New Civilization News - Category: Economics, Financing, Banking    
 Can you believe this is really happening?!?....
6 Apr 2007 @ 04:40, by a-d. Economics, Financing, Banking

FORECLOSERS in America. TWO and a HALF MILLION this year!
I suggest you guys just click on the link and read it all from there. It looks too complicated for me to try to post!  More >

 Power of the Sunlight: first steps to the New Civilization2 comments
7 Aug 2006 @ 16:30, by armos. Economics, Financing, Banking
On August, 2, 2006 has started the project of creation of Power of the Sunlight as " patrimonial place " of the Absolut-Versions of the New Civilization which can be named the Absolut-Civilization, the Civilization of Spirit, the Civilization of Harmony - Freedom - Efficiency, the Civilization of the Open Society, the Open Civilization. To members NCN, probably, it will be interesting to observe of how this process is carried out, as we to ourselves see civilization prospects that we are going to do that by 2015 results of our initiative were felt on all Planet. This article} contains the most general structure of our approach to start civilization process  More >

 Economics of New Civ.: Not Capitalism ! Not Socialism either !!5 comments
4 Aug 2006 @ 15:20, by shreepal. Economics, Financing, Banking
Capitalism is bad because this society intentionally inflates human beings’ desires in a calculated manner by resorting to advertisements etc. and ensures provision of means to satisfy them. This is nothing but gearing the society to the ideal of sensual enjoyment. Enjoying sensual pleasure is not the end-destination of life on its evolutionary path. In pursuit of its avowed objective of inflating desires and satisfying them, Capitalism resorts to the economic mechanism of earning profit – generating capital -, buying human work – the priceless exertion of life on matter -, selling product of that work at a premium and again earning profit – a vicious circle. To ensure the safe and smooth play of this mechanism, Capitalism evolves capitalist democracy and market culture. In turn, it gives birth to economic exploitation, dazzling wealth and abject poverty, societal injustice and repression. There is no way to escape these inevitable and unfortunate socio-economic byproducts in Capitalism. Capitalism brings about degeneration in human beings and their culture and Mankind is bound to reject Capitalism sooner or later.

Socialism, and its refined form – Communism - , is also a bad social system. This society in order to create abundance of material comforts for its citizens resorts to social engineering wherein chains are put on its citizens’ mind’s creativity. Socialism is comparatively better than Capitalism on the count that it ensures the provision of means to meet the essential needs and legitimate desires of its citizens. But the evil part of this system is that in order to ensure economic justice it creates the dictatorship of a few people – who are almost always merely ordinary human beings in all respects and controlled by their petty desires and animal instincts – over the vast number of common people. And, this dictatorship encompasses every sphere of human activity - the most agonizing part among them being the human mind and its creativity. In order to eliminate any chance of opposition that may eventually turn into challenge to the social system, this system as of necessity can not and does not permit human mind’s free thinking lest it may have remote semblance of incongruity with the established norms. It is slavery of thoughts and mind.

There is need of a social system better than Capitalism and Socialism that may allow the freedom of thought and mind to its citizens but at the same time impose on them the discipline of the light of higher consciousness. The discipline of higher light cannot be imposed on the society by enacting laws. Such a discipline is possible only when there is a majority of those people who have accomplished the higher light in their consciousness. If there are no people in that society who have experienced higher light of consciousness and the discipline is sought to be imposed by laws and rules, then such society would be reduced to that of religious priests, fathers and mullahs. The society and the state of religious priests, fathers and mullahs is not better than Socialism; it is worse than even Capitalism.

Further reading links:

Peaceful democratic revolution  More >

 The International Banking System19 comments
picture3 Aug 2006 @ 20:16, by i2i. Economics, Financing, Banking

The above topic is an expansion on Koravya's comment about the International Banking System (from the following post) open to all who are interested in following through on that issue.

 More >

 Economics of New Civ.: Marxist Dialectics, Communism and Perpetual Revolution1 comment
30 Jul 2006 @ 08:09, by shreepal. Economics, Financing, Banking
Marx has admitted that he stumbled upon the concept of dialectics, on which his entire philosophy is founded, while he was a student of Hegelian Philosophy of History. He claimed that with Hegel this Dialectics was standing on its head and he simply made it stand on its feet. Hegel maintained that it is the Idea, the Spirit, that is real and there is conflict between two irreconcilable contradictions elements inherent in this Idea. This conflict is between thesis and antithesis, and their conflict is resolved by emerging synthesis. Out of this conflict, this contradiction, human history is evolved. Therefore, the history, with all its evolved institutions, is merely an unfolding of the Idea. Marx says that he retained the dialectical process of thesis, antithesis and synthesis as propounded by Hegel but made the historical conditions the real thing and the Idea a reflection of these material conditions in human mind, in his thoughts and culture. Hegelian invention was an accidental discovery by Marx and its correction was his genius. He also very frankly admitted that principles of capital working he discovered from the study of British economy and the revolutionary element he learnt from the French revolutionary Communes. It was his brilliant mind that integrated these three diverse elements into a harmonious philosophic edifice that logically explained human history, economics and culture, and gave hope to the exploited millions of salvation in impending Socialist and thereafter Communist society.

What are dialectical principles?

Engles says:
Outlines of the General Plan (for the application of dialectics to Nature): (1 )... (2).... (3) Dialectics as the science of universal inter-connection. Main laws: transformation of quantity and quality - mutual penetration of polar opposites and transformation into each other when carried to extremes - development through contradiction or negation of the negation - spiral form of development.

He further says:

And indeed they (laws of dialectics) can be reduced in the main to three: The law of the transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa; The law of the interpenetration of opposites; The law of the negation of the negation.

The founders of Marxism claimed that the dialectical process was a universal one, governing from material natural phenomena to the evolution of human society.

F. Angles says:

We are not concerned here with writing a handbook of dialectics, but only with showing that the dialectical laws are real laws of development of nature, and therefore are valid also for theoretical natural science.

Therefore, it was claimed that the predictions made by the application of these laws were accurate and scientific. By applying these "laws" to capitalist society, prediction was made that this society would transform, as of necessity under the natural process, into Socialist society and this view of Socialism was dubbed as scientific Socialism. It was claimed that in due course of time, when old habits of capitalist mentality die under the new social system, Socialism would transform into Communism and state would wither away. It was explained that in socialist society "each would work according to his capacity and get according to his work" while in communist society "each would work according to his capacity and get according to his needs."

'Dialectics' as conceived by Hegel and applied to 'material world' by Karl Marx is a 'mental construct' and it has all the limitations, which mind has.

When dialectics is applied to material world in general and history of mankind in particular, dialectician is faced with the problem of irreconcilable nature, that is, how to reconcile the 'human will' with the 'dialectical determinism'. To reconcile the irreconcilable 'will and determinism', it was proposed by F. Endless and K. Marx that dialectical principles operate in the 'general' way and not in 'specific individual' instances.

When this explanation is applied to social history of mankind, the time scale of operation of dialectics is extended to centuries, if not millenniums. In this situation, though the past (of human history) seems to be explained by dialectics in logical manner, the future changes predicted by dialectics may not be verifiable in decades or centuries.

The dialectical model has a peculiar component of spiral form of its (evolutionary) movement. When dialectics is applied to human history, it predicts that the 'primitive Communism', or the first stage of social evolution of history, would be repeated at higher level of the 'spiral' in the form of "scientific Communism'. Marx pointed out that in primitive Communism, there is 'direct' struggle of people with nature as there are two contradictory classes (nature and mankind), that there are no social class conflicts there and that owing to this absence of social class-conflicts there is no 'wastage' of human energy in the form of social class conflicts.

Likewise, in the 'modern' or 'scientific Communism' also there would be 'direct' struggle of people with nature as there are no two social conflicting classes and no wastage of human energy.

Then, how the 'modem Communism' would progress further in the dialectical terms? How the 'modern Communism' would become the 'thesis' and would give birth to the 'two contradictory' elements inherent in it? Would the 'modem Communism' embark on a new uncharted course of evolutionary life history? Would the 'direct' struggle of people with nature effect the very constitution of mankind, or in other words, would it change the human race into a new and higher race?

These are profound questions that are thrown open by the dialectics, if that be the working mechanism of nature.  More >

 Western Union sucks246 comments
picture 22 Jul 2006 @ 14:42, by ming. Economics, Financing, Banking
Yesterday I needed to make an important payment, with money I had in my U.S. account. Without thinking it through very well, I decided that the fastest way of getting the money over here was Western Union. "Money in Minutes", you know. Had I thought it through better, I'd have realized that the easiest thing is just to ask my bank to increase my cash advance limit, and then take them out in an ATM. As I'd have to use the same cash advance limit to make a Western Union payment. But I didn't think that through at first.

So, I got my bank to make $1000 available, and went to the Western Union website, and ordered the wiring of the money. And it said it had been ordered, but before the money would be available, I'd need to call them to answer some security questions.

Now, it has been a lot in the news recently that Western Union has blocked money transfers for anybody with an Arab name, in some misguided attempt of hindering the funding of terrorists. Which sucks if you're one of the millions of innocent people named Mohammed. But that doesn't really apply to me.

But it turned out that they've implemented a new elaborate security verification scheme. Which consists of asking me questions based on what they've found in the public record about me. They asked me about 10 different multiple-choice questions. They were basically two kinds: 1. giving me a list of domain names and asking if I've registered any of them, and if so which one, or whether I just don't recognize any of them. 2. giving me a list of addresses, and asking me whether I've had any relation to them, and if so what city they're in, chosen from multiple choices, or whether I don't recognize any of them.

I own lots of domains. But yet they gave me several lists of domains I'd never heard of, which I told them. And they gave me lists of addresses I didn't recognize. Except for one, which was an address I used to have a mailbox at, 15 years ago. And then they gave me a list of 5 cities, to identify which one would go with the address. The problem was that my address at East Broadway was in Glendale, California. But the choices were "Los Angeles", "Riverside", "San Bernardino", and a couple more. I explained that to the operator, that there must be some mistake, the address I recognized was in Glendale, and not in any of those, but if I had to choose one of them, the closest would be Los Angeles.

So, then after all 10 questions like that, he informs me that, sorry, but I don't pass the Western Union expanded security requirements. Which, obviously, are screwed up somehow. Essentially they take the kind of stuff that is in one's credit record, or in domain registrations, and if there's anything that happens to be a bit incorrect, or wrong, or one doesn't remember one's address of 15 years ago, one is out of luck.

Now, the problem is also that they already took my money. I.e. they charged a $1000 cash advance from my account when I ordered the money transfer, which registered on my account immediately. And now the guy says he'll cancel the transaction, but that it is no concern of his how and when my bank responds to that.

A call to my bank, after they opened a number of hours later, reveals that all they see is that I spent $1000 with Western Union, and if anything would be reversed, they'd estimate that it might take 2 or 3 business days. Which in itself is ridiculous, of course. If you can do an instant subtraction, you can of course just as easily do an instant addition. But that is often not how banks work. I can spend my money instantly, but if, say, I do a wire transfer between countries, it takes 5-7 business days. There's no good excuse for that, of course. Anyway, in this case the problem is that my $1000 instead of being transferred "in minutes" got locked up for a few days, and I've already spent my maximum cash advance limit for the day, and despite that there were more money in my account, there was no way of getting at them that day. Oh, I could have gone and bought a huge dinner with it, and VISA would have charged it instantly, but that's a different matter.

So, what sucks? Well, Western Union is really cumbersome, has a dysfunctional set of security requirements, and operators who's job it seems to be to give you a hard time, rather than helping you. And if they don't want your transaction, they keep your money for several days more anyway. Which might well be because the banking system sucks.  More >

 Intention Economy3 comments
14 Mar 2006 @ 23:31, by ming. Economics, Financing, Banking
Doc Searls wrote an essay about The Intention Economy. You know, that is in contrast to The Attention Economy. So, let's talk about that first. Like, one fine article is The Attention Economy and The Net by Michael Goldhaber. He says stuff like this:
If the Web and the Net can be viewed as spaces in which we will increasingly live our lives, the economic laws we will live under have to be natural to this new space. These laws turn out to be quite different from what the old economics teaches, or what rubrics such as "the information age" suggest. What counts most is what is most scarce now, namely attention. The attention economy brings with it its own kind of wealth, its own class divisions - stars vs. fans - and its own forms of property, all of which make it incompatible with the industrial-money-market based economy it bids fair to replace. Success will come to those who best accommodate to this new reality. [...]

So, at last, what is this new economy about? Well if the Net exemplifies it, then you might guess it has less to do with material things than with the kinds of entity that can flow through the Net. We are told over and over just what that is: information. Information, however, would be an impossible basis for an economy, for one simple reason: economies are governed by what is scarce, and information, especially on the Net, is not only abundant, but overflowing. We are drowning in the stuff, and yet more and more comes at us daily. That is why terms like "information glut" have become commonplace, after all. Furthermore, if you have any particular piece of information on the Net, you can share it easily with anyone else who might want it. It is not in any way scarce, and therefore it is not an information economy towards which we are moving. What would be the incentive in organizing our lives around spewing out more information if there is already far too much?

Well, my title gives it away, of course. There is something else that moves through the Net, flowing in the opposite direction from information, namely attention. So seeking attention could be the very incentive we are looking for. Parenthetically, I have now rejected both parts of the conference title; no economics in the conventional sense, and not digital information either. You might conclude I am speaking at the wrong conference. I would rather say it has the wrong title. Except the title did serve its purpose. It did get your attention, and that was something, in fact a lot.

Attention, at least the kind we care about, is an intrinsically scarce resource [ 4 ]. Consider yours, right now. You are reading this paper, or more likely, since it is intended to be delivered at a conference, listening to me speaking it. You have a certain stock of attention at your disposal, and right now, a large proportion of the stock available to you is going to me, or to my words. Note that if I am standing in front of you it is difficult to distinguish between paying attention to me and paying attention to my words or thoughts; you can hardly do one without doing the other. If you are just reading this, assuming it gets printed in a book, the fact that your attention is going to me and not just to what I write may be slightly less obvious. So it is convenient to think of being in the audience at this conference in order to consider what attention economics is all about.
A lot of people have talked about the Attention Economy, and written books. Now, Doc Searls says that he doesn't entirely understand all of it, and it all sounds a little too much like marketing and advertising guys talking about "eyeballs". Which I kind of think too. Anyway, Doc is quite a new-thinker in terms of markets and where things are going, in part as one of the authors of the monumental Cluetrain Manifesto, which said cool things like:
we are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers. we are human beings and our reach exceeds your grasp.
deal with it.
So, now, Doc thinks up the term "Intention Economy" as something more desirable than the "Attention Economy":
The Intention Economy is about markets, not marketing. You don't need marketing to make Intention Markets.

The Intention Economy is built around truly open markets, not a collection of silos. In The Intention Economy, customers don't have to fly from silo to silo, like a bees from flower to flower, collecting deal info (and unavoidable hype) like so much pollen. In The Intention Economy, the buyer notifies the market of the intent to buy, and sellers compete for the buyer's purchase. Simple as that.

The Intention Economy is built around more than transactions. Conversations matter. So do relationships. So do reputation, authority and respect. Those virtues, however, are earned by sellers (as well as buyers) and not just "branded" by sellers on the minds of buyers like the symbols of ranchers burned on the hides of cattle.

The Intention Economy is about buyers finding sellers, not sellers finding (or "capturing") buyers.
So, like, I express what I want. I'm going to Tahoe, I need a hotel and a rental car. I don't need the insurance, and my budget is so and so. And then the potential vendors could go to work on trying to accommodate me, and they can give me an offer.

Now, I don't think "Intention Economy" is a very good term for it. Well, it is a great term in itself, but to me "Intention" is a more noble word I'd like to reserve for other things than just what I'm in the market for buying. Like, what I want to do in life, for example.

Various people comment that most of us don't really know exactly what we want up front, so it isn't a great thing to build an economy on.

As Goldhaber and others who talk about Attention Economy point out, economies are typically based on something that is scarce, which then is traded. But, aha, that sort of indicates how Doc is right. In practicality it easily becomes just another word for corporations trying to grab my attention so they can sell me something. Because who's going to trade my attention? Well, websites and marketers. Somebody's trying to grab my attention, and sell it to somebody who wants it. Attention Economy isn't really centered on me, and really it should be, like what Doc intends with the Intention Economy. It should be about me and what I want. As he points out, advertising is an enormous waste. 999 people need to waste their time looking at something they don't want for one person to maybe get what they want. Or worse.

Could my purchasing intention be a scarce item that one can exchange in an economy? Well, potentially. One can sell a "lead", and this is in a sense a superb lead. I want something, for sure, and I'm in all likelyhood going to buy it, the question is just from whom, and what the exact conditions are.

I'd say the battle isn't really between whether it is attention or intention, but rather between whether it is a buyer's market or a seller's market. Or, better, it is whether we focus on what is needed or what is offered. An industrial age capitalistic market mass produces a lot of cheap stuff and convinces people that they need it and that they should buy it, and it doesn't really matter if they really actually needed it, as long as they buy it. Doesn't matter if they'd rather have had something else. Now, new technology could now well allow for that everybody could get something different. Mass customization. In a lot of areas it is no longer inherently necessary that I get the exact same thing as a million other people. A computer manufacturer can be geared for assembling a computer just for me, to my specifications. A travel agency can construct a travel plan particularly for me.

It is still largely a market controlled by the BigCo's, so at first these things are just a gimmick to persuade me to buy from them, whether their product actually really is what I need.

What would change it would be if I and most other people were sufficiently well informed, and there were a sufficient amount of alternatives. And a sufficient amount of organization on the buyer side.

Imagine I had a website that aggregated needs. We could concentrate first on needs for buying stuff. What products or services people want to buy, and exactly how they want them. So, what if there were a way of assembling these in a systematic way, quickly and in large volume. So, let's say I could represent 100,000 people who wanted to buy computers, and I had the specs each one was looking for. Could I, or rather this aggregated buyer association, present this massive list of needs and wants and specs and requirements to a series of vendors in a meaningful way? Hey, we need 100,000 individually customized PCs, can you deliver? You could imagine that you could both act as a large volume purchaser, who needs a really really good deal because of the volume, and still ask for individual requirements for each item. That would be new.

There are computer manufacturers that let you customize the PC you order. There are websites that will let you set the price you want to pay for something, like a plane ticket. Reverse auctions. But as far as I know, you're dealing with the service individually, and it is run by a BigCo travel agency outfit that doesn't really have to care a lot about you individually. It is just another way for them to sell some tickets they might not have sold otherwise.

But what if our reach actually went farther than their grasp? If we, formerly known as the "consumers", were big enough in numbers to spell out our terms, or we'll take our business elsewhere.

If our information was well enough organized, it might go some steps further, into what is not just simple buying/selling transactions. Like, here we are, 10 million people, and we spend 10 billion dollars per year on electricity. We'd like to offer 50 billion dollars to anybody who'll come up with an energy source that means we'll never have to buy metered electricity again. You get the idea. If the masses are organized in a way so they know what they want altogether, there's leverage to be able to ask for something quite different from what they'd get if they were just individual consumers with no real choice. Like, asking never to have to buy another one of those products again.

You could imagine a market that was completely upside down. Or downside up, really. Where buyers suddenly were the scarce commodity, rather than the products. OK, companies have to compete for customers today. But imagine the customers were the big guys, and the vendors had to bend over backwards to meet their demands.

I'm not sure I can come up with a better cool name fo it. The Demand Economy, the Request Economy, the Buyer Economy, the Need Economy. I give up.

If enough people easily could get enough information about what is possible and available to know what they want in some detail, and they were able to notice if they got it or not, and they were able to coordinate that information better and faster than the vendors can manage to mislead and confuse them, and they were able to band together to carry out large aggregated transactions, then the market would certainly have changed, whatever that would end up being called.

It is something about a distributed market being aggregated. You know, like anybody can have a blog, and any blog can have a syndicated feed, and anybody can have an aggregator that shows the total content of lots of blogs very easily. And, together, this becomes something that competes quite well with mass media. We could imagine a similar thing for economic activity.  More >

 Supply vs. Demand1 comment
9 Nov 2005 @ 15:24, by oasiian. Economics, Financing, Banking
Supply Economy existed once in the Feudal Ages of Europe and for an even longer time in the Asian cultures.
We Switched to a Demand Economy, but was that such a good thing? More in the article following...  More >

 Global Rich List9 comments
21 Oct 2005 @ 23:16, by ming. Economics, Financing, Banking
Hey, I'm one of the top 50,000,000 richest people in the world. Then why do I feel so poor? Check it out. Puts things in some kind of perspective, I guess.  More >

 Monkey Business5 comments
picture 6 Jun 2005 @ 21:54, by ming. Economics, Financing, Banking
Article in New York Times about an economist who does economic experiments with monkeys. And he finds that they behave like people in many ways.
Two monkeys faced each other in adjoining cages, each equipped with a lever that would release a marshmallow into the other monkey's cage. The only way for one monkey to get a marshmallow was for the other monkey to pull its lever. So pulling the lever was to some degree an act of altruism, or at least of strategic cooperation.

The tamarins were fairly cooperative but still showed a healthy amount of self-interest: over repeated encounters with fellow monkeys, the typical tamarin pulled the lever about 40 percent of the time. Then Hauser and Chen heightened the drama. They conditioned one tamarin to always pull the lever (thus creating an altruistic stooge) and another to never pull the lever (thus creating a selfish jerk). The stooge and the jerk were then sent to play the game with the other tamarins. The stooge blithely pulled her lever over and over, never failing to dump a marshmallow into the other monkey's cage. Initially, the other monkeys responded in kind, pulling their own levers 50 percent of the time. But once they figured out that their partner was a pushover (like a parent who buys her kid a toy on every outing whether the kid is a saint or a devil), their rate of reciprocation dropped to 30 percent -- lower than the original average rate. The selfish jerk, meanwhile, was punished even worse. Once her reputation was established, whenever she was led into the experimenting chamber, the other tamarins "would just go nuts," Chen recalls. "They'd throw their feces at the wall, walk into the corner and sit on their hands, kind of sulk."

He also learned that the monkeys might cheat or steal to get what they want. And they might think of new kinds of exchanges, like paying for sex, or trying to pass on counterfeit coins. And they would make the same kind of irrational choices as humans tend to, like making certain choices, when presented with a gamble, which seem emotionally satisfying, but which might not be rational.
When taught to use money, a group of capuchin monkeys responded quite rationally to simple incentives; responded irrationally to risky gambles; failed to save; stole when they could; used money for food and, on occasion, sex. In other words, they behaved a good bit like the creature that most of Chen's more traditional colleagues study: Homo sapiens.

Now, this is all a somewhat touchy subject with economists, because economic theory traditionally assumes that it is only humans who can act economically, based on our ability to think rationally. Which is probably a bunch of crap, as humans don't think very rationally half the time, and most economic choices aren't rational. Might very well have a lot more to do with being conditioned. You want this tasty banana (car, tv, house), push this button (go downtown and push papers around all day).  More >

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