Roland Dürre
Thursday August 22nd, 2019

Money.

Virtual and digital.

Im Smoking – es geht zur Gala. 

Wearing my Smoking – on the way to the Gala.

Money has always fascinated me. Not only because you can buy everything with it, but also because it is something virtual with important functions and with immense strength and power.

Money is a virtual commodity. It needs belief and symbols If you want it to fulfil its purpose, you actually need an almost absurd belief in the value of money. Because nobody wants to spend anything he values without getting something real and secure in return.

Money will work as a currency if a huge collective unit accepts it as “valuable”. If you have no majority of people in a society who believe in it, then you can forget about it.

In terms of architecture and functionality, money has two functions.

First and foremost, money is a

I. means of payment

that simplifies the exchange of goods, perhaps even enables it. But it also has a second function that you want to strictly separate from the first. It is about money to be paid back in the future, generally also called “debts“, along with “providing“.

II. Financing the present and providing for the future

In this context, we now get the additional dimension of time. You can accumulate money in order to provide for your future. It is called saving.

You can also try to improve the present at the cost of a future. In other words, I can buy and get and use something today but pay for it (a lot) later or in instalments. For instance because I have no money today but assume to have money tomorrow. For whatever reasons.

This is how I can build a house with borrowed money. This is how you also generate income from capital or rights. All I have to do is find someone who believes me when I say that I will pay my debt back tomorrow, i.e. at a defined time in the future.

Both – saving and borrowing – precludes that the currency will remain stable as time goes by. But that is seldom happening. However, before we deal with the phenomenon inflation, let us talk about interest.

After all, this covering of time only became possible through interest. Now, if you owned more money than you needed (in other words, if you were rich), you could give the money you did not need to someone who needed it. This person (also called debtor) could buy what he needed and had to pay interest for being given money. And he could calculate how much more he had to pay for something he needs immediately.

If you talk interest, you immediately also need to talk inflation. If, for instance, the inflation is higher than the interest rate, then you can become rich by indebting yourself – totally without any work. And this is how “the devil will always shit on a huge pile of shit”. In other words: poor and rich automatically build opposing poles.

As I said earlier, money has always been a virtual commodity. It has often been represented by actual things (coins, paper notes). If you had these objects, you were able to take part in the property game.

Typically, the objects were special things, like coins or paper.

As civilization progressed, you could generate your own money. All you needed was the trust of your business partners. Laws and the debt tower improved your security. For instance, you could formulate debt contracts as bills of exchange and received goods against an unconditional pledge of payment for a certain time in the future.

Today, we have less and less objects that represent money. This is how money becomes an entry in a global book that describes who the money belongs to. The global book is realized and kept by a complex banking system. It is called technological advance that this book is now no longer written on paper but digitally administered.

With Blockchain technology, they now try to do this accounting in a digital, decentralized and global manner. In particular, they want to be independent from central service providers, mostly with camouflaged identities, which means the owners can register through their sw system and need not lay open their authenticity.

Mostly, however, these currencies are still linked to state systems. And the money is administered by private enterprises, the banks. That makes sense, because historically, it has been assumed that countries cannot become bankrupt. After all, everything belongs to them and they can always take the money from their citizens.

But in reality, it is the trust of the citizens in their country and its currency that carries the system. If this trust is no longer there, the currency can easily be dead. It happened several times in the past, and the consequences were always catastrophic.

So modern currencies like the dollar, the Euro or the Renminbi can easily die. Even if it sounds unimaginable to us, it can easily happen. Without the function of money, business life is not imaginable.

Mental experiment:
What would happen in such an event?

The answer seems simple.
New currencies would have to come. The necessary requirement is that the people trust in them. Such a trust can best be generated in groups that share mental concepts.

Nobody ever said these groups have to be state regulated. These communities should be huge. The biggest communities we find are those in the internet. Consequently, the idea that huge internet enterprises should carry these communities sounds logical.

This is why I see a facebook currency (for example) in a different light. And I believe it would be a good idea if we prepared for such a currency. Simply to have something on standby if the dollar, the Euro, or the Renminbi (or all of them) will collaps.

Let me be clear about this:
It might happen that, in our country, currencies that we have discriminated against and fought, like the LIBRA, will suddenly become saviours of the world-wide business life. If, for instance, the three currencies collaps, where are we supposed to take our money?

It might happen faster than we would like it to happen.

Here is another difference between Libra and similar currencies and Bitcoin:

When all is said and done, what facebook wants to do is organize a faith group currency. LIBRA will probably become a classical, purely digital antiquated currency. It has nothing to do with a crypto currency. Bitcoin is totally different – the distinctive criterion is that the owners are camouflaged behind their software and their registration and remain anonymous. However, it seems to me that anonymous property is not something we want in our society. And even with Bitcoin, you only get it in theory. If nobody else, then at least the miners prevent it.

nd here is a cynical question: I could easily imagine the catholic church as provider of an internet currency. There are still many people who trust in it – and there is a great argument in favour of such a provider – the enterprise has 2,000 years of success behind it.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Saturday August 17th, 2019

Growth.

Chess is not the only area where, once in a while, you should use your brains.

To me, it seems clear that humanity, that is we all, must produce LESS. That means

– fewer cars,

– fewer planes,

– fewer tanks,

– fewer machines,

– fewer streets,

– fewer electronic devices,

– fewer buildings,

– less concrete and tar,

– fewer wars,

– less plastic,

– less waste,

– less meat,

– less CO2 …

– and so on.

It goes without saying that we also have to use up, or, better said, “destroy”, less oil, coal and gas, as well as soil and nature. Perhaps we should also stop making more and more water reservoirs, because in the long run, it is rather doubtful if they are very beneficial, whereas the damage they do is quite obvious. In general, we should completely stop with how we affect nature.

I see a lot of GROWTH potential for this list that tells us all the things we should do LESS of. To put it broadly: we should do fewer stupid things!

In other words, it is clear that growth as a general healer is a thing of the past. Thus, whenever you hear news about the economy growing, this is bad news. And if you hear about “negative growth“, then this is good news.

As always, the huge political and economic goal of our times is GROWTH! And what do the institutions we humans installed, such as governments and central banks, do? With their money market policy, they try to support, even force, growth world-wide. Even such strange tools as “negative interest rates“ are applied. Just to give the great fire of the economy some fuel at all costs.

The BREXIT is a good example. Whenever I hear people who criticize the Brexit, the main argument I hear is that the BREXIT will not only minimize the prosperity and economic growth of the Brits, but also that of all of us. But wouldn’t that be good news for the world? One might conclude that we need many many BREXITs and a totally new and different form of globalization.

For the sake of growth, we have negative interest rates. However, they do not bring us “social justice”. On the contrary, they create an even stronger polarization between the poor and the rich. I never understood them.

Whenever I let someone else have money, there is always a real risk that I will not get it back. So why would I let someone have my money if I know in advance that, in addition to the risk of losing it, I also get back less than I gave?

The evolution forces our society both individually and collectively to struggle against growth. By now, we even have laws that require LESS. And since politics do not want to act, they now appeal morally to the individual person. Fly less, eat less meat, and similar calls are heard all over the place. Since politics are incapable of doing their job, the problem is now handed back to the citizen.

Thus, we get a schizophrenic system. To me, our perverted economic system looks like a steam engine. The banks and politics put in more and more, thus increasing the pressure. The people try to impede the machines that are processed by the steam engine in order to minimize the mania.

Normally, what you get is a big bang. Which is the consequence of very ordinary system failure.

However, it is more than doubtful if, in a capitalist system, it is possible at all to break free from the growth-oriented environmental destruction and from the fossil exploitation in favour of a sustainable and circular economy without questioning the basic principles of capitalism.

But why is LESS so hard? My personal experience with LESS is very positive. Consequently, I tell myself: how nice would it be to have a voluntary, creative and collective LESS policy.

Less noise, less waste, less destruction. That would really be a huge transformation with lots of change, including the governing capitalist metrics. If we had such an innovative process, a lot would be destroyed. Because innovation is creative destruction.

However, there must be someone who controls the transformation process and tries to assuage the consequences. Who could that someone be?

Politics? They currently discuss the soli. It might be a good idea to re-organize it, instead of abolishing it. Let us forget about re-unification. And let us use the soli in order to alleviate the downward spiral for those who, predictably, will suffer from the transformation that is necessary in order to save the planet. After all, the consequences of said transformation will probably be more dramatic than those we had after the re-unification.

The transformation will come no matter what. And unless we get under way instead of procrastinating, it will come by itself. And it will probably be rather disruptive and hit us even harder.

Our politicians are definitely procrastinators (Prokrastination).

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday August 11th, 2019

(Deutsch) Die CLOUD im Theater.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Saturday August 3rd, 2019

The Art of Braking

 

The hyperloop secret.

 

Schema des Hyperloops
(from: Wikipedia)

Among other things, I also mentioned Elon Musk in my last . Let us look at another one of his topics: the . It is also one of the high-technology projects/ideas where Elon Musk invests.

The underlying idea is simply that land-oriented vehicles  are easier to move around in an evacuated  tube than in fresh air. Typically, land-oriented vehicles use wheels (railway), but sometimes they are magnetic levitation trains or hovercrafts

 

 

As I see it, the specialty about hyperloop is that it has been generated as an open source project, i.e. the findings are commonly available. There is also a competition, which is held every year in a test tube in Los Angeles. The vehicle with the maximum final speed wins. Mostly, the participants are teams from universities.

The TU München won this competition several times. This year,  they also won it. I find this quite remarkable. Consequently, I asked the question: “how can a team from a country like Germany that is no longer the leader in technology and digitally win such a competition?” 

The answer is remarkably easy:
The length of the test distance  is finite. So far, the pods pass a tube that is only 1,200 metres long. And the TUM team soon realized that the top speed correlates both with the time and the distance you can use for acceleration. So the first goal must be to minimize the brake distance, because this is how you have as many metres as possible for acceleration.

And – sorry for this cynical remark – as everybody knows, when it comes to braking, we Germany are really great. Consequently, the vehicle  WARR of TUM (note the naming) has the best braking system of all the vehicles in the competition. Thus, it can still accelerate when the competition is already braking.

For his Hyperloop contest 2020, Elon Musk plans with a distance of around ten kilometres, including a bend. Maybe the braking advantage of WARR will no longer be so pronounced then.

Regardless, it will still be true that:
if you want to be fast, you first need to learn how to brake. Because since the total path is limited, you need to find a way to use as much distance as possible for acceleration.

Here is a nice metaphor for life:
If you want to be fast, first learn how to brake! 

RMD

 

Klaus Hnilica
Friday August 2nd, 2019

It Can Be Done With White – I Know …

Dear Roland,

I understand your desire to promote freedom and your solid belief that this vision of yours must be something we can achieve on this planet (see:  http://if-blog.de/rd/die-teekanne-und-der-frieden/ ), but in my view, the future of the world is white.

Because if our earth were basically white, all would be well. With a little white paint and minimal gen manipulations, this is actually far easier to achieve than, for instance, a removal of the anti-peace testosterone from the male sex.

And the climate change that everybody laments would be practically non-existent, since a white planet would reflect more of the sun’s rays and thus the warming of the earth would be impossible. Moreover, the entire biosphere – i.e. all plants and creatures – would have gotten used to the colour white eons ago. At least in those parts where winter was a matter of course.

But even apart from this, in a white world, all potential conflicts would solve themselves in a white fog: all racism would be obsolete, because all humans would be white. White facial and top hair would further reduce the difference between generations and sexes, especially if everybody wore white clothes.

The number of books would be drastically reduced, because white print on white paper would provide us with totally new perspectives and every man, woman and child would need only one book. Besides, it would be totally irrelevant how many pages such a book has. Except in those cases where you need a particularly thick or thin book in order to stabilize a tilting table.

This aspect would be similarly dramatic in art and photography, thereby reducing the common capitalist intrigues in the art scene to a minimum. And all lamentation that this would mean that such a measure removes the yellow of the egg would be of no consequence, because you would only have the white of the egg. Not to mention the world-wide scourge of humanity: colour blindness. In a single stroke, all humanity would get rid of it once and for all.

Written hate messages would no longer exist in a white world, because if you use white writing on a white surface, you cannot do much and thus you cannot spread hatred. The powerful concerns Appel, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon would have a totally new face in such a world, their stock market value would certainly dwindle to almost nothing or even become zero.

The same would be true for the entire digitalization in general.
And if, in addition, by way of a minimal orthographic reform, the words white and wise were to become synonymous, then this would not only make us all white citizens and voters, but even wise citizens and voters who all would be living in eternal contentment and peace! However, you could not really prove any of this because all white reasoning, even if it were extremely wise, would be invisible on a white background… …

K H
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday August 1st, 2019

The Teapot and Peace.

The video below was produced by the Schweizer Rundfunk (SRF Kultur). To me, it looks like something you might want to use as curriculum for teaching ethics in Bavarian schools. But I am afraid it will probably not be used. Except maybe if our Prime Minister Markus Söder decrees it in dictatorship manner.

My personal problem is that I actually feel like the protagonist of the video (who is called “Tea-ist”). Except that I do not believe in the teapot with its special orbit around the sun between the Mars and the Earth.

In fact, my belief is far more eccentric and consequently I am even more of an outsider: I believe that we could have PEACE world-wide (in Germany, Europe and globally) and that we could easily do without all the armament industry and its products.

I am well aware of the fact that this is a rather extreme belief and that I am lucky not to be kept between bars for it. But there is hope!

For instance, Elon Musk is said to have sent a Tesla-Cabrio into space and said vehicle has been orbiting there for some time already. To be sure, the disadvantage is that even as a space hiker, you can now be hit by a car.

But it is also possible that Elon will read my article and watch the video. And since he is a good person, he might just feel pity with the protagonist in the video and send a teapot into orbit. If it turns out that the teapot finds it hard to keep course, I am sure he will manage to design a solar-powered engine for the teapot. If anyone can do it, he can!

That would mean that the Tea-ist in the video would suddenly be correct. Perhaps said teapot in space, along with my article and the video, could even advertise a little more PEACE. And then the day will come when my vision will become reality.

Well, to be perfectly honest: I do not really believe it. I think it is more likely that AUDI will send a SUV into space. After all, they now want to teach TESLA about electric automobiles. And an AUDI is really something to be afraid of, isn’t it?

RMD

P.S.
If you use the tag filosix, you will find more extremely demanding and entertaining, and, above all, short videos on philosophical topics.