Archive for July, 2010

Suicide

Living is a choice, not a responsibility.

On internet support forums, people often mention one’s family and friends, people who would typically care about the person, when one suggests or explicitly states that they are contemplating suicide. This reasoning is rather absurd — one is told to endure their suffering so that they would not cause harm to those who care about them by ending their life. It would be one thing to have a choice whether or not to have been born, but it is thrust upon a person without choice. A comical picture is painted where people are willing to keep going through immense suffering only for the sake of others, the collective effect of which produces society as we know it — a snowball effect of a “duty of life” to others.

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Investment Craze

For several years now, particularly with the current state of the US economy, people all over the internet have been adamant about their claims of a major economic collapse, providing a convenient solution as well — precious metals. Wild claims are cited, such as gold reaching $10,000 per troy ounce and silver $1,000, promising huge returns and urging immediate investment. Is there not a contradiction? In an economic collapse, where the dollar would be virtually devalued (though some argue that, being the world’s reserve currency, it just can’t happen), those gains in dollar value would be meaningless. Precious metals ought to be used as hedges against the hyperinflation a currency would experience during the aforementioned economic collapse. Even though there are indicators that suggest the supply of silver may be overstated, the laws of supply and demand would make silver mining profitable enough (as well as other PM’s) to resume on a larger scale once more. Hypothetically, keeping a good watch on the market conditions may give people a chance to sell their precious metals before the supply reaches demand once more, but that is hardly something that can be expected of the majority of precious metal owners.

Therefore, the advocates of investment in precious metals ought to be citing inflation hedging and not easy profit. Videos are constantly put up on YouTube which proclaim the end of the dollar and allude to a near-Armageddon scenario — they are meant to incite fear, not to provoke reason. Feeding on this fear are companies and individuals who are more than happy to sell many silver coins and bullion bars for way over precious metal spot price.

This is not to say that precious metals are entirely immune to inflation. If a large amount of gold would suddenly be introduced into the market, its value would undoubtedly decrease. However, it’s much easier to print fiat currency than to acquire gold at nearly no cost. Thus, the value both types of currency hold — hard currency and fiat currency — still depends on the amount in circulation. The point is a bit more complicated with regards to fiat currency as there is virtually nothing to back up the dollar expect people’s confidence in it, but the concept still applies.

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Insults

Consider when one insults another using vulgarity. Often times the object of insult will be something that has to do with the birth status of the person being insulted. “Son of a bitch” is a rather common example. The insult attempts to discredit the person by asserting that they are of a sort of non-honorable birth (contrasted by the norm of the dedicated 2-parent child). Given that the social stratification of western societies is primarily based on financial status, the birth status is rather insignificant in comparison. It can be argued that typically, the financial standing of the parties involved are similar, thus, superiority in that area cannot be asserted. However, why must attacks on birth status be taken seriously? An attack on one’s financial standing would be much more credible since certain criteria may be implemented to make the argument. An attack on one’s birth status, without explicit knowledge (which is usually the case), is a blind assertion. Is the accusation alone supposed to incite anger in a person?

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