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Luca Brivio
Lives in 20099 Italia
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Luca Brivio

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Earl - Crowdfunded Backcountry Survival Tablet. Topo Maps. Weather Station. Walkie Talkie. Emergency Radio.
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This is why you should try very hard not to buy e-books from Amazon, and if you do, to break the DRM and keep your own private copy --- and not to rely on Amazon good will and good faith....

P.S.   And this is why I wouldn't want to use Amazon EC2 or S3 on my private Amazon account; I wouldn't want Amazon to get upset and think that because I've returned one too many items due to items being Dead On Arrival or some such, that they should cancel my entire Amazon account and blow away anything that I might have in Amazon's data centers....
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Luca Brivio

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Lucian Randolph originally shared:
 
How is the game of Monopoly won?

Someone recently asked me why the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters were angry and what did the 99% mean? I thought about it for a minute and this was my answer.

Everyone is familiar with the board game, Monopoly. But to win the game, one player must collect all of the money from everyone in the entire game; bankrupting all of the other players in the process. Although it is a simple game to understand, it highlights one of the glaring defects in Capitalism. In any economic system (at any particular moment), there is a finite amount of capital (or "money" as defined by currency) and it is shared and distributed among everyone in the economic system or society. If left unchecked, Capital Accumulation under the basic principles of Capitalism will always lead to a concentration of wealth in a small group and (by consequence) a drastic loss of wealth for all others. Which is why there must be rules.

In the real world, we are supposed to have laws, regulations and other mechanisms in place to prevent all of the money from being recklessly accumulated in such small groups as to lead to a collapse of the entire economic system, which has actually happened before – in 1929. This type of government oversight is necessary because Capitalism at its very nature is not a "good" thing. It is, by definition, based on greed. You can only accumulate more of a finite substance, if someone else has less by comparison. As a component in a complete system of economics, Capitalism can have benefits if managed properly, fairly and wisely. However, Capitalism itself is not a "good" thing because even in a simple game simulation like Monopoly, the underlying goal of Capital Accumulation always displays typical human nature and therefore always leads to the same outcome. All for me… none for you.

Another fundamental lesson of economics that Monopoly teaches is that "money" is not something that you can "own." The group of players in the game agree that the money has value and then treat it accordingly. It's the same for real money. You can possess it, but its value is only because of the entire society that backs the money – and technically, the money "belongs" to the entire group. Unless you trade all of your money for gold or another commodity, then you don't really own your money. The value can be changed or deleted by the government or bank that issues the currency and you can't stop it. In any economic system, the amount of money and the value of the money are determined by the group of people that the economic system is based upon. All money is Monopoly money.

More to the point, the most important lesson that Monopoly teaches is something that every player over eleven years old knows to be true. The easiest way to win is to be the Bank… and to cheat.

When you are in control of the money, you have access and means to steal money. Then you have more capital to buy property or build apartments and make even more money. This is true in the real world as well. Part of the anger from the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is that the current financial rules are set up so that the Banks and Financial Industry (as well as virtually all Large Corporations) can essentially cheat. And just like in the game of Monopoly, a few people (the top 1%) are gathering enormous amounts of wealth at the expense of the vast majority (99%) of everyone else.

The reason this has happened is that we have been brainwashed to mentally equate Democracy and Capitalism. They are not the same. They are not even both required for each other to function individually. There is no voting in Monopoly and Democracies can quite easily be Socialist states. Capitalism is an economic system, not a political system of government. Capitalism does not care about Democracy or fairness or justice or law – only profit. It prefers to function unencumbered by any legislative or regulatory restrictions, but it will function and prosper under almost any set of circumstances because it is based on greed, a universal human desire. However, Capitalism ≠ Democracy. This is a lie that was created by the people who have been cheating at the game.

The reason we should not equate Democracy and Capitalism is that Democracy can be fundamentally manipulated by Capitalism if fair rules and safeguards are not put in place and strictly enforced. This is because Capitalism runs on money and Democracy runs on people – and everyone can be bought if the price is high enough. Ultimately this is the glaring defect in Democracy – it can be bought. When Democracy is for sale, rules are manipulated for financial gain. Nowhere is this more important or evident than in the current US financial sector. Because every kid over eleven knows that the easiest way to win in a Capitalism based game is to be the Bank… and to cheat. And that is exactly what has happened in our country. All of the money has been gathered by a small group and the rest of Americans are almost broke.

If this were Monopoly, the game would be over.




-------------------------------------
Edited for clarity.
Also, thanks for all the comments. I would like to make sure my position is clear. I don't have a problem with Capitalism. And I believe that a range of wealth distribution is necessary to provide the incentive needed to make private enterprise work. The issue is cheating and disparity. No human deserves to earn $3 billion as a bonus for one year's work (and certainly not a group of them). No for-profit corporation should avoid paying taxes (certainly not some of the largest in the world). And Banks should be required to actually have money in them before they loan any out (which is not required under modern banking rules).

Second edit:
Many commenters do not know the definition of the word "finite." In math, the word finite is the opposite of non-finite or infinite. In other uses, it means measurable. Clearly the amount of capital in any economic system is not infinite and (as difficult as it might be) it is also clearly a measurable quantity. The word "finite" does not mean "permanent" nor does it mean "fixed" and any assertion to the contrary misunderstands the definition. More importantly, in the context that I was using it, mathematically (and correctly) speaking, no economy has an infinite amount of capital, therefore by definition, it is a "finite" amount.

In order to measure anything that is transient, even something that is growing, you must place a point in time for the measurement. The cold hard reality is that at any particular moment in time, there is a finite (meaning measurable) amount of capital in the American Economy. And at any point in time (just like we do annually when we calculate the GDP) we can measure the distribution of wealth across the entire economy. Any assertion that this standard process of calculation equates to "Capitalism is a Zero Sum Game" is a straw man argument. Measuring the inequity of the distribution of wealth in this country in no way denies the growth ability of creating new wealth. That's a silly assertion.



image credit: http://goo.gl/Gy5Qu

wiki notes:
http://www.wikihow.com/Win-at-Monopoly
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_game
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_accumulation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Representative_democracy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism
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10th anniversary of Laurea Magistralis course in Neurobiology at University of Pavia

http://news.unipv.eu/site/home/eventi/articolo9503.html (Italian only)
https://www.facebook.com/events/255737841235799/
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Chiamatela zootecnia se volete.
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Have him in circles
365 people
Helen Freud's profile photo
Annika Rivera's profile photo
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20099 Italia
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Premetto che ci sono stato sempre a pranzo e non ho provato cose di carne. Solo ottimi cibi e pizza al trancio eccellente e non pesante (tra le migliori di Milano). Il menù varia ma non è mai molto vasto, in compenso è interessante (soprattutto specialità toscane), in particolare come primi piatti. I prezzi sono sicuramente onesti. Decisamente piccolo (prenotare è praticamente obbligatorio, magari anche con poco anticipo); si trova parcheggio solo a una certa distanza. Servizio semplice, da trattoria.
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Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Food: Very GoodDecor: GoodService: Very Good
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
(Sono stato una sera che c'era poca gente.) Cucina tradizionale e non, ma tutto molto buono! Prezzi in generale onesti, tanto più che le porzioni sono piuttosto abbondanti! La qualità è chiaramente da ristorante, nonostante le tovagliette di carta e l'ambiente semplice. Si lasciano un po' andare al gusto per l'insolito, senza scadere comunque. Buone opzioni vegetariane. Vini ricercati, varie tipologie e prezzi (non da osteria però).
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
economico, ambiente caldo e familiare, buone birre e pizze sostanziose
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
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Posto carino, piccolo. Ottimi panini e prezzi. Accogliente quanto basta. Martedì e giovedì a pranzo e a cena c'è il «giropanino», quanti panini vuoi a €8.
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
luogo informale e simpatico a gestione familiare, molto semplice. il pizzaiolo cinese fa una pizza al trancio leggera, la cucina non è male e si spende davvero poco. veloci e sempre disponibili,servono focaccia al posto del pane.d'estate si può stare all'aperto.una vera risorsa!
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
accogliente, pulito, buon servizio, adatto per una sosta
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago