Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Humans As Machine Tools

The real issue here is not with innovation, in and of itself. It is, rather, a good deal more to do with the human cost of an ever increasing pace of innovation. It is not easy going through the steps one must take to gain access to a particular path of paid endeavor. And once you do, and especially after you've taken on obligations dependent on continued renumeration, having the rug suddenly pulled out from under you is not something to look forward to. That's simply human nature, as well as cold reality.

As the pace of innovation continues to increase the rate at which the wet ware is expected to retool becomes ever more absurd. And this is in both a psychological, as well as a purely economic, sense. Putting on, and then shedding, skill/tool sets as if we were nothing more than socket wielding robots is a future no sane person would anticipate with relish.

The real question we should be asking ourselves is why we accept any system that would create such contradictions in the first place. Any more than thinking that, with information as money, we're going to be allowed to have even the pretense of a one person, one vote, democracy.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Folly of Putting Something Essential to Social Cohesion Into the Hands of a few

In reflecting on the increasing distrust and anger on both sides of the Police Vs. Policed situation we are witnessing now I am again reminded of the dictum: Woe be to those who become too separated from that which sustains them.

It's a good deal more complicated here, of course, because, human nature being so profoundly susceptible to prejudice, one group ends up not being served very well at the very least, and/or truly dis served to an egregious degree that's more than the majority ever wants to admit.

It is also complicated for another reason, however. A combination situation that shows up in other service situations to various degrees, but seldom to this extent. That combination is the simple fact that policing is, unquestioningly, inherently difficult, and dangerous. But it is also faced with the absolutely essential requirement to be formed on the foundation of impartial service; to protect everyone with equanimity, establishing a balance of calm assessment with a firm fairness in the application of the rules a society has deemed prudent to enforce upon itself. A balance that's not suppose to prejudge anyone, but be ready to react as the situation demands so as to limit exposure of the general populace to further possible harm.

You don't have to dwell on a definition like that to come to the conclusion that it's a pretty tall order. Maybe inhumanely so in the ordinary sense of what fallible people are capable of day to day; even very strong, and well intentioned individuals. And yet, here we are, demanding that one sub group of our collective do this very thing, day in and day out, for decades at a stretch.

Having the kind of imagination that I have, the empathy to a fault that goes with it, I cannot help but put myself into their shoes. Just as I put myself into the shoes of those who don't fare so well on the receiving end. But as big as my imagination is I still can't fully comprehend what it would be like to have to deal with the most troubled of us every working day. The whys and wherefores of these troubles are another issue altogether, and certainly contain ample amounts of both personal, and external, bad choices. The point is that, if all you do is deal with the collateral damage you are bound to get changed in one fashion or another, and the probabilities in that context would not be favorable for good change outcomes.

I have thought about this sort of seemingly irreconcilable realities for decades and the best solution I have been able to come up with is one based on the assumption that we all need to spend time walking a ways in the other persons shoes. And in that do we see the necessity of never allowing any one group to shoulder important aspects of what sustains us. We should all take turns handling the difficult, onerous, or distasteful necessities of social cohesion. Which is not to say that everyone must necessarily take a turn at policing specifically. Certainly not everyone would be physically, or emotionally, capable, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be other categories of the difficult they could do.

My thought has always been that each City State (for lack of a better term... I recommend you read the book “Rethinking the City” by Steven Liaros for a splendid argument on how that form of granularity of organization would be not only be desirable, but quite understandable from a historical perspective.)
would come up with an as comprehensive a list as possible of all of the things that would need to be done to support an at least partially self sufficient entity of this size. The next step, however, and just as important, would be to categorize these tasks and then declare that each citizen had to pick at least one or two (or whatever), from each so that no one could escape their share of the difficult. And then, after what ever total number required were selected (say something between 6 and 12), each individual would then spend a week or two working at each task in sequence so that nobody got stuck in any one of them.

To say that there will be difficulties in this is only to state the obvious. Many, if not most, of these tasks will have skill requirements few will posses. And finding solutions to that shortcoming will not be easy to say the least. As someone who understands the power of information properly organized, and retrievable within a dynamic application of context, I remain hopeful that it can be done. It will certainly take generally capable people to achieve it, but achieving that is possible as well because education will truly be an integrated, and seamless, part of every day community life.

From my point of view the bottom line here is that, however difficult any of this rethinking of how we are organized is to implement, we simply have no choice but to try. The alternative is just not an option if we are to survive in any form of what we have always hoped human beings are capable of. It's another choice we need to make, and one that won't wait a whole lot longer.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Working To Consume Themselves to Death, Holly and Jolly are now divorced, as well as in and out of rehab, working harder to afford even more.

As we round the last corner of the final lap of the “Holiday Season” I find myself caught up in another of my usual conundrums. A thing, or situation, that pulls me, simultaneously, in opposing directions. Something that's a good deal more visceral than a simple ambivalence.

There is, on the one hand, the celebration of the birth of an ideal man; where miracle, unquestioned love, forgiveness, and sacrifice, come together as a means to help us keep that one candle lit against the darkness. Whether he was real or not, or who his father may have been, was never, in my mind, the most important aspect. That aspect resides in the fact that miracles, and love, and forgiveness and sacrifice, for that matter, are all real. The mere fact that the last three items in that list occur at all proves the first. For each is, in its own way, a little miracle; especially as we grow ever more materialistic.

Most of the best popular culture surrounding this season (few though they may be) serve to try and remind us of those few little miracles, for which, of course, we are provided an emotional foundation for giving. And giving, in the sincere, and very personally direct manner, that those previously mentioned qualities embody, does occur, in spite of the increasing disconnect of commercial life.

With all of the advertising that occurs, saturating every part of our so called reality, ever earlier, the other side of the equation hardly needs much reiteration. Hyper consumption goes balls out for one last orgy of shopping that, even allowing for locational outsized spike up or down, shoots an ever bigger wad of counters into the server streams. There are, after all, at the very least, more of us doing it every year.

With this do the masters of capital go to the new year with a good deal more than tidings of good cheer. For not only has a significant portion of the material output been translated back into more than was used to create it, the wage slaves have created more debt, and with that, even more counters to count on for the future. The treadmill that turns by the running of those making more to consume more continues. Add in the Sheer numbers of producers, and the competition thus inherent, and you get the constant acceleration of each cycle, with science and ingenuity as part of the fuel, and or, oxidizer.

We witness the consequences of this process every day on the internet, and the various other media. More energy is pumped into social, and natural, systems than they are able to adequately handle. The weakest links fly apart at every turn and there is less and less time to ponder much of anything, let alone rebuild stability, or renewing structure. We lay waste to not only previously existing stable systems, which were miracles of selection in themselves, but to the dwindling hope that more will occur.

In all of this, however, let us not forget that it is more than our need for a means of livelihood that keeps the peddle to the metal. A good portion of this outrageous make and break is there for that extra bit. That really extra bit that goes beyond reasonable return for a risk taken on. The kinds of return that make accumulations of counters to rival the numbers of stars.

I mention this because consumption is not going to go away no matter what we may do as an alternative to Capitalism. The best we can hope for is to look for ways to do it with as much moderation as we can manage. As well as to look for ways to do it thoughtfully, with generous portions of love, forgiveness, and sacrifice. Giving back as much as is possible to all of the systems, natural and otherwise, that sustain us; keeping a sense of wonder as we ponder each little miracle that a more connected life might provide. If we can find a way to do that we will create a gift that will truly keep on giving.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Big Money Selling the Grit Out from Under its Own Foundations

One of the most telling comments from those criticizing the Alternet article below comes from one LynnRobb:
"Why would the top 10% want to dispose of the people who purchase the goods and services which produce their wealth?  Why?  What is their motivation?  I have yet to hear one liberal answer that question..."

Why indeed.

His assumption in the recommendations that follow that statement are that, since it makes no sense, the top 10% couldn't possibly be actively seeking it. And if the poor would simply stay in school, don' have children, save their money, obey every law, and don't job hop, they would prosper.

What we're really talking about here is something I've written about before: namely that the top holders of wealth simply don't have a clue as to the full ramifications of what they are really bringing about with this insane obsession with self interest and ever greater profit margins.

This is the essence of "Supply Side Economics," especially as it's continuance becomes ever more absurd with big money going more and more into financial instruments of various sorts. Why else would The CRomnimbus bill, that a Democratic president ought to be ashamed of, has gutted the Section 716 portion of the Dodd-Frank bank regulations bill. The same president who has instead pushed for passage on the basis that it is a compromise. What a crock.

The original Dodd-Frank was barely what one might call compromise legislation, this was simply full out surrender to the big four banks, and their desire to avoid the higher interests rates that keeping the riskiest types of derivatives
in separately capitalized entities (see Inside Wall Street’s new heist: How big banks exploited a broken Democratic caucus).

Paying the rest of us a truly living wage doesn't have to concern them so much if they get their returns from stocks and foreign investments. That this might make for ever more cracks in the foundation of what supports America in the first place doesn't necessarily have to concern you much either if you have gated yourself away both literally, and metaphorically.

This is where the suggestions that LynnRobb makes start to be seen as the, at least in part, nonsense that they are.

Stay in school? You mean the school your city no longer has the tax revenue to fund properly? The school forced to take in the most challenged kids in the first place? Where there are fewer good teachers willing to put up with such challenges, as well as the lower pay?

Don't spend money on non-important things? If you can barely afford a roof over your head, let alone be able to eat three regulars a day, just how much do you think is going to be left for that?

And lets not forget the racism inherent in thinking that whatever minorities are automatically undisciplined layabouts who always go for the immediate gratification. Like the cliche of white trash, what we are talking about here is a much more complicated combination of history, the cycle of unstable home life, sh_tty, as well as outright unhealthy, jobs, and the ongoing frustration of living in an electrified dream machine that emphasizes having the newest and flashiest; and does so with ever more highly engineered messaging.

Let us not forget that, in many urban settings, if it wasn't for the drug trade, there would be no money flowing at all, and no jobs either. That this only exacerbates the instability of home life to even more horrible extremes shouldn't blind us to the fact of its most important irony. That this business is no less a part of Capitalism than any other production and marketing of a product. And not necessarily a great deal more lethal, or disruptive, than selling cars that kill, or mining and burning coal, or engaging in risky investments that bring the whole system to its knees. And let us also not forget that fighting drugs, as well as crime itself, is simply another burgeoning profit center.

The bottom line for me here is the fact that it never seems to occur to those in power that they are being penny wise and pound foolish in their current insistence on maintaining the status quo. The only way they're going to be able to keep this crumbling edifice going is to go for an ever more authoritarian form of government. And no matter how authoritarian it becomes, there is a quite finite amount of time you can continue with it while insisting that the wage slaves pay for it all in the first place.

You talk about the poor making poor choices. Just another in a long list of hypocrisies. The choice you face is simply this: either you accept that a jobs/consumption for of social organization requires that both sides of the production equation have to accept reasonable limits as to what they get out of it so that consumption can continue increasing; or you recognize the fundamental absurdity that Capitalism has become; that human skill as a commodity, not to mention the insanity of ever increasing consumption, is simply not possible when the means of production increasingly becomes the application of electrified information.

Whether you pay the cost of your choice now or later is going to determine how much "pain," as you folks like say, that will ultimately have to be born. I can gilt edge guarantee you that however much it might cost to make the right choice now will seem like chump change later on from making the wrong choice.

The 6-step process to dispose of America's poor
The 6-step process to dispose of America's poor

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Choice is a miracle

Everything gives
off of a certain
kindness of light,
if you would
but have the will
to see as much
as the eye of mind
would feel
of this warmth,
or know
what is real
in illumination.

That one
better candle,
you keep burning
is what makes
the giving heart
that would
love too much
for any blinding
black to curse
the darkness
we make all
about ourselves.

Find the connection
every day
to feel
what is always
with the right
mind of reflection
all around you.

Meaning is
fleeting, so
always be
ready to let go
and trust
in your faith
of self
and its part
in the place
of so much
divine process,
making and being
with wondrous friction.

The pain will be just
as fleeting
as the pleasure,
and just
as necessary.
That's the rub
you see
that is
giving, life as
the miracle of choice
what light or dark
we make of it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Willfully Wanting What We Will

Will you
will what
you want
want what
you will.
The work
of what work
will want
of what
want will work.

What will be
gauged as gain
gain be gauged
as will.
How do we teach
the gratification
of will
as well as
the gratification
of want.

How do we delay
what we want
to teach
what we will,
our children the want
of a stronger will?

Here's where will
will be the rub
of our tread
meeting the road
less traveled,
and how we wield
the wheel of will
and how to want
real metal
to the peddle
of go.


Sea going aircraft carriers are obsolete. They need to be replaced by mile long dirigible trains.

These trains would be made up of hybrid dirigible blimps like the design you see pictured below. Such trains would become a combination assault drone, AWACS, and logistics platform.

They would be protected by swarms of Drimes, or drone proximity mines. There would litteraly be thousands of these, say, 5 to 10 kilo Drimes surrounding the train. The train would support them by deploying tethered recharge/control nodes that would be set up to handle the recharge turnaround of something on the order of 50 to 100 Drimes.

The Drimes themselves would employ a claymore type, shrapnel explosive, with active directional control, to provide the best bang to payload ratio, while still allowing for significant battery load.

Such Max-Tac (or maximum tactical) train platforms would be able to loiter indefinitely at 30 to 40 thousand feet because any Drib (dirigible blimp) segment would be capable of independent flight. As such, end Dribs could attach and reattach as needed for resupply on an ongoing basis. And if the military could come up with some form of reusable, steerable, parafoil drop pallet for 50 to 100 ton loads, the system would be complete.

Like I said. Just a thought.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


This statement is true because of the inherent contradictions of this economy. Those contradictions will bring it down no matter what reforms are attempted. 

The contradictions revolve around several quite absurd factors that now make up electrified Capitalism.

It is certainly true that the abundance of things that vastly more efficient production has provided allows for a bewildering array of purchase choices. 
The problem for this improved producing engine is not that it doesn't churn out lots of new things (which can do more than ever before), but that the system can't both pay enough across the board to keep consumption going, while still providing the sufficiently fat profit margins owners of capital demand. 

The global matrix of total productive potential is so large, and always growing, that it forces an insane spiral of increasing competition. A cycle played out so that the players can maintain the hope that they can win the game of market advantage. As such, pretty much the only place left to cut costs are in the area of wet ware; you either use less of it, and/or you pay what you do use less. And therein lies the rub; the impossibility of having a tremendous supply side, and an impoverished demand side at the same time.

That would be bad enough, but then you have two other factors that are also at play here. The insane, totally saturating environment of engineered message that forever screams out BUY! As well as the impossibility of having livelihoods based on jobs whose only justification for existence is to make things to be purchased. Not only does this have the already described economic contradiction, it assumes a posture of resource consumption that can be sustained indefinitely; even as that consumption rate continues to increase.

That engineered message environment is part and parcel of not only why every part of our mental life is ever more screwed with, it is also why we have made such a complete disaster out of the idea of representative Democracy. 

I mean seriously? Believable representation in the age of super virtualized facade? If that's not like the oxymoron of "Reality TV" then I don't know what is.

The bottom line here is that what we have now is not only driving us insane, it is fundamentally unstable as an objective processing system. There are so many growing contradictions, both within and without, that there is absolutely no way it can sustain itself by any other means than to become the most authoritarian, and repressive kind of enforced governance we've ever seen. There is simply no other way it can survive.

We have a choice as to how we will confront the change that is coming. That choice boils down to whether we're willing to demand an alternative to Capitalism, or just wait to see which form of really unpleasant we're going to be forced to deal with.


The Salon article:
7 facts that show the American dream is dead

Friday, October 24, 2014


I am always confronted by a significant sense of ambivalence when I see well intended organizations like "The GroundTruth Project" identify, and seek to address issues as important at this.

On the one hand, how can any sane society, or collection of societies, allow such vast swaths of their children to become an ill prepared, and thus hardly utilized, fundamental aspect of our future. This is not eating your seed corn, it is watching it get bounced out onto the road side, the rest of us not being able to stop, and so leaving it there to be ground into the mud of an increasingly mired track.

Surely we can applaud any effort to channel investment in not only education, but the infrastructure that would allow them to make use of that knowledge. And to a certain extent I can cheer this kind of effort on, but the difficulty for me to do so wholeheartedly starts in the very way such problems are discussed, even by "The GroundTruth Prodject" as this story illustrates.

You see it in the way it expresses the issue: talking about the waste in terms of lost tax revenue from the wages not earned. You also see it generally in most discussions about economic problems; that any difficulty is weighed in terms of lost potential revenues placed against the costs of whatever investments might be needed to address the difficulty. And of course, this is also where you start getting stuck in the sticky cross arguments of who should bear the solution costs.

That, certainly, is bad enough, but I can't help taking the view point back a bit to an even bigger frame of reference. As in what we're really talking about when we think of the opportunity for which we want to have all of this youthful potential applied to.

I know what the idealized notion is presented as: new scientists to discover important cures, or more efficient techniques. New engineers to design the application of those techniques... And so on.
And certainly there would be at least some of that.

The more accurate reality, however, would be to recognize that the majority of these creative minds would be pushed through the sieve of market/commodity necessity. A sieve that, given the capricious nature of value that is the hallmark of Capitalism, would punish and/or seduce their talent into process creation and maintenance that is anything but connected to who we are as human beings, and how we should be relating to each other.

What I am talking about here is the world where creativity is applied to all of the superfluous aspects of marketing; all of the manipulations of our basic nature: love, desire, status, and the fears easily stoked of not having them. All of the message engineering, product packaging and need creation inherent in working on those fears. 

And marketing is just the start because that capricious sieve also pushes talent towards whatever else is valued in the abstract; because if it sells it is good: Drugs that cure only big market diseases, and preferably if they're only easy variations of current patents; drugs that only treat life stress symptoms; drugs that only mask life stress symptoms, pleasurably or otherwise. New products that provide both killer profits as well whatever number of lethal, unintended side affects. It doesn't really matter.

And lastly, maybe even most importantly, is the idea that life has be be organized as a factory in the first place. That we have to be cut off from each other not only by arbitrary task boundaries, but by the very nature of emphasized self interest; whether that "self" is the individual process owner, or the group thus employed. A cutting off that makes cooperation and shared needs nearly impossible to establish.

It is also that factory model, and the consumption of commodities to justify production, and thus livelihoods, that puts us at such odds with the natural world we're supposed to be truly living in, as opposed to just existing; eating, working, using, procreating, and defecating.

It is in this factory model, and the shopping sprawl that surrounds it, that the wage slave, and salary drone, runs along on as an endless moving tread; a tread that never ceases to increase in speed. The only purpose being to do more for less and thus out sell the other guy; accumulate more counters as more advantage and then get bigger.

Is this truly the way to be offering a means for each new wave of children to have a chance at a better life? Should we be surprised at all that so many are flying off of the accelerating treadmill? For my part I don't thinks so. There simply has to be a better way.

This is why I am so firmly convinced that Capitalism is well past its "use by" date. It has gone more than just sour in this new electrified environment we now live in. It absolutely must be replaced. Lets use this abundant pool of talent to help us figure out what the alternative should be composed of, as well as getting it implemented. That is something I think that would be truly worthy of them. 


The nbcnews.com story:

Thursday, October 23, 2014


Let's be clear here. Disenfranchisement of any group within a Democracy is intolerable. It is injustice pure and simple.

What concerns me, however, as the Republicans engage in this ridiculous "voter fraud" crusade (chasing a chimera of their own making), is how it diverts us from a more fundamental issue: Even if there were no impediments to everyone voting, are we really being given a meaningful choice?

"Dark Money" is becoming the game of choice these days, and even though the Republicans may a current lead, are the Democrats all that far behind? Have they been all that far behind in the last eight years or so?

You really have to ask yourselves if Big Money really cares all that much about which party is in power. Some of it might, as the Koch brothers might have you believe, but its hard to see why B.M. has had any reason to complain with the Dems these last two presidential campaigns. 

Virtually no body went to jail for the "Great Depression." Any more than most of them failed to make out like bandits when the dust finally settled. And it would also be quite difficult to argue that their hands have been tied as far as initiating another round of "speculate against the rubes" goes.

There is only one game in town. And because of the "inequality of outcomes" that electrified Capitalism ensures (money becoming the same thing as information so limiting the free flow of same), it is a game that is rigged from top to bottom.

This is why Capitalism is obsolete. This is why we must come up with an alternative. An alternative where we govern ourselves as well as take over the management of production. 

The Salon article:
GOP's maniacal new vote scheme: What wingnuts are hatching to keep the "riff-raff" away


Actually, this election is about something; what is probably the default subtext for all of them: The ability of these clowns to push how relevant they are to creating meaningful policy ever lower.

The real question is why anybody would expect anything else. This is, after all, government as "Reality TV" and, as such, it is the producers, with the hacks they employ to write the scripts, who have the last word in where the course of policy will get plotted. Where the producers, in this context, are the captains of capital who are not only ever more certain in their conceit of the value they create, but of their inherent right to be in charge of the show in the first place.

And lest you have any doubt about this fact just remember that "Dark Money" is soon to surpass ordinary influence spending. That this will also soon go over the billion dollar mark for every cycle is almost as depressing as how even that realization is becoming old news.

The bottom line here is that the fault lies with us. If we cannot find a way to take action and stop doing business as usual; stop playing the money game, this farce will continue. Just because its the only game in town doesn't mean we can't figure out a better one, and then make it happen.


The Daily Beast article:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Who will stop the reign

What reigns
in the heat
of so much
fall out?

We feel
the pressure
of so much
inter-faction but
everyone grows colder
in the transfer
of energized blame
and the game of advantage.

And that's the thing
as friction input
of ever more light
upon all of our reflections
casts a fever
of sickened passions
that can't escape.

These passions condense
in the transfer
of light to dark
in greater groups
of drops
in caring,
or loving,
or wanting to understand.
And so become
vast twisting churns
of misery
widening the flows
of fluid hate.

We become the face
of what face
in each other,
nothing to bridge
the vast gaps
in the way
everyone sees
anything, especially
as the point of
your light is to start
its rise from the dark
of another.

Where will this madness,
systematized, vent,
other than into itself,
feeding back
on ever smaller
bodies of understanding.

I would say that
there is space
and time
to ease the impact
of every contrast
we can't abide.
But you would laugh
on the edge
of that madness
not thinking
that any such raging
distinctions could ever be
But we must make
temporary space
to give time
to build a common bridge
to a place where
we will begin
to step back
from our differences even
as we step up
to reach for the stars.

We must first
give up
on the on place where
everything is a cost
we can't afford.
The deal
where we sell everything
out from under each other
and profit from the scarcity
of what we hoard.

We cannot radiate
shimmer or shine
when the bold is
to hold everything
so close, taking
than we ever want
to be responsible for
giving anything back.

If our reach
is ever to exceed
our grasp
than we must make peace
with letting go
and taking faith
that we will find a better
way to grip
a new handle from which
to pull ourselves from.
Always ready
to let go again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


One can say this because not only are there few people who could afford them any more, nobody is manufacturing any here worth buying anyway. 

The elites could afford them certainly but they stopped thinking they needed such things a long time ago. They have sacred economic dogma to rely upon and, to the extent that it has made them a lot fatter in the last couple decades or so, you could understand their perceptive intransigence.

The real problem here is the inherent contradiction of money, commodities, and perceived value. As Mr. Dayen makes clear here commodities are deflating because demand is down. The are several reasons for this, of course, but one of the biggest is the fact that the rest of us can't afford to buy sh_t anymore. Not only that, but government can't afford to buy sh_t either because nobody want's to pay for it with taxes. And not only are the elites significant in that last factor, they also hate the idea of the government creating more money, either by direct debt, or simply by letting the Federal reserve pump more counters into the servers of banks around the nation.

Doing that, you see, puts doubt into the elite mind as to whether the counters have value any more; or at least the same value they had when their accumulations were tallied the previous quarter.

A curious mind might then ask: Well... Why don't they create jobs that would pay wages that would allow the rest of us to be able to consume important commodities? And to that you have to start scratching your head. There are, after all, some elites who do try to do this, but their numbers don't seem to be anywhere near sufficient. Why isn't a larger portion of the money elite doing the same thing (you might ask)?

The simplest answer is that it is far less risky to put accumulated wealth into financial instruments than it is to try to go the route of competitive production. So many are involved in that around the globe these days that it's hard to stand out, even if what you produce is good. And so most of the producers try to compete by being not only good, but with low cost as well and that is where we really start running into trouble. 

The people who man or woman the productive process are also the largest group that might be able to purchase it. Making it cheap and keeping significant profit margins means cutting back on either the number of actual bodies involved, and/or the amount you pay those bodies.

Thus we come back to the fact that, here in America, at least, there are not only fewer places actually making things, those that are face the limits of what they can pay their workers. If that's not a contradiction I don't know what is. The service economy expands as the manufacturing diminishes, as ever more of us live from pay check to pay check.

The clue that the elites need to buy is simply this. You have to pay workers a decent living wage no matter what the work is if you are expecting to continue with a competitive commodity economy. That means living with considerably less profit. The only other alternative is to eliminate competition via market monopoly by a few, cooperating giants, and then resorting to authoritarian governance to keep the workers working. Neither is sustainable in the long run because of greed on the one hand, or the desire for liberty on the other, won't allow it. 

This is why Capitalism is obsolete. You ignore this clue at your peril. 

The Salon article:
America's ugly economic truth: Why austerity is generating another slowdown

Saturday, October 18, 2014


The Atlantic article linked below is telling on a number of levels. Even though the artist who conducted the "performance art" project didn't didn't do enough trials, with a proper set of rigid control protocols, to really establish a strong body of proof, the mere fact that their was any success at all in this is interesting.

As the author clearly states, the assumption here is that there are patterns in the way stock prices fluctuate; patterns that the educated broker, or well trained rodent, can determine and make money on. That there may well be perceivable patterns from time to time does not change the fact, however, that this is still an irrational, and thus chaotic, system.

The problem that any found patterns present, even if they are discovered, is that they quickly become part of the feed back loop of perception and reaction; itself a process of variation as not every observer will interpret the pattern in quite the same way thus altering slightly the vector and volume of the response. All of which is simply to say that the observer affects what is observed.

More important, however, is the relationship between intrinsic value, so called "rational markets", and perception.

It has always seemed to me that the only really competitive area of Capitalism these days is that which seeks to control meaning and the formulation of perception. And the only rational thing going on here, and coldly so, is the deliberate attempt to influence meaning, and thus perception.

The main assumption of the invisible hand is that it will always reward (as in value) entities that perform well, and punish those that do not. That this axiom is stated with language that, as any lawyer knows, is subject to wide ranging interpretations, depending on more than one layer of context, isn't always appreciated as much as it should be.

And so we come to see at least one reason why lawyers have been known to be associated with vermin of one type or another. Which is also to suggest that playing the meaning game can make rats out of even the best of us. Those who have had a taste of being on top of the meaning garbage pile are especially prone to want to keep the pile growing, and keeping their place on top.

What you end up with is not only an elite who are the arbiters of what is valuable, but of who should remain the experts in control in maintaining it. Kind of like an economic supreme court, only this is a court more in the context of kings, princes and princesses.

The Atlantic article:

The Artist Who Trained Rats in Foreign Exchange Markets

Friday, October 17, 2014


What is interesting to me in this new precipice of power we will be thrown from is how we get slammed both coming and going.

It's apparently not bad enough that the people we are supposedly in charge of electing won't be appointing, or holding accountable, those who will regulate providers of services we need. No. With this new reach of insularity we, as consumers, will be left without even the ability to punish with our purchases; or lack thereof. Market control will be completed and those who are supposedly the whole point of the existence of the service in the first place will be rendered recipient slaves. 

It's pure genius really. Truly perverse genius to be sure, but still quite a triumph.

What we see here, finally, is the enshrinement of Capital's ultimate redefinition. The point of investment, and production, you see has nothing at all to do with delivering real benefit to the consumer. The consumer as both wage slave and recipient slave is merely an indentured go-between in the process to acquire profit. Just as those in the insurance business aren't really there to pay for injuries of one form or another, but for capital formulation, so now is the entire matrix of process that is Capitalism.

We are meant to be nothing more than retool-able, treadmill walkers, who make enough for ourselves to just keep us treading along, with the treadmill itself powering the generators of money. The high tiered accumulators will become the only real consumers. Those who will be able to demand, and get, the servicing they will undoubtedly believe they deserve.

The really sad thing in all of this is that we may well let them do it. Having become so inured to just shuffling along as we always have, believing what we are told, and so not seeing how much of a choice we still have here. 

An alternative is possible. We need only recognize the imperative for one, and then make the choice to stop participating in their game. Once we do that we can design an operational model that truly is "of the people, for the people."

The Daily Beast article:

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The next time you want to give some one a glimpse into what hyper consumption requires various groups to pay, point them to the BuzzFeed article linked below.

And be sure to remind them that hyper consumption is the price we all pay for having our livelihoods be dependent on jobs. There cannot be increasing amounts of jobs, after all, if things aren't consumed. And never forget that, with increasing productive capability, more is always being produced with less direct input. The glut of what can be made must be rammed down the pipeline in ever increasing rates.

So not only will vast tracks of land get gobbled up as roofed way points in the pipes, every surface of every place you go, and every means available to get there, will be beating away at your eyes, your ears and your mind. And vast sums will be spent to re-engineer the craftiest ways to get past the ever increasing, hard jaded resistance to stimuli that will ensue.

We think we know cynical indifference to everything around us now. We are fools. What is coming would frighten even the most cynical now.

The BuzzFeed article:

Warehouse Empire


There are really two issues here that the author of this article would hope to keep obscure:

1. Complex systems eventually become impossible to fix in any effort effective way.
2. Accepting that statement #1 does not automatically require giving up on addressing issues that prompted the need for a 
    particular fix in the first place.

The first point is something that folks in the IT world know only too well. Any complex piece of software can be upgraded, and/or corrected, for a few years at the most before the layers of change, on top of what was already there, begin to result in ever greater unintended problems. And the effort it takes to fix those only serves to further frustrate things on both sides of the equation. At some point, even though management goes into great fits of apoplexy at the mere mention of it, you must restate the requirements, and then redesign how to achieve them.

This is especially true for operating systems as they must not only ride heard on ever changing hardware technology, they must also be responsive to new ways to make using that tech in ways that balance efficiency with ease of use, as well as the more nebulous area of experience atmosphereics; that flash and bang and sex appeal that makes anything more sales worthy.
None of this is easy to say the least, even if the human element weren't part of the interface equation.

The view of things is applicable here precisely because Capitalism is an economic operating system. One that was originally developed with a mind set forged from technologies such as the printing press, and repeatable type characters. Now that technology has moved to the electrification of information we are moved into a different kind of mind set. Not only a different way of being able to do things, but a different way of conceiving things. Capitalism was changed a great deal even before this had full effect, and a great deal after. The overall result is something considerably worse than simply making things more complicated (though it certainly did that). This is more like irradiating genetic material and then trying to deal with the mutations.

In any case, though, Capitalism did have deleterious social consequences. Along with other things it is a system that abhors costs, craves profits, and loves scarcity. As such, it becomes quite easy for it to cut corners, shift responsibilities, and hoard. Tendencies that are most usually specific to individual self interests. The need to curb these tendencies all but demanded that there be strict rules to follow, and the bureaucracy to enforce those rules. That this system of counter weights would have costs and problems of their own should surprise no one. Acknowledging that they might have become too costly now, however, in now way negates why they were needed in the first place.

What ought to be obvious here is that the better question to be asked is whether the operating system itself is in need of a complete rethink. And if you are objective in that assessment at all you cannot have any other conclusion at all other than to say yes. It is obsolete, and glaringly so. It absolutely must be replaced. No stupidly obscuring article such as this is going to change that.

The Daily Beast Article: