Re: virus: How does one pay for this?

Brett Lane Robertson (
Fri, 08 Aug 1997 13:05:45 -0500

"The shaman (I understand) uses this medicine wheel to balance
matter/body/spirit/mind. In the above example, he balances supply, demand,
"value" (avail) and "worth" (ability). By doing this, he may take from the
supply to affect demand, from the group to affect the individual (or from
all quadrants to affect himself; though to be aware of the balance of each
quadrant irrespective of his own influence, he must balance himself to them
by giving back equally what he has taken). On the other hand, the medicine
man is in the best position to profit from any excess in any quadrant."

"And the 'medicine wheels' of the shaman are mere trappings. Their tools are
actually fear and ignorance." (Smith)


To say that medicine wheels are trappings and a shaman's only tools are fear
and ignorance is to say that supply and demand are mere trappings and an
economists only tools are fear and ignorance. In a way, this is true.
Supply is a complicated variable and demand even more so...they are abstract
entities and cannot be grasped and "manipulated". I can affect the supply
variable and/or the demand variable (or a person's perception of them) but I
can not really change "supply" or "demand" any more than I can change the
properties of "matter" or "mind". I do rely on other people's ignorance of
these variables and my own understanding of them to make market predictions
with which I can gain an advantage over others who are unaware of these
relationships--if I notice a demand and I am aware of the supply, I can
"magickally" predict "production" or "product" taking advantage of the
tribes ignorance of these variables and gaining an advantage for investment
purposes. Like the Hunt Brothers bought up all the silver and caused a
market crash, though, if I have enough leverage (which a Shaman might have
in a primitive society), I "could" actually affect one or more of these
variables and manipulate another.

All a shaman would have to have is a primitive understanding of how a
person's standing in the tribe ("spirit") was affected by his motivation
("mind"). He could then change either the person's mind or the tribal
spirit to affect this person. He might use ignorance and superstition to
affect these changes. And, he might gain a personal advantage in doing so.
But, supply and demand (or "value" and "worth", the two economic variables I
prefer to use) suggest that he is not valuable unless he is worth something
to the tribe--he must avail himself of the raw materials
(matter/body/spirit/mind) and have the ability to use them to produce
something which has a benefit for the tribe (health/wealth...).

Again, you say that you don't know how a "con" can continue to be productive
except as the tribe remains ignorant. I say that shamen provided a needed
service--economist, physician, social architect, psychologist
(matter/body/spirit/mind)-- and his charts and graphs (the medicine wheel)
showed a relationship between these 4 jobs which allowed him to perform an
additional service as well--metaphysician, or manipulator of the symbols
which allows one to predict future trends and assess current
situations--market analyst.


At 07:52 AM 8/8/97 -0400, you wrote:
>>I agree that he is wealthy because he is respected and he is respected
>>because he is wealthy; but, he must be a good economist to benefit from this

>Well, he becomes wealthy as a result of his cultural importance. The main
>point I obviously failed to make was that the shaman is a _false_ thing.
>And he knows it. The con _is_ his game. And within a culture his con

>Now, yes, the reason this sham continues and becomes wealthy... well, I
>don't know. That is a great mystery concerning all beliefs.

>And the 'medicine wheels' of the shaman are mere trappings. Their tools
>are actually fear and ignorance.

> Wade T. Smith

Rabble Sonnet Retort
She had lost the art of conversation, but
not, unfortunately, the power of speech.

George Bernard Shaw