Saturday, October 01, 2011

Numbers Wreaking Havoc in Kenya

There is perhaps no stronger ally of the numbers than currency. These twin forces of evil have been conspiring against humanity for all of human history, perhaps as far back as the Toba population bottleneck.

Today, the numero-financial conspiracy is conspiring to attack the innocent citizens of Kenya. Since January of this year, the numbers have been devaluing the value of the Kenyan shilling against foreign currencies, making it difficult for Kenyan importers and exporters to transact their foreign exchangations. As explained by allAfrica writer Mungai Kihanya:
If we had Sh1,000 in January 2011, we would have bought about $12.38 from the foreign exchange market. Today, the same Sh1,000 will buy us only $9.80. Therefore, the value of Sh1,000 has dropped from $12.38 to $9.80. Since the last number is smaller than the first one, the difference between the two will be a negative quantity - just as we expect! The change is $2.58. To find the percentage change, we divide the difference ($2.58) by the initial value ($12.38). The answer is -0.21, or -21 per cent.
While I dispute Kihanya's math on the basic principle that all math is inherently inaccurate due to the inherent instability of numbers, the overall message is correct: numbers are the root cause of all human suffering, and money is their mechanism.

I can only hope that this shilling-based assault on the people of Kenya will convince President Kibaki to drop this insidious currencical system once and for all, before it is too late!

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