this week i

updated our women's health insurance factsheet and our calculation of the privatized medicare market's share of medicare enrollees

rss subscribed to the oed's word of the daynarrative laundering deserves at least its own month.  did trotsky and lennon wear the same eyeglasses?


learned pelosi uses chrome.  covidfefe, i say.   maybe time for that i voted tattoo.  grooming overrated, look as thine creator intended

cleaned cobwebs.  as stress dissipates after death, more recent fights with infirmities overpower memories that built the original bond.  interrupt those thoughts!  balance good works given, with gratitude: consider acts of preciprocation in our shared days of health, plenty.  i phoned mom at pnas one elementary school day, asked for eight bits of hours of entertainment, she bought on her evening commute because unconditional love.  she scratched my back, tired, declined to keep scratching, but never refused to rest her palm on my spine till i fell fully asleep.  when i fell down stairs, dad renounced marijuana.  he exhausted my first decade chain-smoking on small planes to most every state capital, mailing momentary postcards.  so sails never wanted for wind

watched weeks five six seven of perry mehrling, the price of one brick of gold

 

the banker's business is managing inflows and outflows..ideally, in any given day, you're getting repaid by somebody and you use those very same notes to pay somebody else

the bagehot rule: lend freely, at a high rate, against good security

 

read in search of lake wobegon, a photojournal of the upper mississippi.  upon these snowmobiles, my children, blessings be

when it's your time to go, you go, and you can run two miles a day and eat bran flakes and no animal fats and all you do is make a slimmer corpse

i saw an old man walk out of the post office who reminded me of senator k. thorvaldson, a man in a brown porkpie hat and a pale blue polyester suit with a string tie with an agate on the clasp and wearing white shoes

 the superior glacier came through here about six million years ago, leaving sandy soil, which, had the moorhead glacier moved in faster from the west and beaten the superior glacier to the spot, would have been richer soil and the farmers would have been richer, too, but it didn't, and they aren't

 


 

1/14

this week i

welcome zora catherine rae prasad

published on second dose vaccination disparities

list pet peeves: eyeliner pencils (or anything sharp near eyeballs) in moving vehicles // sharing articles without reading them first

watched the dominique strauss-kahn documentary.  everybody fishy

 

read about the black market of indian consumer behavior data

when contacted about providing a sample database, amresh, the owner of e-commercedatabase.in, would not reveal the source of his data, nor did he ask any questions of us. all he wanted in exchange was our email addresses and phone numbers. the database arrived instantly, containing information that would make most online shoppers shudder: not only the names, email addresses, phone numbers, and states of residence of thousands of people but also what they bought and how much they paid for it, from cotton pajamas ($27) to noise-cancelling headphones ($408). For $20, we could purchase the full stash, containing the personal details of 14 million people.

 

read about the white cliffs and tobacco mosaic virus

the bulk of the planet's chalk formations were deposited more than 65m years ago, during the late cretaceous - creta is latin for chalk

viruses can fossilise

perhaps it's not the white cliffs of dover so much as the white cliffs of doom

viruses can also acquire genes from their hosts - as an infected cell begins to make new virus particles, some of its own genetic material may be added to that of the virus.  if the virus goes on to infect another cell, these "extra" genes are transmitted too, potentially bestowing new genetic powers upon the recipient.  it's a kind of inheritance, but not the normal, parent-to-child sort.  and here's the thing.  the language of genes is universal: all lifeforms interpret genetic material in essentially the same way.  a virus that can infect lifeforms that are only distantly related may sometimes, therefore, move genes across the tree of life.  such happenings accelerate evolution: lifeforms acquire new traits wholesale, rather than having to wait for them to come about

all lifeforms can trace their origins back, across 4bn years, to a single common ancestor.  viruses cannot: they appear to have arisen several times independently

 

read waiting for godot, about humanity shivering in the cold, talking to itself.  pozzo and lucky better cast as joaquin phoenix and russell crowe

translated from the original french text by the author

pity we haven't got a bit of rope

estragon: and here where are we now?

vladimir: where else do you think?  do you not recognize the place?

estragon: (suddenly furious) recognize! what is there to recognize?  all my lousy life i've crawled about in the mud!  and you talk to me about scenery!  (looking wildly about him.)  look at this muckheap!  i've never stirred from it!

vladimir: calm yourself, calm yourself.

estragon: you and your landscapes!  tell me about the worms!


estragon: the best thing would be to kill me, like the other.

vladimir: what other? (pause.) what other?

estragon: like billions of others.

vladimir: (sententious). to every man his little cross.  (he sighs.)  till he dies.  (afterthought.) and is forgotten

estragon: in the meantime let us try and converse calmly, since we are incapable of keeping silent.

vladimir: you're right, we're inexhaustible.

estragon: it's so we won't think.

vladimir: we have that excuse.

estragon: it's so we won't hear.

vladimir: we have our reasons.

estragon: all the dead voices.

vladimir: they make a noise like wings.

estragon: like leaves.

vladimir: like sand.

estragon: like leaves.

silence.

vladimir: they all speak at once.

estragon: each one to itself.

silence.

vladimir: rather they whisper.

estragon: they rustle.

vladimir: they murmur.

estragon: they rustle.

silence.

vladimir: what do they say?

estragon: they talk about their lives.

vladimir: to have lived is not enough for them.

estragon: they have to talk about it.

vladimir: to be dead is not enough for them.

estragon: it is not sufficient.

silence.

vladimir: they make a noise like feathers.

estragon: like leaves.

vladimir: like ashes.

estragon: like leaves.

long silence.

vladimir: say something!

estragon: i'm trying.

long silence.

vladimir: (in anguish). say anything at all!

estragon: what do we do now?

vladimir: wait for godot.


habit is a great deadener


read before the horror: the population of hawai'i on the eve of western contact.  demographic debate on inhabitants before cook's arrival in 1778

tuberculosis introduced into previously uninfected populations has been known to cause 50 percent mortality in less than a decade

millions of pounds of fish that were produced by an ingenious and unique aquaculture technique that multiplied by 100 times the natural food chain efficiency of protein production

the best modern estimate of hispanola's population in 1492 is about 8 million.  by 1535 - well under half a century later - the native population was extinct.  eight million people had disappeared, primarily from newly-introduced diseases

prior to western contact peru's population stood at about 9 million, with about 6.5 million people residing along the coast.  within the first fifty years following western contact..the population fell to slightly over 1 million [about an 88 percent collapse] and by 1620 stood at about 600,000..again, primarily from introduced disease

societies faced with conditions of scarcity tend to restrict their rate of strenuous leisure activities, thus reducing unnecessary caloric expenditures.  once again, as is well known, the opposite situation prevailed in hawaii.  nothing was more vividly described by the awe-struck western visitors than the boxing matches, surfing contests, dance extravaganzas, and other vigorous (and calorie-consuming) leisure-time pursuits of the hawaiians.  and these were activities, it must be recalled, that were full-time daily routines during the annual makahiki festival which lasted for four months of each year; no people facing a situation of severely limited resources is either likely or able to give over a third of each year to such festivities

the european bacteriological invasion had turned the islands, like the american indians' homelands, into "widowed lands"

1/7

this week i

impersonated.  the bad-in-igbo-good-in-yoruba twins drove west in record time, marcie prepared pre-flight camem-bear, pozole, pumpkin cheesecake







remember two summers past, gananoque enclosed porch, dialing dad over and over, had left the phone off the hook, might not have had the mental wherewithal to open the front door and shout for a neighbor should something go wrong.  from there to here, the toll of stress, not so bad, not so bad.  no choice in who we love.  the same rule applied when he stood by my mom: you would have done it for me.  here are his ashes floating to sea



have had enough for the day.  muy tierno y por favor acurrucame

wish we all had this gift.  cascading onmouseover.  is randall to randy the geekiest to goonish full name-nickname combo?

read things fall apart.  two stories of many stories

the spell of sunshine which always came in the middle of the wet season did not appear.  the yams put on luxuriant green leaves, but every farmer knew that without sunshine the tubers would not grow..that year the harvest was sad, like a funeral, and many farmers wept as they dug up the miserable and rotting yams.  one man tied his cloth to a tree branch and hanged himself

he remembered the story she often told of the quarrel between earth and sky long ago, and how sky withheld rain for several years, until crops withered and the dead could not be buried because the hoes broke on the stony earth.  at last vulture was sent to plead with sky, and to soften his heart with a song of the suffering of the sons of men.  whenever nwoye's mother sang this song he felt carried away to the distant scene in the sky where vulture, earth's emissary, sang for mercy.  at last sky was moved to pity, and he gave to vulture rain wrapped in leaves of coco-yam.  but as he flew home his long talon pierced the leaves and the rain fell as it had never fallen before.  and so heavily did it rain on vulture that he did not return to deliver his message but flew to a distant land, from where he had espied a fire.  and when he got there he found it was a man making a sacrifice.  he warmed himself in the fire and ate the entrails

then he tried to settle the matter the way he used to settle such matters when he was a little boy.  he still remembered the song:
eze elina, elina!
sala
eze ilikwa ya
ikwaba akwa oligholi
ebe danda nechi eze
ebe uzuzu nete egwu
he sang it in his mind, and walked to its beat.  if the song ended on his right foot, his mother was alive.  if it ended on his left, she was dead.  no, not dead, but ill.  it ended on the right.  she was alive and well.  he sang the song again, and it ended on the left.  but the second time did not count

a wooden dish with three kola nuts and alligator pepper

mosquito, she had said, had asked ear to marry him, whereupon ear fell on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.  "how much longer do you think you will live?"  she asked.  "you are already a skeleton."  mosquito went away humiliated, and any time he passed her way he told ear that he was still alive

such little conspiracies as eating eggs in the bedroom

spirits always addressed humans as "bodies"

ezinma sneezed.  ekwefi muttered, "life to you"

in the many years in which he had toiled to bring civilization to different parts of africa he had learned a number of things.  one of them was that a district commissioner must never attend to such undignified details as cutting a hanged man from the tree.  such attention would give the natives a poor opinion of him
 
12/31

this week i

saw a nice bumper sticker: honk if you have to poop

learned the united nations projects the twelfth billion human will never be born

completed the first four weeks of perry mehrling's money and banking

 we have here, the, financial times

i have intellectual ancestors that i respect and that i try to build on

finance thinks there's no such field as monetary economics, that it should be finance instead of money, that in an efficient market, there's no liquidity problem.  if all prices are exactly at their efficient market price, there's nothing for liquidity to distort..there's no such thing as a firesale

 all banking is a swap of ious

what is the ontological status of currency?

the history of american central banking is a history of war finance

the alchemy of banking

balance sheet way of thinking

liquidity kills you quick

they also tried to raise reserves from world money markets, which mean london, which often disrupted world gold markets..so the united states is this big child..in the world monetary system, and every fall, it throws a little fit.  and it causes the international gold market to go crazy, europe got sick of this, and they sent us some help, paul wallberg, to help us create a central bank, but we did some of this on our own too, there was agitation for a central bank, as well. the key moment was 1907, the financial crisis of 1907 when jp morgan sort of showed us how we could get out of this crisis ourselves

 here's the ultimate credit: mortgage..who lent the money for this creditor?  if you follow through, you say, well, citibank borrowed from hsbc, who borrored from chase, who borrowed from you.  in a certain sense, i bought it from you and you lent me the money for it.  now, i don't owe it to you.  i owe it to these intermediaries so if i default, you'll still get your money.  but in terms of the actual source of funds, it's here until you spend these.  you can spend these, and then somebody else has to be the source of funds..you have transferred your assets from a house into a deposit account

it's like another page in the thriller you're reading.  like another clue you get about whodunit, and that's part of my excitement everyday in teaching this class too..i've just put in real time, my notion of what's happening in the world based entirely on what i've just read in the ft and these prices.  i have no secret information..we will see what happens in the next few months..and then we'll get some more information and we'll form another hypothesis

read the universe in a nutshell.  here, there, everywhere be dragons

 i still get two or three letters a week telling me einstein was wrong

we had sidestepped kant's antimony of pure reason by dropping his implicit assumption that time had a meaning independent of the universe

 galaxies are distributed roughly uniformly throughout space

the french also felt that the name as they translated it, trou noir, had dubious sexual connotations and should be replaced by astre occlu, or "hidden star."

read the new topping book

many if not most people play with some form of s/m energy

force that shy little thing to tell you what she wants

 accessing your shadow, as a top or as a bottom, can put you into a state of tremendous emotional vulnerability, and you may need lots of nurturing and acceptance while you are in that state

this is our theater, and the bottom's response is our applause

go into a scene with an "outline" of possible activities - a menu that we can move through or skip around or even ignore if we think of something better to do, but that's always there to fall back on if we feel stuck..plan an outline with two or three times as many items on it as [you] could ever actually do

ask about the journey - talking gets us back in our heads - and welcome your friend back

the blindfold..don't withdraw touch by accident - this is a powerful stimulus, and you want to stay purposeful with it.  don't leave a blindfolded person alone in a room

some dominants like to control their submissive's behaviors with a goal toward improving his life - making sure that he quits smoking or does the work he brought home for the night or gets his daily exercise.  others require that their submissive give them valuable service of some kind - maintaining the household, caring for the dominant's body or possessions, or even managing or training other submissives.  still others enjoy training their submissives in postures, vocal mannerisms, forms of address or types of service that are particularly appealing to the dominant - for example, kneeling with the knees 14" apart, eyes down, back straight, while proffering a cup of coffee

we seek out opportunities to struggle with these conflicts so that we have a chance to make the story come out differently

read about the evolutionary branches of mammals dipping a toe into the oceans









12/24

this week i

walked up weaverton cliffs, gliding turkey vultures, back down as the sun sank the same.  confederate sharpsburg restaurant out of wings, not allowed to dice chicken tenders into the arrabiata.  bonfire by antietam creek, one forkful pasta another fishnchip fries, owl on the way out


repeated trips + $2,000 to friends overseas, 14 vtsax to aclu & edf, 7 to archive, mozilla, weta & wiki.  annus horribilis latin for asshole of a year

baked the tuna then smoked everything else in the house


 

read..

(1) decay before ten sixty six

nationalist english historians and novelists alike treated defeat at hastings as an emotional trauma.  tolkien notoriously took the norman conquest so hard that he avoided every connection with the french: 'bag end' is a defiant response to the imported phrase 'cul-de-sac', which angered tolkien every time he saw it on a street sign

the whole english leadership class..had lived for decades in 'a nexus of scheming and manoeuvring..entangled in deceit and self-deception'.  since the death of aethelred the unready, this had steadily hollowed out the morale of taxpayers and the county levies


(2) certain fetishistic election day gestures

the worst basketball game i had ever watched in my life - where one of the players was dribbling a human head and the other was being gently lifted by the mascot to help him dunk

but the desire to see the sitting president eat electoral shit was so powerful it had almost taken a place in maslow's hierarchy of needs, somewhere between reproduction and personal security

second amendment dog oral in the name of the deposed king

 

(3) the thurston howell the thirds of teton county

the top one percent of teton county residents make 233 times more per year than the bottom 99 percent

all kinds of studies exist of poor people, but not many of the rich.  again and again he repeats how important it is to understand the rich because of their "immense influence"

in the outdoors the rich can pretend to be like everybody else

with their wealth that piles up on them unstoppably, like the chocolates coming off a speeded-up conveyor belt in that episode of i love lucy


(4) the three algae

in order to live on land, plants evolved complicated plumbing and energy-sensitive seeds, sacrificing the efficiencies of living directly in the sea.  algae never left the primordial soup.  they photosynthesize with every cell and reproduce exponentially

over 10,000 years, the gut flora of the japanese have uniquely evolved to digest red seaweeds

hypothesis that stone age humans settled the americas not by traversing the beringia land bridge but by navigating in boats a "kelp highway" of whales, seals, fish, and seaweeds hugging the pacific rim


(5) homemade porn

a skilled sailor left to his own devices might have occasion to carve out a fine pornographic scrimshaw on sea ivory.  one side of a carefully engraved walrus tusk might show a whaling ship in full sail, adorned by leaves, anchors, and cannons - the other, a naked lady sitting on the head of a sea monster

rectangular breasts made by loggers

consumerism eradicates the creative libido



(6) the giraffe through antiquity

 'it bears the joint name of both animals.'  camelopardalis

 'necking' - swinging their necks against one another, seemingly to establish dominance.  (there will surely be more to discover about necking, too, in years to come: it often leads to sexual activity between the warring males.  indeed, most sex between giraffes is homosexual: in one study, same-sex male mounting counted for 94 per cent of all sexual behavior observed


12/17

this week i

watched ran (1985): king lear in the samurai power vacuum, concubines commit seppuku.  marcie & david panko-crusted the canvas of fish


lit two fireplaces - remedies for cold knees - recognized louis not ella, dealt a straight and two pair, engorged ourselves on chocolate chip cookies with the jaw detachment of two satisfied snakes, only mine dunked in milk.  we drove past dalecarlia, recited most every word of the coasters' greatest hits, double-parked at lincoln.  facemasks on the tree-lined boulevard south of the reflecting pool, she shouted save the turtles.  sexy necessary but not sufficient for foxy, i saw one then reversed because no cars behind on canal road and only silence from the oncoming ambulance

watched sleuth.  both olivier (looks like harvey keitel) and caine (tastes like fish eggs) lost best leading actor to the godfather

how much sacking do you want done?  convincing but not carthinigian

 


watched parasite (mercifully not a horror film) and midway (1976).  nothing remarkable about heston nor fonda, real footage tho.  meeting #2430


12/10