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Ciprian Patrulescu Posts

George Orwell, 1984

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

George Orwell, 1984

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Killing off the Sacred Cows

Watching the recent protests and removal of statues, I can’t think but reminisce. I remember being in second grade when Communism fell.

The first day after Christmas vacation (the commies called it winter vacation) the teachers asked us to “rip out the first page of your books”.

The portrait hanging above the blackboard was taken down as well.

This is the portrait that we had to recite out pledge of allegiance to. A long pledge. Who is this comrade? “He is the leader of the socialist republic of Romania elected unanimously by the 26th party..”..

This was all gone.

Throughout the country statues of Lenin were taken down. A new era was upon us.

I was changed.

Going forward, I would trust less. I would double check any information, especially if it was coming from those in power. Iraq has WMD. Really? The UN inspectors are saying otherwise…and so on.

Once sacred cows are killed there is no going back to “trusting”. Groups seek to find consensus. Individuals seek to find the truth.

You can only find the truth if you kill the sacred cows.

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Lockdown and Chill

People are lonely and have problems coping with the quarantine because we as a species are not meant to be alone.

Religion and science both say that we humans came from one place – The Garden of Eden or The Big Bang depending on your belief systems. Either way, we stayed together.

Now we’re asked to social distance, separate and quarantine ourselves.

I, myself, find refuge in quiet times. As Marcus Aurelius says,


“People seek retreats for themselves in the country, by the sea, or in the mountains. You are very much in the habit of yearning for those same things. But this is entirely the trait of a base person, when you can, at any moment, find such a retreat in yourself. For nowhere can you find a more peaceful and less busy retreat than in your own soul – especially if on close inspection it is filled with ease, which I say is nothing more than being well-ordered. Treat yourself often to this retreat and be renewed.” – MARCUS AURELIUS, Meditations, 4.3.1


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Happy New Year!

Going to try to be more authentic this year.   Speak my truth, as they say.    How does one speak their truth?   Truth changes as people change.   I’m not the same person I was five or ten or twenty years ago.    As Alan Watts once said: “Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.”

 

 

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Price Transparency

The Trump administration released a far-reaching plan to force hospitals and insurers to disclose their secret negotiated rates:

“ Em­ploy­ers and pa­tients are of­ten un­able to see which hos­pi­tal sys­tems and doc­tor’s of­fices are dri­ving prices up­ward. Some health-care econ­o­mists ar­gue that the se­crecy is a fac­tor in why the U.S. spends more per res­i­dent on health care than any other de­vel­oped na­tion.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s vi­sion is to arm pa­tients with in­for­ma­tion needed to make health-care de­ci­sions much like shop­ping for other con­sumer ser­vices. Rates po­ten­tially could be posted on pub­lic web­sites, where con­sumers would check the ne­go­ti­ated price of a ser­vice be­fore they pick a provider.“

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What Greta Doesn’t (Yet) Understand

Greta, Greta, Greta.

I admire your passion.  You really believe what you say.

However, you have a ways to go in understanding the relationship between humans and nature.

Greta, I remember being your age.   I remember thinking that we are destroying “Mother Nature”.     As I got older, I realized that I had it backwards.

You see, Greta, nature doesn’t care about humans.   Nature never cared.   Nature has killed and tries to kill humans in every which way possible: disease, natural disasters, predators, etc.

Humans are the species that tamed nature.   We’re taming diseases.   Viruses.

Have patience Greta.

Technology will get better.    We will become better at reducing emissions.   We will cut down on greenhouse gases.  Why?  Because humans are the only species on planet earth that does NOT take the path of least resistance.

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Helicopter Money Coming To You in The Near Future

What does the future monetary policy look like?    Bloomberg explains:

…In theory, that debt hasn’t been monetized. In reality, most analysts think it has, and the sky hasn’t fallen in.

“The market does not expect the government of Japan to ever be able to repay this debt,’’ Bank of America-Merrill Lynch strategist Athanasios Vamvakidis wrote in a July report. “The BOJ may as well make it explicit.’

“Japan was the first country to cut interest rates to zero, and the first to try quantitative easing. Given its close working relations with the government, the BOJ may provide a blueprint for the latest ideas about central banking too

“Central bank independence increasingly looks like a brief historical episode that peaked around the turn of the century,’’ said Joachim Fels, global economic adviser at Pacific Investment Management Co. “Like it or not, get used to the new normal of dependent central banks.’’…

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