blogging for michigan
michigan liberal
new deal 2.0
strange death of liberal america

joe bageant
blended purple
breaking ranks
critiques of libertarianism
death by car
divorce your car
fare-free michigan
'good communication skills'
occasional links & commentary
jack saturday
solidarity economy
trench coat exposed
ultimate superset
underclass rising

anarchist writers
angel economics
collectif emma goldman
dead time pacifies
robert graham
ideas & action
institute for anarchist studies
poor richard
property is theft!
queering the singularity
spaces of hope
truth, reason & liberty

22 November 2008

Quotations with links

"One large problem with selling our private information is the ratchet effect. Once you have divulged a piece of personal information to a party, it is out of your control for all time, since no piece of information is ever forgotten anymore (the ratchet). That party now can sell the information bit along, as well as aggregate it with other information you previously sold (or they otherwise obtained) to draw a much more detailed picture of you than you might wish to be known. What is the cost to me of this aggregated dataset about me that will exist into perpetuity? I have no way to even begin calculating that. So I try to never give anyone any information anymore."--R

"Ancient Hebrew did not have written vowels. The phrase 'evening and morning,' in Genesis 1, might have originally been 'chaos and order' or 'conceal and consider.'"--JL

"We have no effective opposition party in the United States, but we are all of us here on the Internet, pledging holy allegiance to the passionate insane delusion of a two-party, representative system."--John Lockwood

"And even though I promised I wouldn't lie to the gatekeepers to get what I want... I take it back. I'll lie as much and as often as I need to. I'm a greedy little monster. My body is MINE, and if I want to alter it, then I will. Fuck having Trans Enough reasons."--Ryan

"Pagans have seen first hand that the religious opinions of Presidents have been used in the past by government agencies to deny us our legal rights. What would happen if our vice president thought we should be supernaturally eradicated?"--whatsername

"It overcomes the severe deficiencies of the numeric scale, particularly the bit about 10 pain being 'the worst pain you can imagine,' as no matter how bad your pain is, you can always imagine it being worse so in theory level 10 pain doesn't exist."--Payne Hertz

"Our companies are happy to outsource jobs to lower wage countries - maybe we should outsource American CEOs to other parts of the world."--Rev. Paul Ratzlaff

"It's better, paraphrasing Gene Debs, to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it."--Bill Perdue

"What are you asking? Why certain cis women are 'hurt' by trans women claiming equal status as them? -shrug- I figure I'll understand it about when someone also can answer the question about how it is exactly that gay marriage threatens the institution of 'family values,' etc. etc."--belledame222

"It's not about getting noticed, it's about being found. I maintain this site so I can be found when you google my name."--Jeremy Stein

"For George Will, whether something is worthwhile or not depends on whether it expands government power and spending or not. For normal human beings, it depends on whether enough good will come out of the program to justify the money it would cost to create it. And while the American elite have borrowed libertarian language like Will's for decades, what they really think is that a government action's value depends on whether it gives them more money or not."--alex

"I'd live in a goddamn cardboard box under a freeway overpass before I'd submit to a goddamn "homeowners" assholeciation. Same goes for a gate community."--Dr. Phair and Balanced Fill

"The thing I love love love most about the typical North American university campus is very simple: this is the only place left in society here that's physically designed for living without cars."--Sean Savage

25 September 2008

Quotations with links

"I don't have anything against fiscal responsibility, I just don't think it's fundamental enough as a value to go in a tag line--and there are times, like now, when short-term fiscal 'irresponsibility' is the most responsible long-term course..."--Shawn Fremstad

"If we keep bailing out huge corporations can we please stop pretending that corporate CEOs are paid so much more than the rest of us mere mortals because they are such epic-scaled risk-takers?"--Dale Carrico

"It's been said that a society can be judged by how it treats its weakest members; and in a society based on social contacts--'It's who you know, not what you know'--those with the least social currency are very easily near the bottom of the heap."--chaotic idealism

"The Republicans have been dismantling the social safety net for the last 30 yrs, and meanwhile globalization has crept in and taken the real jobs out of the US, to be replaced with iffy service sector jobs that require lies to sell, sell, sell and sell more to make big commissions for some, with lots of job hunting for the losers and low pay support jobs for everyone else."--real person from the real world

"But in order for us to take care of each other better, we need an economy that is based on surplus rather than scarcity. Which is of course easier said than done, and talking about it does nothing for the people who are out in the cold."--Ted Lemon

"[Thomas] Sowell acts as if the only power that damages the will of the people as expressed through the so-called free market is the government.. Not once in his column does he mention the word corporation -- yet a corporation is a significant center of power."--Michael Meeropol

"If you work through the existing structures you are going to be corrupted."--Howard Zinn

"Television is noise. People are televisions. That's what raised them. And that's what they think they are. They crave ever more stimulation: action, drama, noise, explosions, crashes and LOUD DIALOGUE!!!!!"--Mr. Heathen

"Black people - having been property - understand full well that citizens' rights must trump property rights; we are the one group for whom the alternative is obvious."--Glen Ford and Peter Gamble

"Through markets, comes resource allocation, on the basis of vote by the wallet."--Bulent Sayin

"And there's nothing quite like idly flipping past Oprah, noticing that she's talking about great money saving tips, and discovering everything she suggests cutting back on is stuff you've never ever once in your life indulged in. Christ."--Jennifer Kesler

"Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person."--Sanford Aranoff

06 September 2008

Quotations with links

"In general, if someone is making a website publicly available, others may freely link to it. That open linking is what makes the web a 'web.'"--Electronic Frontier Foundation

'"If you don't work, you don't eat" is a core philosophy of today's economy, and this rule could make a rapid robotic takeover extremely uncomfortable for our society.'--Marshall Brain

"A big problem in the whole thought process about ebooks is the notion that there should be a specific device and format. The best ebooks are HTML files."--Henri Sivonen

"Trickle down economics means the rich guy pisses and what trickles down his leg the poor folk get to fight over!"--Grandma Crabby

"The correct term for 'open-source DRM' is bug.'"--Aristotle Pagaltzis

"For example, triangulation would be a horrible strategy now, since half way to bat-shit insane extreme right-wing is still extreme right-wing."--Travc

"So to all those right-wing idiots out there that claim the government couldn't possibly do insurance better than the private sector, let me tell you that when I say THE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE SECTOR SUCKS LIKE A SHOP VAC, I'm speaking from experience."--djtyg

"We've got a ways to go until we're to the point where the religious are leaving the irreligious alone to an extent where the irreligious can afford to live and let live."--B. Dewhirst

"I firmly believe that all the liberation anyone need is to fully accept that you are not better than anyone, and no-one is better than you. All the other good things grow from there."--Ryan Rutley

"No one gets to the 'primary sources,' whether they are constituted as the historical record or as the literary canon, without going through the priests, scribes, librarians, professors, critics--the professionals--who created them in retrospect, in view of their own intellectual obligations and political purposes."--James Livingston

"Somalia has the highest number of Pirates AND the lowest Carbon emissions of any country. Coincidence?"--Colin

"A friend recently pointed out that 'Anyone who says they're an environmentalist and has children is lying.'"--Pinkyracer

"These sensor nets WILL come. The only question is who will have access and who will be empowered. Again and again I explain -- the only way we'll keep a little privacy is (ironically) if we all can see."--David Brin

"We need to do all we can to insure that architectural uniqueness and independent voices do not die. This is also where the blogosphere comes in. Right now it is the only outlet for some of us. We need to fight to be sure it does not become the equivalent of a Gasoline Ghetto dominated by the equivalent of chains. Because when it does guess who will be wearing the chains?"--Ralph Brauer

"The problem with being a philosopher who writes sci-fi is that you can just write a book where all your theories are true."--Norman Rafferty

"Behind this shift, he [Jacob S. Hacker] contends, is the Personal Responsibility Crusade, eagerly embraced by corporate leaders and
Republican politicians who speak of a nirvana of economic empowerment, an 'ownership society' in which Americans are free to choose. But as Hacker reveals, the result has been quite different: a harsh new world of economic insecurity, in which far too many Americans are free to lose."--Paul Krugman, quoted by Richard

"A new report shows that one five-story building in the Cayman Islands houses 19,000 financial entities."--Mike Lillis

"Money is certainly a status symbol; of that we are aware. As long as it is the criterion by which achievement is judged it will continue to be. But what is wrong with seeking better status symbols?"--Pierre Berton, in The Smug Minority, quoted by Jack Saturday

"[S]equencing the genome doesn't mean much. It's like being able to see the source code for a language but not have a working interpreter for it. It makes for a pretty wall map I suppose, and maybe some wonderful new atrocities in the US Patent Office."--Mr. Brightside

"People on the right hate the media when it does its job. People on the left hate the media when it doesn’t do its job."--Seeker 6079

"Whoever has the necessary purchasing power can claim human rights."--anon.

"Well, it takes about maybe three seconds' thought to realize that moving power down to the States, in funding and so on, is just moving it away from the people, for a perfectly elementary reason: there's a hidden part of the system -- of the power system that you're not supposed to know about, or think about, and that's private power."--Noam Chomsky, quoted by Francisco Miguel Valada

"Biomed autism advocates like Jenny McCarthy's TACA group need and use 'higher-functioning' autistic people in their statistics to try to prove there is an 'epidemic' on the one hand, while stating on the other that they are not 'severe' enough to speak for autistic people."--Estee Klar-Wolfond

"Everyone, down to repairmen, seems to want to keep their 'trade secrets' and want me to shut up and pay them, rather than ask what they're doing and why."--chaotic idealism

"People with disabilities are 'worth' more to the Gross Domestic Product when occupying a bed in an institution than when they’re living in their own homes."--Marta Russel, quoted by Sunny Taylor

"As far as the US criticism of China as a 'one party system,' the US is a one and a half party system at best."--John C. Lawrence

Book meme

Book meme, via Emily
So Bardiac had this meme this morning, and I thought I'd do it.

The top 100 or so books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users.
Bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault's Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People's History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion is this
There is Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

10 July 2008

Concerning the digital divide in America

I am an American blogging at a public library. The blog entry you are reading was posted at a public library. It was written at home. The sentence you are now reading was typed in at 7/10/2008 1:52:06 AM (EDT, GMT-4). My trusty USB flash drive is a key part of my window on the world, or at least on the world-wide web.

I am heartened to see that the domestic digital divide has become a political issue here in America, and that a political movement is growing around the issue. While certainly less severe in its implications than the global digital divide, the domestic digital divide is a very real social divide with very real consequences. Advantages and disadvantages alike tend to accumulate. The fact that job hunting can still be done without using the Internet does not imply that the unwired have access to the job market. The fact that people still meet in meatspace does not imply that the unwired have adequate social outlets.

The nature of the digital divide is different in America than it is in the so-called developing world. Here, access to computers is not the real problem. I own three working computers, one of which I garbage-picked, another of which I obtained at a garage sale. I don't have residential Internet access, and I don't think getting it would be prudent at my meager level of "disposable income." The domestic digital divide movement, to its credit, understands that the cost of services (you pay by the month) is more burdensome than the cost of goods (you bought it you own it) for the American of meager means. In general, though, I have some real concerns about how they are framing the issue. Consider the website of Internet for Everyone: I find the overall tone of their line of argument to be an appeal to nationalism. To them, it is a moral imperative that America be (bar none) the world leader in broadband access, and apparently also in broadband penetration. Barriers to the latter include access and affordability, but also the fact that some people don't want broadband. I respect that, just as I expect not watching television to be considered an acceptable (or at least tolerated) lifestyle. I certainly don't consider it my patriotic duty to watch TV. I'm a little troubled that the access activists speak only of broadband access. If the price of dial-up access could be reduced to, say, two dollars a month (ideally coupled of course with a comparable reduction in the cost of POTS), I would consider my own quality of life increased. I certainly felt more connected back when I was using dial-up access at home, on demand, than I do now using a broadband connection at a library computer lab that keeps banker's hours, and where there are often no vacant seats. My online interests tend more to the so-called semantic web than to multimedia content, and connectivity is currently more of an albatross in my life than bandwidth. I can forgive this policy emphasis, as dial-up will eventually be phased out. Also, there must be many Americans who find dial-up within their budget and for whom broadband (and presumably cable TV) would be an extravagance. These people are obviously constrained by a digital divide, and have nothing to watch save (in the immortal lyrics of Pink Floyd) 13 channels of shit on the TV to choose from. I also understand that American public opinion is wired in such a way that it's impossible to sell anything in the marketplace of political ideas without framing it as a national security (or at least a national supremacy) issue. After all the official name of the interstate highway system is the "interstate national defense highway system" or words to that effect. So, in the name of pragmatism, I must somehow forgive the movement for appealing to nationalism.

I'm also a little disturbed that the Internet access issue, like the health care access issue, is leading to comparisons between America and the rest of the so-called developed world. I am gravely disturbed by the implications of the theory that economic development is a prerequisite for political freedom. I am also concerned that framing the digital divide as a domestic issue or a "developed world" issue may have the effect of de-linking, at least in some minds, America's digital divide from humanity's digital divide. As an aside, I just noticed that MS Word 97 just grammar-flagged "digital divide," suggesting "digitals divide" and "digital divides" as alternatives. Funny how our language evolves, or for that matter how, in general, languages evolve. Anyway, back to the subject at hand; bridging the digital divides. As a consumer of online content and as an intermittent participant in online society (i.e., a vagrant netizen) I would find a mass influx of "developing world" residents into cyberspace more entertaining and more socially enlightening than, say, a 20% increase in American participation...even if I found myself still observing it from a public access terminal. I must confess I sometimes envy the citizens of the non-USA part of the "first world" for amenities such as 3+ party democracy and the social possibilities of a society in which "economic security" (and sometimes even "public sector") isn't a dirty word. Nevertheless, I am deeply grateful for the good fortune of having been born here in America, where the public library is an entrenched (though unfortunately endangered) social institution. This institution, along with the philanthropy of such organizations as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which donated some of the computers in my home town library), makes possible the blog which you are reading. In that spirit, I have an American flag sticker on the small plastic case in which I carry my "cyberkit," consisting of my ear buds, flash drives and the like. That I may have less access than most of the "first world" is a political concern, but that I have far more access than most of the world's population is a fact that figures prominently on my "radar screen."

17 May 2008

Everything I know about the Clintons, I learned in high school

On May 6, 2008 I voted in my local school board election. This was the first WCS board of education election in which I participated, since becoming a resident of the Warren Community Schools district in 1996. I suppose that makes me something of a slacker of among voters. Not to defend my inactions, but the school board elections in this community have at times been referred to in the local press at "stealth elections" because of their being scheduled "off the beaten path," if you will, of August primaries and November general elections where virtually all other political questions of this jurisdiction are resolved. Combine the offbeat scheduling with the fact of the nonpartisan ballot, the dearth of press coverage of school board meetings and votes, and the normally miniscule level of participation in such elections, and I am a little informationally intimidated. The candidates are inevitably people I've never heard of. Since I'm (proud to be) child free, my social world rarely intersects the K-12 education community. One result is that I feel like an outsider when it comes to local public schools.

My participation this year is no doubt part of an abnormally high turnout due to the piggybacking of a Macomb County charter proposal to the Stealth Election Day agenda. I heard about this proposal in the local media only three days prior to the election. The local polity seems to have a penchant for slipping things other the rug.

In the alternative and lefty press, mostly during the halcyon 1990's, I have also heard school board elections referred to as "stealth elections." Among that faction of editorial opinion, it has been alleged that the careers of so-called "religious right" politicians are often launched in local school boards precisely because of the under-the-radar way in which these elections are administered in many school districts in many parts of America. I was always at least a little bit skeptical about such claims, but my experience Tuesday begs certain questions.

My polling place is C. S. Mott High School. Normally the voting takes place in a large room that appears to be either a gymnasium or a lunchroom. This time it was in the school library. Between the library entrance and the voter processing station was the 'biography' section of the library, which of course I browsed while waiting for my wife to finish voting. The following list represents the school library's entire biographical holdings (barring possible books in circulation) on Bill Clinton:

Brown, Slick Willie;
Evans-Pritchard, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton;
Coulter, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton;
Timper, Lake and Triplett, Year of the Rat;
Oakley, On the Make;
Tyrrell, Boy Clinton;
Lowry, Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years;
Coulter, High Crimes and Misdemeanors;
Morris, Because He Could;
Tyrrell and anon., The Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton

Here's the entire biographical holdings on his wife:

Limbacher, Hillary's Scheme;
Milton, The First Partner;
Brock, The Seduction of Hillary Rodham;
Anderson, American Evita

I'm not a big fan of the Clintons, but I'm critical of them from the left. Neither that perspective, nor anything in the way of positive portrayals, appears to be available in this library. Certainly a school library would not be providing students with a representative sampling of the marketplace of ideas without featuring authors such as Ann Coulter, Dick Morris and the pre-enlightenment David Brock. That being said, the starkly monotone range of available perspectives on a particular subject suggests that a clique with an ideological agenda may have captured the school library acquisitions process here. It remains for me to research whether this results from a development in school board politics, patterns in the donation of books, voter and/or parent demands, or any of the other plausible means of stacking the library stacks.

Quotations with links

"Without the proletarian Bad Cop of the USSR, the proletarian Good Cop of Social Democracy is doomed."--JVS

"A country that displays an almost ruthless commitment to efficiency and performance in every aspect of its economy--a country that switched to Japanese cars the moment they were more reliable, and to Chinese T-shirts the moment they were five cents cheaper--has loyally stuck with a health-care system that leaves its citizenry pulling out their teeth with pliers."--Malcolm Gladwell

"I think it's pretty healthy to be somewhat skeptical of government power, but only because it's healthy to be somewhat skeptical of the power of any person, institution, or organization which has it in significant amounts."--Sportin' Life

"'Terrorism' has become a proprietary brand and the US government holds the copyright."--War in Context

"Private property has crushed true Individualism, and set up an Individualism that is false."--Dale Carrico

"We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies."--John Perry Barlow, quoted by Cedwyn

"...the official definition of recession has become delinked from peoples' actual experience. Right now, we're in an economy with deteriorating employment and incomes, collapsing home prices, and business retrenchment. Is it also an economy in recession? Who cares?"--Paul Krugman, quoted by Jay Stevens

"On the other hand, as tens of millions of Chinese and Indians annually join Americans and Europeans in wanting their steaks and wines - and perhaps a bit of $4 gasohol from food crops to get them to the supermarket and back - the orders of magnitude start agreeing. What we are looking at is not an example of government meddling ruining a free market, as this is generally characterized. What we are seeing is a fundamental principal [sic] of any market at work - when you don't have money, no one wants to sell you shit."--the editors of The Poor Man

25 April 2008

Quotations with links

"As you no doubt remember, Cingular was co-owned by BellSouth and SBC, which had been Southwestern Bell and Ameritech, which before that had been Illinois Bell, Wisconsin Bell, Michigan Bell, Ohio Bell, and Indiana Bell. ... A couple of years ago Cingular bought AT&T Wireless and renamed it Cingular, but then SBC bought AT&T and changed its own name to AT&T. Then that new AT&T bought BellSouth, changing its name to AT&T, making it only logical to change Cingular into AT&T."--Stephen Colbert, quoted by Onnesha Roychoudhuri

"And like those vassals of old, we accept to be fleeced time and again for the betterment of those who already have more than plenty - piously accepting the lie that if the rich get richer, everybody else will benefit somehow in such prosperity."--Mentarch, a. k. a. Pierre

"If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God."--Desmond Tutu, quoted by Elizabeth Schmitz

"If someone doesn't have a job, they can't pay their insurance. If they can't pay their insurance, they lose their ability to register the car and their right to drive. If you can't drive, in most places in the U.S., you're really screwed in finding a job, because the public transit systems here generally suck."--Skippus

"Any time believing a certain way is important, in my opinion, you're dealing with brainwashing. And if it's so important that, unless you have the correct beliefs, you're going to hell, the stakes are raised considerably and the brainwashing is commensurably increased."--John E. Lawrence

"Even the name 'rational choice' seems to have been run through a machine to soften the harshness of this science. When we realize that gamesmanship is still such a great part of game theory, by whatever name, then such choices may not seem so rational."--WillSea

"I've said more than once that America's most profound strategic casualty in the woebegone war on terror has been its information environment."--Jeff Huber

"I've come to believe that January 2009 will resemble not so much a new beginning as it will a giant hangover, an empty wallet, and angry creditors not far behind."--Mori Dinauer

"The cost in IMMOBILITY of our emphasis on personal (auto)mobility is rarely figured into calculations about standard of living/quality of life, maybe because the immobilized constituencies are so invisible in our society."--Rachel May

"but this returns to the power problem: you have to have power to have a voice and in order to get power, your voice must be inline with all of the other powerful voices."--Danah Boyd

What's happening to my language?

I thought the past tense of "lead" was spelled "led." In my recent offline reading of online content, I've noticed a tendency toward uses of "led" in this context being outnumbered by uses of "lead" by, let's say, ten to one. Now I even see the "lead" spelling used utterly consistently (as if by editorial policy) at Progressive Historians, a website purporting to include folks with Ph.D.'s among its contributors.

This being said, the article linked from the above paragraph makes it plain that the Canadian government lead [sic] by S. J. Harper makes good on the promises implied by taking the "P" out of "PC." It's reminiscent of the purge of the moderates from the GOP in connection with the so-called Reagan Revolution.

01 April 2008

Quotations with links

"They have to flatten the economy for the world to be flat."--antu

"The trouble with the American Left is that it's American."--ddjango

"I have no problem with spy cameras or those who watch them. They have provided me an excellent opportunity to keep up my marksmanship skills."--anon.

"If a cis woman's life is completely opaque to me as a trans woman, then I fail to see how a cis woman could possibly understand my life."--Lisa Harney

"In Westernspeak, the West nuking other countries does not qualify as the use of weapons of mass destruction."--Paul Craig Roberts

"But wait you say, who cares about 'idealism' and 'litmus tests', you'll vote for any democrat just so long as they can beat the repugs? (go blue team go! We'll win the meaningless trophy of hollow authority this year!)"--R. Mildred

"You know those 'Reagan Democrats' we keep being told we have to move to the right to get back? Well, like Digby says, They Aren't Democrats."--Avedon Carol

"Sounds like the people at the DOJ didn't get past the first chapter in their economics textbooks, to the part where it explains how barriers to entry are one of the primary impediments to a healthy market."--David Alpert

"What's all the fuss about this 'digital rights management' stuff? It's about copyright holders making you into the 'adversary', and trying to control your use of products even after you've bought them, through technological means -- backed up by laws and 'inter-industry negotiations':"--Seth David Schoen

"This video supports my long-held belief that political figures should be allowed in the media only when the clips are a minimum of five or ten minutes, unedited. Soundbites would be outlawed."--Michael J.

"For Facebook or equivalent to really monetize beyond CPM (which has already proven to be weak) it will end up being an online equivalent to Amway and then people will quickly see that being pestered by tons of 'friendly' sales people is not a good bargain for having some basic communicaton tools."--Bernard Lunn

"Why give away our secrets? Because if they stay secrets, we're fucked."--CrimethInc

"If I felt that someone else was mapping my conversions and the relationships they represented - and wasn't prepared to have the same done to them, I would soon stop talking."--Euan Semple

"What sesame street teaches is how to watch sesame street."--Juliet Schor

"The second workshop on status was structured as a game where we were given gems that we had to trade to work our way up the status latter. It quickly became clear that some were born wealthier than others. I was a member of the poverty class. Realizing we would never win by getting money and realizing that whenever a member of our group did well, they were shipped off to another group, our group decided to aim for bottom, maximize happiness and conversation, and laugh at the other groups going crazy. The wealthier classes were much more invested in succeeding and one of the members from the upper-middle class nearly went ballistic over how the game was rigged and she wasn't able to win. Gotta love a room full of Type A personalities. Anyhow, this provoked a fun conversation and my table got to talking about the status structures of badges (not unlike those at tech companies where there are permanents and contractors and temps and whatnot)."--Danah Boyd

24 February 2008

Quotations with links

"The use of clustering parallels the rise of the relatively homogeneous suburbs. Government policies that created tight communities of like-minded people suddenly made it possible to corral voters who for all practical purposes resembled sheep in statistical holding pens. They could then be led to large concrete boxes that painlessly relieved them of their votes and allowed them to emerge as transformed as if from a shearing. In essence the suburbanization with its geographic sorting of races, income levels and tastes intersected with the rise of the computers that make cluster analysis possible."--Ralph Brauer

"In order to be a 'support-based hierarchy' (which still seems like an oxymoron to me), wouldn't the one who commands everyone else from the top of the hierarchy be the one who supports the most--not the one who is most supported?"--Jef Godesky

"We need more viable political viewpoints in the debate than merely “I’m for big biz and weathy” vs “I’m for big biz and wealthy but the poor folks don’t have to starve”."--REkzkaRZ

"Right now, our choices are Right Wing and Supersized Right Wing with Extra Fries, and they only have to compete with each other. Any third party trying to move in on their territory can currently be banished by invoking the spectres of Ross Perot and Ralph Nader."--Max Kaehn

"If we have learned anything in the last few years, it is that the economy is no longer an effective measure of human well-being."--Barbara Ehrenreich

16 February 2008

Quotations with links

"Economic Democracy is not just about capital that is technically owned by workers, it is not a form of worker capitalism over another group of workers."--Tom Vouloumanos

"The only thing it takes to make a person disabled, after all, is a social expectation that some other kind of person is normal."--abfh

"Taxes and unions got us out of the depression. Redistribution of income. Taxes on the rich, the money used to build infrastructure and provide good jobs, and unions to force the corporations to give raises and benefits. In a consumer economy you want more money in the hands of the consumers - not the rich. DUH!"--Dave Johnson

"Republicans only want schools to graduate young people ready to work, not to think critically and they have so denigrated public education for so long that it could be decades before the system recovers."--Charles 2

"But something's worth saying plainly that gets downplayed by Wall Street and other neo-liberal free-trade fans: Just as water seeks its own level, Indian foundry workers and other semi-skilled professions will enjoy a slow increase in wages and opportunities over the next 40 or so years as they approach some kind of parity with the West. We, on the other hand, will have to see a more precipitous drop in living standards in order to contribute to that journey to equilibrium point. When we get there, here will feel more like India than India will seem more like us."--fouro

09 February 2008

Class meme

via seeking academia

Bold the statements that are true. Seen it everywhere.... Though this list is not all encompassing, it is still relevant

1. Father went to college (one semester)
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children's books by a parent
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 (no really long-term lessons)
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child (dad's an amateur artist)
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
25. You had your own room as a child (2-kid, 2-bedroom house, but part of childhood spent in makeshift bedroom in basement due to incompatibilities)
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course (high school curriculum, of course, was teaching to the test)
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school (at times I had garbage picked TV's that worked)
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (still an air travel virgin at age 42)
31. Went on a cruise with your family
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family (mom involved us kids in family bookkeeping, we were aware of all the bills)


Quotations with links

"Before we turn all of America into a gated community, with a 700 mile steel fence running along the southern border, we should consider the mixed history of exclusionary walls."--Barbara Ehrenreich

"...anarchists reject both privatisation and nationalisation."--Anarcho

"Tired of Poll-Driven News Coverage of Elections, Instead of Issue-Driven News Coverage? Lie to a Pollster."--Rex Frankel

"So, when my sweetie tells the Big Phone Company that his [sic] going to the Big Cable Company for Internet service, I just had to laugh. (Behind his back, of course. He's pretty irritated.) I wish him luck on that one."--Happy Chyck

"As far as state welfare goes, anarchists do not place it high on the list of things we are struggling against (once the welfare state for the rich has been abolished, then, perhaps, we will reconsider that)."--from the Anarchist FAQ

"I'll believe 'transhumanists' who claim to advocate consensual therapeutic multiculture as I do when more of them show anything like real concern about the ways in which savagely unequal distributions of authority, resources, reliable information, and legal redress duress the actually existing scene of consent in the present."--Dale Carrico

"In recent years, 'bipartisanship' and 'national unity' have usually meant meeting the GOP halfway, regardless of how far right it veers, with agreement an end in itself."--Reg

"The poor are made to feel guilty and ashamed of their poverty, their illness and their unemployment, when they should be angry."--Dave Pollard

"Shopping malls are full of security cameras, but many have signs at the entrance telling customers that no photography or video recording is allowed."--David Brin

"The quadrennial political puppet show, highlighting not opposition but its appearance, is essential to keeping the captive-taking war machine running and to inoculating the American people from the viral knowledge that they themselves were first to be captured."--James Carroll

"Thus, 'economic freedom' would mean freedom from the economy--from being controlled by economic forces and relationships."--Herbert Marcuse, quoted by Jack Saturday

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