Austerity riots. I'm annoyed by them. First the rioters seem like spoiled children demanding the grown-ups figure out a way to make life a permanent Disneyland when any reasonable person realizes that their wish is logistically impossible. Then I feel annoyed about being annoyed by the rioters because I feel like a reactive pawn of some collective banking industry that has brainwashed me with carefully crafted lies. There is no winning. But the riots have acted as a muse of sorts:
In the late Eighties a friend gave me "Atlas Shrugged" to read right after we graduated high school. It was intriguing. Hazy recollections of feeling that personal responsibility and rugged individualism were the only moral way of life. Absolute fairness! Had to watch out for bad people who wanted to manipulate their way into things they didn't earn.
Was it the mid-Nineties that Bono of U2 argued to some G7 summit that all debts accumulated by third world countries should be forgiven? After all, the debts were created by corrupt leaders of those countries who didn't use the money to help the citizens. On top of that, the payments on these corrupt loans were taking cash needed to finance projects that actually would help the citizens. Clean water and such. Its a very hazy recollection, but I recall thinking "Well that makes sense and seems ethicially to be the right thing to do". Sure, some nameless investors would lose money in the default, but they were bastards who shouldn't have been lending to other bastards who were clearly lying about using the funds for civic endeavors.
About a decade later I came across some mind-bending books on evolutionary biology. Soon, the CDS situation was spiralling out of control. I was curious and learned all sorts of horrendous things about the Federal Reserve system and the US financial system in general. I couldn't believe that educated people in suits created such sloppy work. And that the rest of us weren't even paying attention even though the sloppy work permutated nearly ever aspect of our physical existance. Sobering, no? This research led me to the Sudden Debt blogsite where an insider named Hell explained much of multifaceted horror along with a devotion to alternative energy since (well, one reason was saving the environment which seems like a good idea in general) the thermodynamic accounting wasn't balancing out any more with hydrocarbons. The blogsite also carried a mad genius commenter named Thai. He worked at light speed with complex ideas shooting off in all directions. Fairness perception in game theory experiments. Scaling benefits of cooperation. Zero sum, breaking symmetry, and fractals. It was a blur of mind-bending (mind-breaking at times) idea candy.
So take all these puzzle pieces of knowledge and/or beliefs and fit them into a coherent, flowing picture. Well, not today obviously ;)
Total USA Debt
6 months ago