Monday, January 21, 2013


      A great conjunction in the east south east sky tonight. Perfect visibility here in Winnipeg with Jupiter slightly to the left and above the waxing Moon. Gotta get out there with binoculars, 41 below windchill or not.
Frozen but happy in Winnipeg.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Freer Market

       One of the perpetual myths of our so-called capitalist society is that we have the closest approach to a "free market", and that this is all to the good as it connects with our other freedoms. Is this true ? Certainly some like the left libertarians who are in favour of an actual free market would disagree with the idea that our present system is approximating an such thing. The left libertarians are actually quite the dissidents as not just apologists for the present order but "critics" such as academo-Marxists assume that free market describes the present state of things. The proof of the assertion that we don't live in a free market I will leave to the left-libs with their criticism of the many monopolies that states grant to certain insitutions and individuals but not to others. I can do more better than recommend the works of Kevin Carson, an outstanding modern exponent of their views.

     How a real free market differs from what we call it today can be found in what is called dynamic pricing. This goes along well with internet marketing as it consists of constantly chaging prices to reflect an actual "market in the here and now". Obviously not all goods can be sold in such a way, and the ability of this much closer representation of marginal utility to the purchaser says nothing about the various advantages (monopolies) granted to some venders but not others prior to placing the commodity on the market.

     I came about this interesting development in a recent (Jan 21/2013) issue of Time Magazine. The article was titled 'This Offer Won't Last: Why Sellers are Switching to Dynamic Pricing' (page 56). I strongly recommend this article on how our version of a "market" is evolving back to how town markets used to be and still are in many minor ways

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


  Life probably began about 3.8 billion years ago.during the Eoarchaen Era (4  > 3.6 Billion years ago).This is the approximate time that we find the oldest rocks of Earth. Before this time the surface of the Earth was molten, and hence there there is no recoverable record., This was the Hadean eon. The Eoarchaen era left few signs in the fossil record, but of those which remain there is at least some evidence of bacterial colonies. Why 'colonies' ? Why was life undetectable until the arrival of a colonial lifestyle ? It's a question that can presently have no definitive answer, but there is the distinct possibility that colonial forms of life had an advantage in terms of natural selection. Individual organisms no doubt evolved before the colonial forms that give the first fossil evidence of life.Yet, invoking nothing but natural selection it seems that "collections" of organisms had a selective advantage over those who remain as singular cells.

     The evolution of a cooperative way of living, insofar as certain cellular organs such as mitochondria and chloroplasts were probably in place before the colonial stage came into being. But this is not necessarily so. It could be that the mass of a colonial group of organisms was an easier target for so-called parasites which later became indispensible to life.It would be interesting see if this question of priority will be addressed in the future. For the moment let us note that the earliest definite evidence of life is of "cells living together", and that these cells were either likely to become composites or were formed of cells that were already "mutualistic". Lets keep this in mind.