Why economists fail (per the Druids)

Worth a read, though i never thought i’d be following an “archdruid” with some avidity. And not just any archdruid: John Michael Greer is the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America (AODA).

Shows how desperate i have become, here in a once-proud country now ruled by an economist.

…[T]here’s a case to be made for discussing economics from a standpoint distinct from that of today’s economists – in fact, from nearly any imaginable standpoint other than that of today’s economists. That case could draw its initial arguments from many points, but the most obvious one just now has to be the near-total failure of contemporary economic thought to provide meaningful guidance to the macroeconomic challenges of our time.

Full post is here at The Archdruid Report. It’s getting so dang hard these days to tell straight from satire. Case in point, from later on in the archdruid’s post:

[It was announced] a few days back that the world derivative market has now reached a total paper value in excess of one quadrillion dollars….  (If you have the sort of fashionable lifestyle that costs you $2000 a day, for example, and you started spending it when multicellular life first evolved on Earth, you wouldn’t yet have spent one quadrillion dollars.) Still, it’s important to grapple with such figures if only to grasp the fantastic absurdities that have created them.

In thinking about this particular version of the unthinkable, two things should be obvious. The first is that there isn’t a quadrillion dollars worth of nonfinancial goods and services anywhere on our planet….

And the economists are the wizards in charge of this fantasy-land!

My letter to Rich

Rich Coleman, Minister responsible for Gaming;
Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture
Premier Gordon Campbell

cc: Scott Fraser, MLA

Dear Honourable Members,

It’s finally sinking in, just what your BC Liberal government has done to arts and culture in B.C. Your most recent kick in the teeth will cripple the creative life of this province for decades.

Your unprecedented, sweeping and brutal cuts display an astonishing ignorance of what holds a society together. As government, are you merely the manager of our economy? Or are you the stewards of our society? Because a society requires much, much more than a balanced till at the end of the day. Exactly what else could be the topic of an interesting debate, but one ingredient every side would agree on is that a functioning society requires a strong culture as the glue that holds it together. This is harder to count than dollars, which is why it takes wisdom and vision to properly lead. The cuts you have just affected, I’m afraid, put you out of that club.

In an economic downturn, interest in culture expands. There’s a reason visionary leaders, like President Obama in the U.S., have increased cultural spending in these recessionary times. Continue reading “My letter to Rich”

Hello again, darlings

Here i is, back with (a) a reliable Internet connection, combined with a comfortable office setting at the house-sit i’m currently house-sitting at, and (b) an iota of will to update the world on my insignificant wanderings and maunderings.

It has been several months of couch-surfing in Vancouver and Victoria (thank you, Robert and Heather, respectively, for putting up with me) and expansive reading, and i must say i think i am making some progress in my aimless quest for, ah, wisdom — by which i mean the ability to function effectively and lead some semblance of a good life in a world that often seems hostile to that modest ambition.

It was … illuminating to spend that much contiguous time in cities, something i haven’t done for well over a decade. It has its strong points, urbanity does, but peace and quiet is not one of them. Hard to think clearly amid the sirens and traffic and endless, ubiquitous distractions. I did, however, thanks to Pure Hel, stumble across a hot damn study group called D.I.Y Dharma“a peer-led community of freaks, geeks, queers, rebels, outcasts, stream-enterers and their friends, who meditate together in the Buddhist tradition” — and get to one of their gatherings. I wished i could attend a whole lot more. Kind of makes religion FUN again, you know?

I have not worked (in the usual sense) an hour in those months, apart from writing a piece or two for Tofino Time, and i have become convinced that escaping, at least part-time, the treadmill of labour is absolutely essential to finding peace of mind in this life.

And i’m getting there, dammit. I’m getting there.

Details at seven.