We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Although collective bargaining by government employee unions may offend one’s sense of justice, what’s truly unacceptable is government labor’s stranglehold over the local, state, and federal governments with which they bargain.
...the story is also more disturbing in that it batters our faith that modern economics—whether of the Left or Right—can protect us against great instability and insecurity. The financial panic and subsequent Great Recession have demonstrated that the advances in economic management and financial understanding that supposedly protected us from violent business cycles—ruling out another Great Depression—were oversold, exposing us to larger economic reversals than we thought possible. It’s true that we’ve so far avoided another depression, but it was a close call, and the fact that all the standard weapons (low interest rates, huge government budget deficits) have already been deployed leaves open the disquieting question of what would happen if the economic system again lurched violently into reverse. The economic theorems and tools that we thought could forewarn and protect us are more primitive than we imagined. We have not traveled so far from the panic-prone economies of 1857, 1893, and 1907 as we supposed.
Our experience since 2007 has also revealed a huge contradiction at the center of our politics. Prosperity is almost everyone’s goal, but too much prosperity enjoyed for too long tends to destroy itself.
My "thing" is navigation - I've been fascinated with different forms of navigation since...well forever I guess. Started as a kid when my Dad taught me how to use a sextant.
The longitude "problem" is particularly fascinating. Its all about time if we think in Western terms which is why we find things like the ability of the loggerhead turtle amazing. The truth is that this facility was developed in primitive cultures as early as 1000 BC using entirely different techniques.
Polynesian "wayfinding" is probably the most perfect example of this primitive facility although it isn't unique to them alone. Wayfinding is done by a tribal "navigator". It includes knowledge of stars, orientation of East/West, direction of swells and currents, sea states (color) and an innate ability to determine position in terms of longitude (time) by using vectors of all the above factors. Pretty amazing actually. Very much in the same way a homing pigeon works its magic. There is even some evidence that the Polynesians had a high concentration of magnetite (ferrous-ferrous oxide) which would account for their ability to vector X and Y coordinates.
I had understood that the allegedly wild market swings in the days before regulation were in fact not particularly worse than the swings that now occur; and the worst swings always seem to involve the government fiddling with the banks.