Toujours pas d'attentats en France. Charlie Hebdo

Aftermath of the 11 September terror attacks

The above cartoon from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s new year’s edition of 2015 eerily foreshadows the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo that was to happen a few days later. Most of the editors were killed. Stéphane Charbonnier, the editorial director, drew a cartoon pointing at the possibility of a terrorist attack in January 2015. In English, the title reads: “No attacks yet in France.” The man then says “Wait! We have until the end of January to send you New Year wishes.”1

Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh assassinations

There are 911 days between two recent political killings in the Netherlands. This is remarkable as both incidents are related to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. On 6 May 2002 the Dutch populist politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by a left-wing extremist. Fortuyn gained momentum after the attacks of 11 September 2001 because of his stance against Islam and immigration.2

On 2 November 2004 the Dutch film producer Theo Van Gogh was killed by an Islamic fanatic for insulting the prophet Muhammad. The last film Van Gogh completed before his death, 06/05, was about the assassination of Pim Fortuyn.3 The date 2 November can be rewritten as 11/2 (American notation), while 112 is the European emergency telephone number. This is remarkable in combination with the 911 days between both assassinations.

On 2 November 2011, the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo was attacked in Paris, shortly after the prophet Mohammed featured on its cover.4 This date being the same as the date of the assassination of Theo Van Gogh made the Dutch website Geenstijl.nl declare 2 November to be the most humourless day in the history of Islam.5

On the same day photographs of Umar Patek and his wife appeared in the news. The mastermind behind the attacks in Bali in 2002 posed with his wife for the camera during a reconstruction of his actions in Jakarta.6 The other perpetrators of the Bali bombings had already been executed on 9 November 2008.7 The date 9 November can be rewritten to 9/11 (European notation).

Madrid train bombings of 2004

On 11 March 2004 the Madrid train bombings took place. It was the largest terrorist attack after 11 September 2001. There were 912 calendar days between 11 September 2001 and 11 March 2004. Due to the different time zones Spain and the United States are in, the number of full days between the events was 911. In the Madrid train bombings 191 people were killed,8 a number that has the same digits as 911.

7 July 2005 London suicide bombings

The number seven appears to be behind the London suicide bombings of 7 July 2005. 7 July can be rewritten as 7/7, while the numbers of 2005 added up make 7, making three sevens or 7-7-7. The number of people killed, including the four suicide bombers was 56,9 also a multiple of seven. Two weeks later (which is 2 times 7 days) on 21 July 2005, another attack on London was staged,10 while 21 is three times seven or three sevens.

During the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 343 FNDY personnel were killed while 7 x 7 x 7 = 343.11 On 11 September 2001 the North American Aerospace Defense Command was conducting a military exercise named Global Guardian. One of the scenarios being simulated was a hijacking of planes.12 The London Police completed a terror training exercise which envisaged an attack on London’s transport network just days before the 7/7 terrorist attacks.13

Benghazi attack and China riots

On 11 September 2012, exactly 11 years after 11 September 2001, the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked. The ambassador and three others were killed. After the attacks riots broke out in a number of Islamic countries and angry people violated a number of Western embassies.14

On that day President Barack Obama was exactly 18,666 days old while 18 = 6 + 6 + 6. He was born on 4 August 1961. It just happens to be that 4 August is the 216th day of the year while 216 = 6 * 6 * 6. This is curious as many people considered President Obama to be the Antichrist.15 In this respect it is also remarkable that Satan’s character in History Channel’s Bible series resembled President Obama.16

Also on 11 September 2012, a territorial dispute between China and Japan over a group of islands in the East China Sea intensified. Anti-Japanese riots broke out in China and protesters gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing.17 Japan’s ambassador-designate to China then fell ill and died in a Tokyo hospital a few days later.18

The coincidence is peculiar for a few reasons. It was 11 years after 11 September 2001 so this is an 11:11 related coincidence as 9 + 1 + 1 = 11. In both incidents there was violence near embassies. And in both instances an ambassador died. The relation with Obama 666 is also remarkable as he was born on the 216th day of the year. But that’s not all what happened on that day.

The Hague and Eindhoven public transport accidents

On 11 September 2012 a collision of trams 9 and 11 near the Hollands Spoor Station in The Hague in the Netherlands caused 36 people to be wounded.19 A few days before 11 September 2012, a report came into the news that Al-Qaeda had recruited two Somali men to carry out a suicide attack in The Hague.20

Also on 11 September 2012, a major bus accident took place in Eindhoven, causing 27 wounded,21 while 27 = 9 + 9 + 9 and 999 is the emergency telephone number in Great Britain and Ireland. The bus accident in Eindhoven happened 11 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, while two emergency landings happened in one day on Eindhoven Airport on 11 September 2010, exactly 9 years after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001,22 producing a 9:11 related coincidence. As 36 = 9 + 9 + 9 + 9 and 27 = 9 + 9 + 9, the numbers of wounded people in both accidents are also interesting.

Some other tidbits

Exactly ten years after the attacks, on 11 September 2011, a blogger using undisclosed sources noted that the estimated death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan amounted to 911,911. An interesting number, he added.23

On 8 August 2012, about 100 firemen responded to what the FDNY called an equipment fire likely sparked by welding on the 88th floor of 1 World Trade Center that was being built.24 The date, 8 August (8/8), and 88th floor make an 11:11 related coincidence. It is also related to the World Trade Center and emergency services.

On 11 September 2015, a powerful storm toppled a construction crane at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site, killing 111 people. It is remarkable that the crane fell over on 11 September and that it was operated by the Saudi Binladin Group, founded by the father of Osama Bin Laden, while most hijackers of the 11 September 2001 attacks came from Saudi Arabia. An engineer for the Binladin Group said the accident was an act of God.25

The 22 March 2016 Brussels bombings consisted of two attacks. The first bombing targeted the desk of American Airlines on the Brussels’ airport. American Airlines was one of the airlines used for the attacks of 11 September 2001. The second bombing was exactly at 9:11 AM.26 The perpetrators probably did not plan this as the bombings have been executed hastily after the Belgian police caught the mastermind of the Paris terrorist attacks a few days earlier.

Featured image: Toujours pas d’attentats en France. Stéphane Charbonnier. Charlie Hebdo (2015). [Copyright]

1. Murdered French Cartoonist Charb Predicted Attack In Chilling Cartoon. Huffington Post Canada (2015). [link]
2. Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn assassinated. The Guardian (2002). [link]
3. Life of slain Dutch film-maker. BBC (2004). [link]
4. French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo attacked in Paris. BBC (2011). [link]
5. Tijdschrift Charlie Hebdo vangt Moslim-molotov. Van Rossem. Geenstijl (2011). [link]
6. The bomber and his bride: Chilling smile of Al Qaeda mastermind behind Bali bombings as he is paraded with his wife. Wil Longbottom. Mail Online (2011). [link]
7. 2002 Bali bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
8. 2004 Madrid train bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
9. 7 July 2005 London bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
10. 21 July 2005 London bombings. Wikipedia. [link]
11. September 11 attacks. Wikipedia. [link]
12. Global Guardian. Wikipedia. [link]
13. Counter-terrorist training exercise days before 7/7 was ‘entirely a coincidence’. Mail Online (2011). [link]
14. 2012 Benghazi attack. Wikipedia. [link]
15. Poll: 13% think Obama is the anti-Christ; 29% believe in aliens. Ruth Brown. USA Today (2013). [link]
16. ‘The Bible’ producers: Satan/Obama? ‘Utter nonsense’. Ann Oldenburg. USA Today (2013). [link]
17. Senkaku islands dispute escalates as China sends out patrol ships. Associated Press (2012). [link]
18. Japan’s ambassador-designate to China dies in Tokyo – ministry. Reuters (2012). [link]
19. Tientallen gewonden door aanrijding trams in Den Haag. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
20. ‘Den Haag doelwit van al-Qaeda’. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
21. Gewonden door aanrijding passagiersbus in Eindhoven. Nu.nl (2012). [link]
22. Twee noodlandingen in korte tijd op Eindhoven Airport. Ronald. Travel.blog.nl (2010). [link]
23. Humbug. Dan Dailey. Wandervogel Diary (2011). [link]
24. FDNY Responds to Fire Report at WTC. Katherine Creag. NBC New York (2012). [link]
25. Mecca crane collapse. Wikipedia. [link]
26. Strikes Claimed by ISIS Shut Brussels and Shake European Security. Alissa J. Rubin, Aurelien Breeden and Anita Raghavan. New York Times (2016). [link]

World Trade Center on 11 September 2001

11 September coincidences

An obscure fact

The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 were the first major geopolitical event in the age of Internet. Internet made it possible for conspiracy theories to spread more easily. And 9/11 proved to be a real treasure trove if you have a suspcious mind. Nowadays 9/11 conspiracy theories are a bit outdated like those on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Most people moved on and crazier theories emerged. That obscured a remarkable fact. No other event in world history has ever been riddled with so many peculiar coincidences.

The perpetrators were either Illuminati, Jews or Freemasons, at least that was conspiracy theorists want us to believe. But perhaps they simply weren’t paranoid enough. Osama Bin Laden thought he was executing the will of God. And he probably was right. What may strike you about these coincidences is that many of them could have happened accidentally but that the combination of these incidents might be too improbable to be just coincidence.

The Berlin Wall fell on 9 November 1989. Hence, the hallmark events of the end of communism and the war on terror were on 11/9 and 9/11 (American notation). This is significant as the cold war as well as the war on terror were amongst the most important geopolitical developments after World War II. The fall of the Berlin Wall was already predicted ten years earlier. It may not be a coincidence either.

Emergency

The US emergency services telephone number is 911 while the date 11 September is more commonly known as 9/11. The emergency services played a major role on this day. Starting with 11 September, the remainder of the year lasts 112 days. And 112 is the emergency telephone number of the European Union.

On 11 September 2002, exactly one year after the 9/11 attacks, the winning numbers drawn in the New York State Lottery were 9-1-1.1 Because there were two such draws, the odds of randomly drawing these numbers was around one in 500.

The total number of FDNY personnel killed was 343,2 which is 7 x 7 x 7. On 7 July 2005 (7/7/7 considering that 2+0+0+5=7), the terrorist attacks in London took place.

The flight number that has seen the most accidents is 191. Five planes with that flight number have crashed. The best known accident of this series is the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 on 25 May 1979.3 The digits of 191 are the same as those of 911. This made the author of an article on this issue refrain from using JetBlue Flight 191. Five years later JetBlue Flight 191 had to make an emergency landing.

Popular culture

In popular culture references to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center appeared before they happened. This is not as remarkable as it may seem. The destruction of the World Trade Center was a common theme in popular culture as the building was an iconic symbol representing Capitalism. Terrorists already attacked the World Trade Center in 1993. Despite that, some of these references are quite spooky.

What is Al-Qaeda?
What is Al-Qaeda? Vice Magazine (1994).

A Vice Magazine article from 1994 shows Beavis & Butthead dressed as Al Qaeda operatives flying two planes near the Twin Towers.4

Close up of Neo's passport in The Matrix
Neo’s passport in The Matrix. Warner Bros (1999).

There is a reference to the date 11 September 2001 in the 1999 film The Matrix. About 17 minutes into the film, a file folder is shown containing an image of the passport of the main character Neo. The expiry date of the passport is 11 September 2001.5 This is remarkable because the coincidences surrounding the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 demonstrate that this universe could be a virtual reality like The Matrix.

The 2000 computer game Deus Ex had the Twin Towers missing in the New York skyline because of memory constraints. In the game’s fiction the towers were destroyed by terrorists. An interesting coincidence is the name of the game referencing to God coming out of nowhere to interfere with the plot (Deus Ex Magina). The initials of the main character are JC, the same as Jesus Christ. Somewhere in the game, JC wakes up in a secret mansion of the Illuminati. If JC chooses the right options, he will discover the code to a blast door. Behind it is an artificial intelligence called Morpheus.6

In July 2001 the band I Am the World Trade Center released the album Out of the Loop. The 11th track on their album is titled September.7 That makes an advance reference to 11 September combined with World Trade Center in 2001.

Cover for Party Music. The Coup.
Cover for Party Music. The Coup (2001).

The rap duo The Coup had put out an advance graphic of their late 2001 album Party Music months before 9/11. It depicted explosions in the Twin Towers near the points hit by the planes. The detonation device held by MC Boots Riley is labelled Covert Labs. Pam the Funkstress was holding conductor’s batons.5

Cover for Live Scenes from New York
Cover for Live Scenes from New York. Dream Theater (2001).

The album Live Scenes From New York from the rock group Dream Theater was released on 11 September 2001. The album cover shows a burning Big Apple with the city of New York in the background.4 Issuing an album named Live Scenes From New York featuring a burning apple representing New York on 11 September 2001 is an eerie coincidence.

simpsons911
The Simpsons. 20th Century Fox (1997).

An 1997 episode of The Simpsons about a trip to New York showed a guidebook with the number nine, followed by the Twin Towers, making a reference to 9/11.4

In March 2001 Fox TV network in the United States aired a pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen about a plan by rogue elements in the United States government to hijack a jet aircraft by remote control and crash it into the World Trade Center in order to justify an increase on military spending and a war on terror.5

Trade Center Defender
Trade Center Defender (2001).

Early 2001 the simulator game Trade Center Defender came out. Players had to gun down planes that were heading towards the Twin Towers.4

Predictions

Linda and Terry Jamison, known as The Psychic Twins predicted in 1999 that there would be terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and federal buildings in South Carolina or Georgia in 2002.8 The prediction itself was of dubious quality but it was made on 2 November (11/2 American notation) while 112 is the European emergency services telephone number. It is also remarkable that Linda and Terry Jamison were identical twins as the Twin Towers were identical too.

The BBC was more accurate by predicting the destruction of the Twin Towers as well as building seven, even though the BBC never intended to make these predictions. A BBC Scotland article from 5 April 2001 was headlined ‘Twin towers to be demolished’. The twin towers referred to the two chimneys at Kincardine Power Station, but the choice of words is remarkable to say the least.5

On 11 September 2001 a British television reporter for BBC reported that World Trade Center building seven had collapsed. His words were accompanied by subtitles. Building seven was still standing and it collapsed 26 minutes after the reported news.9 The BBC ‘predicted’ both the collapse of building 7 and the destruction of the Twin Towers, which makes a pair of closely related peculiar coincidences.

New World Order

On 11 September 1990, exactly 11 years before 11 September 2001, President George Bush Sr. held a speech that is remarkable for a few reasons. An important theme was Saddam Hussein as the first Gulf War was about to begin.9 The attacks of 11 September 2001 have been used to start the Second Gulf War against Iraq against Saddam Hussein by another President named George Bush.

George Bush Sr. stated that the developments presented an opportunity for a New World Order of cooperation between nations to emerge.10 One year later, on 11 September 1991, he made similar statements. These dates both being 11 September is remarkable as is the recurring conflict between Saddam Hussein and two Presidents named George Bush. It is another pair of closely related peculiar coincidences.

In September 2000 a group of neoconservatives published a study named Rebuilding America’s Defences. It stated that it would be difficult to rebuild the military unless some catastrophic event like a new Pearl Harbor would occur.11

A few months before 11 September 2001, the plans for a secret operation named Operation Northwoods were declassified. These plans were drafted by America’s top military leaders in the early 1960s. They included hijacking planes and orchestrating violent terrorism inside U.S. cities to provoke a war with Cuba.12

On 11 September 2001 the North American Aerospace Defense Command was conducting a military exercise named Global Guardian. One of the scenarios being simulated was a hijacking of planes.13

On 11 September 2001 the official Bin Ladin family’s website domain http://www.saudi-binladin-group.com expired.14 On the same day a defence contractor, the Carlyle Group, was hosting a business conference in Washington DC. One of Osama Bin Laden’s brothers was an honoured guest. The Bush and Bin Laden families were both involved in the Carlyle Group. Members of the Bin Laden family were secretly flown out of the United States shortly after the attacks when air travel was still shut down.15

Numerology, 11 and 11:11

Bloggers on the Internet noticed coincidences surrounding the attacks of 11 September 2001 that they believed to be spooky. A number of places, items, and persons had names consisting of eleven letters. Emails have circulated, urging us to be scared because Afghanistan and George W. Bush have eleven letters like some other words that can be linked to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. These things are really cool if you’re a numerologist, otherwise you may find it nonsense.

The US emergency telephone number 911 can be compressed to 11 as 9 + 1 + 1 = 11. The European emergency telephone number is 112 is also intriguing. First 112 = 56 + 56, which can been seen as a reference to 11:11 as 5 + 6 = 11. Furthermore,  2 = 1 + 1. So 112 can be seen as a reference to 11:11 in this way too. Also 112 + 911 = 1023, which is 1111111111 binary. Many countries have emergency telephone number 999 and 112 + 999 = 1111.

Two out of three flights hitting their target on 11 September 2001 were from American Airlines.16 American Airlines uses the characters AA for its flight codes. When the characters of the flight codes are transformed to digits, using the scheme A=1, B=2, C=3, they both resolve to 11, making an 11:11 reference. Both American Airlines flights had a flight number that is a multiple of 11 (11 and 77), making another 11:11 reference.

The Twin Towers both had 110 floors,17 which is an 11:11 reference. Both towers had 99 elevators17 (according to several sources; Wikipedia states it is 95), which is another 11:11 reference. After 99 days of burning, NYC declared the WTC fires were extinguished. This was on 19 December 2001.18

The Twin Towers standing side by side looked like the number 11. Adding the digits of each Airplane’s flight numbers yields: Flight #11 = 11, Flight #93 = 12 (9 + 3 = 12), Flight #175 = 13 (1 + 7 + 5 = 13) and Flight #77 = 14 ( 7 + 7 = 14). Flight AA11 had 11 crew members, consisting of 2 pilots and 9 flight attendants. The numbers of passengers on the planes including the hijackers were 92, 65, 64 and 44,16 while 9 + 2 = 11, 6 + 5 = 11 and 44 is a multiple of 11, while 4 + 4 = 8, 8 * 8 = 64 and 64 – 44 = 9 + 11.

On  29 November 2011 American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.19 29 November 2011 can be read as 29/11/11 or 29/11/2011, while 2 + 9 = 11 and 20 = 9 + 11. Filing for Chapter 11 on this date is remarkable because American Airlines flights were used for the terrorist attacks and because AA in the flight code can be translated to 11.

This is not all

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, a lot more peculiar coincidences happened. That will be a separate story. Another separate story can be dedicated to coincidences in my life related to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. These will be published later.

Featured image: Plumes of smoke billow from the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks. Michael Foran (11 September 2001). Public Domain.

Other images: What is Al-Qaeda? Vice Magazine (1994). Close up of Neo’s passport in The Matrix. Warner Bros (1999). Cover for Party Music. The Coup (2001). Cover for Live Scenes from New York. Dream Theater (2001). Trade Center Defender (2001). [copyright info]

1. Thousands Had Winning 9-1-1 Numbers. Sue Chan. CBS (11 September 2002). [link]
2. September 11 attacks. Wikipedia. [link]
3. The World’s Riskiest Flight. Justin Heckert. Esquire (2012). [link]
4. 15 Bizarre Signs In Popular Culture That ‘Predicted’ The 9/11 Attacks Before They Actually Happened. Nishant Raj (2016). [link]
5. The Matrix Prophetic Film 911 coincidence. U2r2h Blog (2008). [link]
6. How Deus Ex Predicted the Future. Richard Wordsworth. Kotaku.com (2014). [link]
7. Out of the Loop (I Am the World Trade Center album). Wikipedia. [link]
8. Linda and Terry Jamison. Wikipedia. [link]
9. Controversy and conspiracies III. Mike Rudin. BBC (2008). [link]
10. Address Before a Joint Session of the Congress on the Persian Gulf Crisis and the Federal Budget Deficit. George Bush (11 September 1990) [link]
11. Project for the New American Century. Wikipedia. [link]
12. U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba. David Ruppe. ABC News (2001). [link]
13. Global Guardian. Wikipedia. [link]
14. Date with Destiny? Howard Altman. Philadelphia City Paper (2001).
15. The Carlyle Group: C for capitalism. Economist (2003). [link]
16. September 11 attacks. Wikipedia. [link]
17. World Trade Center elevator artifacts. The National Museum Of American History. [link]
18. Ground Zero Fire Extinguished. Abc News (2001). [link]
19. American Airlines files for Chapter 11 protection. BBC (2011). [link]

Free money for everyone?

Everyone should be rich

“No whining, everyone should be rich, vote Opposition Party, together for ourselves.” The Opposition Party was a fictional political party in the Netherlands run by two dubious characters. The creators of the fiction, Van Kooten and De Bie, intended to mock populist politicians. If the Opposition Party had been for real, the party would have fetched a few seats in parliament in 1981. The problem isn’t that there are rich people but that there are poor people. Why isn’t everyone rich? Maybe poor people haven’t enough money.

So perhaps everyone should get some money for free. This is commonly known as a universal basic income. Only normally you don’t get rich by doing nothing. People make money by working. Without work there are no products and services to buy. This has been true for as long as humans exist. Giving people money for free is undermining one of the pillars of human civilisation, which is that you have to work for a living. It therefore seems a bad idea. But there are reasons to believe that we may need a guaranteed income in the future.

A game of Monopoly

One can think of the capitalist economy as a game of Monopoly. If you have played the game, you may have observed that at first players build capital in the form of houses and hotels. You can get rich by making the right investments. There is also an element of luck involved. The game ends when most players are bankrupt. It is possible to extend the game by letting the others borrow money from the winners. In this way the winners can enjoy being rich while the others can stay in the game. Of course the others can never repay their debts. The players could stop pretending and let the winners give some money to the others so that the game can continue.

monopoly1935

The alternative would be to start from square one, or more precisely, removing all the houses and the hotels, and start a new game. That might be fun for a game but in the real economy this would be a horrendous disaster. Imagine all the houses, roads, and factories gone. There would be nothing to buy and everyone would be poor. Economists figured this out long ago. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes thought that the state should borrow money from the winners and spend it so that the others would be employed and have some money to spend so that the game could continue.1

Keynes’ plan did get a lot of attention and that’s why he is so famous. Other economists weren’t so pleased. Governments could now justify lavish spending by borrowing money from the rich to spend it on public works or lower taxes, leaving a debt to be paid by future generations. Keynes also advised governments to reduce spending when the economy is doing well,1 but this rarely happened. And if there is no starting from square one, the rich are getting richer, while the rest isn’t getting ahead. Furthermore, the state borrowing money from the winners makes things worse as interest must be paid. In this way the others end up paying taxes to pay interest to the rich. This could become a huge problem in the long run. But Keynes wasn’t interested in the long run. “In the long run we’re all dead,” Keynes said. Now the long run has arrived and Keynes is dead.

The game of Monopoly has a bank too. The bank is a magical source of money. Every time you finish a round, a fixed sum of is given to you. That is great for a game. If it wasn’t for this everlasting fountain of money, the game would have ended after a few rounds. Giving free money to everyone is often called a universal basic income. It can help to keep the economy going. Adding money to the real economy can make money worth less. If people have more money, prices often go up, as there is more money to buy the same stuff. For example, if everyone craves for that latest model mobile phone, producers can raise prices, unless people run out of money and can’t buy them. In a game of Monopoly the prices of rents are fixed, but the prices of streets rise. If you want to buy a street from another player when there is a lot of money in the game, you often pay more. The rich are bidding up prices of streets. In the real economy something similar happens. Inflation is low but prices of assets like stocks and real estate are rising.

There are reasons to fear a universal basic income. Proponents tell us that it will all be fine and dandy and that we will be free to realise our dreams. If you always wanted to become a blogger or a vlogger, you can become one when there is a universal basic income because you don’t have to work for a living. The opponents of a universal basic income paint a dismal picture of people sinking into an abyss of idleness filled with writing blogs nobody wants to read and making videos nobody wants to see. A job can make you feel useful. And there must be a compelling reason to do unattractive jobs, otherwise they won’t be done. Many countries already have benefits for people without a job. In these countries the unattractive low paying jobs are often done by immigrants who don’t have access to those benefits.

Machines taking over?

In the future machines may become better than humans at most jobs. Until very recently only simple tasks have been taken over by machines. This already put a lot of people out of work. The surplus of workers could be employed in the government and the service sector. Computers in the future can do much more. Self driving cars will replace human drivers and cause fewer accidents. Robots can care for the elderly, and this could be an improvement as robots don’t have moods. Computers will be better at diagnosing diseases and operating them.

Few professions appear safe from the coming onslaught. Economists tell us that robots will create many new jobs for humans, for example programming and maintaining them, but that may be wishful thinking. There is however one big problem blocking progress, or our descend into the abyss of idleness if you like. If people lose their jobs they also lose their incomes so that they don’t have the money to spend on the products and services the machines produce.

Perhaps the market will be able to deal with the issue so that there will still be jobs, but we can’t know for sure. It is also possible that the economy will collapse because there are fewer jobs. Progress may halt if the economy can’t operate with fewer jobs. Without jobs people have no money so that humans may need to keep on doing jobs machines can do better. If there is an income guaranteed that is sufficient to live off, the economy may not need these jobs. In that case there will also be less need for minimum wages because of the income guarantee. In this way people could do a job cheaper than machines if they really like to do it. And so humans can still care for the elderly in the future while robots do the heavy lifting. And that may be good because when humans do their jobs because they like to do them, and not because they need the money, they can have better moods too.

That sounds great. Perhaps it will work out this way. A universal basic income can improve the bargaining position of workers. It might lead to the following situation:

  • unattractive jobs that machines can do will be done by machines;
  • unattractive jobs that machines can’t do will be paid well;
  • attractive jobs that machines can do will be paid poorly as there will be volunteers;
  • attractive jobs that machines can’t do will be done by humans, but it is hard to predict how these jobs will be paid.

Obstacles on the way

Implementing a guaranteed income may not be easy. There will be obstacles on the way. Some of them may be hard to predict as they will emerge once the income guarantee has been introduced. A few questions can be raised already. For instance, does an income guarantee make people fill their time with idleness or does it give them the possibility to realise their potential? It is plausible that both will happen.

Many people believe that the income guarantee should come in the form of a universal basic income that replaces existing welfare schemes. It would reduce the amount of bureaucracy as the administration would be relatively simple compared to existing schemes. Existing social security schemes redistribute money to those who lack sufficient means of existence. A universal basic income is given to everyone, including the people who don’t need it.

A universal basic income could easily become expensive and would require higher taxes. This would not please tax payers and it could lead to tax evasion. And why should the rich receive a universal basic income too? An alternative is a guaranteed income that is to be settled with the income tax. People with low incomes would receive income tax instead of paying it. If the income guarantee is € 1,000 and the income tax is 50%, the scheme works as follows:

gross income
income tax
net income
€ 0
– € 1,000
€ 1,000
€ 1,000
– € 500
€ 1,500
€ 2,000
€ 0
€ 2,000
€ 3,000
€ 500
€ 2,500
€ 4,000
€ 1,000
€ 3,000
€ 5,000
€ 1,500
€ 3,500

If machines are to replace human labour, other sources of taxing may have to replace the income tax to fund the income guarantee, but it is still uncertain to what extent that will happen and how long that will take. How a guaranteed income can be paid for remains a puzzle and the answer to that question may emerge over time. It will not work if the wealthy don’t pay for it. Like in the game of Monopoly the winners need to hand over money to the others to stay in the game. This can happen via taxes on wealth or in the markets for money and capital via negative interest rates.

Negative interest rates can make the wealthy hand over money to the middle class via mortgages and loans as well as to governments via government debt. This is because debtors don’t pay interest but receive it. In this way the middle class has more money to spend while governments have more money to give to the poor. Negative interest rates might happen because the wealthy have trouble finding profitable investments and making these investments profitable might require them handing over money to the rest so that the rest has money to spend on the products and services made by the corporations owned by the wealthy. How a financial system with negative interest rates might work out is explained in the section about Natural Money.

Featured image: De Tegenpartij poster. Van Kooten and De Bie (1981). [copyright info]

Other image: Monopoly game.

1. Keynes, John Maynard (1936). General Theory of Employment, Money and Interest. Palgrave Macmillan.

Mayan Calendar: That'll freak somebody out someday. Dan Piraro. bizarrocomic.blogspot.com.

On numerology

If you intend to give your critics a field day, just mention astrology or numerology in your argument. They may burst out laughing. Numerology is a way to give meaning to events using numbers. Numbers have no meaning, except the number itself. Nevertheless meaningful coincidences may indicate that there is a script. Many of these coincidences could easily have happened by chance, at least if there was chance. And chance can have a dramatic impact.

Chaos theory is about the huge consequences small events can have. An example often used is that the flight of a butterfly may cause a storm that can derail events that were to happen in the future if the storm hadn’t materialised. Just imagine that another sperm fertilised the egg of Adolf Hitler’s mother. There were millions of sperms out there.

The reference to the end date of World War I on Franz Ferdinand’s car might therefore imply complete control of everything. World War I consisted of countless actions of countless individuals so the end date would impossible to predict otherwise, unless you could time travel to the past. Only time travel would derail the events that were to happen. That’s chaos theory.

This justifies a closer look at coincidences like 11:11 turning up on clocks again and again. Some numerologists claim that eleven is a Master Number. And this quality comes with all kinds of esoteric attributes, numerologists explain:

The 11 (a double 1) has the traits and personality of the 1 twice, and when added (11 = 1 + 1 = 2) becomes a 2, thereby combining the most powerful male energy (the 1, Zeus) with the equally potent female energy (the 2, Hera). Considering that the 1 and the 2 are on opposite ends of the spectrum and the sum of their combined attributes pretty much overshadows all other attributes assigned to the numbers 3 through 9, you can perhaps imagine a merging of the strongest, most driven and aggressive warrior, an unstoppable masculine energy, with the supremacy of the most intuitive, feminine, and cunning goddess. And even that does not reveal the true essence of the 11 Master number: The 11 symbolises the potential to push the limitations of the human experience into the stratosphere of the highest spiritual perception; the link between the mortal and the immortal; between man and spirit; between darkness and light; ignorance and enlightenment. This is the ultimate symbolic power of the 11.

Others believe that 11:11 is a sign from angels. This is speculation with no evidence backing it. If you are seeing some number time after time, it is either the result of selective remembrance or your mind being controlled. The latter is probably true even when you don’t see 11:11 time after time.

Eleven is the first double-digit number. It forms a pair like many coincidences that attract attention. A coincidence is often a pair of similar events happening in a short time. This may be why eleven attracts attention. You get a number and then the same number again. To me eleven symbolises coincidence. It is my personal interpretation.

If you take this to the next level, you get 11:11. 11:11 symbolises two pairs of coincidences to me. Eleven is the fool’s number in the Netherlands, so I think of them as the extremely weird happening, for instance events that show traces of design like the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. But then again, this is my personal opinion. Quran verse 36:36 states that God created everything in pairs. This is a bit peculiar. 36:36 is like 11:11 as 36 = 6 * 6, a miracle of the Quran, a Muslim would say.

And the extremely weird has been happening to me. Take for example, the following incident. I had been investigating eleven related coincidences for my research so I dedicated a webpage to them on the Natural Money website. The page had links to other websites about eleven and 11:11. After uploading the page to the server I noticed that something amazing had happened. The registered upload timestamp of the associated 11coincidencegallery.html file was 11:11. I didn’t do this on purpose.

Natural Money website upload page 1
Natural Money website upload (1)

Even more remarkable was a discovery I did more than one year later. I was also researching the coincidences surrounding the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. After uploading excerpts from the Killtown’s 9/11 Coincidences website, I found out that they were uploaded on 11 April 2011 on 9:11 AM. At that time, the page 11coincidencegallery.html was last uploaded on 11 September 2010. And I didn’t make any effort make this happen too. I discovered it seven months later.

Natural Money website upload (2)
Natural Money website upload (2)

The first coincidence was already amazing. It was followed by an equally amazing and closely related coincidence. To me 11:11 symbolises events like these. It may look like an observer effect. Something like that happened during my investigation of curse of the Omen. It may appear that doing research made these coincidences happen. It is more likely that my research was destined to happen and these incidents were destined to happen too. My actions were part of the script, just like these incidents, so that the coincidences emerged.

A trick often used by numerologists is compressing numbers, which is adding up the digits of a number until you get a single digit. For example 1589 is 1 + 5 + 8 + 9 = 23. You then iterate this process until you get a single digit number. 23 adds up to 2 + 3 = 5. There is an exception to this rule. You don’t perform this trick on 11, so the number 911 adds up to 11 as 9 + 1 + 1 = 11. You stop there. You don’t go further by doing 1 + 1 = 2. Why? Perhaps, 11 is to beautiful a number to be broken down further.

The exception is meaningless but it freaked out a few people. Many people were seeing 11:11 on clocks again and again. And perhaps you remember the fuss about the winter solstice of 21 December 2012. The world as we know it would end, the Mayans allegedly predicted. The estimated time for the solstice was 11:11 GMT while the digits of the date 21 December 2012 add up to 11 (2 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 2+ 0 + 1 + 2). This also freaked me out. It seemed another sign that the End of Times could be near.

Weird things happened in the stock markets too. The S&P500 hit a low of 666 on 6 March 2009 (date 6/3 while 666 is three sixes). The exact low was 666.79, so to be fair, it should be rounded up to 667, but it is peculiar nonetheless. The financial crisis was stemmed after the FED committed $7.77 trillion to rescuing the financial system.1 Early 2014 IMF Chief Christine Lagarde made some frisky numerological comments on the Magic 7 at the US National Press Club following the IMF’s annual review of the US economy.2

Then on 24 June 2016, the stock markets had a correction after the results of the Brexit vote came out. In the United States, the Dow was down 610, the NASDAQ was down 202, and the S&P 500 was down 76, a total loss of 888 points.3 This happened exactly 7 years, 7 months, 7 weeks and 7 days after the Dow crashed 777.7 points at the height of the financial crisis on 29 September 2008.4 Soon Lagarde’s remarks about the Magic 7 were picked up again on the Internet by conspiracy theorists.

Another trick is translating letters to numbers via the following scheme: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4, and so on. In this way the letters AD represent the number 14. In the same fashion A5 could represent 15. There are many possible connections you could make in this way, so something will fit some scheme most of the time. That is why sceptics don’t take numerology seriously. Numbers don’t have meaning. Only people attribute meaning to them. Despite that peculiar numerical coincidences happen. They might be evidence of a script. And the script might make use of our tendency to give meaning to numbers

Featured image: Mayan Calendar: That’ll freak somebody out someday. Dan Piraro. bizarrocomic.blogspot.com (2009).

1. Report: Fed Committed $7.77 Trillion To Rescue Banks. Eyder Peralta. NPR (2011). [link]
2. How One Speech Ignited A Ridiculous Conspiracy Theory About The Occult Allegiances Of IMF Chief Christine Lagarde. Peter Farquhar. Business Insider (2014). [link]
3. Crazy Day For Dow, S&P 500 And NASDAQ. Robert H. Anderson. Investing.com (2016). [link]
4. Dow Falls 777 as Market Reels From House Vote. Cindy Perman. CNBC (2008). [link]

Sepphoris Mosaic

Sarah, mother of the Jews

Judaism is a matriarchy

This universe might be a virtual reality created for entertainment for someone we call God. And God may use avatars and appear like an ordinary human to us. Hence, quite a few biblical personalities might have been avatars of God. Sarah is the matriarch of the Jews. Jewish tradition holds that Jewishness is inherited via the matriarchal family line so Jews are children of Sarah. This resembles the concept of Christians being born of God and children of God. Hence, Sarah could have been an avatar of God.

This post is part of a series called God Is A Woman And Jesus Was Her Husband. It is advised to read the following articles first in the order suggested below:

Inventing a nation and a religion

Long ago El was the supreme deity of Israel and the goddess Asherah was his wife.1 Baal was also worshipped by the Israelites. Over time El became the generic word for god so the supreme deity of Israel became Yahweh. Asherah then became Yahweh’s wife. When Israel and Judah became kingdoms, the kings were the head of the national religion of Yahweh. The kings of Judah used this religion to exert their authority. Other kingdoms in the region also had national deities, for example Molek was the god of Ammon and the god of Moab was Chemosh.2

Jews began to worship Yahweh alone after the advent of Zoroastrianism, the first major monotheist religion. The prophet Zoroaster believed in a good creator god and an opposite evil power. Zoroastrianism came to prominence around 600 BC in Persia and was widespread at the time the Jewish priests were compiling the Torah. Zoroastrianism exerted a great influence Judaism. Zoroastrianism included messiahs, free will, heaven and hell. Under the influence of Zoroastrianism some of the Greek philosophers around 400 BC became monotheists.

Around 450 BC Jewish society was at the brink of being wiped out. The Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great allowed Jews to return to Israel and commissioned the Jewish temple to be rebuilt. People already living in Israel opposed their return as well as the building of the temple. A political struggle unfolded. After seven decades the Ezra and Nehemiah succeeded in rebuilding the temple. Judaism as a monotheist religion and the identity of Israel as a nation began to take shape. In this era the Torah was written. It was compiled from existing tales and writings, some of them as old as five centuries.3

Archaeological evidence doesn’t support the account of events in the Torah from before the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. The writers of the Torah used sources such as Mesopotamian myths, royal archives and oral traditions, and rewrote them to forward their agenda, which was to preserve Jewish identity around a common religion, history and cultural heritage. The biblical scholar Jacob Wright claims that the stories about Abraham, Isaac, Moses and David may have been based on legends from different local communities connected into a historical narrative to promote a sense of single nation.3

The absence of archaeological evidence for many of the stories in the Torah can be an issue when looking for potential avatars of God. A question that might arise is how could God exist while having played a role in tales that never happened? If this universe is a virtual reality running a script then the contents of the Torah can be the way our creators meant them to be. The potential avatars could have emerged because of some consideration of the editors of the Torah.

How the avatars may have emerged

Wright points out that the authors of the Torah may have refashioned the role of men and women in order to involve men in raising children and preserving Jewish culture. In the Torah men play a significant role in family life while women contributed to military victories. One of the great Jewish heroines was Deborah in the Book Of Judges. Wright contends that these stories were meant to undermine the pretence males had to power. The men in the Torah weren’t valiant warriors.3 For example, Abraham said that his wife was his sister because he was afraid of being killed.4 Isaac did the same.5

The Jews didn’t have the military power to maintain a state of their own. They had little to gain by military adventurism, which was a typical activity on which male power in society was based. Wright thinks that the authors of the Torah recognised this, hence there is no commemoration of the war dead in the Torah.3 Women determined the fate of the most important male prophets and kings such as Moses and David. And so it may be possible to identify potential female avatars of God in the Torah.

Sarah and Abraham

According to the Torah Judaism started off with Sarah and Abraham. God wanted Sarah to become the Mother of the Jews. She became pregnant at the age of 90.6 Jewish tradition holds that Jewishness is inherited via the matriarchal family line. And so Jews are children of Sarah. The will of God coincided with the wishes of Sarah several times. God summoned Hagar to return to her mistress Sarah.7 God told Abraham to send Hagar away when Sarah wanted this.8 The Egyptians were subject to plagues when the Pharaoh tried to make Sarah his wife.9 King Abimelech received threats from God when he tried to do the same.10 Sarah may have been an avatar of God. She may have put up a charade when three angels came along informing Abraham that she would become pregnant.

Asenath and Joseph

According to the Book of Genesis, Joseph was a handsome man. When Joseph was Viceroy of Egypt, he married Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian high-priest. The Torah tells very little about her. There is an account of this marriage dating from the first century BC. It probably was invented to explain how Joseph came to marry a pagan priestess. According to the story known as Joseph and Asenath, Asenath was proud and despised men, the story tells us, but she became impressed by Joseph’s good looks.11

Joseph at first did not want to marry her because she bowed before idols and did not worship the God of Abraham. Asenath then showed penitence and an angel from heaven came to her chamber to bless the marriage. When she told Joseph of the angel, he changed his mind and decided to marry her.11 Asenath’s penitence and change of faith appear insincere and the result of a desire to marry Joseph. The marriage nevertheless was approved by God. Asenath may have been an avatar of God.

The Quran dedicates an entire chapter of 111 verses to Joseph. It expands on his good looks as well as the desire women had for him.12 Hence, Joseph may have been important to God and his good looks may have been worth mentioning.

Zipporah and Moses

In the Book of Exodus it is written that Moses was married to Zipporah. Zipporah saved Moses’ life. God wanted to kill Moses for neglecting the rite of circumcision of his son. Zipporah averted this by hastily performing the circumcision.13 She apparently knew of God’s intention to kill Moses even though this happened without notice. She apparently also knew the reason why. Zipporah may have been an avatar of God. In the Quran it is written that Moses sighed and said: “My Lord, indeed I am in need for whatever good You would send down to me.” Then one of the daughters of Reuel came to him and invited him to the house where the proposal for marriage was made.14

Bathsheba and David

Bathsheba caused severe embarrassment to King David. She was bathing on a roof where David could see her naked from his palace. David ordered her to come to his palace. She became pregnant after sleeping with him. David then commanded her husband Uriah to go home hoping that he would sleep with her so that the scandal would remain unnoticed. Uriah didn’t comply. David then asked his general to place Uriah in front line of the battle so that he would die. After Uriah died David married Bathsheba.15 The marriage was considered to be a sin but God loved Bathsheba’s son Solomon who was destined to become King.

David lost control over his kingdom so Bathsheba turned out to be a fate changer. The prophet Natan told David that his house would be cursed because of his act.16 David’s eldest son Amnon was killed by his half brother Absalom after he had raped Absalom’s sister Tamar.17 Later Absalom was killed after he had declared himself king and raised a revolt against David at Hebron.18 In this way two potential heirs to the throne were eliminated. In David’s old age Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of her son Solomon as David had promised this to her.19 An obvious question to ask is why Bathsheba was bathing naked on a roof where David could see her? Bathsheba may have been an avatar of God.

Featured image: Sepphoris Mosaic. Pbs.org. [copyright info]

1. Dijkstra, Meindert (2001). “El the God of Israel-Israel the People of YHWH: On the Origins of Ancient Israelite Yahwism”. In Becking, Bob; Dijkstra, Meindert; Korpel, Marjo C.A.; et al. Only One God?: Monotheism in Ancient Israel and the Veneration of the Goddess Asherah
2. 1 Kings 11:7 [link]
3. Wright, Jacob L. (2014). The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future. Coursera.
4. Genesis 20:2 [link]
5. Genesis 26:7 [link]
6. Genesis 17:17 [link]
7. Genesis 16:9 [link]
8. Genesis 21:12 [link]
9. Genesis 12:17 [link]
10. Genesis 20:3 [link]
11. Joseph and Aseneth
12. Quran 12 [link]
13. Exodus 4:24-26 [link]
14. Quran 28:24-27 [link]
15. 2 Samuel 11 [link]
16. 2 Samuel 12:10-11 [link]
17. 2 Samuel 13 [link]
18. 2 Samuel 15 [link]
19. 1 Kings 1 [link]