Monday, April 30, 2018

Like I Have Been Saying For Quite Some Time Now

Though I do want to make it clear that I believe this has nothing to do with trying to achieve "Utopia."

For my part all I want to do is try and find a way for humans to seek a better path of balance. And by that here I mean primarily the balance between the needs, as well as the responsibilities, of both the individual, and the many. And for that you need a special kind of philosophical view, to go along with the analysis of Capitalism, that clearly shows, precisely because of vast changes in instrumentality, why it is in fact obsolete. Which also, therefore, demands a redefinition of work; whereby we become our own government, in the form of cooperating city states, in a redefined Federation.

That, to me, is how you balance the practical, with the heartfelt, and empathetic. The one thing that I can guarantee you is that it will most definitely not  be a Utopia. It will not give us what anyone might want any more, at any given time. It will give us what we need, and it will allow for enough extra to make it be worthwhile. And most most importantly of all, life might actually have a chance to continue here.

The real point, however, is that you need to think very carefully about all of this. And you need to inform yourself as much as you can. The choices you make in the next year or two will decide whether we survive or not. Believe it.


Utopia now





Saturday, April 28, 2018

And You Can Be Pretty Sure That These New "Beings" Will Have More Rights And Power Than You

Because the only part you are supposed to play here is the quiet, obedient consumer. So just stay on the treadmill, keep your mouth shut and take on more debt as you consume as instructed.


The Rise Of The Omnibots






Friday, April 27, 2018

Could It Be Because Nobody Is Actually Winning But A Very Select Few?

Of course, however true that may be, it still doesn't change the fact that we have to own up to our own responsibility for how this came to pass, not to mention what ought to be done about it.

In all truth, we let this happen. And it will only change if we take full responsibility for making that change come about. Which means organizing working people (saliaried, as well as hourly), on a scale never done before. But this has to be done for the same reason all teachers in state after state now are banding together; the same reason highschool students across the nation banded together: Because they finally saw their common ground in what is threatening them.

For us, in this context though, my personal belief is that this will require some form of "Grand Compromise" between the Right and the Left. I have proposed such a compromise. Perhaps there are those of you out there who could come up with a better one. Whatever the case may be, a grand compromise of some form is required or there will likely be very little hope things will ever change at all; until, certainly, nature plays a trump card that will make the current Trump chaos look tame by comparison.

This is the choice we face as a nation, and as a species. As always, time will tell.

NOBODY WON


More eligible voters abstained from voting than voted for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Here's what the electoral map would look like if "nobody" were considered a candidate.


See Also:
[Post Note: The article posted immediately below shows us two things. First of course being the fact that the commoditization of housing puts how we go about making important growth decisions into much more controntaionally difficult complications; showing us another kind of damaging competition (as opposed to the larger, more dangerous competitions we have globally because of commercial competitions -- primarily in markets, and major resources). Secondly, though, it illustrates further what imbalance does, in how we value things in the first place. And that is so because we let such decisions fall to the cold logic of markets; markets themselves made all the more chaotic precisely because nobody is actually in control of any of them any more; and that because we have to turn more and more process over to the algorithms, and the machines that run them; and gods help us but now we even have to let the machines teach themselves because we can't do it fast enough any more.

Make no mistake, though. Negotiating a way through this to a common understanding will not be easy. Both the Left, and the Right are going to have to make sacrifices. The real point, though, is that just need to understand the absolute need to start working on those negotiations in the first place. J.V.]

THE SEATTLE OF POWER


In Seattle's red-hot housing market, a group of millennial techies is using data skills to alter the look, and affordability, of their adopted city.







If We Do Not Rid Ourselves Of The Obsolete Commercial Dynamic Of Captialism

There will be, I believe, one thing we will be able to count on as it regards the development of AI. And that will be the fact that its ultimate expression will end up being not human oriented at all. And this will be so precisely because the commercial dynamic of Capitalism is itself so absolutely anti human.

How could it be otherwise now that Capitalism has been so mutated by the very nature of this change; the change in how we can now retrieve experience, as opposed to how it was done all those hundreds of years ago when Capitalism first came into prominence. And when you then add in the equally egregious way Capitalism now skews behavior away from any kind of balance between the needs of the few, and the needs of the many, why would any emergent AI be anything but focused on the same kind of imbalance. In other words, it will serve only the inhuman abstraction that commercial process has become now that the pursuit of profit is everything. And we will certainly continue to understand next to nothing about what is going on as it happens because the insane competitive dynamic, that accompanies the main commercial dynamic, will ensure that there will be no time in which to pause and gain that understanding.

Experts Admit They Have No Clue How Artificial Intelligence Will Change Our World



See Also:
[Post Note: I personally don't have to wonder much at all about whether an AI, created within the dark new dynamic of Capitalism, would have had much it would find valuable in what is being expressed when one sees need in the context you see in the post just below here. J.V.]

A CUT ABOVE THE REST


Reformed addict and founder of "Haircuts 4 Homeless" Stewart Roberts knows all too well the plight of those battling addiction, mental health issues and homelessness. Sometimes, he explains, the most meaningful help one can offer is a simple conversation.






Thursday, April 26, 2018

The New Imbalance Of State Run Capitalism?

Will we recognize that they likely learned a good portion of this type of financial control from us?

Will we recognize that one group of privileged few, or another, in our own country might come to envy this kind of control?

Would we do better by leading from example, in encouraging change away from toxic Capitalism gone mad, or by simply berating the Chinese endlessly on their anti Democratic authoritarianism; even as so many in our own nation work to achieve much the same thing, even if it is under a different guise?

Let us also not forget that it is this same toxic, and outdated, operating system, that makes several of our dangerous competitions even worse; think of ever worsening market confrontations going on now, as well as the commercialized drive for ever more resources. Which then both feed into the ever increasing, dangerous, military competitions.

Are we ever going to learn from this blatantly obvious, self defeating behavior?

One can only hope.

How Do You Control 1.4 Billion People?


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[Post Note: These three little tidbits of occurence are also marks of similar kinds of economic control gone way out of balance. J.V.]







Our Cities Are Being Screwed Again. What A Surprize.

And it is, of course, the big players like AT&T, and Sprint (etc.), who are calling the shots. The very companies who are always trying to get bigger still.

The bottom line here is quite likely to be just what you would expect it to be. They will get their new antennas, by the thousands, spread out all through City, and suburb, taking advantage of City infrastructure, not to mention the public airways as concerns available spectrum, and they will get the rates they want, and the profits, and the rest of us will have to pay dearly for the right to have the new streaming speeds this new standard will offer.

And the really disheartening thing here will be that it will happen because we will let it happen. Even though we could stop it if we just chose to do so. But that would require really taking stock on just how bad the situation has gotten with these many imbalances of power. And certainly the further inconvenience of actually standing up and demanding that things change substantially. Which would also require we actually take responsibility for ourselves and organize in every city. Organize. Create coordinated, mass work stoppages, and then make it very clear that "Business As Usual" is over.

American Cities Are Fighting Big Business Over Wireless Internet, and They’re Losing


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[Post Note: And of course, if the cities are being screwed all over again, why wouldn't the same thing be happening to the states? No reason whatsoever. J.V.]

The Coal Industry Extracted a Steep Price From West Virginia. Now Natural Gas Is Leading the State Down the Same Path.








Wednesday, April 25, 2018

More Info On The Critical State Of Sand In Our Economy

I've been posting on this for some time now. And here's another report on the subject.

Make no mistake, this could prove to be really debilitating for our economy if substitutes aren't found.


YET ANOTHER WAY WE'RE RUINING THE PLANET


It sounds like mere hypothetical, but the world running out of sand is actually a startling real possibility.





Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Neoliberalism's Textured History

This look into the history of Neoliberalism (as a review of the Book "GLOBALISTS: THE END OF EMPIRE AND THE BIRTH OF NEOLIBERALISM" by Quinn Slobodian) is well worth the read. Especially as it notes that we may well owe the fact that "...When capital has more freedom than people, serious democratic deficits are guaranteed..." (from the article J.V.) to the Geneva School of Neoliberalism:
"...Slobodian focuses instead purely on the central European strand of neoliberalism—what he calls the “Geneva school”— which gained relevance through a different institutional path. Turning to the law, this school pursued bilateral trade agreements and international accords granting the power to enforce contracts, to keep trade open, and to prevent the seizure of property by states—mechanisms that could protect property from democracy and extend the power of capital. They influenced the structure of the European Economic Community of 1957, the renegotiation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade during the 1970s, and the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995. Slobodian’s argument relies less than MacLean’s on revealing a dark-money conspiracy and is more attuned to the shifting interests that created the trade regimes of a more neoliberal world.
The current rules all but ensure that governments act in the interests of capital, since, if businesses do not like a certain country’s policies (say, a proposal that corporations pay their fair share of taxes), they can disrupt the economy by abruptly withdrawing from that country. Preserving the rights of capital is the goal, even when that means sacrificing democratic demands. That is why our world is a more neoliberal one than it once was, and why it matters. However fractious and internally contradictory neoliberal thought may be, and however overused it can be as a term, it is describing something real..."
Does all of this really matter now? Well, of course it does in the sense of it helping to show how we got where we are now, but going forward?

What I believe to be true is that, just as Harold Innis, and Marshall McLuhan, made clear, great changes in the major means by which we interassociate, or communicate if you will, as well as store and retrieve experience, cannot help but have, and require, great changes in social structure. And now that instrumentality, on almost all levels, has changed so much, precisely because of competitive pressures to know how to do more, with less effort, we must face the fact that a process model based on what instrumentality was hundreds of years ago just does not apply any more. We do not need to stay with the economics of scarcity inherent 200 years ago. We have the technical means now to move away from commercialized specialization to whatever we can imagine; whatever we can imagine that both makes practical sense, as well as just feels right. We just have to accept that Capitalism, as an operating model, no longer makes any sense at all (because what we need now is a whole lot more meaning in what we do, and a whole lot more involvement in depth for all citizens, because this is what holistic thinking, within complex systems, demands).

Worlds Apart



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SINCLAIR SEEN CLEARLY


For three years, Suri Crowe worked for a TV station owned by Sinclair. She clashed with management — including over stories about climate change and guns.



EXISTENCE ANY%


We've left it up to the machines. And now they're turning us into paper clips.








Monday, April 23, 2018

You Really Have To Wonder Why Its So Hard For Some People

So hard for them to understand that doing things that span large swaths of public space tends to have collateral effects. You would think it would be easy, after all, because they do use the word "disruptive" rather proudly. But then there is this disconnect between what they do, what they expect to benefit from it, and what they do, and do not expect to be, held accountable for.

Perhaps it is just the simple observation that, as companies were given rights equivalent to a citizen, they were also quite clever enough to make sure that these rights were equivalent only in regards to the ability to control where the profits go. After that, decades of economic history have shown quite clearly that they don't have to be responsible for anything more. They don't because they've become big enough to make sure they don't have to care. Doing whatever it takes with their money to do it.

And the real problem here, certainly, isn't with these people. No. This is purely a case of "fool me once shame on you. Fool me more than once than shame the absolute hell out of me because that makes me a damn fool for letting it continue so long. Of course, to stop it from continuing would require that people actually start taking responsibility for themselves and demand to be governed by true, direct representation, so as to govern themselves. Something we could figure out how to do if we took the time to first admit that doing something is required in the first place.

If you're happy being a damn fool dealing with unneeded disruption then fine. Hopefully the rest of us will wake the hell up before it is too late.


SCOOT AWAY


Travis VanderZanden, chief executive of electric scooter start-up Bird, is unperturbed by how San Francisco and other cities are in an uproar over the dockless vehicles.






Let Us Be Very Clear Here

You cannot have Socialism inside of Capitalism and expect it to work correctly. And that is even assuming that Capitalism hasn't become a toxic, corrupted, and mutated monster. Which it of course has become.

The world is simply too insanely competitive, short on resources, and far too close to an extinction event, to stay with Capitalism in any case, whether you want Socialism or not. Which also means that we will need the cooperation of a lot of conservative folks to make sure we can do all of the tremendous tasks that lie ahead, if life on the planet is to survive at all.

That is why a "Grand Compromise" between Right and Left is absolutely essential. And we are most certainly not going to get much of any compromising at all if we don't come up with some creative new thinking on how we go about taking care of what boils down to certain, prime priorities, that both sides have.

I have proposed one such alternative. I was hoping it might encourage others to think of even better alternatives, or at least offer suggestions as to how to make mine better. The point, however, being that we absolutely do need a new alternative; whatever we can ultimately negotiate one to be that can also provide for the three main areas of concern:  First certainly being all of the practical things you might think of for a society (people getting not only the things they need, but also a good portion of what they want); but secondly, to also inequality of outcomes, make our communities much more self sufficient, and fault tolerant (because resources will become more scarce, and the geo physical environment more turbulent), fix the environment, and start the infrastructure building required to do another "Great Migration" (because you can't fix an environment that keeps generating too many people). And then, on top of all of that, still have something left over to make it all feel right in the greater sense of things.

As such you can certainly sum it all up as one very hard process to have to get through. But get through it we must or we will surely perish. The trend line for the ice at the poles, and what that will do to circulation systems, and already stressed ecosystems, make that clear. Basically big changes in the weather could happen, be they extremes of hot, or cold (just like the movie "The Day After Tomorrow"). And those changes probably won't be very suitable for much of what stands for life now. Not as far as we are concerned anyway.

In my view, what we face cannot be solved by a few new legislators, or re-hashed Liberalism that might have a dose or two of Progressive flavor to it. As William Greider made clear, Big Money is very good at playing a waiting game. A law now, even if you can't water it down much at the start, can be co opted, and/or corrupted, in a number of other ways, when you look at it from the perspective of legislative re election cycles, and the way Big Money can make things hard on an economy when the social reformers are in office. What we face hinges on control of even the commoditization of information itself, and how that control threatens forming negotiated, social realities (where we come to terms on what we all think are the most important priorities), in the first place.

You either face this reality or you play games with who is in sudo control of this titanic disaster of ship we call "The United States of America." And games about what who lives on what deck, and who has to be sweating it out in the deep places, getting darker all the time, trying to stay alive, stay afloat, and keep the terrible thing running. Knowing in our hearts, if not our heads, that it is on a course to make good effect of centuries of ever more bad choices, and the impact they can have on cold,  hard, rude awakenings.


POLITICS, JOIN DSA


They want single-payer health care, a higher minimum wage, and greater protections for unions. But others advocate more extreme changes, such as abolishing the prison system.





Saturday, April 21, 2018

Older Workers Must Obviously Cost More

And their experience, and demonstrated dedication must mean a good deal less these days. I mean, if you can get, say, two, three, or maybe even four, hotshot young guys to work for the same total employment cost of one older worker, why not, right? It certainly makes your quarterly bottom line look less offensive, even if you are not developing the cutting edge stuff you used to. And if you are the current, temporary guy in charge right now, just how far out is your vision for the company going to be; for any practical purposes, in any case? Probably not that far.

How IBM quietly pushed out 20,000 older workers






No Singular Economic Entity Should Have This Much Power

And that is only a consideration to start with.

The real question to be asked here is why it is so hard for us to understand that the lure of cheap prices won't ever make up for all of the disruptive effects this sort of supermassive change in how we conduct commerce has already affected, and will continue to affect. Because you should make no mistake. This is about more than just saving you money as a purchaser. It is about having free reign in completely reengineering social order. And not at all for your benefit, but for the sole benefit of better profit. Which is precisely why they don't care what their version work becomes for any of their workers; even if it means trying to turn humans into machines, and then actually resorting to machines when the humans simply can't take any more of it.

And then there is the fact that, for all of this largess they get in doing most of what they want, when they want to, they also then expect to not be very responsible at all for paying back to the community for the privilege of having been given this development opportunity. No, they don't want to pay the kinds of support taxes that would make the communities they operate in thrive, they want to pit the communities against each other so as to gouge out of them every break from ever paying taxes that they can possibly get.

So society is left with communities torn apart from traditional employment having been "disrupted" out of business, all the while fewer and fewer people will be employed (with a living wage) in making this profit monster get even bigger still. But gosh oh golly. Won't it be just swell to see low prices as you sit, unemployed, homeless and hungry on the street! I guess you will be able to say that your begging dollar will go farther.

This Is the Most Important Number in Business







Friday, April 20, 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Can You See Why It's All Related To Money?





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NORMAL COUNTRY, ABNORMAL DISTRIBUTION


According to the 2016 American Community Survey, the cutoff for the 1% is at $430,000 in annual income. That's more than 7 times as much as the median income.





Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Something Else The Nation Is Not Prepared For

And don't think we can get along without West Coast ports, and high tech, any more than we could get along without East Coast ports, and everything else the East Coast does economically. Lose a big portion of either side, and then have, say, a major storm event take out something important on the Gulf Coast, and you would see America brought to its knees economically. Big money would take flight, find protections elsewhere, and then wait out the "painful corrections" that they like to call things when it really hits the fan for the rest of us.

And then the extreme weather will only get worse because not nearly enough is being done to not only stop putting carbon into the atmosphere (as CO2), but also because we're doing virtually nothing to either take CO2 out of the air, and/or begin to take measures to protect the ice at the poles. I guess, by the time things really start getting bad, the population problem will begin to burn itself out, so to speak.

So much to look forward to as so many of you continue to stick your heads into anything but what you really should be paying attention to. I can guarantee that you'll be paying close attention fairly soon though.

East Bay fault is 'tectonic time bomb,' more dangerous than San Andreas, new study finds





Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Who Are You Going To Call, When It Comes To Law Breakers?

The "Oath Keepers," or the "Integrity Busters?"

And understand here, it is the "Integrity Busters" that use bag men, and fixers, and get rich at any cost, self promoters. The very people the current, demented clown car of an administration, uses at all levels of its operation; more and more in fact in direct opposition to the institutions the constitution says ought to be doing these important areas of operation, for our Nation. In opposition, mind you, to the "Oath Keepers." The very ones who have kept their integrity quite intact.

Lawrence: You Know President Donald Trump Wants To Attack Her | The Last Word



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[Post Note: Seems like a lot of people now are choosing those who keep their integrity intact, as opposed to those who do not. J.V.]

The decline of the Trump merchandise empire