Monday, July 31, 2017

How Can You Run The Right People If You Don't Know What You Should Be Running For?

Which will persist as long, of course, as you continue to be unwilling to look honestly at the bigger picture that humanity faces now; especially as it relates to the full ramifications of technological change on the environment we all operate in. The very environment that is at least three hundred years advanced of what Capitalism was created in; something you don't have to be a developer to realize might put something of a strain on for the old operating system; not to mention those who must struggle within its continued obsolescence.

Michael Moore: Democrats Aren't Running The Right People

Even Though I Benefit Here...

....The admission must be made that too much concentrated power is too much concentrated power.

I just wish the intelligent people who make up the behemoth that is Alphabet now would see their own personal interests here affected just as much as if it were Rupert Murdoch buying more media companies, or Comcast, or Amazon or whatever the biggest chemical, energy, or financials institutions are, getting even bigger still.

The only reason bigger works in the short term now is because mutated Capitalism mandates not only bigger itself, but bigger faster, in order to compete both for market power, but for as much information control as can possibly be attained; because with that, everything else falls automatically into place.


With a real threat of antitrust and privacy regulation on the horizon, Google is on track to become this year’s top corporate lobbying spender in the US.

Even As They Divert You, With You Paying For the Privilage...

...They collect valuable behavioral information.

Do you really think even the reward points for the occasional free popcorn compensates you for the ultimate value of that information? How long do you think it will be before someone figures out how to use that information in interactions you don't even suspect are intended to be just as diverting (as already indicated here); thus keeping you properly channeled into the desired information stream as much as is possible.

Very profitable for them in the long run. Very profitable indeed. Not that they're likely to keep it up indefinitely mind you, but a carrot like that dangling before most of us would be pretty hard to ignore, even with running towards a precipice.


The Mouse can now use infrared cameras to track your reactions to films in darkened cinemas.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Real Problem Here Is Seeing Human Need As A Commodity In The First Place

Or not seeing that technology has changed the operating environment that now surrounds us so much as to make human skill as a reliable commodity of value, impossible. And let us be clear here. No matter the work I do, if I am doing it, I am, in whatever small way, providing another cog in the total machine, to keep it all going. So it should surprise no one when the declaration is made that my participation needs to be rewarded equitably, because that is the whole point of my living by a social contract of laws, and the majority choice in creating those laws.

And then there is not seeing that continuing with the old way of doing things only serves to concentrate power into the hands of a few; a power now that threatens the ability even to have informed choice at all.

Trying to reform a very significant part of your economy to act like it is a Socialist institution without also changing the rest of the system will never work in the long run. You might get a form of it started, and you might have that run for a while, but those who you would newly burden with the payment here would not sit by idly afterwards. And they can afford to make our investment atmosphere, and market expectations, shake enough (by various means), to create whatever new "Great Recession" they might care to dream up. And to punish "the people" once and for all, they might cook up a doozy of an employment buster.

The only way we are going to effect real change is to create a new party platform that would pledge itself both to eliminating Capitalism, calling for a Constitutional Convention, and proposing the complete employee buyout of all productive capacity in the American economy; done in part, of course, so that we can provide proper restitution for the capital holders of all of that property, but also because that is the only way you are ever going to have a meaningful start to "Single Payer."

Government-Run Health Care: Democrats’ New Litmus Test

by  and 

Does Nobody Get The Idea That Message Put Out In An Environment Of Commoditized Message...

...Seldom benefits the receiver of that message?  Do you seriously think commercial entities can just give away information, without any expectation of net gain?

And if you do get that, why aren't you doing something about changing the system that thus makes message so untrustworthy anymore? Assuming, of course, that you still want to live by the rule law, where the laws are created by majority vote. Because you can't have the true expression of majority choice if it is not an informed one.


Some of the big banks' new algorithmic programs may favor funds from companies that pay the banks millions of dollars for access to their wealthy clients.

Because People Like Him Don't Want The Public Having Any Power...

...They Don't Pay Dearly For

Down The Mighty Columbia River, Where A Power Struggle Looms

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Vast Extent Of Subtly Manipulated Choice

 The linked article below from Wired is telling, both for how extensive the subtle manipulation of social interaction web sites is, and how effective.

It is also interesting for the admission of Tristan Harris that this has come about not necessarily because of evil intent but because of the inherent, underlying competition for your eyes, ears and mind to be presented with the content of a particular web channel's content.

Nicholas Thompson: You’ve been making the argument that big internet platforms influence us in ways we don’t understand. How has that idea taken off?
Tristan Harris: It started with 60 Minutes and its piece reviewing the ways the tech industry uses design techniques to keep people hooked to the screen for as long and as frequently as possible. Not because they’re evil but because of this arms race for attention. And that led to an interview on the Sam Harris podcast about all the different ways technology is persuading millions of people in ways they don’t see. And that went viral through Silicon Valley. I think several million people listened to it. So this conversation about how technology is hijacking people is really catching on.
NT: What's the scale of the problem?
TH: Technology steers what 2 billion people are thinking and believing every day. It’s possibly the largest source of influence over 2 billion people’s thoughts that has ever been created. Religions and governments don’t have that much influence over people’s daily thoughts. But we have three technology companies who have this system that frankly they don’t even have control over—with newsfeeds and recommended videos and whatever they put in front of you—which is governing what people do with their time and what they’re looking at.
What he's indicating here is the underlying power of an essential aspect of Capitalism; which is, of course, the very fundamental need for potential consumers to first be plugged into your content stream, and then to make sure you do not stray to some other stream channel. Whereupon it does not matter that there may be some useful information, beyond the merely obvious "you (because we know so much about you in the first place) will want to consume this, or this, or this..." etc; It does not matter because you are then recycling the dollars put into providing the stream in the first place, and then sum (because net gain is also so fundamental).

I mention this because it illustrates an important aspect of why trying to reform Capitalism is so virtually impossible. Because in this we see that it is not just laws to curb bad behavior that we are struggling with. It is the very DNA of an operating system that must have certain conditions in place if it is to function at all. And of course one of those is having you mind get consumption messages as often as is possible. And it needs to do that because of another aspect of what has happened to Capitalism.

I mention often now that Capitalism has mutated. To understand that you have to first understand that money, now that it is nothing more than the accumulated switch states, of barely imaginable numbers of servers, must automatically have a new imperative to always flow faster. That is so because if it can, than it must, if for no other reason than at least one competitor will use it their advantage, and you then risk catastrophic loss if you do not as well.

So now you can make money by simply crunching numbers themselves in speculating on the prices, or flow patterns, of everything that is commodity. The competition here is in seeing who can find the cleverest sets of metrics to watch, with the cleverest of relational pattern finding algorithms, with the fastest switching systems with which to do the processing.

You can also still make money on creating more inventive servicing instruments; basically the creation of contractual arrangements to transfer property, of whatever kind, by the means of payment, with an interest premium, over time. What we quaintly used to call paper instruments. That this came to start encompassing other, already created servicing instruments, as property, put us down what should not have been an unexpected road: speculation of a whole new kind because that became the easiest way to increase servicing flow (if there are only so many people who can afford to service whatever instrument, then you have to create a different instrument market, don't you).

And then there is the still predominant way of actually making an actual product, or providing a service. This is the hardest part for the new, mutated Capitalism; precisely because it means putting dollars back into hard copy, in a sense, with the obvious case of the product, but also with the service inasmuch as it goes to a human skill provider, or to the degree your service process requires human skill providers over automation. And the problem there, of course, is that having your dollars thus translated means doing everything you can to get that dollar back as actual consumption. So you have to pull out all of the stops to create the most addictive channel of consumptive message possible. And of course the manipulation described here is but one example of what goes into the saturation of sell and buy that we exist in now. And the depths to which all of our base instincts are used against us to ensure a continued message lock.

This gets worse, though. And we all should have seen it coming. The only way to have an increasing population be able to viable afford to consume ever increasing capacity (because you always have to increase the flow to stay competitive) is to give them the skill positions (as a paying job so they have money in the first place) that ends up only serving to slow down your flow of dollar recycling, as previously stated; because not only is human consumption dependent for getting that dollar back, the human component has become a cost factor that doesn't compete very effectively anymore. So, even with the job, they seem to have less and less, as discretionary income, with which to spend. And boy, isn't that just a monkey wrench into things.

The upshot here is that, capital in a general sense, then tends to start shying away, from making anything of substance, especially from a true human need standpoint, always trying to seek the avenue of least risk; something I that think will build on the already identified historical tendency of money to become ensconced by inheritance into self perpetuating dynasties of instrument holding, risk avoiders.

If you look at this whole mess from this point of view you can see why trying to simply talk back to what is going on, without accepting the structural nature of just how destructive Capitalism has become, is crazy in and of itself. In order to chart a better course for humanity we have to accept that Capitalism is done; it is done and it needs to have more than just a fork thrust into its heart.

I can only hope that intelligent people like Mr. Harris here will come to realize this reality. And the sooner the better.


Friday, July 28, 2017

Somebody May End Up Going To Jail For This...

...But you can also bet on the fact that more than a few of the bigger players; the ones who also benefited, even if indirectly, intentional cutouts intervening or not, won't suffer any consequence worth mentioning. The ones who at least suspected and did nothing, if not actually encouraged the whole process.

And for the victims all they get is feces happens. Too bad too sad. That's the way money, and the corrupt economic operating system that supports it works.


A Virginia woman is among thousands victimized in a far-reaching mortgage scam.

The Politicians Are Part Of The Same Outdated, Mutated, Economic Operating System We Are

As such, they operate accordingly. As such pretty much everything inside that operating system then becomes a commodity; to be bought and sold as willy nilly as a chaotically out of control operating system can make them.

We are in a new technological operating environment. If you understand how the major means by which we inter associate (all of the media, and instrumentality we have to not only encode, store, and retrieve experience, but the amazing new physical means to translate meaning back into structure in the physical world), can have a profound effect on how we  both perceive, and conceive, of things, you can understand how profound such a greatly different environment can be on those things for us. This is why we need not only involvement in depth in the entertainments we seek now, we need involvement in depth in how we run both our social, and personal lives. We need that involvement in depth because that's how connection to meaning has to be processed now; precisely because we can see all of the overlapping, and interconnected layers, of both the physical world itself, but also of our complex social, and information, interactions, in the age of electrified information retrieval.

This was Marshal McLuhan's essential message about media, and the extensions of man. This was the one part of Mr. McLuhan's message that escaped the notice of our economic, and political, intellectual elites. One that grabbed me by the balls over four decades ago, and wouldn't let go. And to be clear, we are talking about a kind of involvement that the linear, fragmented, and specialist isolated, world of the factory mentality (which sprung from the printing press and typography) that is Capitalism, cannot ever hope to provide in any truly integrated fashion.

It's taken me this long to begin to articulate it to whatever degree I have so far; which is to say it should have been better a lot sooner, and I'm sure it still needs to be a lot better still.

Whatever the case that may be, though, still leaves you, and what you might do about it. My bias says you really ought to be giving this some serious thought, and if you do there are only two options: Embrace the need for change, or accept the way things are and just find whatever comfort, and or, meaning you can, while you can. I'd like to think one path offers hope, and the other does not.

What do you think?


American healthcare is the most expensive in the world — and, for once, we can't actually blame it on politicians.

The Huge Importance Of Affordable, Regional, Mass Transit

Canada, of course, being so big, and physically remote for much of its colder climes, demonstrates quite well how the many smaller communities, strung out along these large, difficult distances, depend on regional mass transit as a socio-economic lifeline. And even though much of our continental borders aren't quite the cold, forbidding expanses that Canada offers, a significant part is, and even where it isn't, rural isolation, as far as dependably convenient regional mass transit goes, exists far more than most of us realize.

The traditional solution here, as it has been for our good neighbors to the North, has always been railroads. That being the case, and now that Amtrak is but a ghost of what it once was, or at least of what it was originally intended to be, we are left with a situation where moving yourself, and your things, as needed by economic necessity, has become a fairly significant burden. More to the point, however, is how that very lack of regional transportation (and I truly mean means tested affordable) makes economic survival almost impossible now for communities left out of the commercial hub and spoke systems of the commercial airlines; even as they make the travel experience itself ever more unbearable despite, as well as because of, the significant price competition between the various carriers; precisely because it has become a case of seeing just how many people you can stuff into an aluminum tube, as well as how badly you can treat them because any little hiccup in the traffic system as a whole (whether by weather, or equipment malfunctions), sends waves of disruption rippling out of their finely tuned scheduling to keep the big investments always generating revenue miles.

It really shouldn't take any genius of economics, or social cohesion, to figure out that this is not tenable for a nation in the long term; especially if you believe, as I do, that being able to vote with your feet, with it being available for those who can't afford it, as well as have it nearby in a practical sense, is an absolutely fundamental part of choice for a citizen. And so it should go without saying that a much better alternative ought to be available.

I am biased in this, of course. I have come up with a technological approach to having Air Trains that could meet this need. Air Trains made possible by a hybrid dirigible blimp design that would make connecting each dirigible blimp into a train possible; at which point most of the advantages of a train, but without the horrendous costs to establish new rights of way through already crowded country sides. A transportation system that would also have the added benefit of providing value as well for our military, as well as for our critical need to be able to transport a truly clean fuel (as with my approach to produce liquid hydrogen at sea). And with just two applications of a public works projects, our country could get this multi layered cake of value. All we need now is your voice to make the demand to your congressional delegation.

And since the idiots in the GOP may actually be ready to move on from making affordable health care even worse than it already is, maybe we can get them back, and focused on a couple of very important, and very impactful, projects. Projects that might actually make a difference for the rest of us working folks.


VIA Rail runs 1,700km across Manitoba, and for many remote communities, the train is the only way to connect to the rest of the world. Now the local people want to buy the tracks.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Meanwhile, Transporting High Class Criminals To Jail Isn't Working Very Well Either

The interesting thing here, of course, is that this is also related to moving things around, both in terms of information, and physical objects -- the very paper cash that governments would love to rid themselves of. You can bet, however, that moving money gets treated a great deal differently than moving you does. Just as it also applies to those who were ostensibly in charge of moving that money around. Apparently, breaking the rules applies differently to different groups of people.

Big surprise, right?


Prosecution of white-collar crime is at a twenty-year low.

Or Perhaps It Is A Metaphor For Capitalism Itself

Notice here that an electric motor somewhere inside this ramp conveyor is keeping a process going that is clearly broken. Sound familiar?

 And why, you might ask, is it broken?

The particulars here don't really matter nearly as much as the larger understanding that corners have been cut to stay competitive, while still making a profit. That means that fewer people are involved to not only have provided a chance for someone to be proactive, and avoid this break in the first place, but also to come to the aid of the break in the immediate moment. And there are fewer people involved both because people are a major cost factor, but also because the newer machine, to replace the one that is just a dumb, motorized ramp, hasn't been invested in yet, though you can bet somebody is working to possibly make that new investment possible.

What I find especially ironic here is that the passengers connected to this particular mishap, stuck in ever more cramped aluminum tubes, and going through ever more invasive security to even have this wonderful opportunity for further transportation frustration, have their data move about the country, by those who really know how to make money with such data, without hardly any glitches at all; whether they want that data to be moved or not; or whether they want others making money off it or not.

This 7-Second Video Might Be The Perfect Encapsulation Of The Airline Industry

Until The New "Disruption" Takes That Life Away Again

And of course, given how susceptible Capitalism is to "disruptions" of all types, most especially as they concern world events, as well as the merely competitive type, you can be sure that there will be the one that will eventually make that shiny new "fulfillment" center evaporate into another abandoned hulk; just like the Walmart stores that have suddenly gone empty, or the dozens of other, formerly great, retailers; just about the time your community really becomes dependant on it.

And given that the world is now entering permanent crisis mode, disruptions are going to be more and more commonplace.  And this is without even considering what shrinking incomes in general are going to do, because even if it is a canny, online retailer, how's it to prosper if there is less and less discretionary income available for people to spend with?

Fulfillment Center Warehouse Jobs Give New Life to Sleepy Towns

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Another Chapter In the Commoditization Of Science

And yes, it is likely to get worse. So much for the sanctity of empirical inquiry. Or doing discovery for the pure joy of curiosity, and surprise.


Some scientific journals will publish literally anything for a price. That includes a meme-filled paper by “Lucas McGeorge” and “Annette Kin” referencing “midichlorians.”

What Was Really Being Expressed Here Was A Visceral Understanding...

...That technological change must be reflected in the fundamental aspects of our social organization. Which means that an economic operating system created for a technological environment, some several hundred years old now, is most likely to not be relevant in today's technological environment. What could be more straight forward, and logical, than that.


"A lot has changed in the past 300 years," Captain Picard explains to a cryogenically unfrozen businessman from the 20th century in an episode of "The Next Generation." "People are no longer obsessed with the accumulation of things. We’ve eliminated hunger, want, the need for possessions. We’ve grown out of our infancy."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Asymmetrical Freedom Of Speech

Allowing someone, whose opinions we find offensive, the right to voice them anyway, is a basic part of American ideals. This would not be so much of a problem, in and of itself, for a Democracy, were it not for the way money, and the mutated economic operating system that supports it, works to make people, who have large accumulations of it, have voices so much larger than what the rest of us, as individuals, have.

How does a Democracy survive that, and still preserve an important part of its ideals? How can it even begin to decide objectively when said asymmetry has already been in place for decades now? Do we stand by idly now and just let it continue? And do you really think reforms can really be created to do what they need to do, and to remain in place over time? While money is always working to do what makes making more as easily maximized as is possible (because to do otherwise risks losing the clout to stay on top)?

I have certain confidence that, if he were aware at all of what I write, he would be laughing at it right about now. And mostly, I think, because he can count on two things. First how obviously small my voice is in comparison to his, and second, that he knows you are too uninvolved, uncaring, or distracted to pay attention, in any case. And as long as he has the money he'll just be able to keep spreading his hateful image of what supposedly "separates" us from human, or not human. A message that gains a little more traction, and a little more "legitimacy" every day it exists without challenge.


William Regnery II, a man who inherited millions but struggled in business, tried for 15 years to ignite a racist political movement — and failed. Then an unforeseen phenomenon named Donald Trump gave legitimacy to what Regnery had seeded long before: the alt-right.