September 25th, 2014

Иван Дурак

Multiverse me: Should I care about my other selves?

Every decision you make may spawn parallel universes where people are suffering because of your choice. Welcome to the quantum moral maze

I'm rich. I'm a movie star. I'm king of the world. I'm also poor. I'm homeless. Lots of me are dead.

I'm none of these. Not in this universe. But in the multiverse I'm all of them, and more.

I'm not a megalomaniac or a fantasist, but I do have a fascination with what-ifs. In the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, every decision I take in this world creates new universes: one for each and every choice I could possibly make. There's a boundless collection of parallel worlds, full of innumerable near-copies of me (and you). The multiverse: an endless succession of what-ifs.
Иван Дурак

Gary North, "Keynes, Lenin, and Hyperinflation"

In 1919, John Maynard Keynes became an international figure of considerable influence because of his book, The Economic Consequences of the Peace. It was a critique of the Versailles Treaty's imposition of reparations payments on Germany in the aftermath of World War I.

In that book, Keynes made the following observations:
Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some.
The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become 'profiteers', who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat.
As the inflation proceeds and the value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and it does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.

This became one of the most widely quoted statements from the book. Yet the book really was not about inflation, Lenin, and the destruction of capitalism. But the quotation was simply too good to resist for defenders of the traditional gold standard.