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small gray square When I first visited Japan in 1989 the exchange rate was about ¥140 to the dollar. I can't understand all of tonight's wailing in the business and economic media about the "Slide of the Yen". It's almost back to the rate it was in 1990 - well, great! More is better <1>. This ¥100 to the dollar stuff has been painful... such thoughts always lead back to my Big Simplistic Question from after first seeing "Network" in 1977:

Who sets international exchange rates?
Or to be more precise, who tells the banks and the exchange bureaux which numbers to use, how much to change the rate by? The IMF? Who are they, and who appoints them?

small orange square More Words About Truman:

Feed just published a good article concerning its relevance with Philip K. Dick, and Ken Sane had a great letter in Salon today. Turns out he's got a whole web page devoted to the film, which is just one component of a fascinating site. Here's an introductory quote from it:
As audiences enjoy the new movie, "The Truman Show", many are impressed by what seems to be its striking originality. But the truth is, "The Truman Show" is repeating a story that dozens of other works of popular fiction have used for decades. It is a story that reveals an essential truth about what is happening to society in the 20th Century.
I added a chunk of his Salon letter to my own Truman clippings page.

small yellow square Replaced my busted rear spoke; fortunately I didn't have to remove the tire. (But yes, the gear cluster had to come off, with a mighty grunt.) Two spare spokes left!

IMF - International Monetary Fund

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<1>But this good enough for me to seriously ponder a short trans-pacific jaunt soon. Back