Tag Archives | Money

VICE Sells Out Music “Journalism” for Cash Money

Limp-Bizkit_haterOkay, now it should be stated that I love the website Vice. I do. The fact that a pop culture youth media site does better overseas journalism regarding things like the American war machine than actual media outlets these days is beyond mind blowing and creepy. Unfortunately, it is exactly because of their influence on the youth media market that their recent turn as PR men for aging, culturally irrelevant millionaire rock stars is so unbelievably disappointing. The gripe about so called hipster music coverage is that they only cover the bands that their writers or friends are fucking (usually pretty accurate), but you know, at least back in the day they were apparently fucking creative people with talent.

Not anymore, in the last month they’ve just started reporting on richie rich bands solely because of money. As mentioned, what’s even skeezier about this turn is that they’re doing it in an obviously calculated attempt to rebrand successful musicians perceived by the public as tragically uncool, and it makes perfect sense.… Read the rest

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Why The “Financial Literacy” Push Is A Sham

financial literacyApril was national financial literacy month, promoted heavily by major banks and other debt-producing institutions who want you to believe that poverty, the financial crisis, and mounting student debt are the result of ordinary people’s ignorant refusal to discipline themselves and budget properly. Via the Guardian, Helaine Olen writes:

Companies and colleges say that if we all understand our finances, financial crises won’t happen. This is simply untrue.

April is National Financial Capability Month. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke says: “Among the lessons of the recent financial crisis is the need for virtually everyone – both young and old – to acquire a basic knowledge of finance and economics.” Sounds great.

But it promotes the false equivalence that the victims of the financial shenanigans of the past several years are as responsible for the financial crisis as the financial services sector, the ultimate creator of all those financial products of mass destruction.

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Bitcoin Currency Tops $1 Billion In Total Value

Are we living in a video game? Quartz writes:

Digital currency bitcoin continues its remarkable and somewhat inexplicable run. It’s up 152% this month, and today the total value of all outstanding bitcoins topped $1 billion for the first time before settling back down.

That’s quite a milestone, considering bitcoin isn’t backed by any real asset or faith in any government. What makes bitcoin so maddening to explain—no, there’s no central bank; yes, it really is just a bunch of people creating money out of thin air—is precisely what makes it so powerful.

The estimated margin on “mining,” or creating, new bitcoins has already recovered from December, when the rate at which new bitcoins could be minted was cut in half, part of the currency’s intentionally deflationary design. Anyone, from hobbyists to bankers to thieves, can mine bitcoins, which requires raw computing power dedicated to solving cryptographic puzzles.

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How Your Social Media Score Will Shape Your Life Options

On the intertwining of social capital and literal capital, the Economist reveals:

Facebook data already inform lending decisions at Kreditech, a start-up that makes loans in Germany, Poland and Spain. Applicants are asked to provide access for a limited time to their account on Facebook or another social network. Much is revealed by your friends, says Alexander Graubner-Müller, one of the firm’s founders. An applicant whose friends appear to have well-paid jobs and live in nice neighbourhoods is more likely to secure a loan. An applicant with a friend who has defaulted on a Kreditech loan is more likely to be rejected.

An online bank that opens in America this month will use Facebook data to adjust account holders’ credit-card interest rates. Based in New York, Movenbank will monitor messages on Facebook and cut interest rates for those who talk up the bank to friends. If any join, the referrer’s interest rate will drop further.

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You’re Not a Monkey When You’re Stoned!

The title to this piece is something that randomly popped into my head when I was Occult ganj-i-tating a few months back. I wrote it down on my Facebook page (friend me for strangeness) and ultimately just dismissed it as a funny song title idea until the next few weeks found me catching up on Mad Men. Of course! With weed laws loosening and legal weed a reality in my home state of Washington, we’re going to need some slick marketing copy to make this stuff the center of our economy (as it rightfully should be), and who better to do that than a chronically stoned super freak like me? “You’re Not a Monkey When You’re Stoned.” What a great tag line (pot marketing people, call me), but Christ, you really don’t need a hypnotic tag line to sell this stuff. As I’ve found out first hand as a small time dealer, shit basically sells itself.

Here’s why. Life is bullshit, pot can help! Man, that’s another great one. Someone should really hire my ass here because I could just keep going with these. But seriously, chances are, if you’re not among the supremely wealthy minority of privileged fucks running things, you probably have to work a day job that makes you want to blow your brains out a lot of the time. See, life is bullshit. I have no idea what the architects of this reality were thinking with all that, but the good news is that pot can take you far far away from everything, really fucking quick…

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Arizona Moves To Approve Gold And Silver As Legal Currency

The return-to-old-timey measure follows a similar development by Utah. The Arizona Daily Star explains:

State senators voted [last] Wednesday to make gold and silver legal tender in Arizona. They persuaded Sen. Chester Crandell, a Heber Republican, to give privately minted gold and silver coins the same legal status to pay bills. The proposal, SB 1439, stems from concerns of some that the paper money is losing value.

The U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits states from creating their own currency. But supporters contend that does not preclude states from recognizing coins minted by private organizations. The legislation would not require anyone to accept these coins.

Crandell acknowledged his legislation probably is unworkable, for now. So he agreed to delay its effective date until after 2014, giving lawmakers a chance to work out any of the kinks. A final roll-call vote is needed before the measure is sent to the House.

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On The Price Of Increasing Your Capital

Consider getting drunk and going to the movies this weekend. From 1844′s Human Requirements and Division of Labour Under the Rule of Private Property, Karl Marx says:

The less you eat, drink and read books; the less you go to the theatre, the dance hall, the public house; the less you think, love, theorize, sing, paint, fence, etc., the more you save – the greater becomes your treasure which neither moths nor dust will devour – your capital. The less you are, the more you have; the less you express your own life, the greater is your alienated life – the greater is the store of your estranged being.

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Beyond God and Money

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” – Aldous Huxley

When Christianity was the West’s main system of control some of the finest minds in the world were employed to articulate brilliant, complex, philosophical arguments in defence of the various paradoxes which sprout from a belief in the bible. These “experts” were capable of ingenious and amazing[1] responses to the major stumbling blocks presented by the religious belief systems of the day.

For example:

If God is all powerful can he make a rock which nothing can move?

Answer: Yes of course.

Paradox: Can he then move that rock?

Either way his power appears to have limits. [2]

Wrangling round questions such as these gained articulate and clever people a lot of power and status back in days gone by. Don’t get me wrong, St Thomas Aquinas and his mates probably believed what they said. It’s just a lot of it, from the perspective of 2013, now seems like very clever, interesting, well-written, bo—cks.… Read the rest

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What Would A World Without Work Be Like?

What comes next? Via the Guardian, Nina Power argues that work is becoming obsolete:

As with all major institutional entities – law, prison, education – to question work is to tamper with reality itself. As with law, prison and education, it is almost always “never a good time” to talk about reform, or the abolition of existing structures.

But as wages bear less and less relation to the cost of living, it seems as good a time as any to ask if the underlying fantasy is that employers will one day be able to pay their workers nothing at all, because all those issues like housing, food, clothing, childcare will somehow be dealt with in another, mysterious, way.

Against the backdrop of rising inflation, increasing job insecurity, geographically asymmetrical unemployment, attacks on the working and non-working populations, and cuts to benefits – a debate about what work is and what it means has been taking place.

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