Jack Saturday

Monday, May 21, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1771-1773

The scarcity of time is one reason we overconsume, attempting to compensate for the loss of this most primal of all wealth. Time is life. To be truly rich is to have sovereignty over our own time.
Charles Eisenstein



 If others envy  me for my leisure, on the other hand, so be it. I do not, of course, wish to be a source of envy. I believe, however, that society will ultimately benefit the more that individuals come to realize that they long for lives of more leisure, lives outside the rat race of careerism or the monotony of the 9-to-5 grind, rather than simply lives of more wealth or material accumulation. More people must desire leisure, and thereupon demand it, in order eventually to effect the revolutions necessary for all people to enjoy more of it.
Kate McFarland
The Useless Life





There is this rise-of-the-robots logic, this fear that gradually technology is going to throw more and more people out of work. People say, “Look, it hasn’t happened.”
I think it did happen, but they made up these imaginary jobs to keep us working anyway, because we have an irrational economy that makes people work eight hours whether or not there’s anything to do. Can you have a surer sign of a stupid economic system than one in which the prospect of getting rid of onerous labor is considered a problem? Any rational economic system would redistribute the necessary work in a reasonable way and everybody would work less.

Thursday, May 10, 2018
Is Your Job Bullshit? David Graeber on Capitalism’s Endless Busywork
by Dayton Martindale
In These Times


Monday, May 14, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1768-1770

A wave of automation anxiety has hit the West. Just try typing “Will machines…” into Google. An algorithm offers to complete the sentence with differing degrees of disquiet: “...take my job?”; “...take all jobs?”; “...replace humans?”; “...take over the world?”

Job-grabbing robots are no longer science fiction.
In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne of Oxford University used—what else?—a machine-learning algorithm to assess how easily 702 different kinds of job in America could be automated. They concluded that fully 47% could be done by machines “over the next decade or two”.
A study finds nearly half of jobs are vulnerable to automation
by THE DATA TEAM
Apr 24th 2018
The Economist

[emphasis JS]




 Just like global warming, the steady march of work place robotics should instill immediate concern in the public. The World Bank estimates that, within the next twenty years, up to 57% of the world’s jobs face the prospect of automation. Where’s the outrage? Not in America, where one Pew Foundation study found half of its participants realize that automation will probably do most or all the work done by humans in the next fifty years. Why isn’t this issue at the forefront of every election? Like the melting ice-caps, the danger has arrived, but the entirety of the damage has yet to be felt.
The Hidden Danger of Workforce Automation
Jarl Jensen

 [emphasis JS]


 David Graeber: Capitalism treats blue-collar and white-collar wage earners differently than salary earners. Since the 1980s, anybody who has a non-bullshit job, who is doing actual work, has seen their work downsized, sped up and Taylorized.

Simultaneously, capitalism has produced endless bullshit white-collar jobs, which are designed to make you identify with the sensibilities of managers. I call this managerial feudalism, whereby they keep adding more and more and more levels of intermediary executives. If you’re an executive you need to have an assistant or else you’re not important, so they hire these flunkies. It has to do with power, really.

It screws up the creative industries. Movies have seven different levels of executives, who all have these complicated titles. They all fuck with the script and everything turns into mush. People point out this is why movies are so bad now.

In universities, you have this managerial class that’s taken over from the professors. They don’t know what the hell professors do. The more distant the managers are from what they’re managing, the more numbers they need because they don’t understand teaching themselves, and as a result we professors have to spend a larger and larger percentage of our time translating our activities into these quantitative terms that they set out.

Is Your Job Bullshit? David Graeber on Capitalism’s Endless Busywork
by Dayton Martindale

Thursday, May 10, 2018
 In These Times



Monday, May 07, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1765-1767

Still, this isn’t Canada’s first experience with basic income. The province of Manitoba first tested the idea in the 1970s, and the results suggested that people don’t become lazy slobs when freed from the struggle for survival. Instead, they go to school, get jobs, care for their families, and engage in their community. And while a basic income does cost more than many existing social programs, the cost of persistent poverty to provinces—reinforced, some argue, by services that seek to reduce poverty rather than eliminate it—amounts to tens of billions of dollars annually, through healthcare costs and lost productivity.
Basic Income Is Already Transforming Life and Work In a Postindustrial Canadian City
Jordan Pearson
Apr 23 2018
MOTHERBOARD




 In a recent book called Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, authors Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams argue that we should automate as much work as possible and distribute the proceeds from robot labor to everyone as a basic income.
Jordan Pearson
Apr 23 2018
MOTHERBOARD





 In the Wheel-Turning King Sutta (DN 26), the Buddha talks about the king who rules by dhamma. This kind of king is said to give “protection, shelter, and safety for all members of society as well as the birds and the beasts.” The Buddha says that such a king should provide “wealth to the needy,” ensuring there is no poverty. If he does so, the Buddha says, the people will not violate the five precepts (killing, lying, stealing, sexual misconduct, and taking intoxicants) and their lifespan and beauty (i.e., health) will also increase. If the king does not, then immorality will increase and people’s lifespan and beauty will decrease, and this will be passed on to their children.
Opinion: Why the Buddha Would Advocate for Universal Basic Income
By Matthew Gindin

Oct 25, 2017
tricycle









Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1762-1764

Low-wage jobs are five times more likely to be automated than high-wage jobs. A greater proportion of jobs held by women are likely to be automated. The solution that’s often suggested is that people should simply “retrain”; but if no funding or assistance is provided, this burden is too much to bear. You can’t expect people to seamlessly transition from driving taxis to writing self-driving car software without help. As we have already seen, inequality is exacerbated when jobs that don’t require advanced education (even if they require a great deal of technical skill) are the first to go.
Tech Optimists See a Golden Future—Let’s Talk About How We’ll Get Thereby
Thomas Hornigold -
Apr 22, 2018
SingularityHub

[emphasis JS]




Over time, as societies become more unequal places, economies — and the lives within them — begin to stagnate. That is because the lion’s share of gain are going to the already very rich — as in America, for example, where over the last two decades, more than 100% of gains have accrued to the top .01%. As stagnation sets in, a healthy nation’s social structure begins to fracture, buckle, collapse. A “middle class”, to which anyone can ascend , belong, and stay a part of — key to a vibrant democracy, a sense of optimism, a society that coheres and hangs together, a country that is not a hostile and cruel and indifferent place — becomes a new poor. The old poor become the wretched. And rich become the dynastic. For anyone but the richest, lives of dignity, meaning, purpose, belonging become unaffordable luxuries.
umair haque
Eudaimonia

[emphasis JS]


 According to a 2018 report published by the Ontario government, a 2008 study pegged the costs of poverty—due to stress on the healthcare system, cost of social programs, lost productivity, and so on—at $32–$38 billion annually just in Ontario, all at the government’s expense. According to the most recent census data, there are 5 million people living in poverty across Canada, a country of 36 million.
Jordan Pearson
Apr 23 2018
MOTHERBOARD
[emphasis JS] 



Monday, April 23, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1759-1761

A Wristband to Track Workers’ Hand Movements? (Amazon Has Patents for It) 
By CEYLAN YEGINSU

The e-commerce giant has won two patents for a tracking technology that can nudge a human hand in the right direction — toward a warehouse bin, say.
Headline
NYT





 The World Bank estimates that, within the next twenty years, up to 57% of the world’s jobs face the prospect of automation. Where’s the outrage? Not in America, where one Pew Foundation study found half of its participants realize that automation will probably do most or all the work done by humans in the next fifty years. Why isn’t this issue at the forefront of every election? Like the melting ice-caps, the danger has arrived, but the entirety of the damage has yet to be felt.
The Hidden Danger of Workforce Automation
Jarl Jensen
Medium



The Sutta on The Wrong Sacrifice and The Right (Digha Nikaya 5) tells the story of a king who asks his wise brahmin advisor how to perform a “great sacrifice.” The brahmin points out that the country is afflicted with theft and violence, and if the king were to assure that everyone had the resources they needed for their work, these social ills would end. The king does so, and the problems disappear. The argument recognizably follows a logical pattern that permeates the earlier Buddhist discourses known as dependent origination. “When this is, that is; with the cessation of this, comes the cessation of that.”
Opinion: Why the Buddha Would Advocate for Universal Basic Income
By Matthew Gindin
Oct 25, 2017
tricycle 



Monday, April 16, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1756-1758

“If your feelings are different from what you’re showing, you can start to get back strain, neck strain and stomachaches,” Grandey says. The toll of emotional labor at work can follow people after hours, too. A 2013 study of bus drivers found that those who reported faking emotions during the day were more likely to suffer from insomnia, anxiety and emotional exhaustion at home. A 2014 study of hotel managers by Grandey and colleagues found that people who had to feign their feelings on the job tended to be less helpful at home, presumably because they were too tired to pick up a broom or dishrag. And in yet-to-be-published research, Grandey and colleagues also found that people who fake positive emotions at less-than-positive jobs tend to drink more alcohol at home, perhaps because they feel inclined to cut loose after keeping things buttoned up. Other studies have suggested a similar lack of control with food. “You feel like you don’t have any willpower,” Grandey says.
Barista’s burden
Chris Woolston
Knowable Magazine

 [emphasis JS]


 We should be looking for new ways to organize, new ways to think and act ourselves into freedom. Instead, today we are on the road towards an existence plugged into a bio-monitor, our sleeping patterns logged, our calorie intake mandated by the people who pay us just enough to live.
Downward-Facing Capitalist Dogma
Josh Hall
The Baffler





 The 20th century income distribution system has broken down irretrievably. Globalisation, technological change and the move to flexible labour markets has channelled more and more income to rentiers – those owning financial, physical or so-called intellectual property – while real wages stagnate. The income of the precariat is falling and becoming more volatile. And chronic insecurity will not be overcome by minimum wage laws, tax credits, means-tested benefits or workfare. In short, a basic income is becoming a political imperative.
Guy Standing
The Guardian
Thu 12 Jan 2017

[emphasis JS]





Monday, April 09, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1753-1755

As some in the feminist school point out Adam Smith, when he wrote The Wealth of Nations, moved back in with his mother. She washed his clothes, cooked his meals and kept the candle wick trimmed. Without this labour (and the years spent raising and supporting him) his foundational work of modern economics would probably never have been written. And yet this essential labour does not figure in The Wealth of Nations and to this day remains outside the accounting practice of economics as it is practiced by government policy makers.
Artists, Housework and Learning to Unsee
John O'Brien

 [emphasis JS]




 We tell these girls they will go to a great college and doors will open up and they will “do great things” the world.

And some do great things in the world. Until age 30. Then most women choose to give more time to family than their career. Women don’t want to be the breadwinner. And women don’t want to work the ten-hour days that are required of people who have outstanding careers. Because they won’t see their kids.

So when you congratulate your daughter for getting good grades so she can go to a good college to get a good job, you devalue the job she is most likely to gravitate to: taking care of a family. You degrade that job as not a valid choice, the same way people in the 1950s degraded math and science as not a valid choice for girls.

When you tell girls what they should do with their future, you undermine the achievements of women’s rights in the 20th century. When we constantly devalue the choice most women are making — to scale back their career and focus on family — we take away the pride girls have in who they are: smart, educated, hard-working. You can be all those things and still decide taking care of family is most important.

Parents should validate that option as much as they validate the option of being president or running a science lab. Because your smart, educated daughter is much more likely to stay home with kids than do any of those jobs that require never seeing their kids.

Misogynist conversations women have all the time
Penelope Trunk
women

 [emphasis JS]


They were educated, hardworking, and ambitious, and now they were also poor—applying for food stamps, showing up in shelters, lining up for entry-level jobs in retail. This would have been the moment for the pundits to finally admit the truth: Poverty is not a character failing or a lack of motivation. Poverty is a shortage of money.

For most women in poverty, in both good times and bad, the shortage of money arises largely from inadequate wages. When I worked on my book, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, I took jobs as a waitress, nursing-home aide, hotel housekeeper, Wal-Mart associate, and a maid with a house-cleaning service. I did not choose these jobs because they were low-paying. I chose them because these are the entry-level jobs most readily available to women.

What I discovered is that in many ways, these jobs are a trap: They pay so little that you cannot accumulate even a couple of hundred dollars to help you make the transition to a better-paying job. They often give you no control over your work schedule, making it impossible to arrange for child care or take a second job. And in many of these jobs, even young women soon begin to experience the physical deterioration—especially knee and back problems—that can bring a painful end to their work life.

It Is Expensive to Be Poor
Barbara Ehrenreich
The Atlantic

 [emphasis JS]







Monday, April 02, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1750-1752


KELOWNA — Well-meaning people who give away bottles and cans near recycling depots are only perpetuating poverty, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran suggests.

...Council voted 6-3 to support changes to panhandling regulations that, for the first time, make it a ticketable offence to give away money, or recyclable items of some value, to other people in certain circumstances.

...Another change will see drivers who give money to panhandlers on medians at intersections also fined $250, as offering such donations is said to only encourage a form of begging that’s regarded as particularly unsafe and intimidating.


“That’s not a safe situation, and I know it makes people uncomfortable,” Coun. Luke Stack said.

RON SEYMOUR, THE DAILY COURIER 
Published on: March 27, 2018



It takes a deft touch to draw a decent heart in latte foam, but that’s not the hardest part about working as a barista. The real backbreaker: cheerfully greeting a hundred people in a row, even that one guy who hasn’t left a tip in three years but always complains that his coffee isn’t hot enough except for the times that it’s too hot.

For baristas, salespeople, flight attendants and many other service workers, fake smiles and forced pleasantries often come with the job description. But psychologists warn that emotions can’t just be flipped on like an espresso machine, and smiles aren’t as easy to put on as name tags. Feigning feelings at work — what psychologists call “emotional labor” — can be as mentally and physically taxing as any other type of workplace stress, but few workers or employers recognize the threat, says Neal Ashkanasy, a professor of business management at Queensland University in Brisbane, Australia. “People just put expressions on their faces without any idea what kind of stress it’s causing,” he says.
Barista’s burden

Chris Woolston
Knowable Magazine

[emphasis JS]


 

Equal parts Don Quixote and Che Guevara, Villarino describes his peregrinations as protests not just against boredom but also against parochialism and even capitalism. “The 12-hour workday,” he wrote in an early manifesto, “is more dangerous than hitchhiking.” As a Latin American, from a downwardly mobile middle-class family — he watched his parents be crushed by those 12-hour days —
...
 “I realized that you could work your whole life for a house, a career,” he said, “and overnight it all could vanish.” 
THE WORLD’S BEST HITCHHIKER ON THE SECRETS OF HIS SUCCESS  
NYT
 [emphasis JS]













Monday, March 26, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1747-1749

Forty percent of the 678,000 British Columbians living below the poverty line are working adults.
Friday, March 23, 2018
The Unsolved Riddle of Poverty Reduction
ECONOSPEAK





 If Nato was dissolved tomorrow, you’d be amazed how peaceful Europe would become. The reason for its existence – the USSR – vanished decades ago. We don’t keep up a huge alliance to protect us from the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Ottomans, or any other powers that have disappeared. So why this one? It was preserved to save the jobs and pensions of its staff. It was only expanded because American arms manufacturers were afraid they would lose business when the Cold War ended.
PETER HITCHENS: 

The 'patriotic' thought police came for Corbyn. You are next.
Daily Mail
17 March 2018 

[emphasis JS]



 Nearly half of all Disneyland Resort employees have gone hungry because they couldn’t afford to buy food, a survey found. More than one in 10 reported being homeless while working at the Magic Kingdom because of the low pay.
...
43 percent of employees needed, but couldn't afford, dental care. More than two-thirds enrolled in the company’s health insurance plan said they were forced to give up other necessities in order to make payments.

Eleven percent of those surveyed—including 13 percent of employees with young children—reported having been homeless in the past two years.

A further 46 percent said they had been forced to lower their food intake or have disrupted eating patterns. Fifteen percent of Disneyland employees receive food stamps.
...
“We are proud of our record as a quality employer,” Brown added. “We have created more than 4,000 jobs over the last five years—more than any other business in Orange County.”

Disneyland Workers Are Paid So Little, Many Are Hungry or Homeless
By Ewan Palmer / Newsweek via Alternet
March 1, 2018





Monday, March 19, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1744-1746


Why Companies and Countries Are Battling for Ascendancy in 5G
By DON CLARK and CECILIA KANG
Taking an early lead in ultrafast next-generation wireless technology can give players a strategic advantage.
NYT Headline
   March 07, 2018





  If those cuts had gone through, they would have exposed one of the biggest lies told about Big Pharma: that the current system of patents and price-gouging is just an unfortunate necessity to cover the cost of all their brave and noble R&D work.
...
Just how important is our publicly funded research to Big Pharma and Biotech? According to a new study by a small, partly industry-funded think tank called the Center for Integration of Science and Industry (CISI), it is existentially important. No NIH funds, no new drugs, no patents, no profits, no industry.
...
The authors found that each of the 210 medicines approved for market came out of research supported by the NIH. Of the $100 billion it spent nationally during this period, more than half of it—$64 billion—ended up helping the development of 84 first-in-class drugs.
...
...publicly funded labs conduct years of basic research to get to a breakthrough, which is then snatched up, tweaked, and patented (privatized) by companies who turn around and reap billions with 1,000-times-cost mark-ups on drugs developed with taxpayer money.
...
Those companies then spend the profits on executive bonuses and share buybacks, and lavish mass marketing campaigns to increase sales of amphetamines, benzos, opioids, and dick pills.
...
Why are we allowing drug companies to gain proprietary control over taxpayer-funded research, then turn around and price-gouge those same taxpayers to literal death?...

"... taxpayers fund the riskier part of drug development, then once the medicines show promise, they are often privatized under patent monopolies that lock in exorbitant prices for 20 years or longer,”...
By Alexander Zaitchik / Social Security Works
March 2, 2018, 10:46 AM GMT

[emphasis JS]



One of the many studies I would have funded had I hit one of the really big lotteries is on how much ostensibly private profit is gained from publicly funded research. Most of the iphone is derived from public research. The Weather Bureau costs about a billion a year to run, for a long time far beyond the ability of a single person to underwrite, and they gave away their output for free. Private profit, annually, from the Weather Bureau's research and forecasting? 100 billion dollars.

Where's my equity share of that? Where's yours?
Jack Strawb
 
[emphasis JS]