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Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 1:59 pm
Materialism: the transition to remote labour actually further centralizes the labour force (in the sense that the labour force is now effectively anyone with an internet connection, and so the capitalist's grasp becomes more or less global) which further reduces the political power of labourers (if this even exists anymore). The idea of scattering while simultaneously conglomerating the labour force seems to me to have some fairly pernicious effects in terms of power relations (a break down of locally concentrated solidarities that maintains the massive labour pool that keeps the worker's autonomy to a minimum). Capitalism used to want to centralize the labour force so that workers couldn't unionize. It's newfound capacity to centralize while decentralizing seems like a more perfect version of this original aim.

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 8:05 pm
by JewTurk
titkitten wrote:@JewTurk why do you think it's bad to bring in Silicon Valley money into rural areas? because of gentrification + pushing out the people who currently live there?

Well, that and: just seeing what has happened to the real estate market in the US (specifically states bordering/near CA). People retire from CA, bring truck-loads of money into a different state, and buy property for obscene amounts of money and it pushes out huge amounts of people who used to live there. Just in Boise in the last 5 years we've seen property values DOUBLE. I remember walking around neighborhoods and seeing houses for 150k that are now going for upwards of 400k. That's not any one person's fault but it seems most people point at CA bringing in that kind of money the area had never seen before.

I think the property value issues are more coupled with housing being a scarce resource in a lot of places right now because of AirBnB and co. and who knows how much of an effect each has had.

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2020 12:45 am
by fun_yunchables
(economic) globalization was a mistake send tweet

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 11:10 am
by alby
happy birthday to all of our favorite bots today :L

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:40 pm
by fun_yunchables
returning back to the rural/work from home dialectic, i was reading some schumacher essays (a bit anachronistic since they are from 1973), but quite poignant in the points brought up

Help to Those who Need it Most
The problem may therefore be stated quite simply thus: what can be done to bring health to economic life outside the big cities, in the small towns and villages which still contain - in most cases - eighty to ninety per cent of the total population? As long as the development effort is concentrated mainly on the big cities, where it is easiest to establish new industries, to staff them with managers and men, and to find finance and markets to keep them going, the competition from these industries will further disrupt and destroy non-agricultural production in the rest of the country, will cause additional unemployment outside, and will further accelerate the migration of destitute people into towns that cannot absorb them. The process of mutual poisoning' will not be halted.

It is necessary, therefore, that at least an important part of the development effort should by-pass big cities and be directly concerned with the creation of an agro-industrial structure' in the rural and small- town areas. In this connection it is necessary to emphasise that the primary need is workplaces, literally millions of workplaces. No-one, of course, would suggest that output-per- man is unimportant but the primary consideration cannot be to maximise output per man, it must be to maximise work opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed For a poor man the chance to work is the greatest of all needs, and even poorly paid and relatively unproductive work is better than idleness. 'Coverage must come before perfection', to use the words of Mr Gabriel Ardant.'
'It is important that there should be enough work for all because that is the only way to eliminate anti-productive reflexes and create a new state of mind - that of a country where labour has become precious and must be put to the best possible use.
In other words, the economic calculus which measures success in terms of output or income, without consideration of the number of jobs, is quite inappropriate in the conditions here under consideration, for it implies a static approach to the problem of development. The dynamic approach pays heed to the needs and reactions of people: their first need is to start work of some kind that brings some reward, however small; it is only when they experience that their time and labour is of value that they can become interested in making it more valuable. It is therefore more important that everybody should produce something than that a few people should each produce a great deal, and this remains true even if in some exceptional cases the total output under the former arrangement should be smaller than it would be under the latter arrangement It will not remain smaller, because this is a dynamic situation capable of generating growth.
An unemployed man is a desperate man and he is practically forced into migration. This is another justification for the assertion that the provision of work opportunities is the primary need and should be the primary objective of economic planning. Without it, the drift of people into the large cities cannot be mitigated, let alone halted.
The Nature of the Task

The task, then, is to bring into existence millions of new workplaces in the rural areas and small towns. That modern industry, as it has arisen in the developed countries, cannot possibly fulfil this task should be perfectly obvious. It has arisen in societies which are rich in capital and short of labour and therefore cannot possibly be appropriate for societies short of capital and rich in labour. Puerto Rico furnishes a good illustration of the point, To quote from a recent study:
'Development of modern factory-style manufacturing makes only a limited contribution to employment. The Puerto Rican development programme has been unusually vigorous and successful; but from 1952- 62 the average increase of employment in EDA-sponsored plants was about 5,000 a year. With present labour force participation rates, and in the absence of net emigration to the mainland, annual additions to the Puerto Rican labour force would be of the order of 40,000 ...
'Within manufacturing, there should be imaginative exploration of small- scale, more decentralised, more labour-using forms of organisation such as have persisted in the Japanese economy to the present day and have contributed materially to its vigorous growth.
Equally powerful illustrations could be drawn from many other countries, notably India and Turkey, where highly ambitious five- year plans regularly show a greater volume of unemployment at the end of the five-year period that at the beginning, even assuming that the plan is fully implemented.
The real task may be formulated in four propositions:
First, that workplaces have to be created in the areas where the people are living now, and not primarily in metropolitan areas into which they tend to migrate.
Second, that these workplaces must be, on average, cheap enough so that they can be created in large numbers without this calling for an unattainable level of capital formation and imports.
Third, that the production methods employed must be relatively simple, so that the demands for high skills are minimised, not only in the production process itself but also in matters of organisation, raw material supply, financing, marketing, and so forth.

Fourth, that production should be mainly from local materials and mainly for local use. These four requirements-can be met only if there is a 'regional' approach to development and, second, if there is a conscious effort to develop and apply what might be called an 'intermediate technology'. These two conditions will now be considered in turn.

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:52 pm
fun_yunchables wrote:returning back to the rural/work from home dialectic, i was reading some schumacher essays (a bit anachronistic since they are from 1973), but quite poignant in the points brought up

This reminds me of a book that I read a long time ago, written by some Marxist whose name I can't remember, that looked at the transition from hydro power to coal power in Europe during the industrial revolution. The ideology of capitalism would suggest that this energy transition took place because of the law of supply and demand: coal became cheaper than hydro and so became the dominant energy source in industrializing nations. What this book discovered was that for the first three decades or so of the transition to fossil fuel, coal was actually far more expensive than hydro, yet in spite of this fact coal extraction skyrocketed and coal-fuelled production steamed ahead. So, why did this transition take place if it contradicts the so-called "laws" of the free market? Well, because hydro power encouraged distributed locals: small settlements along waterways that were materially limited in size and productive capacity. These small, distributed settlements greatly inhibited the power of capitalists, as the scattered towns and villages precipitated by hydro energy were limited in terms of population, and thus did not supply employers with the massive surplus populations that render labourers fungible and thus more vulnerable to the most brutal forms of exploitation. When you're one of two shoemakers in town working at the local shoe store, your employer can't exactly compel you to work unreasonable hours for an unreasonable wage, because if you quit, he's fucked. Why coal then? Because it is transportable, because it allowed capitalists to move great sums of energy into the cities, concentrating the work force and thereby undermining the solidarity of workers. You can't exactly walk out on your employer when there are hundreds of working class folk more than willing to take your place on the production floor. What the book uncovered was that the transition to coal had nothing to do with the law of supply and demand, and everything to do with reorganizing society in such a way that the capitalist's power was increased and the worker's power was diminished.

This suggests four things:

(1) Localization/regionalization is indeed a strong antidote to capitalist exploitation.
(2) However, a localized system is the result of an underlying material reality. In the example above, localization is the direct result of hydro power. This begs the question: is localization/regionalization/de-urbanization achievable in a fossil-powered system? My answer would be a definitive "no".
(3) This means that if we want to re-localize, it would involve a fundamental shift in the types of energy we use to power our grids, and would likely also entail a decrease in productive capacities: we would have to do with less, use less, make less, consume less.
(4) The solution, from this point of view, would be to decrease "productivity" (a loaded, highly subjective term in the first place), to produce less, by powering our grids using forms of energy that are both more difficult to transport and less intense than fossil fuels (e.g. solar, wind, etc.). This solution would obviously require some type of revolutionary force, as capitalism only functions by ceaselessly increasing its productive capabilities. The capitalist presupposition that productivity is "good," in and for itself, is one of the first things that we need to question in these kinds of conversations. What types of work are deemed productive and what are the effects of our highly contingent definitions of productivity?

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 3:52 pm
by fun_yunchables
if you ever remember the author/book i’d love to give it a read

i see these ideas echoed in schumacher, especially in regards to “suboptimal” production and consumption (coined in buddhist economics/the middle way) — attempts at answering the metaphysical question of the necessity for “growth” in the paradigm as we know it (capitalistic).

self-sufficient localization as a root solution for imperialism/colonialism too. if there is no incentive to require resources outside of a relatively self-sufficient geography, then there is no incentive to establish colonies for extraction of unnecessary resources. ive heard the argument that import/export really is the spine of colonialism — the want for resources not local drove the creation of empires.

there’s also this ( ... roy-itself) more anarcho primitivist take but to me, at least in a non cooperative game-theoretic framework, this article seems to be the inevitable (and defeatist) future. as long as on a global scale there exists some kind of competitive market without localized resource control. at least it’s consistent with the fermi paradox i guess

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:56 pm
by rjbman
please send me $1000 via bitcoin. this isn't a scam, i promise. (not promising money back you just give me it, thanks)

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:57 pm
by rjbman
really tho twitter is FUCKED

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:41 pm
by rjbman
@jewturk this is an utterly massive security fuckup that will probably have lasting repercussions on them as a business

though i'm seeing word hackers bribed? some twitter employees to help them pull it off. seems like a colossally stupid move on those employees' parts

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:46 pm
by alby

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:57 pm
by JewTurk
What's going to happen to the US? Please give predictions.

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:46 pm
by fun_yunchables
my doomer guess (using french yellow jacket, hong kong yellow umbrella, chilean protests as optimistic guides)

  • persistent protests in the near future (if the fascist police state doesn't crush it first)
  • more voter disenfranchisement around presidential election
  • rising new cold war tensions with peoples rep of china
  • economic shocks around the end of the year when a lot of stimulus runs out -- people aren't going to be suddenly hired right away
  • aforementioned economic shocks bring about more or intensify existing tensions
  • further increased cold war tensions
  • climate change encroaching on equatorial regions, particularly in agriculture
  • staple crops around equator die due to 1.5C+ climate changes, prompting famine due to globalised food supply chain
  • global famine causes food pricing to go extreme due to shortage -- less privileged people suffer since they can no longer afford necessities
  • global famine also causes global protests and riots (let them eat cake)
  • governments get desperate due to issues with securing food and other necessities -- perhaps even in the extreme, climate wars break out for limited resources
  • self-extinction?

  • celebs try to collectively sing "ain't no mountain high enough" but nobody cares any more

also if any of u work in computational think tank policy joints please hire me i swear i think about these scenarios all the time

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:37 pm
by smiles
Think of the dumbest, most ridiculous outcome and you'll probably be correct.

for example, biden loses presidency but the democrats win the senate and the house. Then nothing happens aside from cold war with china or something.

or biden gets corona and dies after being elected but before being inaugurated.

or the rich will get unimaginable richer and everyone else will get slowly and then all of a sudden a lot poorer.

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:30 am
by popcorn
Whether or not we become a complete martial autocracy, I see no scenario in which we don't continue to slide in human development indexes.

It's been evident since the 1950s that the United States isn't oriented enough towards community health, education, and real production to warrant the country's growth.

The value of our currency is propped up by military intervention and intimidation, tautology, and the idea that eventually we will orient the state more towards real production (see: the hyperinflation of the valuation and cost of an american university education even though our land grant universities lag behind the standards of some other highly developed countries). The service industries that only provide an affluent lifestyle because they're tied to our currency will collapse.

Is this the cyberpunk thread?

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:12 am
by UnwashedMolasses
I'm not exactly clear on how a "cold war" is defined as having started or not started but I think the US is already engaged in one against China based on our funding of the HK protests and our attempts to disrupt and destroy the Belt and Road Initiative.

I don't see any scenario in which an actual response to COVID-19 is ever coordinated, which most nurses I know are very worried about as we move into flu season and how much more fucked our medical infrastructure is going to be attempting to deal with both of those at the same time.

Not sure if Trump will lose or win at this point but I'm also not sure it will make a difference. It wouldn't surprise me if they simply suspend the election. Even if Biden wins it's not like he or his allies will do anything about COVID or any of the crises we're dealing with.

Massive amounts of people are going to be facing eviction in the immediate future as the eviction moratorium ends at the same time that unemployment benefits do - state by state numbers show 25% of renters at risk of being evicted is the LOWEST percent, and they go up to 50%. I'm not sure how much of an economic effect that'll have - I want to say there's no way they'll just evict that many people given that there's no one else to fill the places with but that would be assuming that landlords will act like anything other than desperately greedy leeches and I know better than that

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:06 pm
by _Organism
Wynand vs. Roark (Enemies to Lovers, Love Triangle, Slash)

Re: Here is ramdomthought!

PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:03 pm
by fun_yunchables

man i know lotka-volterra models of two species (human and forest) is pretty damn reductive but still i be expecting even more and potentially worse effects when u maybe consider socio-ecological disturbance factors and all but ya lol