Wednesday, January 11, 2017

History: The Year is 1929

I've uploaded year 1929 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

The Universe is Spooky -- I talk about the known science to this point.

Your Stockbroker Has Stepped Out for a Moment -- The Great Depression

Notable Births --  Martin Luther King Jr., Yasser Arafat, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Gaston Glock, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Gerry Anderson, Ed Asner

In Other News -- Vatican City is now an independent state, Germany, France and the USA agree not to declare war on each other, and The Geneva Convention is signed.

The Universe is Spooky

"Spooky action at a distance" means that at some fundamental level the universe is not working as one might expect... or even believe. Newton must have realized that if gravity works instantly on objects over vast distances that something spooky is going on. Albert Einstein signed on to a quantum mechanics explanation in principle, but despite what relativity was telling him, he was uncomfortable with the spookier aspects of the universe. For example, Einstein's equations predict wormholes and black holes, but these are places in the universe where suddenly you are somewhere else... or nowhere else. Spooky. Werner Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle has proven that you can measure the position of a quantum particle, but not the momentum and vice versa. And this year, Edwin Hubble measures the rate of expansion of the universe. He observes a certain type of variable star, and compares its absolute brightness to its measured brightness. But if the universe is growing larger, doesn't that mean that it was once very small... uh... in the beginning? In later years the phrase "Big Bang Theory" will be used to mock the idea of an expanding universe (and the TV series will mock more than that), but the phrase "The Big Bang Theory" will be embraced by those it was meant to mock. The Universe is expanding, People will debate how fast, or how much, but it is not expanding INTO anything. It IS the thing, and in time it will get bigger. (I think I made a cosmology pun there, but I'm uncertain.) [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
In Star Trek science, a transporter makes a copy of an object, and reassembles it without loss of data... which is impossible under the current understanding of physics. It is not because we don't know how to do it yet. WE CANNOT KNOW. Star Trek science claims that the transporter copies an object "at the quantum level." Thus Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle must be temporarily suspended using the fantasy device called the "Heisenberg Compensator". It's BS (Bad Science) but they can avoid those expensive shuttle take-off and landing scenes. I wish we lived in a Universe that made more sense. If it is any compensation, pretending that the Universe DOES make sense usually doesn't cause much harm... that is... unless you want your GPS device to work... or transistors... or your LED flashlight. Crap! I'm going back to bed. Call me when the apocalypse gets here. [5] [6]

Your Stockbroker Has Stepped Out for a Moment

The ticker still clattered. I was staring at an inch of the tape which bore the inscription XYZ-32. It had been 52 that morning. I was finished and so were many friends. The papers reported men jumping to death from the towers of High Finance. That disgusted me. I would not jump. I went back to the bar.
-- Bill's Story, from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, page 4. [7]
Unemployment is 3% (a REAL 3%). The New York Stock Exchange has hit record highs, but there are signs of trouble. Two years ago the German Stock Exchange crashed after fears of an economic crash were expressed by their national bank. The US Federal Reserve has expressed similar fears early this year, causing a slide in stock prices. National City Bank is able to stop the slide by offering short-term loans. But in September, a British investor is convicted of fraud, so the London Exchange crashes. This causes more instability in the New York Stock Exchange, so some investors decide to get out. It is now October. Like a flock of geese in autumn, the Market suddenly goes south. Stock prices drop, margins are called, but without enough money to cover the account, more stocks are sold at bargain prices. Stock prices tumble and stockbrokers accidentally fall out of windows. Perhaps their wives will benefit from the life insurance, but these men are done. At this time optimists believe that the Market will come back soon, but it will be another 7 years of "We're back! We're not. We're back! We're not." In the meantime, the money supply will contract, deflation will make buying goods more attractive... if you have a job. But your employer's costs will jump. Unemployment will soar to 25% (a REAL 25%). Can government fix this? This is the age of economic reconstruction known as socialism. Investors will wait for government to fix this. So begins the Great Depression. [8] [9] [10]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
After stocks have tumbled and investors are still licking their wounds, what the government does next determines how long the pain will last. There are things that government could do to help in an economic recovery, but it is useless to talk about them. Dropping money from helicopters sounds funny, but the key to that strategy is that it is not repeated... thus not expected the next time and there is always a "next time." When President Reagan was faced with a similar stock market crash, the media asked him what he was going to do to heal the country. Apparently, not a darn thing. When business saw that Reagan wasn't going to fix it, they got off their duffs, and fixed it themselves... reasonably quickly as I recall.

Notable Births

  • Martin Luther King Jr.: Baptist minister and advocate of passive resistance within the Civil Rights movement. [11]
  • Yasser Arafat: Leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and all around pain-in-the-neck. [12]
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: First Lady and later the wife of Aristotle Onassis. [13]
  • Gaston Glock (Living): Manufacturer of curtain rods, the Austrian Glock 17 and later models. [14]
  • And in Entertainment...
  • -- Grace Kelly: "To Catch a Thief" and later to become the Princess of Monaco. [15]
  • -- Audrey Hepburn: Wait Until Dark, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and My Fair Lady. [16]
  • -- Gerry Anderson: "Thunderbirds are go!" Producer, writer and voice actor for futuristic TV shows. [17]
  • -- Ed Asner (Living): Voice of "Carl" in the animated film Up, narrator of Tax the Rich: An Animated Fairy Tale, and "Mr. Grant" on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. [18]
**Note: (Living) means they were alive when I checked on 2017-Jan-10. 

In Other News

  • Vatican City is now an independent state. Until now, the various Popes avoided the question, so the relationship with Italy had been up in the air. [19]
  • Germany, France and the USA agree not to declare war on each other.. Well... that's done it then. We can move on. Right? [20]
  • The Geneva Convention is signed. World War 1 revealed flaws in previous agreements, over prisoners of war and the treatment of civilians during war so this will fix it. (shudder!) [21]


This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1929, Wikipedia.

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