knocking on the cones of silence

How did we get into this mess and is there any way to get out? We seem to be on the precipice of nihilism. A triumph of destruction.The final trashing of sound values and tradition. Everything as a giant ponzi scheme with the Bernie Madoffs just spokes in a wheel, diseased branches on a sick tree. And the tools on the toolbox don’t work anymore. We have had a nihilistic debunking of banking, similar to the Marcel Duchamp revolution in painting, and this led to a whole new idea of money. The physical economy took second place to the idea of money and value; the ideas of derivatives and financial instruments trumped the wealth creating value and labor involved to make value. In fact, tangible economic proof became merely illustrations for the ideas of money. Like Duchamp, the financial system is conceptual, searching to create its own “ready-mades”, distancing itself from the physical aspects of wealth creation, towards an intellectual expression.

—But to the casual observer, the replication and signing of the boxes further neutralized the personal touch in art, replacing it with random demands of the art market. The artist’s “line” became, in a sense, an assembly line.
It was funny and meaningful when Duchamp did it. Once again Duchamp had furthered his campaign. He had removed the artist from the artwork through the scientific style; he had removed the artworks from the museum through the readymades; with the boxes, a museum you could take home, he removed the museum from the museum. What remained? Actually, nothing. —Read More:

But Duchamp’s very physical readymades were in a sense more physical, present, tactile, than a painted picture; after all, they occupied a real space instead of creating the illusion of one. The so called physical expression in animal disguise. Duchamps was creating at the same time that Keynes’s ideas on money and banking were gaining currency; the whole idea of money being an intellectual exercise,the miracles of abstraction and surrealism within fiscal deficit financing; again in the real sense, the distinction between wealthy and poor, like Duchamp, became more physical and present.

Walter Benjamin was also part of this troika of modernism with his intellectual exercise in messianism where redemption would be a release from the danger of salvation and would be accompanied by “divine violence “, a sort of  cut whereby a profane world finally separates from the transcendent, distinguishing itself not in an event in which what was profane transforms into the sacred,  and what was
lost is found again,” or what was broken became repaired,  but “negatively, the irreparable loss of the lost, the definitive profanity of the profane. This is not the  destruction of law but the sundering and splitting of our subjective ties to its obscene underside Not the end of the world but the passing of the figure of the world.

—Yields on Spanish debt are back around seven per cent, nothing has changed in the eurozone, notes Professor Nouriel Roubini who famously warned on the coming of the subprime crisis. He now warns that a second banking crisis is coming and may surpass the 2008 global financial crash.
The US is close to stall speed and another recession. China is slowing down. Europe is in recession. All the emerging markets are slowing down. Then there is the potential war in the Middle East, a perfect storm… and the same policy bullets are not available as in 2008…Read More:

(see link at end)…Indeed, I am prepared to argue that money rushes in to full the vacuum of existential meaningfulness left by art that has lost spiritual purpose. To put this another way, speculative investors in art, that is, those who buy it as a material investment rather than for its spiritual qualities, and thus in effect deny them, and in general show their spiritual indifference and existential backwardness, are comparable to the “locusts” that Franz Münterfering, former chairman of Germany’s Social Democratic party, called hedge fund investors who make hostile bids for companies. “Locusts. . . move into a field, eat it to the ground, and move on to the next without looking back.” …

—The rates are what the banks would charge other banks to borrow on different loan categories, which determines the global flow of billions of dollars and perhaps even the interest rate on your savings account or home mortgage.
“We’re talking about the reference rate by which … the most complex derivative to the credit card in your pocket is actually set,” says Mark Blyth, an economist at Brown University.
The scandal forced chairman Marcus Agius and CEO Bob Diamond of British banking giant Barclays to resign, and the company has agreed to pay $455 million in fines to regulators in the U.K. and U.S. It was at Barclays that emails appeared to show bankers willing to manipulate the rate, but several other banks — including American ones — are now under investigation.—Read More:

…Let me conclude with a suggestive anecdote from Paul Raffaele’s account of his visit to the Korowai, a New Guinea tribe of cannibals (Smithsonian, 9/06). Once a human being becomes a witch (khakhua) he or she becomes edible because he or she is no longer human. White men (laleo) like Raffaele “are forbidden to enter their sacred river, and [his] presence angers the spirits. KorowaI are animists, believing that powerful beings live in specific trees and parts of rivers. The tribesman demands that we give the clan a pig to absolve the sacrilege. A pig costs 350,000 rupiahs, or about $40. It’s a Stone Age shakedown. I count out the money and pass it to the man, who glances at the Indonesian currency and grants us permission to pass….

—True the Barclays case involved alleged Libor fixing to benefit individual trading positions. That is not what the BoE intended or would approve. It did, however, explicitly authorize the robbing of tens of millions of people by keeping interest rates artifically low, and that will now be compounded by the inflation and devaluation that will inevitably eventually follow.
Did Bob Diamond authorize his traders to manipulate Libor to adjust their books? He is very high up the food chain and so it is possible this never crossed his desk. Should somebody have warned him? Was he such a horrible boss that nobody dared to tell the emperor that he had no clothes?
Perhaps so but it hardly makes him criminally negligent. For that you need written evidence that has not been produced to date. You cannot blame one man for a rotten system even if he is a senior figure in it. This is a classic case of trying to get one individual to act as the fall guy for the rest,—Read More:

…”What use is money to these people? I ask Kembaren as our boatsmen paddle to safety upriver. ‘It’s useless here,’ he answers, ‘but whenever they get money. . . the clans use it to help pay bride prices for Korowai girls living closer to Yanimura. They understand the dangers of incest, and so girls must marry into unrelated clans’” (p. 57)….

—What does it mean to affirm that Maimonides
defines human beings as rational animals? In
terms of our genus, we are animals. Our
specific difference, that which distinguishes us
from all other members of the animal
kingdom, is our rationality. Everything that is
not a direct reflection of rational thought–
hopes and fears, love and hates, desires, needs,
passions–is a co

uence of our animal
nature. In his earliest work, Treatise on Logic,
Maimonides wrote: “Rationality we call man’s
difference, because it divides and differentiates
the human species from others; and this
rationality, i.e. the faculty by which ideas are
formed, constitutes the essence of man.”—Read More:,com_docman/task,doc_view/gid,701/

…I suggest that money has entered the sacred river of art and muddied it, even as it attempts to undo its sacrilege by paying artists off. But it looks like the relationship between art and money has become incestuous, suggesting that the marriage between money and art will produce defective artists. It already has, in the form of anti-artists.Read More:

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