la violette pensée

blessings for an elay woman: imagination, intelligence, endurance

Economics is Physics.

Everything you need to know about economics can be summed up by the most basic equation of Newtonian Physics: F=ma, or more accurately, in its derivation as the formula for Kinetic Energy, which we can derive by applying W = Fd, or Work equals Force times distance : Eₖ= ½mv²

Kinetic Energy (the total energy in the economy) equals one-half the mass (the total amount of currency in circulation) times the velocity squared (the rate at which the currency exchanges hands).

Once you understand this equation, it is trivially easy to understand why a proprietarian (or, feudal) capitalist economy requires inflation of the currency to function, and why it inevitably results in wealth capture by the property owners.

Because private property in the gifts and produce of Nature is a monopoly power on the necessary factors of production (land and raw materials), the landlords are able to capture wealth from the laborer class in the form of economic rent, an unearned increment for which the landlord need not invest any labor. Because the landlords can never re-spend the wealth they extract, that wealth is effectively removed from the economy, and itself accumulates interest that extracts additional wealth at an ever-growing rate.

Wealth extracted from the economy does not circulate, so in order to keep the economy functioning, more currency has to be continually created. This is done in two ways, generally. First, by the issuing authority (the Mint), and second, by the banks, through the process of fractional banking, by which banks create money through offering loans without an equivalent asset to offset it. If you borrow $100K from the bank, and the bank has only 50% of that actual money on hand, then the bank has just created $50K out of the ether, by simply juggling number in a computer.

That money inevitably ends up in the hands of the landowners.

All of this fighting over capitalism and socialism/communism is a red herring that has absolutely nothing to do with why the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. The rich are laughing at all the self-styled progressives pursuing anarchist and socialist “remedies” that do nothing to change the fundamentals of the game. They are laughing even harder at the supposedly libertarian dupes which are cutting off their own sustenance to feed it to the rich in the belief that this will set them free.

There is only one way to fix the problem, and that is by removing the monopoly power over Nature from the landlords. This may be confusing to people, because they do not understand the difference between the rent on their apartments and the concept of economic rent that has only one source, the “ownership” of Nature. “Land”, in the sense we mean, is not just the dirt on which your house is built, but every natural resource which cannot be created by the labor of humankind.

People used to think that money doesn’t grow on trees. But, that is exactly where money comes from.

The Mikado needs to fade into obscurity.

The hue and cry over the criticism of The Mikado is proof positive that even in a city where international trade is the rule rather than the exception, even in one of the US cities that is closest to Asia both physically and economically, and has one of the largest proportional populations of Asians, racism simmers just beneath the surface of far too many white Americans.

One of the things I love about the Internet is that the veil of supposed anonymity causes people to loosen the reins on their hatred, and out comes the truth. It’s even more delightful when people are foolish enough to put their full names behind their false righteousness. 

Don’t be shy; tell us how you really feel. Show us how proud you are to belittle the experiences of the marginalised!

But remember, the measure of compassion is not our behaviour toward those who are more fortunate than we, but our behaviour toward those over whom we enjoy advantage.

It is possible to somewhat excuse the Gilbert & Sullivan of 1885 by understanding history. Not entirely, but as a relic of history, we can let bygones be bygones, provided it isn’t continually revived and thrown in our faces. It is not possible to wave away the fact that we now understand The Mikado to be racist in its very nature. The play should not “be banned”, but it should “be ignored”, and allowed to die out.

Misha Berson’s article from the other day is extremely insulting to Asian-American students of the Theatre. It positions yet another white person as the expert explaining to a benighted minority why we shouldn’t be offended, and erases the long history of Asian expertise in the dramatic arts. “Oh, if only you had *seen* it!” cries Berson, “only *then* could you possibly have anything valid to say about ‘The Mikado’!” As if there is no possibility that we could have actually seen the play at any point in our lives, much less studied the libretto and history of Gilbert & Sullivan in one of the most prestigious drama schools in the world. I went to Carnegie-Mellon University for Theatre. CMU is one of the top 10 professional drama schools in the world. And I’m Asian-American.

There are many works of art from the past which are widely regarded now as racist or at the very least highly insensitive to marginalised people, and which are no longer celebrated, even if they are still studied for their historical context. Berson also committed the fallacious error of assuming that one Japanese woman’s bemusement with The Mikado production in Tokyo is sufficient stand-in for the feelings of anyone else, at all, let alone Asian-Americans who exist in a far different context than the till relatively isolationist Japan.

At what point are white people going to give up on justifying their racism?

This isn’t about historicity, it’s about the fact that Asians are marginalised everywhere in our society, but especially in the dramatic arts. As an Asian-American actress, I know something about this. For every Lucy Liu, there are a thousand Scarlett Johanssons, and in practically every Asian period film, Asian actors end up having to be complicit in the erasure of Asian national ethnicity just so that they can find any work, at all.

White people don’t understand why this is a problem for so many Asian people, because they have short memories and are blind and deaf to the fact that ethnic differences in this country between white ethnicities was largely erased in the first half of the 20th Century, while great disparities still exist today among the various Asian nationalities.

People of color are commonly written out of our own narratives for the edification of whites. You need look no further than the outcry over the popular film series based on “The Hunger Games”. Now, I love Jennifer Lawrence to death, but Katniss Everdeen, if you read the books, is explicitly brown-skinned. Cast a black person or other person of color in the role of a white person, and see how the white tears and charges of inauthenticity fly!


Michael Pollan, “Talks at Google” (2013)

Three very powerful observations in this talk:

1. That the transformation from hominid to human may in fact be marked primarily by the discovery of cooking with fire, and not, as previously thought, solely by the addition of meat and/or seafood (because of the high omega-3 fatty acid content) to our diet.

2. That, in terms of health, we can pretty much eat whatever we want, so long as we cook it ourselves. As a poor person who cooks the majority of her own food, I can vouch for this.

And what is probably the most important insight, especially for people as specialised as those who work for Google:

3. “I just don’t think we’re going to tackle things like climate change until people can imagine living in a different way. And if you’re highly specialised, you can’t imagine living in a different way—without that car, without that fossil fuel, without that restaurant cooking to cook your meal.”

“I just don’t think we’re going to tackle things like climate change until people can imagine living in a different way. And if you’re highly specialised, you can’t imagine living in a different way—without that car, without that fossil fuel, without that restaurant cooking to cook your meal.”

– Michael Pollan, November 2013, “Talks at Google

Wonder Bread is a Crime.

(The bread pictured here was baked by the author, at home, using the proportions below.)

Of all the food crimes ever committed in the history of humanity, I think none worse than the travesty which is represented by factory-made industrial bread substitute. I used to think that I hated bread, and almost never ate it, until one day, I saw Mark Bittman’s article and video about Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread. It quite literally changed my life.

Never did I imagine that real bread was so easy to make at home, and the first time i tried it, never having attempted to bake bread before in my life, it came out perfectly. In the several years that i have now been baking my own bread, only a couple of loaves have not turned out as well as I might have preferred, but none were less than delicious.

Proper bread is one of the most delicious things in the world, and quite healthy, if eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Real bread, made from good flour, clean water, and salt from the sea, slowly fermented by wild yeast, is one of the easiest staple foods to make, and carries one of the longest heritages in human foodways. It’s almost impossible to get it wrong, and even if you do, odds are, it’s still going to be delicious, if not quite the texture you had in mind.

400 grams of flour, 300 grams of water, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of yeast or 100 grams of sourdough starter. A little extra flour to help you shape the loaf, and an oven to bake it in. If you want it nice and crusty, bake it in a cast iron pan; trapping the steam is what makes the nice crust (commercial artisanal bakers use steam-injection ovens that home cooks don’t have). That’s it.

Since the rise of industrial food beginning during the Industrial Revolution of the mid-1800’s obliterated the landscape, coupled with the development of modern hexaploid wheat strains bred for mechanical harvesters rather than human health in the mid-1900’s, most people in our society no longer have any idea what proper bread actually tastes like, but when you taste it, there is no mistaking it.

I know that in today’s carb-conscious and gluten-conscious culture, many people have stopped eating bread entirely, or regard it as a treat (while blithely downing gluten-free cupcakes when no one is looking), but the fact of the matter is that you do need carbs to run your brain, and if you are at all athletically active, you will discover than without sufficient carbs, you will not be able to sustain exertion for very long.

Seek out tetraploid and diploid strains of wheat, whose gluten is less problematic, like durum, emmer, and einkorn wheats. Slowly ferment your dough, on the order of 12-24 hours. Use wild yeasts and sourdough starters. Experiment! And when you have your golden loaf made by your own hands, top it lightly with some delicious cultured butter, or fine extra virgin olive oil, or nothing at all.

Eat it with a grilled fish, a wedge of lemon, a ripe tomato, some full-fat Greek yogurt with raw honey, a good piece of cheese, an avocado, some olives, a fried cage-free local egg, some roasted nuts or nut butter, or some fresh fruit. Pair it with some hot pepper paste and hummus, or a slice of real country ham. Wash it down with a good basic, inexpensive wine.

See if your eating habits don’t change!

Isn’t it funny how much easier it is to see the beauty in everyone but ourselves?

Welcoming people [into the trans community] who otherwise might have been able to get by in a cis identity weakens the ideology of cisness, not the ideology of transness.

It’s saying, “we can do things for these people that you cannot because of your narrow ideas of gender.” It’s saying, “these are our people to cherish, not your people to shame.

bramblepatch still blowing me away  (via askanonbinary)

I’m just gonna keep reblogging this over and over again.

(via malakhgabriel)

Boom goes the dynamite.  Shout this from the rooftops. 

(via chicklikemeblog)

still rolling this one around in my brain. while i agree with the above sentiment, i also appreciate and agree with the need for some kind of term or identifier that indicates shared experiences of transition as a process (social, medial, surgical, and otherwise). when the trans umbrella continues to grow and grow, it still leaves the same people (i.e. primarily trans women of colour) on the margins instead of centering their experiences with language.

that said, fuck cis normativity and supremacy. i have no solid answers but the questions are so important.

(via fillingthespaces)

Agree with this commentary. Identity and transition are huge differentiators. There is no “going back” for a trans woman, because a trans woman is a woman, and there is nothing to go back to.

Identity is not a costume. You either are or you are not, or you don’t know what your identity is. This is why, in the end, I reject the terminology of “trans” in the first place. I am a woman, I was born a girl, even if no one realised it at the time, including me. The terminology of “trans” has only limited usefulness, which I hesitate to even describe as “usefulness”, since it is a situation that is imposed upon us by society, and not a naturally occurring state of nature.

Once you know what your identity is, you can’t un-be it.


There is another trans ladies picnic in NYC this weekend. We hear there might be a barbeque, which sounds… unsafe? Prospect Park Picnic House, Midday, Sunday.

There’s one the same day in Seattle! :DEDIT: NO WAIT, I got that wrong. The Seattle picnic is Saturday, the 26th.


There is another trans ladies picnic in NYC this weekend. We hear there might be a barbeque, which sounds… unsafe? Prospect Park Picnic House, Midday, Sunday.

There’s one the same day in Seattle! :D

EDIT: NO WAIT, I got that wrong. The Seattle picnic is Saturday, the 26th. »



Who is Plastic Girl?

A trans womon, a former sex worker, and a radfem who is imho too ready to side with twefs and swefs against other trans womyn. I don’t know about against sex workers. I think she once told me, in an argument on that female identity and gender politics subforum,…

I know what she is. I want to know who she is.

Since she has decided to attack me personally, and since she is repeating that tired fabrication of Gallus gallus. I’m pushing for us all to uncover who these people are. I have suspicions, and I have leads, but I want to know what others think.

The “QM” who is also attacking me over at Plastic Girl’s article about MichFest from May is also known as “ackeegirl”, and “Karen D. Thompson”. She claims to be an attorney who was formerly emplyoed in “Big Law”, but judging from her writing, I can’t understand how she could possibly have graduated from college, let alone law school, let alone actually passed the bar. She committed so many argumentation and evidentiary errors in her attack on me, the idea that she is practicing law is ridiculous and hilarious in the extreme.

And I’m not sure my limited brain can even process the idea of you in lipstick and pantyhose. :D Totally not your thing.

“The measure of compassion is not our behaviour toward those who are more fortunate than we, but our behaviour toward those over whom we enjoy advantage.”

– Gemma Seymour, 23 July 2014

“The impulse to dominate…could be a universal human characteristic that women share, even if they have mostly lacked the opportunity to exercise it.”

– Ellen Willis, “Radical Feminism and Feminist Radicalism”


Comprehensive list of all the meals I know how to make for less than $2 per serving:

-ramen with broccoli
-pasta in olive oil and spices with broccoli
-sautéed broccoli
-a LOT of pancakes from the store brand “just add water” mix
-bacon with broccoli (this is more like $3)

Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Bread, from the New York Times

This bread will change your life. It is literally so simple to bake that a child can do it the first time, every time. The only catches are that you need to bake it in a covered container than can withstand 450-550 degree heat (and you need to be really careful with an oven that hot), and that you need to let the dough ferment for 12-24 hours before forming the loaf, allowing it to rise for two more hours, and baking it.

I start the dough before going to bed, and bake it the next afternoon. You can also make a larger batch, and after the initial ferment, stick it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for a week, while you pull out loaf-sized amounts to bake.

400 grams of bread flour, 300 grams of water, 1.5 Tbsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp of yeast, per loaf. That’s it.

Everything on my Tumblr tagged #recipe

Granted, not all of these are less than $2 a serving, but some of them are. Definitely my Tomato Soups and Sugo all’Arrabbiata.