Thursday, July 31, 2008

Money and Being

The related blog is going to start to look at money (1st post on Money, money, money) and why the modern gaming schemes are out of whack in terms of managing such. In the meantime, this blog will pursue issues of oops in finance, in engineering, and in general.

Too, an anecdotal view is in order to try to explain the claims that computation and modern mathematics are at the core of the faulty thinking. It has to do with modeling and more.

But, taking money, and using the dollar, one problem is that giant sucking from the hapless to the ever-growing pockets of the fat cats does not move an homogeneous entity. No. The fat cat could not care less for an individual dollar.

On the other hand, those of meager means could even tell you how parts of a dollar were spent.

How do we account for this disparity better than the economists and financial types have done so far? Well, they'll talk in a mode that includes concepts such as marginal value and even risk in terms of how dollars are handled. But, remember they have scrunched what is a phenomenal complication into crunching numbers.

That is not sufficient, but no one has proposed a better means that passes muster. Granted such a model would be a large undertaking, perhaps beyond the means of a blog. Yet, somehow the stage needs to be set for the proper thinking and data analysis.

This new media may just be the sort of thing for that.

In short, think of these related blogs as a coherent entity (or an attempt thereof, at least), not unlike a book, that allows any associated bit of information to be available at a click of the mouse (or whatever other means) assuming that the underlying service pointed to by the link is both accessible and capable (not true, in any sense, except for in an ex post facto manner).

Actually, from the Truth Engineering perspective, such coherency (as is sought) would not be unlike a theorem-ic collective.

Yes, there is more to a dollar (and money) than the abstracted and sanitized view allows. By the way, money in its roles relates to objects of value which then applies to land, ourselves, and, perhaps, any other physical thing (for starters, let's go back and read the TE notions on Being).

The modern view on value has been screwed (skewed) by the growing prominence of 'busyness' in our psyches.

Those who argue that 'money' is this nebulous thing of arbitrary definition and value really are to blame for the mess that the nineteenth and twentieth centuries caused (and which, we'll need to recover from in the twenty-first century).


06/06/2011 -- Finance is the focus, henceforth.

11/08/2009 -- The gigantic chimera needs proper attention.

06/20/2009 -- Yes, rent can go to labor (new look at capitalism), and finance can have a higher calling.

01/18/2009 - We even need to look at why we need finance.

12/01/2008 -- We need to learn what we might be taught about money by Islamic Finance.

Modified: 06/06/2011

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More miscellany

As alluded to in the prior post, blogs are a lot of work. Of course, one could just rant in a stream-of-consciousness mode. Would that be interesting?

You see, there are all the methods available for organizing, linking, and such. Besides, the medium seems to be a fair publishing scheme.

So, some work will be done here shortly to start the second year positively.

- find examples (another) of the gaming gone bad
- start to look at what money is and why we need it
- look at derivatives and the associated deleterious delusions

There needs to be some admin work done, to boot.
- register with a spider (Technorati Profile)
- link to some related blogs (Calculated Risk)


01/27/2009 -- Lessons to be learned (as opposed to learnt), including, by necessity, Ponzi.

Modified: 01/27/2009

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The Truth Engineering blog started first (July 24, 2007) with severalfold motivations but without a specific focus which does allow a more general viewpoint. Then, with the rumblings on the web in regard to the 787 missing its fly date starting to increase, this blog started with that focus but then took on a larger scope (these seeds are being updated).

In that larger scope, the idiocy of the financial world will be analyzed much more deeply than can be the 787 program. Why? It is supposed to be open, much more so than can be some proprietary program. Yet, we've seen privatization of mechanism (it allows Grasso keep his take). Not that the engineering/program topic won't be used in the future, after all engineering touches everything and has some blame for the current messes that we see. Of course, the 'real' engineering viewpoint will say that management forced decisions that ultimately screw things up.

As an aside, one task for each blog will be to have a name for reference to 'self' to inhibit the use of the royal 'we' as may have happened now and then. So, we'll use 7oops7 for now.

Of late, 7oops7 has been getting more deeply into what has happened in financial and economic theory (and practice) the past couple of decades than was thought wise before. You see, many have gone mad thinking about these things. How else can we (oops) account for the growing idiocy and all around growth of hapless victims? These are dismal sciences, indeed.

Engineering comes out with something real, such as an airplane which can be tested against its goals. Finance is for the most part a game, as has been said before. 7oops7 has been incredulously poking at shenanigans that the lemmings (from the top, I might add you) have allowed, pursued, and pondered (as it creates holes in the pockets of the many). Gosh, some of these things don't even make sense to most (understanding requires initiation into the brotherhood) and really border on unethical practices (are we in a global blindness here?).

As said before, quoting the recently-departed William F. Buckley, Jr, 'stop' (the madness). Just because the computer and mathematics allow the gaming of the market does not give it any more truth than what it is. What is it? A very shaking system based upon what several metaphors could describe: sand, cards, ...

There have been sane voices, such as Minsky (the economist, not the perceptronist) which is encouraging. Methinks that the genie is out of the bottle, yet putting the more risky in a sandbox is not impossible. All it would take, to start, would be a good explanation about why we have all the instability. Perhaps, 7oops7 could attempt such, knowing, of course, that the myth of Sisyphus is apropos. Let's see, how much time do we have?


09/12/2009 -- Sandbox was used without definition. Let's discuss that concept.

12/05/2008 -- It got so bad that even in a Republican time socialization of loss was allowed to bail out the privatization of profit.

Modified: 09/12/2009

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bank failures

They're dropping like flies, one might say. The prior post went on about Mac and Mae being symbols of the times.

Well, bankers and other financial types, what did you think would happen without rules being followed? What rules? Well, some of these are even natural, such as you don't leverage to the hilt and consider it safe.

Sheesh, what idiocy all around!!! NYSE, Chicago, et all all need to have stamped on their foreheads this, Las Vegas. Yes, it's gaming at the core; quicksand is the basis; or, using the gaming metaphor would have us say that it's a house of cards.

How does one build toward a retirement with such mis-management?

Oh, by the way, these oops hurt people. Except, Grasso is sitting pretty; he will be used as another symbol in future posts.

But, engineering will still be a focus, too, as it has spilled its ways into the financial realm.


12/05/2008 -- It got so bad that even in a Republican time socialization of loss was allowed to bail out the privatization of profit.

Modified: 12/05/2008

Mac and Mae

These can be used to distinguish between two mind sets in order to examine the basis for the current financial problems in which we, the taxpayers, are bailing out the stupid and the greedy (who are thought to be smart due to their money grabbing successes -that, of late, are being shown to have been more of ponzi than of substance [thanks, Minsky]).

Okay, Ben's blink, as mentioned earlier, is a factor, but he was only carrying on the Fed's history of fostering moral hazards. Yes.

How did this mess happen? Let's look at how Mac and Mae are perfect foil for analysis. Also, we can look at the creation of firms that screwed workers and feathered managers' bed (earlier posts have dealt with one instance).

Well, Mac and Mae were oriented toward public service in the beginning, in a sense. The notion was good in that it offered the opportunity of home ownership to a growing middle class.

At some point, and we'll not point fingers yet, those whose idea is to match their ego sizes with a larger wallet came to fore. Privatization reared its head and seduced the lot of us.

Well, not the blogger, since it is obvious to any who think and know that self is good, yet service is better. Naturally, the watered down version is the golden rule which is important to ethics which is related to a sister blog.

Anyway, a gaming scheme has become the current vogue with an enormous amount of money going to foster the daily bread aspect, with the markets, the analysts, the TV and other media, and the computational support.

Where is the humanity? Oh yes, teeming masses all after their own glory.

So, Mac and Mae (and dear old Sallie - gosh, using both profiteering and pirating to wrap students into unending debt) were twisted and screwed; managers started to reap large rewards (criminally, given the pay backs - oh yes, Grasso's take torques too since the market at the time of his leadership was supposedly a public service); the underlying ideas were lost.

Let's grieve and then clean house here. 'how' will be an area to look at. 'why' is apropos, too, as is a whole bunch of other topics.

But, keep in mind that there are those who step above self. In the sense of one current affair. those who risk life and limb far exceed in stature the PhD with the smirk, in particular, and that whole class.

God bless American and help it lead with a proper balance between public service and profiteering (this latter ought to be controlled just as we do gaming - as said before, a sand box is necessary).


03/23/2012 -- Ben is doing a series of four lectures on his, and the FED's, role.

08/17/2009 -- As promised, FEDaerated is here.

04/17/2009 -- Minsky and the facts of ephemeral value are a couple of topics on the list.

01/26/2009 -- Still asking for money from our, the taxpayer, pockets. Also, on the culprit list.

10/04/2008 -- Well, these are now folded into the arms of the government.

07/30/2008 -- The SEC sees gaming in stock for these; if this is obvious, then rules would be in order; don't you think?

07/17/2008 -- In the Denver area, of those within the coverage of the electric company (which, mind you, was at one time public service), there are 47,000 that are without arrears. The fat cats have gotten fatter; the mosts have thinned, quite a bit; are we to have people then suffer immensely due to improper management (from the highest level)?

07/16/2008 -- Leaders don't ask people to do things that they cannot or will not do (that's more in the realm of serfdom - what larger master is there than interminable debtor-ship).

How is public service learned? Well, it starts in the home. But, having the universal service time for youth would help, too. Remember, the WWII strategy of the draft cut across the board socio-economically. That this gaming mess may be the result of a 'computer game' generation and did not arise out of those who were GI-bill educated will be looked at in depth.

The original focus of the blog harped about consequences of misuse of mathematics and computers. That quasi-empirical issue still stands as important.

Modified: 03/23/2012

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Oops and models

It is always good to see someone express thoughts well, especially those dealing with important subjects, such as Oops and NoOops. Recently, a New York Times opinion'er hit the mark; Nicholas D. Kristof wrote (July 3, 2008): In short, millions of things could go wrong. But when there’s a good model in place, they often go right.

Now, this blog deals with the fact that 'oops and loops must lead to oops, by necessity. 7 'oops 7 started with an engineering focus of a particular flavor, then branched to finance (the credit crunch is going to be looked at here from several sides - fortunately, the WSJ has been probing deeply into the current conundrums), and now finally is covering the spectrum of human life (with one particular having a medical angle - due to a personal interest in bio-medical engineering). However, the airplane particulars will remain in the discussion for purposes of illustration since a major program will be moving along a test axis shortly.

If you now know the context of the above-referenced article, we can understand the notion that 1M things could go wrong is true in many situations. And we can understand that control (or, risk management, if you would) requires a model. So, the types of things that help us live better and accomplish predictably are the concern of science and engineering.

Engineers help us to improve things, essentially by working the models. There are modern models that have a whole lot of history. But there is one thing to note in regard to models: the computational frameworks are still in their infancy, comparatively, and quasi-empiricism has more of a basis than many realize.


11/20/2008 -- Boon and bust, the way of fairy dust.

Modified: 11/20/2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Other oop types

Despite that we can handle 'oops and that we mostly enjoy the aah, oops abound.

Lately, the posts have dealt with a couple of types (engineering and financial), but there was some discussion earlier of the medical types. One to consider is the stroke, in the medical sense.

There may be several types of stroke, each with its contributing factors. The fact remains, though, that most strokes require a recovery process that is not short and that some do not allow any recovery.

Further, one may the stroke, and other health problems, as a metaphor for failures in various areas (essentially oops), as suggested by an earlier post. Naturally, avoidance is more important and being prepared for recovery, though we need both.

How many 'strokes' are there awaiting us from which recovery will be both painful and costly? Well, the whole sub-prime thing may be one. Too, that finance has put on a gaming hat may very well be another.



09/02/2009 -- We'll need people who can handle undecidability and its influence.

01/18/2009 - Gosh, several things happened on the way to the forum in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Essentially, it all shows that we need to look at why we need finance.

11/20/2008 -- Boon and bust, the way of fairy dust.

Modified: 09/04/2009