Wednesday, 12 June 2013

They Live!

If we really had special sunglasses that showed us what the world was really like, then it would look at lot like this video clip. Some don't even need the sunglasses to see it!
I haven't posted anything for a few days, it might be imagined that despair had gotten the better of me but no, the spirit is still good. It is just the effort and time needed to blog something worthwhile rather than just filling in the spaces with meaningless nonsense, there's enough of that already.
I would rather not bother. In fact I was thinking about shutting the blog down altogether because visitors had dwindled down to next to nothing and, even then, many of the stats are likely to be from webcrawlers and spambots.
However, no harm is caused to anyone by me continuing to write, even though relatively few may ever read it.
I am always trying to think of innovative ways to present what is essentially the same message. Now, either by design, or accident, things have turned around to the point where many of us have become aware that foxes are guarding the henhouse.

I particularly feel sorry for the older generation. They may quite rightly feel betrayed. I'm sure that the bewildered look is increasing as the weeks pass. Its no joke.


Things were not necessarily better in the "good old days" but the dystopia was less established than it is today. Add to that, the fact that we were blissfully ignorant before the information super highway came along.

Imagine if a deadly virus spread throughout the world, turning people into zombies. Some found an antidote and used it but for others it was too late. Even though the antidote would still work on them, they viciously attacked those who were trying to help. Others were carriers but symptoms had yet to develop, they remained bemused about the need for an antivirus, and only mildly concerned at the antics of the full blown zombies.
The illness is in the spirit rather than biological.

(By the way, we have large stocks of the anti-virus and boxes of special sunglasses just in case you want to look cool while saving the world.)

Considering the way society had taught us to seek material gain without though to our spiritual wellbeing, it is hardly surprising that so many are on a path ultimately leading to lack of fulfilment. If you argue otherwise, that material wealth has any lasting significance, then you too have been drinking the cool aid.
A few years ago I started a small investment company. I had some background in business and economics.
I bought a small amount of stock in an Israeli tech company called GEO Interactive. The shares were trading at around 10p but had started to rise quite quickly. I got in at £1.20 and they kept rising. I sold all of my stock at £2.40 only to find that they weren't going to stop there. I bought again at £3.20 and watched them rise to £35.00 per share before falling back.
I eventually sold again in the £20.00s but for a while, I was completely mesmerised by the ease by which I could become seriously wealthy. Many "GEO millionaires" were created from the rise of that stock.

There was a problem with my attitude to this. It was too easy. My relatively poor background had left me conditioned to thinking that there was something wrong with easy money and I just wasn't prepared for the life changing impact that wealth would have upon me.
I did ok, but the killer instinct that is essential in the world of equity trading, was absent from my psychological make up.

When I was at the shops yesterday, I considered the case of Primark, a company that has become successful by selling clothing produced by some of the poorest economies in the world.
Not only had they developed a profitable business model, they have ruthlessly exploited the circumstances of wealth inequality to expand their business to nearly every major high street in the UK and will only stop expanding when the economies of scale, dictate.
What else can you expect from a corporate entity? They have no soul, no morals, they are led in the pursuit of profit as a primary objective. The directors of that company have contracted the zombie virus for sure. Bad news for those who suffer so that we can buy a £3.00 shirt.
We're all outraged, even the zombies!



  1. The name of the game is consistency.

  2. " Bad news for those who suffer so that we can buy a £3.00 shirt"

    Here's the relevant issue though... Do you think they (the people who make the shirts) would prefer us not to buy what they make? I do wonder about that (sitting here in my black Primark shirt).

  3. Do you think they (the people who make the shirts) would prefer us not to buy what they make?
    I think they would prefer to be paid more for their work. That's true of us all I suspect.

  4. Of course Pete, but that does not answer the question, which is the question that I face (and I do ponder it) as I stand in front of the shirt in the shop and wonder whether it is better for the people who made it that I should buy it or go elsewhere.

  5. Woops, I accidentally put that comment in under an old persona, but it was me.

  6. I'm not sure that any choice would be beneficial to the producers. More upmarket garments are still made in The Philippines or Indonesia.
    Its just the way things are. There is no easy solution short of the directors acquiring a moral conscience, which would of course mean that they would be out on their ear at the next AGM.

  7. Not much place for a moral conscience in a market economy, sadly. It has to be externally enforced, if at all, but then that draws complaints of State or Global regulatory interference. All this debate over buying a shirt... I'm just going to buy the best value I can find (unless I can get away with nicking one, of course ;)

  8. We owe it to ourselves to maximise our resources Andrew and markets work in a predictable manor because of our individual predictability.
    Unfortunately, we are programmed with "Selfish" as the default mode.
    It is as if the plight of third world countries at the hands of western capitalism, is just a natural consequence of impersonal market forces. They are impersonal alright, but they are led by a collective of selfish individuals.

    As long as selfish ambition, is our primary goal, the model works. However, an entirely new and interesting perspective can be had once we break out of the "me" mould.

    Sorry to rant on. It just seems so simple sometimes.

    1. But just one or a few breaking out of "me mode" is never enough, it needs many or most to do so. I was up for that long ago, then I became disillusioned with my fellow humans and drifted back to default me mode, at least as far as economic choices are concerned. It's interesting. Socialists claim there is no such thing as "human nature" whereas the free marketeers claim that system is the only one compatible with human nature. I suspect (as usual) both extremes are wrong. I used to be a big fan of Cooperatives, but my experience is that a few people, at least, generally mess things up for the rest. It's one thing to suggest obvious and simple solutions, but quite another thing to get them to work with real people. And "ranting on" is fine - it's one of the main things that blogs and blog comments are for, in my opinion.

  9. Yes. I agree with you on the whole Andrew but I would urge everyone to resist the default "Me mode", even if you are the only giver, and there are 999 takers, someone has to point to a better way, surely?