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Forum Activity by Janson Jinnistan

YAWNCapitalism and socialism aren't just boogeymen, so we needs must refer to them when we speak of the world.

My point being that they also are not binaries, and become bogymen when spoken of in terms of either/or culprits of toxic policy. "The world" consists of blends of capitalist/socialist systems, so rather than speaking of them as absolutes, it's best to see them as relative elements of any given system.

YAWNJust to be clear, that is NOT my contention. My entire point is that we need to stop thinking of self-worth in Thomas the Tank Engine terms (i.e., are you a useful engine for Sir Topham Hat or are you causing confusion and delay?) and in terms that we define for ourselves. As the need for labor diminishes, we need to find a way to ground human meaning and dignity on something other than laboring for someone in some shop or in some field.

I don't mind a certain amount of social definition for one's sense of worth - altruism, charity, civility.

"Labor" is not the sole definer of the self-worth produced from one's work, but the product of work itself. This was shown recently, concerning the amount of satisfaction that a laborer receives from working the service sector as opposed to the manufacturing sector. The latter laborers take pride in manufacturing products that one can touch and feel after a long day, whereas the service industry doesn't provide such a tangible sense of accomplishment. Manufacturing laborers may not have had to deal with a steady stream of daily negative reinforcement from the percentage of sociopathic customers who make a point to abuse anyone that they can find subservient in their petty lives. So we can agree that one should be able to feel dignified in their work, but also recognize that some work is less dignified than others.
Jul 24, 2017 12:22 AM
YAWNJulian's latest

Not really about Trump, and, barring any Assange leak concerning Russian salaries to those who shot down MH17, probably not an honest attempt at outrage either.

Let me show you the ways. Find a not-particularly-difficult-to-find story that is directly caused by the Trump administration's loathsome actions, and maybe even find some equally-easy-to-find stats that completely refute their assertions.

I'm going to assume that Assange cares as little about this issue as he does for pussy rioting and dead reporters.
Jul 24, 2017 12:07 AM
YAWN"Diversified and dynamic vocational vector" sounds great, but our productivity has been skyrocketing since the 1960s while wages have remained stagnant.

Yes, that hones in on the problem at hand. With unions increasingly unpopular (and they deserve a chunk of the blame for shielding corruption in their ranks), there's much less bargaining power for workers than there was 30-40-50 years ago. There's little that the government can do, other than protect and enforce labor laws. labor rights, and set a minimum wage. The latter, however, I'm not convinced at the moment wouldn't further stratify the work force, separating the "wage-earners" (locked in at the soon-to-be standard "wage") from salary-earners and contractors. We could see the emergence of a new working class, the Wage Class, and see similar ways with which this class becomes priced out of any opportunity to mobilize.

YAWNAs for teachers, most college educators are now PTI, adjunct, and GTAs. Average pay for adjuncts is less than half that of their full time counterparts. Online offerings are ever increasing with more and more content modules that can automated or supervised by anyone.

Yes, I'm familiar with the fact that America does not currently place much value on teachers or the talents involved in good teaching. This results in low wages and poor administrative support, and also leads to presumptions about how a monkey with a dongle can do their jobs just as effectively. But teaching is not a job that can be automated. If this argument withstood scrutiny, one could follow a similar line that since we already have plenty of books, then everyone should already have the ability to be autodidacts. Especially in the primary stages of education, human interaction and the virtues inherent in it (empathy, interview, encouragement) is essential and cannot be outsourced to an unaccountable screen. Similar efforts have been tried to automate health services - another vocation where human empathy and caring are vital components of quality service - by attempting to make diagnosis through a screen. I won't even bother going into the anomie psychological effects that this would have on students and patients, and how they tacitly discern this dehumanization.

YAWNWhen automation creates so much of a competitive advantage that you must shed your office drones to stay competitive, however, you will. That's the law of the jungle.

"A.I." gets liberally tossed around a lot these days. 20 years ago, no one was referring to algorithms as a form of artificial intelligence. The goal of A.I. was simple enough: autonomous sentience. This stronger goal of general intelligence has become the exception for what people mean when they refer to A.I., which is now relegated to more or less controlled computational programs triggered by stimulus.

But, as the old saying goes, the carpenter should be at least 5% smarter than his hammer, and for better or for worse, human beings are still the architects, programmers and administrators over these automated systems, and I personally have never met anyone in I.T. who would trust any computer to run itself. (They tend to crash, you see.)

YAWNMeantime, climate change is still happening, ocean fisheries are being depleted, aquifers are being depleted, the coral reefs are going bye-bye, mass migrations are just getting started, vertebrates are still dying off at an alarming rate. In short, capitalism is running out of runway right at the moment when the anthropocene is really taking off.

Oxnardo has already pointed out that this provides a very lucrative opportunity for industry right now, and unfortunately we'll never know what we could have seen had Obama gotten his planned green energy infrastructure. Everything from weather-proofing homes, environmental clean-up, R&D investments would have put us at a much better vantage point if it hadn't been for all of the Republican concern over "picking winners" (the wrong winners, apparently). But none of these needs have gotten any less urgent.

YAWNHowever, I do not believe that a human being, by definition, should have to produce objective value for anyone else in order deserve access to resources needed for survival and minimally comfortable life. What do we do when we no longer need the majority of people to produce anything for us all to live comfortable lives? Your notion that meaning in life is deeply tied to being some sort of producer of value of goods and services to be sold, is a very capitalist one. I'd rather see people just work on what they would prefer to work on regardless of whether they make any money. No one, for example, is buying Konnor's music, but his music is keeping him occupied and happy, so who gives a shit? Let him do his thing. If someone wants to buy it, great. If not, give him a cut of the great bounty of all machine production out there.

First of all, I really loathe political talk that leans so heavily on these broad bogymen of "capitalism" and "socialism". These are meaningless terms in contemporary economics. America is essentially a social-market capitalism since the New Deal, where the government is given limited but defining roles in providing a social safety net and public services, and such economic interference as controlling inflation through interest rates, industrial subsidies and financial regulations. Where the market continues to be free is in the area of culture, and I think that this is perfectly reasonable, and a good example for why Western culture thrived at a time when Communism was requiring state approval for every work of art.

So ideally, the UBI is an expansion of the social safety net, a necessary response to automation's impact on the traditional working class and bureaucracy class. Nameless is free to continue his music, and people may buy it or not, but he won't starve as a result. If I have a capitalist sentiment here, it is that I believe that if Nameless' music proves profitable to anyone (data aggregates), then he should be obligated a not insubstantial chunk of that change. This is why I brought up the issue of balancing the nature of revenue-generation in our current technological industry with just compensation for the culture being contributed on its platforms. As it is, artists are expected to "share" in a way that is not being equally required from the big data traffickers.

Finally, I want to take issue with your point about this "production of value". First you introduce the requirement of "objective" value, which, as you should know, is an astronomical standard for any cultural product. Then you say, "that meaning in life is deeply tied to being some sort of producer of value of goods and services to be sold", which confuses the issue further. I do believe, for the record, that one's "meaning in life" is inextricably tied to being "a producer of value", but this value is implicitly understood by those who are engaged in cultural and aesthetic values as being far from objective, and not meaningfully reliant on commercial success. Parents can produce value in their children - in principles, education, responsibility - but nothing is really being bought or sold here. The fact that this doesn't qualify as a commercial transaction doesn't diminish the fact that this "production of value" is deeply related to the meaning that these parents derive from their lives.
Jul 23, 2017 10:33 PM
Captain TerrorIt's silent

And? You don't have any Leoncavallo or Nino Rota lying around?

Captain Terrorit's full of clowns

Brilliant! Like a cake full of chocolate chips. Did I mention the slapping?

Captain Terrorthe main character's name is "HE"

No, Lon Chaney's name is "HE". We're not talking about some Al Jolson over here.

Captain TerrorIt's a hard sell.

Isn't it like 70 minutes, tops? I doubt that your friends could chew through bungee cords faster than that.
Jul 23, 2017 9:22 PM
Izzy Blackyep

The '89 version is the best for showcasing Batman's formidable chemistry-fu.
Jul 23, 2017 9:12 PM
Rumpled 4 SkinGawd... i hate those phony youtube links [img][/img]

You can usually see a bitly link in the description before even clicking on it, which should be your first clue. The worst are those which may open with a studio logo before cutting to a download ad :(
Jul 23, 2017 9:03 PM
Jul 23, 2017 8:59 PM
Rated NCC-1701Janson's Remo Williams.

Jul 23, 2017 8:53 PM
YAWNSelf-driving cars alone will put millions of Americans out of work.

Yes, and drivers at all levels, not just interstate shipping.

YAWNAre we just going to tell 8 million former drivers to become quality artists?

Why should we? The point is that we need a diversified and dynamic vocational sector. We're not going to get where we need to be by making any narrow demands on what people can make a living at doing.

YAWNIn the future, these are systems that will be able to grade student papers.

That's fine. Everyone knows that the hard work with teachers involves the actual teaching, which is a social-interaction skill that isn't so easily replaceable.

YAWNWe're not all going to get out of this by being YouTubers getting paid for clicks.

I was referring to your perhaps overly-optimistic prediction of a large scale leisure class replicating the leisurely pursuits of liberal arts. I think that this is great for those prone to liberal arts, but this doesn't account for the rest of the spectrum of interests. This, too, is an unnecessarily and ultimately stultifying restriction on vocational options.
Jul 23, 2017 5:48 AM
YAWNThe world doesn't need that many musicians and poets and writers.

The demand for quality artists is as great as always.

But currently, the amount of money generated by web-clicks should maybe profit those producing the desirable content as much as those tallying the clicks. The current browsing-data economy is based solely on the latter.
Jul 23, 2017 4:51 AM
YAWNThe elephant sitting in the room is we're hurtling towards post-capitalism and we're not mentally equipped to think in post-capitalist terms. We believe in the morality of debt, the virtue of work, and the reality of invisible hands. We don't presently have the imagination to play another game. Capitalism depends on labor (i.e., how we little people get our coins so that we may consume) and labor is not only being outsourced globally, but increasingly being eroded by machine intelligence. It ain't going to work with rich people owning all the factories and platforms and consumers with no money to spend.

Capitalism is no longer dependent on Marxist ideas of "means of production", at least in the arena of content. The problem is that the purest capitalist enterprise in content-based culture currently, which would be the Big Data telemetry surrounding the metrics of content consumption, is perfectly profitable but unfortunately (and not atypical to history) not designed to address accountability to content creators as much as those service providers. This arrangement shouldn't be taken for granted. Such specific accountability as is provided by this telemetry is also ideal for determining the value of individual content contributors. This is the next generation of the long-standing "publishing rights" of the creators vs. the lawyers.

We can imagine such things as an universal income, but people will need something which defines purpose in their life.
Jul 23, 2017 4:07 AM
13 films that show a plane crash-landing

1. Con Air
2. Sully
3. Airplane!
4. U.S. Marshals
5. Executive Decision
6. Foreign Correspondent
Jul 23, 2017 3:34 AM
YAWNAmazon doesn't charge sales tax for most sales, so they're cheaper there.

Amazon is subsidized by our taxes, so they're able to be cheaper there.

Amazon doesn't have brick and mortar locations to maintain, so they have an edge there.

Amazon has never turned a profit because their end goal is to control everything, so they must be cheaper.

How many fucking edges and advantages do they and other companies need?

I would be for removing sales taxes on locally produced goods and also taxing internet sales, or something like that rather than just sending more cash off to the government to fritter away on F-35s while kids in Flint still can't drink the water.

Sales tax tends to be at the state level, so there's less chance that they'l be used for F-35s and more that they'll be used for local infrastructure.

I personally side with an internet sales tax, for many of the reasons that you mention here. There's the competitive edge, and also the edge of traditional sales taxes no longer being sufficient as revenue goes online.

Trump has occasionally flirted with such a tax - even calling out Bezos in a recent tweet - but I've seen no substantial effort on his office's part to even address the preliminary outline of such a proposed legislation.
Jul 23, 2017 3:27 AM
Sincere question: would you support an "internet sales tax"?
Jul 23, 2017 3:03 AM
YAWNHe's not. While you nimnodes lament the fact that you lost the election to the most beatable Republican in history, a million other things are still happening.

Yeah, bullshit. This is just you undermining WaPo again.
Jul 23, 2017 3:01 AM

I'm glad that Trump is actively involved in this issue.
Jul 23, 2017 2:50 AM
YAWNAnd TIL that Janson doesn't know the difference between libel and slander.

It's true that I don't consider these message boards to rise to the level of "print", but accept it as a more casual conversation.

Izzy BlackWhat is odd, though, is that HR acknowledges similar comments made by WB executives of their intentions to keep Affleck on, and also Reeves' claims that he wants to keep Affleck. That means it looks they're not only basing their argument entirely on their anonymous source and some inferential evidence about Affleck's age and motivations, but they're doing so in spite of WB and Reeves' claims to the contrary.

I'll be happy to link to a retraction as one becomes available. As it is, I can see how the initial article could still be accurate in some ways (as in WB studio execs' ability to say contradictory things in public and private) that allows Affleck's Comic-Con statements to also be true.
Jul 23, 2017 2:43 AM
Takoma1I'm also a big fan of the scene where Arbogast is attacked. It is shocking (the people who hadn't seen the movie before jumped) and despite the practical effect being a bit obvious, it does kind of capture the experience of falling backwards down the stairs.

Jul 23, 2017 2:22 AM
YAWN At any rate, what amuses me is not that you seek attention but rather that you called me out for a shitty source in a thread that's turned out to be a shit source.

The Hollywood Reporter is not a shit source, and it has yet to be determined to what extent the initial story was shit. It could very well be that WB has decided to draw up contingency plans for phasing out an increasingly disinterested Ben Affleck, or that the new director of The Batman has shown disinterest in Affleck, not least of which including discarding the latter's script (which has not been refuted). None of this rules out the possibilities that Affleck has had a change of mind since the story ran, or that it was determined to be optimal publicity to show Affleck in solidarity with the company in the run-up to the release of one of their primary tent-poles this year.

All of that aside, The Gateway Pundit is considered "fake news" not exclusively on the reliability of its reporting but on the consciousness of the fakeness that they happen to be peddling. Slander me all you like, but there has yet to be any evidence that the Hollywood Reporter was aware of these discrepancies when they ran the story on which this thread is based.
Jul 23, 2017 2:19 AM
YAWNPair that with the flat assertion that is the title of the thread and your unsubtlety is compounded into the clickbait that it is.

Yes, Yarn, that sweet RT-GD traffic is just too much to keep me honest. Who else could resist such a lucrative resource?
Jul 23, 2017 1:55 AM