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Everything posted by Methinkshe

  1. In one breath you include anti-statist, right wing, libertarian, and nutcases. To address just one of your accusations, may I ask what you have against those who support liberty/are libertarians?
  2. Ah, you/your wife could be one of the test cases where you find a bailiff on your doorstep with right of entry and seizure of goods for a bill that may or may not be accurate (and probably dependent on the ability of the tax office to process tax returns) but is nevertheless considered overdue. Guilty until you can prove your innocence.
  3. Agreed, although don't forget that the first step towards freedom from the grip of Roman priests was the translation from Latin into English of the Bible. Thereafter the Guttenberg press was instrumental in distribution of the Bible. You make a good comparison with the internet - but it is the very reason why the internet will be threatened by the powers-that-be. Just as the likes of William Tyndale ended up losing his life for his efforts to translate the Bible into English, so it will be that those who attempt to guard the free flow of information via the internet will be persecuted.
  4. I wouldn't disagree with that; all that differs from my conclusions is nomenclature. What you call energy, I call man-hours, or to reduce it further, life itself.
  5. To elaborate on my previous post: The fixed penalty notices that are issued for such things as were formerly known as "drunk and disorderly" assume guilt and require immediate payment or a premium charged; if you want to protest your innocence you have recourse to the courts. But, see what has happened...if one has to protest one's innocence then one has summarily been found guilty. It starts with little things, but a principle has been betrayed and a line has been crossed............
  6. Have you noticed how during the time that NuLab has been in government we have subtly shifted from an innocent until proved guilty assumption to a guilty until proved innocent assumption? It's more than worrying, it's the death knell to the British legal system as we have known it for centuries.
  7. The worrying thing about this is the new powers given to bailiffs and the fact that they are bully-boys and even though supposedly regulated, are pretty much left to their own devices. There have been threads on this in the past. Furthermore, I don't think that it is right that government should outsource the collection of taxes to private enterprise with a profit-motive. I can see a pay now, discuss the rights and wrongs later culture developing under threat, much like with wheel-clamping.
  8. Does it not follow from this that personal preference is the standard against which desires are measured? And if that is the case, how does that facilitate valuation and thus trade? If the measure of desires is self-referential, i.e. is arrived at versus another desire, then how is valuation achieved with the introduction of a third party? His preference will not necessarily accord with your preference. So there must be something other than, or more than, or preceding personal preference which everyone, consciously or sub-consciously, agrees as a base from which to launch personal preference and hence valuation and trade.
  9. It seems to me that if we are to understand the role of money with respect to desires and value, it is necessary first to examine what occurred in early human history BEFORE the existence of money. There is a story in the Bible about Jacob who lived approx 2500 BC. He desired to marry Rachel, the daughter of Laban and agreed to work looking after Laban's sheep for seven years in return for Rachel's hand in marriage. Thus, the value he put on fulfilling his desire was seven years of his life. I don't think things have much changed with the advent of money except that the issue is clouded through the remove that occurs when money is inserted as a medium of exchange. Value still relates to the quantity of time an individual is prepared to sacrifice to achieve a desire and/or the quantity of another's time that he can purchase through accumulating more money/goods than he requires to satisfy his personal needs. Thus money is simply a facilitator of trading man-hours which are the ultimate standard against which desires/values are measured. Or, to reduce the concept even further, human life itself is the ultimate standard against which humans measure value. The addition of interest to loans is a function of money, not of desire or value and, as such, is a red herring as far as this debate is concerned, imho.
  10. I am going to propose that time, specifically human-time - i.e. that unknown number of years allotted to every individual - is the standard against which value is measured. No-one can in and of themselves secure more than 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week etc. To increase their quantity of human-time, they must purchase the time of another. Within that time, value can be created. The more time the more value that can be created. However, not everyone's time is equally productive, so there must be a quality attached to human-time as well as a quantity. Human-time is created at birth and is destroyed at death.
  11. Since the transmission of information cannot be perfect, there must be decay in information. If it is not transmitted it cannot inform and therefore ceases to be information and if it is transmitted it is subject to decay through imperfect transmission processes.
  12. It's not about a strong state stopping the bulk of the population getting their own jam; it's about buying the time required to get (make, purchase, trade, whatever) that jam for oneself ahead of time or out of time, if you see what I mean!
  13. Hmm, that wasn't my intention. Although I'm not sure that it is to advocate socialism just to recognise that those who have money also have power; socialism requires that the money-cake is equally shared regardless of effort. I wouldn't advocate that. However, I do think there is moral capitalism and amoral capitalism, and I think the latter can be just as bad as socialism.
  14. I'll approach from a slightly different angle. Returning to your OP. Now insert the answer "time" to each of these questions. I won't extrapolate for the moment; I just want to see if, in the first instance, this reply sheds any light on the matter.
  15. I'm not sure that I agree that claiming taxpayer money to pay an accountant to fill in one's tax form IS petty. Why should MPs believe that the taxpayer should pay for their tax returns to be completed? What has it to do with their parliamentary duties? Personal taxation is a private matter and has nothing whatsoever to do with MP's parliamentary duties.
  16. Okay, so move away from the word "power" and look instead at the word "control". Money represents control: control over personal circumstances and events (excluding natural disasters and accidents, although even these can be mitigated if one has enough money). It allows the holder to be master and not servant, to dictate terms and not be dictated to. It can even be used to bribe, to corrupt and to bend the law. In short, it offers independence and avoids the need to be dependent on others. This is why the rich are never satisfied with a few million; they want billions. Far more than needs or even greeds could ever require. So there must be another motive other than just satisfying needs and greeds. The only desire that I can come up with which can never be satisfied is the desire to be independent - of everyone! Which requires that even the super-rich must accumulate more if they are to be independent of the super-duper rich or even of banks and governments. He who has the most has ultimate independence since no man or institution can exert greater control - he with the most can always pull out the trump card. Of course, the one event that cannot be controlled, even with all the money in the world, is death. Which is why the rich man, in one of Jesus' parables, who stored up great wealth (grain) in his barns and sat back feeling pretty smug and in control, was called a fool: "for this night your soul will be demanded of you."
  17. What about the power of money to compel others to do what they do not want to do? LA's powers of compulsory purchase, for instance. Or even the rich man's power to compel the poor man to work for him for low wages. Yes, the wage can be refused but if starvation is the alternative, that is unlikely.
  18. Agreed. Money is also an expression of power, is it not? Not just inert power, either; it represents power over others. Hmm, now I have to integrate money as an expression of value with money as an expression of power. Or have I gone off at a tangent?
  19. I rather thought that Injin was digging a little deeper than just money when he asked the following questions in the OP. As I understood it, the question relates to the underlying desires that we have which give money (that which we sometimes use to satisfy those deires) its unique and subjective value to each individual. Therefore the question related to the desires and not the money per se which may or may not be representative of those desires depending on individual perception. And I think it is reasonable to allow that desires can have a moral dimension, thus by representation giving the value that an individual places on money (and its capacity to satisfy desires) a moral dimension. Hence such statements as "the love of money is the root of evil."
  20. No, I didn't take offence - my response was meant to be light-hearted which I thought would have been recognised by my reference to "42". Sorry you didn't appreciate my attempt at levity.
  21. My OH is a retired engineer; his specialisations were thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. I have taken from him my understanding of entropy which he explains (simplistically and without the mathematics) as the tendency towards disorder within a closed system. He says that strictly entropy is a measure of disorder. These are the dictionary definitions: 1. Symbol S For a closed thermodynamic system, a quantitative measure of the amount of thermal energy not available to do work. 2. A measure of the disorder or randomness in a closed system. 3. A measure of the loss of information in a transmitted message. 4. The tendency for all matter and energy in the universe to evolve toward a state of inert uniformity. 5. Inevitable and steady deterioration of a system or society. I agree that we need to clarify what we each wish to communicate when we use the word "entropy". Could we agree on a mutual understanding based on the dictionary definitions above?
  22. Damn! You mean I've wasted all this time thinking and developing an argument when the answer to everything has already been resolved as not 42 but "the selfish gene." I can't imagine why anyone bothers to discuss anything - just quote "the selfish gene" and there you have it. The answer to life, the universe and everything in it.
  23. Interesting post. I'm trying to relate it to my proposal that there exists within the world, and especially within humanity, two opposing forces, creative and destructive, communicative and entropic (to borrow your terminology although I don't think you set the two in opposition as I have done) both of which I consider to be geometric and not arithmetic albeit in opposing directions - multiplication or division to use my simplistic terminology. My initial thoughts are that when you speak of money, we are already in the realm of entropy/destruction and thus whether the individual events that occur within that realm are geometric or arithmetic is largely irrelevant since the whole is geometric and tending to destruction. My reasoning is that in placing any kind of faith in the tangibles that are represented by money, one has eschewed communication/an outwardly directed attitude (i.e. intangible) in favour of its diametrically and mutually exclusive opposite - inwardly directed self-benefit through material gain. But perhaps I am guilty of not seeing the wood for the trees..... I have to retire now - got duties to attend to.... Just don't want you to think that I have lost interest. I will return in the morning.
  24. Okay, point taken. So words are not meaningless so much as requiring of comprehension which belongs with the hearer.
  25. I think that's an over-simplification. Words are a recognised means of communication and, as such, convey meaning. Therefore it is not that words have no meaning but rather that their meaning is encodified and only unlockable by those who possess the key - a knowledge of the particular language in which they are spoken. To suggest that words have no meaning, per se, is to propose that language (foreign or otherwise) and thus communication, is obsolete.
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