Read and Write

Jasper Carrot once said that you know you're getting old when you walk out of a record shop with a stack of albums, and the whole lot cost you a fiver. Well, today I bought 4 CDs, and spent £4.99. Two of 80s synthpop, and two of 90s house.
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H is busy tonight - some open evening at the school where he teaches. I could do with his conversation and hugs about now. We might get to meet at the weekend.
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I've read a bit of the George Reisman material I found yesterday. He writes about precapitalist societies, by which he means societies that use money, and function mainly by trade, but don't have employers.

The idea is that workers produce commodities, which they sell for money. This money is not wages, because there are no employers to pay wages, so it must be profit. Reisman then identifies profit with the marxist notion of 'surplus value'. He claims that there is no money cost in production, therefore there are no overheads to offset the profit from 100%.

There's a few small problems here. First his description of what it means to be 'precapitalist' is one narrow possibility among many. He imagines workers producing what they can, selling it for cash, and using the money to buy what other workers have produced. He's describing a form of acephalous capitalism, where no worker actually consumes what they produce.

Second, he brushes aside the possibility that the concept of profit is a capitalist one, that cannot be grafted onto a precapitalist society.

Third, he's completely wrong to conflate Marx's 'surplus value' with his 'profit'. Marx's surplus value is the monetary value added to raw materials by being transformed into a commodity with has a use, and therefore a demand. It is (as I understand the term) a result of production, not selling.

Fourth, the idea that there can be a money society with no money costs for raw material is absurd.

There's 1140 pages of this stuff.
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As a teenager, it was my ambition to become a writer. I wrote a novella when I was 19 - all about growing up gay in 80s Britain, aliens from outer space, and the end of the world. Well, it was, in no partucular order. A teenage gay science fiction apocalyptic novel, called The Humana Project.

I showed it to a local published writer. She was impressed by it - I was rather pleased about that. I lost the files and the printouts sometime in my mid 20s - something I rather regret now.

There was a second novel which I only wrote two chapters of - an untitled murder mystery set on a mars colony. I've just found a printout of the first chapter - even though I know what happens next, when I read it I still want to know what happens next.

I got into a bad long term relationship when I was 24, and all aspirations to be an author got shelved. Shelved in the bin, that is. I've got no shortage of regrets, but this is a big one. I was quite a good writer - immature, but with ideas and a certain way with words.

The bad relationship eventually got me into a prison cell. In jail I put together a Babylon-5-type plot about political intrigue in a space station - yes, still the science fiction theme. That was eight years ago, and I've never had the courage to start work on it.

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