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You are currently viewing archive for February 2007
Posted By Bakari

These ones are from my bookmarks...
(I wrote this!)
(if only I had a spare $1000!)
(My total footprint is 4-5, or .8 to 1.2 earths)
(I don't really know why I have this bookmarked, I just find it interesting)
(possibly the coolest thing ever!)
(so that when spring comes, we can all learn to do that stuff!)

Posted By Bakari

Personally, I am always disappointed to open a new blog installment from one of my subscriptions, and find that it is someone else's work, just copy-and-pasted in, or just a link to something they found interesting.  I often read it anyway, but I am interested in you, in your thoughts and experiences and stories.


Considering I have had a peak of 4 subscribers (one of which canceled fairly quick!), there aren't all that many people to annoy.

A few things I stumbled upon on the web, mostly while looking for other things.  Some funny, some interesting, some scary.
(who would have guessed it was so easy? must resist temptation...)
(I feel this describes nearly everyone I know around our age)
(Dawkins is my God.)
(remember to pull that battery, and tell you co-conspirators to too)
(There's a lot here.  Browse a little.  On the brainsex quiz, I got a perfect 0 - neither masculine nor feminine.  Best of both worlds, I suppose.  I am very happy about that.  Body wise, however, I assure you I am 100% man!)

Posted By Bakari

I bought a folding hex wrench set from the discount bin.

English sizes on one side, Metric on the other.

Here are the sizes, in order:

Metric -  1.5,      2,     2.5,    3,     4,       5,      6
English- 1/16, 5/64, 3/32, 1/8, 5/32, 3/16, 7/32

It should be obvious why even the British no longer use the English system.
The government once tried to have the U.S. catch up with the rest of the world, but gave up after massive citizen outcry.
I once worked with a guy who complained that the metric system was "too complicated".
I pointed out the example of
32/32 - 12 - 3 - 1760  VS  10 - 100 - 1000

(fraction of in. - in. in ft. - ft. in yard - yards in mile VS mm in cm - cm in meter - meters in kilometer)

He conceded that the latter was by far the simpler - but still had a strong objection to the metric system on the grounds that "they would have to change the game of football".

I can't help but to imagin this was the reasoning of most of the protestors. 
Interesting that, what ever the reason, an entire country would be unwilling to put a little effort into getting used to a new standard in order to make everything substantially easier for the rest of time.

I can't think of a reason, nor have I yet to hear one, why exactly one country, out of all the many that there are, should be collectively dumber than every other.

Posted By Bakari

We are not exactly taught that they go hand in hand.
It is taken as so self-evident as to not need to be said.

Because of that, it tends not to occur to anyone to question it; not even a lot of people who question just about everything else.

It is assumed also that it is impossible to have one without the other.

Hence, Americans for generations think that Communism and Democracy are opposites.
One is a political system, one is an economic system.
The opposite of Communism is Capitalism, and the opposite of Democracy is Dictatorship - or Anarchy.
I shouldn't have to bother to point out that distinction, but like I say, the assumption is pretty wide-spread.

It fools otherwise intelligent people, who believe in individual rights and freedoms, like the entire Libertarian Party.

Many realize that some socialist and communist countries have been/are democratic, and that countries with individual ownership and stock markets can have a dictatorial government.

But it actually goes a lot further than that.

An open market makes democracy impossible.


In a true Democracy, all of the citizens which live in a society collectively make the decisions which affect them.
In a free market, the "market" itself makes a great amount of the decisions which affect the citizens in a society.
The "market" decides what gets produced, how much of it, when, how much it costs, who is employed and at what rates, what housing, stores, entertainment, schools, transportation, services, etc. are available, in what areas, and for how much money (or labor equivalent).  These things make up the majority of what daily life consists of.  Foreign policy, interest rates, and government spending and services tend not to affect the day to day reality of most people.  Where the effects do lie (services, for example), they tend to be in areas where the free market would produce very different results if left to its own.

There is no actual conscious "market" entity which makes decisions.  It is a matter of people with some amount of money (it would be hard for someone with no money at all to affect the market) making individual decisions (generally assumed to be self-interested choices).
This means that a person with more purchasing power have more power over society, be that buying goods or hiring employees.
Which in turn means essentially that the wealthy control society, not just incidentally or inevitably, but by design.


It is made to seem that a restricted market is a restriction of personal freedoms.  The constitution spells out very specific freedoms, and the general principals of life, liberty, and happiness.  This is not necessarily the same as saying everyone is allowed to do whatever they want.  In any society (save anarchy) it is assumed that there will be limitations on what we will collectively allow individuals to do.  There are often some restrictions on activity which does not even effect anyone but the actor (victimless crimes), generally on religious based "moral" reasons.  Life consists primarily of the process of sustaining life, which in our society consists of work and consumption, production, service, housing - employment and the subsequent purchase of food and housing.  Therefor things which concern markets clearly have great affect on more than just the individual who, say, owns a factory.

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