So I was hanging out with some people who, knowing I'm new around, helpfully proceeded to explain the specifics of the security elements embedded in the Argentinian Peso, and how to check for false bills. This ran into a number of practical problems.
The first problem being that the bills are not of particularly good quality, which makes false positives quite common, even for the actual specialist departments of their many banksi. The second problem is that bills coming in at least two major versions, the list of what's what is lengthy. The third problem is that the largest bill on the street, the 100 peso, is worth just about eight dollars. How much effort are you willing to expend to detect forgeries, eight dollars at a time ? Mining Bitcoin by hand suddenly becomes an attractive prospect, there's what, 150`000 pesos in a block.
But finally, the actual problem is the approach. In this particular situation, you do not actually wish to establish some sort of objective reality as to whether the actual bills you're receiving are false or not, for the very sound fundamental reason that such a reality does not in fact exist : all bills are false, in the same way for the same reasons. They're all printed by some people, and all you are interested in is holding the bills faked by the right set of fakers. This information, being conventional in nature, can not ever be objectively verified. What can however be verified is what your source knows about the bills he's passing you, and that is exactly where you address the problem. If you regularly buy from the same guy, he has absolutely zero interest to stiff you if he can help it, as he'd be just killing his own revenue stream. By aligning his interests to yours, you can control a problem towards which less intelligent people expend significant resources for much worse results. This is the art and craft of management.
That's right, ladies and gents, I've found it : Buenos Aires' very own Luxor Center For Businessmen. Where
dynamicii aspirational young men acquire the tools requisite for putting forth the pretense that they are something they're not. I guess #bitcoin-assets better start selling ratings on credit or else we're pretty much defunct (according to defunct brains clogging Earth for no good reason).
So I visit with my peso broker, drop some dollar bills on him, and while he's shoveling clumps of the local fiat (soon to be as valuable as the dollar, by the way) I check out his stash of dollars. You know what he has there ? Three piles of one dollar bills, one smaller pile of fives. Do you know why ?
Take a moment and think why.
They save in dollars over here, you see. The average worker in this country, trying to protect the fruits of his labour from the idiocy of his compatriots ; the average parent, trying to create a tiny bit of a future for his offspring that's different from living in the shithole resulting from the aggregation of all the opportunities the laziness of his compatriots afford, all these people save. One belaboured dollar at a time. And when a need hits them, they sell part or perhaps all of that clump of solidified brow sweat. Dollar bills.
The great sadness in the collapse of the US are not the few million worthless fuckwits who chose to fritter their time away pointlessly, discussing wholly imaginary nonsubjects such as "rape" and "discrimination" and "global warming" and so oniii, in their own terms. I feel not the slightest bit of compassion for Jane Smith in Palo Alto, who might have to start sucking cock for a living whether she wants to or not, because her imaginary "history of feminism" degree is useless. I have not the faintest whisper of empathy for John Brown in Queens, who might have to polish the shoes of Taliban investors in Manhattan for a shaworma a day because all his ideas about singing-songwriting and never being punched were misplaced. I couldn't care less for all the pretend CEOs and in-their-own-mind university professors and faux-journalists and web designers and what the hell else that are about to meet the business end of the grinder all over the 50 contiguous states.
I do feel quite sorry indeed however for the few billion human beings living in third hand countries, immersed in third hand cultures, surrounded by the shit of their own failure amassed over the millenia. From India to Peru, countless, untold multitudes who, unable either individually or in groups of their own choosing to match the glory and the splendour of [meanwhile defunct] white culture, nevertheless try to participate. One dollar at a time, and in that dollar an investment not merely of whatever scarce resources and mostly worthless labour they've expended, but of hope and of trust. Of hope and trust, in the unshakable power of the spawn of Europe, in the far seeing wisdom of the fair skinned folk, in their ultimate benevolence and fundamental representativity as the better fraction of the entire species.
That's your Argentinian, your Benghali, your Taliban or Columbian buying a dollar : the simple submission, the nude declaration that while he himself can't be all that people can be, and can't see all that people can see, you... you are, and you will be.
The disappointment of this hope - illusory, of course, like all hope ever is - that's the sad part of the collapse - inevitable, as all collapse ever is - of the last remnant of the colonial empire of Europeiv. Sure, on its ruins other things, great things will come to be, that's how it works. But for the five centuries between Odoacer and Cluny, the pitch of despair of the Franks and the Goths and whatever other barbarians by far and quite widely exceeded the bitterness of actual Roman Romans (ie, from Rome). By about the same factors, by the same degrees of magnitude.
So no, when I despise you for the despicable waste that you are, it's not just because you can't walk up to a woman and slap her butt, it's not just because you can't throw a punch or take a punch, it's not just because you suck. It's because of what your sucking means, and that's a helluvalot more than merely being a failed individual, unable on his own account to ensure for himself a decent burial.
- If you've never seen what a cash only economy looks like, you should definitely visit. Any given morning there's more armored trucks on the street of the financial district than there are buses. And at twenty tons a pop, the armored trucks definitely burn more gas. [↩]
- Forget about dynamic, there's no such thing in this corner of the world. The average Argentine could not find his way out of a paper bag if the paper bag was open and he were outside of it.
Any problem they may encounter will be evenly dealt any one out of a deck consisting of exactly three strategies. The first one is denial. Your Argentinian will deny anything whatsoever, including his own existence, no matter how ludicrous that denial may be on the face. You ring the doorbell of a rental agency, which has ample advertisements for various places to rent all over town. The schmuck on the other side won't open the door. They'll go "yes". You go "hello". They go "yes". I know this is stupid, but it's really not my fault, I'm just doing ethnography work here. You go "wouldja open the door" ? They go "what's this about". You go "urmom" in your head, but otherwise explain you're looking to rent a few places. At which point he says, brace yourself, "we don't do that here." That's it, that's his wage's worth.
The second one is absolute minimum effort. You email to a few agencies explaining what you're looking for. They reply, via email, saying that they have some stuff like that on their website. Leaving aside that their website doesn't actually work, have you ever heard of someone sending contacts to the website ? In the entire rest of the world, people use the website to obtain contacts. In Argentina, people use it to lose contacts. Because why bother, right, it's not like the country is fucking starving or anything.
The third one is "what would Jose Armando / Angelina Bubulina do", or whoever their "just liek in the First World" role models are. So they'll serve you a sort of pretend-US or pretend-EU as it may have reached them through the dubious offices of Mexican telenovellas and bad reporting done by you know, Brad Edwards.
That's it. That's all. You can either get some derp in denial, some derp in manana mode, or some derp in "professional" as seen by his aunt on Oprah mode. I have no idea what the fuck were the Nazis doing here, but I dare say exile to Argentina was probably a worse fate for the remnants of the Third Reich than any sort of punishment the Allies could have come up with. [↩]
- The quotes are there not to indicate that such subjects could never be serious, but merely to point out that in the way they're treated by these people, they couldn't be less serious. [↩]
- The notion that the US is its own country... heh. Not in any sense worth the mention. [↩]