Jack Saturday

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just Say No

I don't necessarily endorse the product for sale. --JS

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 289, 290

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
Adam Smith

Take away the energy-distributing networks and the
industrial machinery from America, Russia and all the world's
industrialized countries, and within six months more than 2 billion
swiftly and painfully deteriorating people will starve to death. Take away
all the world's politicians, all the ideologies and their professional
protagonists, from those same countries and send them of on a rocket
trip around the sun, and leave all the countries their present energy
networks, industrial machinery, routine production and distribution
personnel, and no more humans will starve or be afflicted in health than
at present.

note: Fuller wrote this before the growth of homelessness etc in the Northern/Western world. He advocated feeding, clothing, sheltering, and freeing everyone on the planet. --JS

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 286, 287, 288

The CEOs of the big three automakers flew to the nation's capital yesterday in private luxurious jets to make their case to Washington that the auto industry is running out of cash and needs $25 billion in taxpayer money to avoid bankruptcy.

All three CEOs -- Rick Wagoner of GM, Alan Mulally of Ford, and Robert Nardelli of Chrysler -- exercised their perks Tuesday by flying in corporate jets to DC. Wagoner flew in GM's $36 million luxury aircraft to tell members of Congress that the company is burning through cash, asking for $10-12 billion for GM alone.
Fat-Cat Automakers Beg for Taxpayer Money While Flying in Private Jets
Posted by Steve Benen,
Washington Monthly
November 19, 2008

Oscar Wilde said “Work is the curse of the drinking classes”, it is a typically flippant remark of his but sometimes I feel that work is the curse of my writing. In the last month or so I’ve been busy with my job, I’m an Audit Nurse, and it has left little room for anything else. My writing output has mostly been audit reports, a very dry and very unfulfilling activity. It has left me frustrated as hell.
Drew Payne

I cannot help saying that a great deal of nonsense is being written and talked nowadays about the dignity of manual labour. There is nothing necessarily dignified about manual labour at all, and most of it is absolutely degrading. It is mentally and morally injurious to man [sic] to do anything in which he does not find pleasure, and many forms of labour are quite pleasureless activities, and should be regarded as such. To sweep a slushy crossing for eight hours on a day when the east wind is blowing is a disgusting occupation. To sweep it with mental, moral, or physical dignity seems to me to be impossible. To sweep it with joy would be appalling. Man is made for something better than disturbing dirt. All work of that kind should be done by a machine.

And I have no doubt that it will be so. Up to the present, man has been, to a certain extent, the slave of machinery, and there is something tragic in the fact that as soon as man had invented a machine to do his work he began to starve. This, however, is, of course, the result of our property system and our system of competition. One man owns a machine which does the work of five hundred men. Five hundred men are, in consequence, thrown out of employment, and, having no work to do, become hungry and take to thieving. The one man secures the produce of the machine and keeps it, and has five hundred times as much as he should have, and probably, which is of much more importance, a great deal more than he really wants. Were that machine the property of all, every one would benefit by it. It would be an immense advantage to the community.

All unintellectual labour, all monotonous, dull labour, all labour that deals with dreadful things, and involves unpleasant conditions, must be done by machinery. Machinery must work for us in coal mines, and do all sanitary services, and be the stoker of steamers, and clean the streets, and run messages on wet days, and do anything that is tedious or distressing. At present machinery competes against man. Under proper conditions machinery will serve man. There is no doubt at all that this is the future of machinery, and just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself, or enjoying cultivated leisure which, and not labour, is the aim of man -- or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight, machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work. The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.
Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 284-285

If, like me, you go to work each morning and sit in front of a desk, you belong in the professional lineage of Sisyphus, the mythical figure damned to roll a massive boulder up a mountain, only to do it all over again when the rock rolls back down. After all, do you really make any substantial difference from your cubicle? Even if you carry a lot of weight in your office, does it matter, in the big picture, if you move 10 percent more units this quarter than the last? For anyone living a conscious life, office culture inevitably brings the onset of a mild sort of existential despair. Call it the blahs if you’d like: What am I doing? Am I just flushing 40 hours a week down the toilet? And unless you’re a heart surgeon or something, the answer is generally a resounding “yes.”

But you need that paycheck. You need those benefits. Your only hope, then, is to live in the moment, keep at it as an animal might, with consciousness tethered securely to the present. Don’t think about pushing that rock back up the mountain, about the brown-nosing yes-men eclipsing you, about the dehumanizing nonsense that presses in on every side, the petty tyrants in upper management using you as a salve for their shabby, wounded egos. Shut all that out. Just keep at it, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot, moving cell by cell across that endless spreadsheet.
The Drone Ranger
by Franklin Schneider
Washington City Paper
Aug. 26–Sept. 1, 2005

It seems to me that what you're advocating in BEYOND CIVILIZATION is that people live as parasites on civilization. I can't see what this has to do with living harmlessly.

Daniel Quinn:
"What you seem to be saying is that living as cultural predators (as we Takers do) is GOOD, but living as cultural parasites would be BAD. You need to realign your thinking about how creatures in general make their living.

Parasites and predators BOTH get their food from feeding on other organisms. The difference between them is simply that parasites feed on organisms that are LARGER than they are WITHOUT KILLING THEM (at least immediately--if ever). Predators, by contrast, typically feed on organisms that are SMALLER than they are--KILLING THEM OUTRIGHT! So tell me, how does it come about that creatures that feed on larger animals without killing them are BAD, but creatures that feed on smaller animals killing them outright are GOOD? What sense does it make to think that the farmer who kills the chicken outright for dinner is GOOD, whereas all the parasites that live in and on the chicken WITHOUT killing it are BAD?

This is the choice I'm offering in BEYOND CIVILIZATION: if you don't want to CONTRIBUTE your energy to the behemoth that is devouring the world, maybe you should consider DRAINING AWAY some of its energy by living on its back like a flea. Who lives more harmlessly in this case, the person who makes a living by contributing energy to the behemoth or the one who makes a living by draining some of that energy away? Personally, I vote for the flea."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 280-283

Anna Maria Tremonti : America has its first African-American president—what was it like to wake up to that reality this morning?

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Ahh—pretty normal actually-- I was quite tired, and I had to get to work the next day….
CBC Radio1, The Current, Nov 5, 2008

Potential applications of robots could then be in use as automatons in fast food restaurants, transportation, education, construction and retail among other areas. "We will have robotic cashiers, robotic stocking, sweeping, help and cart retrieval at Wal-Mart," says Brain.
To deal with that version of the future, he suggests society should redesign the economy to get the benefits of automation.
His solution? Spread the benefit of productivity to everyone by breaking the concentration of wealth, increase pay and reduce the work week. Sounds a lot like socialism, doesn't it?
The idea provoked a question from attendees. When industrialization first occurred there were fears of massive unemployment which never panned out. Why will the integration of robots into the workforce be any different?
"We didn't create a second intelligent species 150 years ago," says Brain. "Now we are doing that with intelligence that will get better and better."
Brainy Robots To Lead To Longer Unemployment Lines?
By Priya Ganapati

Wake up bro, we're not at odds together. We need to come together and fight for real power. That's what socialism attempts to achieve. It's simply about providing a decent living for all people if society can organize itself to do so. Why does that make you guys so freaking angry? It makes no sense to me. If we can have robots build every person a home and we can provide free electricity, water, cable, telephone, food, water, car, etc. -- why not do it? Why are you so dead set against providing for people? If it doesn't hurt you, why be so against it? I know you'll say that that is the point "it does hurt you". But, again, that's changing day by day. As robots can provide all the material necessities for all humans, we are obligated to provide for all people, are we not?
Posted by: Jonathan Nelson
Oct 27, 2008 8:42:19 AM
Comment on
Brainy Robots To Lead To Longer Unemployment Lines?

I spit at shortminded idiots who keep whining the same old proverbs and hymns about the evil of Satan/Socialism. Sod off, I want a steadily rising basic income as bloody soon the first people at McDonalds are laid off for robots.
Posted by: Dagonweb
Oct 28, 2008 5:33:33 AM
Comment on
Brainy Robots To Lead To Longer Unemployment Lines?