The debt crisis in two steps

Let’s take the good old USA’s debt crisis in two steps.

Large nation states spend a lot of money on military defense and offense.  That costs money.  The money must eventually come from taxes.  Collecting taxes requires a fair amount of work, so governments create a big bureaucracy to do it.  And that costs money too.  Of course governments engaged in war seldom leak the precious information as to just how much a war will cost.  At the end of the day some poor stupid son of a bitch gets a tax bill for the whole thing and is totally mystified about the whole structure and process.

The market economy is wonderful right up until the time it fails.  Then it needs to get bailed out for an extravagant sum.  Unfortunately, the bail out gets distributed mostly to those privileged rich folks whose excesses created the failure.  Once again, taxes need to be collected by a large expensive bureaucracy.

If the taxes are not collected, then there is a deficit in the government budget.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.  Why do people get so pissed about paying taxes for the stuff they’ve been given and grown to love and enjoy?  Let’s write it off to human nature.

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Published in: on August 14, 2011 at 9:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

On using the words fuckstick and fingerfuck

How many times do you use the words fuckstick and fingerfuck during the day?  There was a time when I used them a lot, but only for effect while within shouting distance of strangers.

I don’t use them anymore, but I still like them.  Of course, I am bereft of words these days.

Published in: on August 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hubris, etc.

Hubris: what does it mean?  Here’s what I think it means.  When you get lucky, you think it has to do with some wonderful attribute attached to you.  You, in all your magnificence, are the author of your good fortune unless your fortune turns ill.  Then you think the gods have conspired against your august majesty.

Published in: on August 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Age

When you are young you know the solution, but not the problem; when you are old, you know the problem, but not the solution.

Well, except for those few geniuses born in each generation.

Published in: on July 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

So far?

Another overcast morning.  I feel as though I must put on the lights to read at 7:16 in the AM.  But that is not what I want to talk about.  What I really want to talk about is mathematics and my obsession with it this year.  (Yes, I am always obsessed with something as you well know by now.)

This is what began all the trouble around 300 BCE.

Euclid’s Fifth Postulate:

That, if a straight line falling on two straight lines make the interior angles on the same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right angles.

Thomas L. Heath translator

Twenty-two hundred years later, Gauss, Bolyai, and Lobachevsky had the audacity to negate the postulate and arrive at the conclusion that its consequences produced a geometry as consistent as Euclid’s although containing propositions strange and contrary to Euclid’s.  Several decades later, Betrami and Klein established that if hyperbolic geometry is inconsistent, then so is Euclidean geometry.  Today, hyperbolic geometry produces the richer and more useful geometry for mathematics.

The history of this, its impact on philosophy of mathematics, philosophy in general, the connections between mathematics, science, and art, and how mathematics is an art and creative activity is what I have been working on this year.

It is the best year of my life so far.

Published in: on July 29, 2011 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Cubs Win!

Yep, once a year, whether I need it not, I go to Wrigley Field and the Cubs win. And I got to sit next to a couple of totally smokin’ broads.

Thanks, Tom.

And thank you, Billy, for the tickets earlier this year. I’ll never forget the woman I met at the park that day who gave me my first dose of the clap. 🙂

Published in: on July 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Stores

Let’s face it.  Things change.

I just received an e-mail from Border’s that they are going completely out of business.  My local Border’s store closed on January first this year.   I recall when they first opened on the corner of Pierson and Michigan.  They ran all the local independent bokkstores, plus a large Waterstone’s store out of business.  So, Border’s was my go to place to buy books for a long time.

I think their major problem was that they did not get the e-book thing.

Oh well, there is a small footprint Barnes & Noble a few blocks away.  But why would I go their either?  It’s for damned sure I have no more space in my humble abode for another paper book.

Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

On assholes

Assholes: they can’t stop telling you how to live your life because their lives are oh so perfect.

Published in: on June 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm  Comments (1)  

Clines

The long days go by consumed by geometry.  Even chess goes by the wayside.  Desire is a changeable thing.

What was I going to say about clines?

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 8:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Rapture and Riemann Hypothesis

I’ve abandoned writing my geometry book to work full time on the mathematics of the next Rapture date.  Let’s see…  Assume the Riemann hypothesis is true, then…

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

A fork

A pencil, pencil sharpener, a notebook scatter shot with geometry stuff, and Apollonius’s Conics open on the table: the desire to spend the rest of the day playing blitz chess on the Internet overwhelms my need to continue writing the book.

Either option seems pretty damned good.

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 9:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Desire or lack thereof

So fucking awesomely bored–maybe, that’s why I spend 10 to 12 hours each day writing a stupid geometry book. (And you’ve to get up early in the morning to do that.)

But I like it. At one point in my dismal life, it was a dream.

Euclid, Hilbert, and Alone

I have Euclid’s Elements on one side of me and Hilbert’s Foundations of Geometry on the other side.  I’m trying to build a bridge in my mind between the two.  I find it desperately lonely and hard work.  I labor on it for at least 12 hours each day.

The thing that makes it even harder than it should be is that I have no one to talk to about it.  The major parts of my thoughts are locked in solitary confinement.

That’s the nature of desire though.  It’s the thing most personally felt even though the least most noticed by others.

Let’s call the situation a secret romance.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Geometry, visual, smitten

OK, I haven’t been writing much on my blog.  I’ve been writing my geometry book ten to twelve hours a day, not including those hours when I am just thinking about it.  In short, I’ve been having fun.

One of the things I like about geometry is that is a point between the analytic and the visual, but we’ll talk more about that later.

P.S.  I haven’t fallen in love again.  In fact, I haven’t even been smitten lately.

Published in: on April 22, 2011 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Even or approximately close to it

After figuring out some pieces of mathematics this weekend that I pondered for years, I fell into a fit boredom on Monday, and as usual when i am bored I dialed up 30 new chess games on the Internet while sitting in the bar. (big sigh)

Given my state of inebriation, I started out pretty well in all of them, but this morning I blundered away a knight for nothing in a game while playing before drinking my first cup of coffee. As fate would have it, I have battled back to even in the game.

There are two lessons to be learned: don’t give up when you are behind at the beginning, and things tend to even out.

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Creating and discovering

At the surface, discovering and creating seem two entirely different things.  To discover, you march about the world noticing new things.  Once a thing is discovered, the catalog of reality expands with a new entry.  To create, you conjure from the imagination something new.  This something may not be something you can find in reality.  It appears two different worlds exist–the world of discovered things and the world of created things.

However, these two worlds bleed across the boundary separating them.  To discover, you sometimes need a little imagination to guide the path to discovery. (Knowing what you are looking for helps to decide the existence or not of  that item.)  To create, you sometimes need a basic inventory of items taken from reality to meditate upon and rearrange.  (Even castles in the air need foundations.)

We, our imaginative selves, and the world are inextricably entwined in this odd embrace.

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 9:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Robbed

So, here’s the deal. Some motherfucker stole my Tumi bag last night, which contained my iPad, passport, the first two pages of my new novel, the copy of the US Constitution I bought at the Supreme Court book store back in 1998, etc.

I’m feeling homicidal today and for the first time in my pour pitiful life I feel it’s a good thing.

Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Healing

You know you are finally healing after the longest spell yet. You laugh, feel crazy, and poetry once again delights you.

Published in: on March 10, 2011 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Writing blues

The one thing about writing is that it is so damned easy not to do it even though you know you should.

Published in: on March 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fantasy 2011

I have been busy the past week with two fantasy baseball drafts and their aftermaths.  I am happy with both drafts for the most part.  I plugged holes on one of my teams at relief pitching and infield depth by picking up a couple of guys off of waivers–a nice plus.  Now, I must keep an eye on injuries during Spring Training.

The fantasies of March often yield to sobering realities of fall, not just with baseball, but also for things in general.  However, things tend to even out and one must be thankful for that.

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Ozone and desire

Lost in the ozone again–as I recall some song back in the ’70s had that title or lyric, but that’s not what I really want to talk about. I am smitten by a women’s volleyball coach, but she is smitten by the bartender.

Such is the nature of desire.

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer–summer, summer, summer, it turns me upside down

OK, the blizzard’s over. Time to start thinking about this season’s fantasy baseball draft. And I ain’t pickin’ Milton Bradley.

The other thing I’ve been wondering about regarding summer is how we aggregate ourselves into these ideological camps given that we are personae with multiple narratives. I suppose we desperately want to hold onto the myth that we have one personal identity like believing in the immortal soul.

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer–summer, summer, summer, it turns me upside down

OK, the blizzard’s over. Time to start thinking about this season’s fantasy baseball draft. And I ain’t pickin’ Milton Bradley.

The other thing I’ve been wondering about regarding summer is how we aggregate ourselves into these ideological camps given that we are personae with multiple narratives

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

The blizzard passed

The weather folks are saying the blizzard, now gone from Chicago, was the worst in 50 years. I can remember ones with as much snow, but never with winds blowing a steady 30 to 50 mph for 24 hours. I can hardly wait until the next one 50 years from now. 🙂

Published in: on February 2, 2011 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Blizzard, wedding, and a bagpipe

I don’t recollect being in a harder blizzard than the one blowing through Chicago right now.  When you get caught in the wind it stops you dead in your tracks and drives you a little way backwards.  The prediction is for 24″ of snow in 24 hours.  Shoveling out won’t begin until late tomorrow afternoon.  The lucky people are folks like me who live in high-rise buildings and don’t have to drive.

What is really eerie is the thunder and lightning that kicks up every now and then.

What I discovered tonight while listening to the radio is the classical piece An Orkney Wedding With Sunrise by Peter Maxwell Davies.  It ends with a bagpipe solo.  I do admire the sound of a good bagpipe tune.

Published in: on February 1, 2011 at 11:23 pm  Leave a Comment