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Bear of Little Brain

Yonks ago, I remember I came across one of those convoluted trigonometric equations. It comprised tangents and cotangents, if I remember correctly. Anyway, if one went to the limit, using 90 (or was it zero?) degrees, you ended up with:

zero multiplied by infinity is equal to the square root of minus one, also denoted as j


PS: Elaine,
My previous post flagged a potentially serious mortgage default/repossession situation, if it's true. Something that may be of interest to you:

Elaine Meinel Supkis

HAHAHA. Yes, you go 'j' which is the first letter in the word 'joke' as in 'this joke is on you'. Or maybe it is Bernake's telephone number.

Buffalo Ken

Great article. Thank-you. Good information on zero is hard to find. I found the book "Zero" to be fascinating. I think the only thing I disagreed with was this statement:

"Now, if I were to hold down the zero key, I could make this $1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to infinity. Easy as sticking a finger up the nose."

I mean really - how long can you "hold down the zero key".


Buffalo Ken

Even going exponentially infinity is never reached as long as someone is thinking about infinity.....and unless we are all dead, I suspect someone will always be thinking about infinity.


Buffalo Ken

Oh I should add - awesome cartoon!

adding, multiplying, adding again then maybe subtracting - its all so much fun.

Math is fun.

Buffalo Ken

I put forth that shapes are primary and numbers are secondary.

Numbers derive from shapes.

Or at least any numbers that anyone can think about consciously.

Our brains are all about shape. Awesome incredible folding surface area. Our brains are amazing.


Buffalo Ken

Oh, and I forgot one thing (or maybe more) but colors fit in somehow. Don't you just love all the colors?

Buffalo Ken

Sorry to do this, but I think what I really meant was "the senses". see, hear, touch, smell, taste and such. Hm.

Buffalo Ken

since nobody is talking, i'll throw a bit more out there....

mathamatical functions can be used to characterize shapes;

shapes are not formed randomly;

shapes must take into account balance;


Buffalo Ken

Don't they use the scale for some legal symbol bull-honkey! What a joke. The Law is supposed to do what the Law is supposed to do when there are criminals about. Criminal all around especially in DC and Texas and California, but don't get me wrong, these criminals are all over the place.

But we should never forget that scale matters. The scale of the crime is most important.

Convict, Convict, Convict.


This one is great, Elaine. I love it when you write about numbers.

I am stuck on one paragraph:

"No one ever expects to lose money. Yet the entire concept of money systems DEPENDS on people losing money! If everyone made money all the time, we would have....think carefully.....INFINITY! Since this is a finite planet, this is impossible. Ergo: people must lose money."

So, do I have this right? We are actually existing on a zero-sum plane.

But when we introduce concepts like "zero manipulation" and "infinite compounding" it opens a tear in the fabric of the Universe -- through which evil monkeys fly in and turn our hubris to crap?

Is it one of those -- "It's not nice to fool with mother nature" paradoxes? A forbidden fruit that slams the gates of Eden shut in our faces?

Ah, and kudos for this passage (it really turned up the volume for me):

"Zero has many functions. One is, by multiplying it with anything, that thing VANISHES! Go to the calculator and multiply any number by zero! IT VANISHES! This, dear readers, is real magic. Why would the act of adding nothing to something cause the something to vanish?"

Long time no see.
Yr frend,

Buffalo Ken

but was "nothing" ever really added to "something". She was just talking about multiplication.

nothing added to something = something.

Buffalo Ken

Multiplication just like numbers and just like zero is nothing but imagination.

Put some shapes on the table and then you have multiplication of a sorts. Or at least multiplication can be sensed to the fullest.

Buffalo Ken

Of course, all that is nothing more than my opinion.

My opinion indeed.

Buffalo Ken

Here is another opinion about zero and infinity - when you get close, volatility increases rapidly. Witness such volatility in the stock markets and other financial configurations. These volatitliy in not in the interest of the People, but it does let us know that something big is fixing to happen. Don't you think?

I know what I'm betting on.


Buffalo Ken

Or alternative, calmer, cooler, more collective and thoughtful minds will figure out a way for ALL of us to keep on keeping on...

Buffalo Ken

Perhaps all it takes for us to "come together" is a bit of activation energy to get folks thinking. Perhaps this is how it was meant to be.

Who knows ---- but what decides!

action - reaction

you know

takes 2 to tango!


Americans own no gold in Ft. Knox or elsewhere. None. Zip. The Central Bankers stole all our gold long since. The FED and IMF have it all.

So, naturally, the Central Bankers plan a return to the gold standard.

We can nationalize the FED, or wait for Armageddon.

Buffalo Ken

I support nationalizing the FED or better maybe - do away with the FED altogether. Turn the FED into nothing.

Buffalo Ken

Nothing - Zero - Nada - Zilch - Nicht - Not a damn thing - no value whatsoever -

If they stole it all, then they must give it back. There must be law for there to be balance.

Buffalo Ken

Sometimes I feel like I'm screaming at the wind. When I do this I know that it is time for me to shut up, so I will.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

They talk all the time about volatility. They know that if any graph suddenly shoots upwards or downwards, this is a sign of impending collapse or explosion. When we are tracking, say, US deficits of all sorts and US debts, ALL of the graphs are in the 'shoot to the stars' mode.

This is not good, it is a distress signal. Instead of stopping, the Fed and everyone just kept on going faster. This is where a religion that reflects banking reality is necessary. 'Oh, my children, we are sinning! We must make the graph go down, not up!' Heh. We could have ceremonies and prayers.

'Please, oh goddess of Inflation, we promise to not chase you. Please slow down!' Then we drink a big glass of divine wine or devilish beer. Right?

Bear of Little Brain

That's my opinion, too. If GATA ever get their independent audit and the proof of irrefutable ownership is made public then, maybe, I'll change my mind.

And what about that gold that was in the process of being transferred out of the WTC on the morning of 9/11? Or maybe not all of it was. Jeff Zack, press secretary of the International Association of Firefighters, the NY firefighters' union, complaining about Giuliani's decision to stop searching for bodies and just dump everything and clear the site:

"The real reason was that the Bank of Nova Scotia's assets were buried in that rubble, the day they got those assets out of that pile, Rudy shut the pile down, said 'everybody off, we're going to full scoop and dump'... It was gold, it was silver, it was other assets, I've seen a lot of numbers too, I don't have an exact one so I don't wanna give it to you... Our firefighters were on the pile helping excavate the gold as well, our problem is that all Rudy cared about at the end of the day was the gold bricks, not the lives and the memories of those that were the true heroes that day."

And to think that creep thought he should be president.



The stock market action of the past 48 hours is explained here. For fans of monkeys and the river dance, both.


Problem is Americans are like the puppy dog that has been whipped into subservience by it's master, and has no bite.


The masses are so quiet and never complain here, except whining on Internet, which gets one nowhere.

The only solution is a total crash, unfortunately.

I hope after the crash, people seek out their "leaders", and "central bankers", and kill them. Literally.

Paul S

Unfortunately, JZ has a point; what WILL it take to get the masses moving so they demand change? The repubs and Dems are never going to surrender any of their powerbase volutarily. It will have to be rammed down their throats. The best route is to have a third and even a fourth party with a legitimate powerbase. Second would be to have a method of removing a President from office for reasons OTHER than 'high crimes and misdemeanors' (Bush has met this standard, but Pelosi and the Dems won't budge). This country needs an ability to throw a President out of office because he or she is a complete idiot, incompetent, corrupt or all of the above. Third we need to close the revolving door. Too many slimeballs like Donald Rumsfeld and Phil Gramm build fortunes on their inside contacts. Make this 'insider trading' a crime with a stiff, mandatory prison sentence. The whole sysytem as is reeks.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Misdemeanors covers things like bribery, for example. Well, we have that in spades only we 'legalized' this by calling these things 'political party donations' which is mostly bunk. The vast majority of the money raised is by people who are rich, seeking favors, not honest citizens giving someone a few bucks.



There's a great scene in the movie The Hudsucker Proxy (you should see it if you haven't) wherein the projected price for the newly-invented Hula Hoop is shown to the head company accountant. The figure is 10 cents each (based on production costs plus a reasonable profit). The wise old head accountant puts a decimal point after the number one and adds a zero, then smiles. Voila! The Hula Hoop will cost $1.00.

FYI - The magic of compound interest is "white magic" when you're saving, because it can indeed theoretically rise to infinity (there was a good sci fi short story written about this fifty years ago called "The John Jones Dollar").

It is "black magic" when the compounding happens in a negative direction to the value of your currency through inflation, because theoretically that value can keep dropping forever (it can't go below zero, but it can drop an infinite number of times (each time with the value getting closer to zero).

Interestingly, in the case of interest paid on debt, the rate of return is normally simple interest, not compound interest (you only pay interest on principle due, you don't pay interest on interest due), and in a fully amortized situation (like a typical house or auto loan), the amount of interest you pay shrinks with every payment period (if you make your payments on time). Of course, the longer the life of the loan the more interest you will pay, but it couldn't (even theoretically) be infinite interest unless you arbitrarily introduce an exogenous factor to intentionally make it so (like insisting that the life of the loan itself last for an infinite amount of time - which no actual loans do).


Bear of Little Brain
The number of people whose lives will be foreshortened due to WTC pollution will dwarf the number of lives lost on 9/11.

Giuiliani may yet regret those pieces of eight.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

About interest on loans: Michael, when we had normal, old fashioned loans, they operated that way.

But the crisis today is due to the NEW loans which had payments that not only didn't cover the interest due at the beginning of a loan term, the interest payments that were not made due to the payments being artificially low, these missing payments were tacked onto the PRINCIPAL so the amount owed on the loan rose.

My daughter got in such a trap with Sears. She paid her bills for the appliances etc she got when she set up her first household.

Then discovered, when I told her I was paying off her credit bills, that the total she owed was $1,500 more than the price of the purchases! The debts were GROWING as she was paying! This is why I paid it all off. She has no debts today and owns two houses.

Lesson learned.

A friend of mine came crying to me several years ago because his dairy farm was deep in debt. He also got stuck with these open-ended loans which he thought, were harmless. It ballooned in 5 years, this loan on his farm that was for building a new barn, until it was worth the entire value of his farm! He wanted to kill himself.

I was aghast. We helped him sell his farm. Another friend got him a job at his own farm facility. He survived. Barely. But lost his farm to developers!

This stuff is so toxic, it should BE ILLEGAL. But it makes the lenders very, very rich so it is legal. It is true usury.


A pretty good read over at PopulistAmerica. Echos much of the thoughts found on your site.

M3 growth is so high that the Fed no longer reports it. Economists like Williams do because it's crucial to know, and the data he reveals are disturbing - record M3 growth at a near 18% annual pace. Hyperinflationary seeds are now sown. Dollar valuation is falling, and at some point may accelerate when investors flee it for safer havens. The Fed again will respond. More debt will be monetized. It will build over time. Things will get worse and then be exacerbated when the government is less able to meet its obligations. "Therein lies the ultimate basis for the pending hyperinflation," in Williams' judgment.

He believes it will morph into a hyperinflationary depression, then a "great depression." And when it hits, it will be with "surprising speed." Already disposable income is falling in a weakened economy in crisis. As things worsen, politicians get blamed, and Williams raises an interesting possibility. If conditions get bad enough, voters may respond with their feet, declare a pox on both major parties, and turn to a third alternative around 2010 or 2012. It happened before in our history. The Republican Party is Exhibit A. It was created in 1854 at a time Democrats and Whigs were the two dominant parties. Exit Whigs, and enter Republicans with Abraham Lincoln its first elected president in 1860.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Perhaps, Rob. Starting parties is very hard work. Note that within just 10 years, this started a massive internal war in the US with Lincoln being elected.



You're absolutely right, of course - I left out "negative amortization loans" because they aren't really loans (they are theft and obviously shouldn't be legal); this is one of the quickest forms of financial suicide for any sucker that obtains one.

Also, I have to admit there actually IS a form of infinite loan interest - namely the accumulated fiscal debt of the U.S. No one in the world has the slightest fantasy that this debt will ever be paid off - in fact everyone appears to assume it will keep GROWING forever (meaning that the total amount of interest due will indeed be infinite). Just to make it worse, on top of already having spent trillions that we aren't going to pay back, and spending hundreds of billions more each current year that we aren't going to pay back, our "everyone must be healthy and live forever" medical fantasies have created an explosion of endless growth in our unfunded Medicare liabilities. Of course, we all know that paper dollars will be printed sufficient to make all those debts payable on the account books, so America parties on.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

You said it all very well, Michael.

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