made Probability Theory into a branch of Mathematics.  The status of “e” as nature’s growth constant made it invaluable in predictive scenarios.  “e” takes a discreet process, doubling, and makes it continuous.  This makes the use of calculus in probability a very simple process.

Its inverse “1/e” also proved itself time and again.  It describes the process of radioactive decay.  It even has a law named after it, the Law of Best Choice.  Its algorithm is closely related to that of “e”.     

Let’s see “1/e” at work.  Imagine every person on the earth attending the opera and checking their hat at the door.  The hat check man conscientiously puts them all in individual boxes but neglects to label the boxes with the name of the hat’s owner.  When we all come back to get our hats the odds that no one would get their own hat back is 1/e = 0.36787…

I think it’s time for a new hat check guy. 

Money doesn’t just compound, it confounds.  It stretches so far back into human history that it is difficult to put together any sort of evidence as to how it began or where it came from.  Money also penetrates our lives so deeply and is at the heart of so much of what we think and believe that it is difficult to even think about money without using our beliefs about money as our analytical tool.  We see money with money.

The structure and design of money is usually set by those who own a lot of it.  They have a considerable interest in making sure that Storage of Value is the paramount function.

A MediumA MeasureA Store.  We ask a great deal of money.  It must be a transitional entity, an idealized referent, and a tool of conservation.  Try to think of anything else that does as much.  And to top it off, all of these functions are dependent on our belief about money.  Money is quite simply another form of matter.

Money is a rotating system.  It spins.  Money must at times be completely virtual and others completely physical.  Both Digital and Analog.  Discreet and Continuous.  Ordinal and Cardinal.  It is not difficult to understand the divergence of opinions about money.

When we compare these and other alternatives what we are often experiencing is money talking to itself.  Money is intricately related to our capacity for abstract thought and the physical world in which we live.  Our views and experiences with money are a major factor in establishing our consciousness and ability to think.  Our inability to fathom the true nature of money has left us in a world in which, as Oscar Wilde once said, “People know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Jacob Bernoulli put money in a whole new light.  He used the practice of compound interest to peer into the secrets of the universe.  In doing this he established that money is not just a human artifact and tool, it is part and parcel of the fundamental structure of the universe.  Money is a separate form of matter, distinct in some ways and sharing some basic fundamental truths with others.  It is time to use the insights that Bernoulli left to return the favor and peer into the inner structures of money.

Jacob Bernoulli’s addition of money to the cosmic soup opened a door on some voices that have unique insights and have seldom been taken seriously.

  • Alexander Del Mar, 19th century economist, stated that money was a tool to measure value with precision.  Del Mar found the key to that precision in the knowledge that the Unit of Money is the Sum of All Money1 = ∑$
  • Silvio Gessel, 19th-20th century Argentinian Businessman, Activist, and Social Theorist, found what he believed to be the basic flaw in money, it does not deteriorate over time like everything else in the universe.  He offered a specific solution to this flaw.  He invented Stamp ScripStamp Scrip required that the holder of currency must purchase a stamp and apply that stamp to the note to keep the money current.
  • Lastly, a well-known voice who gave us the essential principle of any economic system, “treat the least well off among us with the dignity and generosity we would like to receive ourselves.”  His name was Jesus.

Bernoulli has done the math but now the process of bringing “e” to life must begin.  It will take more.  It will take more of everything.  We must find a vehicle for “e” that can withstand the buffeting that it will receive when it comes to the fore.  We may need to look into the mists of time and….

Somewhere just beyond our day to day consciousness a set of twins are beginning to stir after a long slumber. 

“Do you really think they can pull this off?” asked the older, Ouroboros.

“They better,” answered the younger, Nautilus.  “How would you like to be misunderstood by a whole generation?  They think I’m the Golden Spiral.  I’m “e”.  I’m not Phi.  I’m sick of it.  I’m the Logarithmic Spiral.”

“Well at least the Golden Spiral is a special Logarithmic Spiral.  I mean they kinda know who you are.  How about me?  I’m some sort of beast that devours itself.  I don’t eat myself.  I establish balance.  I feed myself.”  Ouroboros sulked.

“Ok, Ok.  But if they do what they claim they’re going to do, people will understand us again.  Mr. Bernoulli and Mr. Pascal are honorable and smart men.  I trust them.  They will help us be ourselves again.”  Nautilus smiled and patted his older brother on his …

“It’s that Fortunatus fellow I don’t trust.  I mean a purse that never runs out of money.  What kind of reality is that?”  Ouroboros was wavering.

“But you know who else they have with them?  How can we pass this up?  It’s not like we were doing anything else.”  Nautilus the eternal optimist.

“About that you are right.  Sometimes we just need to be quiet and do our part.  It’s the least we could do.” 

Nautilus thought he saw a smile on Ouroboros’s face.  Nautilus attached himself to his big brother just below his head and they started the long roll towards Casino Fortunatus.

The 1% Solution, Betting on Money

Prelude 7: Jewish Rabbi and Economist Jesus:  “”Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Good Evening ladies and Gentlemen.  I’d like to welcome you to Casino Fortunatus.  My name is Blaise Pascal.  You may have heard of me as the creator of Pascal’s Wager.  The “Wager” was a little ditty that I worked up one night to demonstrate what a good bet it was to believe in God.  I mean, what do you really risk, and the pay off.  Eternal Bliss.  Are you kidding me?  But that’s another story.  All I ever got out of it was God started calling me his Bookie.  His kid got a big laugh out of it, but I failed to see the humor.  I thought a little different later on.  You know the old “God works in Mysterious Ways” thing, well he does.  Being called God’s Bookie put me in touch with a couple of guys I’d like you to meet.

The first is Fortunatus of Cyprus.  One day a long time ago Fortunatus met the Goddess of Fortune in the woods.  She gave him a very special purse.  What was special about this purse was that it never ran out of money.  Fortunatus did what most of us would do with easy money, he squandered it.  Well you can’t really call it squandering because he never ran out of money.  He did kind of squander his life though, until he met my Jewish buddy Jesus.  Jesus thought the purse was some kind of parlor trick at first.  They talked economics for centuries.  Fortunatus wanted to do something of lasting value with the purse but couldn’t figure out what.  Jesus was little help.  He kept talking around the issue.  Jesus called them Parables.  But all Fortunatus wanted was a straight answer.

The long conversations with Jesus did pay off and when Fortunatus saw how his native Cyprus was being treated by the money changers, Jesus’s word, Fortunatus was ready.  He decided to open Casino Fortunatus.  He’s the boss, the “Visible Hand” behind the whole project.  He’s upstairs right now but we hope to get him down later.  He hasn’t worked in over 500 years so running this place has been something of an adjustment.

Now let’s take the escalator down to the mezzanine where we can meet our Pit Boss Jacob Bernoulli.

Welcome, welcome.  My name’s Jacob Bernoulli and I am the Pit Boss here at Casino Fortunatus.  The first two counters here on the mezzanine are windows to the two types of chips we use here at Casino Fortunatus.  You’re free to call them money if you wish, I’ve never been able to tell the difference.  The first is called Nautilus.  Nautilus is my favorite because it recreates the beautiful Logarithmic Spiral.  I like the shape so much I tried to have one of them carved into my tombstone (Don’t ask).  The other is called Ouroboros, a snake in a big loop eating its own tail.  Ouroboros is everywhere in the world’s cultures and mythological systems.  I’m going to spend a few minutes explaining how each Chip System works.  You can stay and listen or go on and open your own accounts.

You are eligible for accounts in both Nautilus and Ouroboros.  You may sign up in one or both.  We have the two types of chips because they are the best referent to each other that is available.  Money is somewhat paradoxical in nature and having these two versions of the same process will give the players perspective.  It gives you monetary binocular vision.  It gives our money a depth that is not available elsewhere.

Early entrance is of no consequence so signing up for one to begin with and another later will not in any way change the status of your account/accounts.  Everybody starts in the middle here at Casino Fortunatus.  Unused accounts stay in the middle and all accounts are nudged slightly to the middle each day.  The Chips in the Nautilus System are called Del Mars.  The Chips in the Ouroboros System are called Gesells.

Upon opening your Ouroboros account, you will be issued 100 Gesells.  These chips are your property to use as you see fit.  Each day your account will be taxed at the rate of 1%.  If your account is idle, if you have neither earned nor spent any of your Gesells, your tax will be 1% of 100, 1 Gesell.

The revenues raised from this tax go directly to an equal dividend to all participants.  Every account, and thus every Gesell in the System, is taxed at 1% daily.  The dividend, the Daily Bread (DB), will be a constant 1 Gesell per day.

The tax and dividend are a push if you keep exactly 100 Gesells in your account.  Pardon the Gambling jargon, it means you pay out exactly what you get back.

If you have spent or lost half of your Gesells, leaving 50G in your account, your tax will be 0.5G.  Your dividend will still be 1G so you have a net gain of 0.5G on the tax and dividend.

If you have gained or won 50 Gesells, raising your account to 150 Gesells, you will pay a tax of 1.5 Gesells.  With a dividend of 1 Gesell, you will have a net loss of 0.5  Gesells on the tax and dividend.

If you have spent or lost all of your Gesells and your account is empty, you will pay no tax and still receive your 1 Gesell dividend.

Ouroboros follows the equation I discovered a few centuries ago.

lim as n→∞ (1 – 1/n)ⁿ = 0.36787…

Ouroboros is constructed of a material that occupies the space between the physical world and human thought.  This material follows the patterns similar to other elements.  It decays like other material and the rate of that decay is determined by its configuration.  Our configuration in Ouroboros has a steady rate of decay of 1% per day.  Each Gesell that comes into existence will begin to deteriorate at the rate of 1% per day.  Each Gesell will have a half-life of about 69 days

  (1 – 1/100) taken to the 70th power = 0.49483…

and an e-folding time of 100 days.  The e-folding time is the time it takes for “e” to manifest itself, in this case as     .

  (1 – 1/100) taken to the 100th power = 0.3660…

The Sum of Gesells in circulation in Ouroboros will always be exactly 100 x the number of users of Ouroboros.  The Daily Bread (DB) will always be 1 Gesell per Day, an equal share of 1% of the Sum of Gesells in circulation.  (See web site for 100 Day Schedule)

Upon opening your Nautilus Account, you receive 100 Del Mars, or some equivalent thereof.  The Nautilus differs from the Ouroboros in that there is no direct tax.  The Nautilus operates through dilution.   The Dividend, Daily Bread (DB), will always be an equal share of 1% of the Sum of all Del Mars in circulation.  The number of Del Mars in circulation will grow 1% per day.  The Daily Bread will grow 1% per day. (See web site for 100 Day Schedule)

Nautilus will be a time sensitive system.  The clock will begin ticking on March 21, 2013.  If you begin on opening day you will receive 100 Del Mars.

Day 1    New accounts receive 100 Del Mars

Day 2      Dividend of 1 Del Mar

Day 3         Dividend of 1.01 Del Mar

Day 4             Dividend of 1.0201 Del Mars

Day 5                    Dividend of 1.030301 Del Mars

Day 6                         Dividend of 1.04060401 Del Mars

Day 7                               Dividend of 1.0510100501 Del Mars

The Sum of Del Mars in Circulation grows by 1% per Day.  The Daily Bread (DB) dividend grows by 1% per day to keep the proportional relationship constant.  The Dividend is always an equal share of 1% of the total number of Del Mars in Circulation.

The number of Del Mars will double in 70 days.  This gives the Del Mar a Half Life of 70 Days.

  (1 + 1/100) taken to the 70th power = 2.0087… 

and have an e-folding time of 100 days.

  (1 + 1/100) taken to the 100th power = 2.7048…   

Your account is waiting for you.  It does not matter when you begin, your opening account will always be an equal share of the Total Number of Del Mars in circulation and the Daily Bread dividend will always be an equal share of 1% of that total.

Notice the many other windows here on the mezzanine.  Each window will have a counter that is a trading connection to the other currencies of the world.  Dollars, Yen, Pesos, Bitcoins, Linden dollars from Second Life, LETS, Time Banks of all sorts.  Each will have its own counter.

We encourage trading.  Ouroboros and Nautilus are both Floating Currencies, they will earn their way in the Free Market.  Exchange rates with these other monetary protocols will be set by that market, the laws of supply and demand.  Our difference, our value, will be that all of our customers will float right alongside our currencies.  The Daily Bread will be a measure that is accessible to everyone because it is an amount of currency that every customer will receive daily.

The Exchange rates will give our customers an objective gauge to determine how they are doing versus other currencies.  Our currency is not a vehicle for long term savings because it will decay.  We recommend that our customers buy commodities or stocks or bonds for purposes of savings.  We encourage stocks in which people actually produce something, but your investment choices will be your own.

The Daily Bread dividend acts as a systems test.  It introduces a daily pulse into the system that all customers receive.  This pulse acts to calibrate all measures keeping them accurate and current.

The 1% Solution will act to balance the spin of the economy.  All procedures act to keep the economy more plumb, more level, and more centered on a daily basis.  It does this by pushing all quantities towards the middle.  It is very much like truing a wheel.  Plumb.  Level.  Centered.

To maintain a stable velocity and to keep such practices as High Frequency Trading from ruining the place a 1% Transaction Free applied to all transactions.  The proceeds from this fee will be distributed along with the Daily Bread dividend.

Honesty, diligence, creativity and good faith will be rewarded based on performance.

Idleness will not be rewarded nor will it be punished.  The Daily Bread dividend for all members of the house will be equal and unconditional.

Dishonesty will be punished.

We ask you to bet on us.  The bet will have something in common with my friend Blaise Pascal’s famous Wager.  The only thing you pay is attention.  The potential gains are huge because the risk is so miniscule.  Casino Fortunatus will not engage in any gaming activities.  We will keep an accurate tally.  We will be the best score keeper the world has ever seen.  If you have ever gambled at any other of the world’s major casinos or participated in any of the world’s economies you have been playing against the house using house money.  The House always wins.  With Nautilus and Ouroboros, you are the house.  At Casino Fortunatus the whole world is the house.  We want the whole world to win.

Time Horizon

Prelude 8 :Heraclitus 535-475 BCE, Everything Flows

Hello, my name is Fortunatus.  Before you go today I’d like to tell you a little bit about the history of the 1% Solution.  I developed it with a friend named Zacchaeus.  Zacchaeus was the first graduate from Jesus’s School of Economics.  His doctoral thesis was very short.  I’ll quote the whole thing.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Jesus’s reaction was remarkable,

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The first day I talked to Zacchaeus it was hilarious.  He told me how completely ostracized he was after this.  The Religious leaders were pissed because Zacchaeus was a tax collector and the other tax collectors were pissed because the people wanted all the tax collectors to do the same thing, and start giving money away.  It got so bad he had to leave the country.  But the funniest thing was that when he started giving the money away everybody suddenly turned poor.  They’d show up in their old clothes and make sure they hadn’t bathed or eaten for a few days to make it believable.  Kinda like those really rich farmers who take crop supports or those really rich guys who get their lawyers to make them eligible whenever there’s a tax break or any program for the poor or middle class.  Zacchaeus finally decided to just give to all who asked. That way he didn’t have to watch people make fools of themselves.  He found later that “give to all who ask” was already one of Jesus’s principles anyway.  Zacchaeus was a natural that way.

I was sold.  But I put the problem to him.  I can get all the money I want any time I want.  What’s half of that?  We went to some of the old Greeks for that but all they had to say was something about half of infinity is still infinity.  I was nonplussed.   It was Zacchaeus who came up with the solution.  Go to an area and find out how much money there is and double it, and give an equal share to everybody.  That way the poor get a share, and the whole society won’t go into a whole production to convince you how poor they are.  It was brilliant.

Then I started to worry about what having a whole bunch of money at once would do to people.  I told him my story of how suddenly getting a bunch of money had affected me.  Zacchaeus was ready.  We’ll do it like the Lord’s prayer.  A little every day.  Daily Bread!!!  We started mapping out the plan.  I wanted to start in Famagusta, my old home in Cyprus.  So we were ready.  We were loading the boat with money when something occurred to me.  If we give them the same amount every day for a year, at the end of the year there would be twice as much money as at the beginning.  The Daily Bread would have shrunk in significance because the amount of money would have doubled.

We thought we were going to have to unload our boatload of money when Jacob Bernoulli piped in.  What you gentlemen have is a problem that absolutely cries out for compounding, just like interest.  You could have knocked us both over with a feather.  We knew what Jesus thought about charging interest on loans.  But before we could respond Jacob blurted out.  But my colleagues it’s not interest you’re compounding, it’s disinterest. It’s compound Disinterest.  You are making a vehicle for Zacchaeus’s principle that will make money flow like a river.

So here we are.  We decided to call it  e to the x Calibrator, or excalibrator for short.  ’The 1% Solution is the simplest version of excalibrator ever because we use a base ten number system.  Or at least that’s what Jake, er Professor Bernoulli told me.  That and to acknowledge all those brave kids in Occupy Wall Streep who stood up for the poor when no one else would.  We all owe them a tip of the hat and don’t think for a minute that it hasn’t been noticed around here.  Well I better just shut up.

Blaise and some of the other guys in Jesus’s regular weekly seminar in the “history of economic thought” class said the whole thing brought the Prophet Amos to mind.

Hear this, you who swallow up[a] the needy,
And make the poor of the land fail, Saying:

“When will the New Moon be past,
That we may sell grain?
And the Sabbath,
That we may trade wheat?
Making the ephah small and the shekel large,
Falsifying the scales by deceit,
That we may buy the poor for silver,
And the needy for a pair of sandals—
Even sell the bad wheat?”

Jesus called for a Good Measure.  One that does not reward sharp dealing.  One that does not sacrifice the present of the poor for the future of the rich.  No one on earth should have to be worrying about where their next meal comes from.  That is why the earth was put here, to provide food and clothing and shelter to all of God’s children.  The earth will eventually reject this modern period of greed just as it always has.

The funniest thing about learning economics as Jesus’s School is that even though there are billions in the world who claim to follow him, they ignore almost everything he says about money.  Half of the world is living in economic danger, the equivalent of being found bleeding in the street.  These people must be cared for.   What we’ve learned here is that the moral thing to do is also the most efficient.  What is called efficiency today is almost always rationalization for theft.

Each person on earth must be fed, clothed and sheltered every day.  That is our only relevant time horizon.  The 1% Solution hopes to do that by establishing a predictable flow for money and a minimum position for the least among us, a position that is not zero.  I think that’s called minimax in game theory.

Our Measure is an Inertial Measure, it’s in the flow.  The Measure has a Time Horizon of 1 Day.

Each use of the 1% Solution makes it more valuable.  Each time the 1% Solution becomes more valuable, the Daily Bread (DB) dividend becomes more valuable.  Each time the DB becomes more valuable the 1% Solution becomes more valuable, which encourages its use..  Etc.

It is entirely possible that the 1% Solution is more than 10,000 times more valuable than the current economy.  It could be infinitely more valuable.  Well I’ll leave those types of estimates to Blaise.  He’s the expert. Time will tell.

Relax and enjoy.  Explore Casino Fortunatus.  Bring the kids, and the grandparents and everyone you can think of.  It’s on the House.  The House of Zacchaeus. You’re the House.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Land, Labor, Capital, and Desperation

Land, Labor, Capital, and Desperation

“The Economy thrives on incentives (if you work, we’ll give you money) and desperation (if you want money, you have to work) and Social Security is a double-wammy, reducing the incentives of workers and reducing the desperation of the elderly.” Matthew Yglesias

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/12/19/the_powers_that_be_hate_social_security_here_s_why.html

via

http://www.eschatonblog.com/2013/01/freeloaders.html

Matthew Yglesias likes his grandparents the old fashioned way, hungry and “desperate”.  Well he doesn’t necessarily want it himself, but he can understand why the “Important People” of the world would want it.  Mr. Yglesias has done the world a great favor.  The ignorance involved in such a statement is so complete that I hope there is a portion of Jonathon Swift in his musings, but I fear not.  And even if they are not the sincere beliefs of Matthew Yglesias, they are beliefs that are held by many and they poison the discussion over the economy and how it works.

Perhaps the greatest error in modern economic “wisdom” is that a structure of incentives has anything in common with the desperation of poverty.  Yglesias claims that making the elderly desperate enough to keep working will make the economy thrive.

The crux of his thesis is concentrated in the statement “if you work we’ll give you money”.  Mr. Iglesias’s use of the royal We determines the source of incentives, and it is not the function of the market, it is the ownership thereof.  That tells almost all there is to tell about this argument, but he goes further.  “If you want money, you have to work”.  I wonder if anyone has informed Tagg Romney, or for that matter Barack Obama, or the incredibly busy Mr. Yglesias.

Mr. Yglesias does not stop with the royal We, he speaks for the disembodied entity that he calls “The Economy”.  He goes so far as to tell us what “The Economy” wants.  “The Economy” has a real hankering for things which he can classify as investments.  “The Economy” wants to prepare itself for the future and any spending which prepares for this future is good.  And letting a bunch of old people sit around does not prepare us for the future.  That spending is best left to the “productive” people of society.  “The Economy” likes those people because they get us ready for the future.  Every dime Tagg Romney spends is an investment according to Mr. Yglesias.

If his tongue was not in his cheek Mr. Yglesias is on the same page as Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama and all the other Important People of the world.  While Mr. Obama may, and this is highly doubtful at this point, support slightly higher transfer payments to America’s seniors, it is his “stewardship” and “nobles oblige” that spur his actions.  Nowhere in main stream American thought is the belief that seniors, or for that matter juniors, receive money from the public purse as a matter of property right and not deference.

The payment of public money to old and young is in no way contrary to a system of incentives that rewards diligence, hard word, and creativity.  Quite the contrary, a society which cares for its old and young is one that fosters the type of society that is efficient and productive and competitive.  “The Economy” does not reward hard work and punish sloth.  “The Economy” rewards power, influence, and ownership.  The major portion of the produce of our economy goes to Crooked Bankers, the Saudi Royal Family and their junior partners in Texas, the Rigged Casino known as Wall Street, the Communist Party of China, a Courtier Press, and a Political Class that is as corrupt as the world has ever seen.  This might make it seem that we need to foster desperation, but the opposite is true.  The only thing that desperation produces in the economy is more desperation, and the owners of the world count on it.

There might be some people in this modern world who could use a dose of desperation Mr. Yglesias, but you should let your grandparents have enough money to give a cookie to your cousins once in a while.  Who knows, you might even get one.  If you’re not too worried it will corrupt you.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Sun and the Earth

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

World Cities by Longitude

This list from Wikipedia

180° (IDL – International Date Line)

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

51°53′N 176°38′W Adak,                                                                       Alaska      United States
21°8′S 175°12′W Nukuʻalofa      Tonga
13°50′S 171°50′W Apia      Samoa
14°16′S 170°42′W Pago Pago,      American Samoa      United States
19°03′S 169°55′W Alofi      Niue

165°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

21°12′S 159°46′W Avarua,      Cook Islands      New Zealand
21°18′N 157°49′W Honolulu,      Hawaii      United States
19°42′N 155°06′W Hilo,      Hawaii      United States

150°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

61°13′N 149°53′W Anchorage,      Alaska      United States
17°32′S 149°34′W Papeete,      French Polynesia      France
64°50′N 147°42′W Fairbanks,      Alaska      United States
57°03′N 135°19′W Sitka,      Alaska      United States
60°43′N 135°03′W Whitehorse,      Yukon      Canada

135°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

58°21′N 134°30′W Juneau,      Alaska      United States
25°04′S 130°06′W Adamstown,      Pitcairn Islands      United Kingdom
49°15′N 123°06′W Vancouver,      British Columbia      Canada
38°′N 123°′W Rabi Island      Fiji
45°31′N 122°40′W Portland,      Oregon      United States
37°46′N 122°25′W San   Francisco,        California      United States
47°36′N 122°19′W Seattle,      Washington      United States
38°33′N 121°28′W Sacramento,      California      United States

120°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

34°03′N 118°15′W Los Angeles,      California      United States
33°56′N 117°23′W Riverside,      California      United States
32°46′N 117°09′W San Diego,      California      United States
32°31′N 117°02′W Tijuana, Baja California      Mexico
32°40′N 115°28′W Mexicali, Baja California      Mexico
36°10′N 115°08′W Las   Vegas,      Nevada      United States
62°27′N 114°24′W Yellowknife,      Northwest   Territories      Canada
51°02′N 114°03′W Calgary,      Alberta      Canada
53°34′N 113°31′W Edmonton,      Alberta      Canada
33°26′N 112°04′W Phoenix,      Arizona      United States
40°45′N 111°53′W Salt   Lake City,        Utah      United States
32°12′N 110°55′W Tucson,      Arizona      United States
27°09′N 109°26′W Hanga Roa, Easter Island      Chile
52°07′N 106°39′W Saskatoon,      Saskatchewan      Canada
35°06′N 106°36′W Albuquerque,      New Mexico      United States
31°47′N 106°25′W El   Paso,      Texas      United States
28°06′N 106°0′W Chihuahua, Chihuahua      Mexico

105°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

39°44′N 104°59′W Denver,      Colorado      United States
24°01′N 104°40′W Durango, Durango      Mexico
50°26′N 104°37′W Regina,      Saskatchewan      Canada
20°46′N 103°24′W Zapopan,      Jalisco      Mexico
20°40′N 103°21′W Guadalajara,      Jalisco      Mexico
25°40′N 100°18′W Monterrey, Nuevo León      Mexico
19°24′N 99°07′W Mexico City      Mexico
29°32′N 98°28′W San Antonio,      Texas      United States
19°03′N 98°12′W Puebla, Puebla      Mexico
30°16′N 97°46′W Austin,      Texas      United States
35°28′N 97°32′W Oklahoma   City,      Oklahoma      United States
37°41′N 97°20′W Wichita,      Kansas      United States
49°54′N 97°08′W Winnipeg,      Manitoba      Canada
32°46′N 96°48′W Dallas,      Texas      United States
19°11′N 96°08′W Veracruz, Veracruz      Mexico
29°45′N 95°22′W Houston,      Texas      United States
39°06′N 94°34′W Kansas   City,      Missouri      United States
44°58′N 93°15′W Minneapolis,      Minnesota      United States
14°50′N 91°31′W Quetzaltenango      Guatemala
14°38′N 90°33′W Guatemala   City      Guatemala
38°37′N 90°11′W St.   Louis,      Missouri      United States
29°58′N 90°04′W New Orleans,      Louisiana      United States

[edit] 90°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

35°07′N 89°58′W Memphis,      Tennessee      United States
20°58′N 89°37′W Mérida, Yucatán      Mexico
13°41′N 89°11′W San   Salvador      El Salvador
17°15′N 88°46′W Belmopan      Belize
17°29′N 88°11′W Belize City      Belize
47°03′N 87°57′W Milwaukee,      Wisconsin      United States
41°52′N 87°37′W Chicago,      Illinois      United States
14°05′N 87°13′W Tegucigalpa      Honduras
36°10′N 86°47′W Nashville,      Tennessee      United States
12°08′N 86°15′W Managua      Nicaragua
39°47′N 86°09′W Indianapolis,      Indiana      United States
38°15′N 85°45′W Louisville,      Kentucky      United States
39°08′N 84°30′W Cincinnati,      Ohio      United States
33°45′N 84°23′W Atlanta,      Georgia      United States
9°56′N 84°05′W San   José      Costa Rica
42°20′N 83°03′W Detroit,      Michigan      United States
39°59′N 82°59′W Columbus,      Ohio      United States
27°58′N 82°28′W Tampa,      Florida      United States
23°08′N 82°23′W Havana      Cuba
41°29′N 81°40′W Cleveland,      Ohio      United States
30°19′N 81°39′W Jacksonville,      Florida      United States
19°18′N 81°23′W George Town,      Cayman Islands      United Kingdom
35°12′N 80°49′W Charlotte,      North Carolina      United States
25°47′N 80°13′W Miami,      Florida      United States
40°26′N 79°58′W Pittsburgh,      Pennsylvania      United States
2°11′N 79°53′W Guayaquil      Ecuador
8°59′N 79°31′W Panama City      Panama
43°39′N 79°23′W Toronto,      Ontario      Canada
42°54′N 78°51′W Buffalo,      New York      United States
35°49′N 78°38′W Raleigh,      North Carolina      United States
00°15′N 78°35′W Quito      Ecuador
43°09′N 77°36′W Rochester,      New York      United States
25°03′N 77°20′W Nassau      Bahamas
38°53′N 77°02′W      Washington, D.C.      United States
12°02′S 77°01′W Lima      Peru
17°59′N 76°48′W Kingston      Jamaica
39°17′N 76°37′W Baltimore,      Maryland      United States
3°25′N 76°31′W Cali      Colombia
36°51′N 75°59′W Virginia   Beach,      Virginia      United States
20°01′N 75°48′W Santiago   de Cuba      Cuba
45°25′N 75°41′W Ottawa,      Ontario      Canada
6°14′N 75°34′W Medellín      Colombia
10°24′N 75°30′W Cartagena      Colombia
39°57′N 75°10′W Philadelphia,      Pennsylvania      United States

75°W

10°57′N 74°47′W Barranquilla      Colombia
39*49’N 74°11’W Forked   River,      New Jersey      United States
41°26′N 74°08′W Jersey   City,      New Jersey      United States
4°36′N 74°04′W Bogotá      Colombia
40°43′N 74°00′W New   York City,        New York      United States
45°30′N 73°33′W Montreal,      Quebec      Canada
3°44′S 73°15′W Iquitos      Peru
39°49′S 73°14′W Valdivia      Chile
36°50′S 73°03′W Concepción      Chile
18°32′N 72°20′W Port-au-Prince      Haiti
13°30′S 71°58′W Cusco      Peru
10°39′S 71°38′W Maracaibo      Venezuela
33°03′S 71°37′W Valparaíso      Chile
16°24′S 71°32′W Arequipa      Peru
41°49′N 71°25′W Providence,      Rhode Island      United States
41°09′S 71°18′W San   Carlos de Bariloche,           Río   Negro      Argentina
29°54′S 71°15′W La   Serena      Chile
46°48′N 71°13′W Quebec City,      Quebec      Canada
21°27′N 71°08′W Cockburn   Town,      Turks   and Caicos Islands      United Kingdom
42°21′N 71°03′W Boston,      Massachusetts      United States
53°10′S 70°56′W Punta   Arenas      Chile
33°27′S 70°40′W Santiago      Chile
23°39′S 70°24′W Antofagasta      Chile
20°13′S 70°09′W Iquique      Chile
12°31′N 70°02′W Oranjestad,      Aruba      Netherlands
18°29′N 69°55′W Santo   Domingo      Dominican   Republic
10°07’S 69°21’W Rio Branco,      Acre      Brazil
12°07′N 68°56′W Willemstad,      Curaçao      Netherlands
22°28′S 68°56′W Calama      Chile
32°53′S 68°49′W Mendoza,      Mendoza      Argentina
63°45′N 68°31′W Iqaluit,      Nunavut      Canada
54°48′S 68°18′W Ushuaia,      Tierra del Fuego      Argentina
16°30′S 68°09′W La Paz      Bolivia
54°56′N 67°37′W Puerto   Williams      Chile
10°30′N 66°55′W Caracas      Venezuela
45°57′N 66°40′W Fredericton,      New Brunswick      Canada
18°27′N 66°04′W San   Juan,      Puerto Rico      United States
45°16′N 66°03′W Saint   John,      New Brunswick      Canada
19°02′S 65°15′W Sucre      Bolivia
18°21′S 64°57′W Charlotte Amalie,      United States Virgin Islands      United States
32°17′N 64°47′W Hamilton,      Bermuda      United Kingdom
18°26′N 64°37′W Road Town,      British   Virgin Islands      United Kingdom
31°24′S 64°11′W Córdoba, Córdoba      Argentina
8°45’S 63°54’W Porto Velho,      Rondônia      Brazil
44°40′N 63°36′W Halifax,      Nova Scotia      Canada
17°48′S 63°10′W Santa   Cruz de la Sierra      Bolivia
46°14′N 63°08′W Charlottetown,      Prince   Edward Island      Canada
18°13′N 63°03′W The   Valley,      Anguilla      United Kingdom
16°50′N 62°40′W Basseterre      Saint   Kitts and Nevis
38°43′S 62°16′W Bahía   Blanca,      Buenos   Aires Province      Argentina
17°07′N 61°51′W St. John’s      Antigua   and Barbuda
12°03′N 61°45′W St.   George’s      Grenada
15°59′N 61°43′W Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe      France
10°40′N 61°31′W Port   of Spain      Trinidad   and Tobago
10°17′N 61°28′W San Fernando      Trinidad   and Tobago
15°18′N 61°23′W Roseau      Dominica
10°30′N 61°23′W Chaguanas      Trinidad   and Tobago
13°10′N 61°14′W Kingstown      Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
14°36′N 61°05′W Fort-de-France, Martinique      France
14°01′N 60°59′W Castries      Saint Lucia
32°57′S 60°40′W Rosario,      Santa   Fe      Argentina
2°49’N 60°39’W Boa   Vista,      Roraima      Brazil
3°06′S 60°01′W Manaus,      Amazonas      Brazil

[edit] 60°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

13°05′N 59°37′W Bridgetown      Barbados
34°36′S 58°22′W      Buenos Aires      Argentina
6°48′S 58°10′W Georgetown      Guyana
51°41′N 57°51′W Stanley, Falkland Islands      United Kingdom
25°16′S 57°40′W Asunción      Paraguay
46°46′N 56°10′W Saint-Pierre, Saint   Pierre and Miquelon      France
34°55′S 56°10′W Montevideo      Uruguay
15°35’S 56°05’W Cuiabá,      Mato Grosso      Brazil
5°52′N 55°10′W Paramaribo      Suriname
20°26’S 54°38’W Campo   Grande,      Mato   Grosso do Sul      Brazil
25°25′S 54°37′W Ciudad   del Este      Paraguay
33°41′S 53°27′W Chuí,      Rio   Grande do Sul      Brazil
47°33′N 52°42′W St. John’s,      Newfoundland   and Labrador      Canada
31°46′S 52°20′W Pelotas,      Rio   Grande do Sul      Brazil
4°55′N 52°19′W Cayenne, French Guiana      France
64°10′N 51°45′W Nuuk, Greenland      Denmark
30°02′N 51°13′W Porto   Alegre,      Rio   Grande do Sul      Brazil
0°02’N 51°03’W Macapá,      Amapá      Brazil
22°39′S 50°24′W Assis,      São   Paulo      Brazil
25°25′S 49°15′W Curitiba,      Paraná      Brazil
1°28′N 48°29′W Belém,      Pará      Brazil
15°48′S 47°54′W Brasília,      Distrito   Federal      Brazil
22°54′S 47°03′W Campinas,      São   Paulo      Brazil
23°33′S 46°38′W São   Paulo,      São   Paulo      Brazil
23°11′S 45°52′W São   José dos Campos,        São   Paulo      Brazil

45°W

22°54′S 43°14′W Rio   de Janeiro,        Rio   de Janeiro      Brazil
20°19′S 40°20′W Vitória,      Espírito Santo      Brazil
14º47′S 39º03′W Ilhéus,      Bahia      Brazil
3º46′S 38º34′W Fortaleza,      Ceará      Brazil
9º39′S 35º43′W Maceió,      Alagoas      Brazil
8°04′S 34°52′W Recife,      Pernambuco      Brazil

30°W

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

38º32′N 28º38′W Horta, Azores      Portugal
38º39′N 27º13′W Angra   do Heroísmo,   Azores      Portugal
37º44′N 25º40′W Ponta Delgada, Azores      Portugal
14°55′N 23°31′W Praia      Cape Verde
64º08′N 21º56′W Reykjavík      Iceland
14º41′N 17º26′W Dakar      Senegal
14º50′N 17º06′W Thiès      Senegal
13º26′N 16º40′W Serekunda      Gambia
13º16′N 16º39′W Brikama      Gambia
13º27′N 16º34′W Banjul      Gambia
28º28′N 16º15′W Santa   Cruz de Tenerife,        Canary Islands      Spain
18º06′N 15º57′W Nouakchott      Mauritania
11º51′N 15º35′W Bissau      Guinea-Bissau
28º8′N 15º26′W Las   Palmas de Gran Canaria,        Canary Islands      Spain

15°W

 

 

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

9°31′N 13°42′W Conakry      Guinea
8°28′N 13°16′W Freetown      Sierra Leone
27º9′N 13º12′W El Aaiún      Western Sahara
6º19′N 10º46′W Monrovia      Liberia
38º42′N 9º11′W Lisbon      Portugal
41º9′N 8º38′W Porto      Portugal
51º53′N 8º28′W Cork      Ireland
31º38′N 8º0′W Marrakech      Morocco
12º39′N 8º0′W Bamako      Mali
33º32′N 7º35′W Casablanca      Morocco
12º59′N 7º34′W Koulikoro      Mali
34º02′N 6º50′W Rabat      Morocco
62°0′N 6°47′W Tórshavn,      Faroe Islands      Denmark
53º20′N 6º16′W Dublin      Ireland
37º22′N 5º59′W Seville,      Andalusia      Spain
54º36′N 5º55′W Belfast, Northern Ireland      United Kingdom
15°55′S 5°44′W Jamestown, Saint Helena      United Kingdom
36°08′N 5°21′W Gibraltar      Gibraltar
6°49′N 5°17′W Yamoussoukro      Côte d’Ivoire
54°08′N 4°29′W Douglas,      Isle of Man      United Kingdom
36º43′N 4º25′W Málaga,      Andalusia      Spain
55º51′N 4º15′W Glasgow,      Scotland      United Kingdom
5º20′N 4º01′W Abidjan      Côte d’Ivoire
40º24′N 3º41′W Madrid,      Madrid      Spain
51º29′N 3º11′W Cardiff,      Wales      United Kingdom
55º57′N 3º09′W Edinburgh,      Scotland      United Kingdom
16°46′N 3°00′W Timbuktu      Mali
53º24′N 2º59′W Liverpool,      England      United Kingdom
43º15′N 2º55′W Bilbao,      Basque Country      Spain
53º28′N 2º14′W Manchester,      England      United Kingdom
57º09′N 2º06′W Aberdeen,      Scotland      United Kingdom
52º29′N 1º53′W Birmingham,      England      United Kingdom
53º48′N 1º33′W Leeds,      England      United Kingdom
47°13′N 1′33″W Nantes,      Pays de la Loire      France
12º21′N 1º32′W Ouagadougou      Burkina Faso
9°24′N 0°51′W Tamale      Ghana
39º29′N 0º22′W Valencia,      Valencian   Community      Spain
5º33′N 0º12′W Accra      Ghana
51º30′N 0º07′W London,      England      United Kingdom

0° (Prime Meridian)

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

51º28′N 0º0′ Greenwich,      England      United Kingdom
6°08′N 1°12′E Lomé      Togo
43°36′N 1°26′E Toulouse,      Midi-Pyrénées      France
42°30′N 1°30′E Andorra   la Vella      Andorra
38.98°N 1.43°E Ibiza,      Balearic Islands      Spain
13°31′N 2°6′E Niamey      Niger
41°23′N 2°11′E Barcelona,      Catalonia      Spain
48°52′N 2°20′E Paris,      Île-de-France      France
6°21′N 2°25′E Cotonou      Benin
6°30′N 2°36′E Porto-Novo      Benin
39°34′N 2°39′E Palma,      Balearic Islands      Spain
36°42′N 3°13′E Algiers      Algeria
6°27′N 3°23′E Lagos      Nigeria
7°22′N 3°53′E Ibadan      Nigeria
52°4′N 4°18′E The Hague      Netherlands
50°50′N 4°21′E Brussels      Belgium
51°13′N 4°24′E Antwerp      Belgium
51°56′N 4°28′E Rotterdam      Netherlands
45°46′N 4°50′E Lyon,      Rhône-Alpes      France
52°22′N 4°53′E Amsterdam      Netherlands
43°18′N 5°22′E Marseille,      Provence-Alpes-Côte   d’Azur      France
60°22′N 5°24′E Bergen      Norway
49°36′N 6°07′E Luxembourg      Luxembourg
46°12′N 6°09′E Geneva      Switzerland
0°20′N 6°41′E São   Tomé      São   Tomé and Príncipe
51°14′N 6°47′E Düsseldorf,      North   Rhine-Westphalia      Germany
50°57′N 6°58′E Cologne,      North   Rhine-Westphalia      Germany
43°33′N 7°00′E Cannes,      Provence-Alpes-Côte   d’Azur      France
43°42′N 7°16′E Nice,      Provence-Alpes-Côte   d’Azur      France
43°44′N 7°24′E Monaco      Monaco
46°57′N 7°27′E Bern      Switzerland
9°04′N 7°29′E Abuja      Nigeria
6°27′N 7°30′E Enugu      Nigeria
45°04′N 7°42′E Turin      Italy
48°35′N 7°45′E Strasbourg,      Alsace      France
12°00′N 8°31′E Kano      Nigeria
47°22′N 8°33′E Zürich      Switzerland
50°06′N 8°41′E Frankfurt am Main,      Hesse      Germany
3°45′N 8°46′E Malabo      Equatorial   Guinea
48°46′N 9°10′E Stuttgart,      Baden-Württemberg      Germany
45°28′N 9°11′E Milan      Italy
0°23′N 9°27′E Libreville      Gabon
47°08′N 9°31′E Vaduz      Liechtenstein
4°03′N 9°42′E Douala      Cameroon
52°22′N 9°43′E Hanover,      Lower Saxony      Germany
53°35′N 9°59′E Hamburg,      Hamburg      Germany
36°48′N 10°10′E Tunis      Tunisia
56°9′N 10°12′E Aarhus      Denmark
59°57′N 10°45′E Oslo      Norway
47°16′N 11°23′E Innsbruck      Austria
3°52′N 11°31′E Yaoundé      Cameroon
48°08′N 11°34′E Munich,      Bavaria      Germany
57°42′N 11°58′E Gothenburg      Sweden
51°20′N 12°23′E Leipzig,      Saxony      Germany
43°56′N 12°26′E San   Marino      San Marino
41°54′N 12°27′E Vatican   City      Vatican City
41°54′N 12°30′E Rome      Italy
55°40′N 12°34′E Copenhagen      Denmark
55°35′N 13°02′E Malmö      Sweden
47°48′N 13°02′E Salzburg      Austria
32°54′N 13°11′E Tripoli      Libya
8°50′S 13°14′E Luanda      Angola
52°31′N 13°25′E Berlin,      Berlin      Germany
51°03′N 13°44′E Dresden,      Saxony      Germany
40°50′N 14°15′E Naples      Italy
48°18′N 14°17′E Linz      Austria
50°05′N 14°25′E Prague      Czech Republic
27°02′N 14°26′E Sabha      Libya
35°53′N 14°27′E Birkirkara      Malta
46°4′N 14°30′E Ljubljana      Slovenia
35°54′N 14°30′E Valletta      Malta

15°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

12°6′N 15°3′E N’Djamena      Chad
4°16′S 15°17′E Brazzaville      Republic   of the Congo
4°19′S 15°19′E Kinshasa      Democratic Republic of the Congo
47°04′N 15°26′E Graz      Austria
78°13′N 15°33′E Longyearbyen, Svalbard      Norway
45°49′N 15°59′E Zagreb      Croatia
48°12′N 16°22′E Vienna      Austria
43°30′N 16°26′E Split      Croatia
48°08′N 17°06′E Bratislava      Slovakia
59°21′N 18°4′E Stockholm      Sweden
43°51′N 18°21′E Sarajevo      Bosnia   and Herzegovina
33°55′S 18°25′E Cape Town, Western Cape      South Africa
4°21′N 18°35′E Bangui      Central   African Republic
54°21′N 18°40′E Gdańsk      Poland
47°28′N 19°03′E Budapest      Hungary
42°28′N 19°16′E Podgorica      Montenegro
41°19′N 19°49′E Tirana      Albania
50°3′N 19°56′E Kraków      Poland
44°49′N 20°27′E Belgrade      Serbia
54°43′N 20°31′E Kaliningrad      Russia
52°14′N 21°00′E Warsaw      Poland
42°40′N 21°10′E Pristina      Kosovo
42°0′N 21°26′E Skopje      Macedonia
40°38′N 22°57′E Thessaloniki      Greece
42°42′N 23°20′E Sofia      Bulgaria
37°58′N 23°43′E Athens      Greece
61°30′N 23°45′E Tampere      Finland
49°51′N 24°01′E Lviv      Ukraine
56°58′N 24°08′E Riga      Latvia
60°12′N 24°39′E Espoo      Finland
59°26′N 24°45′E Tallinn      Estonia
60°10′N 24°56′E Helsinki      Finland
54°41′N 25°17′E Vilnius      Lithuania
33°57′S 25°36′E Port   Elizabeth,   Eastern   Cape      South Africa
17°51′S 25°52′E Livingstone      Zambia
24°39′S 25°54′E Gaborone      Botswana
44°26′N 26°06′E Bucharest      Romania
29°06′S 26°13′E Bloemfontein, Free State      South Africa
58°23′N 26°43′E Tartu      Estonia
38°26′N 27°09′E İzmir      Turkey
11°40′S 27°28′E Lubumbashi      Democratic Republic of the Congo
29°18′S 27°28′E Maseru      Lesotho
21°10′S 27°30′E Francistown      Botswana
53°54′N 27°34′E Minsk      Belarus
26°12′S 28°02′E Johannesburg, Gauteng      South Africa
25°44′S 28°11′E Pretoria, Gauteng      South Africa
15°25′S 28°17′E Lusaka      Zambia
12°58′S 28°38′E Ndola      Zambia
20°10′S 28°34′E Bulawayo      Zimbabwe
47°0′N 28°52′E Chişinău      Moldova
41°0′N 28°58′E Istanbul      Turkey
40°11′N 29°04′E Bursa      Turkey
3°23′S 29°22′E Bujumbura      Burundi
46°51′N 29°38′E Tiraspol,      Transnistria      Moldova
31°12′N 29°55′E Alexandria      Egypt

[edit] 30°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

1°56′S 30°03′E Kigali      Rwanda
59°56′N 30°20′E Saint   Petersburg      Russia
50°27′N 30°31′E Kiev      Ukraine
46°28′N 30°44′E Odessa      Ukraine
17°49′S 31°03′E Harare      Zimbabwe
29°53′S 31°03′E Durban, KwaZulu-Natal      South Africa
26°19′S 31°08′E Mbabane      Swaziland
26°28′S 31°12′E Lobamba      Swaziland
30°03′N 31°13′E Cairo      Egypt
26°29′S 31°22′E Manzini      Swaziland
31°15′N 32°17′E Port Said      Egypt
37°52′N 32°29′E Konya      Turkey
15°39′N 32°29′E Omdurman      Sudan
15°38′N 32°32′E Khartoum      Sudan
29°58′N 32°33′E Suez      Egypt
25°58′S 32°35′E Maputo      Mozambique
25°41′N 32°39′E Luxor      Egypt
39°52′N 32°50′E Ankara      Turkey
2°31′S 32°54′E Mwanza      Tanzania
68°58′N 33°05′E Murmansk      Russia
35°10′N 33°21′E Nicosia      Cyprus
13°59′S 33°47′E Lilongwe      Malawi
44°57′N 34°06′E Simferopol,      Crimea      Ukraine
31°31′N 34°27′E Gaza, Gaza Strip      Palestinian   territories
36°48′N 34°38′E Mersin      Turkey
32°05′N 34°48′E Tel Aviv      Israel
15°47′S 35°0′E Blantyre      Malawi
31°47′N 35°13′E Jerusalem      Israel
37°0′N 35°19′E Adana      Turkey
33°53′N 35°30′E Beirut      Lebanon
6°10′S 35°44′E Dodoma      Tanzania
31°57′N 35°56′E Amman      Jordan
33°30′N 36°17′E Damascus      Syria
49°55′N 36°19′E Kharkiv      Ukraine
1°17′S 36°49′E Nairobi      Kenya
37°04′N 37°23′E Gaziantep      Turkey
55°45′N 37°36′E Moscow      Russia
9°01′N 38°44′E Addis Ababa      Ethiopia
15°20′N 38°56′E Asmara      Eritrea
21°32′N 39°10′E Jeddah      Saudi Arabia
6°10′S 39°12′E Zanzibar   City      Tanzania
6°49′S 39°16′E Dar   es Salaam      Tanzania
24°28′N 39°36′E Medina      Saudi Arabia
21°25′N 39°49′E Mecca      Saudi Arabia
43°00′N 41°01′E Sukhumi,        Abkhazia      Georgia
11°35′N 43°08′E Djibouti      Djibouti
11°45′S 43°12′E Moroni      Comoros
42°14′N 43°58′E Tskhinvali,        South   Ossetia      Georgia
15°21′N 44°12′E Sana’a      Yemen
33°19′N 44°25′E Baghdad      Iraq
56°20′N 44°0′E Nizhny Novgorod      Russia
9°30′N 44°0′E Hargeisa,        Somaliland      Somalia
36°20′N 44°01′E Arbil,      Iraqi   Kurdistan      Iraq
40°11′N 44°31′E Yerevan      Armenia
41°43′N 44°47′E Tbilisi      Georgia

45°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

12°47′S 45°13′E Mamoudzou, Mayotte      France
2°02′N 45°21′E Mogadishu      Somalia
38°05′N 46°17′E Tabriz      Iran
24°42′N 46°43′E Riyadh      Saudi Arabia
39°49′N 46°45′E Stepanakert,      Nagorno-Karabakh   Republic      Azerbaijan
18°56′S 47°31′E Antananarivo      Madagascar
30°30′N 47°49′E Basra      Iraq
29°22′N 47°58′E Kuwait City      Kuwait
40°22′N 49°53′E Baku      Azerbaijan
26°26′N 50°07′E Dammam      Saudi Arabia
53°14′N 50°10′E Samara      Russia
26°13′N 50°35′E Manama      Bahrain
35°41′N 51°25′E Tehran      Iran
25°17′N 51°32′E Doha      Qatar
24°28′N 54°22′E Abu Dhabi      United   Arab Emirates
25°16′N 55°18′E Dubai      United   Arab Emirates
4°37′S 55°27′E Victoria      Seychelles
20°52′S 55°27′E Saint-Denis, Réunion      France
58°0′N 56°19′E Perm      Russia
20°10′S 57°30′E Port Louis      Mauritius
37°58′N 58°20′E Ashgabat      Turkmenistan
23°36′N 58°32′E Muscat      Oman
42°28′N 59°36′E Nukus,      Karakalpakstan      Uzbekistan
36°18′N 59°36′E Mashhad      Iran

[edit] 60°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

56°50′N 60°35′E Yekaterinburg      Russia
31°37′N 65°43′E Kandahar      Afghanistan
24°51′N 67°00′E Karachi, Sindh      Pakistan
25°22′N 68°22′E Hyderabad, Sindh      Pakistan
38°32′N 68°46′E Dushanbe      Tajikistan
34°32′N 69°10′E Kabul      Afghanistan
41°16′N 69°13′E Tashkent      Uzbekistan
51°11′N 71°27′E Astana      Kazakhstan
30°12′N 71°27′E Multan,   Punjab      Pakistan
34°00′N 71°30′E Peshawar,   North-West Frontier      Pakistan
40°98′N 71°58′E Namangan      Uzbekistan
23°01′N 72°34′E Ahmedabad,   Gujarat      India
18°57′N 72°49′E Mumbai,   Maharashtra      India
21°10′N 72°49′E Surat, Gujarat      India
31°22′N 72°59′E Faisalabad,   Punjab      Pakistan
33°36′N 73°02′E Rawalpindi,   Punjab      Pakistan
33°43′N 73°04′E Islamabad,   Islamabad Capital Territory      Pakistan
54°59′N 73°22′E Omsk      Russia
4°10′N 73°30′E Malé      Maldives
18°31′N 73°51′E Pune, Maharashtra      India
31°33′N 74°20′E Lahore,   Punjab      Pakistan
42°52′N 74°36′E Bishkek      Kyrgyzstan
34°05′N 74°47′E Srinagar,   Jammu and Kashmir      India
31°38′N 74°51′E Amritsar,   Punjab      India

 

75°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

26°55′N 75°49′E Jaipur, Rajasthan      India
30°54′N 75°51′E Ludhiana, Punjab      India
43°16′N 76°53′E Almaty      Kazakhstan
28°37′N 77°12′E New Delhi, Delhi      India
12°58′N 77°34′E Bangalore, Karnataka      India
17°22′N 78°28′E Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh      India
21°04′N 79°01′E Nagpur, Maharashtra      India
6°53′N 79°52′E Colombo      Sri Lanka
6°54′N 79°53′E Sri   Jayawardenapura-Kotte Sri Lanka
13°05′N 80°16′E Chennai, Tamil Nadu      India
26°27′N 80°20′E Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh      India
7°17′N 80°38′E Kandy      Sri Lanka
26°51′N 80°55′E Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh      India
7°43′N 81°42′E Batticaloa      Sri Lanka
55°01′N 82°56′E Novosibirsk      Russia
25°36′N 85°08′E Patna, Bihar      India
27°42′N 85°20′E Kathmandu      Nepal
43°48′N 87°35′E Ürümqi, Xinjiang      People’s Republic of China
69°21′N 88°12′E Norilsk      Russia
22°34′N 88°22′E Kolkata, West Bengal      India
27°19′N 88°37′E Gangtok, Sikkim      India
29°16′N 88°52′E Shigatse, Tibet      People’s Republic of China
27°28′N 89°38′E Thimphu      Bhutan

[edit] 90°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

23°42′N 90°22′E Dhaka      Bangladesh
29°39′N 91°07′E Lhasa, Tibet      People’s Republic of China
23°30′N 91°12′E Agartala, Tripura      India
26°10′N 91°46′E Guwahati, Assam      India
22°22′N 91°48′E Chittagong      Bangladesh
25°34′N 91°53′E Shillong, Meghalaya      India
11°40′N 92°45′E Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands      India
27°28′N 94°54′E Dibrugarh, Assam      India
5°33′N 95°19′E Banda Aceh      Indonesia
19°45′N 96°06′E Naypyidaw      Myanmar
16°48′N 96°10′E Yangon      Myanmar
3°35′N 98°40′E Medan      Indonesia
7°53′N 98°24′E Phuket      Thailand
18°47′N 98°59′E Chiang Mai      Thailand
9°08′N 99°20′E Surat Thani      Thailand
5°25′N 100°19′E George Town,      Penang      Malaysia
0°57′S 100°21′E Padang      Indonesia
6°07′N 100°22′E Alor   Star,      Kedah      Malaysia
7°01′N 100°28′E Hat   Yai      Thailand
13°45′N 100°29′E Bangkok      Thailand
12°55′N 100°52′E Pattaya      Thailand
4°36′N 101°04′E Ipoh,      Perak      Malaysia
0°32′N 101°27′E Pekanbaru      Indonesia
56°10′N 101°37′E Bratsk      Russia
3°08′N 101°41′E Kuala Lumpur,         Federal Territory      Malaysia
36°38′N 101°46′E Xining,   Qinghai      People’s Republic of China
14°58′N 102°06′E Nakhon Ratchasima      Thailand
6°08′N 102°15′E Kota   Bharu,      Kelantan      Malaysia
2°11′N 102°23′E Malacca Town,      Malacca      Malaysia
17°57′N 102°37′E Vientiane      Laos
25°04′N 102°41′E Kunming,   Yunnan      People’s Republic of China
17°25′N 102°45′E Udon   Thani      Thailand
1°29′N 103°44′E Johor   Bahru,      Johor      Malaysia
36°02′N 103°48′E Lanzhou,   Gansu      People’s Republic of China
1°22′N 103°48′E Singapore      Singapore
13°21′N 103°51′E Siem   Reap      Cambodia
30°39′N 104°04′E Chengdu,   Sichuan      People’s Republic of China
2°59′S 104°45′E Palembang      Indonesia
11°33′N 104°55′E Phnom   Penh      Cambodia

105°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

21°02′N 105°51′E Hanoi      Vietnam
29°33′N 106°30′E Chongqing      People’s Republic of China
20°51′N 106°41′E Hai Phong      Vietnam
10°46′N 106°41′E Ho   Chi Minh City      Vietnam
6°08′S 106°45′E Jakarta      Indonesia
6°36′S 106°48′E Bogor      Indonesia
47°55′N 106°55′E Ulan Bator      Mongolia
6°57′S 107°34′E Bandung      Indonesia
16°28′N 107°36′E Huế      Vietnam
16°04′N 108°14′E Da Nang      Vietnam
22°49′N 108°19′E Nanning, Guangxi      People’s Republic of China
34°16′N 108°54′E Xi’an, Shaanxi      People’s Republic of China
0°0′N 109°20′E Pontianak      Indonesia
1°33′N 110°21′E Kuching,      Sarawak      Malaysia
7°48′S 110°22′E Yogyakarta      Indonesia
6°58′S 110°25′E Semarang      Indonesia
37°52′N 112°33′E Taiyuan, Shanxi      People’s Republic of China
7°58′S 112°37′E Malang      Indonesia
7°14′S 112°44′E Surabaya      Indonesia
23°06′N 113°16′E Guangzhou, Guangdong      People’s Republic of China
22°10′N 113°33′E      Macau      People’s Republic of China
34°45′N 113°38′E Zhengzhou, Henan      People’s Republic of China
23°02′N 113°43′E Dongguan, Guangdong      People’s Republic of China
4°23′N 113°58′E Miri,      Sarawak      Malaysia
22°33′N 114°06′E Shenzhen, Guangdong      People’s Republic of China
22°18′N 114°12′E      Hong Kong      People’s Republic of China
30°34′N 114°16′E Wuhan, Hubei      People’s Republic of China
36°36′N 114°29′E Handan, Hubei      People’s Republic of China
38°02′N 114°30′E Shijiazhuang, Hubei      People’s Republic of China
4°53′N 114°56′E Bandar   Seri Begawan      Brunei
8°39′S 115°13′E Denpasar, Bali      Indonesia
32°31′S 115°43′E Mandurah,      Western   Australia      Australia
31°57′S 115°51′E Perth,      Western   Australia      Australia
5°58′N 116°05′E Kota   Kinabalu,      Sabah      Malaysia
39°54′N 116°24′E Beijing      People’s Republic of China
1°15′S 116°49′E Balikpapan      Indonesia
36°40′N 116°59′E Jinan, Shandong      People’s Republic of China
39°08′N 117°11′E Tianjin      People’s Republic of China
20°18′S 118°36′E Port Hedland,      Western   Australia      Australia
32°03′N 118°46′E Nanjing, Jiangsu      People’s Republic of China
5°8′S 119°25′E Makassar      Indonesia

[edit] 120°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

30°15′N 120°10′E Hangzhou, Zhejiang      People’s Republic of China
22°38′N 120°16′E Kaohsiung      Republic   of China (Taiwan)
36°05′N 120°20′E Qingdao, Shandong      People’s Republic of China
24°09′N 120°40′E Taichung      Republic   of China (Taiwan)
14°35′N 120°58′E Manila      Philippines
14°38′N 121°02′E Quezon City      Philippines
14°33′N 121°02′E Makati City      Philippines
31°12′N 121°30′E Shanghai      People’s Republic of China
25°02′N 121°38′E Taipei      Republic   of China (Taiwan)
39°02′N 121°46′E Dalian, Liaoning      People’s Republic of China
10°41′N 122°33′E Iloilo City      Philippines
6°54′N 122°4′E Zamboanga   City      Philippines
41°47′N 123°27′E Shenyang, Liaoning      People’s Republic of China
9°39’N 123°51’E Tagbilaran      Philippines
10°17′N 123°54′E Cebu City      Philippines
43°53′N 125°19′E Changchun, Jilin      People’s Republic of China
8°33′S 125°35′E Dili      East Timor
39°02′N 125°45′E Pyongyang      North Korea
7°30′N 126°0′E Davao City      Philippines
37°58′N 126°33′E Kaesong      North Korea
45°45′N 126°38′E Harbin, Heilongjiang      People’s Republic of China
37°29′N 126°38′E Incheon      South Korea
37°33′N 126°59′E Seoul      South Korea
39°09′N 127°26′E Wonsan      North Korea
26°20′N 127°48′E Okinawa      Japan
3°42′S 128°10′E Ambon,   Maluku      Indonesia
35°52′N 128°36′E Daegu      South Korea
35°06′N 129°02′E Busan      South Korea
62°02′N 129°44′E Yakutsk      Russia
41°48′N 129°47′E Chongjin      North Korea
33°35′N 130°24′E Fukuoka      Japan
12°27′S 130°50′E Darwin,      Northern Territory      Australia
43°08′N 131°54′E Vladivostok      Russia
34°23′N 132°27′E Hiroshima      Japan
7°21′N 134°28′E Koror      Palau
7°30′N 134°37′E Melekeok      Palau

135°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

34°41′N 135°12′E Kobe      Japan
34°41′N 135°30′E Osaka      Japan
35°01′N 135°46′E Kyoto      Japan
35°11′N 136°54′E Nagoya      Japan
34°55′S 138°36′E Adelaide,      South Australia      Australia
35°27′N 139°38′E Yokohama      Japan
35°31′N 139°42′E Kawasaki      Japan
35°41′N 139°46′E Tokyo      Japan
2°32′S 140°43′E Jayapura      Indonesia
43°04′N 141°21′E Sapporo      Japan
38°09′S 144°21′E Geelong,      Victoria      Australia
13°29′N 144°45′E Hagåtña,      Guam      United States
13°31′N 144°50′E Dededo,      Guam      United States
37°48′S 144°57′E Melbourne,      Victoria      Australia
15°11′N 145°45′E Saipan,      Northern   Mariana Islands      United States
16°55′S 145°46′E Cairns,      Queensland      Australia
19°15′S 146°49′E Townsville,      Queensland      Australia
9°28′S 147°10′E Port   Moresby      Papua New Guinea
42°53′S 147°19′E Hobart,      Tasmania      Australia
35°18′S 149°07′E Canberra,      Australian Capital Territory      Australia

[edit] 150°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

23°22′S 150°30′E Rockhampton,      Queensland      Australia
59°34′N 150°48′E Magadan      Russia
34°26′S 150°53′E Wollongong,      New South Wales      Australia
33°51′S 151°12′E Sydney,      New South Wales      Australia
32°55′S 151°45′E Newcastle,      New South Wales      Australia
7°27′N 151°51′E Weno      Federated States of Micronesia
27°28′S 153°01′E Brisbane,      Queensland      Australia
28°10′S 153°33′E Gold   Coast,      Queensland      Australia
6°55′N 158°11′E Palikir      Federated States of Micronesia
53°01′N 158°39′E Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky      Russia
9°26′S 159°57′E Honiara      Solomon Islands

165°E

Latitude

Longitude

City, State

Country

22°16′S 166°27′E Nouméa, New Caledonia      France
0°33′S 166°55′E Yaren      Nauru
29°04′S 167°58′E Kingston,      Norfolk Island      Australia
17°45′S 168°18′E Port Vila      Vanuatu
46°25′S 168°18′E Invercargill      New Zealand
45°52′S 170°30′E Dunedin      New Zealand
7°04′N 171°16′E Majuro      Marshall Islands
43°32′S 172°37′E Christchurch      New Zealand
1°19′N 172°59′E South   Tarawa      Kiribati
41°17′S 174°46′E Wellington      New Zealand
36°51′S 174°47′E Auckland      New Zealand
37°47′S 175°17′E Hamilton      New Zealand
13°17′S 176°11′E Mata-Utu, Wallis   and Futuna      France
64°44′N 177°30′E Anadyr      Russia
18°08′S 178°26′E Suva      Fiji
8°31′S 179°13′E Funafuti      Tuvalu
16°26′S 179°22′E Labasa      Fiji
9°23′S 179°51′E Nukulaelae      Tuvalu

180° (IDL – International Date Line)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Mom (Wilma, Aunt Wilma, Nana)

Happy Birthday Mom, (Wilma, Aunt Wilma, Nana)

This is the first birthday that I will miss with her.  My mother passed away last year the day before Thanksgiving.  She was 89 years old.  She is missed.  And not just by me.  Wilma Faye Duvall Duvall Clark is missed by almost everyone who ever knew her.  She
didn’t have a mean bone in her body.

My mother’s mother, Mary Tabitha Isabel Pigg Duvall, died when my mother was five years old.  I think this was the defining event of her life.  People who face early tragedy usually go one of two ways, resentment or a profound understanding.  My mother had
sympathy for everyone, but she was no pushover.  She could be tough if she needed to be, but she manifested a love for all other human beings and it was reflected back to her. Neither the loss of her beloved husband Virgil to the brutal stupidity of war, nor the death of my little brother Paul could diminish her ability to bring joy to those around her.

When I was a teenager I got the date of my mother’s birthday wrong.  I thought it was the 28th of September instead of the 24th.  It was a running joke over the years that I would have to ask what was the real date of her birthday.  This 24th of September will be the first that I can’t ask her which day it really is, and then laugh about it.  My mother was a
joyous person, and that is what I miss the most.  But I truly believe that she is watching over me to keep joy in my life.

Perhaps the most amazing thing that has happened to me this summer in San Miguel de Allende is the friendships that I have made, especially at Cielito Lindo.  Cielito Lindo is an
assisted living center a little ways outside of San Miguel.  It is the place that I have been doing my “every Thursday” volunteering.  On Thursdays I go there to sing, and it has been the most wonderful experience of my life.  The residents and staff are my friends, people who share their joy with me and hopefully vice versa.  It is there on those days that I feel my mother’s presence and the miracle that is shared human joy.

That is what I remember about my mother and why I have not had too much time to miss her, because she’s still here.

Go with God Mom.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Medium, Social Median, Social Minimum

The Average, The Middle and The Bottom: Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Much can be said about just about everything, but how it is said and why it is said and by whom it is said really makes a difference.  Discussion is often obscured and distorted by
political, social, and religious advocates by shifting their emphasis between the society as a whole (the average), the man in the middle (the median), and the man at the bottom (the minimum).  The ability to do this is dependent on an ignorant and bigoted populace.  The cure to this is an educated and aware populace.

Everyone in the world should know:

  1. What is their share of the total wealth/income in the world.  In other words are they above, below or at average.
  2. What is their position in the pecking order.  How many are above them and how many are below them?
  3. What is the bottom position?  What share of wealth/income does the least member of society have?

I believe these notions were being addressed at the TEDx conference in San Miguel de Allende on Saturday August 6, 2011.  From the Digital Divide, to the Position of Women and Children in the World, to Education, an awareness of our shared history and culture was demonstrated.  And this was not just a let’s get together so we can feel better about
ourselves meeting of dilettantes.  There were people not just suggesting solutions to the problems they spoke about, these were people who were actually doing things, and they mostly spoke about the things they were doing.  There was an awareness of “privileged position” that most of the speakers and attendees held.  There was also an awareness that
the great middle that holds society together is under assault.  But lastly and most importantly there was a keen awareness of what is happening to those who have not the resources to stand up for themselves and accepting of the roles as advocates for this group.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TEDx, San Miguel de Allende

Attended my first TED event today in San Miguel.  It was great.  Everything I thought about San Miguel becomes truer everyday.  I have never experienced a community like this.  The theme of the conference was Human Energy, Energia Humana.  And human energy was abounding here.  It reminds me of Frederick Soddy who corrected Adam Smith’s three factors of production.  Smith said economic activity was based on Land, Labor and Capital.   Soddy replace those with Human Dilligence, Human Discovery and Natural Energy.  I have seen the new world economy and it is beginning in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

More tomorrow on the individual presenters and the vast amount of Human Energy that was on display, and thank you to everyone who put on this wonderful event.  I am tired and must sleep, but tomorrow is another day.

World Meet World

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Jonah

Happy Birthday Jonah

My father would have been 92 years old today, August 3, 2011.  He didn’t quite make it to 92 though; he passed away last January 2.  He lasted only about 40 days longer than my mother who died the day before Thanksgiving last year.  It made the Holidays interesting.

I always thought that my father was not a happy man.  But I’m not really sure.  You see before Jonah assumed the role of dour Baptist Deacon, he was a poker player.  Not just a poker player, he used to run poker games in my hometown of Greenfield, California in the late 1940s. Jonah had learned to play poker in the army during World War II.  He had just finished basic training when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and didn’t muster out until 1946.

Jonah was the oldest son, one younger brother and eight sisters, in the family of Jasper and Melvina Clark in Newton County, Arkansas.  I think my Dad had to become a full time farm hand at the age of 9 or 10 in 1929.  I don’t think there was much choice, but I don’t think it was a very sweet life.  He spoke of it little.  Poker players don’t reveal their emotions.

Jonah had come to Greenfield to see to his younger brother Norman who had been injured in a car wreck.  Norman had been too young for the war, or to lighten Jonah’s work load as a youth.  Norman was musician, like my Grandfather Jasper, and I hear he was quite good.  Norman was staying with Maymee and Elmer Padgett at the Greenfield Hotel.  He was in a full upper body cast with a broken neck.  The Padgetts cared for Norman and took in my father in as well.  That’s when Jonah put the main skill he had acquired in WWII to use and ran poker games around town.

Jonah had spent most of the war in Little Rock, at Camp Joseph T. Robinson.  I’m not sure if Jasper had enough pull to keep him there, but his luck had run out.  He got shipped to the Philippines and saw action at Leyte Gulf.  His unit was preparing for the invasion of Japan when Truman ordered the Atomic Bomb drops on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  My father seldom talked about politicians but always expressed gratitude to Truman, because he had seen how the Japanese fought. To the death.  Which would have been the death of many Americans as well.

So instead of invasion Jonah and his fellow soldiers just steamed on into Japan and occupied it.  He stayed for a few months and could have stayed more, but he was dog
tired of the army and he mustered out.  My father had a wife in Little Rock and so he headed back there.  His wife was killed in a car wreck two weeks after he got back, something about which he never said much, poker players seldom do.  So when his parents asked him to go to California to see to his little brother, he went.

Jonah’s poker playing and drinking days have a very vague crossover with my conscious memories.  The Greenfield Free Will Baptist Church was the center of his and my Mother’s lives by the time I was really aware of the world.  The fact that I had any memories of it at all was a source of discomfort to Jonah.  That I could remember him drunk and was able to describe how I remembered it was something we never laughed over.  We avoided it.  A poker player does not like other people to be aware of their weaknesses.

As I grew up in Greenfield I always wondered why all the local farmers and business people knew Jonah, but they did.  And it was from poker.  The late 1940s in America was one big party, and it lasted for years.  It did end, but not without a hangover.  My mother landed in Greenfield in 1946 as a young war widow, with her niece Lily Mae.  My parent’s relationship was cemented in a car wreck on a foggy Highway 101 at the south end of Greenfield.  Maymee and Elmer ended up caring for the other Clark brother and my mother helped and they were eventually married 1n 1949.

It was a few years later, my older brother Leon and myself being additions, that my mother had packed us up and was ready to head to her friend’s house in Los Angeles.  Jonah
promised to change his ways and he left the party and he settled down into the person I knew.  He was the steadiest man I ever knew.  He was reliable beyond belief.  And he kept it all to himself.  He never tipped his hand.

And so I had to learn to live my life without parental approval, because if that was what I was looking for I was in for a big disappointment.  If I was going to do the right thing, I better do it for the right reason.  And the right reason has nothing to do with parental approval.  Just as providing and caring for my brothers and myself was never about the affection he received in return.  Because that love and affection waned over the years.

My father  became increasingly distant from his own family.  In later years he took to griping, but his gripe was general.  He didn’t like anything, or so it seemed at times.  But I think it was the poker player in Jonah that just refused to let anyone have any emotional leverage on him.  He had survived so much hurt that he just couldn’t survive any more.

So I can look back at my father and be truly thankful for the things he was, a dependable, faithful, rock solid provider.  Or I can look back and wish for a little more fatherly affection and approval.  Maybe it is a sign of some maturity and I see the first as a gift that so many people would trade just about anything for, and the second as the grousing of an infant.

So as I walk the beautiful streets of San Miguel de Allende and people see my watch and ask me for the time, it is with great pride and affection that I give them the time from Jonah’s watch.

World Meet World

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Simultaneous Global Synergecity

What if the people of the world could share a moment in time?  What would we tell each
other?  What would we show each other?  We hope to find out.    We hope to create a Social Medium that unites our flesh and blood reality with our virtual existence in cyberspace.  We will climb inside time and travel to a whole new space.  We will create a virtual frame of reference for the real world and a real frame of reference for
the virtual world.  We will relate to each other.

Imagine 24 screens arrayed in a circle with each tuned to a live web cam from one of the world’s 24 time zones.  Face the screens outward from the center of the room and you will have a simulated globe.  Or face them inward from the outer edges of the room and you will be able to see the whole world at the same time, but turned inside out.  The technology is not difficult.

But what is does it mean to do or see something at the “same time”?  Simultaneity is relative.  The truth is that we still have trouble defining exactly what is the same time in two or more different place because everything, including ourselves, is moving all the time.  The earth revolves around the sun at the rate of once a year and spins on its axis once a day.  Our spiral galaxy the Milky Way is also spinning.  The 24 Screen World Clock will give everyone who participates 24 points of information that we can examine together.  We can also dance.  For the first time in history the world will have a unified frame of reference in which to ponder all these questions.

World Meet World

Globalization is a term that is bandied about a great deal, but what does it mean?  Does it mean that our world has become nothing more than a playground for multinational
corporations?  Or is there something else going on?  What does it mean to have the
world connected to itself in the manner that the World Wide Web has done?  The world economy has morphed into a distributed computer with individual humans as its processors.  Our individual minds have become part of something larger.  What have we gained and what have we lost?  What is the real nature of Globalization?

We share an orb floating in the vastness of space.  Buckminster Fuller called our planet Space Ship Earth.  Bucky was an optimist.  He believed in the power of human invention
to make our Space Ship a wonderful place.  He was fond of saying that we have the potential to all live as billionaires. Space Ship Earth has come to resemble more what I call Cruise Ship Earth.  On Cruise Ship Earth a huge Casino occupies the upper portions.  The
Players occupy the deck and the cabins with windows.  The gaming tables are surrounded with luxury restaurants and bars.  There are some quite comfortable cabins for the cooks and stewards and courtesans.  The maids and janitors have adequate, if small, lodgings.  But the great bulk of humanity lives in steerage.

On each equinox the sun shines just about the same on everyone on earth.  Our existence on earth is dependent on this powerful light.  We are also dependent upon another powerful force, money.  Unfortunately money does not have the cyclical nature of our beloved sun.  With money it seems that them that has gets, and them that don’t have don’t get, until somebody has it all.  That fellah Jesus said something like that a long time ago.
Buckminster Fuller dedicated his life to “the search for the principles governing the universe and help advance the evolution of humanity in accordance with them… finding ways of doing more with less to the end that all people everywhere can have more and more”.  That is the goal of World Meet World Human Equinox.

The World Meet World Human Equinox is a new type of social medium.  It will let you, the intelligent and ambitious young people of the world, meet each other in a place where it will be apparent that you have far more interest in elevating those below you on the economic ladder than you do in deferring to those above you.  They are your potential customers.  The free market is based on mutual aid.  Rewarding the producer who makes the best television set or the best ice cream is in everyone’s interest but that positive reinforcement has no relation to the withholding of the means of survival until workers will accept any wage that is offered.  Poverty harms us all. In a global economy the well being of the poorest person in the world is the leading indicator of where we are all headed.  We need a Social Medium that will show us that.

I spend a lot of time knocking multinational corporations?  Does it mean that I believe that all the employees and stock holders are evil?  I have used Google ten to twelve times while writing this.  I have used Microsoft Publisher for all my geometric renderings in my company Math for the Ages.  So if they are evil, I share in the guilt.  But there comes a time when we all must face the world as it is.  The World Meet World Human Equinox is this point in time. Twice each year the day and night are roughly equal everywhere in the world.  What if the economy could have an equinox on a regular basis?  How would a Human Equinox change us?  Let’s have a big Global Party and find out.

Take Part!

Think of a human being alone against the elements.  Survival itself would be a continuous and difficult struggle, with the outcome in doubt. Then think of a human being in modern society.  Human identity has become further and further removed from our physical, natural environment.   We have been on the path of personal specialization for several millennia and our virtual world has accelerated that to light speed.  We enhance each other’s productivity exponentially.  The impact of six billion thinking consumers and thinking producers interacting with six billion creators and discoverers so completely outweighs any current conception of “economic value” as to not be comparable.  It is worth more than all of the “money” that has ever existed.

Here’s what we face.  Every day is an auction, but the great majority of people are not
bidders, they are merchandise.  Slavery has returned to the world and is more wide spread today than at any time in human history. Every day is an economy.  Every day every person needs food clothing and shelter.  I believe that our collective intelligence can solve the problem of poverty.  As I’ve talked about earlier in this blog, I have proposed solutions, as well as others.  Let’s make a thorough going knowledge of the nature and functioning of money an important part of our world consciousness.

The Social Dividend/Basic Income is the most promising idea available on the planet today.  The work of BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network) and USBIG (United States Basic Income Guarantee) deserve the attention of everyone on the planet.  Giving an equal grant of cash to every person on the planet is neither politically right nor left in nature.  The impact of channeling a regular, equal payment of money to every person on earth would be astounding.  Free markets would flourish everywhere.  Trade would be based on mutual advantage and not physical dominance.

This would usher in what 20th century philosopher Walter Russell called Rhythmic Balanced Interchange.  Russell believed that all human minds are but extensions of the single mind of God.  He also believed that God manifests through light.  The internet is nothing less than a global light network waiting for us to put it into its full function as a universal manifestation of God’s love for humanity.  This love extends to every person on this planet.  Our main vehicle of light communication is money.  That light must shine on every person everywhere.

The existing money systems could be left in place, but their principal function of control through deprivation would be destroyed.  This would eventually render them irrelevant.  These systems are telling us that we must all be sentenced to at least a generation of deprivation.  The productive increases created by bringing the full benefit of the free market to everyone would permit a leveraged buyout of the entire current economy with pocket change.

This shared recognition of our mutual value to each other is alive and growing in our world.  It communicates now through a process that Psychologist Carl Jung called
Synchronicity.  It is the process by which seemingly unconnected individuals and unconnected incidents come together in a manner that cannot be explained by our normal matrix of cause and effect.  It is what writer Robert Anton Wilson called Cosmic Coincidence Control.  It is the growing awareness that perhaps human beings are connected at a level that is beyond space and time.  The World Meet World Human Equinox seeks to give this feeling, this idea, this movement a home.  It is a Social Medium that goes beyond holding a mirror to each other and seeks to go through the mirror Alice in Wonderland style to a new Social Context.

It is the Synergecity.

World Meet World.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment