Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Entries for month: September 2010

The End as We (will) Know It

September 25, 2010 ·

Kotlikoff is considered one of the premier economists of our time.  That's not to say he's always right and I have no idea what his politics are, but he's a well known and respected professor in the field.  I just read this blog post about some recent numbers Kotlikoff has thrown together regarding our national debt, and it ain't pretty.

"You don’t think (d) is possible . . . do you?"

And my favorite slice:

"Our wealth has allowed us to adopt adolescent economic theories that are the intellectual equivalents of “milk comes from the grocery store” and “money comes from the bank.”"

Tags: politics

New favorite quote

September 23, 2010 ·

"Smokey the Bear’s rules for fire safety also apply to government: Keep it small, keep it in a confined area, and keep an eye on it."

Attributed to some high school libertarian newsletter from Minnesota.  Priceless.

Tags: politics

Who owns software?

September 22, 2010 ·

"Software licensing agreements that say the user is only licensing the use of software rather than purchasing a copy are enforceable. So. You don’t own those copies of software that you thought you purchased. You just rent it from the vendor, on terms offered on a take-it-or-leave-it basis and subject to revision at will."

[Read more →]

Tags: software development

Social Conservatism

September 20, 2010 ·

Thoughtful little write-up on the sort of fundamental disjoin between what "values" conservatives fret about vs what they seem to think gov't should be doing about "values".

And then there's that whole thing of limited government, except "they should do something about fill-in-the-blank moral value!!!!"

Which is it? Meanwhile, even just a passing knowledge of history should be enough to understand the legislating morality almost always has the opposing effect. The police of NYC (mostly) were surprisingly successful at rooting out and all but stopping the Italian mafia from establishing any sort of base in the US, even sending Brooklyn beat cops to Sicily at one point to take out capos at home, that is until Prohibition went in. The mob was almost immediately in full control of their own destiny from then on, because they were phenomenally good at running blockades and moving contraband. So, then we had alcohol AND crime. WHEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

I'm a Christian, even what the media would consider an evangelical, but you CANNOT legislate morality so why does everyone keep trying? And that is true on both sides of the aisle: was there no premarital sex before abortion was legal? ha, right. Has there been no greed since the government stepped in with the SEC and FASB and FDIC to regulate financial transactions? ha, hardly.

I know the majority just don't have the time / energy / inclination to even think about this stuff, but I'm increasingly convinced that the majority of those who do care about this stuff are just plain off their rockers.

Tags: politics

Gold

September 17, 2010 ·

Greenspan was a huge Rand supporter, a friend even, so what was up with those years as Fed Chairman where he supported the bullshit fiat currency system??  A nice write-up here and a quote below from an article he wrote in 1957.

"In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold. If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

"This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists' tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard."

And now that he's no longer Chairman, he's finally got his head back on straight:

"Fiat money has no place to go but gold."

Amen, brother, amen.

Tags: politics

50 scary things?

September 15, 2010 ·

Some scary stuff on this list, particularly when it comes to the personal liberties that we simply allow our government to abrogate now, but much of the list is simply just wrong and others are badly misinterpreted.

[Read more →]

Tags: politics

the existence of God

September 15, 2010 ·

Really interesting write-up after last month's broohaha over Hawking's revised theory of why God doesn't exist.

"So don’t despair, my fellow theists! The recent slew of best-selling books by atheists attacking religion, supposedly using science, is their last gasp. Remember the great words of Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

"We theists are now at stage three."

Tags: Chrisitanity

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