Imagine

No inspiring vision

Remarkably absent in The Plan For The Future is an inspiring vision. The number of people killed under the guise of equality, freedom, nationalism and various religions might be close to a billion. The War to End All Wars wasn’t a success either. Nowadays this war is called World War I. Soon it was followed by another and even bigger war, World War II and the peace settlement after World War I contributed to that. It is harder to imagine that world peace will come soon.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

– John Lennon, Imagine

John Lennon and Martin Luther King imagined a better future. Still world peace hasn’t arrived yet and minorities are still discriminated. Issues like peace and human rights are not easy to solve because they involve attitudes and expectations related to cultural differences. Different groups of people have difficulty living together because of differences in their behaviour and expectations. Drugs may seem to make these issues go away. Perhaps that’s why so many hippies were on weed or LSD.

Hallucinating substances don’t change reality and the man with the biggest gun is still always right. John Lennon and Martin Luther King didn’t have the power to change the world. They have been assassinated, which is often what happens to people who want to change things. Arguments are for pussies so there must be another way. Multicultural empires in the past like the Roman Empire were successful because they were strong and suppressed dissent. And world peace may be closer than most people expect.

War is over?

Also remarkably absent in many parts of the world in recent decades, are wars. The cost of war has gone up while the profits have gone down. The elites don’t like a new major war. It is bad for profits. In the past conquerors could enrich themselves by looting and annexing enemy land. Wealth was material in the form of fields, cattle, oil, and gold. Today, wealth consists of human capital, knowledge, and social economic structures like corporations. They are harder to loot are easily detroyed.1

The weapons that currently exist are so devastating that war should be unthinkable. Still, there is an arms race going on between superpowers like the United States, China and Russia. As we increasingly depend on computers and networks, societies can break down if computers and networks fail. Just imagine what will happen if your mobile phone stops working. And so cyberspace has become a new domain for warfare. Only, the United States, China and Russia may not own the biggest gun.

World peace

And so world peace may be around the corner. At least that appeared to be the message I received in December 2008. There was a candy vending machine at work. Often I went there to get a Twix bar. One day it malfunctioned. I couldn’t get my Twix. The machine repeatedly misfired. This never happened before and it never happened later on. Other people didn’t have any trouble with the machine. It only affected me. After trying three different options, the machine finally worked after choosing option 22, a Nuts bar. This was nuts, even more so because 22 = 11 + 11, which makes a reference to 11:11.

Aaahhh!!

But it was going to get even nuttier. The next day I bought a bag of potato crisps at the same machine. The machine worked fine but after opening the bag I found a small piece of paper with the crisps. It was a temporary tattoo with the following Chinese text:

世界和平

A colleague knew a Chinese man who translated it. The characters stand for world peace. No-one else did get a temporary tattoo. It was a production glitch. The paper had slipped into the bag and this bag just happened to end up in my hands, just when so many strange incidents were happening at the same time, but that is a different story.

Remarkably absent that day was my colleague Ronald Oorlog. He had fallen ill exactly on that day. His last name Oorlog is the Dutch word for war, a peculiar coincidence as the Chinese characters stand for world peace. It was the only time he fell ill as he was a temporary worker, which suggest that he may have been hired to make the coincidence happen. If you can do this, you don’t have to worry about any weapons the United States, China or Russia might have. You can easily let them malfunction like the candy machine.

So who might that be? You may already have guessed it and I had received a specific hint on that matter a few weeks earlier. A few weeks later, in January 2009, it was confirmed. I was biking to work. Next to the office was the municipal health service GGD. When I looked at the GGD building, perhaps because of all the strange coincidences that happened, a thought poppped up that GGD could mean Great GoD. Immediately I tried convince myself that it was delusional to think that God had put such a sign there. The thought was rebuked on the spot. The next thing I noticed was a car in front of the GGD building. It had license plate number 99-GRG-9 (with the nines being numbers I do not recall). GRG could also refer to GReat God.

This isn’t a joke or is it?

The following incidents may demonstrate that God isn’t joking around and means business. A few days later while I was biking on the same spot near the GGD building, the following thought came up: “Now I found out that God exists, what could happen to me?” Within a second a ran into a flat tire.

I had two close colleagues named Rene. The last name of the first begab with E. The other had a last name starting with H. In March 2009 there was an urgent situation requiring the password of a new system. Rene H knew the password but he hadn’t arrived yet. And so I asked another colleague for his number. He gave me the number. I called Rene H on his mobile phone. After dialling his number the phone rang. Suddenly the connection appeared to be switched. There was some switching sound. A woman with apparently the same last name as Rene E answered the phone. I excused myself to her.

Then I said to the colleague who gave me the number: “It appears that you have given me the number of the wrong Rene. Please give me the correct number.” He was convinced that the number was correct. I checked it with a few other colleagues and they confirmed the number. I dialled it again. The same switching occurred. I put down the phone before it was answered. Then Rene H arrived. The number I dialled was correct. His phone was in working order and he hadn’t put a switch on it. Some colleagues then made funny remarks about Rene H messing with the wife of Rene E.

Perhaps God is joking around and world peace isn’t going to happen any time soon, but we can’t know that. You may have some influence too. So if you don’t want world peace to happen, don’t mention this blog to anyone. Perhaps it helps.

Featured image: Hippie symbol

1. Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.

Now what?

So why did I write The Plan For The Future? And why is there reason to believe that it may be used? I am not more gifted than other people. There is some other reason. Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau could solve every mystery, not because of his superior investigative methods or any other personal quality, but because he was a fictional character in a story. This universe might exist for entertainment and we may be fictional characters in a story too. And the story may be that this particular plan is going to be used. Why might that be so? That is a peculiar story.

In 2008 the end of civilisation seemed close. The financial system was about to break down. The financial crisis could trigger a new Great Depression or even worse as the previous Great Depression led to World War II. For decades I had an interest in interest-free money as I believed that interest would be the cause of the coming collapse and the end of human civilisation as we know it. The crisis made me think of that again. Then I made a remarkable discovery, which is that interest-free money with a holding tax and negative interest rates can prevent that from happening and bring peace and prosperity. You can read more about it in Natural Money And The Economy.

That was a peculiar find already as it could mark the beginning of a new era. It soon turned out that there was more to it. Things were getting weirder by the day. Then it appeared that Natural Money could be part of a greater plan and that God is a lady I once met. Over the years there had been a few peculiar coincidences referring to her. And so I came to investigate whether or not this could be true. This universe could be a virtual reality created for entertainment by an advanced civilisation. It could have an owner we may refer to as God. And God might be a woman who could have avatars and appear as ordinary human to us. You can read more about these findings in The Universe As A Virtual Reality and God Is A Woman And Jesus Was Her Husband.

There have been plenty of nutcases who believed themselves to be on a mission of God and perhaps I am one too. But there is a lot at stake. The financial crisis of 2008 was halted by central banks. Only the underlying cause of the crisis has not been taken away, which is interest on debts. The next crisis may only be solved with negative interest rates. And that is where Natural Money comes in. Hence, there indeed may be a plan behind Natural Money. Time will tell.

And so the script may be that humanity is on a suicidal path but that doom can be prevented in the nick of time by some unexpected turn of events. Natural Money may help to prevent a collapse of the global financial system and be the basis of a better future. That’s my guess for what it’s worth. For now I can only prepare for what might happen and try to think ahead. So here is the plan in a nutshell:

  • preventing the collapse of the financial system by implementing Natural Money and bringing financial sanity by ending usury;
  • putting human civilisation on a sustainable path (which may require negative interest rates, hence Natural Money);
  • making the world fairer by trying give everyone a reasonable treatment (human civilisation must be on a sustainable path first).

As a teenager I was interested in learning the lessons from history. Perhaps I was even a bit obsessed with that. Most notably, the Byzantine Empire caught my attention. It survived several setbacks and existed for 1,000 years. With the benefit of hindsight, this preoccupation with an empire that lasted 1,000 years is a bit peculiar considering later developments and a prophecy in the Bible. At some point I came to believe that there is no point in knowing so much about the past and learning the lessons of history. For my job in information technology it wasn’t much of an advantage.

I’m not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean
Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks
Religion is a light in the fog
I’m not aware of too many things
I know what I know, if you know what I mean, d-doo yeah

Choke me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep

What I am is what I am
Are you what you are or what?
What I am is what I am
Are you what you are or what?

– Edie Brickell, What I Am

Writing The Plan For The Future suddenly seemed to make learning the lessons from history important again. History is an unwieldy pile of people, ideas, conflicts and dates, and it is hard to see the bigger picture. More data only blur your view and prevent you from seeing what really matters. But there is help. The historian Yuval Noah Harari wrote a book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. It is a good read and it is brief like the title suggests. It was of great use to me. It can help you to get a proper perspective. This plan leans heavily this book and most notably the idea of collective imaginations.

Human civilisations are based on collective imaginations. Collective imaginations don’t exist in objective reality but only in the minds of groups of people. For instance money, ideologies, nationalities, corporations and laws are collective imaginations.1 People imagine that euros and dollars have value but they are just pieces of paper or digits in a computer. Euros and dollars only exist in the imagination of humans. They believe that euros and dollars have value. Humans also imagine they live in nation states and that they have rights and obligations. Gods and religions are collective imaginations too.

Collective imaginations aren’t mere delusions. If you are the only one imagining something like human rights, others may think that you are delusional. But if you can convince others to share your belief, it becomes a collective imagination. Collective imaginations can be useful as they facilitate cooperation.1 For instance, to produce a mobile phone, you need the assistance of strangers working for several corporations, and money to make them work together. Humans imagine corporations and money to make a mobile phone. That’s what makes humans so successful as a specie.

That’s also what this plan is about. It aims at making you work together on changes to the social, political and economic order by proposing a collective imagination about the nature of reality and the identity of God. Success may depend on you believing the imagination or at least considering it to be useful. In other words, you may need faith. Your survival may depend on it. I can only do my best to make the imagination appear plausible and useful, but the argument has become quite extensive while the evidence is circumstantial and depends for a significant part on believing in my interpretation of the evidence. The proof may be that it is going to work, and it is not going to work if you think it is my personal delusion. It is up to you to believe in it, spread the news, and make others believe in it too.

1. Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari (2014). Harvil Secker.

The newspaper Pravda dated 29 May 1919

Truthfulness and accuracy

When I was thirteen years old and fed up with the pestering of my sister Anne-Marie, I started a funny newspaper together with my cousin Rob. Rob and I were best friends for more than a decade. During the holidays we stayed at each others home. Rob was good at making drawings while I had a vivid imagination. We depicted ourselves as smart and good while my sister and her friends were made to appear stupid and evil. Made up stories can be a lot more interesting than real ones. The best stories are those in which imagination and reality are mixed up so that it is difficult to discern fact from fiction.

A reason to produce the newspaper may have been a desire to write and make the news. Later on I became part of the editorial team of the school newspaper Ikzwetsia. The name referred to the Dutch word for bluster as well as the official Soviet newspaper Izvestia. Ikzwetsia became a prolific and popular periodical and a bit of a problem for the school board. At the time I entertained a career as a journalist. Becoming a journalist was just one of the options I considered, and it was more entertainment than a serious consideration.

My favourite journalist was the conservative political commentator G.B.J. Hiltermann. He had a weekly radio commentary named The State of World Affairs. His special trick was summarising the most important world events of the week in a short story while making it appear as if there was a connection between them. His last commentary was aired on 22 November 1999 (22-11-99), a peculiar date.

There is another side to me. My sister was more pragmatic than I was and she had a more flexible arrangement with the truth. When it came out that Santa Claus didn’t exist, I was upset. Something I believed in turned out to be a lie. My sister, who was two years younger, just promised she would still believe in Santa Claus as long as he brought her presents. I was rigid when it came down to truth issues.

Many people believe lies if that suits them but I was not like that. This turned out to be a symptom of a social handicap. And in order to stress the frivolous nature of our newspaper, it was issued by the fictitious Bullcrap Newsagency. It was fake news labelled as fake news. Facts and fiction are different domains and should clearly be marked as such in order to avoid confusion. Anne-Marie was amazed at me keeping so strictly to the facts. “Bart never lies,” she said. This might have been an expression of admiration.

But what if the facts turn out to be stranger than anything you ever imagined? In that case you don’t need to make up stories, not even to embellish things a bit. What if it turns out that there is a connection between all events? My history suggests that I might be equipped to deal with that. And it doesn’t appear to be a coincidence either. And so I followed my calling to become a journalist, albeit belatedly, documenting events as good as possible, trying to work out the connection between them, and presenting evidence whenever that is possible. The ultimate feat of a journalist is to uncover the ultimate conspiracy and discover who is pulling the strings. And I may have done just that.

Featured image: The newspaper Pravda (Russian for The Truth) dated 29 May 1919. RIA Novosti archive. Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

broken mirror

A shattered mirror

Most of our thinking happens intuitively. Intuition works fast so it is sometimes called fast thinking.1 We are not aware of this so you can barely call it thinking. Only when our intuition runs into trouble reason is called into action. Reason is called slow thinking. If you can get away with the judgements coming from your intuition there is no reason to think things through. Evolution made this happen. It is easy to understand why. Humans who took the time to consider all the options when a pride of lions was coming into their direction didn’t survive and procreate so that their genes died out.

Great chess players don’t consider all the options either. Based on past training and experience their intuition presents a few options to the conscious thinking process called reason. Billions of other options are ignored, nearly all of them not worth considering. That’s what makes a great chess player a great chess player. The brain has limited processing capabilities. Clogging it with countless useless options would downgrade its performance. That’s also why people train for their jobs.

Computers don’t have an intuition but they have become fast enough to consider so many options, including a lot of useless ones, that they are able to find better moves that chess players can’t think of because their intuition limits them. Nowadays computers beat even the best chess players. But what if intuition fails you more often than happens to most people? In that case you might consider options other people don’t think of. Others may call you crazy or insane. Indeed, most of the options you consider are not worth considering, but you don’t know that until you have found it out yourself. If that applies to you then you may be autistic. If the condition is sufficiently mild you can still lead a normal life, but you need a major amount of reasoning and experimentation to achieve just that.

Let’s explain this using an example. Yuor brian autmotaically corercts speillng erorrs. Probably you were able read the previous sentence without any effort. Otherwise you have to solve the puzzle by trying out different words to see if they make sense. In that case you might find meanings that weren’t intended. If you must figure out social rules in a similar way, for example by trying courses of action and evaluating responses of other people, you’re in for a lot of trouble. Most people make sense of the world intuitively, but if you are autistic, reality appears to you like a 10,000 pieces jig saw puzzle or a shattered mirror. You must fit the pieces together. That takes a lot of time and effort and the pieces hardly ever fit perfectly. What you get is something similar to what other people think of as reality.

Autism nevertheless survived the evolutionary rat race called survival of the fittest. How could this happen? There is a possible explanation. Who can find the answers when intuition fails everyone? These situations require trying out ideas other people don’t think of, and quite possibly ignorance with regard to social conventions to pursue these ideas. Perhaps you think of autists as weirdos cracking riddles nobody else can. There is some truth to that image. Fixing a broken mirror requires patience and determination. Some pundits have claimed that Newton and Einstein were autistic. They may have appeared to be geniuses just because they tried options other people didn’t think of. In this way they may have discovered things other people couldn’t. Autists can keep working on their eccentric projects despite the constant rejection they receive. And some of their efforts may turn out to be useful.

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman (2011). Penguin Books.

Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau

Meeting Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau

Despite his bumbling and clumsy appearance, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau was always able to solve the mystery. Guided by a few hunches and some vague clues that only made sense in his mind, he always ignored the most obvious explanation of the facts. How can a clown like him be correct all the time while the competent fail? The answer is that Jacques Clouseau is a fictional character in a story. The plot was always the same: Jacques Clouseau is right in the end.

The licence plate number on Franz Ferdinand’s car features a reference to 11 November 1918, the end date of World War I. The war comprised of billions of actions of millions of individuals. To make it end on this date requires complete control of every thought and every move of every actor. The world we live in could be fiction. Hence, I may be right about the nature of this universe, the identity of God as well as the future direction of society and the economy, while the greatest minds on Earth can do no better than firing a shot in the dark.

It was the autumn of 1989. My life had just gone off the rails. I had been evicted from a students dormitory for not fitting in the group, which more or less came down to not getting along with a particular lady. I made her cry, or perhaps she cried to make me feel so miserable so that I would leave. And this I did. Henceforth I committed myself to leading an insignificant life and to disturb no-one, something even a complete failure like me should be capable of doing. But perhaps I grossly underestimated the enormity of the failure as even this modest goal may turn out to be out of reach.

I moved back to my parents’ home to gather some courage to try another dormitory. Back then in the autumn of 1989 there wasn’t much to laugh for me, except for a few episodes of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau that were aired on German television. My parents lived near the German border so I could see them.

In the years that followed came the peculiar coincidences suggesting that my business with this particular lady had not finished yet. Some of these incidents were quite disturbing. They were to few in number to make me suspicious, but they were too curious to remain unnoticed. In 2008 it appeared that my business with this lady wasn’t finished yet. But what did this mean? In the years that followed I bumbled through the investigations that resulted in The Plan For The Future.

Featured image: Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau [copyright info]