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Capitalism-hating technophiles


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#141
TranscendingGod

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The other thing that bothers me is the assumption that capitalism has generated all the wealth of the last 300 years.  That isn't fundamentally true, there was capitalism before then.  It was changes in science & mathematics and the new technology that those disciplines enabled that fundamentally changed the world.  Ancient societies of all kinds had businesses and engaged in trade.  I guess my point is "Have a little respect?" or "Give credit where credit is due?"  Without even basic invention, like the wheel, economics isn't going to get very far.


Yep technology progresses regardless of the economic system in place. However it is of note that the in contemporary terms the free market system is adding exponentiation on top of the already exponential nature of information technologies by creating investment pressure on the fields.

The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#142
caltrek

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I would also note that not all growth is good.  Cancer grows very quickly.  Further burning of fossil fuels can have long term negative economic consequences. Measurements of GNP include monetized costs of cleaning up environmental messes caused by inappropriate technologies. Fast growth can have culturally wrenching effects on a society that result in a net decrease of "happiness".  

 

Capitalists often defend the system they dominate by relying on statistical measures that do not take proper account of negative consequences of growth. That is why democratic inputs are important.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#143
caltrek

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- What? So you just expect me to completely cut myself off from society? That's ridiculous. I can't just go "off the grid" and live like a caveman. No, I have to exist within society like anyone else.

 

 

Yet you seek to undermine the social workings of that society at every turn.  Always with the same argument: "if the solution does not involve government owning everything (or at least the means of production) then I don't support it"?


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#144
joe00uk

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- What? So you just expect me to completely cut myself off from society? That's ridiculous. I can't just go "off the grid" and live like a caveman. No, I have to exist within society like anyone else.

 

Yet you seek to undermine the social workings of that society at every turn. 

I seek the destruction of capitalism, if that's what you mean, yes, and if I am to do anything in my life towards helping achieve that goal I need to exist within society like anyone else would. If all communists decided to cut themselves off from the society they seek to transform, how would they ever accomplish any of their aims? They wouldn't - one would think that would be obvious.



#145
caltrek

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- What? So you just expect me to completely cut myself off from society? That's ridiculous. I can't just go "off the grid" and live like a caveman. No, I have to exist within society like anyone else.

 

Yet you seek to undermine the social workings of that society at every turn. 

I seek the destruction of capitalism, if that's what you mean, yes, and if I am to do anything in my life towards helping achieve that goal I need to exist within society like anyone else would. If all communists decided to cut themselves off from the society they seek to transform, how would they ever accomplish any of their aims? They wouldn't - one would think that would be obvious.

 

Not at all obvious.  Ever heard of a commune?

 

Oh I see, you want to impose your will on the rest of us.

 

 

 

 caltrek: Always with the same argument: "if the solution does not involve government owning everything (or at least the means of production) then I don't support it"?

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#146
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Oh I see, you want to impose your will on the rest of us.

Pretty much. Like, I'm not an anarchist.



#147
caltrek

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Oh I see, you want to impose your will on the rest of us.

Pretty much. Like, I'm not an anarchist.

 

Like, perhaps you should be.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#148
joe00uk

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Oh I see, you want to impose your will on the rest of us.

Pretty much. Like, I'm not an anarchist.

Like, perhaps you should be.

Why?



#149
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Well, your ideas about criticism self-criticism as a way to avoid the problems of a cult of personality sound very much like an anarchistic approach to things.  Also, a more careful consideration of the strengths of anarchism might correct your tendency to rely on overly repressive means to accomplish noble ends.

Peaceful anarchists can actually be very popular in places like California and still make their points about the evils of capitalism.

 

For myself, I am more of a pragmatist than belonging to any particular camp.  Show me a solution that you think might work, and I will give you an audience. This approach allows for far more flexibility in real world problem solving, as opposed to just singing the same single note in every debate.  Of course, one has to keep in mind that there are problems to be solved.


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#150
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Well, your ideas about criticism self-criticism as a way to avoid the problems of a cult of personality sound very much like an anarchistic approach to things.  Also, a more careful consideration of the strengths of anarchism might correct your tendency to rely on overly repressive means to accomplish noble ends.

Peaceful anarchists can actually be very popular in places like California and still make their points about the evils of capitalism.

 

For myself, I am more of a pragmatist than belonging to any particular camp.  Show me a solution that you think might work, and I will give you an audience. This approach allows for far more flexibility in real world problem solving, as opposed to just singing the same single note in every debate.  Of course, one has to keep in mind that there are problems to be solved.

I'm really quite unaware of what strengths anarchism has over Marxism-Leninism. There's a reason why anarchist revolutions only last about three months whilst Marxist-Leninist revolutions last much longer and go on to actually build socialism. That's why it's so much more demonised than anarchism as well. The ruling class will always put more resources into creating massive amounts of propaganda directed against those who actually succeed in defeating it than it will against those who challenge it but as of yet haven't really defeated them in anything. 



#151
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I'm really quite unaware of what strengths anarchism has over Marxism-Leninism. There's a reason why anarchist revolutions only last about three months whilst Marxist-Leninist revolutions last much longer and go on to actually build socialism. That's why it's so much more demonised than anarchism as well. The ruling class will always put more resources into creating massive amounts of propaganda directed against those who actually succeed in defeating it than it will against those who challenge it but as of yet haven't really defeated them in anything. 

 

 

I like to joke around that there are actually a lot of anarchists in the United States, it is just that they are not well organized.

 

One of the points of anarchism is the "a plague on both of your houses" approach to things.  Its strength lies at the level of the individual.  In that sense, it is constantly winning battles against capitalism in that the capitalist method of organizing is slowly losing legitimacy.  The goal of the anarchist is not to replace one government with another, but to walk away from the notion that anything positive can be gained by government interference.  Now, strictly speaking, I am not an anarchist. Still, I like to think that I recognize the limitations of what government can accomplish.  On a variety of levels, I find that a healthy approach to things.  Recognize that there are some problems that may need government attention, while also understanding that it is the government that governs best which governs the least.

 

As stated earlier, anarchy also points to more decentralized methods of planning and organizing your life.  Why waste your breath calling for a revolution that is never going to happen when you can enjoy a good day of gardening, or engaging in other acts of self-sufficiency?  

 

Why not join a worker's co-op rather than work for a large corporation? 

 

Thought of in these ways, who cares how much corporations put into their propaganda efforts?

 

Learn to think critically and tune out the worst of the ramblings of the mindless capitalist elite. These are victories at the personal level that are won every day.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#152
Water

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The other thing that bothers me is the assumption that capitalism has generated all the wealth of the last 300 years.  That isn't fundamentally true, there was capitalism before then.  It was changes in science & mathematics and the new technology that those disciplines enabled that fundamentally changed the world.  Ancient societies of all kinds had businesses and engaged in trade.  I guess my point is "Have a little respect?" or "Give credit where credit is due?"  Without even basic invention, like the wheel, economics isn't going to get very far.

 

The way capitalism was execised last century does have a lot to do with many developments and decline of poverty in the western world. My problem however with bringing up that past, is change. Change can vanish many principles and mechanics that used to be there. And I have a problem with the black and white approach towards Capitalism and Communism, which is "right", which is "wrong".

 

Communism today just leads to one or a few creeps wasting money on tanks and rockets. Capitalism, as it inevitably becomes, now leads to a situation where heaps of produced value results in tons of money in the hands of a few people who all 1) need more and more in order to win the competition against others because the others are also getting more and more, or 2) do pretty much nothing with most of their money.

 

Based on what I'm seeing, the end results look pretty much the same. There needs to be either a solid, working balance between the two, or a complete reformation of some kind. In fact, I believe the future has such a massive amount of continuous change in store for us, that reformation in itself might actually need to be the standard in the near future.


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#153
caltrek

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^^^I pretty much agree with your assessment regarding the concentration of wealth and power.  I also agree that a "black and white approach" is not particularly helpful. 

 

You do bring up an interesting point regarding the relevancy of the past.  I don't entirely disagree.  Still, it is interesting to note that Marx's theory concerning the declining rate of profit and related theories regarding technological unemployment seem to becoming more relevant as time marches forward.  Marx clearly got some things wrong (in my opinion) yet he (and later Keynes) put their fingers on something so fundamental that it seems worth remembering to me.  Future shock is putting a strain on institutions that have been established to deal with these problems of capitalism, but at a very fundamental level the problems merely persist  from the past.  The challenge remains - how do you best distribute the gains from dramatic increases in productivity?

 

The answer may very well be neither pure state ownership nor pure capitalism.  Still, the current mixed form of wealth generation and distribution does seem to be problematic.  Theories of the past can shed light on what type of reforms are needed.  Highly desirable to me is a more democratic form of economic management.  One that is geared toward a better sharing of the gains in productivity. The challenge is how to institute such reforms in the face of the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.

 

Clouding that picture are such issues as immigration.  Lack of a proper theoretical understanding results in scapegoating such immigrants instead of focusing on the issues in a more constructive manner.  There again, historical experience has much to teach us in that regard. At least IMHO.  


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#154
Christe Eleison

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The other thing that bothers me is the assumption that capitalism has generated all the wealth of the last 300 years.  That isn't fundamentally true, there was capitalism before then.  It was changes in science & mathematics and the new technology that those disciplines enabled that fundamentally changed the world.  Ancient societies of all kinds had businesses and engaged in trade.  I guess my point is "Have a little respect?" or "Give credit where credit is due?"  Without even basic invention, like the wheel, economics isn't going to get very far.

 

Guess who's back?

 

 

I came back here, and then when I saw this post, I thought "Naah, this guy can't be serious." But it looks like you are. So let me give you a brief rundown in basic economic history... that I would expect any self-respecting futurist to know.

 

 

Capitalism was effectively invented by the Dutch in the 16th Century/late 15th century, but it was also present in 16th century England in a basic form known as "agrarian capitalism."

 

 

Ancient Egypt was not Capitalist, China was not capitalist, none of the Fertile Crescent societies were capitalist, feudal Europe was not capitalist. The closest you get to capitalism in the Ancient World is Ancient Greece, and, in part, Ancient Rome, although in the former state intervention was so heavy one may as well discount it as being capitalist in any way. Let me repeat that once more so it really sinks in: capitalism was invented in the 16th Century. Yes, it's development was not the only factor in the advancement of technology, but it was the great enabler. Without capitalism, technological advancement would be a mere fraction of what it has been. Yes, the rediscovery of ancient works via their translation back from Arabic into Latin played a major role, but I'm not going to go into the dynamics of how exactly capitalism played into this, because it would be a 10K word essay. Another major reason for the advacement of technology was that Europe was divided into so many independent kingdoms. But without capitalism, the pace of development would be many orders of magnitude slower. A major factor of technology is also application. As mentioned here, ancient Rome had rudimentary steam engines that could be made to do useful work, but it dosen't just matter what the technology is, it matters how it is applied and distributed. This is a massive strength of capitalism - invention is put into use by some actor if not another. The USSR invented many things, fracking, MRI scanners, tonnes of things - but it never reaped the benefits of them. Do you know why? Because there were no entrepreneurs who went "aah, I could use this to profit!" - no, fracking and MRI scanners were only developed in the capitalist world, as were many other inventions of the USSR. Same with satallites - USSR had the first satallite in space, yes, but it was the entrepreneuring capitalists that first used them for commercial communications. In short, it's not just the inventions - it's how they are distributed and applied. Capitalist is excellent at this, whilst Communism is extremely...uneffecicient, to say the least. Another very important thing is efficiency. In capitalism, the efficiency of things increases expotentially, in Communism, efficiency stagnates. Efficiency is extremely important, for obvious reasons. For instance, if it takes 10 barrels of oil to get 1 barrel with good old USSR fracking, it makes no sense. And yet, with perfected Capitalist fracking, the effeciency is increased many orders of magnitude, where a barrel of oil can be obtained with a mere tenth of a barrel. You will now say - "but Communism can do this too!" Here's my answer - never in history has Communism brought about increases in efficiency that even come close to what we have in the capitalist system. There are reasons for why this happens, but your mind is obviously not able to understand economics, Unity.

 

 

If you dispute my arguments, please, oh please, do give me any ancient society that practiced capitalism.

 

 

And you know what? You won't be able to do this, because Capitalism did not exist in the ancient world.

 

 

Technology has advanced directly due to Capitalism, which, in its present form, was only perfected in the 18th century.

 

 

You may of course give me the examples of Kaefeng in early 2nd Millenia China as an example of development of early forms of industrialisation in the ancient world, but this is a false argument, because the system under which this city was advancing was, in essence, early capitalist. And the industrial revolution would have begun there were it not for the fact the Mongols torched the city.

 

 

Communism and Socialsm both stifle growth.

 

 

You claim to be a Futurist, Unity, and yet your mind is uneducated and barren, and you don't know what some would consider basic history. Oh yes, I well remember our little argument about evolution, where you posted a video about a dude screaming how things are "easy for him," and wished me good luck, apparently unable to further argue your case.

 

 

EDIT: Even Karl Marx describes the pre-16th century system as "feudalist." This is a gross simplification, but apparently you have not even read Marx. Perhaps his books are too taxing on your poor, poor mind, Unity? Not surprising that you spend most of your time on unproductive, dead-end ventures.

 

 

Don't expect me to continue argue with you, because you are not capable of argument. Not here for 3 months, and 1 visit is apparently enough to remind me of the reason I left.



#155
Water

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You do bring up an interesting point regarding the relevancy of the past.  I don't entirely disagree.  Still, it is interesting to note that Marx's theory concerning the declining rate of profit and related theories regarding technological unemployment seem to becoming more relevant as time marches forward.  Marx clearly got some things wrong (in my opinion) yet he (and later Keynes) put their fingers on something so fundamental that it seems worth remembering to me.  Future shock is putting a strain on institutions that have been established to deal with these problems of capitalism, but at a very fundamental level the problems merely persist  from the past.  The challenge remains - how do you best distribute the gains from dramatic increases in productivity?

 

Wish I were a bit more knowledgable in economics so I could come up with actual solid ideas for that challenge, rather than merely point out what's wrong. But I do believe that as long as time equals development, the past can mainly teach us about mistakes we made rather than imply that what worked back then, would work now. One could argue (and I believe it's more or less ^Christie's POV as well) that the past taught us that Communism was a mistake, but my conclusion is more that the timing of it was.

 

Like I wrote, I don't believe I have sufficient knowledge in economics to assume my ideas are all waterproof and valid, but I do have some share of political psychology which leads me to think this would be a sensible reason to implement at least some socialism in western politics:

  1. Past: Communism simply was a terrible idea to even experiment with in a war-torn continent in shambles and poverty, let alone form an entire union based on it. Badly timed communists are now nations of censorship, poor liberty, even isolation, and any "social" aspect of it seems extremely contrived and full of lies. Not surprisingly it makes people scared of communism itself.
  2. Past: Capitalism sparked motivation and productivity. There was a whole world full of resources out there to repair the damage. It succesfully carried us out of poverty in no time at all. There was so much room for it and so many opportunities for the taking. It was a great race. Everyone had options. Everyone was a winner.
  3. Present: Said opportunities are now taken, and the way to opportunities is now by winning them over from others who have them. To win, A needs to gain more money than B. To not lose, B needs to control more money than A. It's like all the race cars have reached the finish, and the track has become clogged with cars all the way to the start. And the game is now all about trying to push each other out of the way.
  4. Future: Now I do believe a flair of socialism might be a good idea, and that capitalism has been a very effective bridge towards it. Capitalism guided our welfare all the way up to the finish, and socialism can make it so that those in front can lengthen the track and push the finish forward. Then more people can join the track. Many call that unfair because those at the top are perceived as deserving to be on top, but even though they now have to get in motion again to reach the top, the top has now increased in value and meaning.

Upholding an attitude of that kind is neither absolutely communist or capitalist. A nation can't be socialist (let alone communist) where everyone is cold, scared and hungry. It's a false promise people in poverty are eager to believe, but it can't work. But we're no longer cold, scared and hungry. I see very little reason why socialism would make us all lazy bozos in the welfare we have now.

I know this is going to be pretty anecdotal, but I've met so many people are at home suffering a burn out, and when the idea of some kind of universal income or free education is brought up, nearly all of them stated that they believe they would actually regain tons of movitation and would love to educate themselves in such a situation or contribute in voluntary work. Most people enjoy contributing when it comes to it. Fear just ruins all of that. And unaffordable, badly timed socialism causes fear, just like stagnant, prolonged capitalism does.



#156
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double post 



#157
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The other thing that bothers me is the assumption that capitalism has generated all the wealth of the last 300 years.  That isn't fundamentally true, there was capitalism before then.  It was changes in science & mathematics and the new technology that those disciplines enabled that fundamentally changed the world.  Ancient societies of all kinds had businesses and engaged in trade.  I guess my point is "Have a little respect?" or "Give credit where credit is due?"  Without even basic invention, like the wheel, economics isn't going to get very far.

 

Guess who's back?

 

 

I came back here, and then when I saw this post, I thought "Naah, this guy can't be serious." But it looks like you are. So let me give you a brief rundown in basic economic history... that I would expect any self-respecting futurist to know.

 

 

Capitalism was effectively invented by the Dutch in the 16th Century/late 15th century, but it was also present in 16th century England in a basic form known as "agrarian capitalism."

 

 

Ancient Egypt was not Capitalist, China was not capitalist, none of the Fertile Crescent societies were capitalist, feudal Europe was not capitalist. The closest you get to capitalism in the Ancient World is Ancient Greece, and, in part, Ancient Rome, although in the former state intervention was so heavy one may as well discount it as being capitalist in any way. Let me repeat that once more so it really sinks in: capitalism was invented in the 16th Century. Yes, it's development was not the only factor in the advancement of technology, but it was the great enabler. Without capitalism, technological advancement would be a mere fraction of what it has been. Yes, the rediscovery of ancient works via their translation back from Arabic into Latin played a major role, but I'm not going to go into the dynamics of how exactly capitalism played into this, because it would be a 10K word essay. Another major reason for the advacement of technology was that Europe was divided into so many independent kingdoms. But without capitalism, the pace of development would be many orders of magnitude slower. A major factor of technology is also application. As mentioned here, ancient Rome had rudimentary steam engines that could be made to do useful work, but it dosen't just matter what the technology is, it matters how it is applied and distributed. This is a massive strength of capitalism - invention is put into use by some actor if not another. The USSR invented many things, fracking, MRI scanners, tonnes of things - but it never reaped the benefits of them. Do you know why? Because there were no entrepreneurs who went "aah, I could use this to profit!" - no, fracking and MRI scanners were only developed in the capitalist world, as were many other inventions of the USSR. Same with satallites - USSR had the first satallite in space, yes, but it was the entrepreneuring capitalists that first used them for commercial communications. In short, it's not just the inventions - it's how they are distributed and applied. Capitalist is excellent at this, whilst Communism is extremely...uneffecicient, to say the least. Another very important thing is efficiency. In capitalism, the efficiency of things increases expotentially, in Communism, efficiency stagnates. Efficiency is extremely important, for obvious reasons. For instance, if it takes 10 barrels of oil to get 1 barrel with good old USSR fracking, it makes no sense. And yet, with perfected Capitalist fracking, the effeciency is increased many orders of magnitude, where a barrel of oil can be obtained with a mere tenth of a barrel. You will now say - "but Communism can do this too!" Here's my answer - never in history has Communism brought about increases in efficiency that even come close to what we have in the capitalist system. There are reasons for why this happens, but your mind is obviously not able to understand economics, Unity.

 

 

If you dispute my arguments, please, oh please, do give me any ancient society that practiced capitalism.

 

 

And you know what? You won't be able to do this, because Capitalism did not exist in the ancient world.

 

 

Technology has advanced directly due to Capitalism, which, in its present form, was only perfected in the 18th century.

 

 

You may of course give me the examples of Kaefeng in early 2nd Millenia China as an example of development of early forms of industrialisation in the ancient world, but this is a false argument, because the system under which this city was advancing was, in essence, early capitalist. And the industrial revolution would have begun there were it not for the fact the Mongols torched the city.

 

 

Communism and Socialsm both stifle growth.

 

 

You claim to be a Futurist, Unity, and yet your mind is uneducated and barren, and you don't know what some would consider basic history. Oh yes, I well remember our little argument about evolution, where you posted a video about a dude screaming how things are "easy for him," and wished me good luck, apparently unable to further argue your case.

 

 

EDIT: Even Karl Marx describes the pre-16th century system as "feudalist." This is a gross simplification, but apparently you have not even read Marx. Perhaps his books are too taxing on your poor, poor mind, Unity? Not surprising that you spend most of your time on unproductive, dead-end ventures.

 

 

Don't expect me to continue argue with you, because you are not capable of argument. Not here for 3 months, and 1 visit is apparently enough to remind me of the reason I left.

 

 


 

My comments were not a diatribe against capitalism per se.  Perhaps this article can better articulate the spirit in which my comments were intended.  

 

https://plus.maths.o...haped-our-world

 

Our ability to see and create is limited by the geometries that are available to us.  The priorities we hold and goals we share or what we view as necessary often change as we gain a fuller understanding of the mathematical & scientific underpinnings of nature.



#158
Rusakov

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Capitalism-hating technophiles


L354F6v.png


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#159
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Guess who's back?

 

OMG, Kyrie, is it really you?



#160
Recyvuym

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On the topic of how neoliberal capitalism is fucking us:

 


I loudly predicted the second wave of the Global Financial Crisis would begin by the 31st of March 2017. But I was wrong! Observe my well-deserved public humiliation here, here and here. Let this be a warning to all of you who try to guess the future. Yes, that means you, reading this now! Put that prediction back in your pocket! Do it now, before it's too late! (Also check out my userpage, it's even funnier.)





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