2009.01.18 07:00 - Economics and Grandparents

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    Adams Rubble was the guardian and is responsible for the comments

    Doug, Corvi, Solobill and I arrived at almost the same time. I have trouble sitting down.

    doug Sosa: morning
    Adams Rubble: Morning Doug and Corvi :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi all.
    Adams Rubble: I am having technical difficulties
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: You're levitating.
    Adams Rubble: Whew
    Adams Rubble: Hi Bill :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi, Bill.
    doug Sosa: :)
    Solobill Laville: Good morning!
    Adams Rubble: How is everyone?
    Solobill Laville: fine :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: well, you?
    Adams Rubble: I am OK. A little discombobulated :)
    doug Sosa: i am a bit cautious with many things this week i'm responsible for. Love it, but..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: cautious?
    Solobill Laville: wow, cautious and disombobulated!
    doug Sosa: well, laying back and meditating through it all, make sure i am not missing some critical piece..
    Solobill Laville: I've read the log about the economy (last night), is that part of it Doug?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Adams Rubble read it too
    doug Sosa: yes, i've a meeting with about a dozen amazing people about it wednesday.

    Wol Joined us

    Adams Rubble: Hello Wol :)
    Solobill Laville: wow, what is the meeting about?
    Wol Euler: hello all, I hope I'mnot standing on anyone
    Solobill Laville: Hello, Wol!

    Doug begins to talk about the economy and finance; Bills keeps a dialogue going

    doug Sosa: about the future of fiance. Do we really need to rebuild the banks (and the bank owners)?
    Solobill Laville: ah...and you have been using the 9-secs in a way to help you reflect on that, yes?
    doug Sosa: yes, but also a general meditativ atitude, letting it play out in my mind withmore refletion than engagement.
    Solobill Laville: and what is that possible missing critical piece...? Or wouldn't you be able to know...
    Adams Rubble: or want to tel us yet
    doug Sosa: ah if i knew, it wouldn't be missing :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville nods
    doug Sosa: but like how to et the group to focus on what we do not know rather than telling us what we do know.
    doug Sosa: et'get
    Wol Euler: that sounds more useful, yes
    Adams Rubble: hmmm. yes
    doug Sosa: like why is "financial service" 30% of the whole economy?

    Good question!

    Solobill Laville: Maybe just the point being made of the importance / value of what is not known?
    Wol Euler nods
    doug Sosa: yes. if a group of smart well informed folks can say what they do not know about something, that gets really interesting.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins.
    Adams Rubble nods

    Wol is thinking of more radical solutions

    Wol Euler: reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld and his "unknown unknowns"
    Adams Rubble cringes
    Solobill Laville: Do you suppose there is some "ideal" of the economy should actually be?
    doug Sosa: doug ducks for cover..
    Solobill Laville: *what
    doug Sosa: no ideal, he economy is above all an ensemble of practices, deeply imbedded in the interplay between society, human nature and nature nature.
    doug Sosa: but also an arangement that concnetrates wealth.
    Solobill Laville: So then, what is your or the group's stance on oversight / control? Can you control sommething like that?
    doug Sosa: after all, economy is the essential tool of the rich.
    Wol Euler: truth
    doug Sosa: the group is so diverse, a few top financial types (run bank or hedge fund), a nobel laureat physicist, chairperson of an econo department, head of a thinktank, ..
    Solobill Laville: wowza
    doug Sosa: then the next morning a meeting with a group of philanthropies on what they need to learn from each other to cope with the economy and san mateo-santa clara counties..
    Solobill Laville: ah
    Wol Euler: the poor need to organize to defend themselves (ourselves) against the rich. We need an anti-Davos.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: anti Davos?
    doug Sosa: then a visiting violinst who take concertos, lays them, and discusses how the music describes he dynamics of organizations.t
    Wol Euler: "Davos" as codeword for "the rich gathering to conspire against us"
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins..I see.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that sounds really cool, Doug.
    Wol Euler: indeed
    doug Sosa: while trying to absorb the inauguration :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nodsnods.
    Wol Euler: two more days!
    Solobill Laville: (my wife and kids are driving there right now! I must stay and work :(
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: aww...

    15 foot Graphics!

    doug Sosa: and trying to create the most helpful graphics - fifteen feet long - for the first meeting.
    Adams Rubble: wow Bill
    Wol Euler cheers
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: fifteen feet?
    doug Sosa: yes.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: what's on those graphics?
    doug Sosa: things like time line of the history of economics since the medici banks.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: oh.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: wow
    doug Sosa: all the intresecting issues that seem relevant to rethinking finance and its role.
    doug Sosa: such long pices of paper have an amazing effect on people's thinking, the reoances that usually remain hidden.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: numbers are too dry and too abstract for people to follow in large quantities
    doug Sosa: but how to do those sheets. What font, how much hand drawn, howmuch splashed with color?
    Solobill Laville: and nice to frame within history's embrace
    doug Sosa: And the sheets help create the room as a stage set for the drama of the conversation.
    Wol Euler: yes, very dramatic.
    Wol Euler: may I suggest another line for your chart (withou knowing the fist thing about what's already on it)
    doug Sosa: always..
    Wol Euler: if you were to plot the total combined wealth of the world, it would look very much like an "L" lying on its back
    Wol Euler: the line woud be pretty well flat from the Medicis to the industrial revolution, and the last fifty years would probably be eighteen feet high.
    Wol Euler: hyperbolic curve
    doug Sosa: we use multiple chart and also a projector for graphs
    Wol Euler: that "L" would be dramatic as hell.

    We argue a bit over the relative growth of wealth over the centuries

    doug Sosa: that assues that "wealth" is measured by money. i am not sure the total worth of the world has changed that much.
    Wol Euler frowns.
    Solobill Laville: Is there an argument in there that if the distribution were more normal we'd have less of a mess?
    Adams Rubble is thinking along Doug's lines
    Wol Euler: How would you measure it so as not to show an enormous increase?
    Adams Rubble: Wealth is relative
    doug Sosa: it is of course an issue: but how to get better distribution of money and quality of life?
    Adams Rubble: yes
    Wol Euler: even is wealth is "things in my pockets that are not fluff", ther are so many more people with so many more pockets than 500 years ago
    Solobill Laville: yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks about both lines..there are two kinds of wealth.
    Adams Rubble: People had other things ion their pockets (or bags) then
    doug Sosa: no. i don't accept that assumption.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: One is...things that make my life easier...
    Wol Euler: really?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and one is things that make my life rich.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire scrubs the first idea.
    doug Sosa: it can easier and less awake.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: things...full stop.
    Wol Euler: (really to doug, not to corvi)
    Adams Rubble: Even going to nomad economies...one person has more cows or camels than another and is considered rich
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes..but there is a real difference in cows and wash machines.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: electricity, running water, wash machines...computers...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: are real things.
    Adams Rubble: depends of you want milk,meat or clean cothes Corvi
    doug Sosa: so are vistas, weather, intimacy with children, fun of telling stories round the fire.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: exactly.
    Solobill Laville: /is considering how total wealth has not grown over time, taking out inflation...
    Wol Euler chuckles. Wealth is relative, the way it is measured is culturally determined, I'll grant Doug that.
    Wol Euler: I'd need to see that proven mathematically, solo.
    Solobill Laville: yes, me too
    Wol Euler: :)
    doug Sosa: the promise of modern complexity is increased opportunity for all, but we have kept a kind of slave society of underpiveleged and bad distibution. the big house close to work drives the poorer to comute long distances..
    Adams Rubble: It still depends on what one counts as wealth
    Wol Euler: right, and right.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks about all the resources available to her..and available to her grandparents...and knows there is a real difference.
    Wol Euler: it depends on what is available. A washing machine is not "wealth" in a place without water or electricity for it
    Adams Rubble: If everyone has a washing machine, is it wealth?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes..
    Wol Euler: gold is worthless in a gold mine. The unit of exchange there is the pickaxe.
    doug Sosa: differences in both directions. grandparents had interesting moments.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..I think my grandparent's life was one I would have liked to have lived, too.
    Wol Euler: *inside the mine
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: different..but rich.
    doug Sosa: in the goldmine the unit is the deed. (pun, watch out).
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: alot less time for overthinking, though.
    Adams Rubble: I think the point is that it is difficult to measure these things
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs at the pun.
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville: Time is also a unit of exchange, else why banks and finance rates?
    doug Sosa: so all this started with "how are you" and i replied "cautius." :)
    Wol Euler: heheheheh
    Adams Rubble: and I am still dscombulated :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: honestly, I don't think cautious is the right word at all for what you have described...
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: something else entirely.
    Wol Euler: "scared shitless"?
    doug Sosa: And I need to go make breakfast for house guests..
    Adams Rubble: If Obama is not scared shitless, maybe the rest of us don't need to be
    Adams Rubble: bye Doug :)
    Wol Euler: bye doug, enjoy your sunday.
    doug Sosa: bye, thanks all.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye.

    Dougs goes off to breakfast

    Solobill Laville: bye doug good luck
    Adams Rubble: And here are the rest of us
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: discombobulated
    Corvuscorva Nightfire turns to the next topic in a quick pirouette.
    Adams Rubble: all of us?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nope, you.
    Adams Rubble: yep
    Adams Rubble: Calming down a little though except for the economy
    Wol Euler: Obama's fear reminds me of what Colin Powell said during the first Gulf War. "I sleep like a baby, every 2 hours I wake up screaming."
    Corvuscorva Nightfire keeps thinking about her grand parents and their families.

    stevenaia joined us, wearing a "listener" tag while we begin to think about our forebears

    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hiya, Steve...I'll send you a notecard.
    Adams Rubble: We have to be careful looking into the past because we do not see the pain
    stevenaia Michinaga: THANKS
    Adams Rubble: Hi Steve
    Wol Euler: true.
    Wol Euler: hello steve, happy new year.
    stevenaia Michinaga: same to you Wol
    Solobill Laville: Yes, and old pain is generally not spoken about (why have it twice?)
    Adams Rubble: Yes, people don't want to talk about it
    Adams Rubble: all of the infant and child deaths
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Adams
    Wol Euler nods
    stevenaia Michinaga: Solo

    We begin to list all the struggles facing our ancestors and arrive at child bearing

    Solobill Laville: flu epidemics...
    Solobill Laville: heya Steve!
    Wol Euler: killed more people than the first world war
    Adams Rubble: farm accidents
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Solobill Laville: death in childbirth...big one
    Adams Rubble: orphans
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I keep thinking about how the survivors survived.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: they told me their stories.
    Solobill Laville: look back at geneologies for all the women who died in their 20's
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes...many...many...
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Adams Rubble: Yes or after 15 children and then the husband got married to a young woman and started over
    Wol Euler: that was pretty well standard.
    Solobill Laville: happened in my past
    Solobill Laville: (great great granparent)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: in your family?
    Adams Rubble: Yes, I am descended from one of those marriages
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..I've found several of those in my geneologies.
    Adams Rubble: The husband was 50 and the woman 18
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: many many.
    Adams Rubble: I am descended from the 26th child of the father
    Solobill Laville: I'm descended from the first marriage
    Wol Euler: wow.
    Adams Rubble: next to last
    Solobill Laville: 26th!!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks of the great great great who married his 15 year old neice the second of three marriages.
    Adams Rubble: wow
    Solobill Laville: !
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: she had..about 13..he had...many more.
    Wol Euler: my grandmother was 21 years younger than her oldest sister
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Wol Euler: but there were only nine of them
    Adams Rubble: maybe some lost pregnancies that weren't recorded
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: my grandmother..turned 100 this year..she had 7 children over 20 years.
    Wol Euler: steve, take a cushion, join us :)
    Solobill Laville nods to Adams
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: my uncle and his oldest cousin are about a year apart.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that wasn't what I was thinking of..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I was thinking of what they had..those women.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and the men too.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: they responded to each other.
    Adams Rubble thinks we can have what they ahd
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: over and over and over again...
    Adams Rubble: yes Corvi
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: as they had need.
    Solobill Laville: I wonder if they felt they had less control, or more...
    Wol Euler: I wonder whether they ever thought about it in that way.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..I think for my family it's like Wol says.
    stevenaia Michinaga: ....ok, caught up with log.... I think
    Wol Euler: We have options that were not available to them. I am certain that my grandmother never considered "happiness" as a life goal
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: they didn't...they just did what needed doing to care for each other.
    Wol Euler: she was too busy
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I;ll just sit over here and listen
    Adams Rubble: wow. Ideas are flying by

    What were they thinking?

    Solobill Laville: But don't you think in terms of free will, that would come up?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: my family has always overthought stuff...
    Solobill Laville: If you were a "free will-ist: ;)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: the ideas they were overthinking were different.
    Wol Euler: in England until this generation, free will was for the rich
    Adams Rubble: My grandparents did some cool things but the were limited in their knowledge compared to what we have available now
    Corvuscorva Nightfire points to the "over"
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: not the thinking.
    Wol Euler: my mother worked as a social worker in London when I was very young. She visited one working class home to try to get the parents to agree to let their very clever son take a scholarship and go to university.
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Solobill Laville: (to Corvi)
    Wol Euler: The mother refused, because that is "not for the likes of us." And then she broke down and cried over the miserable life of hard work that her son was going to have.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes.
    Solobill Laville: A bit fatalistic...doesn't have to be
    Adams Rubble cringes
    Wol Euler: right, from our perspective she need not have done that. But she felt that her will was not free.
    Solobill Laville: Sounds almost caste-like
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it ws a common belief all over the world...still is.
    Wol Euler: very caste-like, exactly tzrue.
    Adams Rubble: Well, US is setting an example this Tuesday for that
    Solobill Laville: She believed what she was told (hegemony comes to mind)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire can find examples in her midwestern family from two generations ago..and her friend's north carolina family from last month.
    Solobill Laville: Yes, Adams!
    Adams Rubble: Breaking out of our boxs
    Adams Rubble: boxes
    Wol Euler cheers.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods, smiling...that feels like wealth to me.
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Wol Euler: true
    Adams Rubble: yes, real waelth
    Solobill Laville: Indeed
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: what I think I like the best about NOW...is that boxes seem made to be broken.
    Solobill Laville: yes, but some boxes are harder to break than others
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes indeed.

    Moon arrived

    Adams Rubble: Hello Moon
    Solobill Laville is thinking of Kennedy: "crisis = opportunity"
    Moon Fargis: hello
    Wol Euler: hello moon!
    Solobill Laville: Heya, Moon!
    Wol Euler gave you FP: Love Knows - Black.
    Solobill Laville: I love that "listener" tag, Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Moon Fargis: ˙·•| miaaauuuu |•·˙
    Solobill Laville: SL encourages listening a bit more than RL it sould seem
    Wol Euler nods
    Wol Euler: silence and pauses seem easier here than in RL
    Solobill Laville: or maybe it is a dynamic of the present group
    Moon Fargis: thanks wol for the shirt
    Adams Rubble: Moon, some hot chocolate?
    Wol Euler: it happens in IMs too. There are often 10 minute pauses or more, nobody seems bothered
    Moon Fargis: no..thanks

    Doug rejoined us

    Wol Euler: or perhaps nobody dares tell me?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..I'm far to frightened to tell you, Wol...*breaks into a laugh*
    doug Sosa: back for a bit.. :)
    Solobill Laville: The rare times I have seen the opposite, it is quite obnoxious....
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: wb, Doug.
    stevenaia Michinaga: somtimes letting the mind wonder in the middle of a conversation helps... like a less structured 9 second pause
    Wol Euler: wb doug
    Solobill Laville: wb doug
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods to Steve.
    doug Sosa: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: try to let minutes go by in the middle of a conversation in Rl
    Adams Rubble: wb Doug
    Solobill Laville nods
    Wol Euler: people get very worried, steve.
    Solobill Laville: Doug, the current economic crisis
    Solobill Laville: present great opportunity?
    stevenaia Michinaga: and make funny faces
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville lets some time pass and makes a face at Wol
    Corvuscorva Nightfire guffaws.
    Wol Euler chuckles and pokes you below the table with a pencil.
    Solobill Laville: doh!

    ...and it is time to break up

    Solobill Laville: methinks I will scramble some eggs...
    Adams Rubble: bye Bill :)
    Wol Euler: good idea.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: aww..Bye, Bill.
    Wol Euler: bye solo, take care, see you later?
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye all, snow to shovel
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye, Steve...
    Solobill Laville: Perhaps later, Wol :)
    Wol Euler: bye steve, mind your back.
    Solobill Laville: yes snow here too... a lot
    Adams Rubble: bye Steve
    Wol Euler: +7°C and raining here, the snow is melting away. Winter seems to be over for now.
    Adams Rubble stares at Wol with envy
    Wol Euler: no, I'm disppointed, I like winter :)
    Adams Rubble offers Wol some winter
    Wol Euler takes it greedily and backs into a corner with it
    Adams Rubble: hehe

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