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This diagram shows the relative tongue positions for the nine non-nasalised vowels (left) and the five nasalised vowels (right). Below is the same diagram in X-SAMPA transcription, to show how the ASCII symbols used throughout the document correspond to the real phonetic transcription symbols.

Vowel diagram
Vowel diagram

The pronunciation of the Portuguese of Portugal

Homens e faces e os seus gestos como escritas ©


Payment in the traditional banking system means that the debtor passes on part of its claim on the bank (the promise by the bank to pay the debtor) to the debtor’s creditor’s claim on the bank.

I think such a payment system is much more reliable and viable than what Mike Montagne proposes, because in it, to trust that payment has actually taken place, the creditor needs only trust its own bank, not a long chain of debtors’ debtors’ debtors.

Promissory obligations to each other (c)

I tried to recover from the attack (I am sensitive to public derision) by replying:

Same document, different interpretation

Most people are familiar with money from early childhood. So they know what money is and understand how it works.

When they read about money creation and money destruction, they think they understand that too.

Money creation is when afterwards there is more money than there was before.

Money destruction is when afterwards there is less money than there was before.

Simple. But is it? No, it’s not!

What is money?

Now I know that Arabic is the official language in Libya. So it is strange that a city there would have the name Brega, because Brega cannot be Arabic!


How can I be so sure? Well, every human language has a set of rules about what sequences of sounds, and so what combinations of letters in the written language, can occur. This is called phonotactics, sometimes also referred to as distribution rules, because these rules dictate how the building blocks of speech, the phonemes, of a language can be distributed, that is put together to build words and larger units.

Brega cannot be Arabic!

This is a menu of web pages in which I write about people who may seem similar at first sight, but who are actually very different.

Or sometimes this happens in the opposite order.

Seemingly similar people

Man’s power and intelligence force him to accept two new basic rules: self-restriction and mutual respect. That is the only way to keep the balance, and that is necessary, not only because God has imposed that upon us as a principle of life, but also in our own interest.

Fundamentals of ethics

Note 16d: The essiness of the Portuguese language

I think part of the beauty of the Portuguese language lies in its "essiness" (Dutch: "essigheid"): this is the term I coined for its having so many [s], [z], [S] and [Z] sounds, which also occur very close to each other in at times bizarre succession. This is strengthened by the often very short and sometimes voiceless vowels.


Empty seats

The idea I had that night, between 31 August and 1 September 2010, was simple:

Let us give non-voters empty seats in parliament. Seats that do have a vote in parliament, but which are not occupied by live people. The voting behaviour of the parliamentary group, the fraction, of the empty seats, is automatic and defined in advance.

A more effective democracy

She was the same woman. He was the same man. They had met before, he remembered clearly, and he knew she did too. It must have been years ago, he wanted to know how many, but she wouldn’t tell him, even pretended many times she didn’t remember. She had lived an orderly life, with the opportunity to count. That is, Ladethe assumed that, as he always assumed that problems he had, others had not.

So he went – Chapter 4

The tank repeatedly came very close, with considerable speed, then suddenly braked with a jolt, swaying on its tracks. It danced around him through the mud, the right and left track running in opposite directions, and then forced Athib’a to run for his life, away from the building, towards the trees. It kept accelerating until Athib’a was at top speed, staying only an arm-length away from him.

So he went – Chapter 2

No revenue but a liability, that means: no seigniorage, no money creation benefit. Direct money creation benefit, literally off the money printing press, can only exist in case of incorrect accounting.

Seigniorage (1)

It is up to the author, Ad Broere, to prove the causal link between an unjust distribution of wealth on the one hand, and money creation based on the definition of money as a means of exchange, on the other hand. I really don’t see it. Not with the best of my intentions.

Different definition, same system

Copyright © 2013 R. Harmsen. All rights reserved.

Promissory obligations to each other (b)

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