Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Tin Man Captain Armored Heart

Dates and Debates

I played hooky from writing to Michelle over on OkStupid for some time this evening, after playing hooky from writing her all weekend. I can make conversation but I just didn't know where I was going with this note. People have such definite ideas about what they want out of a site like OkStupid, but I don't. To me, dating is about the people, not the dating. If someone really interests me and piques my curiosity then I'm interested in dating, or at least the possibility of dating. Some people sound like they might have some interesting conversation in them, and they might be an interesting person with whom to grab a lunch or a coffee with but I'm not really interested in dating them. The thing is, people have such differing expectations. This is the problem I have with OkStupid. On the other hand, one doesn't win if one doesn't play. What constitutes "winning"? I need another hand. That frequently happens to me. Shut up, brain, the note is launched; let's see what she makes of it.

Rust. I am full of rust, that's what it is. The squeaking and squealing and grinding as I try to bring this machine to life is grating to the nerves. The Tin Man needs some oil. On that note, I got the perverse urge to go have a rum and Coke and went out in the kitchen and made myself one. I don't know from where that urge came. I almost never have anything harder than wine when I am by myself. That's better. Why am I doing this OkStupid dating stuff? The answer is because it looks like the possibility of change, and perhaps I am growing tired of stasis. That's not a very good answer. I'm not going to get anywhere with that attitude. It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw: there's a guy in his house, standing by his front door. He's decked himself out in his raincoat and hat and boots and got his umbrella in his fist. Outside the window, rain is pouring down and lightning is flashing. His wife is looking at him. She says, "You're not going out in this kind of weather, are you?" He tells her, "Of course not; I'm going out and change into some other kind of weather." Is that what I'm doing, going out with the expectation of changing the weather, or is there some method to my madness?

This seems like a good topic to be contemplating on Columbus Day. Here we celebrate a guy who thought he was charting a new route to India and the spice trade. Instead, he found Central America, and gold. Maybe I should approach things in that spirit. I don't know. Dating made so much more sense when I was twenty and had all the answers. I really don't know what in the heck it is for which I am looking. Move. Squeak, grind, scrape, whine, groan. Push. Keep moving, the joints will loosen up as we go. That's what I tell myself. Maybe it's true.

So anyway, it was clouded-over this morning. I haven't seen a sky that looked so much as if it were trying to rain without raining, in a long time. The weather forecast says that it is a certainty that a large rainstorm is coming sometime today. It's been cool this summer and now this fall as well. I finally broke down this evening and turned the furnace on early this year.

My friend/co-worker, David, considers himself a leftish, New York-bred, intellectual. He's no dummy. Conversations with him do involve thinking on my part. He raises interesting points, which often require some thought-work to discuss intelligently. He tends to put far too much trust into things like The New York Times and NPR, from my perspective. We exchange views and dicker back and forth on economics frequently. He reads Paul Krugman in the Times. I've pointed out what the Austrian School thinks of Krugman and the unreconstructed Keynesianism he is selling. The Austrians were disowning the Nobel Prize committee way before Obama got that stupid prize because the committee gave Paul Krugman the prize in economics last year. The man is a vulgar slave of dead John Maynard Keynes. At any rate, this morning, David sends me an e-mail with just a link to Krugman's latest Times article on the web and the subject line: "Guaranteed to raise your hackles." True to advertising, Krugman was spouting his hard-money disdain and other foolish Keynesian balderdash and it caused me to go dig up Gary North's recent articles on Lew Rockwell explaining why Krugman and Keynes are wrong and essentially monetary theory idiots. I replied with the following to David:

Krugman is a joke, as is his religion, Keynesianism. He likes to pretend the 1970's never happened, when stagflation, concurrent high unemployment and high inflation, occurred — something which Keynesian economics absolutely denies is possible. The only reason Keynesian economics is touted and paid heed today is because it tells people that there is a way for politicians to "manage" the economy. This is something politicians are desperate to have people believe they can do, and something demonstrated over and over again as being false. The the big problem with Keynesian economics, and indeed, almost all of the major branches of economic thinking other than Austrian, is that they divorce monetary theory from all other economic law, as if it were some kind of magic that defies their own observations about the forces directing and influencing every other commodity and human action. Consequently, their science is irrationally bifurcated into a kind of physics analog of General vs. Special Relativity called Microeconomics vs. Macroeconomics. The physicists have a well-defended and easily explained reason for the bifurcation in their theory; the economists have only mysticism and other vague pronouncements. I'll see your Krugman and give you a nice sixteen-part [originally eight, edited to add subsequent articles — ed.] series by Gary North, just one of the Austrian Economists, explaining why the Austrians have the only integrated monetary theory and why that is important to economic understanding.

  1. "What Is Money? Part 1"

  2. "What Is Money? Part 2: Precious Metal Coinage"

  3. "What Is Money? Part 3: Schizophrenic Economists"

  4. "What Is Money? Part 4: Bait and Switch"

  5. "What Is Money? Part 5: Fractional Reserve Banking"

  6. "What Is Money? Part 6: Why Is Money Different?"

  7. "What Is Money? Part 7: Gresham's Law"

  8. "What Is Money? Part 8: Why Gold Has No Intrinsic Value"

  9. "What Is Money? Part 9: Monetary Reform"

  10. "What Is Money? Part 10: When Money Dies"

  11. "What Is Money? Part 11: The Great Default"

  12. "What Is Money? Part 12: Why Central Banking Persists"

  13. "What Is Money? Part 13: Exported Inflation"

  14. "What Is Money? Part 14: Money and Uncertainty"

  15. "What Is Money? Part 15: Hoarding, Old and New"

  16. "What Is Money? Part 16: Inflation and the Savior State"

  17. Bonus: "Refuting Keynes, Line By Line"

  18. Bonus: "Negative Interest Rates" (The loose bolt in Keynesian Economics)

The thing about David is that he will at least read some of the links and possibly apply some thought to them. It is either tragic or amusing to consider how many people don't pay economics any mind whatsoever and yet feel qualified to vote for idiots who propose to upend the entire economic order and restructure it for some nebulously defined pie in the sky. Ah well, it's coming down now, on our heads, unfortunately. We live in interesting times.

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Wow, some chunky reading. I will try to look at some of it later. I took one economics class in college. I admit to feeling that the world of government and economy is completely beyond control. I am a single ant in the colony. I am not made of sterner stuff.

Well, it's a lot of text, if you're just wanting to surf at the time.

The language though is pitched at the lay reader. There are no requirements for understanding of recondite economics topics to make sense of what Dr. North is explaining. The essays are very approachable, if one has the interest and the time.

I joined a dating site back in July. It's really odd. I don't have issues meeting people. I just haven't found anyone lately that I would give the time of day. I am very picky. So I joined that site to see if there was someone on there that was better than what I currently have available. The answer so far has been no. I am amazed (not in a good way) by some of the men that have sent emails. Half of the men that have sent emails seem like they skipped over the part in my profile that details what I am looking for. I did meet one guy for a drink. We had exchanged a fee emails and text messages. When I met him, he looked nothing like his profile picture. So yeah, I guess I am disappointed. So far it seems like I meet people everyday that are far better than the men on the dating site online.

Oh yes, I can see why you're getting mail from the guys on that site.

I don't have issues with meeting people, per se. I have a case of mixed minds on what I want to get out of meeting people.

I understand completely about being picky. I tend to be very particular and I don't move easilly. I also understand what you're saying about the people out there. Anyone can get an internet account! Of course, given the culture, I think women tend to have the more difficult job in the online dating world because guys tend to be initiators of contact most of the time. Your experience doesn't surprise me. I've heard the same stories from other intelligent women who are dating. On one hand, being smart intimidates some fellows, and this is good because no self-respecting person wants to date someone who is intimidated by them. On the other hand though, refinement, intelligence, and humor are very attractive and even challenging. It is gratifying to have the attention and interest of someone possessed of discriminating tastes. It doesn't surprise me that some guys make an attempt to contact you despite what you've expressed of your preferences. They're gambling on the possibility that you might consider them an exception, in the better light; in the worse light, they may just not care.

It's probably going to take three pronounced periods of stagflation before folks get the hint (I hope?) I think we are about to launch into the second one, thanks to all that paper Obama pumped into the economy.

There is a certain inevitability in the air. Inflation may be the least of our worries.

I'm almost certain that the economic system has reached a state where a sudden, irreversible, transition to a radically different configuration is not only possible but likely. I don't think the system can stand three consecutive bouts of heavy stagflation, but that is merely a guess. I suspect the entire dollar economy will collapse if the various dams holding back the flood of greenbacks start to break. The stock market is currently beginning to overheat as the equity is totally disproportionate to the Dow, still, and the price of gold has been sneaking steadilly upward at a faster rate in the last month or so. It's been bouncing around at $1060 an ounce today and that is not a good sign.

Re: There is a certain inevitability in the air. Inflation may be the least of our worries.

Damn, I wish I had some old scrap jewelry to send in to one of those "send us your gold" places!

Re: There is a certain inevitability in the air. Inflation may be the least of our worries.

You should hold onto at least a little gold. If the dollar implodes, and it is probably more a question of when than if, it would probably be a very good idea to have some precious metal coins around handy.

If I were ever to be in a position for online matchmaking again, I'd probably look more into a site like eHarmony, where they match you up rather than go browsing through people and hope to make a random connection. I did that in my 20s and went on a LOT of dates, had many interesting conversations, a little sex, and in the end made one lasting friendship out of it, so I guess that made it worthwhile. But it wasn't easy. I found that expecting nothing was the way to go, then I was never disappointed. I say, just enjoy it for what it is and let it move along it's natural path. Sometimes a change of weather is all we need. :-)

This, coming from a happily married woman...

So many of the women I know for a fact that I would like to date either live on the other end of the earth, are married, or both!

Re: This, coming from a happily married woman...

To quote from Pretty Woman, that's just geography. :-)

Well, the married part, yeah that would be an issue, but never let geography stand in your way. This from the married woman who moved 500 miles for love. :-)

Re: This, coming from a happily married woman...

Well, if I could have afforded the frequent-flyer, high-carbon-footprint, air fares I certainly would have asked you out a long time before you went and fell for that Mr. Wonderful guy you keep talking about on your page. ; )

Re: This, coming from a happily married woman...

Yeah, same here. :-) LOL @ the Proclaimers. that was inevitable!!!

Just to be that man who walked a thousand miles to fall down at your door

Now look what you've done. My internal DJ is playing The Proclaimers: "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" in my head and I have to go and listen to it. You're mischief, Lady.

I'm an Austrian, so you can guess my opinion of Paulie the K. One of the (unintentionally) funniest things I ever read was a piece by him deriding Austrian economics.

Winning and the TIn Man

Maybe it's my INFP tendencies, but I see the OKStupid site as a slightly (emotionally) safer way to encounter people. And writing is my milieu far more than speech, so I can screen for grating apostrophe abuse, be witty, refer back to text, assess whether someone is responding to something I said or just a random hope. The drawback is that it's full of people. People are flawed and generally not very self aware, so (many of) the ones who are on there looking for friends really think that's what they want, but I've met a few I'd have liked to be friends with even without the spark of romance and future and flowers and poetry and all that, and they just *poof*. It's possible I have a different definition of friends, or that we all do. It's not that they're wrong or deceptive -- it's just frustrating that I really tend to believe people and get kinda bummed. What a strange introvert. Also, as someone already commented, it's a place to see who else is out there and gauge my pickiness level.

So did you figure out what purposes the site can fulfill for you?

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