The Infinite Meaning of Meaning

Some people see meaning when it just isn’t there.

But maybe it is – just not in the way you think.

And who am I to presume what you’re (not) thinking?

Start again.

There is meaning.

Perhaps more meaning.

Than.

I.

Realised.

But the pre-meditated, agenda-pushing, social engineering nature of this message may not be as clear as a Chanel or a Tory Saatchi ad.

What would Barthes say?

And what of Jung?

Is my shadow bursting out of the shadows?

Are my deepest most repressed desires all simply masquerading themselves via randomness?

Or has an experiment in image generation let me colonise semiotic space by repurposing otherwise dormant media so as to to operationalise my own bit of harm reduction?

maybe

such undertakings leave little to the imagination.

Di(c)e-Sect a.k.a. Random De’ath Cult

Speaking of Rednecks / Bannonites:

Kulchur

Ezra Pound starts his defence of totalitarianism known as the Guide to Kulchur with a reference to a conversation involving a Chinese Philosopher on the topic of government, law & language.

The first thing is to agree the terms. He prints Chinese ideograms. Some repeat.

 

 

 

 

So Pound is against the Clouding, the Vagueness, the Shadow.

The double standards.

The lack of a go to point where meaning is meaning and not Machiavellian semantic gymnastics.

We have this today with Shadow Banking which is an activity in which all major banks are players — and with the use of this word Regulation.

Once we go into the regulatory space then it becomes a civil matter.

No such thing as a Corporate Criminal!

And the Police will tell you to call your lawyer.

Brexit means Brexit.

Q: What do you like about Pepsi?

A: It is the Taste of a New Generation.

When marketing bleeds into news you have a world full of shadows.

From the flickering light of the Sun as viewed indirectly from inside the Cave to the Electric Flicker of the Mobile Smart Phone competing for your attention with actual traffic and real world goings on.

Have we become fully Cyborg? Part Man Part Machine.

Of course there would be no advertising per se in a truly totalitarian society. Advertising is driven by tapping into people’s free desires. So what is the difference between today’s China and ‘the West’? Or Russia for that matter?

We are amusing ourselves to death. 

Shirley Robin Letwin in her On the Idea of Law references Plato’s idea that if a law is wrong, it must stay wrong  until it is updated. In some systems this would have been every five years.

Better there be injustice for all till the bad law is updated – or instead everyone will turn a blind eye to the bad law – and the good law as well!

They say the best way to get rid of a stupid law is to apply it fully — to the letter.

As Mencken said :

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Does this make Shirley Letwin, Ezra Pound and Ayn Rand Crypto-Fascist Proto-Platonists?

Who wants the Law updated every five minutes?

Now that we have access to real-time updates and big data, continuous consultation could be an imminent reality.

Nothing describes the pitfalls of modern British politics better than the closing scene of The Rise of Michael Rimmer.

Discrete vs Continuous

A bit of continuity might help. Walter Lippmann, in Public Opinion, refers to those people who lived in peace after war had been declared simply because they hadn’t yet heard the war had started.

In the same way there are those for whom there will never be peace.

Permanently living in the subjunctive.

The role of fiction & theatre for the anti-truthers.

The rapidity with which truth subverts itself to reveal yet more truth at a scale so granular as to elude reasonable immediate inspection yet somehow capable of permeating through to all.

One has to either be very clever or try very hard not to feel it. Our society excels at both. From the outstanding declarative to the merely procedural.

From neoteny to phylogeny. The Master and his Emissary. Left Brain / Right Brain. Iain McGilchrist.

The recreation of the journey of human consciousness from zygote to foetus to birth – thousands of generations of evolution in just nine months.

Laputa

Jonathan Swift’s mysterious flying island of Laputa features in two places of significance for me.

At the beginning of Nicholas Dunbar’s Inventing Money – on the downfall of the Long Term Capital Management Hedge Fund staffed by Economics Nobel Prizewinners who perhaps should have known better. LTCM’s collapse was a notable pre-cursor to our post 2008 too big to fail bailout culture.

And in Alfred Korzybski’s Science and Sanity as recommended by the wonderful Robert Anton Wilson.

Science and Sanity was published in 1933 and opens  with a quote about the mysterious flying island of Laputa in Gulliver’s Travels.

The Laputans’ collective consciousness enabled the island to fly.

Was Swift satirising scientists? Full of knowledge but lacking basic wisdom?

The island was a place where they were very good at music and mathematics and interested in little else.

not unlike our current love of sharing songs on social media to help marketing firms target us with the data we generate:

If you look at the bottom of the image above, I like how the guy who came up with the term self fulfilling prophesy also wrote a book called Mass Persuasion.

And spawned a mathematician, Robert C Merton,  who, with Fisher Black and Myron Scholes, created a derivative pricing mathematical model which in non financial engineering terms could legitimately be described as a money machine.

Shun peer pressure from social media or the internet. If you reveal your opinion to a group with strong views, the sociologist Robert K. Merton has warned, the ensuing debate becomes more “a battle for status” than “a search for truth.” Instead, get a second opinion from one or two people you know and can trust to tell you if they think you are wrong.

But as Donald Mackenzie of the University of Edinburgh points out in – It’s an Engine Not a Camera – the point of these mathematical models which are based on imperfect economic and psychological assumptions is not to be correct.

They are simply designed to make money!

And if they go wrong – we shouldn’t be surprised because truth was never their purpose.

A source of confusion when marketing rubs shoulders with fact.

When the Calculus was invented many scientists went around saying that what they had discovered was wonderful but they didn’t know why it worked.

In the case of financial engineering, the bottom line is the bottom line.

Korzybski said:

The Map is not the Territory – The Menu is not the Meal.

Bit like Magritte:

And his pipe:

Took me forever to realise that it’s not a pipe – but an image of a pipe.

Korzybski speaks of abstraction:

There are no illusions. Only what we abstract.

Neil Postman, follower of Marshall McLuhan fused his Medium is the Message argument with George Lakoff’s Metaphors we Live By to produce: The Medium is the Metaphor in the first chapter of his 1985 work: Amusing Ourselves to Death.

McCluhan was a Catholic and heavily influenced by GK Chesterton who also influenced Jorge Luis Borges.

Borges is himself referenced in Dunbar’s Inventing Money.

The Garden of Forking Paths is quoted in reference to option pricing. So many possible futures. We happen to be friends in this world – doesn’t mean we would in any other.

Borges himself was interested in Infinity.

One of the best books I ever read was Jorge Luis Borges and the Eternal Orang-Utans

whose title is inspired by the idea that if you give a chimpanzee a typewriter and infinite time it will eventually write the works of shakespeare.

imagine my joy when I saw the Thomas Mullaney book on the Chinese Typewriter – in front of which I would be no different to an Orang-Utan!

Tamil is the oldest spoken language. I no longer speak it but here is a recent talk in Tamil on Borges. I only found it because I couldn’t find my favourite sound recording of Garden of Forking Paths.

How Borgesian! All things for a reason. Or Not.

Discriminate.

I am that.

Things. Consciousness. Bliss.

 

Ex-KGB Billionaire appoints City of London lobbyist to run London’s biggest newspaper

Billionaire ex-KGB spy Alexander Lebedev has just hired George Osborne to edit London’s Evening Standard newspaper.

The move has triggered concerns about media bias and conflicts of interest.

This from HSBC Fraud whistleblower Nicholas Wilson.

In Praise of Sound Money

Here is Osborne praising the Conservative Chancellor Phillip Hammond  straight after last week’s disastrous budget.

 

Will there be calls for Tory U-Turns in Osborne’s Standard?

Conflicts of interest

Only last week the Evening Standard itself printed a story on Osborne’s conflicts of interest.

Originally covered by Financial Eyes / London Conversation here.

  Original Shape-Shifter

Adam Curtis’s short 2009 film, Oh Dear, points to parallels between Russian and British propaganda — particularly to George Osborne’s rôle. (after 3 minutes 12 seconds)

KGB Banking Oligarch

Lebedev himself made his money from banking in the late 90’s after having been a London based Soviet spy.

en.wikipedia.org en.wikipedia.org

BBC Bias

Here is the BBC’s very own ex-Lebedev man, Amol Rajan, being interviewed by its ex-Murdoch Sunday Times editor Andrew Neil:

The establishment routinely ignores questions about media ownership and media bias in this country.

But even by British standards this is an unprecedented political appointment.

City AM

The City Of London’s daily financial free paper City AM’s editor Christian May was given the job without ever having worked at a newspaper.

Though I disagree with many of his views Christian May edits well:

Murdoch

Murdoch’s Times has had it in for Russia for a while. It’s pushed for sanctions against Russia for its role in the Crimea and Syria.

Putin

Lebedev does seem to be friendly with Putin.

Standard Morale

I wonder what having the Austerity Chancellor in charge of the Standard will do for staff morale.

 

Farage openly promoting Marine Le Pen

But since “quitting politics” he’s already backed Trump in the US election and now he’s doing the same for the leader of the French National Front.

Double Standards

In the tenth minute of this 40 minute interview Farage asks Le Pen if she feels British Prime Minister Theresa May snubbed her by inviting her rival Emmanuel Macron to Downing Street.


Farage himself never let UKIP enter Le Pen’s nationalist grouping in the European Parliament.

Theresa’s Judgment

In this 30 second clip Le Pen refers to Macron as not being the sort of person she thought Theresa May would want to meet as, in contemporary French politics, he’s the key salesperson of deregulation and Globalisation.

Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage bond over Theresa May’s terrible judgment.

They correctly point out that it makes no sense for Theresa May to say she stands for Brexit and threatening immigrants but then roll out the red carpet for Macron and not Le Pen.

Farage points out that Theresa May wanted nothing to do with Trump until some days after he was elected – despite the supposed similarity in their agendas.

Deregulation

Farage and Trump, unlike Le Pen, strongly back deregulation.

They refer to it as cutting red tape.

But Le Pen talks about protecting French workers from deregulation.

Trump and Farage pretend to rail against corporate power but their loyalties lie with the uber-rich.

Could it be a similar story with Le Pen?

A former top lawyer and daughter of a multimillionaire, her party also needs big cheques but courts and delivers a mainly working class vote.

The only things they really agree on are the threat of open borders and Islamic terrorism.

Economic Patriotism

Le Pen shows solidarity with May and Farage against the vindictiveness of the European Union.

She says the EU wants to punish Britain.

Farage asks her about how she wants to protect French businesses and whether there is room for trade with Britain.

Le Pen says her Economic Patriotism means ensuring French Local Authorities buy from local suppliers.

She also says further measures should be taken to protect french industries from ‘dumping’ – where foreign firms sell their products cheaper because they are able to produce more for less due to weaker labour and environmental laws.

I feel China and Germany are being alluded to here but there’s no mention of British and American exporters and the huge deregulation going on in the USA which they plan to use to boost exports to France.

On the other hand she says she also wants France to “conquer the world” and therefore favours trade.

She concludes that for some industries you need protection but not for all.

This is similar to Steve Bannon’s assertion that he is not a White Nationalist but an Economic Nationalist.

America already had a Buy America policy under Obama.

And while France’s local industries obviously ought to be protected, there are massive inconsistencies in Le Pen’s argument.

But Farage doesn’t point them out.

How can global waves of economic nationalism and protectionism help French exporters?

But we can still sell to each other with minimal taxation, right?

Farage asks if by threatening to impose tariffs on Britain, the EU is ultimately making French workers pay to protect the EU project.

Conversation moves on to talk of migration, borders, Calais and suspending the Schengen agreement.

Brits living in France are reassured that they will not be threatened.

Le Pen says many of the French in London will return to France.

Taxes will be cut as unemployment falls and public spending is cut.

Le Pen says being a Muslim in France is not a problem – it is sectarianism she says she objects to.

She says she is against Islamist Fundamentalism.

When asked about anti-semitism in her party Le Pen says she doesn’t tolerate it and would prefer not to be judged by the words of all her supporters.

Farage says he knows how it feels to be judged by one’s supporters.

Conversation then goes to Putin.

Le Pen argues Russia and US are both as important as each other and that Russia has done a lot of good in Syria.

Farage asks if borrowing from Russian banks compromises her.

Le Pen says she couldn’t borrow elsewhere but that her lender doesn’t choose her policies.

On Trump – Le Pen says she too opposed TTIP and is glad he wants to be a President of the US and not of the world.

Global Revolution

Le Pen says there’s definitely a global revolution going on.

She points out that it is funny that the Anglo Saxon creators of neoliberalism are now the ones who reject it.

Farage says that it was Brussels who created this neoliberalism and not the Anglo Saxons.

Le Pen replies that the Anglo-Saxon world implemented Liberalism and the EU has turned it into Ultra Liberalism.

She says that either way, they are both now on the same side. 

This doesn’t feel unlike rival football hooligan firms enjoying a friendly beer before resuming normal service and beating the crap out of each other.

The Raheem Kassam / Tommy Robinson interview on Breitbart is a great insight into the various conflicts and shifting identities at play in some of these manufactured populist movements.

The Spice Girls, The Sex Pistols and even the Jimi Hendrix Experience were all put together by their management teams.

So why not UKIP or the EDL?

Kassam, a self-defining ex-muslim and product of intellectual PC-friendly culture, shifted to the alt-right and now runs Breitbart London which is controlled by Steve Bannon.

Tommy Robinson changed his slightly Irish and double barrelled name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to head up the English Defence League with an alias taken from a notorious Leeds United football hooligan.

He makes his money running a tanning salon in Luton.

Yes, that’s right.

From people in a multicultural area who pay him money to look less white.

Everybody’s looking for something. And you have to make a living, right?

There’s a beautiful symmetry here.

Where were we?

The French Presidential Election

Farage asks why Le Pen should be French President.

She says because she is profoundly French.

The other candidates just want to represent the Insurance, Banking, and Drug Companies.

Le Pen is asked if, having won the first round, she can win the second round.

She says it is a choice for the French.

It’s no longer a left-right split.

Do we want France to remain France?

She says if voters really want French values such as secularism, equality of race and religion, and not sectarianism, then they will vote for her.

Le Pen says the other candidates have a post national vision.

They want to work for Mrs Merkel.

The election is a referendum on Globalisation.

Farage asks Le Pen if she thinks she will win.

Le Pen says she thinks she will.

 

What happened to that €1.1 trillion ?

stealing QE

Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

Handing €1.1 trillion of public money to ANONYMOUS bankers with no publicly available audit trail is an act so corrupt as to be beyond comprehension.

Yet that is what has happened to residents of that well known museum — the European Union.

Inventing Money

The European Central Bank, owner of the world’s third biggest money printing machine — behind the Federal Reserve’s and the People’s Bank of China’s — has already printed and distributed the best part of a trillion Euros to private financial institutions in exchange for various bonds over a two year period.

In November 2014 just as they started what became known as their Quantitative Easing (ECB QE) programme, I asked them to publicly state exactly which bonds they were printing money to buy.

Seeing as they were spending billions of euros of public money per month during a time of extreme austerity – it felt normal that EU citizens be told how the money was being spent.

Disclosure

The only information the public had been told at that time was that the ECB were buying repackaged bank loans (Covered Bonds) and Asset Backed Securities (ABSs) in order to stop deflation and maintain inflation at 2%.

Despite the simple nature of my request — I asked for a country by country, bank by bank, product by product breakdown including ‘ISIN’ Codes for what the ECB had been buying — the bank refused to disclose the full nature of its holdings.

Decision

This week, more than a year and a half after I originally asked them, the ECB — and the European Ombudsman — ruled against my appeal for transparency.

Click below for the link to the EU Ombudsman decision on the case:

But the question remains: What happened to the money?

Groupthink

Bizarrely the woman who runs the European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, has a reputation for being a fair-minded adjudicator.

This week the Irish papers portrayed O’Reilly as a friend of transparency who had rebuked the Irish Central Bank and the ECB for not publishing their correspondence during the Irish Bailouts of 2010.

If only those newspapers had known how O’Reilly has sided with commercial confidentiality and non-disclosure of the multibillion Euro QE recipients.

O’Reilly ruled in favour of the ECB without once consulting me — the complainant — to find out why I had brought the case or to let me challenge the groupthink logic of her flawed judgment.

Too little, too late

Ironically on the date of the ruling (18th July 2016) the ECB itself announced that another slice of its QE programme, the Corporate Bond Purchase Programme, would publish its ISIN codes.

This is a screenshot of the paywalled Financial Times story with the announcement about the new stance on ISIN codes.

ft ISINsHow funny that I had to wait 18 months to get a definitive ‘no’ on receiving the ISIN codes for the Covered Bond and ABS QE programme, only for the Corporate Bond Purchase Programme to publish its ISIN codes on the very same day.

A Pyrrhic Victory perhaps?

Time will Tell.

Corruptissima respublica, plurimae leges

The most corrupt state, the most laws – Tacitus

My feeling is that the ECB don’t want to the public to know how much they are protecting the very same German financiers that benefited from the ECB’s imposition of austerity, deregulation and privatisation policies in southern Europe.

I believe the worst offender is DePfa / Deutsche Pfandbriefe.

Just as the IRA and Baader Meinhoff are known for their politically inspired terror campaigns in the 1970s so has Deutsche Pfandbriefe exported financial terrorism throughout Europe from its tax avoiding, financial engineering Dublin Headquarters as of the early 2000’s when it re-domiciled to save cash.

ECB QE and commercial confidentiality for public money are the very definition of double standards and, in this case, perpetuate the myth that North Europeans are honest and that everyone else is corrupt.

I appreciate that this is not something many people are willing to accept – such is the scale of our programming.

Just as with PPP / PFI in the UK, commercial confidentiality and financial engineering remain the respectable face of corporate fascism and fraud.

For more adventures in Bazookanomics: