Booms and busts

An essayist at Medium gives us 12 quotes from Beat Generation philosopher Alan Watts. I read the piece to see if his selection was the same as mine. Nope, it was disjunct. He remembered and treasured the stuff that I had tossed aside as mystical drivel.

I read Watts when I was about 14, and remembered two points. My writing here is founded on those two points.

(1) Americans are not materialistic. The French are materialistic. The French buy a few good things or make a few good things, and MAINTAIN the good things. We don’t value the material world enough. We buy and discard, always pursuing STATUS AND DELUSION instead of PRACTICALITY AND COMFORT.

(2) The standard narrative tells us that the 1930s depression happened because we “ran out of dollars”. This is impossible. A carpenter doesn’t stop building because he “runs out of inches”, so we can’t “run out of dollars”.

The latter turned my attention away from math, which I was supposed to enjoy, and focused on physical reality. Aristotle, not Plato.

Numbers are NOT the basis of the universe. Numbers are just language tokens like words.

After I learned more about what really happened in the ’30s, I could see that the carpenter metaphor was partly backwards. “Running out of dollars” wasn’t the problem, and wasn’t seen as the problem. In some places we ran out of BANKED dollars because the banks failed, but that didn’t interfere with commerce. We continued using cash and scrip. Businesses and city governments served as banks until the branded banks were sorted out and reopened.

The real loss of dollarnumbers was in the fake criminal stock market. The parts of the economy that depended on exponentially increasing delusion collapsed, leaving the parts that depended on physical reality.

There were two ARTIFICIAL booms, not quite simultaneous.

First Wilson’s drive to nationalize agriculture subsidized unskilled farmers on bad land. When they gave up, the land took flight.

Second, Coolidge’s laissez faire allowed JP Morgan to faire everything up.

After the booms flew away, FDR reorganized agriculture and the economy to function on REAL land value and REAL labor value.

Both of those booms were based on a FAKE INCREASE. When booms pop, the delusional number dreams RETURN TO REALITY.

Recession is reality, just as sobriety is reality.

New thought: The same logic applies to the artificial WORD boom of the fakely “free” internet. The massive flow of free QE “money” subsidized billions of fake delusional words in order to record what people were really thinking and feeling. Now that they’ve recorded us, they’ve popped the bubble and we’re returning to reality. The word IPOs like Substack and Quora and Medium are losing their VC funding (along with all the other IPOs), so they’re  showing their FAANGS, openly favoring orthodoxy and superstars in the same way that the Dow and Academia favor orthodoxy and superstars.

Selective publication is NORMAL. This is the recession condition, the sober condition, the reality condition. Selectivity is the essence of published speech, except during fake Hundred Flowers Bloom/booms.

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