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Profile: AlexNK
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User Name: AlexNK
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Joined: Sunday, May 3, 2009
Last Visit: Sunday, July 12, 2009 12:13:30 AM
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: limited fonts in microsoft word 2007.
Posted: Saturday, July 11, 2009 10:45:17 PM
prolixitysquared wrote:
I missed about your last line. We do have another computer in the house, with the more amiable version of Word, so perhaps I will try to figure out this copying of which you speak. I miss my old favorite fonts dearly !


I (Brick wall) have been using Adobe Type1 scalable fonts all the time, you know. However, I'm sure that just copying the fonts from a MS-Windows machine to another one will do. So take the use of Mark's advise. You can get the missing fonts from the computer at your work too. Look for the TrueType fonts. They all have the `.ttf' extension and are located in the `c:\windows\fonts' folder. To make sure that your computer sees new fonts, copy one font file at a time, and then check up that you are able to use the new font in the MS-Word application. Perhaps, you will need to reboot the computer after installing the font. Shame on you Be careful!!!Shame on you

P.S.
Not talking . I'm sure that you don't like it, but look at the opportunity of using TeX.
Shame on you . Once more, be careful!!!
Dancing . There are many windows fonts available at http://www.1001freefonts.com/
Topic: Allura Red AC
Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009 12:57:55 PM
MichalG wrote:
There is so much in our food that is so unhealthy, and we often don't even know we're consuming it. That... has led me to start buying more fresh ingredients and prepare the foods on my own.

It would be a good idea, indeed. Unfortunately, you never know how those `healthy' ingredients have been prepared for the market, and what unhealthy substances have been used to produce them. So I don't think that the ingredients themselves are safe enough to be eaten without a risk.

P.S.
Thank you for your helpful advise. Now I will always buy a FRESH coal tar to do the Allura Red AC at home by myself.
Topic: limited fonts in microsoft word 2007.
Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2009 8:30:10 PM
prolixitysquared wrote:
Does anyone know why there are such a limited amount of fonts in the 2007 version of Microsoft Word compared to previous editions ?
.................................
I am always thrilled with being able to construct text and images in documents, then editing them as much as I need to in order to make it as aesthetic as possible.


I would like to answer your question, but I can't, because I just don't know. In fact, I never use MS-Word and the related office programs. I do always prefer TeX instead. TeX is a very powerful, flexible, free software package. There are always many various fonts that are distributed with it. It supports many languages, all sorts of accents and special characters, all the kinds of formatting features that one may wish.

I've read some of your posts about other problems with MS-Word (e.g. the `formatting features' topic). I've never had such problems with TeX, so I would suggest you to start using TeX, but I should say that it likely won't suit you. It's not a WYSIVYG tool, and the way of creating documents with TeX is quite different from that with MS-Word, from the way that you are so accustomed to.

The whole process looks rather similar to developing an executable application in some computer programming language, like C for example. Instead of writing a document itself, one has to type in its source file with a usual ASCII text editor (e.g. notepad), and then run the TeX program with the file as an argument. There are some additional steps then, and one will finally get one's document in the PostScript, PDF or HTML format. Once the document is ready, one can read it with GhostScript viewer, Acrobat Reader or a WWW-browser, respectively, send it via e-mail or print it out with whatever printer one wants.

A TeX source file contains the text of a document as well as various TeX-specific instructions (`control words'), which tell the TeX program how to format the document that the program is to build from the source. The instructions may describe the page layout, the shape of paragraphs, lines of text, the fonts, the tables, the pictures in the document, etc. They are used here instead of a lot of buttons, and a great deal of complicated menus and small option windows which you have to press, select, fill out, etc. when working with MS-Word.

There are many books and manuals on TeX. Some good books to begin with are "A Gentle Introduction to TeX" by M. Doob, and "The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX2e" by T. Oetiker, H. Partl, I. Hyna and E. Schlegl.

Please note that both books have been prepared using TeX, so they by themselves are excellent examples of documents that can be created with the package by the people who know how to use it. I'm almost sure that the books would look much less aesthetic, had they been made with MS-Word.
Topic: The Foresight of the Polymath
Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 12:41:55 AM
The internet site http://www.marxists.org/archive/index.htm (Marxists Internet Archive) contains a great deal of Marxists' works and related materials with the translations into many languages.
Topic: The Foresight of the Polymath
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 10:47:40 PM
vr091073 wrote:
AlexNK wrote:
Thank you for the interesting papers. I shall give you an answer in a week or two. Excuse me, but the question is very difficult indeed, and I'm not ready to do so right now.


Take all the time that you need, Alex. The question is indeed a ponderous one.



Here is some review of the paper "The unfolding crisis and the relevance of Marx" by István Mèszáros. Please note that I'm not an economist or a politician. I'm not a Marxist, and I've not even read "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx. Thus, this is only my very naive impression left by the paper.

In the introduction, the author has stated the following: "The obvious question we must now address concerns the nature of the globally unfolding crisis and the conditions required for its feasible resolution." So the reader expects some definite answer to that question to be the main subject of the paper.

Any such an answer is very welcome now that there are so many people looking for a feasible solution of the current economical problems. The governments of the states all over the world are looking for the easiest way to fix their affected economies; the bourgeoisie are trying to save their assets; there are also many other `little' people who have suffered the consequences of the crisis, lost their jobs, noticed decrease in their incomes, and so have to make their own way through the crisis to get out of the `little' economic troubles of their own. These answers are really needed today to overcome the current crisis and to prevent the economy from similar crises in the feature.

All of us have heard some controversial reports on the nature of the crisis through the mass media. Some of them blame the exceedingly high market prices of crude oil and natural gas. Others claim that the only cause for the crisis lies in the exceedingly complicated financial schemes used in the modern economy. Some accounts tell us that the main cause is the world-wide globalization of the economy, and even the too excessive governmental support given to research centers, firms, and other organizations developing science and new technology is among the possible causes of the crisis according to some sources. That's rather confusing, because I remember that all those very causes of the crisis were considered as the main features of the recent world's economy before the recession. They were supposed to facilitate the economy growth, the progress in science and new technology, and thus to lead us to prosperity; and they had seemingly been doing so, as I could see. So it is pretty unclear what's really happened now and why the great success and progress have turned into the curse at once.

On the other hand, the Marxists' theory suggests that from their point of view, the source of such accounts is known to be supported by the officials and the ruling class, and so it always presents their point of view, and cannot be all objective ("Marx used to say that on the pages of The Economist the ruling class is `talking to itself'"). So the reader might expect that some alternative opinion about the real reasons of the crisis and some generally unknown facts, which have been missed by the mass media so far, would be pronounced. Thus, the following questions are to be answered here to reveal the exact nature of the crisis, to show its world-wide scale, to link it up to the features particular to the capitalist political and economic system, to demonstrate that Marx's theory is more powerful than other economic theories of today, and so to clear up this mess:

* What are the real causes of the crisis from the Marxists' point of view? Which sectors of the economy, branches of industry, countries are affected, and what is the damage? What is the exact economic mechanism of the crisis, i.e. how and why have the alleged causes of the crisis resulted in the economy decline? The answer to the last question would prove that the possible causes pointed out by the author are relevant. Now, some of them most probably originated far before the crisis. So why had those causes still allowed the fast economy growth till the autumn of 2008? What happened then to the world's economy, which had flourished before, and why did the success turn into the recession at once? Lastly, where is the flaw in the other widely used economics theories, which couldn't predict that? The only answer I could find was:
I. Mèszáros wrote:

How much speculative money is moving around the world? According to a Mitsubishi UFJ Securities analysis, the size of the global `real economy', in which goods and services are produced and traded, is estimated at \$48.1 trillion... On the other hand, the size of the global `financial economy', the total amount of stocks, securities and deposits, adds up to $151.8 trillion. The financial economy thus has swollen to more than three times the size of the real economy, growing especially rapidly during the past two decades. The gap is as large as $100 trillion. An analyst involved in this estimation said that about half the amount, $50 trillion is scarcely necessary for the real economy...

Another dimension of just the financial crisis concerns the near catastrophic insolvency of banks and insurance companies. This fact becomes clear once their speculatively and irresponsibly assumed... liabilities are actually taken into account... The problems are by no means exhausted by the perilous state of the financial sector. For even more intractably, also the productive sectors of capitalist industry are in serious trouble, no matter how highly developed and favoured they might appear to be by their competitively advantageous position in the global pecking order of transnational capital...

Thus, the `only' thing Alex Trotman [the Chairman of Ford Corporation]... forgot to consider... was this: what happens when they cannot sell the 1 million (and many times more) motor cars, despite the company's strategically envisaged and enjoyed cost-advantage. In the case of Ford Corporation, even the massive differential rate of exploitation which the company could impose worldwide as a huge transnational company -- that is: paying for exactly the same work 25 times less to the workers of `Ford Philippines Corporation', for instance, than to their workforce in the United States of America -- even this unquestionable advantage could not be considered sufficient for securing a way out of this fundamental contradiction...

A recent study by the Cato Institute... found that the federal government spent some $92 billion subsidising business in 2006 alone. Only $21 billion of that went to farmers: much of the rest went to firms such as Boeing, IBM and General Electric in the form of export-credit support and various research subsidies...

The immense speculative expansion of financial adventurism, especially in the last three or four decades, is of course inseparable from the deepening crisis of the productive branches of industry and the ensuing troubles arising from the utterly sluggish capital accumulation... in that productive field of economic activity...

We have reached the point where we must be subjected to the destructive impact of an ever worsening symbiosis between the state legislative framework of our society and the material productive as well as the financial dimension of the established societal reproductive order.

Understandably, that symbiotic relationship can be, and frequently it also happens to be, managed with utterly corrupt practices by the privileged personifications of capital, in business as much as in politics. For, no matter how corrupt such practices might be, they are fully in tune with the institutionalized counter-values of the established order. And -- within the framework of the symbiosis prevailing between the economic field and the dominant political practices -- they are legally quite permissible, thanks to the most dubious and often even clearly anti-democratic facilitating role of the impenetrable legislative jungle provided in this respect by the state also in the financial domain.

Fraudulence, in a great variety of its practicable forms, is the normality of capital. Its extremely destructive manifestations are by no means confined to the operation of the military-industrial complex. By now the direct role of the capitalist state in the parasitic world of finance is not only fundamentally important,... but also potentially catastrophic.

The aggravating condition today is that the rest of the world is less and less capable of filling the `black hole' produced on an ever growing scale by America's insatiable appetite for debt financing, as demonstrated by the global reverberations of the recent U.S. mortgage and bank crisis...

There can be no way out of these ultimately suicidal contradictions, which are inseparable from the imperative of endless capital-expansion, irrespective of the consequences... The causal foundation of our ever more serious problems is not the `unacceptable face of unregulated capitalism' but its destructive substance. It is that overpowering substance that must resist and nullify all efforts aimed at restraining the capital system even minimally...

For whom does it [globalization] work?, if it does. It certainly works, for the time being, and by no means that well, for the decision makers of transnational capital, but not for the overwhelming majority of humankind who must suffer the consequences. And no amount of `jurisdictional integration' advocated by the author -- that is, in plain English, the tighter direct control of the deplored `too many states' by a handful of imperialist powers, especially the biggest one of them -- is going to remedy the situation. Capitalist globalization in reality does not work and cannot work. For it cannot overcome the irreconcilable contradictions and antagonisms manifest through the global structural crisis of the system. Capitalist globalization itself is the contradictory manifestation of that crisis, trying to overturn the cause/effect relationship in a vain attempt to cure some negative effects by other wishfully projected effects, because it is structurally incapable of addressing their causes...

One of the greatest historic failures of capital... is the continued dominance of potentially most aggressive nation states, and the impossibility of instituting the state of the capital system as such on the basis of the structurally entrenched antagonisms of the capital system... Self-contradictorily, it wants to retain the existing order despite its necessarily explosive iniquities and antagonisms...

I don't have knowledge in economics and appropriate data enough to make an expert conclusion, but if I should understand it right, all the facts that are mentioned here, I've already heard from the mass media sources. There is no positive conclusion, there are no arguments why these are the causes of the crisis. However, there is a great deal of emotions and excessive long words. Perhaps, that is a `contradiction inseparable from' this paper, its `structurally entrenched antagonism', so the answer `is structurally incapable of addressing' the question.

* There is a country with the other political and economic system. It is the People's Republic of China, one of the largest economies in the world. That country has been governed by Marxists. Has the crisis affected its economy? And if it has, then how and why? There is not a word about that in the paper.

* A more general question. Given a state with a socialist political and economic system, governed by Marxists; the state has an army and navy, security forces (KGB, GRU) sufficient enough to protect it from capitalist enemies; the state has natural resources and population enough to build and develop its own economy that is independent of the rest of the world. Is an economic crisis impossible in such a country? If it is, why was there a crisis of the economy in the late Soviet Union and the socialist republics of the Eastern Europe? What were the causes of it? Why did the Soviet Union crash down? I don't think that the only reason was the one suggested by I. Mèszáros in his paper: "You may remember that Gorbachev, too, wanted a kind of regulated capitalism, under the name of `market socialism', and you must also know what happened to him and to his grotesque daydreams." On the contrary, "you may remember" also that V.I. Lenin, "too, wanted a kind of regulated capitalism, under the name of" NEP, in 1921 [V.I. Lenin, Report On The Substitution Of A Tax In Kind For The Surplus Grain Appropriation System, Tenth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.), March 15, 1921; V.I. Lenin, The Tax in Kind (The Significance Of The New Policy And Its Conditions), April 21, 1921; V.I. Lenin, The Importance Of Gold Now And After The Complete Victory Of Socialism, November 5, 1921], "and you must also know" that those `daydreams' became a reality soon and were very successful.

* What will the consequences of the crisis be according to the Marx's theory? Did either Marx's theory itself or some of its derivative strict economic theories based on mathematics predict the impending crisis of 2008 before its beginning, in 2005--2007, to say? What were the quantitative predictions about the nearest future then, and what are those now, e.g. how many people will there be out of work in a year or two, what is the total economy decline going to be next year? How many people are expected to be involved in strike action and other forms of such a public activity next year? The only predictions I could find were the following:
I. Mèszáros wrote:

I recalled what I said... a few months before the French historic May 1968. In contrast to the then prevailing perspective of `organized capitalism', which was supposed to have successfully left behind the stage of `crisis capitalism',... I insisted that, compared to the crisis we are actually heading for, `the Great World Economic Crisis of 1829--1933' would look like `the Vicar's tea party'... The structural crisis of the capital system as a whole, which we are experiencing in our time on an epochal scale, it is bound to get considerably worse. It will become in due course much deeper, in the sense of invading not only the world of more or less parasitic global finance but every single domain of our social, economic and cultural life... In reality the huge `dollops [of public money] thrown in [the world economy]' represent no more than paying the deposit only... Much more will be required also in that respect in the future, as even the still unfolding disturbances on the world's stock-exchanges continue to underline it... The immense speculative expansion of financial adventurism, especially in the last three or four decades, is of course inseparable from the deepening crisis of the productive branches of industry and the ensuing troubles arising from the utterly sluggish capital accumulation... in that productive field of economic activity. Now, inevitably, also in the domain of industrial production the crisis is getting much worse. Naturally, the necessary consequence of the ever deepening crisis in the productive branches of the `real economy'... is the growth of unemployment everywhere on a frightening scale, and the human misery associated with it. To expect a happy solution to these problems from the capitalist state's rescue-operations would be a great illusion... The default of America... is... a coming certainty... When exactly and in what form the U.S. will default on its astronomical debt, cannot be seen at this point in time. There can be only two certainties in this regard. The first is that the inevitability of the American default will deeply affect everyone on this planet. And the second, that the preponderant hegemonic power position of the U.S. will continue to be asserted in every way, so as to make the rest of the world pay for the American debt for as long as it is capable of doing.

I admit that the prophecy above indeed sounds certainly much more definite than those by Nostradamus. And yet, you have to acknowledge that the predictions don't look like scientific ones, and are still too vague to be of any practical use anyway.


So much for the nature of the crisis. Now, the author concludes his paper with the words: "This is why Marx is more relevant today than ever before. For only a radical system change can offer the historical sustainable hope and solution for the future." So the reader naturally wants to know what that radical system change does look like, why the steps taken by the governments of the leading capitalist states will not take the desirable economic effect, and why only the radical system change can make it possible to overcome the current crisis and allows the further development of the economy. The more inquisitive readers accustomed to Marxism might want to see also [e.g. V.I. Lenin, Karl Marx (Chapters: The Materialist Conception of History, The Class Struggle), 1914] if there is some political and economic ground for such a radical system change, what the force (the class, actually) which really wants and could possibly perform the change is now, and how the possible change could be accomplished in the current circumstances. In his paper, I. Mèszáros offered the following explanation to answer these questions of the reader:
I. Mèszáros wrote:

The sums involved in the recommended `pragmatic' solution... (...the now advocated solution which means, in truth, the necessary submission of the great masses of the people to increasing tax-burdens sooner or later) are literally astronomical...

Tens of trillions of dollars of public money `thrown in', and justified... in the service of the unchallengeable good cause of saving the system, that is certainly quite a dollop... And if we add to that magnitude the fact... that in the course of last year alone `The Economist's food price index jumped by nearly 55%', and `The food-price spike in late 2007 and early 2008 caused riots in some 30 countries', in that case the dollop in question becomes even more revealing about the nature of the system which now finds itself in ever deepening crisis.

Can you think of a greater indictment for a pretendedly unsurpassable system of econproduction and societal reproduction than the one which... is producing a global food crisis, and the suffering of countless millions inseparable from it all over the world? That is the nature of the system which is expected to be saved now at all cost, including the currently `dished out' astronomical economic cost...

The `pragmatic novelty'... of the recent nationalization of capitalist bankruptcy... is that the taxpayers get absolutely nothing... for the immense sums of money invested in failed capitalist assets... But can this kind of governmental remedy be considered a lasting solution to our problems even on a short-term basis, not to mention its required long-term sustainability? Only the fool could believe that...

The recent measures adopted by our political and financial authorities only attended to one single aspect of the current crisis: the liquidity of the banks, mortgage, and insurance companies. And even that only to a very limited extent. In reality the huge `dollops thrown in' represent no more than paying the deposit only, so to speak. Much more will be required also in that respect in the future...

However. well beyond the problem of liquidity, another dimension of just the financial crisis concerns the near catastrophic insolvency of banks and insurance companies. This fact becomes clear once their speculatively and irresponsibly assumed, but none the less existing, liabilities are actually taken into account... Can the capitalist state successfully bail them out of that size of liability? Where could the state possibly borrow the money of such magnitude for the rescue-operation required for the purpose? And what would be the necessary inflationary consequences of `dishing out such dollops' of truly gigantic rescue-operation by simply printing the money called for in the absence of other solutions?

Moreover, the problems are by no means exhausted by the perilous state of the financial sector. For even more intractably, also the productive sectors of capitalist industry are in serious trouble... The necessary consequence of the ever deepening crisis in the productive branches of the `real economy'... is the growth of unemployment everywhere on a frightening scale, and the human misery associated with it. To expect a happy solution to these problems from the capitalist state's rescue operations would be a great illusion...

As a result of historical development under the rule of capital in its structural crisis,... we have reached the point where we must be subjected to the destructive impact of an ever worsening symbiosis between the state legislative framework of our society and the material productive as well as the financial dimension of the established societal reproductive order...

There can be no way out of these ultimately suicidal contradictions, which are inseparable from the imperative of endless capital-expansion, irrespective of the consequences -- arbitrarily and mystifyingly confounded with growth as such -- without radically changing our mode of social metabolic reproduction by adopting the much needed responsible and rational practices of the only viable economy, oriented by human need, instead of alienating, dehumanizing and degrading profit.

This is where the overwhelming impediment of capital's self-serving interdeterminations must be confronted, no matter how difficult it must be under the prevailing conditions. For the absolutely necessary adoption and the appropriate future development of the only viable economy is inconceivable without the radical transformation of the established socioeconomic and political order itself...

Accordingly, the periodically renewed fantasy of regulating capitalism in a structurally significant way can only amount to trying to tie knots on winds. But the last thing we need today is to continue to tie knots on winds, when we have to face the gravity of capital's structural crisis, which calls for the institution of radical systemic change... Nothing can be contemplated, not to mention actually done, for changing the fundamental defects of an ever more destructive societal reproductive order by those who control the economic and political levers of our society...

In this sense, the recent attempts to counter the intensifying crisis symptoms, by the cynically camouflaged nationalization of astronomic magnitudes of capitalist bankruptcy, out of the yet to be invented state resources, could only highlight the deep-seated antagonistic causal determinations of the capital system's destructiveness. For what is fundamentally at stake today is not simply a massive financial crisis but humanity's potential self-destruction at this juncture of historical development, both militarily and through the ongoing destruction of nature...

Nothing has been lastingly achieved by `throwing in gigantic dollops of money' into the bottomless hole of the `crunched' global financial market. The `comprehensive global answer to the confidence gap'... belongs to the world of... fantasy. For one of the greatest historic failures of capital, as the long established mode of social metabolic control, is the continued dominance of potentially most aggressive nation states, and the impossibility of instituting the state of the capital system as such on the basis of the structurally entrenched antagonisms of the capital system.

To imagine that within the framework of such antagonistic causal determinations a harmonious permanent solution could be found to the deepening structural crisis of a most iniquitous production and exchange system -- which is now actively engaged in producing even a global food crisis, on top of all of its other crying contradictions, including the ever more pervasive destruction of nature --, without even attempting to remedy its grievous iniquities, is the worst kind of wishful thinking, bordering on total irrationality. For, self-contradictorily, it wants to retain the existing order despite its necessarily explosive iniquities and antagonisms...

However, that explanation cannot possibly be an answer to the reader's questions above. I can see nothing else but a too wordy expression of one's personal opinion about `unacceptable face of unregulated capitalism' and `its destructive substance', the author's excessive emotions, and his own impression of the impending economic disaster and the inevitable suffering of millions of people badly affected by the crisis. However, such emotions and impressions are not an argument in our ever material world. In fact, the suffering of millions of people doesn't matter, too until those millions will be about to get their arms and begin fighting desperately against the other people who have not been suffering yet. "And the moral of that is -- Oh, 'tis" the greed with the consequent wild revenge (and so the economy), "that makes the world go round!" THIS is the general `ultimately suicidal contradiction' of the whole humankind, `bordering on total irrationality', and even lunacy.


In 1920 V.I. Lenin wrote: ``for a revolution to take place it is not enough for the exploited and oppressed masses to realise the impossibility of living in the old way, and demand changes; for a revolution to take place it is essential that the exploiters should not be able to live and rule in the old way. It is only when the `lower classes' do not want to live in the old way and the `upper classes' cannot carry on in the old way that the revolution can triumph. This truth can be expressed in other words: revolution is impossible without a nation-wide crisis (affecting both the exploited and the exploiters). It follows that, for a revolution to take place, it is essential, first, that a majority of the workers (or at least a majority of the class-conscious, thinking, and politically active workers) should fully realise that revolution is necessary, and that they should be prepared to die for it; second, that the ruling classes should be going through a governmental crisis, which draws even the most backward masses into politics (symptomatic of any genuine revolution is a rapid, tenfold and even hundredfold increase in the size of the working and oppressed masses -- hitherto apathetic -- who are capable of waging the political struggle), weakens the government, and makes it possible for the revolutionaries to rapidly overthrow it."[V.I. Lenin, Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder, April--May, 1920] Although that was written of a revolution, those or very similar conditions always seem necessary for any radical change of economic or political order or course to take place.

I am not sure that I. Mèszáros even attempted to prove that there are the necessary conditions above satisfied now. And yet, the following paragraphs, I guess, may be extracted from his paper to highlight some very ambiguous signs of that sort. Those slightest hints are scattered all over the paper, so they can scarcely be found there. Unfortunately, that is quite weak and unconvincing a proof.

The `upper classes' cannot carry on in the old way:
I. Mèszáros wrote:

If you try to remember what you heard [from the mass media and officials] in the last two weeks endlessly repeated about the current crisis, one word stands out, overshadowing all of the other claimed diagnoses and corresponding remedies. That word is confidence... Even our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, presented us in this respect last week with the memorable phrase: `Confidence is the most precious thing'... The advocacy of this magic remedy now seems to be universal...

The London based mass distribution weekly paper, The Economist... is well advised to concede that the crisis we are facing today is concerned with the difficulties of `Saving the system', according to the full title page of its October 11, 2008 issue. `The world economy is plainly in a poor shape, but it could get a lot worse. This is the time to put dogma and politics to one side and concentrate on pragmatic answers. That means more government intervention and co-operation in the short term than taxpayers, politicians or indeed free-market newspapers would normally like'[The Economist, October 11, 2008, p. 13]...

President George W. Bush... told... that normally and instinctively he is the believer in, and the passionate supporter of, the free market, but under the present exceptional circumstances he must think of other ways... Gordon Brown... was hailed... as a hero,... because he invented a new variety of nationalizing capitalist bankruptcy, to be adopted with untroubled `free market conscience' by other countries as well... Gordon Brown recently voiced his displeasure about `unfettered capitalism', in the name of totally unspecified `regulation'... The Deputy Governor of the Bank of England... described... the crisis... as the greatest economic crisis in all human history...

The giant U.S. mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac... had... the highest AAA credit rating...

The `lower classes' do not want to live in the old way:
I. Mèszáros wrote:

`The Economist's food price index jumped by nearly 55\%', and `The food-price spike in late 2007 and early 2008 caused riots in some 30 countries'[The Economist, October 11, 2008, pp. 4--6]


Thus, you can see that the author fails to answer his great question about the nature of the crisis this positive way; he also fails to explain what radical change is needed by the modern economy. Finally, he doesn't show whether the changes that he wish very much are really possible now; actually he hasn't even tried to prove that there exist the necessary conditions for them now. Instead of that, he's just listed some essential features of the modern economy which were announced as the great success of today in the near past and which are claimed to be the main causes of the crisis now by the mass media. What is the sense of just mentioning them once more without any positive conclusion? And so he's in fact just presented the reader with the following tautology:

The only reason of a crisis in the economical relationships among the people lies in those very economical relationships between those people. And the only way to overcome the crisis is to change the economical relationships properly.

If I remember right, it was K. Marx who pointed it out exceedingly clear.

So all the information which one would expect to see is missing in the paper. On the other hand, there are the word `CONFIDENCE', `a very distinguished elderly gentleman', `a Fukuyamized pseudo-Hegelian triad', `the self-evidently powerful elephant' with `the cosmic tortoise' and `the tigers of Bengal that are extinguished', The Economist (condemned by K. Marx), `a close friend of his who is Professor of Astrophysics at London University', `an unlucky accountant from Roman times' with his sad Roman numbers and blackboards, lucky heroes with happy zeros, some dreamy High Street ice-cream vendor, and many other irrelevant and bizarre creatures, examples, citations and epithets. Thus, the paper, which is to be a serious survey on economics, looks like the pool of tears from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Some people often use that trick to shadow out the idea and so to escape right and clear questions to their writing or speech.

And yet, "Marx is more relevant today than ever before" of which there are two main reasons. First, we can see that the modern economic theories have failed to predict the crisis. They are not able to predict the nearest future of the world's economy, and cannot even determine whether the recession is over. So a new, more precise economic theory is needed. Perhaps, something based on Marx's works will become such a theory in the future.

Second, the works of the Marxist classics are to be critically and carefully revised now to incorporate the new historical experience and scientific knowledge which the people have acquired since ``Das Kapital'' was written. Mathematics has become a very powerful tool in economics. In the economy, there have been invented various effective complicated financial mechanisms and schemes which K. Marx heard nothing of. There are also new advances in social psychology and sociology, which are too often used now to control the use-values of commodities and to affect democracy and the political freedom of people. There is a wonderful progress in other branches of science and technology. That progress is a great blessing; however, we have met numerous phenomena associated with it where use-values and so the respective huge economic-values have been created from absolutely nothing. For example, we all remember `The Year 2000 problem', the ozone depletion and freons problem; every year millions of people are made to buy new more and more powerful personal computers just to run newer versions of operating systems specially developed for them. Here is another example of that kind: "Canadian scientists breeding cows that burp less". The people themselves have changed. A worker of today is different from a true proletarian described in the works of Marxist classics. He/she is much more educated, has much more rights, political freedom and material benefits than a true proletarian did.

On the other hand, the first socialist state was successfully established in 1917. It rapidly raised its economy, and savage, ignorant, poor agrarian Russia became a powerful state with advanced industry, leading education system and science in 40 years, despite of the WW_II, Civil War of 1917--1923 and the consequences of WW I which the USSR had inherited from the former Russian Empire. But something was wrong with the economy, so the state finally ruined by the end of the 20th century. This experience is to be carefully examined, analyzed and taken into account in the new economic theory, too.
Topic: The Foresight of the Polymath
Posted: Thursday, May 28, 2009 3:41:42 PM
vr091073 wrote:

How about the following, in an attempt to salvage this thread from getting irretrievably derailed off its intended theme of primary focus, i.e. the predictive potency of Marx's politico-economic outlook, as laid out in his voluminous works?


Thank you for the interesting papers. I shall give you an answer in a week or two. Excuse me, but the question is very difficult indeed, and I'm not ready to do so right now.
Topic: help ! my monitor won't stop squealing !
Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:37:13 AM
prolixitysquared wrote:

The monitor says HPv75 on the front.
On the back, it says model number HSTND-1A02-P.
The model name is v75c. It's dated for October 2006.

Does this tell you anything ? I can't imagine it does, but maybe there's more to this subject than meets my knowledge level.


I have found the User Guide, printed it out and read it. It is still available at the HP support site.

No doubt that your monitor is a CRT one.

I've also found a paper "Reducing Flicker by Changing the Video Refresh Rate in Windows Vista" there. I'm sure that you are running MS-Windows XP. However, that paper might be relevant because it seems to deal with a related problem. The first paragraph runs:

"The video refresh rate is the rate at which an entire screen is displayed on the monitor. This measurement is usually in Hertz (Hz), which is the number of screens displayed in one second. There are several good refresh rates, although 72 to 75 Hz is a good default setting for most people. Lower refresh rates are typically better for the life of the monitor but the display may flicker or flash. Higher refresh rates display better and make video games seem more responsive, but can be harder on the life of the monitor and can cause noise."

The last sentence sounds somewhat singular to me. I've always believed that a monitor can produce noises while at a low frequency mode only. And yet the paper states the very same thing: "Try playing with the possible resolutions and refresh rates and find the best ones where there is no noise and no flickering."

According to the User Guide, the preferred resolution for this type of monitors is 1024x768 (widthxhight pixels) and the preferred refresh rate is 85Hz. Another good choice is 1024x768 with a refresh rate of 75Hz. There are other valid options here, however.

You can always find out the current screen resolution and horizontal and vertical frequencies. To do that, press the 'menu' button located in the front panel of your monitor (the leftmost button with the word 'menu' beneath it) when the monitor and the computer are turned on. You'll see a window with icons appear at the middle of the screen. There will be three lines of text in it. The first line shows the current resolution of the screen in pixels (e.g 1024X768). The second one shows the horizontal frequency (e.g. H:68.7kHz), and the third displays the current refresh rate (which is often called 'the vertical frequency' by technicians), e.g. V:85Hz. To remove the window, press the 'menu' button once more.

I think that to try and change the resolution and refresh rate is a good idea because wrong values there for the particular monitor may be a possible reason for the squealing. You won't do any harm to the monitor if you will exactly follow the instructions below.

There is a paper "Changing Display Settings, Background Image, and Screen Saver in Windows 98, Me, and XP" which describes how to do this in MS-Windows XP.

Here is some compilation of extracts from this paper:

First of all, remember or write down the current values of the screen resolution and refresh rate (use the 'menu' button described above). Now you will always be able to restore them if you don't like new settings.


I. Changing the resolution.

1. Right-click the desktop background, and select Properties. A Display Properties window opens.

2. Click the Settings tab.



3. To change the screen area size (i.e. the resolution), drag the slider under Screen resolution. Drag the slider to the left to decrease the screen area, making icons and text appear larger, or drag the slider to the right to increase the screen size area, making icons and text appear smaller. The best value of the screen resolution for your monitor type is "1024 by 768" pixels.

4. To change the number of colors, select a color setting from the Color quality drop-down list. Select the number of colors you want. When using more colors, pictures and images have better quality but use more memory. The best values of the number of colors (or "colo(u)r representation") are 32bit or 24bit depending on the video adapter in your computer. 16bit is a good value, too (I've always been using it and so I like it). This item, however, doesn't do anything with the squealing at all.

NOTE: Steps 3 and 4 don't change the resolution and color representation immediately. The changes will actually take place after you have confirmed the chosen values (see step 5).


5. Click OK, and then Yes to save the settings, or No to cancel the change.

6. Close the Display Properties window.


II. Changing the refresh rate.

To access advanced display settings, such as monitor refresh rates, video hardware acceleration, and DPI settings, open the Display Properties window, click the Settings tab, and then click the Advanced button. A properties window appears titled with the names of the graphics hardware used. Refer to the various settings that are available from the tabs across the top of the top of the Properties window. There are the following tabs available: General (DPI and compatibility), Adapter (video hardware properties and available graphics modes), Monitor (refresh rate), Troubleshoot (video hardware acceleration), Color management.


The steps:

1. Right-click the desktop background, and select Properties. The Display Properties window opens.

2. Click the Settings tab.



3. Click the Advanced button. You'll see the properties window which shows the advanced settings:



4. Click the Monitor tab.



The lower part of the window is titled with "Monitor settings". You will see the "Screen refresh rate:" drop-down list there.

NOTE: Screen refresh rate: This setting determines how many times the monitor displays an entire screen in one second. Higher refresh rates may be more pleasing, if noticed, but cause the video hardware to work harder and use more resources. Select a lower rate that is compatible with the adapter. If you can detect minute flickering or the change bothers your eyes, try adjusting the rate to the next available higher rate. Never exceed the rate available to the monitor.

CAUTION: Do not remove the selection next to "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display". Changing the refresh rate to a rate that the monitor cannot accept may permanently damage the monitor.

5. Select another refresh rate from the "Screen refresh rate:" drop-down list.

NOTE: This doesn't change the refresh rate immediately. The refresh rate will actually be changed after you have confirmed the chosen value.

6. Confirm the changes as described in "I. Changing the resolution".

Now the horizontal and vertical frequencies are changed.


Try the following values of the refresh rate first: 85Hz, 75Hz.

If the monitor continues squealing, try other values if they are available in the list: 80Hz, 72Hz, 70Hz, 65Hz, 60Hz. Which values are really available depends on the video adapter installed in your computer.

Note that 65Hz and 60Hz are altogether not a good choice because those rates cause the flicker, which is tiresome for the eyes.


I myself have a similar monitor at home, a color 17" CRT monitor by Sony, but I should say that it seems to have somewhat better characteristics. I have been using my monitor since the December of 2001 and have never had a word of complain of it. I usually run it at a screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels and refresh rate of 109Hz. It never whistles, but when I cause the screen resolution and refresh rate to be 640x480 pixels and 70Hz, respectively, the monitor sometimes produces an unpleasant whistling sound.

If the measures described above don't help, it is most probable that your monitor is really a bad one. In that case, I should suggest to replace it with another one, too.
Topic: The Foresight of the Polymath
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 7:42:38 PM
fred wrote:
I wonder if the people most responsible for our current mess, the result of greed and power, grew up in the age of the Hippies and were educated by Hippies? Remember what Hippies wanted?


Exactly!!!

They grew up in the age of the Hippies and were educated by Hippies. They remember exactly what Hippies wanted. Moreover, it's most probable that they were Hippies or communists themselves, until they had got their money and power. Now that they have got what they really wanted, what they remember and their education don't matter. If they lose the money and power, they will be Hippies again or communists again, and so on and so forth. It's dialectics, don't you see?
Topic: rhyme.
Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 6:20:29 PM
prolixitysquared wrote:
Where exactly would you say rhyme has a proper or fitting place in this world ?


I've heard once that all the ancient texts on mathematics were written with rhymes. Such style of the writings was believed to help the readers learn the material by heart (exactly as it was written), and then understand it much better by thinking the precise remembrance over for a good while.

I wonder whether it is true, however. The story was told by our lecturer. He was a well-known mathematician, we were students listening to him attentively, and so that story might possibly be one of the professional fairy-tails or something of the kind. At least, I never heard him use rhymes on his lectures.
Topic: rhyme.
Posted: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:00:19 PM
prolixitysquared wrote:
Where exactly would you say rhyme has a proper or fitting place in this world ?


I don't know. Maybe, in "'legal' documents"?

I don't think that such an approach would make them less "complicated and wordy", but I'm sure that they would be much "less tedious" and ... a little funny.