A Really Big Number – An Agnostic Moment – Episode 2

We continue today with Episode 2 of Craig Birchfield‘s thought provoking series, An Agnostic Moment.  In this episode, Birchfield explores what he calls Sir Roger Penrose’s big number and its implications regarding the origin of the universe.

Enjoy!

The Land Needs Rest

5/28/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The following is an excerpt from our upcoming ebook release, “To Build up the Land, Thoughts on Mankind’s uneasy intercourse with Nature,” due to hit digital shelves late this week.  Enjoy!

To Build up the Land
To Build up the Land

The Land Needs Rest

There is indeed a perfect balance between the time for building up the land and that for allowing the land to rest.  It is commonly known as the Sabbath, it is a pattern of time that has literally been encoded into the creation itself.

The Sabbath is best known, at least in the United States, as part of Jewish religious observances.  The base of the observance is taken from two passages in the Torah:

2 On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day, and made it holy, because he rested in it from all his work of creation which he had done.

Genesis 2:2-3

12 “Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Yahweh your God commanded you. 13 You shall labor six days, and do all your work; 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God, in which you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and Yahweh your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm. Therefore Yahweh your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

The seven day weekly cycle that is anchored by the Sabbath is so entrenched in the creation that every attempt by man to supersede it, the most notable recent attempts being the French Republican Calendar and the Soviet Calendar.  Both were suspended after experiments that lasted roughly twelve years.

While the texts in the Torah, which form part of the Christian Bible, offer clear guidance of the divine to observe not only a seven day week, but a seven day week consisting of six days of work and one day of rest, religious tradition alone cannot account for the origins of the seven day cycle.

Cultures throughout the world have operated on weekly structures consisting of anywhere between three and thirteen days, notable ancient examples are the eight day Roman market calendar and the 13 day Mayan week.  Indeed, it appears that even the Jewish Sabbath was not observed by the Jews until they were exiled to Babylonian captivity between 597 and 587 BCE.

Adding to the mystery of the seven day week is that it is they only time construct known to mankind that does not conform to any astrological, lunar, or solar cycle, as days, months, and years are designed to do.

The reason that the seven day weekly cycle, ordained in the Torah, has emerged as the dominant time cycle that is now observed by every large society on the planet, is that seven day cycles are deeply ingrained in both plant and animal life at a cellular level.

Dr. Franz Halberg at the University of Minnesota, is the foremost authority on natural rhythms which is the subject matter of an area of science known as chronobiology.  Halberg’s research has shown that all rhythmic functions of the human body are likely to possess an innate seven day frequency.

The divine call for a day of rest every seventh day appears to fit perfectly with an unseen but deeply felt rhythm common to the interplay between all living things down to the most basic cellular level.

While an understanding of the seven day weekly cycle and the need to collectively rest on the seventh day is somewhat easy to grasp based on personal experience for most, what is harder to grasp but equally and perhaps more important with regards to building up the land is the need for the land to rest every seventh year.

In other words, the seemingly arbitrary command to abstain from work on the seventh day not only applies to the cycle of days known as the week, but the need to rest on the seventh year of a cycle after six years of production.

Again, the basis for the resting of the Land on the seventh year by abstaining from all productive agricultural activity can be traced to the Torah:

10 “For six years you shall sow your land, and shall gather in its increase, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the animal of the field shall eat. In the same way, you shall deal with your vineyard and with your olive grove.

Exodus 23:10-11

2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to Yahweh. 3 You shall sow your field six years, and you shall prune your vineyard six years, and gather in its fruits; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to Yahweh. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap, and you shall not gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land. 6 The Sabbath of the land shall be for food for you; for yourself, for your servant, for your maid, for your hired servant, and for your stranger, who lives as a foreigner with you. 7 For your livestock also, and for the animals that are in your land, shall all its increase be for food.

Leviticus 25:2-7

The command to rest the land every seventh year is often embodied in a practice that is known as crop rotation.  Crop rotation is a method of agriculture in which a series of different types of crops are planted in the same area, usually a field, in sequential growing seasons.

The planting of different seeds on the same field each season helps the land to achieve balance because different types of plants require from and provide to the land different types of nutrients, allowing the land to replenish itself.  An additional benefit to crop rotation can be found with relation to pests.  By constantly changing the types of crops grown in a certain area, the farmer can avoid the possibility that a pest become entrenched in an area, as simply changing crops can deprive certain pests of the means necessary to establish viable habitats over long periods of time for their colonies.

Many crop rotation plans call for a field to lie fallow for a season.  While the benefits of allowing the land to rest are numerous, the most common benefit of this practice is that it allows the water table underneath the Land to reestablish itself in anticipation of providing crops for the next six years.  Given that water tables are not field specific, but cover large areas encompassing many fields, it is important that the fallow years for fields be coordinated to coincide with each other for the benefits of the Sabbath year to accrue to the Land and, consequently, to the land’s inhabitants.

Stay tuned for the ebook release and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for May 28, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.30
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.01
Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.66
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.13%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $128.50
FED Target Rate:  0.08%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,381 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,409
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,429,700,000,000 ANOTHER MARKED DROP
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,544,600,000,000

The Mint Money Supply Digest for May 28, 2013

5/28/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Jimmy Buffet hit the jackpot when he penned a three chord melody back in 1977:

Margaritaville:  Welcome to ‘Margaritaville,’ the most lucrative song ever.

While it is difficult to comprehend the moral implications of the fact that Margaritaville currently holds the throne as the most lucrative song ever, what is not difficult to comprehend is its allure, a laid back, carefree lifestyle tinged with a hint of regret and melancholy made tolerable by the beach and the “frozen concoction that helps me hold on.”

It is a lifestyle whose allure quickly fades to the harshness of its demands.  Beyond the headaches and marked lack of depth in human relations, alcohol sans moderation will inevitably hasten one’s march to the grave.  Indeed, despite the headlines received by the AIDS epidemic, warfare, and famine, it is often an addiction to cheap alcohol and that contributes to shortened lifespans in developing nations.

There is no way around it, alcohol is hard on one’s system.

As alcohol is hard on the human system, cheap money is hard on the real economy, and will eventually be purged.  At the moment, the M1 money supply is collapsing as the increasing doses of cheap credit have an ever decreasing effect on the real world hangover that awaits at the end of this binge.

Expect the Federal Reserve and the Central Banks of the world to fire up the blenders and roll out the kegs, for a drunk economy is the only one they know.

You can watch Buffet perform his three chord pot of gold here: 

How long will the frozen concoction help them hang on?  Probably not too much longer.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for May 28, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.30
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.01
Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.66
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.13%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $128.50
FED Target Rate:  0.08%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,381 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,409
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,429,700,000,000 ANOTHER MARKED DROP
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,544,600,000,000

An Agnostic Moment – Episode 1

Craig Birchfield has launched a new series called “An Agnostic Moment,” which is entertaining food for thought when it comes to belief or non belief in God.  Take a peek at the first episode, the introduction to the series and the presentation of the God shaped vacuum that is almost ubiquitous in both the individual human experience at both the individual and societal level.

Enjoy!

Finding Financial Freedom by Living Out the Biblical Principle of the Jubilee

The following is a guest post on a timely topic by David Bonner, a financial consultant with a passion for helping people find freedom by becoming good financial stewards.  Enjoy and stay fresh!

There are many biblical principles when it comes to finance. Perhaps the most often cited is Jesus’s instruction to “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Like most of the times that Jesus is quoted in popular culture, this is taken out of context at least as often as not. While I am very much in favor of personal responsibility, good stewardship, and accountability to authority and government, the concept of rendering unto Caesar is not anywhere near so valuable as the biblical principle of Jubilee.

In the book of Leviticus, debts and enslavement are both addressed as coming to an end after fifty years. The Covenant Code, taken from Exodus, includes similar provisions after a period of seven years. This code adds a layer to the idea of rendering unto Caesar in that the debt or the term of slavery – note the biblical application as given to Moses’s audience would have been much more of a household servitude like an indentured servant than our modern interpretation of slavery – should be served out for a reasonable period but not leave people laboring their entire lives under its burden. Unfortunately, apart from bankruptcy, our modern society doesn’t have many allowances for this form of grace. And even bankruptcy does not extend the full protection that many believe it will.

The best time to be responsible with debt management is before taking it on. For this reason, tools like a home loan calculator are invaluable. A mortgage loan calculator or similar tool can help you determine what housing options you can reasonably undertake based on an in-depth understanding of your finances. However, with the soaring costs of education, the massive investment of establishing oneself in almost any career, and the instability of most markets, debt is a reality of modern American life.

The important thing is not to let debt overwhelm you. Part of avoiding this would be to utilize a good debt repayment calculator to determine what money you actually have available to work with. A debt consolidation calculator can help you view all of your debts, credit cards and mortgages, car payments and education loans, together in one focused picture.

This focused picture will enable you to see your finances in terms of available funds rather than seeing your monthly income as being available. A debt elimination calculator will help you select the repayment timeline that works for you, and commit to following through on it. Utilizing debt calculator(s) applications when considering undertaking a big financial step will allow you to make a clear headed and responsible strategy, enabling you to both render unto Caesar and celebrate your own Jubilee before too long.

Dave Bonner runs a small business in the Greater Philadelphia Area, where he lives with his wife and their one-year-old puppy.  His consulting work includes applying sound Biblical principles in making economically sound business strategies, a subject on which he has also been privileged to teach.  Debt consolidation has become something of a hobby, as he works to assist his friends and family in the pursuit of financial stability and good stewardship.

The Mint Money Supply Digest for May 24, 2013

5/24/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

We were honored yesterday to be mentioned alongside a host of names with more weight and prestige than our own by a writer whom we greatly admire, Jason Hommel, on a list he has compiled of Christian Libertarian resources.  We have often referred to Mr. Hommel’s vast trove of research into both the silver market and eschatology (specifically the scriptural and empirical support for a pre-tribulation rapture), which he has published at both the Silver Stock Report and bibleprophesy.org respectively, in our own investigation of these matters.  Indeed, Mr. Hommel has performed the world a great service through much of what he shares.

While we do not know him personally, we appear to share similar interests and applaud his bold search for truth and, perhaps more importantly, the tenacity with which he defends it once discovered.  Most who have tried find that truth is not often welcomed this side of heaven, at best it is ignored and then attacked as others come to know it.  Well done Jason, we cheer you on from our corner of the world and wish you all the best!

The matter gave us pause to think about what it means to be a Christian Libertarian.  Indeed, some who may be reading this site on Mr. Hommel’s may wonder where we stand on certain matters.

There two things that we we know.  One, that the God of the Bible is the one true God, and that He is our friend.  He revealed himself to us and, we believe to all of humanity, through the Messiah, commonly known as Jesus in our experience.  In this revelation, he made it clear that we are to Forgive as He has forgiven us, it is his one simple requirement.  Sacrifices are meaningless, what He desires is to be close to us.  We know that we will live with Him for eternity, no matter what happens here and now.

If this makes us a Christian, so be it.

We also recognize that God has given all of us a free will, which is a logical precondition for His relationship with us.  Some use this free will to liberate others, some use it to enslave them.

Yet it is clear that the whole mass of humanity is obligated to respond to the demands of an inherently anarchic world of our own devising because of our willful ignorance and defiance of God.  For both those of us who know and love God and those who are either ignorant of or defiant towards Him, our only hope of survival lies in our willingness to peacefully cooperate with one another.  This cooperation works best when it is done voluntarily without compulsion.

If this makes us a Libertarian, so be it.

Naturally, there is much more to say on both subjects, and we do pray that you will tune in from time to time.  We have attempted to collect our stream of consciousness, for lack of a better term, in a series of ebooks.  We are currently working on the last volume of what will be our mini treatise, “To Build up the Land,” which we hope to have on digital shelves by the end of May.

Shifting gears to the Money Supply, the M1 measurement clocked another steep week over week decline, this time on the order of 2.12%.  Again, while the week to week shifts in base money are volatile by nature, this now constitutes an 8% + drop.

This is bad news on a number of levels, and the Central Bankers of the world are now moving into overdrive with respect to money creation.  Will the succeed in holding off the coming depression?

Thanks again for reading and a special thanks to Mr. Hommel, we consider mention on your site to be a great honor.  Be encouraged in your work, for it is extremely important.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for May 24, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.29
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.20
Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.57
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.01%
Mt Gox Bitcoin price in US:  $133.55
FED Target Rate:  0.08%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,383 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  7.5%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.4%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  15,296
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,429,700,000,000 ANOTHER MARKED DROP
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,544,600,000,000

Columbus dons Barça gear at Nike’s request

image