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Archive for December 19th, 2008

This is a follow up of the previous article

Is the National Debt of the United States Debt Financed Based on a Ponzi Scheme?

What really is the difference of the U.S. economy and the Madoff controversy. Is the U.S. economy really a Ponzi scheme or is it not a Ponzi scheme since the United States does not have an intent to defraud its citizens? But are both instances really using the same scheme?

Try listening intently from 1:34 in the video. Max Keiser says that what keeps the fund growing in the U.S. is 25 years of growth in the economy,  but as the economy contracts the new money needed to sustain the scheme disappears. He then continues that this is the reason why the Madoff Ponzi scheme collapsed. 

I can imagine that there are so many other institutions using this system with or without good intentions. And I can imagine a number of them collapsing. 

Is our economic system tolerant of even a mild recession or should we always ‘sound the alarm’ the moment the economy contracts?

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There’s a popular phrase: “selling one’s soul to the devil”, but in the case of Dante Knoxx, it was a capitalistic angle:

A musician fed up with his life was today barred from selling his soul to the highest bidder.

Dante Knoxx, 24, offered the “used” item for a starting bid of £25,000.50 or a buy it now price of £700,000 on the internet auction site eBay.

But eBay pulled the listing today with about two hours to go and no bids because it breached one of the firm’s policies.

“You cannot sell anything that is not physical,” said Mr Knoxx. “That includes ghosts, souls and spirits which is funny.

“I have been refunded but I had 200 people watching it, I’m really disappointed by that. “I had lots of emails asking if I was serious and religious groups telling me I couldn’t do that, others wanted to talk about my soul.

Whether or not such a thing as a soul exists is still an ongoing question. I recalled sometime ago a notorious experiment that allegedly proved the existence of a soul, and giving birth to an urban legend of 21 grams as the average weight of a human soul. However, setting those questions aside, in the case of Knoxx, what exactly was he selling? (more…)

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It’s an age-old debate, but a recent study may show that psychological preferences for God and science may be diametrically opposed.

This is the topic of a study done by psychology professor Jesse Preston:

Preston and her colleague, Nicholas Epley, of the University of Chicago, wanted to explore how information about science influences a belief in God, and how religious teaching can also cause people to doubt certain scientific theories.

“As far as I know, no one has looked experimentally at an opposition between belief in science and religion,” Preston said.

“It seemed to me that both science and religion as systems were very good at explaining a lot, accounting for a lot of the information that we have in our environment,” she said. “But if they are both ultimate explanations, at some point they have to conflict with each another because they can’t possibly both explain everything.”

The bold emphasis on the last sentence is mine. It reminds me of a talk delivered by Dr. Tim Keller which we featured earlier. In his address at the Veritas forum, Keller explained that while there may be debate about religions and ideologies, it is impossible from a strict truth perspective that all religions and ideologies are correct. Either some got it and are better, or some didn’t and are worse or inferior. (more…)

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Sad news hitting the newswires just today:

LOS ANGELES—Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry who nurtured the legacy of the seminal science fiction TV series after his death, has died. She was 76.

Roddenberry died of leukemia Thursday morning at her home in Bel-Air, said Sean Rossall, a family spokesman.

At Roddenberry’s side were family friends and her son, Eugene Roddenberry Jr.

Roddenberry was involved in the “Star Trek” universe for more than four decades. She played the dark-haired Number One in the original pilot but metamorphosed into the blond, miniskirted Nurse Christine Chapel in the original 1966-69 show. She had smaller roles in all five of its television successors and many of the “Star Trek” movie incarnations, although she had little actual involvement in the productions.

She frequently was the voice of the ship’s computer, and about two weeks ago she completed the same role for the upcoming J.J. Abrams movie “Star Trek,” Rossall said.

Here’s a short video tribute to the First Lady of Star Trek, and her voice:

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