Jump to content


Photo

Planning for the future


40 replies to this topic

#1 Steve Netwriter

Steve Netwriter

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,856 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Christchurch, New Zealand

Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:52 AM

I thought is was about time we tried to make a plan.

Here's a start:

Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Ph.D.
http://people.hofstr...igue/blogs.html

4) Real estate is not a form of savings, but the amortization of a liability. The equity in a house can be extracted when it is sold (pending market conditions which could be radically different from the time when the house was purchased) or through debt using equity as collateral (aka home equity loans). So, the buildup of real estate equity is done at the price of capital plus interest, implying that this equity comes at a price superior than its initial purchase price if debt is contracted (which is most of time these days). Even if the equity of that real estate appreciates, it can only be extracted using debt as an instrument.

At this point the only possible outcome of the housing bubble is additional disruptions and misallocations of capital, a guaranteed source of future economic hardship as paper wealth gets destroyed, especially if it has been used for debt collateral. Thus, real estate is not an industry; it does not create wealth, it siphons it away.

Here are some contrarian strategies for such a context:

1) Rent instead of paying a mortgage (plus taxes, maintenance, insurance, utilities and the infinite number of related expenses) and save a lot of money (thousands of dollars per year can be saved compared with ownership of a similar unit; especially in hot markets).

2) Consume as little as possible and put yourself in a saving and/or debt repudiation mode. If you have the cash reserves and the discipline, you can play the 0% interest credit card game to your advantage. Build a cash reserve as much as you can.

3) Stay clear of stocks and bonds, especially those related to housing. Treasuries and money market have lame returns but will not likely lose their value on the medium term. You may consider gold mines, commodities and energy stocks, but be prepared to handle volatility.

4) Buy some gold, in bullion and electronic form (e.g. Goldmoney) as well as some foreign currencies. The only direction the fiat US dollar will take is depreciation (as it did for the last 90 years), both nationally and in regard to other currencies. You have to protect yourself against the systematic debasement of money by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government as well as the confiscation of your savings through inflation.

5) When the real estate market starts to be distressed (I wish I knew when), wait 6 months to a year to see it become very distressed, if not in a panic mode. Once deflation is firmly established, come in guns blazing with cash and ruthlessly negotiate a lower price by praying on a desperate speculator or a foreclosure; take your time, you will have a lot of choices. Secure, if you have to, a 30 year mortgage even if interest rates are higher (7 to 9% range in all likelihood), and see the Fed in the following years initiate a wave of hyperinflation by printing money like there is no tomorrow. Have the pleasure to pay back your fixed mortgage in depreciating dollars and see the value of your housing asset follow whatever level of (hyper)inflation.
Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

Notable Threads Notable Posts

#2 riggerbeautz

riggerbeautz

    Millennium man

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,895 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:England

Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:34 AM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 05:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought is was about time we tried to make a plan.

Here's a start:

Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Ph.D.
http://people.hofstr...igue/blogs.html

4) Real estate is not a form of savings, but the amortization of a liability. The equity in a house can be extracted when it is sold (pending market conditions which could be radically different from the time when the house was purchased) or through debt using equity as collateral (aka home equity loans). So, the buildup of real estate equity is done at the price of capital plus interest, implying that this equity comes at a price superior than its initial purchase price if debt is contracted (which is most of time these days). Even if the equity of that real estate appreciates, it can only be extracted using debt as an instrument.

At this point the only possible outcome of the housing bubble is additional disruptions and misallocations of capital, a guaranteed source of future economic hardship as paper wealth gets destroyed, especially if it has been used for debt collateral. Thus, real estate is not an industry; it does not create wealth, it siphons it away.

Here are some contrarian strategies for such a context:

3) Stay clear of stocks and bonds, especially those related to housing. Treasuries and money market have lame returns but will not likely lose their value on the medium term. You may consider gold mines, commodities and energy stocks, but be prepared to handle volatility.


Point 3. If you expect complete turmoil i'm surprised there's not more suggestions of going short in the market. Realise it's against some people's ethic's, but if it's so expectant why not trade the downturn?
Never stop questioning - Einstein

When you blame others you give up your power to change - Douglas Noel Adams

Beware of MOOD HOOVERS they have a mission.

#3 aSteve

aSteve

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 284 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:45 AM

QUOTE (riggerbeautz @ Aug 20 2008, 10:34 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Point 3. If you expect complete turmoil i'm surprised there's not more suggestions of going short in the market. Realise it's against some people's ethic's, but if it's so expectant why not trade the downturn?


While I consider it somewhat unethical, I'm also a pragmatist. I've spent quite some time trying to establish if it is possible to "invest" a short view for profit. I'm not sure that it is. I think it can be "traded" - but I'm not sure it can be invested.

I've a monopoly money short on Google - which I placed at 486 with a stop-loss at 10% up - and I'm about breaking even today. I also bought a monopoly-money put-option, and that's out of pocket. I monopoly-money shorted Apple, but that closed out at my stop-loss... (I was always less confident about Apple than Google).

My market expectation hasn't changed - I still expect both to be lower by January 2009... maybe substantially lower. Conversely trying to take advantage looks very, very risky. I'm not at all sure that shorting is a viable investment strategy - though I can see that it could/should be.


#4 sossij

sossij

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 160 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:20 AM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 05:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought is was about time we tried to make a plan.


Excellent thread idea smile.gif

I’m really interested in investigating/practicing urban farming and trying to maximise the amount of crops/food that can be grown in a small garden. I think this will be of great importance in planning for a future where we can no longer rely on food being transported around the planet at great financial and energy cost.

The urban farmer: One man's crusade to plough up the inner city:
http://www.independe...ity-836358.html

Urban farming in Detroit:
http://news.bbc.co.u...cas/7495717.stm

So far the rain this year has resulted in a very poor return on time invested - unless you're a slug that is! sad.gif

#5 Steve Netwriter

Steve Netwriter

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,856 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Christchurch, New Zealand

Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:36 AM

Thanks biggrin.gif

There is obviously this thread which is a kinda sister thread to this one:

Survival Kit - For Earthquakes or........
http://www.greenener...?showtopic=3178


To be honest I feel more than a little ill-prepared, and not quite sure what to do.
Obviously everyone's situation is different, and that limits what they can do.
And you feel a fool building a nuclear shelter when the sun's shining.

I know it sounds mad to a lot of people, but I worry what it would be like if for example unemployment went up locally a lot.

And \I now realise there are two issues.

1. What can you do for yourself to prepare to bad times.
2. What changes can be made to the way we as a society are organised so that things can keep running.

I've always thought living in one part of the country and working in another was madness. Maybe that will be one ting to change.
Would tele-working become not just acceptable, but actively encouraged, to minimise energy usage for transport ?

Anyway, suggestions welcome.

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

Notable Threads Notable Posts

#6 sossij

sossij

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 160 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:13 PM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks biggrin.gif

There is obviously this thread which is a kinda sister thread to this one:

Survival Kit - For Earthquakes or........
http://www.greenener...?showtopic=3178


To be honest I feel more than a little ill-prepared, and not quite sure what to do.
Obviously everyone's situation is different, and that limits what they can do.
And you feel a fool building a nuclear shelter when the sun's shining.

I know it sounds mad to a lot of people, but I worry what it would be like if for example unemployment went up locally a lot.

And \I now realise there are two issues.

1. What can you do for yourself to prepare to bad times.
2. What changes can be made to the way we as a society are organised so that things can keep running.


Yes, me too - I worry that there will be an increase in crime, specifically burglaries sad.gif

As regards 1& 2 ...

1) the simplest and easiest thing we can all do presonally is get fit and not eat junk smile.gif
2) organisation of society's future energy requirements will be of utmost concern. In essesnce I think we'll have to powerdown to about 50% or less of present consumption, go nuclear and roll aout a large scale renewable program.

QUOTE
I've always thought living in one part of the country and working in another was madness. Maybe that will be one ting to change.
Would tele-working become not just acceptable, but actively encouraged, to minimise energy usage for transport ?


How's this for madness: I live in Birmingham, work in Reading where I then "work virtually" on a machine based in Silicon Valley. Sadly, my company isn't so keen on tele-working for commercial security and IP reasons.


#7 hotairmail

hotairmail

    Tri-Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 922 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:39 PM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 05:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought is was about time we tried to make a plan.

Here's a start:

Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Ph.D.
http://people.hofstr...igue/blogs.html

4) Real estate is not a form of savings, but the amortization of a liability. The equity in a house can be extracted when it is sold (pending market conditions which could be radically different from the time when the house was purchased) or through debt using equity as collateral (aka home equity loans). So, the buildup of real estate equity is done at the price of capital plus interest, implying that this equity comes at a price superior than its initial purchase price if debt is contracted (which is most of time these days). Even if the equity of that real estate appreciates, it can only be extracted using debt as an instrument.

At this point the only possible outcome of the housing bubble is additional disruptions and misallocations of capital, a guaranteed source of future economic hardship as paper wealth gets destroyed, especially if it has been used for debt collateral. Thus, real estate is not an industry; it does not create wealth, it siphons it away.

Here are some contrarian strategies for such a context:

1) Rent instead of paying a mortgage (plus taxes, maintenance, insurance, utilities and the infinite number of related expenses) and save a lot of money (thousands of dollars per year can be saved compared with ownership of a similar unit; especially in hot markets).

2) Consume as little as possible and put yourself in a saving and/or debt repudiation mode. If you have the cash reserves and the discipline, you can play the 0% interest credit card game to your advantage. Build a cash reserve as much as you can.

3) Stay clear of stocks and bonds, especially those related to housing. Treasuries and money market have lame returns but will not likely lose their value on the medium term. You may consider gold mines, commodities and energy stocks, but be prepared to handle volatility.

4) Buy some gold, in bullion and electronic form (e.g. Goldmoney) as well as some foreign currencies. The only direction the fiat US dollar will take is depreciation (as it did for the last 90 years), both nationally and in regard to other currencies. You have to protect yourself against the systematic debasement of money by the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government as well as the confiscation of your savings through inflation.

5) When the real estate market starts to be distressed (I wish I knew when), wait 6 months to a year to see it become very distressed, if not in a panic mode. Once deflation is firmly established, come in guns blazing with cash and ruthlessly negotiate a lower price by praying on a desperate speculator or a foreclosure; take your time, you will have a lot of choices. Secure, if you have to, a 30 year mortgage even if interest rates are higher (7 to 9% range in all likelihood), and see the Fed in the following years initiate a wave of hyperinflation by printing money like there is no tomorrow. Have the pleasure to pay back your fixed mortgage in depreciating dollars and see the value of your housing asset follow whatever level of (hyper)inflation.


Very good. I think the overall approach seems sensible - even if there is no hyperinflation but merely a normal land cycle.

However, to benefit from the investment in land at the right time, it may not fit with the volatile commodity investments - the timings may not fit.

Lastly, his 'criticism' that property investment does not create wealth but 'siphons it away' and comes at the cost of capital and any borrowings - can be applied to any commodity in fact and even to buying stocks and shares from existing holders (no new capital goes into productive business).
I'm not listening to any more nutters.

There are massive and growing deflationary forces on produced goods arising from China resulting in excessively loose monetary policy in the West. We are destined to continue suffering deflation of the general price level in manufactures and serial bubbles and busts in stocks, commodities and property until the average Chinese has the purchasing power of a Westerner.
Be prepared for currency volatility and trade wars.

There is an elephant in the room pretending to be a black swan. Can you see it?

#8 Steve Netwriter

Steve Netwriter

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Super Admins
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,856 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Christchurch, New Zealand

Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:42 PM

QUOTE (sossij @ Aug 21 2008, 12:13 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How's this for madness: I live in Birmingham, work in Reading where I then "work virtually" on a machine based in Silicon Valley. Sadly, my company isn't so keen on tele-working for commercial security and IP reasons.


That's mad for two reasons.

1. Living in Birmingham
2. Working in Reading

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

I used to work in Reading biggrin.gif

Fiat: What starts becoming worth less eventually becomes worthless.

Notable Threads Notable Posts

#9 aSteve

aSteve

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 284 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:51 PM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
To be honest I feel more than a little ill-prepared, and not quite sure what to do.
...
I know it sounds mad to a lot of people, but I worry what it would be like if for example unemployment went up locally a lot.
...
1. What can you do for yourself to prepare to bad times.
2. What changes can be made to the way we as a society are organised so that things can keep running.
...
I've always thought living in one part of the country and working in another was madness. Maybe that will be one ting to change.

Would tele-working become not just acceptable, but actively encouraged, to minimise energy usage for transport ?


I've discovered, in the most part, that I've been doing the right things all along... though I've spent a year racked with doubt. I was un-nerved because the world I saw around me was not affirming what I thought should be the case... and it undermined my confidence (which usually borders on arrogance and is sometimes mistaken for the same) that I could make the right decisions. I've done a lot of thinking, a lot of reading and a fair bit of writing over the past 12 months... day by-day progressing that which I feel I can trust - in a philosophical sense. It has been quite an emotional experience... if that doesn't sound too soppy. I've felt everything from the wildest irrational fear and distrust to elation at finally grasping the meaning of things my grandparents told me as a child that I never previously understood - and had filed mentally under 'utterly bizarre'. I'm not sure I could better explain than my grandparents did - and am aware that others will likely file this as 'utterly bizarre' - it is a bit like grasping for the first time the most important human trait... where every description of it you'll have heard before and will argue is "obvious" but is rote-learned - rather than understood. If I visualise people who've grasped this as having a light-bulb above their head, I wonder who I know who also "knows" - and I suspect not many. I'm sure my grandparents at least knew that there was something 'important' - and suspect they'd "got it" - but can't ask today. I'm entirely unconvinced that my parents have (my Dad keeps saying he "understands" - but, judging by other things he says, he understands something else) and I'm sure my peers have not. Bizarrely, I can't just tell them - since it is not a new fact, but a connection between all facts - and it defies explicit description in natural language. Perhaps, like with science, the best that can be achieved is to refute false claims and to let others make the discovery for themselves.

Unemployment is a worry, but it isn't a catastrophe. We managed in the 1970s with 3/4 day weeks, and - aside from the aesthetic nightmare "punk"; embarrassing nylon shirts and flared trousers... we survived fine. I'm not worried especially about unemployment - in fact, I think it desperately overdue. I'm reminded of the Orange advert which features a man walking through New York after the lights went out (screened after the Enron scam gave California rolling blackouts) with the tag line that went something like "When the lights went out, we could finally see" - or something like that. Unemployment is important. Unemployment allows people to decide what they want to do next. If we never find opportunity to choose, we'll never be free.

I think, this time, the economic fallout will be spectacular in scale... but, as I tried to explain to my parents... who (worryingly) didn't seem to follow (which I found very stressful) big changes are not necessarily bad changes. In fact, you should only fear change if you believe that you've been exploitative... for everyone else, change represents opportunity... and that's what makes life worth living. I've been obsessive about researching finance/economics as now, I realise, I must judge opportunities as they arise... from, as Soros would put it, a perspective of significant disequilibrium. Absolutely key, I feel, has been the challenge of deciding how I'll judge what is 'fair' - and, in so doing, take maximum advantages (I do not mean exploitative advantages!) of opportunities as they arise. I'm now looking forward to both the economic and social opportunities I expect will unfold in the coming months/years... and I take with myself my new-found technical interest in the fascinating world of history, economics and finance.

To prepare for "bad times", I've checked that my debts are cleared wherever possible - and that I've savings to fund my lifestyle. I've talked to friends (and family - but they hate listening) and I've remembered those who helped me when I was "in the shit" - I've looked for where I can help them.

The positive change to the way we, as a society, can organise ourselves is obvious. We should demand transparency and we should reject opaque and misleading contracts and propaganda. These adversely affect us even when they are contracts that do not involve us personally. Now is the time to consider a universal contractual review.

Yes, living a long way from work is madness - unless, of course, you enjoy commuting. No, telecommuting will never take off in a big way... people need to interact in order to be successful.

#10 riggerbeautz

riggerbeautz

    Millennium man

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,895 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:England

Posted 20 August 2008 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE (sossij @ Aug 20 2008, 01:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How's this for madness: I live in Birmingham, work in Reading where I then "work virtually" on a machine based in Silicon Valley. Sadly, my company isn't so keen on tele-working for commercial security and IP reasons.


Don't envy you if you commute by road, all those nice traffic jams on the m40. Junction 10!
Never stop questioning - Einstein

When you blame others you give up your power to change - Douglas Noel Adams

Beware of MOOD HOOVERS they have a mission.

#11 sossij

sossij

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 160 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 02:01 PM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 01:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's mad for two reasons.

1. Living in Birmingham
2. Working in Reading

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif

I used to work in Reading biggrin.gif

Ah, Brum's not so bad. I live in Moseley which is very pretty smile.gif Brum's got an unearned bad reputation, it's far more vibrant than Reading.

QUOTE (riggerbeautz @ Aug 20 2008, 02:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Don't envy you if you commute by road, all those nice traffic jams on the m40. Junction 10!


Nah, I get the train. It's fine: I sleep, read and stare out the window. I'd go mad if I had to drive. The commute can get to me in the winter when it seems to be dark outside all the time but I read loads so it has its compensations.

#12 hotairmail

hotairmail

    Tri-Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 922 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 03:11 PM

QUOTE (aSteve @ Aug 20 2008, 01:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've discovered, in the most part, that I've been doing the right things all along... though I've spent a year racked with doubt. I was un-nerved because the world I saw around me was not affirming what I thought should be the case... and it undermined my confidence (which usually borders on arrogance and is sometimes mistaken for the same) that I could make the right decisions. I've done a lot of thinking, a lot of reading and a fair bit of writing over the past 12 months... day by-day progressing that which I feel I can trust - in a philosophical sense. It has been quite an emotional experience... if that doesn't sound too soppy. I've felt everything from the wildest irrational fear and distrust to elation at finally grasping the meaning of things my grandparents told me as a child that I never previously understood - and had filed mentally under 'utterly bizarre'. I'm not sure I could better explain than my grandparents did - and am aware that others will likely file this as 'utterly bizarre' - it is a bit like grasping for the first time the most important human trait... where every description of it you'll have heard before and will argue is "obvious" but is rote-learned - rather than understood. If I visualise people who've grasped this as having a light-bulb above their head, I wonder who I know who also "knows" - and I suspect not many. I'm sure my grandparents at least knew that there was something 'important' - and suspect they'd "got it" - but can't ask today.


I do like your totally original posts Steve - although I do need to gird my loins before attempting to read them.

However, I am ready for another "eye bleeder" and would like to ask you 'what was it your Grandparents said'?
I'm not listening to any more nutters.

There are massive and growing deflationary forces on produced goods arising from China resulting in excessively loose monetary policy in the West. We are destined to continue suffering deflation of the general price level in manufactures and serial bubbles and busts in stocks, commodities and property until the average Chinese has the purchasing power of a Westerner.
Be prepared for currency volatility and trade wars.

There is an elephant in the room pretending to be a black swan. Can you see it?

#13 ConvertedGoldBug

ConvertedGoldBug

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 239 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:UK

Posted 20 August 2008 - 03:57 PM

QUOTE (Steve Netwriter @ Aug 20 2008, 05:52 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought is was about time we tried to make a plan.

But what are we planning for now? unsure.gif

The dollar is up... gold is down...

I thought everything in the world has been sorted good 'n' proper over the past few weeks.... phew, panic over! laugh.gif
Transformers.... ex-HPC'ers in disguise

#14 tazer

tazer

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 51 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London

Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:59 PM

QUOTE (aSteve @ Aug 20 2008, 01:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've discovered,

SNIP

... people need to interact in order to be successful.


Yup you dont see stuff till your ready...and by then your cutting your own hair anyway so no one listens ..but hey at least you get left alone.
Well thats my story.


#15 aSteve

aSteve

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 284 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:31 PM

QUOTE (hotairmail @ Aug 20 2008, 04:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do like your totally original posts Steve - although I do need to gird my loins before attempting to read them.

However, I am ready for another "eye bleeder" and would like to ask you 'what was it your Grandparents said'?


I like information - things that aren't original are just noise.

Over the past year I've remembered dozens of things - I'll pick four... anyone disinterested in my autobiography can probably skip this post. wink.gif

My grandmothers were 'conscript' nurses - friends who worked together during WW2 - one turned it into a career and the other became a housewife after WW2 ended and they hooked up with my grandfathers - friends who worked together in the conscript army - mostly fixing broken jeeps in a North African desert... and went on to work in civilian engineering jobs.

My grandfather on my Dad's side was a practical man of gravitas with a daily selected brimming, smouldering tobacco pipe in hand. He enjoyed badly repairing things with Bostic and his (rather pathetic, to be honest) pond - that was only capable of providing a spwaning ground for frogs in a damp patch in the corner of a small suburban garden - "Philwelly Tarn - because it did..." he would say. The pond frequently required maintenance involving 'playing with dirty water' and he'd explain the 'most effective strategy to cook live frogs' to me... and then cryptically: "You'll remember that." (Ages 5 to 10)

His wife, my career nurse grandmother, smoked like a chimney (odd for someone who knew the risks) and could cope with anything - never phased; very chilled - very down to earth. She lived around the corner from my parents in her latter life... I used to visit her immediately before returning to University when "home" for a day or two. On one flying visit, lasting only minutes, in amongst banalities like 'putting the rubbish out' and which biscuits taste best... she said "Interest rates should be 10%." Being an anarchic type, I challenged with "why" - but got no satisfactory answer - and she couldn't refute my objective intellectual counter arguments - I don't think she even tried. We'd never had a 'serious' or abstract conversation - though we knew each other well, so there was nothing unusual about me insisting "why?" and she must have known I'd not take it at face value... it was obvious she wasn't complaining about her lot. She died in her sleep that night - without any obvious warning... I am now certain she knew she'd never see me again. (Aged 19)

My grandfather on my Mum's side always came across as more 'commerce' than 'practice' - loathed smoking - was connected with his local church and seemed to have few vices - he inspired people to look to the stars rather than down at toil. To me, as a child, he was awesome... forever larking about - he used to entertain with magic tricks of a Tommy Cooper style - he was artistically inclined and with a positive affinity for anything preposterous and harmless - ready to drop everything and build a tree-house more substantial than an average Barratt construction and its power-supply windmill from a scrap motor with hand-carved propeller fashioned from a discarded 4' gatepost - complete wired intercom-phone built from broken antique radios to hail dinnertime from the house. He often said "You can't keep a good man down." then wander off - as if it was the most natural thing in the world to say to me without further explanation. I challenged this (being an inquisitive youngster) for the first time with "I don't think that is technically true" - and wanted to discuss counter arguments from history such as the idea that slavery lasted for generations and more obvious contradictions such as people who'd died while falsely imprisoned... (Terry Waite was the Zeitgeist.) I wanted to know what my granddad was thinking - not to undermine him or make him look ill informed about things I'd recently read. That was the only time he was ever cross - even momentarily... he didn't talk to me for days - it was obvious he was angry at my reply. (Aged 14/15-ish)

His wife was the archetypal gratuitously idealised grandma stereotype imaginable - she spent most of her time baking and leaving my granddad to make any decisions - she always had... she'd not be happy unless there were 5 or more exotic deserts for each meal when family visited. She spent spare time baking for the WI or helping out with charitable work... and had comical responsibilities like counting the hymn books for the services attended (on a busy Sunday) by no more than a dozen in the picture-postcard Cotswold village in which they lived in the house my granddad commissioned in the 50s. She'd love to look after anyone - but I don't remember her ever having a serious conversation on any subject whatsoever. When my Grandad died, she rather lost the plot - she'd spent her entire life focused entirely upon him. Her health rapidly deteriorated - she had to move closer to my parents (which was an upheaval) and before long needed 24/7 care... and left us unsure if she was properly concious most of the time... she couldn't answer even simple questions. There were no secrets from family, so we know there were no objective calamities lurking - but for the last few months of her life, the only intelligible things she managed to communicate aside from paralysing fear was one question "Where does all the money come from?" - which was her last dozen or so full sentences. This freaked my mum out - who I'm sure, to this day, can't fathom why explaining how the care bills were being paid and issuing assurances that notes & coins were in her purse and any she spent would be replaced on the next visit... my Dad shrugged - there wasn't any practical thing for him to do that would fix the situation. (Aged 21)

I could probably write a book about things people said to me that I remembered but didn't understand at the time. Things that family tell you, however, are special because they are unlikely to be intentionally deceptive.

I freaked out a (post-doc calibre) mathematician mate of mine when I told him about my reading Hull's derivative text and said - "I'm enjoying reading the first chapter... just a maths refresher, so far, but it left me understanding things I half-knew before but didn't understand - such as 'what is the significance of e'." He sounded very shocked... and enquired "you didn't know... <random decay of nuclear source>?" ... "I knew that before." ... "You didn't know ... <derivation of trigonometry and calculus from the Argand plane>?" ... "I new that before." I suspect he understands 'e' how I used to - as a series of rules and 'neat proofs' that detail elegant syntax. What was new was that I grasped 'e' in the sense that I related its nature to systems without formal semantics with which I interact every day. A bit like the move from trained to educated - or indoctrinate to believing. I worked out how I'd identify an 'e' animal if I found it lurking hidden in abstract thoughts - I wouldn't need to say "this is a bit like standard geometric calculus" or "this is a bit like radioactive decay". I suspect that it is this notion of there being two levels of understanding which is what I'm getting at... the difference between accepting a revealed truth... discovered & imperfectly presented by someone famous and revealing the same concept to yourself. The latter leaves you feeling far more enlightened.


#16 hotairmail

hotairmail

    Tri-Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 922 posts

Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:55 PM

QUOTE (aSteve @ Aug 20 2008, 06:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like information - things that aren't original are just noise.

Over the past year I've remembered dozens of things - I'll pick four... anyone disinterested in my autobiography can probably skip this post. wink.gif

My grandmothers were 'conscript' nurses - friends who worked together during WW2 - one turned it into a career and the other became a housewife after WW2 ended and they hooked up with my grandfathers - friends who worked together in the conscript army - mostly fixing broken jeeps in a North African desert... and went on to work in civilian engineering jobs.

My grandfather on my Dad's side was a practical man of gravitas with a daily selected brimming, smouldering tobacco pipe in hand. He enjoyed badly repairing things with Bostic and his (rather pathetic, to be honest) pond - that was only capable of providing a spwaning ground for frogs in a damp patch in the corner of a small suburban garden - "Philwelly Tarn - because it did..." he would say. The pond frequently required maintenance involving 'playing with dirty water' and he'd explain the 'most effective strategy to cook live frogs' to me... and then cryptically: "You'll remember that." (Ages 5 to 10)

His wife, my career nurse grandmother, smoked like a chimney (odd for someone who knew the risks) and could cope with anything - never phased; very chilled - very down to earth. She lived around the corner from my parents in her latter life... I used to visit her immediately before returning to University when "home" for a day or two. On one flying visit, lasting only minutes, in amongst banalities like 'putting the rubbish out' and which biscuits taste best... she said "Interest rates should be 10%." Being an anarchic type, I challenged with "why" - but got no satisfactory answer - and she couldn't refute my objective intellectual counter arguments - I don't think she even tried. We'd never had a 'serious' or abstract conversation - though we knew each other well, so there was nothing unusual about me insisting "why?" and she must have known I'd not take it at face value... it was obvious she wasn't complaining about her lot. She died in her sleep that night - without any obvious warning... I am now certain she knew she'd never see me again. (Aged 19)

My grandfather on my Mum's side always came across as more 'commerce' than 'practice' - loathed smoking - was connected with his local church and seemed to have few vices - he inspired people to look to the stars rather than down at toil. To me, as a child, he was awesome... forever larking about - he used to entertain with magic tricks of a Tommy Cooper style - he was artistically inclined and with a positive affinity for anything preposterous and harmless - ready to drop everything and build a tree-house more substantial than an average Barratt construction and its power-supply windmill from a scrap motor with hand-carved propeller fashioned from a discarded 4' gatepost - complete wired intercom-phone built from broken antique radios to hail dinnertime from the house. He often said "You can't keep a good man down." then wander off - as if it was the most natural thing in the world to say to me without further explanation. I challenged this (being an inquisitive youngster) for the first time with "I don't think that is technically true" - and wanted to discuss counter arguments from history such as the idea that slavery lasted for generations and more obvious contradictions such as people who'd died while falsely imprisoned... (Terry Waite was the Zeitgeist.) I wanted to know what my granddad was thinking - not to undermine him or make him look ill informed about things I'd recently read. That was the only time he was ever cross - even momentarily... he didn't talk to me for days - it was obvious he was angry at my reply. (Aged 14/15-ish)

His wife was the archetypal gratuitously idealised grandma stereotype imaginable - she spent most of her time baking and leaving my granddad to make any decisions - she always had... she'd not be happy unless there were 5 or more exotic deserts for each meal when family visited. She spent spare time baking for the WI or helping out with charitable work... and had comical responsibilities like counting the hymn books for the services attended (on a busy Sunday) by no more than a dozen in the picture-postcard Cotswold village in which they lived in the house my granddad commissioned in the 50s. She'd love to look after anyone - but I don't remember her ever having a serious conversation on any subject whatsoever. When my Grandad died, she rather lost the plot - she'd spent her entire life focused entirely upon him. Her health rapidly deteriorated - she had to move closer to my parents (which was an upheaval) and before long needed 24/7 care... and left us unsure if she was properly concious most of the time... she couldn't answer even simple questions. There were no secrets from family, so we know there were no objective calamities lurking - but for the last few months of her life, the only intelligible things she managed to communicate aside from paralysing fear was one question "Where does all the money come from?" - which was her last dozen or so full sentences. This freaked my mum out - who I'm sure, to this day, can't fathom why explaining how the care bills were being paid and issuing assurances that notes & coins were in her purse and any she spent would be replaced on the next visit... my Dad shrugged - there wasn't any practical thing for him to do that would fix the situation. (Aged 21)

I could probably write a book about things people said to me that I remembered but didn't understand at the time. Things that family tell you, however, are special because they are unlikely to be intentionally deceptive.

I freaked out a (post-doc calibre) mathematician mate of mine when I told him about my reading Hull's derivative text and said - "I'm enjoying reading the first chapter... just a maths refresher, so far, but it left me understanding things I half-knew before but didn't understand - such as 'what is the significance of e'." He sounded very shocked... and enquired "you didn't know... <random decay of nuclear source>?" ... "I knew that before." ... "You didn't know ... <derivation of trigonometry and calculus from the Argand plane>?" ... "I new that before." I suspect he understands 'e' how I used to - as a series of rules and 'neat proofs' that detail elegant syntax. What was new was that I grasped 'e' in the sense that I related its nature to systems without formal semantics with which I interact every day. A bit like the move from trained to educated - or indoctrinate to believing. I worked out how I'd identify an 'e' animal if I found it lurking hidden in abstract thoughts - I wouldn't need to say "this is a bit like standard geometric calculus" or "this is a bit like radioactive decay". I suspect that it is this notion of there being two levels of understanding which is what I'm getting at... the difference between accepting a revealed truth... discovered & imperfectly presented by someone famous and revealing the same concept to yourself. The latter leaves you feeling far more enlightened.


Thankyou for taking the time. Very interesting.

There is an 'e' in money.
I'm not listening to any more nutters.

There are massive and growing deflationary forces on produced goods arising from China resulting in excessively loose monetary policy in the West. We are destined to continue suffering deflation of the general price level in manufactures and serial bubbles and busts in stocks, commodities and property until the average Chinese has the purchasing power of a Westerner.
Be prepared for currency volatility and trade wars.

There is an elephant in the room pretending to be a black swan. Can you see it?

#17 tazer

tazer

    Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 51 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London

Posted 20 August 2008 - 07:42 PM

QUOTE (aSteve @ Aug 20 2008, 06:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
"Where does all the money come from?" - which was her last dozen or so full sentences.

I often wonder that.
On entering the uk my granmother peered out the train window and wondered where everyone kept their cows.
I didnt know what laughter was till I saw her check the back of the telly to figure out how people got in. Whether she was putting it on I dont know to this day. She certainly left me wondering if I had witnessed something unique...if you get my drift



#18 warpig

warpig

    Tri-Millennium Guru

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,099 posts

Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:03 AM

Can I ask if you had £100 savings how would you invest this to get the ultimate protection given the current situation (inflation/banking failures/margin calls/stock market collapse)? I know this has been raised many times before, but my views change as this crisis unfolds. What's the current train of thought? Do we still trust CHF, are energy shares safe given a stock market crash is extremely likely? How about Oil, they aren't making any more of it...

Your thoughts are appreciated!
"There can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold which never changes, which can be turned into ingots bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fiduciary value par excellence"

"Betting against gold is the same as betting on governments. He who bets on governments and government money, bets against 6,000 years of recorded human history."

Charles de Gaulle

#19 aSteve

aSteve

    Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 284 posts

Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:32 AM

QUOTE (hotairmail @ Aug 20 2008, 06:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thankyou for taking the time. Very interesting.

There is an 'e' in money.


Do you think this is right?

(It is far easier to post correctly spelled short posts.)

P.S. What's your family like? Why do you think it important?

#20 Compounded

Compounded

    Tri-Centurion

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 710 posts
  • Location:UK

Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:42 AM

QUOTE (warpig @ Aug 21 2008, 01:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I ask if you had £100 savings how would you invest this to get the ultimate protection given the current situation (inflation/banking failures/margin calls/stock market collapse)? I know this has been raised many times before, but my views change as this crisis unfolds. What's the current train of thought? Do we still trust CHF, are energy shares safe given a stock market crash is extremely likely? How about Oil, they aren't making any more of it...

You help is appreciated!


Gold is good for preserving wealth in these coming difficult times, but family is better - have children, love and respect them because they are the future and they are all you can leave behind that matters.

A man is not an island.




We ARE going back to normal right now. Normal being honest money (gold) rather than debt-based fiat currencies which are not money. Cgnao
“What is fascinating is the extent to which gold still holds reign over the financial system as the ultimate source of payment,” Alan Greenspan September 2009




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users