Tag Archives | Money

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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Wall Street’s Steeply Increasing Republicanism

We’ve seen massive amounts of dark money in politics co-opt and buy our former democracy wholesale. This was especially clear in the post-Citizen’s United elections in the U.S., with special interests, corporations and/or lobbyists spending billions of dollars (that they otherwise argue they need to keep hold of with preferential legal and legislative treatment).

Wall Street, in particular, holds sway over the thinking in Washington, D.C. Our elected policy-makers are increasingly owned, or at least bought and paid for, in other words; whores. So they’re exercising their freedom of speech, and just as with their other shady deal-making, they tend to bet big. Wall Street gave big to the Democrats and Obama in particular in 2008. They gave to him early on before backing Romney as ‘one of their own’ in the financial sector.

But is there anything to the idea that their toxic objectivism is severely conservative nowadays? Open Secrets Blog, a great research site from the Center for Responsive Politics that was instrumental during the election, before and since, for exposing the flow of money from profiteering barons to pandering politicians.… Read the rest

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The Movement To Mint A Trillion Dollar Coin

Have you heard about the Trillion Dollar Coin? No joke, there’s serious talk in Washington about minting one. Joe Weisenthal explains at Business Insider:

There are really two stunning things about the movement to mint a trillion dollar coin to avert a debt ceiling crisis.

FIRST: the movement has gone absolutely nuts.

Everyone is talking about it.

Media outlets and individuals include: BBCFox NewsCNNPIMCO’s Bill GrossPaul KrugmanReutersThe GuardianWall Street JournalThe EconomistBloombergMSNBCCNBCNBCCBSABCThe AustralianRia Novosti (Russia), Stephen ColbertThe Washington Post. That’s just a partial list.

SECOND: Despite the supposed absurdity of it, and despite the fact that it flies in the face of everything everyone thinks about money, there are virtually no good arguments against it.

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The Cult Of Nick: KLF, Chaos, Magic, Music, Money

From The Cult Of Nick podcast:

In 1994 Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty took a million pounds to a deserted boathouse on the island of Jura and burnt it. The writer JMR Higgs looked at this event from a magickal perspective and came up with some interesting results. The story involves the world’s first joke religion, the JFK assasination, Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Moore and a bunch of ideas collectively known as “Chaos Magick”.

[...]

If you’re interested in “sigils” which we get to talking about right at the end of the interview go to the Disinfo.com website where I’ve written some short essays on the topic.

Click here to download the podcast for yourself.

The events and book are described by the author on his personal website here:

I read about it afterwards in an article in the Observer, which I immediately clipped and put in a drawer.

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The Mininum Wage Machine

Via Andrew Fishman’s Art, minimum wage machine is a sculpture installation by Blake Fall-Conroy, allowing anyone to work for minimum wage for as long as they wish:

Turning the crank on the side releases one penny every 4.97 seconds, for a total of $7.25 per hour. This corresponds to minimum wage for a person in New York.

This piece is brilliant on multiple levels, particularly as social commentary.  Without a doubt, most people who started operating the machine for fun would quickly grow disheartened and stop when realizing just how little they’re earning by turning this mindless crank. A person would then conceivably realize that this is what nearly two million people in the United States do every day…at much harder jobs than turning a crank. This turns the piece into a simple, yet effective argument for raising the minimum wage.

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