Jack Saturday

Monday, May 27, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 987-989

On research it is still worthwhile returning to the Jewkes 60's book THE SOURCES OF INVENTION, funded by the 20th Century Fund. Project scope was to analyze the 50 most important inventions of the 20th century in order to reform the patent system. Of these inventions only 1, the Pilkington floating glass process, was the result of a company using persons trained in the business working on a defined objective.

There arguably was another when a British textile firm aimed to produce permanent press textiles, but this was undercut by the strict requirement imposed by the firm that no one with previous experience in textiles be allowed to work on the project.

Remaining 48 were all invented by persons outside industry, often in garages, such as the lawyer developing copying machines.
 washingtonville, new york
comment on
Questioning the Mission of College
Published: April 20, 2013
New York Times
[emphasis JS]

A troubling problem that refuses to go away: what to do with our growing “surplus-population” (to paraphrase Scrooge by way of Malthus)? That is to say: in our 21st century post-industrial economy, tens of millions of people—i.e., human beings, right?—now have little or no “market-value.” Two factors are primarily responsible: hi-tech automation and offshoring (capital flight, “race to the bottom”). Their job-skills—such as they were—are now overpriced, redundant, outmoded, superannuated. They can neither be exploited as productive (but underpaid) workers nor as affluent (well-paid) consumers. They are idle, discontented, restless—and are liable to sudden spasms of rage and social unrest.

What to do? We’re talking of, say, up to 20% of the people living in the U.S. Within the ideological prism of late-capitalism—in which individual “worth” is reduced entirely to “market-value”—they’re “worthless.” (Remember: “there is no [civil] society”– Margaret Thatcher.) You can’t just… kill them—although that would be the easiest, most-efficient and cost-effective way of disposing of the problem. The elite 1% (or should we say, one-tenth of 1%) may still enjoy limited-liability for the crimes and reckless actions of the thousands of profit-squeezing machines they rely on, which we call Corporations. Still: there remains a residual, normative/legal constraint against premeditated murder. (The unmentionable if glaring exception: bombing and burning thousands of innocent people in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.)

So, I ask once again: what to do?
Obsolete People: A Disposable Problem?
by William Manson
Dissident Voice
December 29th, 2012
[emphasis and link JS]

Dr. Kornrich and Dr. Furstenberg warn that social mobility is in jeopardy. “In the race to the top, higher-income children are at an ever greater advantage because their parents can and do spend more on child care, preschool, and the growing costs of postsecondary education,” they write.
Suniya S. Luthar, professor of psychology and education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Dr. Luthar stumbled upon the subject of troubled rich kids. “I was looking for a comparison group for the inner-city kids,” Dr. Luthar told me. “And we happened to find that substance use, depression and anxiety, particularly among the girls, were much higher than among inner-city kids.”

That accidental discovery set Dr. Luthar on a research path that has prompted her to conclude that the children of privilege are an “at-risk” group. “What we are finding again and again, in upper-middle-class school districts, is the proportion who are struggling are significantly higher than in normative samples,” she said. “Upper-middle-class kids are an at-risk group.”
Money Cuts Both Ways in Education
New York Times
Published: May 9, 2013 
[emphasis JS]


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