Pirates Reportedly Pumping Refugee Stomachs for Profit in Somalia

September 21, 2011

September 21, 2011

MOGADISHU – Pirates active in the East Africa region have been reportedly pumping food out of the stomachs of starving famine victims and then selling the product at local markets.  Famine victims are routinely given food by aid distributors in refugee camps, and journalists from the west will often even photograph the famine victims eating the food, before the pirates come and steal it directly from the stomachs of famine victims.

Over a million deaths are expected to occur, a majority being children.

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Solyndra Bankruptcy = China d. USA

September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011

For those of you concerned about the Solyndra bankruptcy, I can explain it in a sentence: The Chinese have outcompeted the USA, yet again, in manufacturing, and as a result, another American company shuts down because it cannot compete with the dropping price of, in this case, solar energy.

Our world is filled with energy, and we're still learning how to collect it and efficiently put it to use

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Declare Independence

August 15, 2011

For all our stoic attitudes, our cowboy-mentalities, suburban homes, SUVs, and Randian philosopies, America is, ironically, one of the most dependent nations on Earth.

American dependence is quantified as the light yellow shaded area of the graph

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Debt Downgrade and the Student Loan Bubble

August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011

Debtpocalypse continues!

The cost of money has just gone up.  It makes sense, really, that this happened, but the disappointing part is that it was totally avoidable.

And S&P directly blames the GOP. Interesting.

the finger = bankruptcy power for student loans

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Macrohumans

August 1, 2011

August 1. 2011

Macrohuman: A group of human beings that uses communication to work in synchronization and harmony toward goals.  Some macrohumans collect taxes from citizens- this special kind of macrohuman is my current focus.

New Social Contract: Taxpayers should (but often don’t) get a say in how their tax revenues are used, regardless of whether those taxes are collected by public or private entities.

Tax: An expense which is mandatory for participation in society.  This includes property, sales, and income tax, but it also includes rent or mortgage, food, hygiene products, clothes, and everything else required for purchase in order to be considered a member of society worthy of receiving a living wage.

Ownership: is the confluence of responsibility and control

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The Secret, Bigger Bail Out

July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011


The Fed secretly gave out over $16 trillion to banks during the bailout.

The previously reported figure was closer to 1 or 2 trillion.  US gdp in 2010 was $14.7 trillion.  This is like a guy making $50k a year giving a $40k, 0% interest loan to his gambling addict brother-in-law, but hiding it from his wife.

Conflicts of interest abound, for example, “the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed’s board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed.”

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Bait and switch law school

July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011

Self storage, first month free!

Giving away storage free for a month may seem like a bad business practice.  Why would you ever give away the only thing you sell when you’re a for-profit business?  How many gas stations or grocery stores do you see doing this?

It’s actually a very clever technique, and it works well anytime a customer makes a long term commitment to a vendor.  It’s the same reason law schools give away so many merit-based scholarships to incoming students.

They get you in the door, using their services, and then poof!  You have to start paying huge cash – or change your lifestyle.  Whether it’s a lifestyle change that involves spending a weekend or two emptying out a storage unit, or dropping out of law school – which I did recently – it’s not something anyone would really prefer to do.

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California Kluge

June 26, 2011

June 26, 2011

The Cause of the California Budget Crisis

…isn’t complicated.  Yesterday’s politicians spent more money than we gave them, and now it’s time to pay their bills.

The more people who are in control of a system, the more the system is abused and will tend toward failure.  In California, not dozens, but hundreds of politicians have made choices to simply spend tomorrow’s money today, and we are now drowning in those debts.

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The King Has Raised Taxes Again

June 20, 2011

…without even the courtesy of asking you for permission.

June 20, 2011 – Happy Summer Solstice!

Taxes are expenses which are mandatory for societal participation. For some reason, we’ve had this confused for a long time – and we think that government taxes are different than private taxes.

Newflash: corporations are equivalent to governments from the individual’s perspective.  Corporations assess private taxes.  Private taxes are, for some reason, not transparent, totally secret, and totally inefficient.  Any kind of long-term economic profit is inefficient for society.  Check out the long term economic profit made by the 5 largest “energy” aka oil companies in the world -

BP, Conoco Phillips, Chevron, Exxon, and Shell have all made over $30 billion in profit this year. Profit means that they have covered their costs, and the extra left over, when everyone goes home, is $30 billion.  That’s billion with a B.  Like, 30 thousand million.

$30000000000.00

But that’s *their* money. They earned it. They’re a private organization. It’s none of our business what they do with the money.

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Art, Not Ads

May 10, 2011

11-7-2010

In his piece on NFL advertising, Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner argues that the NFL should relax its limitations on advertising, so as to bring its rules more in line with organizations like European league soccer.  He makes this argument based on two main reasons.  First, the fans in Europe are used to it, and they don’t mind.  Americans, too, would grow accustomed to such advertising.  Second, it would generate an enormous amount of money.  They’d be able to pay their players more.  When one fan of the Buffalo Bills was asked if he’d be upset if advertising was allowed on the Bills’ jerseys, he responded by saying, “If it helps them win, I’d be all for it.”  Dubner uses this to imply that increased advertising revenue would help teams win, because he leaves the fan’s quote at that.

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Aggressive Debt Collectors

April 19, 2011

April 19, 2011

“They said things like, ‘We know your father has been molesting you. Why don’t you have him take his cock out of your ass and stick it in your mouth? You know you like it. Why don’t you have your wife come over here and give us blow jobs? You’re a loser. Why don’t you jump in front of a train and kill yourself?’ I recorded all of it and sent it to my attorney, Joseph Mauro.”  Bart Bryant recalls his interactions with a collections agency in a recent article from Alternet, documenting the practices of today’s debt collectors.

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World Bank Chief: The World May Lose a Generation

April 17, 2011

April 17, 2011

“It’s probably too much to say that it’s a jobless recovery, but it’s certainly a recovery with not enough jobs… Especially because of youth unemployment… There is now a risk that this will be turned into a life sentence, and that there is a possibility of a lost generation,” said Robert Zoellick, as quoted by a recent BBC article (emphasis added).

Mr. Zoellick was using the phrase with poorer nations in mind, but I’m sure that he’d agree that this problem affects all nations in one way or another.

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America's Secret Top Priority

March 20, 2011

March 20, 2011

In every relationship, one person is better at a few things than the other.  My fiancée is better than I am with computer software.  She surfs the internet more efficiently, and she can learn anything from the internet faster than I can.  It’s not that I’m bad at it, it’s just that she’s better.

Economically, the United States and China share a similar relationship.  Perhaps the US is better with innovation, but China owns manufacturing.  This relationship is the focus of our present discussion.

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Fragmentation

February 24, 2011

February 24, 2011

From a young age, most Americans are taught that each person has two lives.  The “personal life,” and the “professional life.”

Our personal lives are our relax time.  Our professional lives are for productivity, which always ultimately means simply being profitable.  It’s not good when the two lives mix, so you better keep them separate.

Apparently, something magical happens when we get in our cars and drive into rush hour.  Aside from relaxing into the comfort of our prized automobile, we become a new person.  Someone totally different.  This fragmentation is a fundamental problem in our society.

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Defining the Self

February 13, 2011

Febuary 13, 2011

Part 2 of 5 in a series describing the Pythagorean perspective of Economics and Society

Foundation

It is a common misconception that economics is simply about money.  Money is only useful when it is being handed from one person to another.  Without people, money is nothing.  So it is intrinsically crucial in our understanding of money that we understand the individuals that use it.  This second post out of five is intended to lay out our understanding of money in terms of people, so we must first define what a “person” is.

Note: Neuroeconomics is fascinating, but it will only give us more tools to understand reality.  The only way we might advance our understanding is by using tools.  We can bypass a lot of irrelevancy by making a few simple assumptions about the human mind.

Stating the Question

We’ve wondered for so long after the question, “What is consciousness?”  This question is one of Michael Hanlon’s 10 questions that science cannot yet answer. read more

Economics, The Pythagorean Perspective of

February 2, 2011

2/2/2011

Part 1 of a 5 part series introducing the Pythagorean perspective of economics.  At no point is the intention to imply that this series will fully encompass the discussion of economics on Pythagoreanism.com.

Overview: This article is the first in a series on economics, the state of the American (and more generally, the world) economy.  The central thesis is that there are fundamental flaws with our economic system.  To some, this may seem like a timid thesis, but when sufficiently proved, the implications are profound and far reaching.  The series will point out some major flaws with our economic system, and will suggest some methods for fixing them.  This post introduces the attitude, direction, and perspective of the kind of analysis which will follow.

Education, Economics and Society

As shown here on Pythagoreanism, our education system has serious problems.  Previous articles on Pythagoreanism sufficiently prove this point, but barely scratch the surface of the kinds of issues that exist for modern education.  This series discusses economics, which has significant and interesting overlaps with education.  But this discussion proceeds with a completely different perspective than 99% of what most economists prefer to focus upon.  The problems with economics are so deeply ingrained that a restructuring of society is necessary to fix everything. read more

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