Aug 302012
 

To get another opinion on the question posed in the New York Times Op-Ed, Has ‘Europe’ Failed?, which discusses the ethnic conflicts undermining an already shaky European Union, we turned to the I Ching for comment and found general agreement…

The first hexagram, Possession in Great Measure (from the Wilhelm translation), is one of success and even with the changing lines there is a clear guide to maintaining good fortune.

…there are many difficulties to overcome. It is only by remaining conscious of these difficulties that one can keep inwardly free of possible arrogance and wastefulness, and thus in principle overcome all cause for blame.

…benevolence alone is not sufficient at the time of Possession in Great Measure. For insolence might begin to spread. Insolence must be kept in bounds by dignity, then good fortune is assured.

If ‘Europe’ hasn’t failed yet, the second hexagram, Seduction (or Coming to Meet), marks an “unfavorable and dangerous situation” in which failure is suddenly an option.  While the Daniels’ translation bids the EU to “recognise that primitive forces and desires are driving the situation”, the implication seems to be that if everyone would just be sensible for a moment, everything would be alright.

Might as well cross our fingers too…

[Reading via Psychic Science]
[Previously on ACM – Ask the I Ching: Should We Break Up the Big Banks?]

Aug 282012
 

Let’s
try
something
different
today.

Let’s
try
something
different
every
day
and
yet
do
everything
else
the
same.

One
little
thing,
every
day.

We
don’t
have
time
for
more.

If
this
were
more
meaningful…

If
the
words
could
be
found…

If
the
data
could
back
it
up…

If
we
knew
what
to
do
with
it
then…

If
we
had
the
time
for
it
now…

If
we
had
the
time
to
care…

It’s
a
lot
of
ifs.

Jul 302012
 

Former Citigroup CEO Sanford “Sandy” Weill has ruffled some feathers by suggesting that we should break up the big banks, separating investment banking from commercial banking as was the law under the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act.  It’s definitely an interesting idea coming from “The Shatterer of Glass-Steagall,” particularly since he didn’t agree in 2010 when his former co-CEO at Citi, John Reed, apologized for his part in taking down the act.

Plenty of people are going to weigh in on the subject now, but how about we ask a source that hasn’t been a player in tanking the world economy?

Enter the I Ching…

The adornments must be stripped away.  Sounds a little bit like something you’d expect to hear from an ancient oracle, but that’s what it is.

The situation has been about appearances.  Bigger was thought to be better and so many banks became four.  But there is no too big to fail.  The bigger they come, the harder they fall.  That’s general policy.

Substance is more important than packaging.  If only the banks had consulted the I Ching before slicing and dicing all those mortgages.  And before they turned from stodgy suits into wild gamblers.  It took pushing us to the edge to do it, but trust in these institutions has faded.

Strip away the dead wood.  Perhaps it will be the Safe, Accountable, Fair and Efficient (SAFE) Banking Act that reigns in leverage and places a cap on how big these dead trees can be.

Rely on our own simple efforts.  Like a few other industries, trust is flowing to local alternatives where profit and expansion aren’t the primary concerns.

Or at least that’s one interpretation.  You could read more about the two hexagrams above with the Wilhelm translation to dive further into this reading or check back with the I Ching to see what it thinks today.

[I Ching reading via Psychic Science, Trust charts from the Chicago Booth | Kellogg School’s Financial Trust Index]

Jul 272012
 

Answer to the question at 3:55, among other things…

I have no point of view.
As for example now, see I couldn’t possibly have a point of view,
I’m just moving around and picking up information from many directions.
No, a point of view means a static fixed position
and you can’t have a static fixed position in the Electric Age.
It’s impossible to have a point of view in the Electric Age,
and have any meaning at all.
You’ve got to be everywhere at once, whether you like it or not.
You have to be participating in everything going on at the same time
and that is not a point of view.

For more, check out the archive at Marshall McLuhan Speaks.

Jul 102012
 

If you’ve ever wondered where your favorite (or least favorite) philosopher got their ideas, the following chart will guide you through the history of thought based on the “influenced by” section for every philosopher on Wikipedia.

Try getting your head around that…

(click image for larger versions)

[Chart from Drunks&Lampposts via Foucault News]