Fairy Tale pasts

For those still wondering what brought about the swing to the right seen in the USA, Germany, France, India, the UK . . . look no further than the message: Let’s make America Great Again. In truth America never was that great. It enjoyed a golden period on the back of the post WWII lease lend agreement only to be swallowed up in the burgeoning Industrial/Military complex.  The British too, can be made to believe that the empire lost was all things wonderful and can be restored. In truth the British Empire, at its gargantuan height, was a rotten place for the lower paid to live and work. There was the rich, the very rich, and the dirt poor. That there was no National Health Care, no National Insurance & Pension Service, were irrelevancies to the fact that 90% of the population didn’t have enough food; the children had rickets. Horse manure filled the streets of the big cities and millions died in unnecessary wars. There was nothing wonderful about those times.

The seven billion inhabitants of this planet no more need a swing back to the right than a nuclear bomb. What is needed is unity of purpose; we need governance of common goals by leaders with ambitions other than their personal wealth and we will get them. The cries of “Me First” are but cries for help; mere pimples on the face of a sanity otherwise engaged in the business of learning and leading and they will go away. They will melt below the upper dermal layers as the common sense of caring shines through.

We are probably powerless to bring about the changes our attitudes require to make the world a better place quickly but, we are able to prevent further decline immediately. Stopping Brexit is an easily achievable goal that will re-unify the countries of the United Kingdom and sustain our alliance with our old war enemies in Europe so that is a must. Ridding the United States of a rogue president might be harder but it is essential. Impeachment is the obvious route but it is likely to fail because the Senate is corrupt: it is strictly partisan which, in itself, is unconstitutional. The very fact that a trial by the Senate will fail to find Trump guilty of the crimes he so clearly committed tell us that the United States system is broken. Can we fix it? Can we rein in the NRA sufficiently to prevent another mass shooting; another mass murder of our children? Can we remove the messianic dictator from the White House? Of course we can; we just need a charismatic leader. Not 78 year old Nancy, or kindly Chuck Schumer of only  69, no. We need a firebrand to capture the hearts of the decent working stiffs and to carry common sense back to Pennsylvania Avenue to oversea an administration worthy of the nation it serves. We need to shake off the nonsense that is Brexit. We need to remember why the Common Market was formed, the lessons of 40 years of development, and look forward not to destroy, but to build a better union. We need to move onward and upward; drop the fairy tail past and wrap ourselves in the vigor of the future.

Posted in Meira | Leave a comment

Dreams Do Come True

As early as 1999 Milton Friedman remarked of the Internet:

The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash. A method where buying on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A.”

Well it’s here; crypto currencies are here to ease the transition from buyers to sellers without the intervening costs and delays familiar with bank services. That’s not to say I would be pleased to see my bank go. The day Lloyd’s Bank issued  a first cheque book to a young man just starting out was a proud one. I met the manager; he shook my hand and offered some advice on the types of account, where to come for that first car, the first house, when the first baby comes along. . .  It was all so reassuring; so comforting to be respected in that manner.

That was then. That was before customer service was relegated to the ATM and the Debit Card. In truth I no longer long for a chat with the teller or even an hello to the manager. We move too fast for all that now. We need to draw cash 24/7; change flights in Azerbaijan in the middle of the night and make last minute decisions about a gift for the wife. We wanted speed and we have it. Now we want all that without the cost of banking; without paying salaries and building costs and all those bits of paper that festooned out lives since the Gilgamesh and we have it. In the Blockchain we have it

So what now you may ask. Well nothing. Nothing is what now. It’s as nothing as going to the evening market armed either with goats or bananas to trade, or with pieces of eight or plugs of tobacco. Anything goes if the seller of what you want wants what you have. There is no in-between. If you have a crypto on your phone you can transfer the agreed amount to the seller’s phone. Point, click, done. No one else involved: how wonderful but, it’s revolutionary. It’s radical. In one simple step governments lose their grip on your finance. In one simple step banks can go out of business. You can bet they won’t go gently; you can be sure of a rearguard action to save their empires but they will have to adapt to no longer serving as custodian. They are, in one simple step, relegated to secondary services.

Governments, too, are in need  of adapting and some are doing just that.  Japan embraced the Bitcoin from its early innovation. Scandinavia, along with most European nations, have crypto currencies as part of their financial services. The United States have not. The US are in a panic. They are sending out letters warning of dire consequences to those known to have crypto accounts – they’ve even threatened to confiscate passports of law-abiding citizens who do not conform to laws yet to be defined. Such blunt hypocrisy in the face of technological advance has to be seen as Luddite in nature and oppressive in adoption. From whence comes such retarded thinking in a nation so advanced? Could it be from the top: from the pinnacle of industrial and military might? Let’s hope not; let’s hope against all odds that is not the case. Let’s hope the current administration cotton-on to the march of progress, recognize its inevitability and help the world move forward.

 

Posted in Meira | Leave a comment

Damascus

The chaos of burgeoning civil war had given her the cover she needed to set up camp under the guise of a stall holder in the little bazaar beside the Great Wall. Piece-by-piece she was able bring in, and assemble, her mining equipment, but she would need more than wood and canvas covers when the serious digging started. She peeked out to the open ground beside the mosque to see troops scampering. Then the slapping of gunfire and a soldier fell. Others scampered back to an empty street where they threw themselves against the nearest wall: More gunfire, this time from further away, up a street where she could see people flying into alleys and doorways. She waited: unafraid. This was a common occurrence now: almost daily as the rebel forces grew ever bolder. The prospect of death seemed not to bother them.

The other stall owners were all cowered under shelves and tables as she threaded her way back to her own little corner and dived under the counter to the wooden ladder that took her down to a door in the Great Wall. Through the door were steps, centuries worn, leading down to a cellar where there was the constant sound of dripping water. The floor was made of heavy stone slabs: too heavy to lift, and too thick to break.

She sat in the middle of the room, adopted the lotus position, and let her mind drift for a few seconds before forcing it to go blank. She had perfected the technique under the relentless tuition of Smiling George, the beautiful young monk she thought she had killed on the road in Western China. She had knocked him down with the stolen Hummer while trying to escape from Tor, a ruthless killer in the service of Commander John Conway – then in the service of the Federation of Fossil Fuel Suppliers. Picking up the shaken monk and taking him to his village she hoped to make amends to his family. In practice things went quite differently; his taught her so much more than she could offer them. Besides exploring some hitherto unknown pyramids they had shown her they also taught her how to elevate her mind to higher plain within seconds of entering meditation. Once there, in the areas of consciousness reached by few humans, she could start to connect with the memories of her ancestors. Just before the cataclysm longevity had peaked at 478 years: leaving women with centuries of freedom between bearing, and raising, children. In Egypt, and all across the Arabian Peninsular, language had developed and writing was beginning to move toward a universal format. Food, water, and shelter had long been stabilised, and music was being heard from The Rift Valley to the slopes of the Himalayas. If there was a cloud on that rosy horizon it was population growth which, if unchecked, would require migrations to edge of the warm climate zones because the flood plains would support only finite numbers.

Meira drifted further into her memory banks hoping to find some remnants of Anima. Anima was so elusive: so hard to contact. A day passed, and then a night, while new images surfaced and sank, but she couldn’t find Anima. Anima was key; she had to reach her.

Posted in Philip Newman, The Gilgamesh Syndrome | Leave a comment