Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 5



Mountain Views News Saturday, September 22, 2012


Finding the Real World Beyond The Monetary Webbery

By Christoper Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of “Self-Sufficient Home,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and 
other books. He can be reached at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.]


Money. Greed. Fear. The three horsemen of the new apocalypse. Everyone 
wants a scapegoat – the bankers, Bush, Obama, The Fed, the highly-paid 
CEOs. But in our zeal to find someone to crucify, we forget that all of us 
played a role in this economic crisis. Greed fueled the “housing boom” 
that had to inevitably crash. 

An acquaintance told me during the height of the dizziness, “I can’t afford 
to NOT use all that equity in my home,” as he refinanced his way to debt. “That’s MY equity,” he assured 
me, not even realizing that “home equity” is a phantom asset. Where did we lose the notion that 
it is sound and wise to pay off our loans? 

In our book “Extreme Simplicity: Homesteading in the City,” we shared in the last chapter some of 
the illusions of money that most of us carry around with us every day in our brains. We shared our 
perspective of something called “the four illusions of money,” which we originally read about in the 
1979-80 Co-Evolution Quarterly.

One of these illusions is that if we have a lot of money, we will be free to do whatever it is that we feel 
we want to do. Of course, few people who are victims of this mental illusion ever define what they 
mean by “a lot” of money, and – amazingly – few take the time to specifically define those things that 
they “want to do.” I say amazingly, because how can one ever achieve any goal if you have not carefully 
and specifically defined the goal? 

And the reason this idea is an illusion is because when we focus upon money – an abstraction – we 
tend to then lose sight of the fact that money is a tool to achieve some other goal. How and when did 
the acquisition of money become a goal in itself? 

Of course, in a modern society, everyone has daily needs which are most readily met by money: paying 
rent or mortgages, buying food, medical needs for the family and children, insurance, gasoline for 
the car, clothes, etc. These are not the things I am speaking about.

I am referring to the need for us to define, personally, our short-term and long-term goals. Also, we 
should – perhaps even daily – continue to ask ourselves: What is the meaning of life? Why do I do 
what I do all day? Am I fulfilling whatever it is that I was born to do? If not, what can and should I do?

Here is one way to break free from this particular monetary illusion. List several of your important 
goals in life. You cannot list “making more money” as one of your goals. Yes, money may help you to 
achieve your goals more quickly, but you cannot list earning more money as a goal. List those things 
that you want to do, or achieve, or those skills that you want to master. 

List each of these goals on a separate piece of paper. Next, write a simple series of steps that you can 
see yourself actually doing that leads you in the direction of achieving that goal. Do not list money 
on this list.

Your steps for achieving your goals should include some of the following: Asking others to work with 
you to achieve your goals. Asking others to give you things that you need to achieve the goal, or barter 
with you for objects you need. Consider ways to trade your time or labor so that someone else can 
give you things or trade consultation or labor so that you might achieve your goals. See? 

Begin to see the real world, apart from the webbery of money, and see the people in your life who can 
work with you to achieve your goals. 

Those of you who take these steps, and move forward towards your goals, will find that world seems 
like an entirely different place. You will discover your brother, and you will find that when two or 
more of you are working cooperatively towards a meaningful goal, your life will be richer, more 
meaningful, and your fulfillment will come in the journey.

Pictured: (left) Supervisor Antonovich, wife of Captain Ted Hall, Kathy Hall, and son Randall 
Hall. LA County Fire Chief Darrell Osby looks on.

Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich joined Los 
Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl 
Osby, former Chief P. Michael Freeman and Assemblyman 
Steve Knight to dedicate the interchange 
of California Highway 14 and Angeles 
Forest Highway as the “Los Angeles County Fire 
Captain Ted Hall and Engineer Arnie Quinones 
Memorial Interchange” in honor of the firefighters 
who died during the 2009 Station Fire.

“Captain Ted Hall and Engineer Arnie Quinones 
exemplified the ideals of commitment, service, 
and bravery within the ranks of the Los Angeles 
County’s Fire Department,” said Antonovich. 
“Memorializing their ultimate sacrifice in a permanent 
commemoration of these two brave men 
will remind those travelling this highway the 
price these men paid in protecting their fellow 
fire fighters and our community.” 


 Voters who want to be in the know about the 11 propositions on the November ballot can expect lively discussion 
and even debate at a free public forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters Pasadena Area. Titled 
“Are You in the Know?” it will be held Oct. 6, 9:30 to noon, at the Women’s City Club, 160 N. Oakland Ave., 

 A team of League members who have studied the measures in depth can help people separate 
fact from fiction regarding the hotly debated, competing tax measures of Gov. Jerry Brown 
and education advocate Molly Munger. Speakers also will analyze and present background 
information and prospective effects on each of the other 10 measures, including a business tax. 
Three other propositions address criminal justice issues: ending the death penalty, tougher penalties for human 
sex trafficking and modifying the three-strikes law. Three affect the legislature: a two-year cycle for the state 
budget, limits in campaign donations, and a challenge to the recently redrawn political boundaries for state senate 
district. Two address consumer issues: genetically altered food and auto insurance.

 As a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government, the 
League invites people at the forum to share information and express divergent views. At this forum the League 
will only analyze the measures. 

 Lunch will follow the program and costs $20, including tax, tip and parking. Information and reservations are 
available by calling 626-798-0965, 10am-1pm M-F. Walk-ins are invited with no cost for admission.



 Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant 
galaxies began their long journey to Earth. That ancient 
starlight has now found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, 
where the newly constructed Dark Energy Camera, the 
most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, has 
captured and recorded it for the first time.

 That light may hold within it the answer to one of the 
biggest mysteries in physics—why the expansion of the 
universe is speeding up.

 Scientists in the international Dark Energy Survey 
collaboration announced last week that the Dark Energy 
Camera, the product of eight years of planning and 
construction by scientists, engineers and technicians on 
three continents, has achieved first light. The first pictures 
of the southern sky were taken by the 570-megapixel 
camera on Sept. 12.

 “The achievement of first light through the Dark Energy 
Camera begins a significant new era in our exploration of 
the Cosmic Frontier,” said James Siegrist, DOE associate 
director of science for high-energy physics. “The results 
of this survey will bring us closer to understanding the 
mystery of dark energy and what it means for the universe.”

 The Dark Energy Camera was constructed at the 
U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National 
Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., and mounted on 
the Victor M. Blanco telescope at the National Science 
Foundation’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 
in Chile, which is the southern branch of the U.S. National 
Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). With this 
device, roughly the size of a phone booth, astronomers 
and physicists will probe the mystery of dark energy, the 
force they believe is causing the universe to expand faster and faster.

 The Dark Energy Camera is the most powerful survey instrument of its kind, able to see light 
from over 100,000 galaxies up to 8 billion light-years away in each snapshot. The camera’s array of 62 
charged-coupled devices has an unprecedented sensitivity to very red light—a feature important in this 
survey because the light from distant galaxies is strongly shifted to the red side of the spectrum. Along 
with the Blanco telescope’s large light-gathering mirror (which spans 13 feet across), the new camera 
will allow scientists from around the world to pursue investigations ranging from studies of asteroids 
in our own solar system to the understanding of the origins and the fate of the universe.

 Scientists in the Dark Energy Survey collaboration will use the new camera to carry out the largest 
galaxy survey ever undertaken, and will use that data to carry out four probes of dark energy, studying 
galaxy clusters, supernovae, the large-scale clumping of galaxies and weak gravitational lensing. This 
will be the first time all four of these methods will be possible in a single experiment.

 The Dark Energy Survey is expected to begin in December, after the camera is fully tested, and will 
take advantage of the excellent atmospheric conditions in the Chilean Andes to deliver pictures with 
the sharpest resolution seen in such a wide-field astronomy survey. In just its first few nights of testing, 
the camera has already delivered images with excellent and nearly uniform spatial resolution.

 Over five years, the survey will create detailed color images of one-eighth of the sky, or 5,000 square 
degrees, to discover and measure 300 million galaxies, 100,000 galaxy clusters and 4,000 supernovae.

 The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy; the 
National Science Foundation; funding agencies in the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, Germany, and 
Switzerland; and the participating DES institutions.

Photos and background information:

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: