Monday, October 31, 2011

Geirion’s Redemption, a Fanfic

For today, Halloween, I offer a fantasy fan-fic. In John Brunner's fantasy novel, "The Traveler in Black", part 2, Jacques the Scrivener spoke with the title character:

"... and once when I bent to drink from a stream I saw pictures in the water which... No, I dare not say what I thought I saw."

"That would be the brook called Geirion," said the traveler, and appended a crooked smile. "Don't worry - things seen there can never become real. The folk round about go to the brook to rid themselves of baseless fears."

What a concept! A magic brook which grants visions that are always fearsome, and always false; and the people use it to reassure themselves!

I propose the following back-story, and forward-story too:

Back in the old days, after chaos but before order, Geirion had great power; for its false visions terrorized the folk round about; such terror implied attention, and attention implied belief, and belief is the food of elementals such as Geirion.

But one day the traveler in black arrived, intent upon his single-minded mission of bringing order out of chaos. He quizzed a local about the magic brook; the local, perplexed, wished out loud to know the brook's true nature; the traveler said, "As you wish, so be it", and the local suddenly realized that Geirion's a liar. He and his friends took to consulting the brook to rid themselves of baseless fears; under such mockery, the brook's power waned.

Later the traveler returned to witness Geirion's last three lies. First the magic water showed the traveler a vision of Utopia, where all is right and all are happy; where there is no injustice or want or failure or confusion; where all problems are solved, all desires are satisfied, and all tears are dried; where the lion lies down with the lamb, and even lunch is free.

But the traveler threw a pebble into the water, bursting the false vision, and he said, "You are bitter, Geirion. Have you no sweeter lies?" Then the water showed a vision of Dystopia, where there is no law nor truth nor even hope of its own annihilation; where up is down, and peace is war, and fair is foul; ever plummeting yet never crashing; where bleeding never stops, and even figures lie.

The traveler broke this false vision with another pebble, and he said, "There, there. And what of yourself?" The magic water rippled, then revealed a vision of that same brook, sometime in the future, showing a vision.

The traveler said, "As you wish, so be it," and waved his staff of light. And from then on Geirion never showed another vision, but was instead merely a beautiful forest stream of pure water.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and Virtuous Ingratitude

The Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have, in common, a kind of virtuous ingratitude; rightfully biting the hand that feeds them.

Consider the Tea Party; one of their complaints is government welfare. Many have pointed out that many of these people are explicitly government welfare recipients. The Tea Party is largely Southern and Western and rural; and Federal spending in those areas exceeds taxation; so in effect  those regions are net federal welfare recipients.

This is not by accident; in fact it is a relic from the Progressive Era and the New Deal. The idea was for the federal government to offset the corporation’s natural tendency to extract wealth from farmers and ranchers, and move that wealth to the cities. Hence a cycle; corporations extract wealth from the country and move it to the cities; government taxes the cities and gives some of that wealth back to the country.

Now consider OWS. It is the flip side of the Tea Party; for the Wall Street occupiers live in a region that is a net corporate plunder receiver; yet they object to corporate plunder. Both Tea Party and OWS object to precisely the institution that is bringing wealth in to the region. Why such ingratitude?

Because familiarity breeds contempt.

The Tea Party, in the Red areas, knows that Uncle Sam comes bearing money; but the Tea Party also knows what Sam is buying for that money, and they don’t want to sell. And OWS, sitting in at the heart of capitalism, knows that Wall Street is also buying, and they too don’t want to sell.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Null When Void, a Fable

In a previous post, “Does Money Exist?”, I wrote:


It seems absurd to ask if money exists; but the question improves upon acquaintance. It’s true that there are plenty of green pieces of paper claiming to be money, and people treat them as if they were money; but on the other hand, a church can exist, with preacher and flock, without its god existing.

Such a cult could intimidate everyone in town into worshipping the idol; but nonetheless prayers to the figment will go unanswered, and sacrifices to the image will not be rewarded. Nonexistence has consequences that will not be denied.


I brooded upon this image awhile, and then wrote the following Fable:


Null when Void

Once upon a time the parishioners of the Church of Stirch, Hew-hay and Hollo met to discuss the nonexistence of their gods.

The flock asked, "Why do we love our imaginary friends?"

The High Priest said, "Because we made them in our image. They're fictions, but they're our fictions."

The flock asked, "The Three are unreal, so to whom do we pray, and for what do we sacrifice?"

The High Priest said, "What does it matter that the Three don't exist? Aren't unbelievers shunned and vilified? Don't we have most of the money? Haven't we control of City Hall? Stirch, Hew-hay and Hollo unify us, and in unity there is strength."

The flock bowed down to the High Priest; then they prayed and sacrificed to golden Stirch, old Hew-hay and valiant Hollo.

But their prayers were not answered, and their sacrifices were not rewarded.

Moral:   Nonexistence has consequences.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top 20 Word Poems

Several months back New Scientist printed a list of the twenty most frequently used words. From top to bottom, they are:

I the and to a of that in it my is with he me on but

This list seemed to me to resemble a modernist poem , especially if you write it in short lines like this:

I the and
to a of that
in it my is
with he me on

But though this is modernistic in sound, still it wants for sense. I desired rhyme, rhythm, passion and wit. So I played around with word order, and in the end converged upon the following bouncy number, which I call the Love Song of the Top Twenty Words:

Have a that of my;
On but in was he;
You for and with I
is the it to me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ussher Effect, addendum

Two posts ago I asked; on what day of the year did the Big Bang happen? This proved to be relative to the observer’s state of motion; an uncertainty of 13,039 kph will make the universe’s birthday spread out over the entire year.
Now I ask; what day of the week? What hour of the day? What minute of the hour? And what second of the minute?

Let R = the relative difference of time rates between two frames, v = their relative velocity, and c = lightspeed = 299,792,458 meters/second. Then:

1 / sqrt(1–(v/c)^2)     =    1 + R
sqrt(1–(v/c)^2)          ~    1 - R
(1–(v/c)^2)               ~    1 - 2R
(v/c)^2                     ~    2R
(v/c)                        ~    sqrt(2R)
v                             ~    299,792,458 m/s * sqrt(2R)
v                             ~    1,079,252,849 km/hr * sqrt(2R)

This, the Ussher velocity, is an uncertainty of velocity that yields an uncertainty in time rates of R.

For the “what day in the year” question, R = 1 year/(13.7*10^9 year); so v = 13,040 kph;
For “what day of the week”, R = 1 /(52*13.7*10^9); so v = 1,856 kph;
For “what hour of the day”, R = 1 /(365.25*13.7*10^9); so v = 700 kph;
For “what minute of the hour”, R = 1 /(24*365.25*13.7*10^9); so v = 139 kph;
For “what second of the minute”, R = 1 /(60*24*365.25*13.7*10^9); so v = 18 kph;

On the equator, the birth-week-day of the universe changes every day; in an airplane, the birth-hour of the universe changes as it lands; in a race car, the birth-minute of the universe changes as it gets up to speed; and the birth-second of the universe changes for a fast jogger.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Federal Receipt: a Modest Proposal

The Federal Receipt: a Modest Proposal

I propose that there be a Federal Receipt. This Receipt is to be mailed to each taxpayer soon after April 15; detailing, for each taxpayer, both taxes received, and how much of those funds went to which federal program. It would go something like this:


Dear Joe Blow:

We got from you:

Income tax:            $ X
Social Secuity:       $ X
other taxes:            $ X
total:                      $ X

We will spend that on:

Interest payments:   $ X
Social Security:        $ X
Medicare:                $ X
Medicaid:                $ X
DOD:                       $ X
Veterans benefits:    $ X

... (many more) ...
total:                        $ X

The difference is your share of the deficit:
                                $ X


The spending receipt entries will equal total taxes taken, times
respective fractions of the federal budget. How far to break it down is I suppose a matter of policy. Let's say, just enough detail to cover one side of a page. No doubt the political parties will quarrel over details. The point is to clarify and demystify. Let the general public be more accurately aware of our nation's true budgetary priorities. Such a receipt will, for instance, dispel the popular illusion that NASA or foreign aid are major programs in federal terms.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ussher Effect

Yesterday I noted:

"The exact calendar date of the Big Bang is indefinite, due to the relativity of time-rates. Pick any day of the year, including leap-day, and the Big Bang occurred on that day in some reference frame. (Hour and minute are also adjustable.)"

To be specific:
The universe is about 13,700,000,000 years old; for two reference frames to differ on the exact value by one full year, they would have to have a relative time dilation factor of 1 + 1/13,700,000,000; so if v is their relative velocity, and c = lightspeed = 299,792,458 meters/second, then:

1 / sqrt( 1 - (v/c)^2 )   ~     1  +   7.3 * 10 ^ -11

sqrt( 1 - (v/c)^2 )       ~     1  -   7.3 * 10 ^ -11

( 1 - (v/c)^2 )           ~     1  -   1.46 * 10 ^ -10

(v/c)^2                   ~     1.46 * 10 ^ -10

(v/c)                     ~     1.208 * 10 ^ -5

v                         ~     3622 meters/second   ~   13039 kph

Thirteen thousand and thirty-nine kilometers per hour?  Call it the Ussher speed; a velocity uncertainty sufficient to make the birthday of the universe spread out over the entire calendar year.

The Ussher speed is slow, in cosmic terms. The spin speed of the Earth's equator is about 1670 kph; Earth's orbital speed is about 107,000 kph; respectively about one-eighth and eight times the Ussher speed. I calculate that at the Earth's equator, the cosmic birthday shifts two and a half months each day; and for the entire Earth the cosmic birthday shifts 875 years each year; which is about a year for every ten hours.

This does not include the solar system's orbit of the Galaxy, and the galaxy's motion relative to the microwave background.

Therefore the birthday of the universe is spread out over the entire calendar year; so you can take it as any day whatsoever. Call this the Ussher Effect.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happy Ussher Day 6014!

Happy Ussher Day 6014!

This post is for Sunday, October 23, 2011; which according to the calculations of Bishop Ussher, is exactly 6014 years since the creation of the world. It is also two days after October 21, 2011; which according to the calculations of Harold Camping, was the end of the world. I am writing this on the day between the two; evidently the world has not ended, despite Mr. Camping’s calculations; and probably tomorrow is not actually the world’s 6014th birthday; but I plan to celebrate it anyhow, just for fun and satire.

So I plan to do tomorrow what I did last year and the year before that; light a candle, sing “happy birthday, dear world”, tell it to make a wish, and hold the candle in front of an open window so wind can blow it out. (But last year the wind was low, so I compromised by leaning out the window and waving the candle around until it went out.)

There are individual bristlecone pines provably older than 6014 years, so I don’t take Ussher’s calculations seriously. The universe is more like 13,700,000,000 years old; but the exact calendar date of the Big Bang is indefinite, due to the relativity of time-rates. Pick any day of the year, including leap-day, and the Big Bang occurred on that day in some reference frame. (Hour and minute are also adjustable.) So the birthday party might as well be on October 23, at any time you please. 

I ask the world to make a wish for novelty’s sake; for who ever asks the world for its wishes?

By the way,  6012 = 2*2*3*3*167;  and 6013 = 7*859;  and   6014 = 2*31*97; and 6015  = 3*5*401, and 6016 = 2*2*2*2*2*2*2*47.  Interpret this any way you wish!

P.S. added Sunday; the ceremony went off without hitch. The key is to use a small candle that a light breeze can put out. The Law of Least Action applies, as ever.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why No Hired Worship?

Why No Hired Worship?

In my previous post I noted that there are parts of society that money is not expected or allowed to influence. For instance, why don’t churches hire worshippers? Here’s the scenario, at (let’s call it) the Church of Coyote: you go there, you punch in your time-card, you go to your pew, the minister tells you how to go about worshipping, and then you and the flock go to it. There’s singing, and chanting, and hand-clapping, and witnessing, and maybe some speaking in tongues and falling down; meanwhile the service is video-recorded. At the end of the service you punch out. The church tallies up your hours, and at the end of the month they mail you your pay.

This’ll certainly fill up the pews, far better than the volunteer system now common. The flock will arrive early, and demand to stay late. Their devotions will be enthusiastic and well-practiced; after all they’re being paid for it, and what’s more pay is based upon performance. (That’s part of the reason why the service is taped; for the clergy to inspect effort.) It’s not all that different from a soup kitchen, which has a food-for-sermon deal; this is money-for-worship, much more professional and up-scale.

But ah, that word ‘professional’; as in the world’s oldest professsion; for the worshippers are giving devotion for pay; what is that but prostitution? And they admit it boldly; they call themselves “Coyote’s Bitches”. Better a bitch than a sheep; sheep get shorn, but bitches get paid!

But where does the money come from? That was the one weak point in the scheme. The purest form of the scheme would be a closed loop: church pays worshippers, worshippers worship god, god blesses church, church sells blessings for money to pay worshippers. It’s a valid business model, if you can find a god willing to hold up his end of the deal, and a church able to monetize a god’s blessings. Well, Coyote the Trickster is disreputable enough to hire worship, but could you really expect him to pay?

Let’s bring this down to earth. Can a scheme like this work? The services are video-taped, then sold for entertainment value; that pays for at least part of salaries and upkeep; but does it pay all? Maybe a paid-worship church is like a soup kitchen, a form of charity. Or maybe it’s a jobs program, adminstered as a faith-based initiative. Or maybe it’s a plutocrat’s monument to his own ego. Or maybe it’s a tax-evasion scheme, or maybe a way to launder money. Or all of the above. Nobody involved asks questions. 

And maybe this describes all religion. So I think this can work! So explain to me, then, why churches don’t hire worshippers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Does Money Exist?

Does Money Exist?
Plutism Versus Goedel’s Jinx

This essay connects fiscal instability to a logic paradox which I call the “metamathematical jinx”. This is a treatise on Metamathematical Economics.

I start with a definition and critique of a new word: “aplutism”. Then I connect the social-constructivist defense of plutism to meta-mathematics. I briefly review metamathematics through Goedel’s Incompleteness Theorems and Loeb’s Theorem; using these results I define metamathematical “jinx” and “charm”. I then prove that money’s existence is jinxed and money’s accounting is charmed: that is, money exists only to the extent that you cannot prove that it exists; yet your books do in fact balance if they can prove it. I end this essay with some Metamathematical Reforms, a brief critique of an alleged science, and a vain self-validation.

Part 1. Aplutism defined and critiqued.

Aplutism (a - ploo - tizm)(adj.: Aplutic) n. (syn.: Amonetarism, Achrismatism. ant.: Plutism)(from Ancient Greek, ‘treasurelessness’, ‘moneylessness’) 1) Philosophical disbelief in the existence of money. 1a) Doubt or denial of money’s intrinsic value. 1b) The claim that money is always a fiction, sometimes a folly, and often a fraud. 1c) Any political-economic system designed to be separate from the money system.  2) Wealthlessness; poverty; personal lack of funds.

Aplutism is to the market as anarchism is to the state and atheism is to religion; it defies an established power by denying the existence of that power’s god. You can tell a culture’s true gods by noting which heresies are unthinkable. We have words for those who deny God, or the State, but here we must invent a word for those who deny this culture’s true divinity, the almighty Dollar.

The “aplutic question” is “does money exist?” It has two meanings, given the two definitions of aplutism; does money exist philosophically, and do I, myself, have any money. But the two questions are linked; for to anyone personally aplutic, it is as if no money exists anywhere in the world; and the fact that many people, much of the time, experience personal aplutism, suggests flaws within plutism. Certainly personal aplutism motivates individuals to devise “political-economic systems designed to be separate from the money system”; which by definition is public aplutism.

Aplutism in the public sense comes in soft and hard varieties. Soft aplutism is doubt in money’s existence; hard aplutism is outright denial of money’s existence. Soft aplutism can be called “agnostic aplutism” or “agnoplutism” if you don’t mind the neologism.

“Plutism” is another useful word; its meaning is inverse to aplutism’s: belief in the independent existence of money; belief in money’s inherent value; and also personally having money.

Part 2. Plutic Controversy

Please note that aplutism is not conventional anti-capitalism. An anti-capitalist denies the money system’s justice; an aplutist denies its presence. An anti-capitalist says that the money system is unfair; an aplutist says that it’s unreal. One denounces; the other refutes.

It seems absurd to ask if money exists; but the question improves upon acquaintance. It’s true that there are plenty of green pieces of paper claiming to be money, and people treat them as if they were money; but on the other hand, a church can exist, with preacher and flock, without its god existing.

Such a cult could intimidate everyone in town into worshipping the idol; but nonetheless prayers to the figment will go unanswered, and sacrifices to the image will not be rewarded. Nonexistence has consequences that will not be denied.

Aplutism claims that money is such an idol; specifically paper money. Is paper money an oxymoron? It’s created out of pure debt, basically by subtracting infinity from infinity. (Ask the Fed for details about the relevant sleight of hand.) Paper money is essentially a giant placebo; it works if people believe in it; but faith can vanish in a moment.

For instance, recently $1,000,000,000,000 in stock valuation disappeared. That trillion dollars wasn’t stolen, exactly (though some contrived to indirectly profit from this); nor was it money, exactly (though some got taxpayer money for this). The money ceased to exist, and indeed it announced that it never was. And strangest of all, right after being bailed out by a trillion taxpayer dollars, those responsible for the bubble carried on as if nothing unusual had happened!

Well, if ten hundred thousand million dollars can be fraud and illusion, then how much other money isn’t really there? Please note that this vanishing act has precedents; Wall Street history is full of booms and busts. In fact unstable money is the norm, unless there’s socialism and/or regulation.

I, myself, am only partly an aplutist. I distinguish between private goods, which I call “zero-sum” goods, and public goods, which I call “zero-difference” goods, or “common wealth”. Common wealth includes clean air, pure water, street lighting, rule of law, national defense, sewers, roads, bridges, mail and the Internet. Zero-difference goods are had by none or by all; and I say that they are naturally aplutic, for money is a system for managing zero-sum scarcity.

Money is a useful fiction for rationing private goods, less useful for public goods; but I don’t know where to draw the line between plutic private goods and aplutic public goods. I am in a state of doubt; and in this essay I argue that such doubt - a.k.a. soft aplutism, or ‘agnoplutism’ - is the wisest policy.

Part 3. Social Construction and Metamathematics

Does money exist? Certainly it’s a social construct, dependent on human  society. It’s a social game, so to be valid it has to be believeable. It needs consistency. When a sum flips unexpectedly between zero and a trillion, that tends to call doubt upon that sum’s utility or reality.

Money seems to exist as a measure of value; but if there were a single measure, agreed upon by all, then all trade would cease. Who would trade better for worse? But we do trade, because what’s best for me is not always what’s best for you; so exchange is rational. Trade happens because mutual profit is possible; but mutual profit is possible only if there is no single measure of value. Therefore money facilitates trade not by representing value, but by persistently failing to do so.

What does it mean to say that money exists? It means that money makes sense; that there’s a plausible referent for all the recorded transactions; the additions, the subtractions, the multiplications and divisions. Do the books balance? Could the books balance? That is the question. Money exists if its arithmetic lacks contradictions. The aplutic question reduces to: given the recorded transactions and contracts as axioms, is the resulting arithmetical account self-consistent?

But that is an undecidable proposition, as Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem proves. In fact it is inwardly paradoxical; for any arithmetical proof system is consistent to the exact extent that it cannot prove that it is consistent!

I submit that money, like the consistency of arithmetic, bears a “metamathematical jinx”; that is, money exists to the exact extent that you do not believe that it exists. Money is skepticism-based; it’s as real as your doubt that it’s real.

Money scarcely exists, as befits a measure of scarcity. It exists as much as it’s scarce; that is, as much as it does not exist. Money is a paradox!

Part 4. Elementary Metamathematics

Money is based upon arithmetic; and the study of the logic of arithmetic is called metamathematics. The ‘meta’ is there because arithmetic can study itself; so paradox is possible.

In metamathematics, statements about numbers themselves bear numbers describing their syntactic form; so number statements can refer to each other’s formal properties, including provability, consistency, unprovability, and refutability. It’s also possible to construct statements that refer to their own properties; I call such statements “quanta”.

For instance, I call “this sentence is unprovable” the “quantum of self-doubt”. “This sentence is refutable” is the quantum of self-shame, “This sentence is irrefutable” is the quantum of self-pride, and “This sentence is provable” is the quantum of self-belief.

Call a property of statements “jinxed” if its quantum is false:
“Property P is jinxed”    if and only if
“This sentence has property P” is false; it does not have property P.
A jinxed property does not apply to its quantum.
For instance, “This sentence has six words” does not have six words; therefore “has six words” is jinxed.

Call a property of statements “charmed” if its quantum is true:
“Property P is charmed”    if and only if
“This sentence has property P” is true; it does have property P.
A charmed property applies to its quantum.
For instance, “This sentence has five words” has five words; therefore “has five words” is charmed.

According the Goedel’s First Incompleteness Theorem:
“This sentence is unprovable” is unprovable if your logic system is consistent, otherwise not;
“This sentence is refutable” is refutable if your logic is inconsistent, otherwise not.
So if your logic system is consistent then unprovability is charmed, and refutability is jinxed.

If your logic system is consistent, then self-doubt is true but unprovable, and self-shame is false but irrefutable. On the other hand, if you prove self-doubt or refute self-shame, then your logic system is inconsistent. Self-doubt and self-shame are inherently uncertain; attempts to resolve these paradoxes backfire.

According to Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem:
“This sentence is irrefutable” is refutable.
That’s because the quantum of self-doubt sets a trap. If you assume that self-pride is true, then your logic system must be consistent; so self-doubt must be unprovable; hence self-doubt must be true; but that would be a proof of self-doubt; a contradiction. Assuming self-pride yields a contradiction; this refutes self-pride.

Self-irrefutability refutes itself. I call this Goedel’s Jinx.

According to Loeb’s Theorem:
“This sentence is proveable” is proveable.
This is because the quantum of self-belief is in fact the negation of the quantum of self-pride; true to the extent that the other is false. Since self-pride is refutable, self-belief is provable.

Self-validation validates itself. I call this Loeb’s Charm.

A statement is consistent if and only if there is a model of arithmetic, within which that statement is true; and it is provable if and only if it is true in every model of arithmetic. Therefore ‘true in some model of arithmetic’ is jinxed; and ‘true in every model of arithmetic’ is charmed. In metamathematical terms, existence is jinxed and universality is charmed!

Part 5. Metamathematical Aplutism

Does money exist? Either philosophically, or on a personal level? Money exists philosophically if and only if its alleged movements make sense; that is, if the money system, which is a self-referential arithmetical accounting system, is consistent. Can it prove itself to be consistent? According to Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, consistency is jinxed; any self-referential arithmetical system that can prove its own consistency is not in fact consistent.

Since the existence of money is equivalent to a jinxed property - namely, the consistency of one’s arithmetic - it follows that money’s existence inherits the jinx. That is, if a money system can prove that its money exists, then its money does not in fact exist.

Money exists on the personal level only if its alleged presence can be documented; any doubts in the matter must be taken seriously; and despite such systemic skepticism, money always comes short anyhow. Therefore it is folly to assume, let alone deduce, that you have any money. Account for it, directly, yourself, and then you can be sure, but not until. If you foolishly assume that your money exists, then you and it will soon be parted.

The same doubts apply on the public level. If you wisely doubt that the money game makes sense, then the books might balance anyhow; but if you foolishly believe that money has value in itself, then ten hundred thousand million dollars can softly and suddenly vanish away.

Therefore it is wise to doubt that money exists, either in the public or the personal sense. That’s soft aplutism, a.k.a. agnostic aplutism, or ‘agnoplutism’. (Suggestions for superior neologisms are welcome!) By Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, consistency is jinxed; therefore so is the existence of money; so if the money system is valid, then its validity must remain in doubt. Money ‘scarcely’ exists; its existence is uncertain - as befits a measure of scarcity.

But given all this self-doubt, in what can we have faith? Self-faith, of course, as Loeb’s Theorem implies. Provability is charmed; so if your accounting system can prove that your accounting system is valid, then it is indeed valid, at least within its own terms. If the books balance, then even if the money it’s counting is fictional, then it’s still a balanced fiction. It might sum to nothing, but that would be an honest nothing. Thus we return to credo, or faith, as the foundation of credit!

By Goedel’s Second Incompleteness Theorem, existence in general is jinxed, so in particular money’s existence is jinxed; it might not exist, and if the money system can prove that its money exists, then that money does not in fact exist. By Loeb’s Theorem, validation in general is charmed, so in particular validating one’s own accounts is charmed. Though money may not exist, still a balanced book is a balanced book, and it can prove it.

Money scarcely exists, as befits a measure of scarcity. Money might not exist, both yours and the banker’s; don’t take anyone’s word for it; yet honest book-keeping justifies itself. This is metamathematical economics, yet it is also plain common sense.

Part 6. Revelation of True Price.

Please note that my aplutism is motivated by self interest, like any other economic theory. I doubt the existence of money, mine or anyone’s, in the hope of keeping around what little there might be.

I invented aplutism as a satire, a conscious absurdity; and it works as a satire, for it reveals that its opposite – plutism – is an unconscious absurdity! For I put it to you that there is no such thing, intrinsically, as money, because there is no such thing as a free lunch, and intrinsically valuable money would be a free lunch.

That’s the plutic fallacy. If money existed in itself, then money would breed money; a free lunch.

Why did ten hundred thousand million dollars softly and suddenly vanish away? Because a gang of well-paid men thought that financial manipulation created value. They were plutists, in both senses; they had money, and they thought that their money was valuable in itself.

The brokers trusted the Magic of the Marketplace to create wealth from money alone; and as a sign of this mystery they moved their money in a circle. Lo and behold, the Magic of the Marketplace did indeed manifest; and it manifested in a price; and the price was given by a mystic symbol; and the mystic symbol was the circle they moved their money in; and what number does the mystic circle symbolize?


Part 7. Antiplutic Norms.

This essay’s skeptical critique of  the money system is mild, compared to some people’s raging contempt for the money system. Indeed there are entire sectors of society in which money not only does not exist, it must not exist. Morality demands that certain situations not involve any money at all.

A spouse who sells sexual favors is called unfaithful, and divorced; a judge who sells rulings is called corrupt, and disbarred; and a soldier who sells military secrets is called a traitor, and executed. I call these “antiplutic norms”, and they enforce the necessary incompleteness of the money system, in defense of competing systems.

For how much money, dear reader, would you accept in exchange for your citizenship? Or your human rights? Or your name?

Would you change your religion for a cash payment? If not, then why not? If so, then for how much? Can you pay a libertarian to become a communist? If not, then why not? If so, then for how much?

Part 8. Wider Implications of Jinx and Charm.

According to Goedel, existence is jinxed; to claim one’s own irrefutable presence ensures self-destruction. Therefore a money system, in the very act of proclaiming its own solvency, runs afoul of Goedel’s Jinx and goes bankrupt! I theorize that this ironic pitfall explains the persistence of fiscal booms and busts.

Goedel’s Jinx also applies, I think, to similar collapses in politics and religion. Invincible empires and infallible faiths have a way of going bust; Goedel’s Jinx explains why.

Goedel’s Jinx works because self-pride makes an infinite claim - namely, that there’s a infinite and consistent model of arithmetic - based upon finite data - namely, self-pride’s own small self. Loeb’s Charm works in reverse; self-proof makes a finite claim - that it has a proof - based upon sufficient data - its own vain self. Self-validation validates itself because it speaks only of itself, and so risks nothing.

According to Loeb, universality is charmed; to proclaim self-necessity is to repeat a truism. Self-proof is empty necessity. It says nothing, and it says it; it proves itself because bubbles rise. Correct self-accounting is an example of a Loebian self-validation bubble in finance. I leave it to the reader to find similar charmed quanta in politics and religion.

One would expect self-existence to be a humbler claim than self- necessity; after all self-pride merely calls itself true in some model of arithmetic, whereas self-belief calls itself true in every model of arithmetic. But what self-belief needs is merely a proof, which is finite; self-pride needs an entire infinite number system. The joke is that there might not be any models of arithmetic; it’s inherently uncertain; a mystery which self-pride tries to resolve, and fails.

Part 9. Metamathematical Reforms

Here are two Metamathematical Reforms based upon these principles:

To the Roman Catholic Church: Forget the mad heresy of Papal Infallibility; for infallibility is jinxed. Instead proclaim a doctrine of Papal Necessity, for necessity is charmed. Even a backwoods Protestant bear-hunter will rudely agree that the Pope is necessarily Catholic; and the flock will discover that a necessary Pope is much more adaptable than an infallible one. An infallible Pope must accumulate errors; but a necessary Pope can correct errors. Indeed, error-correction is what a necessary Pope is most needed for.

And to the State of Israel: Forget the mad demand for a Right to Exist. There is no such thing as a right to exist. Existence is jinxed; it’s an accomplishment, not a given; it cannot be guaranteed. Fortunately there’s a right to Self-Determination, and even a right to Self-Defense. These are universal, hence charmed. Self-determination and self-defense aren’t as soothing as self-existence would be, but self-existence doesn’t work, and they do, sort of, and they’ll just have to do.

Part 10. Critique of an alleged science, and a self-validation.

If money might not exist, then is there a science of money? Is economics truly a science? For science requires objectivity, and who can be objective about money? Certainly not those paid to study it; for they are paid by those who have money, rather than those who do not, and he who pays the piper calls the tune. Therefore all professional economics has a built-in plutic bias; it must ignore aplutic doubts, and attack antiplutic norms.

To be objective, an economist must not expect to reap personal gain from his or her findings. Therefore scientific economics, if it exists, must be done aplutically, moneyless, in the public domain. Otherwise it is not science, but is instead pseudo-science, propaganda, deceptions and delusions paid for by the rich.

Professional economics must hide its useful insights, if any. Amateur economics like this essay lacks plutic bias, but is incomplete, marginally competent, and under-marketed. Either way, truly scientific economics is scarce - as befits a science of scarcity.

Truly scientific economics is scarce; so this essay just might be the only scientific economics treatise that you have ever read. Therefore this essay declares that this essay is necessary!