Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 26, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm EDT

7:30 pm
treasury, frank, president of the national city bank of new york, -- in europe and you say that in here they represented essentially one-fourth of the entire wealth of the world. ..
7:31 pm
and you know that concentration of wealth has only increased since then? >> mr. griffin, who was the federal reserve act of the time it was being debated in congress was it a controversy golfing and, were newspapers full of articles about it to? >> it did receive a lot of publicity at the time and there was a lot of discussion that somehow some people were aware the banks had an influence in the legislation when the senator aldridge released and the legislation it was called the aldrich bill he said don't do that. people know that you are on a republican and you are rich and connected with the investment don't call it the aldrich bill coming and he had a great deal
7:32 pm
of ego. so he did call with the aldridge bill. that's when the controversy started. it is exactly what they said. they had a lot of bad - video out and then they reissued at, carter glass. was called the glass bell and he was a democrat that said that's okay. the had the idea may be some democrats were hard-working people, you know, blue-collar, dirt under their fingernails like ted kennedy. so it worked. now wait is a bill being sponsored by the common man. >> in your view, the bill, the federal reserve from the beginning was a ploy? >> absolutely it was a ploy. it was a brilliant piece of strategy. these people were not stupid.
7:33 pm
they were great politicians, great strategists, and in fact while the bill was being debated in congress, some went before the public and gave speeches knowing it would be reported in the press. this bill they had written, this bill was not going to be good for business. it's bad for america. and they actually did that, and knowing full well that the average guy would read that it must be pretty good. these fellows were brilliant and that is how they sold it. >> you asked the question in your book, the preacher from jekyll island what is the federal reserve and what is your answer? >> what it is is a cartel. it's not an agency. it has the appearance of being a government agency and they went to great lengths to get at that sod. it does have the power of
7:34 pm
government because congress voted to give the power of enforcement to it. but in its essence underneath it is a cartel. it's nothing different than a banana a cartel or an oil cartel. it happens to be a banking cartel. they got together and drew the rule of the regulations for their own industry, cells regulate their industry has with cartels do and then they send it to congress and they took up the label of the top that said banking cartel and is said federal reserve act. congress passed into law and that is why we think it is a government agency is because if you don't obey the rules they sit down for their own industry you go to prison. so it looks like a government agency. but the answer to your question it is a banking cartel. >> when did you get interested in this topic? >> i first became interested in the topic in the middle of the 1960's. i was producing some rather low-budget documentary's, and i
7:35 pm
thought a good documentary would be on inflation. what's the cause of inflation? i wasn't sure myself. >> i never did produce the budget andrew but that is when i got my interest. i had a box full of research and than any we come eventually i got the box back out and started to give some talks. it just sort of group. there was no great milestone along the way. the more i learned about it the more i realized it was a very important topic to the future of the country. >> you would write in the creature that the fdic is not insurance. what is it? when you over ensure something or if you ensure something to the point there's no risk at all then there's the tendency for
7:36 pm
the thing you are insuring against to happen. the joke about the store losing money so you ensure for million dollars and it burns down. somebody left the match i guess that is called moral hazard. that is the name of the insurance industry. so, when you have a government agency guaranteeing the banks cannot fail and they are going to take tax payer money and make the banks whole again if they go belly up or something like that you are encouraging banks to make risky investments and risky loans because what have they got to lose they know they are not going to be allowed to suffer the consequences of their own. it doesn't really rate the banks and then a more risky banks don't pay a higher premium than the more conservative banks that
7:37 pm
pay the same rate. those are conservative and doing the best for their stockholders and investors making less money and reckless banks are out there making more money they say i guess we better be reckless, too that by the way is a shorthand way of explaining what's happened to the banking industry in the last next year the federal reserve would be 100-years-old this has been going on for a hundred years. >> what should be done in your view at the fed? there's only one thing to be done if you remember what it is it is a cartel that needs to be abolished there is no other way around that. you cannot take the power to create money out of nothing and give it to men and expect the power not to correct those men i
7:38 pm
don't care to their bankers are politicians, you get that power to anybody eventually they will be corrupted by it it is a cartel and i think america needs to abolish it before it abolishes america. is that politically possible? >> no because the average person doesn't understand it so they don't support a move certainly every month and every year as more and for people are waking up to the fact that our banking industry is based upon fraud the bailout and the stimulus program is being done with the newly created money this isn't helping the money it is plundering the people as more and more people come to that awareness that then becomes more and more politically possible. right now i don't think it is but when i wrote this book some years ago there was practically zero interest in the topic. now we have demonstrations and
7:39 pm
the fed movements and the investigating the fed and audit the fed movement and to abolish is actually growing and i see that on college campuses once in awhile i have the occasion to speak for the university group and you see people with placards. end of the fed. this is a new generation coming up. so again, back to your question it's not possible now the the movement is growing and i think probably in the next eight to ten years it probably will happen to this too will you advocate something replacing it? >> i don't think anything needs to replace it except for honest banking. remember it is a cartel. i don't think that the bananas have to make cartel to be sold. individual banana companies can sell their bananas without joining the cartel and regulating the prices. so i would say let's return to honest banking. >> we have been talking with edward griffin the creature from
7:40 pm
jekyll island. it is 32nd printing also the founder and president of freedom force international and the creator of the reality. what are those? >> freedom force international is a group organization and as suggested it is international and people want to bring about positive change. and they have a plan to do it. they are not just a bunch of competitors. they have a plan to do it, and that plan is to kind of reverse the process by which we feel we've lost our liberty and control over our system. there are people that have a lot to gain from the present political and banking system. they have gained a lot already. they have a lot of political power, and they have acquired that power buy gradually moving into what they called him to veto power centers of society and they take them over at the top. they know that people follow
7:41 pm
groups. they move in groups and so they figure if they can just get control of the leadership of important groups like political parties for example or labor unions or media outlets then only a few people can lead the many. that is how we have lost our control in the system because the power centers have been in the hands of people that want the system to look exactly like what it does look like today. so our plan is to reverse that. we are bringing people together in a network and helping each other move back into those power centers and reclaim authority and influence. that is freedom force international. realities' ellen is the commercial site where we sell things. we sell books and recordings and video documentary is and we sort of explain why it is we are doing this and what we hope to achieve. >> reality is always the website. 32 printings, fi additions to read how many of these books have you sold?
7:42 pm
>> i think it is approaching about half a million. very close to it. >> edward griffin has been our guest on book tv on c-span2. we would like to hear from you. tweet your feedback. twitter dhaka,/book tv. what are you reading this summer? book tv wants to know. >> i am chuck todd with nbc news and i have five books in my queue if you will. i read about 60% of the time on my ipad and about 40% of the time actual hard copies. let me start with my nonfiction this summer. during the last break over winter break i read a book on fdr and thomas dewey the election of 1944 by david jordan. well there's another one that cannot by stanley weintraub called a final victory. it's about the same campaign. i'm obsessed with this for a number of reasons, but why it
7:43 pm
may be interesting to political junkies in today's time period when you read about thomas dewey, you see a lot of mitt romney: the good, that come all the issues that we are talking about that you see with mitt romney you see pop up when you read these books about thomas dewey particularly the campaign of 44. forget the campaign of 48. the campaign of 44 as well. so that we are working on and i am also getting to another nonfiction book that i have been meaning to read for some time it's about a friend of mine named don pact during if he wrote it called "penchant." it's about the great recession. and it is chronicling the sort of, it's culturally changing us. it's not just in the pocketbooks but sort of what long-term change is taking place in many places in the country talking about a white male underclass as
7:44 pm
one of his thesis, but it's a good way and i am thinking about making the required reading frankly for a lot of my folks internally but like every politician it really sort of explains as well as anybody the chronic pessimism that's out there. we see it in the polls but that is something that is -- why is it that we are so pessimistic about the future? we don't have this optimism anymore. we talk about the importance of optimism from the presidential candidates, but there is just a poll of pessimism and it isn't as a surly translating in the benefit frankly of one party over the other. it's been sitting there and it's been sitting on us in this great recession really did it. look, we have gone through this before as a country. it takes time to get out of these things, and that is why i think pinched is a book folks ought to read. my fiction books that i am reading of course reading daniel selwa's new book married to a colleague of mine here, but you've got to love the book.
7:45 pm
bigger all good, fallen angel. it's the historical fiction. and i have been plotting i will let make it has taken the time, but i haven't given up on it, the stephen king book 11/22/63. another fictional history book obviously using the kennedy assassination. i have been plotting for that one and all stephen king books of -- it is never a quick read when it comes to stephen king. so that is what i am reading this summer. i hope to finish them all before the conventions >> stuart friars line, how many brain cells to we have? >> that is a good question. we used to think 100 billion. that number hung around for ages. it is and all of the textbooks, but then a couple of years ago, a young hero anatomist in brazil called and send an e-mail around asking how many brain cells
7:46 pm
people thought we had come all this talk about science and where we got that number from an devotee of course wrote back 100 million also wrote back i have no idea where that number comes from it is just in all the books so she developed a new method of counting brain cells. it's actually not a trivial problem to count anything that is several billions and resemble the tens of billions, but she developed a new method that was very interesting. she recounted them and found that there were in fact only 80 billion. now, that is an order of magnitude. o.k. so what is in that big a difference. the larger difference might have been that we thought we had ten times as many so-called cells which are the packing cells in the brain, and in fact from the greek we thought we had ten times as many. a thousand billion and it turns out that we only have about 80 billion of those as well.
7:47 pm
what don't we know? >> that is a big question. as i point out it is a much bigger question. i think the question is normally but don't be no, but what don't we know that we don't know? >> donald rumsfeld. >> yes, the so famous donald rumsfeld. he got to that before i did. he was correct in saying, although he sounded a bit befuddled when he did, because he was worried about a war wasn't going so well. but the point of fact that's a good question are there limits to our ignorance because that is a more important limited than the limit for a knowledge. >> use in your book ignorance that when you get together with other scientists you talk about things you don't know. >> sure. am i famous quote is from marie curie getting her second graduate degree and a lesser a letter to her brother that said something to the effect one
7:48 pm
never seems to notice what has been done one only cares about what remains to be done and i think that is the attitude that drives scientists along and gets us in the lab early in the morning and keeps his sleep at night and moves us along. we don't care so much with everybody knows. that is done. let's go on to the next. what do we need to know and why do we need to know it and what will be the best thing to know and so forth. >> page 28, george bernard shaw in a toast at a dinner with albert einstein proclaimed science is always wrong and it never solves a problem. >> yes and i think i say isn't that glorious? >> you do. >> which i think it is. that is exactly the right description of science. absolutely. by the way i believe they got that from a 90-year-old just who years before that had come up with his idea of question propagation, the principal question propagation that every
7:49 pm
answer begins more questions. >> do scientists rest on their morals? >> every baby rests on their morals at some point. it's dangerous for scientists because they tend to be not all that foundational, all that strong of a foundation. i think one of the things that probably the public recognizes least about science is that we tend to have less regard for the fact is than i think it is generally thought to be the case. scientists also we work for facts to get data, we also realize they are the most malleable or the least reliable part of the whole liberation. that whenever you find today will surely be superseded in some way or another revised, overturned, completely in the worst case but certainly revised by the next generation of scientists with the next generation of tools. it has always been in the past 400 years or 14 generations that is what we have done. and i think that we welcome it.
7:50 pm
science is revish gentry revision in science is a victory. >> you write science and magazines are important for scientists to get published. but if you were going to recommend to the students to read those you would recommend not reading the last issue but ten years ago. >> there should be this issue to stay current, but what will happen is graduates will come rushing into the lab with this nature that has a great set of experiments and it is suggesting that now i can see with x experiment is. let's get to work on this. and of course i know the people that read that paper has already done the next experiment, the next ten experiments or have at least four of them. the next place to go often for ignorance, good ignorance, high-quality ignorance are those that were published ten or 15 years ago. high-quality papers, the leading papers of the day which couldn't have asked certain questions because we didn't know.
7:51 pm
they didn't have the technology or the tools that were developed in the last ten or 15 years and so they had the right to be revisited. >> has technology helped in discovering science? >> sure, technology is a huge part of the arrangement. often science drives questions and technology and technology then goes ahead and drive science. so, instrumentation has always been a critical part of science and as galileo and the telescope really began in some 400 some odd years ago. >> besides the number of brain cells, professor firestein, what is another fact that we knew that is changed in the last couple -- >> a bunch of those. my favorite one because my laboratory happens to research taste and smell, so we work on the chemical senses. we work on that coming and one of the best known facts, it's not a fact there, the so-called tastemac which you'll find in every high school and college
7:52 pm
and medical school textbook and most people believe that there is a map of sensitivity on your tongue that you taste sweet things with the tip of your tongue and sweet and sour things on the side and bitter in the back and this not true. it is a mess translation of an anecdotal -- very anecdotal report by a german physiology professor in the year early 1900's, which was picked up by a well-known a psychology professor in the 1940's named of all things boring. lescol psychology and is it a boring which was a joke for many undergraduates. he put this in his book as if it were in fact a complete fact, will study effect. and apparently it was a mess translation and stood the test of time somehow or another even though it was totally wrong. >> what has stood the test of time? from three, four, 500 years ago? >> well, so many things to but maybe not in their original
7:53 pm
forms. is it, certainly knew him stood the test time. new tin continues to work. we can launch space shuttles and build bridges and all the rest of the sort of thing. using new tin's law of gravity and force and so on. but they have been revised significantly. most notably by einstein and many scientists since einsteins of the unchanged to it but i guess the way that we say it is that the regime in which the proposals were made and were true they are still true in that regime. with this change as the regime that we have expanded, so now his formulations work as long as you don't try something near the speed of light which we don't do very often mind you, so they are workable but when you began to travel in the speed of light, you have to envelope the relativity. and we do that. for example average eps devices which send signals to satellites in the back of the speed of light, the need to be adjusted by einstein's the nativity in order to work properly otherwise
7:54 pm
they would be 50 meters or so of the time. >> albert einstein has stood up? >> our neinstein certainly stood up. although neinstein wasn't so sure he was going to stand up. he had a couple of fudges here and there that he claimed were one of the biggest mistakes he made that the cost but now it has come back he doesn't know that but it's come back and seems to be important but so far he seems to have stood the test of time. >> what is your class called? >> my class is called ignorance as well and it's a great treasure to teach at a place like columbia university where they let you run a class of ignorance and i have students enrolled and put it in their transcript. the class started five or six years ago. was 2006 and it was based on the feeling that i was doing the students a disservice. i was being indulgent teacher giving 25 lectures a year on the
7:55 pm
neuroscience, selling molecular neuroscience using this textbook that i'm fond of, one of the textbooks in the field by the colleagues but i am fond weighing seven and a half pounds which is twice of the human brain. but it's about the brain so that can't be right. the students got the idea by the end of the course that everything was known about nero science and that is certainly not true. the way we kept track of what we knew was we built a lot of facts and stick them in these encyclopedia books and that isn't true to reach we don't really know much about the brain at all. we don't even know what we don't know about the brain in some ways. we are still finding marvelous things out that we never would have thought of. so i thought well i really ought to teach these students something of neuroscience and so why give it a couple of lectures to that at the end of the course and then fought not see if this works so that's what we do and
7:56 pm
they meet once a week it is a seminar course for two hours in the evening and i invite members of the faculty or other scientists have been visiting for new york to come and talk to the students for two hours about what they don't know in a very specific way. not the big questions, not how does the universe began what is the nature of consciousness. i mean, the nature and discovery channel and all they do a marvelous job on that. these are what i call case histories of americans. how individual scientist grapples with what he or she doesn't know and why she is this rather than that. what happens if you notice rather than that, don't know this rather than that. things of that nature. >> who is the scientist that you use in the course? >> in the book on the include the four cases, in fact a couple of them are tabulations of two or three. one of them is a scientist named inr ressa, who studies communication and cognitive process and animals, a stretch after saying is their anything harder than knowing whether red
7:57 pm
is the same to you as it is to me? yes, there is one thing that is harder, that is knowing what is in the annals mind that they think so she has done a marvelous work with mirrors and the dolphins and things like that. i should be honest about it and tell you that she is my wife as well. [laughter] but she wasn't just a visitor at the class. but i thought that her work was so marvelous was worth highlighting. i highlight the three physicists that work and experimental and theoretical physics to compare the two of those and i highlighted a couple of years scientists who work in various areas of and is where there are new questions we haven't thought of even a few years ago and i use myself as a case history. that happened because we had a speaker that had terminally ill at the last moment and couldn't make it and i knew what to do and my wife said why don't you fill in and be the speaker and i will interview you and run the class. so why did it come and worked out pretty well and i get the transcript, so i thought all
7:58 pm
right i will be honest about this, so i used my case. >> how important is money to this research? >> well, how important is money to almost anything? >> it's it's extremely important and it is something we have to think about carefully as a culture. how much money we want to put into research, where we want to put it verses the supplied research and how to make the balance work out. i think of the cornucopia of goods that we have now of research over the 14 generations the we are doing is a testament to the reason why we should continue to support, even when we don't know what we are going to get out of it. my favorite parable comes from one of our founding fathers, benjamin franklin, who witnessed the first human flight, which actually happened to be in hot air balloons, not fixed-wing aircraft. this was in paris and was a series of flights and human beings left off the face of the earth's and another spectator at the park said to franklin well, this is fun but what news could
7:59 pm
this possibly be? and franklin's retort was really, what use is a newborn baby? that's a little tough i suppose. but that's franklin. but he's right of course. i mean, what use? we don't know. but many of them turn out to be quite useful, so we invest in them. as we should do with science. >> stuart firestein is a professor of neuroscience and the chair of the biological sciences department here at columbia university. this is his book, "ignorance how would drive science." there is a website associate it. >> hugh sinclair worked for several organizations argues the microfinance craze that followed the success of the bank has done far less to alleviate poverty in the world and most people realize. this program is an


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on