August 04, 2018

Horse 2450 - Fragments VIII: The Great Grape Eight

MM44 - Other People's Money
According to Milton Freedman the economist, there are only four ways to spend money.
1. You spending money on You.
2. You spending money on Other People.
3. Other People spending money on You.
4. Other People spending money on Other People.

Most people, including you and me, prefer money spent in the following order.
3, 1, 4, 2.

This is a natural extension of the basic principle of economics that Adam Smith starts his Theory Of Moral Sentiments with, that mankind is assumed to be selfish. He talks about rational self-interest however, given what I know and have experienced about human nature, I highly doubt the premise that people are remotely rational. People would rather have money spent on them, or spend their own money on themselves, than having to spend their money on other people; they are indifferent about other people doing anything. The illustration comes into closest focus for me on the second Wednesday in May when the budget has been handed down and people ring me up that morning to find out what they "get" from the budget. When it comes to lodging people's tax returns, the discussion always invariably revolves around what kind of tax deductions that people can get (see number 2 in the list) and what kind of refund that people can get (which I think that they think is 3 but actually is 1).

One of the best illustrations that I've ever heard is the parable of the invention of Zero. It goes something like this:
There was a Punjabi trader in a marketplace who was looking at all of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4... and said "none of these are amounts that I want to pay". Then, looking at a sleeping snake which was lying in a coil on the ground next to its charmer, he saw the perfection of serenity and that ring became Zero. When Islamic mathematicians found out about this, they immediately saw its usefulness and hence the reason why it is called the Hindu-Arabic Numeral System.

I like this tale because not only does it explain how we got a zero but it also displays that most common of human desires; which is to pay nothing for anything if we can get away with it. Yet again we arrive right back at human selfishness and taken to its logical extreme, it explains both slavery and most of the issues surrounding government welfare. Essentially they are driven by the same motivations; slavery is based on the premise that by owning people, you only have to pay for their upkeep and the narrative around government welfare is that everyone who receives any benefit for any reason is a loafer and a bludger and there is a moral reason not to pay them.


CL888 - Caffeinated Lasagna
I have it on good authority that Monday is either cured by a dose of Tuesday or of extreme apathy. I also happen to know that intermittent sadness can be cured by cheesy, tomatoy, pasta products, and by excessive amounts of coffee. I know this because a syndicated orange cat which was named after the President of the United States, James A Garfield, has made these pronouncements in repeated propaganda for the last forty years in various newspapers.
Caffeinated Lasagna, however impractical is therefore the only rational and natural choice to cure one of the more debilitating effects of Monday. Quite what the scientific reason for this connection is, is completely unknown to me but when has ignorance of reality ever stopped someone from hawking the newest and greatest sensation of all time.


GK21 - England In The World Cup Final Is Proof That Reality Is Broken
The only reason why we are here at this point in time where England is in a World Cup Final is because something is fundamentally wrong with the universe. We must be living in some alternate version of history like 1985A in Back To The Future Part II or possibly something like Counterpoint where there has been a portal opened to a parallel dimension and this squad of 23 England players has been brought through passport control. The Gareth Southgate that I remember missed that penalty but this one is a bizarre über kind version that is actually displaying competence.
I assume that the universe will right itself though and France will end up winning for the simple reason that like all the other former colonial powers of Europe, France has a very strong undercurrent of racism running through it. The same country which used to write "Liberté, Liberty, Egalité" on its coins before it adopted le Euro, also very nearly ended up with Marrine  La Pen as President. This means that most of the French squad is French when they win but generic African when they lose.

My prediction for the final is either:
France 3 - England 1 (assuming that the universe corrects itself and decides that even that reality is simply unbelievable across all parallel dimensions) or:
France 1 - England 2 (if we assume that Football really is coming home and remembered where its passport is).

(Footnote: This was never published because reality decided that England being in a World Cup Final was simply too buckwild and weird to explain.
God had a chat to Reality and said "First Leicester City winning the Premier League, then Trump being elected as President, then another Trudeau as Prime Minister of Canada, and now England in a Cup Final. Go home, Reality. You are drunk.")


LL19 - The Ontology Of Lasagne
This really gets to the heart of the ontological question of what a lasagne is. The mere existence of sheets of pasta is not enough because there are a myriad of pasta shapes which are all competing for pasta shape supremacy. A lasagne is clearly a layered pasta dish with layers of red sauce and cheese which are separated. You can have things like meat or spinach as well but they are not the defining features of a lasagne.
This immediately leads me to the next point in my interrogation. What would happen if you were to put one lasagne on top of another? The base definition of what a lasagne is, is still intact. You still have various layers of red sauce and cheese which are separated by sheets of pasta. It's just that by putting one lasagne on top of another, you end up with more layers. My suspicion is that if you were to give this thing to a third party who never witnessed the process of putting one lasagne on top of another, they would be none the wiser and assume that the thing in front of them was only a single lasagne.
My conclusion therefore is that the above appears to be true and that because you can put one lasagne on top of another and you still functionally fulfill the ontological question of what a lasagne is, then you can do it ad infinitum and ad nauseum. Ten million lasagnes stacked on top of each other would also fulfill the definition of what a lasagne is and would also become just a lasagne in the singular; no matter how daft or ridiculous your giant tower of lasagne looks.
Mathematically, lasagne is insanity where 1+1=1 and 1-1=2 because even if you were to slice the giant lasagne tower in twain, the bottom half isn't suddenly not a lasagne and in addition, the new section is it's own new lasagne.


BMW5 - Why Can't BMW Drivers Ever Use Their Indicators?
I know for a fact that BMWs have indicator lights because I do see them flashing on and then off when they are stopped at a set of traffic lights. If I know that they have indicators, then presumably everyone else on the road also knows that BMWs have indicator lights. How is it then, when traffic is doing 70 clicks down the Warringah Expressway that BMW drivers are completely unaware that their cars are equipped with indicator lights? The number of BMWs that cut through the bus lane without indicating is significant and what makes it truly terrifying is that a big thing like a bus has more inertia than a little thing like a Yaris, which means that they will take more time to come to a halt if someone has pulled out in front of them without indicating.
Mercedes-Benz drivers appear to have a sense of self preservation and a sense of the value of their motor vehicle. Likewise, Audi drivers also appear to sense that actions have consequences and that a big thing which has run into them, is likely to do a lot of damage which costs real money.
The only thing that I can assume is that BMW drivers are either so ignorant, arrogant, or ambivalent about their own car that they don't care what happens to it. This is probably because their cars are owned through a company and are being used as a tax write off. This might also be because despite using the slogan "the ultimate driving machine", BMWs are actually pretty uninspiring to drive. You don't get anything like the aura of class from a Mercedes-Benz, the sense of craftsmanship of an Audi or Porsche, or the pervasive feeling that you'll break down without notice that you get in an Alfa Romeo. A BMW is an appliance to these people and they care too little about them to use their indicators when changing lanes.


FO - Australia Is So Australian That Mr Bolt Doesn't Recognise It
I flatly reject Mr Bolt's premise that people who look different to him should be assimilated into the culture of Australia because quite frankly, we've always been a nation of immigrants and so the culture itself has never been a crystalised thing. With the sole exception of Aboriginal people groups who were systematically driven from their lands and home (and in many cases simply butchered or massacred if they dared to object), every new people group has arrived and altered the culture (whatever the deuce that even is), in some small way.

When agent provocateur and infant terrible Lauren Southern arrived in Lakemba to give the locals a blood nose for no good reason, not only did she try to prosecute a non existent case but she misread the culture on the ground. Apart from arriving with a camera crew to annoy the locals, she then asked where the mosque was and the wanted to know where the nearest British pub was, presumably to prove that white oppression was going on. Never mind the fact that the mosque was more than a mile and a half away and would be too hard for the camera operator to schlep to, the nearest pub was the Lakemba Hotel which was actually within eyesight and at any rate it is very Australian and not British. Plastered around its awnings are adverts for Victoria Bitter; which has a marketing campaign which is so distinctively Australian that it is a pastiche of itself.

There is a street in a suburb that I whizz past on the train every morning that has a string of shop fronts with signs in: Vietnamese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Urdu, Thai, Turkish, and then Chinese again. I am willing to bet that the children of the proprietors of these shops probably all go to the same school and speak with an Australian accent which is more Australian than mine. I am also willing to bet that their children would be likely marry each other and that the children of those children wouldn't be able to speak the language of their grandparents.

Mr Bolt's complaint is essentially that he has looked down the street and has found people who don't look like him and he is terribly confused by it. The concept of multiculturalism which he is railing against is more of less the default setting of society as cultures absorb and steal elements from each other, synthesize them and then constantly create and build upon what was. If Mr Bolt was for instance to go to a British pub in Britain, it wouldn't be difficult for him to find a curry on the menu which never even existed in India; in fact a poll by the great and powerful Times of London to determine what the most quintessential British dish was, turned up Chicken Tikka Masala as the winner.

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