Good Afternoon Ted and Jody:
Well, I watered today. I thought I would mention it so I would have a place to check to see if I did tomorrow and Saturday. It was a memorable watering as I stopped at Home Depot and picked up better water wands. These have a small wire on them so they can hold them open to drain the water after the spigot is turned off. With the pocket hose, the little wire that holds the wand open comes in handy so I don’t have to hold the hose while it empties.
I read a report on some poll findings yesterday that I find problematic: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/341305-poll-most-republicans-say-colleges-have-negative-impact-on-us I, as a former student of survey research, would love to see how they worded the questions to get these results. I do not doubt the results. I do cringe at the possibility that the questions were worded in a neutral manner and still got these results.
I switched on the new for my latest bike ride to nowhere and heard that the pestilence refused to take questions from the American Press that followed him to Paris. (Any chance we can have travel from France banned while he is there?) If I were in the press corps from any place, I think I would ask him “What in the hell in wrong with you?” If I leave it open ended like that, he just might twitter about it.
Nancy is teaching a purse making class today. It gets harder and harder to behave while she is away during the day—I found where she hid the scissors and crayons.
Warmest regards, Ed
025 Learning about a Strange Place – Part I
Fiction in 1040 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“As I recall from my various excursions into your universe and interactions with your segmented pockets of authorities,” said Stephen, “You are each limited to something called a jurisdiction. Those were confusing but seemed to deal with areas of responsibility or even geography or both. ”
“Yes,” replied Special Agent Fleishman. “I would guess that this is your jurisdiction. I apologize if I am intruding. However, we have s concept that covers my presence here: hot pursuit. Since I was following a person, Ralph, presumed to have been involved in bank robbery and kidnapping, I am permitted under our rules to follow that person outside of my jurisdiction and even apprehend that person and take him back to face trial.”
“Interesting,” said Stephen. “Since I am the only person here and I am obviously not the person you are hotly pursuing, what are your options?”
“I have two options,” said Special Agent Fleishman. “return to my jurisdiction empty handed or notify the local authorities of my presence.”
“Thinking of myself as a local authority is very strange,” said Stephen with a puzzled expression. “However, in your lexicon, I am exactly that. I have no reason to wish to assist you for we neither have bank robberies nor kidnappings. Indeed, I have only the sketchiest notion of what they are.”
“A bank robbery involves taking money from a bank when the money does not belong to you. Indeed, using or threatening force if the bank employees do no give you the money” explained Special Agent Fleishman. “A kidnapping involves taking a person against their will and more.”
“What is money?” Asked Stephen.
Special Agent Fleishman widened his eyes, then squinted and said, “Money is a way economic transactions can be made easily. But, that, misses the essence of money. Money is an abstract commodity of value. It can be subdivided into various sized units of value to be one side of an economic exchange. ”
“You obviously keep this value commodity in banks,” observed Stephen.
“In a sense, banks keep large supplies of money on hand, yes,” replied Special Agent Fleishman. “How do you facilitate economic exchanges?”
Stephen held up something that resembled a receipt pad, “We use obligation reminders.” He handed the pad to Special Agent Fleishman. On the top sheet of paper were printed, ‘Stephen is obligated to provide the bearer, _____________, until__________.” then a space for Stephen’s signature and presumably the date.
Special Agent Fleishman asked, “What would you write in the first blank?”
“Anything you have that your trading partner would accept to complete the exchange, but that the person does not actually want at the time of the transaction but might be able to use in other exchanges,” replied Stephen. “It does not have to be things, it could be labor, time or offering to play a game with the bearer.”
“The space following ‘until’ I take would be an expiration date,” noted Special Agent Fleishman.
“Yes,” replied Stephen. “Sometimes perishables are involved, so one can’t be expected to be able to provide fresh produce for very long.”
“All of your economic transactions are managed with these obligation reminders?” asked Agent Fleishman.
“Yes, all,” said Stephen.
“That must get pretty cumbersome having lot of these obligation reminders to carry around with one,” said Special Agent Fleishman.
Stephen laughed, “Decades ago it was, but a fellow invented a device that take photos of the forms and we carry them in a small flat device called an obligation file.” Stephen held up an object that looked for all the world like a cross between a smart camera and a smart phone. “The obligation file has software that files the obligation reminders by name of the item or work or time and quantity. If you had one I could transfer one of the obligations I hold to your obligation file and it would be yours to trade. If however, you were the issuer, the obligation would be erased if it entered your obligation file.”
Special Agent Fleishman held up the pad of obligation forms that Stephen had handed him and asked. “Why these, then? Can’t your software produce them as needed?”
“Sometimes people want to keep one as a memory or the like,” replied Stephen. “Almost everyone has a pad for such occurrences.”
“If obligation reminders are how you manage transactions, how do people attain wealth?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“I don’t understand your question,” said Stephen. ‘What is wealth.”
“I suppose the simplest way to explain wealth is to say it is the accumulation of money, property and other things of value,” replied Special Agent Fleishman. Swinging his arm to enbrance the office he was in and pointing to the spires outside the window he continued, “Wealth accumulations are required in our universe to build this office and those buildings.”
“Oh, you mean community obligation,” replied Stephen. “When someone notices a need for another structure or walk or road, they put together a proposal and ask people in the community to make obligations that will enable the community project. Largely, it involves people transferring obligations to that project.”
“But what do the people who contribute obligations get in return? Asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Obligations in return, of course,” replied Stephen. “They may get an office to use for a time, or they may get obligations for cups of coffee. It all depends upon what they want and what obligations the proposer has available.”
“What does the proposer get out of all of this?” asked a puzzled Special Agent Fleishman.
“The project he proposed gets done,” replied Stephen. “A sidewalk gets built that he uses, a road gets built that he uses or a building gets built that he has an ability to use, given he has the proper obligation reminders.”
“Well, then who owns the building, road or sidewalk?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“No one and every one,” replied Stephen. “We are all equal here. No one owns anything that big.”
“If you didn’t know what money was; and you don’t have money, and no one owns big things here, why are you engaged in robbing banks in our universe?” asked Special Agent Fleishman?