January Pieces Of My Mind #2

  • An idea: the 1980s cassette course in a foreign language found in your batty old aunt’s home after the funeral turns out to teach an extraterrestrial language that opens your Third Eye to the cosmos and slowly drives you insane. Now Duolingo wants to put it online…
  • Movie: UFO Sweden (2022). This is a big-budget X-Files feature film about a misfit UFO investigation club — but made in the style of Swedish children’s TV, set around Norrköping, several characters speak dialect, and there’s a lot of comic relief revolving around Swedish self-perception. Grade: great!
  • We look quite differently at violent nationalist movements when they are underdog freedom fighters and when they are topdog oppressors. But often one turns into the other. Maybe the distinction between the two types of violent nationalist movement is redundant.
  • Working from home, I occasionally feel a little lonely. But there are two kinds of weather that make me super pleased not to have to go to an office. One is extremely good weather. One is extremely bad weather. Today is a cold, rainy, windy day. I ain’t leaving the house!
  • Funny how Fundie Christian groups focus on the straight nuclear family. Jesus certainly didn’t.
  • Was asked to contribute some provocative debate starters for a workshop weeks from now. I’ve already written them, but I’m so used to online life that I have this vague feeling that any minute now a lot of angry people will start commenting. On something that only I can read.
  • Saw the trailer for the upcoming D&D movie the other day. Was confused to find remixed 70s hit songs on the sound track. A battle scene has Robert Plant offering you every inch of his love. Another tense scene has Elton John — a mongrel who ain’t got a penny — thinking wistfully about leaving his drug-addled socialite sugar daddy and going back to his plough. Don’t the film makers know that people listen to song lyrics?
  • Oh no, the SkepDoc Harriet Hall has passed away! I met her in Florida once, she was such a nice person and such a good writer.
  • An old lady wrote me and asked for a summary of our recent investigations at Aska in Hagebyhöga. Then she informed me that the most recent results are that the platform hall was built by a powerful Viking Period woman, and asked what my opinion is. I replied “The most recent results are from my project. The hall was built before the Viking Period, most likely by slaves, at the orders of a powerful family”. Highly original thinker. “Hello, I know that you have recently investigated a site for years, but I haven’t read your work, now let me explain the most recent ideas about your site to you”.
  • One month to either side of the winter solstice is unacceptably dark in Stockholm. Less than a week left now until that period ends!
  • Movie: Prey (2022). Sportsman goes trophy hunting on one of his favourite planets in 1719, is inconvenienced by Native American teenagers and a large group of trappers whose ridiculous attempts at simulating the French language make it a joy to see them all killed. Grade: good!
  • We have long known several runic inscriptions from AD 150-200. But the new find may be the oldest rune stone so far. However, the radiocarbon date should be seen in relation to the maritime reservoir effect, that is, how much fish the deceased ate. S/he may have died much later.
  • Capitalism was a historically contingent abstract game back when it involved the manipulation of coins with an actual value in precious metals. Today it mostly doesn’t involve any kind of physical money at all. A US dollar is no more real than a DogeCoin or an NFT monkey picture. And the rules of the game are no more natural laws now than they were in AD 1400. We have founded the well-being of our societies on emergent behaviours of an extremely large number of people playing Settlers of Catan with our labour and the planet’s resources.
  • Movie: One False Move (1992). Two killers from the cocaine underground and one guy’s girlfriend flee Los Angeles with city cops on their tail to the woman’s little home town in Arkansas. There the local police chief awaits them, who hasn’t drawn his gun in years. But what’s his relationship to the young woman? Grade: good!

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

2 thoughts on “January Pieces Of My Mind #2”

  1. The US dollar is a doge coin with an army. They can demand payment and can make you accept payment in dollars. Sweden has a similar system. You don’t even need a big army or sophisticated weapons for this.

    Besides the gold backed currency system made economic growth nearly impossible. It’s not every day one finds a continent to loot like the Spanish did in the 16th century. That’s why they invented fractional reserve banking and put up with bank crashes every twenty years or so. In the 1930s, one gold brick worth $25K could back $550K in loans by a retail bank. Nowadays it’s called leverage. Then came the Depression, and the sooner a nation got off the gold standard, the sooner it started recovering.

    Liked by 1 person

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