Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Certainty Of Death, Or The Death Of Certainties

Posted in philosophy, Uncategorized on February 1, 2020 by jtoddring

 

It’s amazing to me, to see, even in thoughtful writings, even in exceptionally thoughtful writing, which is as far above the norm as the moon is from the bottom of the ocean, that even there, certain cultural constructs of the mind, certain prejudices or pre-formed and unquestioned assumptions, certain axiomatic, ideological presumptions and certitudes, are passed along without thought – as if the author were merely remarking on the sky being blue, and everyone knew it, of course, so such notions need no argument or support, but are taken as fact. These ideological constructs and presumptions are castles made of sand, but the authors, including most of the better thinkers and scholars, and virtually all people at all times, assume them to be as certain as the law of gravity. The blind, unconscious, unquestioning assumption of ideological constructs is almost shocking – at least when it is seen in otherwise intelligent people and otherwise intelligent writings. Concepts such as progress, development, civilization and civilized, freedom and liberty, democracy, evolution, or “evolved”, are tossed about with utter casual manner, with no rigour, no questioning of their actual meaning: meaning, in practice, their meaning has no meaning; or worse, and more commonly, their meaning means precisely the opposite to what it is presumed to mean. Orwell understood these things well. The fact that the vast majority, including the vast majority of intellectuals, do not, is very dangerous indeed, to say it mildly.

Fascism, war, slavery, cultural arrogance, and a culture of blindness, ignorance and shared delusion, the death of democracy and freedom, ecological holocaust, and the collapse of civilization (sic), are the likely results, the almost certain and inevitable results, and soon, if we do not begin to question far more, and assume far less.

Fortunately, all such concepts, ideological constructs and cultural certitudes are now being called into question. And none too soon. Our certainties are quite literally killing us. They are also a prison, and shackles and chains, of our own making. Let us shatter them now. It is time.

JTR,

February 1, 2020

 

Post-Script:

See my essay, Fundamentalism and Relativism, in my first book, Enlightened Democracy, for further reflections on the middle way between extremes, which represents basic sanity. Also, watch for my new book, The People vs The Elite, which is being released now.

Get ready for some exciting, but possibly quite turbulent times. The proverbial shit is about to hit the fan. And as usual, that will have both positive as well as negative consequences and implications around the world.

Tesla Model 3 vs the Chevy Bolt – And What About the Volt!?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2018 by jtoddring

 

The GM Bolt is a great car – but boring and ugly, and utilitarian, in my view, with surprisingly limited cargo space for a hatchback.

The Tesla Model 3 is also a great car, and with surprisingly good cargo space for a mid-size car – and it’s gorgeous.

There’s no comparison between the two.

One is a Korean-styled, KIA imitation, utilitarian economy car with some minimal quirky econo-car/hatchback charm, with a joystick shifter and control panel buttons from the 1970’s.

The other looks like an Italian-Scandinavian design team came out with something super-cool and sleek, and absolutely leading edge.

Again, no comparison.

The GM Bolt and Tesla Model 3 are the only cars available at this time, apparently, that are fully electric, with a range over 200 miles or 300 km, and anything near approaching affordability.

And, just as it did in a match-up with the flagships of the full-size luxury car market – beating BMW and Mercedes in sales with the Model S – in the mid-size/compact market, Tesla wins again, unsurprisingly.

The Tesla Model 3 has 400,000 advance orders, and has just hit production levels of 30,000 vehicles this year, and is ramping up fast.

The Bolt started strong, with sales strong enough to justify a GM production ramp up, but it simply can’t compete with Tesla styling or mystique.

And while both are plug-in EVs that can be plugged into any home or office wall socket, GM has nothing remotely comparable to the Tesla-built electric charging infrastructure for North America, which is the Tesla Supercharger stations.

The Bolt is $37k USD, the base Tesla is $35k USD. It’s a no-brainer.

*

By the way, GM, where’s the Volt?! Now there is a car with some style, in my opinion, and charm, and cargo space! All it lacks is an optional bigger battery pack.

Can you say, “Duh!”?

You survived bankruptcy, though the US government had to bail you out and become the major shareholder; you pulled the mothballed electric car project out of the back shed, and kudos for that – now give it some style, please.

The easiest way to do that would be to simply put a big battery pack option onto the undercarriage of the very well-designed, stylish and attractive extended-range EV Volt, and make a long-range full EV option for it.

Simple. Don’t over-complicate things. Advance the Volt.

And hire some Italian designers. Or Tesla designers, if they’ll part with the company they love.

A larger battery pack as an option for the stellar Volt would cost $5k-10k, but it would make the Volt a major contender as a mid-size, mid-price car that is also a long range electric vehicle, with a price around $39-44k USD.

Now this should be a no-brainer. Come on GM. Think about it for just a second, and get it in gear!

Until then, I’ll keep my 2012 Volt, with its 60km electric range and micro gasoline-powered range extension, and wait for a used Tesla Model 3 to come into our price range.

Too bad for GM though. This is a big lost opportunity, so far. Bad management decisions, General Motors.

As for the Volt, it is worth more than a few words as an aside.

The Chevy Volt is a great car – the best car I’ve ever driven, by far, if the environment is any consideration, which of course it should be.

We have a 2012 model, and it’s still a great car. I wouldn’t trade it for any other car, other than a Tesla, or a newer Volt. Nothing else really compares – at all.

Unless you really need giant SUV-size cargo space, or a truck or van for trades work, the Volt is simply the best car available on the planet – after the Tesla Model 3, of course, which blows it out of the water, and at a lower price.

GM, you seem to have no present ability to compete with Tesla on styling, but at least with a long-range battery pack option for the Volt, you could compete with the Model 3 on cargo space, with a car that I think is quite attractive – not gorgeous, like the Teslas, but attractive.

But no, that would require something akin to common sense. And you didn’t go bankrupt for no reason.

But once again, kudos to Tesla, for breaking new ground, and bringing electric vehicles further and further into the mainstream.

(Guess who’s leading the industry, by the way. It’s not GM. And it’s not any of the auto giants. It’s Tesla – again, and still.)

*

Now that Model 3 production is ramping up fast, what qualms does Top Gear have with the new Tesla? None. It’s simply a great car.

The only problem is waiting for the back orders to be filled. Quite the problem for a company to have – we can’t keep up with demand, so you’ll just have to wait for the lovely.

But then again, the best things usually don’t come overnight.

That’s hard for an instant-gratification culture to accept. But this is, when both price and environment are considered, as they must be, the best car ever made, to date, bar none.

JTR,
June 20, 2018

A Royal Wedding, Or A Royal Life, And A Royal World?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 19, 2018 by jtoddring
 
 
Some find a royal wedding moving and beautiful. But I disagree. Beautiful would be taking the vast fortune of the “royal” family of England and sharing it with the five billion people on Earth living in poverty, one billion of whom live in extreme poverty. Until that happens, the beautiful words and noble sentiments spoken are hollow, and not just a sham, and a farce, but an insult to our intelligence, and to humanity, and to all that is decent and good in the world. It is a lie. Maybe the young couple being married are too naive to understand these things, but their elders are not – they are simply callous: and that is despicable.
 
I do agree, however, and to put it plainly, that the celebration of royal privilege is bullshit, to quote a plain-spoken friend who has the aptitude and the common sense to get straight to the heart of the matter.
 
“Royalty” should not be celebrated or venerated, but pitied at best, for the hollowness it represents; and more often, shunned and chastised, for the corruption, vanity, egotism and greed it represents.
 
It always pains me to feel that my words may upset some people, but I always feel immediately, as well, that sometimes things must be said, even if they are unpleasant truths to hear. And I am reminded of the words of the most venerated monk and contemplative of the past 100 years in the West, Thomas Merton, whom I respect very much. He said, “If you’re afraid of writing something that might offend someone, why write anything at all?” And I heartily concur.
 
To read a fantasy novel is one thing; or to watch a fantasy movie. That may be a harmless, and even rejuvenating break from the stress and strain of daily life. But we know we are dealing with fantasy in that case. Things become problematic when the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred, as they are in the media’s fixation on spectacles and the worship of celebrities. Then fantasy becomes, not a healing break from stress and strain, but something pathological.
 
A royal wedding is broadcast on television world-wide? I couldn’t be less interested. Bread and circuses: keep the people entertained and distracted. And celebrity worship doesn’t do us any good either.
 
And weren’t we supposed to have left feudalism and the worship of monarchy behind some 250 years ago? Are we moderns, or are we, as John Lennon said, “still fucking peasants as far as I can see”? I think the answer is obvious.
 
I like a line from the film, Slaves of New York. We don’t have heroes anymore. We have people who are known for their knownness. Precisely.
 
If Martin Luther King Jr. was giving a speech, I wouldn’t miss it. But I wouldn’t cross the street to see a “royal wedding”.
 
Rather than listening to, reading, or watching drivel and pap – for example, royal galas, in an orgy of voyeurism and vicarious living, which only shows the hollowness of our souls – I think we would be better off listening to this: American Dream – one of the great speeches by the reverend (and that is not a title, but a quality of spirit) Martin Luther King Jr., or any of the words of the truly great souls of humanity.
 
The words of great leaders, thinkers, scholars and sages should be our focus, along with meaningful action based in love; not flights of fantasy into celebrity fixation, or some other trivia that the media is peddling, like opium laced with cyanide.
 
I have a dream, and it is not to be a princess or a prince, but to see the world live in peace, as brothers and sisters, in justice and freedom, in ecological sanity, under constitutional democracy, and with wisdom and love.
 
I think that is a dream worth having, worth holding dear, and worth working toward and fighting for. And I think dealing with reality is preferable to living in fantasy, for it is only by dealing with reality that such a dream can, and will, become manifest.
 
I think we should turn away from celebrity worship and vicarious living, and live our own lives, and make them regal and majestic, with dignity and humility in balance, and with an awareness of the equality of all men and women: and build a better world for all – not in the fantasy world of our imaginings, but in reality.
 
That is a dream worth celebrating. And television fantasies and princess fairy tales, or prince fixations, or other forms of celebrity worship and distraction, can never, and will never, accomplish that.
 
JTR,
 
May 19, 2018
 
 

 

 

What Do I Want? (Or, What is to be done, if we are to have any future worth living?)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2018 by jtoddring

What do I want? Well, I would like to see us move immediately to a libertarian socialist society, along the lines that Chomsky, Bertrand Russell, Rudolph Rocker, or Murray Bookchin have described. Or better: an anarchist communist society, such as Kropotkin described. But I don’t see that as something that is likely to happen in the near future. I don’t think the people are ready for that kind of radical change. Too many people are deeply indoctrinated and ensconced in dead and dying ideologies, consumerism, materialism, slave-mentality, scarcity-consciousness, illusions of powerlessness, voyeurism and escapism and vicarious living, TV culture, and a habitual, docile obedience to authority, conformity, and to the ruling dogmas (or delusions) of our time.

I would be happy to be proven wrong, but I don’t think it’s likely that we would see a near-term shift to a libertarian socialist or anarchist communist society — at least, not en masse. It will be our future, if we choose it; and it is not only completely viable, but would be a vastly better society than what we have now: but I just don’t think that is something we are going to see in the short term.

So, we keep our ideals high and our dreams alive, and work toward smaller, more immediate goals, while never forgetting our values or our dreams, and never losing sight of the long-term perspective.

For example, I think we should immediately depose and dethrone the currently ruling global power elite. That would not simply be a good thing to do — it is, by now, a matter of survival.

In the short term, as in, right now, I would be happy to see the robber barons removed from power. And I think that is a clear and obvious, undeniable necessity. What does that mean? It means removing the banking elite and other corporate elites — the billionaire class — from their current position as de facto rulers of the Earth.

That, in turn, requires a renewal, a revitalization, and a rebirth of democracy. And that, in turn, requires nothing short of revolution. We are now left with no other choice.

The choices facing us now, in early 21st century society, are either revolution, or slow death. The current order, the latest in a series of empires, is one of global neo-feudal, crypto-fascist corporate rule: and it is devouring the poor, the middle class, and the Earth — and with increasing speed. If we do not find the courage for revolution, then slow death it is.

We had best be serious about this, and honest with ourselves. Our choices have narrowed to two. What will it be, world? The choice is ours. And the hour is late.

JTR,
February 14, 2018

 

 

Crytpo-Realities

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 15, 2018 by jtoddring

The dodos run hither and thither, depending on which way the wind blows, and what the media tells them (99% of which is confusion, illusion, propaganda or lies — aka, bullshit). But as I’ve said, cryptocurrencies are not going away.

Here is the world’s leading trend analyst, Gerald Celente, on the subject:

“Indeed, even after the onslaught of government and banking warnings and restrictions, as we go to press, even though many of the currencies are well off their highs, the overall market has stabilized and many of the popular cryptos are significantly up year to date.

[Bitcoin is up over 800%, and Etherium is up nearly 7,000%, over the past year. But people panic easily, and are easily misled — and generally short-sighted, as well as blinkered. See James Altucher for further intelligent analysis on crypto-currencies. And buy $10 each of Bitcoin, Etherium and Lumens now, or $100 — something small, but a definite presence — if you haven’t yet.]

In our Trends Journal, we have steadfastly forecast that while some digital currencies will crash, long term the crypto market will grow. One reason is, as the world goes cashless, a sizeable market segment, particularly among millennials are no longer tied to their coin of the realm. They consider cryptos, many of which have production caps, as more valuable than their nation’s fiat currencies which are being printed infinitum.

[Fiat currencies, or paper money, are going to crash, and for a number of structural or macro-economic reasons: the principle one being that the Federal Reserve, the ECB, and central banks around the world, keep printing trillions of dollars out of thin air. Look at the Wiemar Republic. Such policies cannot be used to prop up economies, or to further line the pockets of the super-rich, which is their real purpose, indefinitely. Sooner or later, and more likely sooner than later, the currencies will collapse. Move your money into gold, silver, land, tools, seeds, and cryptos, now, before your money is worthless.]

Secondly, a series of coins that have a blockchain product and/or service function that drives revenue are considered New Age investment opportunities.

Indeed, even inside the hallowed halls of prestigious universities, those with international reputations for higher business-education acumen, courses on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are being taught. At Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke and other prominent business universities, graduate-level courses on digital currencies are being integrated into the curriculum.

Moreover, the Arizona State Senate recently passed a bill allowing property owners to pay their taxes with Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. While the bill needs to pass the Arizona State House before becoming law, the progress so far reflects the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency has become legitimate.

TREND FORECAST: Unlike many governments that are opposed to the crypto’s and are regulating them without understanding the scope of the market, Switzerland, the world banking capital is on-trend, to become, in the word’s of its Economic Minister the world’s “Crypto-Nation.”

….

And while UBS and Credit Suisse said they would not handle crypto-assets for clients, two Swiss banks, Vontobel and Falcon Bank, agreed to handle cryptocuurency-based investments on behalf of their clients. So, too, have Germany’s Fidor Bank and Liechtenstein’s Bank Frick.”

The trend is clear: cryptocurrencies will continue to grow as mass adoption begins to accelerate.

And further: when — not if — paper currencies implode and collapse, the few cryptos which have legs, will skyrocket in value, and take over all or part of the role of paper money — in turn, making their value rise 1,000-fold, and higher.

Long term vision is crucial: or you are lost, and simply part of the bleating herd.

Here’s what Twitter, Facebook, and other “news feeds” should read — on a daily basis:

Now Trending:

Idiocy, vacancy, herd mentality, propaganda and mass deception — and a growing minority of people around the world who are waking up, and beginning to think for themselves (hallelujah — and none too soon)

Interesting times indeed.

JTR,
February 14, 2018

Bitcoin, Crypto-Currencies and Global Trends — Tipping Points Approaching Fast

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 29, 2018 by jtoddring

Question: Cryptos — Which ones, and when?

Answer: Two, and right now

Waiting for the (painfully slow) transfer of funds from one Bitcoin wallet to another — both my own, in order to be able to buy Stellar Lumens with Bitcoins (since you can’t buy Lumens directly with fiat paper currencies, it being too new) I have the painfully clear demonstration of exactly why Lumens are superior to Bitcoin: because nobody wants to wait for hours for a transaction via Bitcoin when they can have it done and complete via Lumens in seconds. Case proven — and I have not yet even purchased my first Lumen.

Recommend to buy in modest amounts: Bitcoins (BTC, on Coinbase) (still, because they are still going to be valuable for quite some time, and will almost certainly rise much higher in value yet, especially if Amazon announces it is going to accept Bitcoins, as it now seems probable they will); and more importantly perhaps, Lumens (XLM, on Binance, using Bitcoins transferred from Coinbase). I would do both before Monday, if I were you. Think small investments, for long-term hold.

Note that while Bitcoin is down 30% over the past month from a peak in December — which makes it a good time to buy — it is up 1,000% over the past year. And the big money has yet to pour in, and is about to pour in.

As to Stellar Lumens, it is a new generation of crypto-currency, which will likely do as well or better than Bitcoin, for a number of reasons. Among them: it is faster, processing exchanges in seconds rather than hours; it is specifically designed to be a platform for global currency exchange; and it has the backing of more than one corporate giant. And Lumens are trading today for $0.62 — and will probably rise to the December highs of Bitcoin, of over $20,000, and then go higher.

There are over 800 crypto-currencies in existence now. According to the best analysts in the field, most of them are worthless, or simply scams. Bitcoin and Lumen stand out as probable candidates to survive the long term, and not only hold their value, despite the inevitable fluctuations of new currencies, but greatly increase their value over the long term. Long term investment in wisely chosen crypto-currencies should be the focus. And these are the two I would recommend.

Two important tipping point events are highly probable this year, with regards to crypto-currencies and their widespread adoption. Both of them could happen by Monday; the other by Tuesday. Investment after these tipping points will still show good returns, but the biggest returns will quite possibly be over be over. You decide how to handle that information.

Sorry for the short notice, but while I’ve been following crypto-currencies for over three years, I just learned about these two potential tipping points, or triggers for mass adoption, over the past 36 hours.

But, in any case, I would recommend that you either risk a small amount based on my word — a very small amount — or better, dig into some research for yourself, and then invest, and maybe with a slightly larger, but still modest amount. (If you go above $100, be sure to do your own research — naturally.)

*

I won’t repeat the reasons here, again, why crypto-currencies are not going away, and why, like the internet, they are not a fad. If that is not yet understood, then you should dig deeper, and do your own homework. But do note this: Bill Gates has recently said that crypto-currencies are, “the future of money” — as did James Altucher, the leading crypto-investment analyst, before that.

I will only address here two points: what crypto-currencies to invest in, if you are going to invest in any; and whether you can afford to invest at all. The first question I just answered.

As to the second: If you go out for meals, eat take-out food, fast food, junk food, donuts, buy new clothes, beer, wine, or even coffee at a coffee shop — ever — then you can afford to invest $50 each in Bitcoins and Lumens.

It’s an investment, which means it involves risk. Only death is certain. Nothing else is guaranteed. But, as the saying goes, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”. And if you’re going to blow 50 bucks on frivolous superfluities anyway, why not take a chance with a tiny investment on something that could potentially pay off big? As Virgil said, “Fortune favours the bold.”

*

Let me make it perfectly clear. I’m not interested in get rich quick schemes. I’m not interested in getting rich at all. If I was interested in getting rich, I would have been a stock broker — I certainly wouldn’t have devoted three decades to philosophy, social and political analysis, and writing. I’m interested in helping people. Period.

Certainly I’m not motivated by power, riches or fame — clearly, or I wouldn’t have become a philosopher and a writer of philosophy: which is a virtual guarantee for poverty and obscurity, in this society, if there ever was one. I may as well have chosen to be a floor sweeper, for all the riches, power and fame that writing philosophy and social commentary would bring.

So no, I’m not in it for dreams of riches. I’m interested in cryptos and invested in cryptos, to some small degree, with my extremely modest means, for the same reason that I write philosophy and political/social analysis and commentary: because I am interested in helping others, and in sowing the seeds for a better world for all.

I’m interested in crypto-currencies (an unfortunate moniker that is, but it has stuck) for three reasons only. And they all boil down to that same one thing: helping people.

Firstly, a very small investment in select, well-chosen crypto-currencies early on — and it is still early on, because the public is not yet involved, and only one person in ten thousand has any investment in Bitcoin, for example, which is the leading crypto at this time — can provide my family with some small degree of security in an increasingly volatile and unstable, insecure world.

Actually, to be more precise, there is no such thing as security: so let’s talk about resilience — the ability to weather a storm, or hard times. Anyone who talks about security doesn’t understand life or the world. Security doesn’t exist. Security is an illusion. Nothing is secure in this world. And chasing after security is a sure way to destroy your quality of life, hollow out your soul, and possibly destroy your health and your relationships in the process. But resilience is something to strive for. Resilience is simply a matter of being hardy and adaptable — and those are two qualities which will always do us well. And certain things, or certain actions, can bring us greater resilience.

What then, brings resilience?

Investing in yourself, your health, your mind, your spirit, your learning, your personal development, your relationships, your community, your social bonds of love and reciprocity, and your skills: these things will increase your resilience in very real and important ways.

On a much lower level of priority, come things like investing in land for a simple home and garden, open-pollinated seeds, tools, off-grid solar and wind power, and other material investments such as these which will enhance and increase our ecological resilience, and also our economic and psychological or spiritual resilience.

And on a third and lowest tier, we have money and financial assets — which are the least important and least reliable of all, in terms of things that can protect and provide for us and our family, in good times and bad, and increase or enhance our resilience. But nobody scoffs at putting money away in the form of savings. It’s still a good idea, despite its limitations, of course.

Fiat money, or paper currency, “isn’t worth the paper it’s not printed on”, as the world’s leading trend analyst, Gerald Celente has said. And money in the bank is no longer money in the bank, because neither banks nor paper money, fiat currency, have any reliability anymore. But financial savings in smarter forms, can be very useful, and are very wise.

In terms of money as a form of security, I would advise first and foremost, not to rely on it. That would be a recipe for disaster. I’m talking about paper money, or fiat currencies. Canadian dollars, US dollars especially, Euros, Yuan, Yen, Rubbles, Pesos….or any other paper money or fiat currency: if your savings, investments, pension plan or family’s security rests upon fiat paper money, then you have no security. Dump it while you can, before it becomes worthless, which it will.

But investment in terms of money of other forms, such as gold, which is one of the oldest and most secure forms of money, or silver — or select, well-chosen crypto-currencies, which are soon going to replace some or all fiat paper money — are extremely shrewd, and wise investments, which can provide, if not real security, since there is no such thing in the world, then at least, some very real, and considerable degree of resilience, which will help you in good times, and can be literally life-saving, or at least life-changing, in bad times.

So, firstly, as a start — not an ending point, but a beginning point — I’m interested in taking care of my family, and in increasing my families resilience, or ability to weather hard times. And that is the number one reason why I am interested in crypto-currencies: because a small, smart investment in select, well-chosen crypto-currencies can provide that, and be a very real “game-changer” for my family. I don’t care if I am rich, or if my family is rich — it’s irrelevant to me. But I do care, and care deeply, that they are well. And therefore, I care about their resilience. And for that reason, I care about intelligent, well-thought-out, strategic investments. And certain, select crypto-currencies are, at this time, among the best and most intelligent investments anyone can make.

Secondly, I’m interested in crypto-currencies because of their power to potentially be socially disruptive in positive ways: that is, I’m interested in crypto-currencies because they have the potential to aid in the urgently necessary task of unseating the banking elite from power, and to drive positive social change by reshaping and redistributing power — economic power, which always translates into political and social power — in more democratic and equitable, free and equal ways.

Like the internet, crytpo-currencies are not going to produce paradise on Earth. But do they have the power to be socially disruptive in positive ways — which is to say, to change long-established patterns of power, and to redistribute power in more democratic, equitable, and broadly empowering ways? Certainly. Absolutely. And for that reason, I am very interested in them, as potential catalysts for very urgently needed social change.

Thirdly, I’m interested in the potential of crypto-currencies to ease the financial and economic burdens, and the life burdens, of the struggling middle class and poor, who are the great majority. As I say, I believe that every indication is that crypto-currencies will in whole (probably eventually, and not too long from now), or at least in part (and very, very soon), replace fiat paper money. When that happens, and that mass adoption will reach a tipping point sometime very soon, over the next few years, and quite possibly over the next few months, or even days, the widespread adoption and use of crypto-currencies as simply another valid form of exchange or payment — like debit cards or credit cards, gold, silver, Euros or Yen — then billions, and trillions, of dollars (and other currencies, of course, the world over) will pour into the select crypto-currencies that have proven their worth by their usefulness, and they will soar in value, a thousand-fold, ten-thousand-fold, and beyond.

That means, that a very small investment in select, well-chosen crypto-currencies now, before the tidal wave of mass public adoption hits, could bring a small fortune — certainly enough to retire on — in just a few short years, or less.

This could help at least some among the vast majority of people on Earth who are in the lower 80–90% of the income scale, and who are struggling, to finally find some small degree of security, or better put, resilience, and some much-needed and much-deserved peace of mind. And that will help people to free up their time from mere survival and money concerns, to focus on higher, more useful things — like music, art, literature, history, spirituality, philosophy, nature, family, friendship, community, creativity, personal exploration, the life of the mind, and action for the healing of our very troubled world — and something beyond mere treading water, which is what most people are doing now. And most are sinking, by the way, make no mistake, or barely hanging on.

So, I am interested in my family’s resilience and well-being. I am interested in anything, short of violence, which I abhor and strongly oppose, which has the potential to be a catalyst for positive social change in the direction of greater freedom, openness, transparency, accountability, democracy, social justice, peace, and/or ecological sanity and stewardship. And I am interested in helping the more than 80% of the world’s population who are the poor or middle class, and who are struggling, to have more security or resilience, to have more peace of mind, and to be a little more free from mere material concerns, so that they can focus on the things that make life truly meaningful and rewarding.

I believe that there are a few crypto-currencies out of the more than 800 that are now in existence which have the potential to fulfill all three goals: to increase my own family’s resiliency and well-being, to catalyze positive social change, and to turn struggling middle class and poor people into millionaires, through a very small, timely investment that is wisely chosen, or at least to ease their burden, and free up some space for something beyond running on a treadmill, like a rodent in a giant cage.

*

So that is my advice: buy small amounts of Bitcoin and Lumens now, immediately, and hold the investment for the long term. If their value goes up 10,000-fold, as I think it will, with what I would estimate to be a very high probability, then take 50% of the gains as profit, and leave the rest for future growth, while diversifying your investments. Until then, leave it alone, and forget about it.

But, in anything and everything, I must say again, remember Virgil:

“Fortune favours the bold.”

Not the mousy. Not the fence-sitters. Not the ever-gloomy cynics, who perpetually paint themselves, and everyone around them, into a corner. Not the spectators — and most people are now spectators in life. But the bold.

J. Todd Ring,
January 28, 2018

PS:

I’ve recommended Bitcoin and Lumens as smart investments. And they also have the potential to disrupt the banking system and the banking elite — which is a very good thing, and is much-needed. But I’d like to note that a small investment in PressCoin, as well, for reasons of supporting something virtuous with great potential for social change, as well as for rewards, would also be a good and wise thing to do.

Can you risk a total of $150 for the sake of catalyzing and empowering social change, helping to dethrone the banking elite, and potentially raising a fortune, or at least, a good little nest-egg and handsome return on investment for your family? Can you afford not to?

One last final note:

When the internet was first introduced publicly, many people thought it was a fad. It wasn’t. They simply didn’t understand. Now it’s ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. Cyrpto-currencies are the same.

When the internet quickly became widely adopted, and the public accepted it, then came the period when people were scared to use their credit cards on the internet. They didn’t understand that it’s just as easy, and in fact easier, for someone to take the paper receipt of your credit card transaction out of the cash register till, or the carbon copy (remember those?) out of the garbage bin, and use your credit card number to steal your money, than it is to hack into a computer network to steal your credit card information. But very quickly, again, that changed. Mass adoption of online payments occurred, just as mass adoption of the internet occurred, within less than a decade. The same is about to happen with crypto-currencies. Mass adoption is near at hand.

What exactly are crypto-currencies? Crypto-currencies are two things, above all: as Jim Rickards has said, they are just another form of payment or exchange — like debit cards, which are relatively new, and credit cards, which are also relatively new; and they are forms of currency which can be used as payment or exchange, and also as an asset class, as a means to store wealth — exactly like paper money (except that they are more secure, not less), and or like gold and silver, land, art, stocks, bonds or commodities. When the people begin to realize these two simple facts, as the (slow-learning) financial elite and investment class is now coming to realize (and they are now just beginning to pour in their billions and trillions of dollars into cryptos as a result), there will be mass adoption of crypto-currencies as simply one more form of payment and exchange, and one more form of assets, or wealth storage and investment.

The key thing, from an investment point of view, as always, is to be smart, and to be early. Being stupid or foolish is never good, of course — you need to to your due diligence. But being too slow is almost as bad as being reckless or making foolish choices. Again: nothing ventured, nothing gained. Those with keen eyes and brave hearts always make the greatest gains. Those who are glossy-eyed or slow to respond, always lose out.

Over the next five to ten years, at least one crypto-currency, and probably more than one, probably a few, will have proven their worth in terms of their usefulness, sufficiently enough to become widely accepted and widely adopted. A tiny investment in the right crypto-currency now, before the tidal wave of mass public involvement begins, could yield truly massive, historic returns, because when mass adoption hits, and mass public involvement begins, the value of the surviving crypto-currencies will skyrocket, 1,000-fold, 10,000-fold, and higher.

With regard to some things, a “wait and see” approach is best. In terms of climate change, the war on nature, and the rapidly growing and escalating environmental crisis that we now face, a wait and see approach means certain death — slow death, painful death: the death, if not of the human species, then of our civilization, certainly, and the great catastrophe that would entail. Action is required, and now.

On a much lower level of priority, the emerging shift from fiat paper money to digital crypto-currencies (meaning, simply, that they are encrypted, and also, that they are open-source and transparent, and therefore more secure and democratic than state fiat paper currencies), is almost certain to happen, and to happen soon. Waiting to see what happens means losing historic investment opportunities. Playing it safe, frankly, is sometimes, quite simply, playing it stupid.

Invest a small amount now, I would recommend, in well-chosen crypto-currencies — certainly not your mortgage money, or your children’s college fund, but something small, that you can feel at peace with risking. If you lose a small investment, you can consider it a worthwhile risk taken, that didn’t pay off. But if you invest a small amount in the right way at the right time, the results could truly be massive and life-changing. As with action for environmental and social change, which is vastly more important, that time is now. The window of opening for enormous returns on investment in crypto-currencies will soon close. Mass adoption will come in five to ten years or less — but probably much sooner, and potentially this year, in a matter of months, with major tipping points coming any time, and literally, any day.

Rule #1: Don’t rely on the media.

The major media is filled with propaganda, half-truths, distortions, and outright lies — and when it’s not promulgating propaganda and distortions, it’s riddled with illusions and ignorance, and is supremely slow on the up-take. Smart money, and smart people, move faster. Don’t rely on the major media for anything. Nine times out of ten, they will steer you wrong.

Rule #2: Don’t believe the banks.

The banking elite are very threatened by the sudden emergence of crypto-currencies, starting with Bitcoin, in 2009. They see them as a threat to their power and their wealth — and rightly so, because Bitcoin and most other crypto-currencies cut out the banks. So, when you hear Jamie Diamond, as CEO of Goldman Sachs, say that crypto-currencies are a scam, it’s because his extremely fat salary is threatened.

Don’t believe the banks. That point should be obvious. The big banks are trying to find a way to not be completely shut out of a global shift in currency systems which they may no longer control. They would prefer to stay with the current global currency system, because they effectively control it. An even better choice, from their perspective, would be to demolish all currencies world-wide, and force a single global digital currency on the world, created and controlled by the IMF — which of course, in turn, they control .What they don’t want is to be left out completely. So, they are trying to find a way to stay in the game, and not lose all power and all profits, as the global nature of money changes radically, potentially leaving them out in the cold. But they don’t like this new currency set, because it’s not their baby — it’s a threat, and far from their ideal scenario.

So don’t trust the banks, or the major media. They will both fill your head with lies, falsehoods, distortions and illusions.

Who do you trust? Trust yourself. Above all, and in every regard, on everything: think for yourself. The whole question of crypto-currencies and whether to invest or where, is tiny by comparison. Above all, question everything, and think for yourself. Wealth will come, if that is important to you, and more importantly, good health and quality of life, if you do. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of fate, and God help you.

Think for yourself, in this, and every instance, always.

*

The Bottom Line:

James Altucher, who seems to me to be the best analyst in North America when it comes to crypto-currencies, who has been a computer coder for 35 years, and involved in investment, entrepreneurship, and Wall Street for more than 20 years — the person who said on CNBC, when Google offered a billion dollars to buy Facebook, and Facebook refused the offer, that Facebook was worth 100 billion, and was laughed at, but since proven right — rightly said that every new disruptive technology or disruptive trend follows the same pattern, and goes through the same three phases. If we want to understand what’s going on with crypto-currencies, then we need to understand this.

I’ll stick with examples from the tech sector, though we could just as easily list examples from other areas of society, including activism and social change. For example, we could point to Thoreau and the movement to abolish slavery, the Suffragette Movement, Gandhi and the movement for an independent India, or Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. Whether it is disruptive technology or it is a disruptive social trend — meaning, a technology or social trend which disrupts existing, established patterns, and creates new patterns — the same three phases apply, and seem to be universal.

In phase one, only the pioneers are involved. For example, in the early days of the internet, some of the pioneers were Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon. Some early pioneers didn’t last, but these giants clearly did. And yes, there is a crypto-bubble, and yes, like the dot com bubble, many crypto-currencies will collapse, and vanish — and their investors will hold nothing but dust. But there will be early pioneers and early runners who, as with Microsoft, Apple, Google and Amazon, will survive, and will become global phenomena. I don’t have a crystal ball, but Bitcoin and Lumen are two of the best bets at this time.

In the early days of the internet, even the “smart money” didn’t understand what was coming. Few people saw the trends that were emerging. The same is true now. And of course, early investors in Microsoft, Apple, Google or Amazon, have become millionaires, if not billionaires. Most people did not not. Pioneers, whether they are the innovators or they are among the very first to embrace the new (or newly rediscovered, in some cases) technology or trend, or way of doing things, are somewhere around 2% of the population. 98% of people are not pioneers. They follow the crowd.

Second comes the early adopters. They represent maybe 18% of the populace. We are now, with regard to crypto-currencies, just at the very beginning of phase two.

The early adopters include the minority of people from the general public who are open to new ideas and new ways of doing things, and who do not wait for the crowd to lead them.

Also among the early adopters are the minority of those people among the investment class — the millionaires and billionaires, and the institutional investors, such as the hedge funds which move hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars around — who are quicker in seeing and responding to new opportunities.

And the millionaires and billionaires and hedge funds are just now taking notice — ever slow on the up-take, they tend to be — and are just beginning to pour in: and to pour in hundreds of billions, and possibly trillions of dollars. This alone will push the price of select crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Lumens up 1,000-fold, and higher. And this is just the beginning of phase two.

Phase three is when mass adoption hits. And that tends to come quickly, at an exponential curve, after the human flock — pardon my bluntness, but most people behave more as sheep than as human beings, because they conform too much and think too little — begin to pour in, in a tidal wave. This is when the price of select crypto-currencies skyrockets. And this could begin as early as 2018 — possibly early 2018, and quite possibly after a single tipping point event, which could happen this Monday or Tuesday, January 29 or 30.

(Note: If a tipping point event does happen then, and you miss it, don’t panic. It’s still early on. Just stick your toe in the water, at least, and soon — I would highly recommend.)

Almost definitely, mass adoption of certain select crypto-currencies will happen within five to ten years, and probably much sooner than that. You decide what you want to do with that knowledge.

These are the trends and opportunities as I see them. But again, above all, think for yourself — in everything, always.

JTR

Brexit Madness: Propaganda and Hyperbole

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2016 by jtoddring

 

The media is screaming that the world will end if Britain really does leave the EU. The absurdity of this now-standard narrative should be clear from the outset to anyone of sound mind. But in case it is not, let us say this.

The EU has been taken over by the European Central Bank and the Western banking elite. The EU has proven it is not only an undemocratic organization, but a positively, and rabidly, anti-democratic organization.

To repeat what should be obvious and known to all, but which has been glossed over and completely ignored, the actions of the EU against Greece, and especially Italy, have proved beyond any trace of doubt that the EU is rabidly anti-democratic.

The troika, as they are called, which is the de facto government of the EU — the European Council, the European Central Bank and the IMF — were not satisfied with a right wing billionaire as prime minister of Italy. He was not right wing enough, and not compliant enough with the banking elite who now rule over Europe and most of the world. So they overthrew the democratically elected government of Italy, and installed a government appointed by the troika, composed, not surprisingly, of unelected banking elites, loyal to the EC, the ECB and the IMF, and in complete contempt for both democracy and the people of Italy.

Given these undeniable facts, and given that the EU has proven itself to be fiercely anti-democratic, and the enemy of democracy, the EU must be opposed, and all other considerations are flatly irrelevant.

Putting the question of Brexit, or a British exit from the EU, into this context, and in light of these most central facts, we should be able to see that whatever the risks of leaving the EU, in terms of possible negative economic effects, for example — which, by the way, are all hyper-inflated, and vastly exaggerated, and largely a lot of hot air and hyperbole — the risks cannot outweigh the value of democracy: if, that is, we value democracy at all.

If you value democracy, you must oppose the EU. If you value democracy and support the EU, then I would say you are living in a dream world.

So the question is, what is the bigger danger: an exit from the EU, with potential, though far from certain, negative effects; or effective rule by the ECB and the banking elite, and the effective nullification and destruction of sovereignty, democracy and freedom? I think any sane person can answer that question instantly, and without hesitation.

Leaving the EU presents a far lesser risk than remaining subservient to and subjugated by the ECB and the banking elite. Leaving the EU will not immediately grant freedom or independence from the banking elite, but it is one step closer to it; while remaining in the EU guarantees that the troika will continue to rule, the ECB, the IMF and the banking elite will continue to rule, and sovereignty, democracy and freedom will all continue to be eviscerated and crushed.

As Public Enemy said, “Don’t believe the hype.”

As an aside, and as a secondary consideration, we can say this about the economic prospects for Britain, either in or out of the EU.

Membership in the EU has not proven to be the holy grail of economic miracles, as it was proclaimed to be. In fact, entrance into the EU has brought nothing but economic stagnation for many nations. Italy, for example, is about to follow the path of Greece, and is in serious trouble economically — Italy, a once-great economic power. For the past decade Italy’s economy has been almost completely stagnant — in fact, it now ranks in the bottom three nations for economic stagnation globally. All sing the praises of the EU now. The central, and fundamental questions of democracy, sovereignty and freedom aside, any perceived or imagined economic benefits that might be derived from membership in the EU are dubious at best — and purely fictional at worst, and in most cases.

Secondly, if any negative economic fallout does happen in a serious or major way as a result of Britain leaving the EU — beyond the market correction for the ill-advised speculation and wide-spread gambling on the part of investors that Britain would vote to remain in — it will most likely be the result of the Western elite punishing the people of Britain for their defiance of the troika and the ruling cabal, and seeking a path to greater independence.

Thirdly, and most important, in terms of economic considerations at least, Britain’s economic woes are exactly the same as those shared by virtually every other Western nation: namely, they are the result of neoliberal policies of corporate globalization. Remaining in or leaving the EU has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is neoliberalism and corporate globalization which are the roots of the problem, both in terms of democracy, and also in terms of simple economics.

Look at the numbers.

Since the economic crash of 2007–2008 — which I predicted, by the way, while virtually everyone was saying that things are just rosy, and would continue to be rosy — 95% of the new wealth created has gone to the richest 1%.

The trillions of dollars in “stimulus” programs and bail-outs, which in reality represent a mass theft, and one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the people to the elite in history, has done nothing but line the pockets of the already astronomically rich — mainly the banking elite and their cronies.

A recent systems analysis from Switzerland confirmed the obvious: a small group of large corporations, roughly 40, mainly banks, effectively control the global economy.

A recent study from Princeton also confirms the obvious: the US is no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy, and the bottom 99% of the population have little to no influence on public policy — exactly as with Britain, the EU, and most nations of the world, where transnational corporate powers have effectively taken over the nation-states.

And a report released by Oxfam this year confirms that neoliberalism and corporate globalization has failed utterly in its stated aims of lifting all boats, benefiting all people, and reducing poverty: the poorest half of humanity lost nearly half its wealth in the past few years alone — to the richest 1%, who now control 99% of the wealth of the planet, while the richest 68 people on earth now have as much wealth as the poorest half.

We are being driven at break neck speed, by corporate globalization and neoliberalism, or class warfare enacted by the super-rich upon the rest, to put it more directly, into a global neo-feudal order and a new dark age. And of course, in that context, it is the merger of business and the state which is central — which, as Mussolini said, is corporatism, or what he called, the proper term for fascism. This is the central context, and anyone who does not see it yet must be living under a rock.

If Britain had someone like Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister, or Tony Benn, then some serious economic stimulus and economic recovery could become a real possibility, and a reality, along with a recovery of sovereignty, democracy, and freedom from virtual serfdom under the neo-feudal banking cartel. But instead, Britain has had forty years of the tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum of neoconservatism and neoliberalism, which are two sides of the same coin of corporate rule, and that is why the economy, like the democratic process, is shattered, and in dust and ruin.

Britain, like the US and Canada, has for the past 40 years gone head-long into a corporate-style globalization, where manufacturing, production, and profits, are off-shored, and shipped to China and other low-wage nations, for the sake of higher corporate margins and yields, and greater wealth for the elite who control them. The results have been predictable: de-industrialization, massive unemployment, the destruction of the middle class, soaring poverty and inequality, and the general “third-worldization” of the formerly wealthy Western nations, as Noam Chomsky has called it.

In other words, it is the feeding frenzy of the elite and the policies enacted by their political prostitutes which have wreaked economic devastation on Britain and the rest of the world. Blaming Brexit for such structural and systemic problems is utterly foolish, or else utterly deceitful.

The greatest danger facing the world today is the Western power elite — namely, the banking elite, the other corporate elites, and the Western political elite in the US, the EU and Canada, among other nations, who loyally serve their corporate masters. They are at war with democracy, civil liberties, freedom, constitutional rule, international law, the overwhelming majority of the people, and the earth itself. Not only that, but the war on democracy, the people and the earth, which is escalating daily to ever greater levels, and which is global, not only threatens to destroy and eliminate all remnants of democracy, sovereignty, civil liberties and freedom, along with justice and equality, and not only is it racing towards a dark age of neo-feudalism, and to the total destruction of any decent future for humankind on earth, due to severe and growing ecological malfeasance and environmental pillaging; but furthermore, the same rabidly anti-democratic elite are pushing us ever closer to world war, and to nuclear holocaust.

In this context, to pander to paranoia on lesser issues, almost trivial issues by comparison, or at least, comparatively minor issues, such as whether or not Britain leaves or remains in the EU, is not only foolish in the extreme, but positively insane — that, or it is simple propaganda. On these facts we should be perfectly clear.

J. Todd Ring,
July 13, 2016

 

 

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