Have you Ever been Swept Off Your Feet?

In both cases – whether the bubble was inflated with positive or negative energy – the participants in the bubble are being swept away further and further away from actual physical reality and start to see everything either ‘extremely negatively’ or ‘extremely positively’ – neither experience is grounded in reality – because the physical is neither positive or negative – it just is what it is.

And Then You Crash – Meconomics

In this little series, we’ve been investigating the phenomenon of inflation, how we in our daily lives participate in ‘inflating our reality’ and so, how we are on a personal level participating in the same principles/dynamics that we see playing out on a bigger scale when it comes to inflation, speculative bubbles and financial market crashes.

Welcoming New Life with Living Income Guaranteed

Comfort, security and nurturing are all things we wish are present when a baby comes into this world. Yet, these conditions are not a reality for many babies, as parents themselves like these things in their lives. In Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa, 3 to 5 babies are…

Humanity Washed Ashore

This was an excerpt of just one of the stories about the boy. Over the last few days, dozens have been written and published on various major news sites. What is more striking than the content of the posts, is the comments that are left on these articles. What is humanity’s response to such images, to such news?

Voting Fun – What does it Feel Like to Have a Say?

Now – before such increased direct political participation is a reality – let’s do a little test to see what it feels like. So – here are some mock-questions where you’re asked to give your input. Imagine that this relates to your direct reality (eg. your town) – and your answer has a weight that influences the outcome of the decision. Of course, in reality…

28 April 2013

Day 218: Justice and Human Rights

Within this Blog I will be exploring different concepts of Justice and investigate what Justice would be in the context of upholding Constitutional Equality as What is Best for All in an Equal Money Capitalistic system. This will probably turn out to be a series rather than one blog-post. So - walk with me.

The word 'Justice' has been applied in different contexts, which can be laid out as follows:

1. Legal Justice
    a. Procedural Justice
    b. Substantive Justice
2. Moral Justice
    a. Distributive/Social Justice
        I. Justice as Entitlement
        II. Justice as Fairness

Legal Justice vs. Moral Justice

Legal justice refers to adherence to the law as a set of rules that determines part of how humans are to behave towards each other and towards the environment. Legal justice, then, as to do with the content of these laws as well as how these rules are established, applied and enforced.

Moral justice has to do with moral values of what is fair, right and correct. Moral justice then has to to with prescribing how humans ought to interact with each other and who ought to get what.

Looking at the relationship between moral justice and legal justice - it is obvious that legal justice attempts to specify moral justice in relation to specific circumstances and situations - where legal justice is the 'concretization' of moral justice. Now, what is fascinating - is that 'moral justice' is often seen as a 'fuzzy' concept, or having to do with 'fuzzy concepts' such as 'rightness' and 'goodness' - where it seems it is hard to define what those words actually entail - and yet, it is those words that serve as the basis for legal justice - where legal justice - where legal justice is the justice that is applied unto a population and is supposed to yield just results - and where it is trusted that this is what the legal system intends to do. But if we are not clear on what moral justice exactly is - then how can we assess that the legal system is in fact just?

We have in all countries and even between countries a complex legal system in place - but when the question is asked: 'but what is morally just?' - then we have to scratch our heads and we refer to the law - saying that 'well, whatever the law says'. So - we're running in circles where we are attempting to establish just and good societies, where we all have an opinion about what rules should be in place, and where each one thinks their proposed rule is the right one - but where no-one has ever stopped to sit and discuss what 'rightness' is - and where the time has not been taken to come to a definition of 'justice' that all can agree on.

Many parts of the legal system are, for instance, determined by customary law - and all that means is that legal status has been given to customs and 'how things are usually done' - this ultimately proving that we cannot trust that the legal system in any way has the purpose of justice at heart - but rather attempts to merely control transactions, interactions and individual behavior.

To be continued.
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27 April 2013

Day 217: Who's Free Riding Who?

In economics you have the 'free-rider' phenomenon, a concept which if often brought forward in favour of capitalism.

The free rider concept refers to instances where someone enjoys the benefits of a product or service, without having paid for that particular good or service.

A classic example that is used in text books is where someone uses a form of public transportation such as a train, without having paid for a ticket, and is thus 'free riding'. The same goes when there is for example a project where there is collective action to reduce emissions as to increase air quality. Some may not want to participate/contribute and keep their emission levels the same while everyone else is lowering theirs, still resulting in better air quality for them, even though they did not contribute.

Now, within the context of economics, capitalism thinks to have the solution for the free rider problem, by trying to capitalize on as much as possible. If everything has a price, then everyone who uses whatever good or service, will pay.

Linked to this is also the whole 'but I worked so hard for this' and 'it's not fair that I have worked for this and that others besides me are benefiting from it, if they want it they should just work for it' mentality. This is the result from believing that our current society and economic system truly provide everyone with 'equal opportunity' -- while this is not the case.

When the Equal Money System is put forward, the 'free rider problem' gets hauled in to show how 'unfair' the system is, because everyone is provided for even though not everyone may be contributing (because they are unable to).

The problem with the free rider concept is that it is only ever brought up in the interest of holding on to one's money where "it's mine! And I worked for it!". Other forms of free riding are never brought up.

If everyone consumed as much as an average American, we would need 5 planet Earths. Put otherwise, it's a situation where 5% of the population consumes 20% of the Earth's resources. Isn't that free riding as well? You are then free riding because other people both now and in the future will bare the consequences of the unsustainable lifestyle someone else enjoys. Free riding doesn't only occur when someone is enjoying the benefits, but when someone is not taking part in resolving the consequences of the actions you are involved in.
People are being deprived of resources which are being directed towards unsustainable lifestyles – and so people are free riding on the lives of others and free riding on borrowed time from generations to come. Dumping waste into the ocean or poor countries with weak environmental regulations is free riding the Earth. The continuous postponement of coming to an actual agreement that is binding for everyone to reduce emissions and use of fossil fuels is free riding. Each time we wait with making crucial decisions which we KNOW will affect future generations is free riding. Just because ‘we won’t be here to face the music’, we don’t care = free riding.

We live in a polarized world of massive inequality – where some have more than they’ll ever need and other barely, and even don’t, get by on a day to day basis. Rich countries positions today are the result of free riding other countries in the past under forms such as colonisation and slavery. Without free riding, capitalism as it exists today would not have been possible.

Instead of moaning about people benefiting from your efforts, it would be better to spend one’s energy towards ensuring that we have a world that is Best for All to make sure that we can all live and live sustainably while ensuring the safety of life for future generations. This is the only form of free riding that is really a problem – as it has actual physical consequences on the life of others, while the free riding problems most people currently care about only hurts one’s self-interest and ego and does not really pose any real problems.

In an Equal Money System, we care about real free riding problems and will act according to the principle of Prevention is the Best Cure to minimize consequence as much as we are able to
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22 April 2013

Day 216: Children Seduced to Spend Real Money on Games

"A schoolboy has unwittingly racked up a £2,000 credit card bill playing an online game on his grandfather’s iPad.

Six-year-old Will Smith was innocently playing the popular children’s video game Tiny Monsters until his grandfather Barry Slatter, 55, was contacted by the fraud squad.

The family was unaware of little Will’s huge spending spree until his grandmother tried to use the credit card at Tesco, only to have it declined."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205555/Schoolboy-massive-credit-card-playing-iPad-Tiny-Monsters-app.html#ixzz2RDDz9inE

"A 12-year-old boy accidentally ran up a £1,500 bill while playing Xbox Live - leaving his cash-strapped dad with no choice but to pick up the tab.

Sam Ghera's son Nik thought he was using up game points every time he 'improved' his characters while playing Call of Duty and Fifa.

However, with each click he was actually purchasing an online currency - which was draining money from his dad's account."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2171930/X-Box-Live-Boy-playing-Call-Duty-Fifa-ran-1-150-bill.html#ixzz2RDEEp7N7

More and more children's video games provide the option to buy additional features or short-cuts in the games with real money. Many of these games work with virtual currency as part of the game, but then switch to ask for real money for certain purchases. No need to say that children have a tendency to mix up imagination with reality. The difference between the two is simply not very obvious to them. Especially, when we're looking at Gaming Apps on touchscreen devices - where the characters of the game can actually be touched and moved by their finger. So - to expect a child to understand the difference between virtual money and real money - where real money is nothing more than numbers on a screen in the first place - is quite far-reaching.

So, what is the deal with these games where it is extremely easy for children to make real purchases on their parents' account? Are they trying to trick children to purchases they don't realize they're making - having children give money to a company - money which isn't even theirs? Having children doing the stealing for the company? Or is it about molding children to become the future generation of consumers? Where they learn to spend virtual money in a game and find that it is so easy - but then, as soon as real money comes in the picture, the parents deny them the right to buy what they want with real money. Then the child holds a grudge and they promise themselves that as soon as they have their own money, of which they can decide how they want to spend it - that they will always buy whatever they want to buy - creating the perfectly manipulable consumer. Because then, all that needs to be done is to spark a desire - and there you have it, an eager buyer.

Here is another example:

"Facebook has been accused of creating ‘tomorrow’s generation of problem gamblers’ by rolling out real money casino games.

Under a lucrative deal with online gaming company 888, the social networking giant will offer Las Vegas-style slot machines and games such as roulette and blackjack.

The move heralds a major expansion of its gambling sites.

Gamers will be able to place up to £500 on bets using a credit or debit card with promises of jackpots worth tens of thousands of pounds.

These will only be available in the UK, where gaming laws are more relaxed than in the US. Both Facebook and 888 insist they have safeguards to prevent minors from accessing the games.

These include checking the credit card details used against both their Facebook profile and the electoral register.

But there is nothing to stop children logging on to parents’ accounts and using card details already stored on the family computer. Already, Facebook users as young as 13 can use virtual slot machines on the website to win ‘credits’ – which have no monetary value.

But as soon as they turn 18, millions of children who use the social networking site will be bombarded with adverts for real money gambling games.

Facebook has three million UK users aged between 13 and 17. But a further one million are thought to be under 13 and pretending to be older.

Any of these could already be playing the ‘free’ slot and bingo games – which critics say form gambling habits because they simulate the thrill of hitting the jackpot.

More than a million people are already signed up to play 888’s free bingo game Bingo Island – although not all of these are UK based. They have to pay for online credits to play, but cannot win any real money back.
Concern: Critics worry users, including children using parents credit card details, will get hooked on the casino-style games

Yesterday 888 launched its first real money bingo application, with promises to roll out casino games. Critics fear many will be attracted to the new games to try to win money back, after experiencing the unrealistic odds offered on the free versions.

‘You win virtually every time you play one of the free games,’ said Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University.

‘Research has shown again and again that one of the biggest factors in developing problem gambling is playing free games online first. These children and teenagers today are the problem gamblers of tomorrow.’

He warned the deal with 888 could cause ‘the floodgates to open’ as gambling companies dive into the social media frenzy to make money. It is thought Facebook will take a 30 per cent cut of all bets placed.

In August, Facebook launched its first ‘real money’ gambling game with Bingo Friendzy, which offers bingo and slot machines. But the deal, done with Gamesys Group, is relatively small compared with the potential influx of gambling giants who could queue up to join Facebook if the venture proves to be profitable.

Itai Frieberger, chief operating officer of 888, said: ‘Our Facebook play for fun offerings have found a significant audience, and we are very excited by the opportunity real money gaming on Facebook provides.’ He said the company would prevent users who are under 18 on Facebook from even seeing the games.

A spokesman for Facebook said Bingo Friendzy players are subject to ‘strict account acceptance controls verifying their identity, and that they are over 18 and located in the UK.’ Gambling will not be promoted to Facebook members registered as under 18, it added.

Any of these could already be playing the ‘free’ slot and bingo games – which critics say form gambling habits because they simulate the thrill of hitting the jackpot."

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2247087/Fury-Facebook-online-casinos-Social-network-tempting-young-gamble-new-betting-games.html#ixzz2RDWYaO3H

If capitalism, as it says, is all about the freedom of the individual and about making your own choices - then how come an army of consumer-addicts is being created?
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18 April 2013

Day 215: What about the things no-one wants to do? Civic Duty and EMC

A question that gets asked a lot, concerns the jobs like garbage processing -- and other tasks that nobody really wants to do. 

People often tell us that Equal Money Capitalism and the Equal Money System are very utopian -- then when it turns out that we still have to do things like taking care of our garbage and that we don't really have a choice in this -- then Equal Money and Equal Money Capitalism suddenly turn into tyrannies.

The problem is that we will always have consequences in our world. There is no way around it. People react to Equal Money because we are in fact proposing a system of responsibility. And to take responsibility and treat one another and the Earth in a manner that is Best for All, takes some consideration and puts us in a position where we have to do things -- things we may not want to do -- but things that simply have to be done, in order for there to be some form of harmony and equilibrium in our world. 

I mean, you can look even at your own household situation. Taking out the trash bag and tying it close is not a fun job. But you do it because if you don't you're going to end up with a mountain of trash in your house and make your place of living hazardous to breathe in. The same goes for our global household keeping, as our management of the Earth as a whole. Someone is going to have to pick up the trash, someone is going to have to process the trash -- for everyone to continue being able to live in a healthy and harmonious way on Earth. 

So what we do in our own household in terms of those jobs that are 'not so nice'-- we have a rotational system where everyone once in a while has to tend to those 'not so nice jobs'. Yes, it's not fun, but it needs to be done so it gets done from a starting point of principle, and from a starting point of understanding that if it doesn't get done, it's going to create consequence, and no-one likes to do it, so let's all share the task -- then it's spread out more and doesn't become a 'big thing' that only 'one person' has to do.

So in terms of those jobs that need to be done but no-one really wants to do -- we'll have a rotational system, where once in a while it will be your turn to contribute to maintaining the equilibrium in society and the Earth -- where for a moment, you will be participating in a task which is 'not so nice' -- but needs to be done to keep everything else nice. This will be part of one's Civic Duties -- just as in the current system where you can be called up for jury duty, something you may not particularly want to do -- but have to do within being part of society.

14 April 2013

Day 214: Guns, Nuclear Weapons and Human Stupidity - Win-Win Solutions with Equal Money

It seems that the more technological advances we make, the more stupid we become. How many of us do our mathematical calculations on paper, or in our heads like we were taught in school? Barely anyone, most have lost the skill since there's calculators doing it for us. But apart from this obvious example, we can observe the devolution of the human intellect in the development of nuclear weapons. And not only the first development of them - but the continued development of nuclear weapons after they have already been used twice - both times showing the absolute devastation these weapons cause, not only for those hit at the specific place and time - but also for generations to come and for the environment - and thus, seeing that we all live in one big eco-system that is the planet Earth - for everyone.

The use of nuclear weapons is an absolute lose-lose situation. It's the most stupid thing we could ever do. Nuclear warfare is the fast-track road to ending life on Earth. How is it that we have the intellectual capacity to design such things as nuclear weapons - but are unable to see that designing something you can't use is a complete waste of resources. And the justification is always that the weapons are there to deter another from using them. Really? A weapon that exists with the sole purpose of making sure it never gets used?

The same logic applies to owning guns. Apparently gun-owners all claim to be peaceful, non-violent beings, never intending on using their guns - but it's THE OTHER that might use THEIR GUN and so we need to be able to protect ourselves from THEM.

Both are examples of the prisoner's dilemma. The best way of avoiding nuclear warfare or gunfights - would obviously be to make it so that no nuclear weapons or guns are available to have such violence take place. In that - everyone would have to cooperate and agree to no longer produce such weapons or make them available. As soon as such weapons exist - distrust enters the picture - where, instead of cooperating with each other, each one will turn to fend for themselves. In that case - everyone will want to make sure they have the weapons to be able to protect themselves in case someone else wants to use theirs.

After so many centuries - and after so much apparent evolution we still haven't figured out that the win-win solution is to ban weapons altogether and to stick to the agreement to not have objects that are designed with no other purpose than to destroy Life. Or maybe we still haven't grasped the meaning of win-win solutions - where everyone comes out with the best possible result. Or maybe we believe that there is no way we can win if there isn't a loser involved as well - where we think we can only measure our own success or well-being against another's failures or misfortunes. 

How many more people and family members need to be lost in gun fights and wars before we realize the simplest truth: that as long as there are killing machines, someone will end up using them and others will get killed by them. If not because of an actual threat, then because of a perceived one. Take Pritorius as an example - who shot his own girlfriend because he was so terrified of someone breaking in.

We suggest that with the implementation of Equal Money - weapons and any object with the sole purpose of harming Life - are banned. Trust cannot be developed as long as each one is distrustful of others and only trying to fend for themselves - trust can only be developed when you first take a leap of faith, a leap of fearlessness. We think that if we are distrustful, that it protects us from fear - but distrustfulness in itself IS FEAR. So - we need to take a leap of fearlessness to create a platform of trust - and not accept or allow fear campaigns to influence us into thinking and believing that we are in imminent danger. Please - use common sense. Fear will get us nowhere - cooperation will.
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10 April 2013

Day 213: Equal Pay Day Every Day with Equal Money

So yesterday, the 9th of April was 'Equal Pay Day'. Hearing about it, I went 'oh cool, let me check it out' -- but then I remembered, as with many Equality points in the news and media -- that such subjects are usually limited to gender issues. Sure enough, I Google 'Equal Pay Day' and all the articles are about how much women are earning less than males in the work environment, it's about how now women are only now making what men were making in 2012, and so forth. So why are we limiting the concept of 'Equal Pay' to fairness between men and women when it comes down to remuneration for the same job -- while :

• There are 27 million people in this day and age still living as slaves.
• There's 1.3 billion people living on less than 1.25 dollars a day.
• There's over 3 billion people (that’s almost half the world) living on less than 2.50 dollars a day
• There's at least 80% of the people living on less than 10 dollars a day
• There's 250 million child labourers
• There are 22,000 children dying each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in
• And so the list goes on...

What does a pay difference matter in the light of these atrocities? Where is these people's 'one day of the year' attention?

Instead of fretting about a few percentage difference between the wage of a male and a female in the industrialized part of the world – why not make a noise about all those people who don’t even get to have a wage? Wouldn’t you agree that this is of higher importance and thus more of a priority than this gender fringe issue? I mean, if you really care about Equality and Equal Pay – you first start with making sure everyone has a Pay! As long as not everyone has an income, a way to sustain themselves – you will not get anywhere near ‘Equal Pay’, even if all males and females who are employed and have an income receive the same wage.

That is why in Equal Money Capitalism, employment forms part of a person’s basic human rights. If you really want Equal Pay, everyone would receive a wage firstly, and secondly, everyone would receive an equal wage – based on each one’s equal value as being the Capital of Life.

Let’s get Equal Pay – let’s make Equal Money happen.

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