Jack Saturday

Monday, July 17, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1639-1641

Put it this way: every Walmart with three hundred or more “associates” costs taxpayers roughly a million dollars in public assistance each year because the wages paid these employees don’t cover their food and health care.
Why Work?
Bran Dougherty-Johnson
The Baffle

 The more mechanical people to whom life is a shrewd speculation depending on a careful calculation of ways and means, always know where they are going, and go there. They start with the ideal desire of being the parish beadle, and in whatever sphere they are placed they succeed in being the parish beadle and no more. A man whose desire is to be something separate from himself, to be a member of Parliament, or a successful grocer, or a prominent solicitor, or a judge, or something equally tedious, invariably succeeds in being what he wants to be. That is his punishment. Those who want a mask have to wear it.
Oscar Wilde
De Profundis

 Ambitious professors, the ones who, like their students, want to get ahead in America, work furiously. Scholarship, even if pretentious and almost unreadable, is nonetheless labor-intensive. One can slave for a year or two on a single article for publication in this or that referred journal. These essays are honest: their footnotes reflect real reading, real assimilation, and real dedication. Shoddy work - in which the author cheats, cuts corners, copies from others - is quickly detected. The people who do this work have highly developed intellectual powers, and they push themselves hard to reach a certain standard: that the results have almost no practical relevance to the students, the public, or even, frequently, to other scholars is a central element in the tragi-comedy that is often academia.
Mark Edmundson
Who are you and what are you doing here

Best American Essays 2012

Edmundson: http://www.engl.virginia.edu/people/mwe

Monday, July 10, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1636-1638

They called this Wage Slavery. Slave Owners argued in the House of Representatives during the labor debate That they where actually more Humane, Because they owned their workers.. So they had a vested interest in making sure their property was Fed, Housed and supplied medical care. Where the Rich fat cats in the North Merely wanted to exploit their Work force by paying them Slave wages that couldn't even pay for the basic necessities in life with zero care of their well being. 50% of every full time worker in the USA makes $30,000 a year or less. By OECD standards they live in poverty. 50% of all full time workers working 40-60 hours a week in the USA live in poverty. In 2016, Wallstreet Bonuses,  Just the Bonuses. Equated to DOUBLE the money that All minimum wage workers in the USA made Combined.
Economic Update: Capitalism's Shadow: Poverty

Price cutting, led primarily by Amazon, has reduced many brick-and-mortar bookstores to rubble, depriving readers of direct interaction with booksellers. Despite some recent good news, the number of independents has been halved in the last two decades, and the chain stores that survive increasingly employ part-time, unskilled staff.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader
New York Times
JAN. 4, 2014

Work no longer serves these dual purposes of building character and providing income commensurate with effort. There’s not enough work to go around, and what there is has been reduced to a simulation of effort—pretend work in the cubicles and at the academic conferences—or backbreaking toil in the sweatshops, the office towers, and the offshore factories. The working world as we now experience it is an exquisite corpse, a collaboration between Charles Dickens, David Lodge, and William Gibson.
Why Work?
Bran Dougherty-Johnson
The Baffler


Monday, July 03, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1633-1635

Sears Canada's move to file for creditor protection means that 2,900 employees will not be receiving severance.

Part of the company's court-supervised restructuring involves letting go of 17 per cent of its staff, or 2,900 employees, and closing 59 stores.
Sears Canada Laid-Off Employees Won't Receive Severance Packages

When Medicine Hat, a city in southern Alberta, Canada, pledged to put an end to homeless in 2009, there were many sceptics who thought it couldn't be done. A good six years later, the city says it has fulfilled its promise with the help of a surprisingly simple idea: giving every person living on the streets a home with no strings attached.
How a Canadian City Ended Homelessness With a Simple Idea

Before the Reformation, almost no one believed that socially necessary labor was an ennobling activity. After the Reformation, almost everyone did.

In this sense, the Protestant ethic was never just a matter of church schism and doctrine. “But at least one thing was unquestionably new,” as Max Weber explained, “the valuation of the fulfillment of duty in worldly affairs as the highest form which the moral activity of the individual could assume.”
insofar as we can experience and measure the end of work—we move beyond the moral universe we call the Protestant ethic. In navigating this historic transition, we see that a world unmoored from the safe harbor of necessity could be full of moral promise, but only if we grasp it as such.

Why Work?
Bran Dougherty-Johnson
The Baffler

Monday, June 26, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1630-1632

Work as free play cannot be subject to administration; only alienated labor can be organized and administered by rational routine.
Herbert Marcuse
Eros and Civilization

 It’s bizarre to me that people think that I am ‘prolific’ and that I must use every spare minute of my time when in fact, as my intimates have always known, I spend most of my time looking out the window (I recommend it).
Joyce Carol Oates
The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art

Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays.
F. Schiller

Monday, June 19, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1627-1629

The situationist game is distinguished from the classic notion of games by its radical negation of the element of competition and of separation from everyday life. On the other hand, it is not distinct from a moral choice, since it implies taking a stand in favor of what will bring about the future reign of freedom and play.
Guy Debord
Report on the Construction and on the International Situationist Tendency's Conditions of Organization and Action

in 1930, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by the end of the century technology would have advanced sufficiently that in countries such as the UK and the US we’d be on 15-hour weeks. “In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshalled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. Huge swaths of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they believe to be unnecessary. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.
David Graeber
[emphasis JS]

 The goal of the future is full unemployment, so we can play. that's why we have to destroy the present politico-economic system.
Arthur C. Clarke


Monday, June 12, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1624-1626

At least rentier capitalism (where capitalism has a parasitic relationship, leeching on creativity) rather than productive capitalism (in factories and the like) will increase demand for an alternative system of organisation. Fascism, which is always possible, won't be pretty and needs fighting against tooth and nail. Socialism, where there's common ownership over the means of production, distribution and exchange, and no profits being siphoned off into corporations and private landowners, seems altogether more sensible as an organisational concept. Given how the internet has impacted on the way we see intellectual copyright, it doesn't seem quite as pie-in-the-sky as it used to be either. A national minimum income (a wage for being alive instead of a wage for keeping capitalism afloat, essentially) would be a great step towards this model. It's definitely one of the fundamentals worth fighting for.
Paul Stanway
[emphasis JS]

About 46 per cent of the work done in Canada is at risk of being taken by machines, according to a report that seeks to identify the industries and places across the country that are most vulnerable to automation.
“Current predictions suggest that these technologies are likely to disproportionately affect lower paying, lower skilled jobs,” the report said.
Accommodation and food service jobs have the highest risk of automation, the study found, followed by jobs in manufacturing and transportation and warehousing.

“About 62 per cent of work activities could be automated within these industries,” the researchers wrote — somewhat concerning, given that these sectors are among the country’s largest employers.
Canadian Cities And Industries Most At Risk From Automation

By Daniel Tencer
HuffPost Canada

 [emphasis JS] 

I know also that much is waiting for me outside that is very delightful, from what St. Francis of Assisi calls 'my brother the wind, and my sister the rain,' lovely things both of them, down to the shop-windows and sunsets of great cities.
Oscar Wilde
De Profundis

Monday, June 05, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1621-1623

It’s populism that gave us Brexit in Britain and President Donald Trump in the United States. It could soon give us President Marine Le Pen in France. But the fundamental lie of populism is that it can “bring the jobs back.”
I can watch what automation is doing in my own neighbourhood. There’s a big supermarket a five-minute walk from my house, and I’m in there almost every day to pick up something or other. Over the years I have got to know most of the people at the checkout counters, at least enough to chat a bit. And now the familiar faces are disappearing, one or more every month, to be replaced by automated self-checkout stations.

And don’t be fooled by the fantasy that computers create equal numbers of new jobs when they destroy old ones. When you lose your secure, well-paid job to a machine, you may end up with a minimum-wage MacJob if you are lucky, but you are just as likely to end up with no job at all.
Gwynne Dyer: Universal Basic Income — could it work?
The Telegram

 [emphasis JS]

 One multi-tasker bot, from Momentum Machines, can make (and flip) a gourmet hamburger in 10 seconds and could soon replace an entire McDonalds crew. A manufacturing device from Universal Robots doesn’t just solder, paint, screw, glue, and grasp—it builds new parts for itself on the fly when they wear out or bust. And just this week, Google won a patent to start building worker robots with personalities.

In Ford’s vision, a full-on worker revolt is on the horizon, followed by a radically new economic state whereby humans will live more productive and entrepreneurial lives, subsisting on guaranteed incomes generated by our amazing machines.

Rise of the Machines: The Future has Lots of Robots, Few Jobs for Humans
Marguerite McNeal

 [emphasis JS]

 If we had a reset button it should have been pushed instead of the 2000 election in the US. Many of us thought Obama was a reset button in 2008. While in ways he was, he is primarily a product of the last stage of the hyper-capitalist, Enlightenment experiment in social administration. He was the best you could get in the final years of the old order but the American version of the experiment has been in collapse for over forty years. The technology driven phase shift is planetary and is changing language and perspective for everyone. And, as we have come to understand, paradigm changes change language first, social structure second and, then literally, our common understanding of how the world works.
How to make the best of political collapse . . .
Mike Meyer
[emphasis JS]


Monday, May 29, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1618-1620

“Our generation is going to have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation, like self-driving cars and trucks, but we have the potential to do so much more than that,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg said the greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail, and with universal basic income, more people might have the freedom to take risks.
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Calls for Universal Basic Income

 Nick Lucchesi on May 25, 2017
Inverse Culture

[emphasis JS] 

 In the simplest analysis, Americans today, unlike nearly any other country in the word, deny one another basically good lives. You may think that is new, but it is not. They always have — that is what slavery and segregation were, weren’t they? The deep antipathy to public goods, healthare, education, and so on, in America is the result of a legacy of hate. And that legacy is what stopped America from investing in itself, ever, and still does today — hence collapse.
Bye Bye, America
umair haque

 …a philosophy of play is the only theory of the present age worth considering.
Our Identities and Political Thinking Are Formed in Our Free Time, Which Is Constantly Shrinking
Peter Sloterdijk


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1615-1617

From energy to pharma, from the shale gas boom to lucrative lifesaving drugs, public research has everywhere laid the foundation for private profit. And the industry that produced Juicero has been an especially big beneficiary of government largesse. The advances that created what we’ve come to call tech – the development of digital computing, the invention of the internet, the formation of Silicon Valley itself – were the result of sustained and substantial government investment. Even the iPhone, that celebrated emblem of capitalist creativity, wouldn’t exist without buckets of government cash. Its core technologies, from the touch-screen display to GPS to Siri, all trace their roots to publicly funded research.
[emphasis JS]

At the corporate level, tens of billions of dollars go in  subsidies to the fossil fuel, fishing, and agricultural industries. Fossil fuel subsidies may be much, much more. The  IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, and according to  Grist, even this is an underestimate.
5 Ways Rich People's "Entitlements" Cheat You and Me
By Paul Buchheit

 The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels on record since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax.
The Rich Get Richer Through the Recovery
September 10, 2013
New York Times

Monday, May 15, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1612-1614

At the corporate level, tens of billions of dollars go in  subsidies to the fossil fuel, fishing, and agricultural industries. Fossil fuel subsidies may be much, much more. The  IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, and according to  Grist, even this is an underestimate. 
5 Ways Rich People's"Entitlements" Cheat You and Me 
By Paul Buchheit 

 I spent much of my young adulthood working at a fast-food job I hated. I would distract myself from the drudgery by mentally protesting the notion that people should wake up every morning to an alarm clock, then go to their jobs and spend the bulk of their days doing something they don’t like to earn money. Who came up with this crazy system, anyway? The idea that I, and everyone around me, would be expected to continue doing this until age 65 or higher filled me with utter despair. There had to be a way out of the work-consume-die treadmill. There just had to.

Comprehensively and incisively programmed with all the relevant data regarding education, it will be evidenced that the physical and social costs will be far less for individual, at-home initiated, research-and-development interned self-teaching that have individual students go to school, being bussed and so on. This mass-production baby-sitting is only continued because of the union-organized response to the fear of the teachers about losing their jobs. Their political clout has for long been strong enough to guarantee continuance of this inefficiency to the present moment.
R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path P. xxxv.